Saudi Telecom Company makes MENA’s first 5G call

Saudi Telecom Company makes MENA’s first 5G call
STC Group CEO Nasser Al-Nasser
Updated 09 April 2019

Saudi Telecom Company makes MENA’s first 5G call

Saudi Telecom Company makes MENA’s first 5G call

Saudi Telecom Company announced on Sunday that it has successfully made a call using a 5G smartphone — a first in the MENA region and among the first globally — in cooperation with its strategic partners. 

“The successful call on a new 5G handset paves the way for our customers to enjoy many new services and capabilities provided by the new 5G network. STC will continue to provide innovation and quality to its valued customers once 5G devices become available in the global markets,” the telecom giant said.

STC Group CEO Nasser Al-Nasser said the company is committed to providing the latest innovative technologies, “in line with its key role as the digital enabler to achieve the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.” This, he said, should reflect positively on the quality of services and solutions provided by STC in the health, education, mining and energy sectors.

In May 2018, STC launched its first 5G live network, a first in the MENA region. STC has also been at the forefront of 5G testing activities since 2017.


Jeddah municipality thanks artist Shalimar Sharbatly

Jeddah municipality thanks artist Shalimar Sharbatly
Updated 13 May 2021

Jeddah municipality thanks artist Shalimar Sharbatly

Jeddah municipality thanks artist Shalimar Sharbatly

Jeddah municipality has thanked internationally renowned Saudi artist Shalimar Sharbatly for her support in implementing the municipality’s “Draw a Nation” initiative — one of the activities of its “Yalla Jeddah” platform, which invited innovators in all fields to address challenges facing Jeddah’s art scene and contribute to improving services in the city.

“Draw a Nation” saw Sharbatly showcase several of her hand-painted vehicles in Jeddah. The move came within the framework of initiatives to improve the visual appeal of Jeddah’s streetscapes. The goal was to highlight the importance of recycling and paint a number of old and abandoned cars and vehicles, turning them into works of art that enrich the city.

As a result, three permanent platforms have been created for displaying works of artists from time to time.

The municipality also thanked citizens and residents who participated in the activity and helped to enhance the beauty of Jeddah.

Sharbatly, a pioneer of the “Moving Art” school, was responsible for both a hand-painted, customized Porsche 911, showcased at the Paris Motor Show, and a Formula 1 racer, known as “La Torq,” which was unveiled at the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix. Both vehicles were also exhibited at the Louvre museum in Paris as part of a “Moving Art” exhibition in 2017.

Sharbatly first showcased several of her hand-painted vehicles as part of the “Draw a Nation” initiative during last year’s Saudi National Day celebrations. She was inspired to upcycle old cars after witnessing an accident while driving along the beach in Jeddah.


Tamimi Markets in Riyadh reopens after renovation

Tamimi Markets in Riyadh reopens after renovation
Updated 13 May 2021

Tamimi Markets in Riyadh reopens after renovation

Tamimi Markets in Riyadh reopens after renovation

Tamimi Markets has announced the reopening of one of the oldest branches in Riyadh, located on King Abdullah Road in a newly renovated plaza in Al-Rakah Center. The plaza offers a convenient and appealing mix of retail brands and services, now made even more inviting by the addition of the new full-service Tamimi Markets. 

“This Riyadh branch features stylish new interior décor and celebrates its fresh food departments with the variety and quality that Tamimi Markets is known for — and all at low prices,” added Bobby Rajendran, general manager of Tamimi Markets.

“Shoppers really appreciate Tamimi Markets’ high-quality fresh foods, international standards and friendly service, but we have also earned a solid reputation for great value,” added Rajendran. “In fact, we strive for our ad prices to never be beaten and our ‘Tamimi Markets since 1979’ brand helps shoppers save even more.”

Opening in Ramadan, the new store has been offering all the traditional Ramadan favorites and made seasonal gifting easy with Ramadan-themed gift boxes and Tamimi’s “same-as-cash” Ramadan Gift Cards.

“There are also many fresh innovations to see and explore at this location,” Rajendran said. “For example, the new branch features Miros, an attractively priced, high-quality souq filled with popular dried fruits, nuts and spices, in addition to other food products purchased in bulk. Miros also offers time-saving prepackaged products for those in a hurry.” 

The store’s “Themari” loyalty program is free to join and offers cash-back rewards to shoppers by awarding points on purchases and exclusive deals for loyalty members.

“Plus our exclusive brands offer great value, often at prices below the local brands. These include Safeway from the US (Signature Select, O Organic and Lucerne), Costco (Kirkland Signature), and Sainsbury’s from the UK,” added Rajendran. 

Tamimi Markets is one of the Kingdom’s fastest-growing supermarket chains. The Saudi company is based in Alkhobar and is a subsidiary of the worldwide Tamimi Group headquartered in Dammam.

“We are a Saudi family, proudly serving the families of Saudi Arabia for over 40 years,” said Abdulaziz Tamimi, CEO of Tamimi Markets. “We look forward to serving the Riyadh community for many more years to come” he added.

The new store in Riyadh, like all Tamimi Markets locations, is open 24/7 to serve its growing family of shoppers.


St. Regis Cairo: A new beacon of luxury on the Nile

St. Regis Cairo: A new beacon of luxury on the Nile
Updated 12 May 2021

St. Regis Cairo: A new beacon of luxury on the Nile

St. Regis Cairo: A new beacon of luxury on the Nile

St. Regis Hotels and Resorts, part of Marriott International, has announced the highly-anticipated opening of The St. Regis Cairo. Rising tall on the banks of the River Nile, The St. Regis Cairo is an icon weaving a powerful story of luxury in the region. Located at the north end of the corniche, in the heart of Egypt’s bustling metropolis, the 39-storey hotel offers easy access to the magnificent monuments of a city steeped in history.

To celebrate the opening, The St. Regis Cairo hosted a special ceremony, which was attended by Ali Shareef Al-Emadi, minister of finance for Qatar; Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al-Thani, chairman of Qatari Diar; Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, CEO of Qatari Diar; Steven Mnuchin, former US secretary of the treasury; Dr. Mohamed Maait, minister of finance for Egypt; Satya Anand, president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International, and other VIP guests.

“Egypt has historically been one of our key markets and strategically significant to our growth in the region,” said Anand. “Cairo is a storied destination that has long mesmerized the global traveler with its incredible energy offering a vibrant mix of history, culture, tradition and glamor. The St. Regis Cairo is an exciting addition to our fast-growing brand portfolio and is set to elevate Cairo’s luxury hospitality landscape with its remarkable design, uncompromising service and exceptional culinary venues.”

Al-Attiyah said: “We are delighted to strengthen our global portfolio of hospitality developments with the opening of The St. Regis Cairo. This luxury landmark will introduce higher standards of hospitality to this beautiful destination with its unparalleled levels of luxury and exceptional service — both of which the iconic St. Regis brand is renowned for.”

With its striking architecture, created by renowned architect Michael Graves, The St. Regis Cairo firmly establishes itself as a pivotal landmark in the city and beyond.

Graceful geometric lines flow throughout the interiors, creating a repeated structural motif that quietly references the heritage of the region. Dark wood and rich textures combine with intricate embroidery, bejeweled paneling, bronze and wood carvings embellished with flashes of shimmering gold, mother of pearl inlays and imposing crystal chandeliers creating a dramatic Egyptian aesthetic with modern execution. A mural entitled “The Pink Sun” graces The St. Regis Bar. Staunchly modern in its execution, the mural references ancient Egypt and the birth of a modern civilization. 

The St. Regis Cairo boasts of 286 lavishly appointed rooms and suites and 80 luxurious apartments. Three expansive royal suites define opulence, with plush interiors featuring a private fitness room, sauna and floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic Nile views. 

The hotel offers a diverse selection of restaurants and lounges. La Zisa is a modern and relaxed dining space that offers authentic southern Italian cuisine where guests can enjoy their dining experience overlooking views of the Nile. Tianma takes guests on a journey to Singapore and is a melting pot of flavors from China, India and Southeast Asia. 

The J and G Steakhouse offers a sophisticated collection of steakhouse favorites, premium meat cuts and fish sourced from around the world. The poolside restaurant, Sirocco, is the ideal place to enjoy a cocktail with a selection of Mediterranean and Egyptian dishes. For urban and chic lounge lovers, Envy is an enchanting and glamorous venue with bejeweled décor for a special night out.


Travel tech giants to stage comeback at ATM in Dubai

Travel tech giants to stage comeback at ATM in Dubai
Updated 12 May 2021

Travel tech giants to stage comeback at ATM in Dubai

Travel tech giants to stage comeback at ATM in Dubai

Travel Forward, a global event for travel technology, has revealed an impressive lineup of big name brands to present live on stage as a part of sister event Arabian Travel Market (ATM).

This year’s ATM is a hybrid event. Travel Forward is part of the in-person event taking place at Dubai World Trade Center from May 16-19, co-located with ATM Dubai. 

ATM Virtual will take place from May 24-26 and all sessions from the in-person event will be available to view during the virtual event.

In collaboration with the travel tech powerhouse Amadeus, Travel Forward Theatre will welcome Amadeus’s senior vice president of retail for Middle East and Africa, Jamel Chandoul, who will discuss how collaboration can help to rebuild the travel industry using technology to offer travelers a smoother and safer travel experience. The session looks at travelers’ top concerns including health apps. It takes place on May 17.

The four-day event kicks-off on May 16 with a two-part session featuring Gavin Harris from travel marketplace Skyscanner and Kathryn Wallington from next-generation global distribution platform Travelport. 

Later that day, David Debeule, director of Expedia Group’s accommodation team in the Middle East and Africa, will talk not only about the insights that can be gleaned from listening to the global travel ecosystem but also how these insights can be converted into real-world action plans.

Elsewhere, an hour-long expert panel will outline “The Path Forward for Destination Marketing Organizations.” It will be led by Hans Clement from the Dubai office of Boston Consulting Group and Iva Kutle Skrlec, a destination marketing expert from Google. They will share the findings from an extensive collaborative research project, giving attendees practical advice and takeaways on how to position their destination for the return of travelers. 

Hotels are also represented across the three-day event. Jochem-Jan Sleiffer, president for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey operations of Hilton, is part of a hospitality panel talking about how data and technology can support personalized trips and memorable experiences. 

Simon Press, exhibition director at Travel Forward, said: “The lineup we’ve assembled for Travel Forward at ATM Dubai proves that senior execs from across the travel tech ecosystem are willing to travel and share their insights and expertise on how best to approach the first wave of post-pandemic travelers.”

Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “Travel technology is integral to our hybrid format this year. With expert insight, it will be fascinating to find out just what the ‘new normal’ will look like, the role technology will play and how industry players and consumers will adapt.”


AUS launches ‘iLead’ career preparation program

AUS launches ‘iLead’ career preparation program
Updated 12 May 2021

AUS launches ‘iLead’ career preparation program

AUS launches ‘iLead’ career preparation program

Students in the School of Business Administration (SBA) at American University of Sharjah (AUS) can now further explore their career options and connect their academic studies with their professional goals and personal growth through the newly established iLead program, which launched this semester. 

A comprehensive development and career preparation program, iLead is a pioneer program in the region benchmarked against leading US universities. It will guide students to make the most of their years at SBA and prepare them for joining the workforce. 

“iLead gives our students an early start and a broader understanding of personal growth, career exploration, and the tools to perform job searches, as well as an updated view of the workplace skills required. We use internationally recognized tools that are well-known to recruiters. Participants will also be given the choice to take personal strengths and career path finder assessments, such as the Gallup Strengths Finder for Students. They will go through a three-stage program beginning with the Early Start phase that targets first- and second-year students, the Career Launch phase targeting second- and third-year students, and the Young Leader phase targeting fourth-year students,” said Eleni Papailia, senior manager of internships and placement at SBA. 

The free, no-credit and voluntary course is delivered through a combination of self-paced learning as well as group activities, and has students take personal strengths assessments, work on case studies and presentations, and attend workshops. iLead participants will be given a LinkedIn endorsement and a certificate upon the completion of the program. 

“Throughout the program, students will become familiar with competencies that will help them meet their early career goals. In essence, iLead contributes to our students’ readiness for professional life, personal leadership and good citizenship,” said Dr. Saad Mohsen, professor in finance and associate dean for undergraduate programs at SBA. 

SBA students welcomed the news about the iLead program. Varun Nagaraj, a second-year accounting student, said: “Having a structured career path and a preparation program is vital to secure our dream jobs. This program is key in giving students all the tools and knowledge they require to join the workforce and perform efficiently.”

Dr. Narjess Boubakri, dean of SBA, spoke about the advantages the program presents: “I am so glad to introduce the iLead program to our students. Through iLead, we aim to promote better well-being, greater engagement and academic achievement for all our students at SBA. Our ultimate purpose is to help our students thrive during their years at SBA and to adequately prepare them for their transition to the ever-changing world of work.”