Saudi non-oil private sector growth hits 27-month high: Survey

Saudi non-oil private sector growth hits 27-month high: Survey
Updated 09 December 2017

Saudi non-oil private sector growth hits 27-month high: Survey

Saudi non-oil private sector growth hits 27-month high: Survey

November data signalled a strong upturn in the Saudi non-oil private sector. Steep output and new order expansions contributed to the latest positive result, according to the latest Saudi Arabia PMI survey.
Meanwhile, foreign demand improved at a modest pace and job creation continued. On the price front, cost burdens rose moderately, while output prices were unchanged since October amid strong competition in the sector.
Business confidence remained positive, albeit the level of sentiment fell slightly since the preceding survey.
The survey, sponsored by Emirates NBD and produced by IHS Markit, contains original data collected from a monthly survey of business conditions in the Saudi private sector.
Khatija Haque, head of MENA research at Emirates NBD, said: “The strong November PMI reading is encouraging ... and indicates that it was largely ‘business as usual’ last month. That output and new orders continued to increase sharply bodes well for non-oil sector growth in the fourth quarter. Higher oil prices likely contributed to the broadly positive business sentiment.”
The headline seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) — a composite gauge designed to give a single-figure snapshot of operating conditions in the non-oil private sector economy — rose to 57.5 in November, from 55.6 in October.
This figure indicated the steepest improvement in the non-oil private sector since August 2015.
Output continued to increase, in line with the survey’s trend. The rate of growth was sharp overall and accelerated to a 10-month high in November. According to anecdotal evidence, the upturn in business activity was supported by strong domestic demand.
Growth of new business accelerated during November, with the respective index hitting a 27-month high. The improvement in new work inflows was reported by 37 percent of respondents.
New export order growth reached a three-month high during November. Non-oil private sector firms commonly linked the rise in new orders from abroad to an economic upturn in neighboring countries.
Job creation continued in November, thereby extending the current sequence of hiring to 44 months.


Talabat to pilot sustainable packaging in UAE

Talabat to pilot sustainable packaging in UAE
Updated 27 July 2021

Talabat to pilot sustainable packaging in UAE

Talabat to pilot sustainable packaging in UAE

Regional online food delivery and q-commerce platform Talabat has launched a sustainable packaging program to reduce plastic waste and carbon emissions across the region, starting with pilot operations in the UAE and Qatar. The launch is part of Delivery Hero’s (Talabat’s parent company) global rollout of the program, across eight markets.

Talabat’s new packaging, which will be available for select restaurant partners and vendors to adopt, is 100 percent plant-based and contains no perfluoroalkoxy-alkanes (PFA), which are commonly known as forever chemicals, and cannot be broken down by nature. The packaging has also been rigorously tested to meet food safety, quality assurance, sustainability, and ethical supply standards.

Research conducted by Delivery Hero underlined that consumers want a more sustainable delivery ecosystem; 92 percent of customers in the UAE would consider ordering from restaurants that offer sustainable packaging, while two-thirds of customers in the UAE would order more from a restaurant that offers sustainable packaging.

Tomaso Rodriguez, CEO of Talabat, said that the organization is committed to creating a sustainable delivery ecosystem.

“Globally, I think everyone can agree that a plastic-free world is imperative. Statistics from the National Geographic and Ellen McArthur Foundation show that currently 91 percent of the world’s plastic is not recycled — and 70 percent of plastic ends up in landfills or the natural environment. By 2050, the amount of plastic in the ocean will outweigh fish. That is the enormity of the challenge that as a planet, we are facing. 

“Regionally, our ultimate goal is to create a more sustainable delivery ecosystem by constantly introducing industry-leading standards and innovations, and that every product purchased through our Talabat platform be delivered in sustainable packaging,” said Rodriguez.

“However, this is not a short-term or medium-term fix. Through introducing our sustainable packaging program to the region as a pilot, we are aiming to influence the reduction of food packaging wastage.”

He added: “Also, as part of Delivery Hero, who are introducing this same initiative initially in seven other markets around the globe — Qatar, Austria, Chile, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary and Singapore — we are able to produce this packaging at scale, with the aim of deploying 10 million units globally by the end of 2022, which makes it a cost-effective solution to normal packaging for our restaurant partners and vendors.”


IHG to debut Hotel Indigo with four properties in Egypt

IHG to debut Hotel Indigo with four properties in Egypt
Updated 27 July 2021

IHG to debut Hotel Indigo with four properties in Egypt

IHG to debut Hotel Indigo with four properties in Egypt

Global hotel company IHG Hotels and Resorts is expanding its presence in Egypt with four new Hotel Indigo branded properties. As part of a management agreement signed with real estate specialists Mountain View, IHG will introduce the world’s first globally branded boutique hotel brand, Hotel Indigo, to Egypt with Hotel Indigo Mountain View North Coast, Hotel Indigo Mountain View iCity New Cairo, Hotel Indigo Mountain View iCity 6th of October City and Hotel Indigo Mountain View Ain El-Sokhna. The signing ceremony was held in the presence of Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, prime minister of Egypt, and Dr. Assem El-Gazzar, minister of housing and development.

The four new hotels will cater to a broad range of travelers as leisure and business tourism rapidly rebounds across the country. 

Haitham Mattar, managing director, India, Middle East and Africa, IHG said: “Egypt is one of the most dynamic tourism markets in the region with a great vision for the future of leisure and business travel. We have a longstanding legacy in the country and are proud to continue to support the development of its hospitality sector through the introduction of our boutique and lifestyle brand, Hotel Indigo.”

Amr Soliman, Mountain View chairman, said: “With their innate understanding of local cultures, high standards of service and impeccable attention to detail, IHG is the ideal partner to build our hospitality offerings and take it to the next level.” 

Set in one of Egypt’s most exclusive cities, the Hotel Indigo Mountain View North Coast will offer views of the Mediterranean Sea as well as high-end retail and dining once doors open in July 2024. The hotel will feature 100 design-led rooms, a spa, health club, pool and 165 square meters of meetings and events space. 

Meanwhile, the 200-key Hotel Indigo Mountain View iCity New Cairo will cater to a business clientele with its location in the Fifth Settlement.  

Hotel Indigo Mountain View iCity 6th of October City, set to open in January 2028, will be an urban escape in the Giza Governorate, 32 km outside the city of Cairo. The hotel will offer 200 rooms. 

A short drive from the buzz of Cairo, Hotel Indigo Mountain View Ain El-Sokhna, offers the best of both worlds with its setting amidst mountains and sandy beaches. A haven for trekking, fishing, diving and skating, the new property will offer hotel guests a tranquil atmosphere in addition to 150 rooms, meeting and events space and F and B options, starting January 2028.


Abu Dhabi’s Jubail Island appoints operations corporate director

Abu Dhabi’s Jubail Island appoints operations corporate director
Updated 27 July 2021

Abu Dhabi’s Jubail Island appoints operations corporate director

Abu Dhabi’s Jubail Island appoints operations corporate director

Jubail Island Investment Company (JIIC) has announced the expansion of its senior leadership team with the appointment of Abdulla Saeed Al-Shamsi as operations corporate director.

An industry veteran with more than 20 years’ experience in the development, construction and roads, infrastructure and housing industries, Al-Shamsi will join the senior management team in spearheading the development of Abu Dhabi’s newest community, Jubail Island. 

The 5-billion-dirham ($1.4 billion) Jubail Island development aims to be an idyllic collection of villages located between Yas Island and Saadiyat Island. A UAE national, Al-Shamsi has held senior management roles at some of the UAE’s most prestigious organizations including executive director at Abu Dhabi’s Housing Authority as well as executive director, strategic affairs of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, which is recognized as having a pivotal role in the achievement of Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.

In 2005, Al-Shamsi joined Abu Dhabi City Municipality, where he undertook important roles including acting executive director for infrastructure and municipal assets sector, as well as the executive director for the strategic planning and performance management division. 

He has achieved many impressive career accomplishments to date including completing the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Sheikh Zayed Street and Tunnel (Al-Salam), Al-Mafraq Intersection Bridge, and Al-Ghuwaifat International Highway, and was also involved in the preparation and execution of the infrastructure master plan for three mega cities in Abu Dhabi, among other successes.

Al-Shamsi has directed many multimillion-dollar international projects in the UAE, Morocco, Pakistan, Syria, Kazakhstan and West Bank.

Mounir Haidar, managing director of JIIC, said: “We have no doubt that Abdulla will build upon his experience to lead his team with the dedication and passion he has become synonymous with. Abdulla is a huge asset to the organization and we’re confident that with his experience, drive for results, dynamic personality and innovative ideas he will help to lead the Jubail Island strategy and vision for an inclusive and sustainable community in the heart of Abu Dhabi.”

Al-Shamsi has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering/ project management and a master’s degree in international business. He has been an elected fellow member of The Charter Institute of the Highway and Transportation in the UK since 2010.


Huawei brings the best of ‘Smart Office’ experience to Saudi Arabia

A new “Smart Office” experience creates a productivity hub that breaks through boundaries for maximum creativity and efficiency. (Supplied)
A new “Smart Office” experience creates a productivity hub that breaks through boundaries for maximum creativity and efficiency. (Supplied)
Updated 26 July 2021

Huawei brings the best of ‘Smart Office’ experience to Saudi Arabia

A new “Smart Office” experience creates a productivity hub that breaks through boundaries for maximum creativity and efficiency. (Supplied)

RIYADH: Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia has launched its innovative range of Super Device Smart Office products comprising the new 12.6-inch Huawei MatePad Pro, Huawei MatePad, Huawei MateView, Huawei MateView GT, Huawei FreeBuds 4 and the upcoming Huawei Watch 3 I 3 Pro.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Bill Yu, vice president of Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia, said: “This is the most important launch event for us this year as the new range of Super Device Smart Office products is now available for pre-order in Saudi Arabia. With this new range of devices and products, Huawei will allow consumers in the local market to enjoy a very smooth and seamless smart experience across multiple devices that suit different scenarios. The new high-end device product range is just a new step in our efforts to provide the best user-focused experience through a proactive innovative approach.”

A new “Smart Office” experience creates a productivity hub that breaks through boundaries for maximum creativity and efficiency. Super device connectivity with and without wires, along with Huawei MateView, Huawei MatePad Pro and Huawei MateBook exemplifies full integration suitable for our busy lifestyles.

Today’s consumers expect much more from their devices than just clever features or an attractive form factor. In Saudi Arabia especially, consumers want all this, in addition to demanding smart devices that complement their always-on, always-connected, seamless lifestyles — and increasingly, consumers want devices that can work together to create all new integrated digital experiences — like Huawei’s new Super Device range of products.

“Huawei is laying the foundation for the future development of the consumer electronics industry through the upcoming range of Super Device Smart Office products,” Yu said.

Bill Yu, vice president of Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)

In parallel with the local launch of the Super Device Smart Office range of products, Yu explained how Huawei is building on its 1+8+N strategy, with an approach that brings consumers the very latest devices with a whole new level of interconnected functionality. “Huawei is so much more than a smartphone company. We are offering consumers a wide portfolio of products, including PCs, tablets, wearables, audio devices and more,” Yu said.

“Consumers today demand a more connected life and that is exactly what the 1+8+N Seamless AI Life Strategy delivers, and the Super Device range will go beyond that to create even better, highly-connected experiences that empower digital lifestyles. We launched our 1+8+N strategy more than two years ago and it proved to be hugely successful. We aim to bring people closer by creating a world where everything works together intelligently, safely and seamlessly.” 

He added: “Huawei will continue its commitment to developing meaningful innovative products and services that truly impact people’s lives in a positive way. This is our promise to our users, and we will continue to have the same drive and energy to innovate and engineer the market with leading products and services. We are committed to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and will continue to provide users with the latest products and technology during 2021.”

The Super Device experience is a new approach that is intended to create a seamless, unified experience across all devices. While there are more smart devices in our lives than ever, the experience they provide often isn’t smart.

Devices that are complicated to connect together, or that are not compatible, lead to a frustrating and fragmented user experience. The Super Device experience is designed to address this problem by introducing a common language for different kinds of devices to connect and collaborate, providing users with a more convenient, smooth and secure experience.

It uses distributed technology to meet the varied needs of all types of different devices with a single system, enabling flexible deployment as needed. It also combines previously independent devices into a cohesive and holistic Super Device that integrates all hardware and resources to freely leverage the capabilities of its component devices based on the user’s real-time needs.

“2021 is the year that our future development strategy will begin to take shape. No matter what challenges come our way, we will continue to maintain our business resilience. Not just to survive, but to do so sustainably. As always, we will remain focused on the needs of our users and keep delivering practical business value,” Yu said.

“Huawei will continue its commitment to developing meaningful innovative products and services that truly impact people’s lives in a positive way. This is our promise to our users, and we will continue to have the same drive and energy to innovate and engineer the market with leading products and services,” he added.


ABB to present sustainable solutions at Dubai Expo 2020

ABB to present sustainable solutions at Dubai Expo 2020
Updated 27 July 2021

ABB to present sustainable solutions at Dubai Expo 2020

ABB to present sustainable solutions at Dubai Expo 2020

Global technology company ABB will participate in the Dubai Expo 2020 as an official partner of the Swedish pavilion and showcase its technology in a digital and interactive way partnering with more than 100 companies and institutions. With a history of more than 130 years and Sweden as one of the birthplaces of the company, ABB will join the country’s efforts to highlight the most innovative solutions that will help build a smart society under the pavilion’s theme of “Co-creation for Innovation.” The exhibition is the first Expo ever that is taking place in the Middle East. A meeting point for businesses and governments, Expo 2020 will run from Oct. 1 to March 31, 2022.

As part of its presence in Dubai, ABB will highlight how plastic waste is turned into furniture using a specially adapted robot from ABB and how the sustainability and production efficiency of mining operations can be increased by using smart, digital solutions. Other projects include ABB solutions that help turn Västerås — Sweden’s fifth largest urban area — into one of the smartest cities in the country, establish one of the world’s tallest wooden buildings as a showcase project for state-of-the-art energy technology and research into new materials for a smarter and more sustainable future.

ABB CEO Björn Rosengren will also be part of a high-level seminar under the theme of “Switzerland and Sweden — Partners in Technology and Sustainability” to manifest 100 years of official relations between the two countries. Together with representatives from Switzerland and Sweden, the event will explore how industry can contribute to a recently signed memorandum of understating between the two innovation agencies Innosuisse and Vinnova in the areas of knowledge and learning, science and sustainable innovation.

Rosengren said: “ABB is proud to be part of this exhibition that addresses the key challenges our world is faced with today. We are convinced that our electrification and automation solutions play an important role in showcasing the power of innovation and technology for a more sustainable world. It is the perfect platform for ABB to position ourselves as a leading technology company with a strong focus on people, technology and sustainability.”

Anna Hallberg, Sweden’s minister of foreign trade, added: “Expo 2020 in Dubai is a unique opportunity to highlight innovative, smart and sustainable technologies that can solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges. I am very proud that Sweden and Swedish companies are at the forefront of this development. ABB is a brilliant example of this, and I highly value their participation as an official partner to the Swedish pavilion.”

ABB has a long tradition of supporting its local customers in the UAE and has provided state-of-the-art technology to a range of projects in the country. Among them are electrification solutions for the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and the world’s first fully functional office built using 3D printed concrete elements. Automation and electrification technology from ABB is also in use in Dubai’s International Airport, the city’s metro system and the Mall of the Emirates.