Madinah’s Millennium Taiba Hotel holds mock fire drill

Madinah’s Millennium Taiba Hotel holds mock fire drill
The hotel carried out an experimental evacuation plan under the supervision of the Civil Defense in Madinah.
Updated 20 May 2019

Madinah’s Millennium Taiba Hotel holds mock fire drill

Madinah’s Millennium Taiba Hotel holds mock fire drill

Millennium Taiba Hotel, a five-star property located close to Al-Masjid Al-Nabawi in Madinah, recently conducted a mock fire drill to demonstrate the readiness of an emergency response plan in the hotel.
The hotel carried out an experimental evacuation plan under the supervision of the Civil Defense in Madinah.
During the drill, safety and security teams directed guests and employees to the nearest emergency exits to gather them at an assembly point. The exercise ensured that the hotel’s staff is well-trained to handle emergencies and that the safety and security equipment is in place.
Anas Al-Maimani, executive assistant manager, said: “The safety of our guests and employees is our top priority. We are serving visitors to one of the most important sites of Muslims around the globe and that adds to our responsibility of making sure that no accidents occur.
“We believe in deploying preventive measures and in being well-trained to respond in case of an emergency. We also would like to extend our thanks to the concerned authorities including the Civil Defense in Madinah for their continuous support and hard work.”
The 208-room hotel is located close to four historic mosques and is 250 meters from the Prophet’s Mosque.


Arabian Travel Market 2021 opens in Dubai

Arabian Travel Market 2021 opens in Dubai
Updated 15 May 2021

Arabian Travel Market 2021 opens in Dubai

Arabian Travel Market 2021 opens in Dubai

Local, regional and international travel and tourism professionals will converge on the Dubai World Trade Centre today for the opening of the Arabian Travel Market 2021 (ATM), the first major in-person international travel event since the outbreak of the pandemic. 

One of the highlights of the first day will be the “Tourism for a Brighter Future” opening session taking place at 12 p.m. Moderated by Becky Anderson, managing editor, CNN Abu Dhabi, speakers include Helal Saeed Al-Marri, director general, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM); Dr. Taleb Rifai, chairman of ITIC and former secretary-general, United Nations World Tourism Organization; Scott Livermore, chief economist of Oxford Economics Middle East, Dubai; and Thoyyib Mohamed, managing director, Maldives Tourism Board.

Later in the afternoon, the “Tourism Beyond COVID Recovery” session will take place, at 2 p.m., and will include key speakers such as Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Belhoul Al-Falasi, minister of state for entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises for the UAE; Zayed R. Alzayani, minister of industry, commerce and tourism for Bahrain and chairman of Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority; and Haitham Mattar, managing director of India, Middle East and Africa, IHG Hotels and Resorts.

Another key event taking place on the first day is the China Tourism Forum to be held at 4 p.m. It will highlight the latest trends of outbound travel from China as well as the best way of meeting such demand. It will feature respected panelists representing both DMOs and Chinese outbound travel trade.

“This year more than any other, we, along with our partners and sponsors, have worked together closely, to enable an inspirational in-person event, that will set the tone for the Middle East travel and tourism industry for the rest of this year,” said Danielle Curtis, exhibition director, ATM Middle East.

“We will be looking to capitalize on the latest trends and opportunities, as well as meeting challenges head-on with innovative solutions — with governments, trade associations, industry professionals and influencers, all working in unison,” she added. 

Under the theme of “A new dawn for travel and tourism,” the 28th edition of the four-day show, which concludes on May 19, has 62 countries being represented on the exhibition floor, such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Germany, Cyprus, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, the Maldives, the Philippines, Thailand, Mexico and the US, underscoring the strength of the ATM brand and its international reach.

Away from the exhibition floor, a total of 67 conference sessions will take place featuring 145 local, regional and international speakers.


Zahid Group integrates solar solution into new facility

Zahid Group integrates solar solution into new facility
Updated 15 May 2021

Zahid Group integrates solar solution into new facility

Zahid Group integrates solar solution into new facility

In line with its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, Zahid Group has signed an agreement with Safeer for the installation of a 1.5 MWp solar rooftop and carport hybrid system on the premises of its new headquarters, Zahid Business Park.

Zahid Business Park will be located on the northern outskirts of Jeddah and host the group’s new 11-floor head office, six large-scale facilities for independent Zahid Group companies, a community center and the Zahid Learning Institute. The renewable energy component was integrated in the initial design of Zahid Business Park. This innovative approach will help the group to significantly reduce its carbon footprint through clean power production.

The system will annually produce ~2.5 GWh of clean energy and will offset nearly 1,800 metric tons of CO2 emissions, corresponding to approximately 7,000,000 kilometers driven by an average passenger vehicle or equivalent to more than 30,000 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.

The planning and construction of the solar hybrid system combining photovoltaic and conventional energy generation will be completed by Safeer, a joint venture between Altaaqa Alternative Solutions (a Zahid Group company) and Total Solar Distributed Generation. 

Barig Siraj, vice president of group affairs at Zahid Group, said: “Supporting sustainable development is a priority at Zahid Group. Whether it is via significant investments in renewable energy or turning to renewable energy solutions for our own business needs, Zahid Group is an active participant in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 for the development and promotion of renewable energy generation.” 

Francois Ganneau, managing director of Safeer, said: “After the recent creation of the Safeer joint venture, it is our pleasure to implement this iconic project for one of our parent companies. This complex project introducing photovoltaic hybrid technology on rooftops and carports of the new Zahid Business Park will showcase Safeer’s capabilities and commitment to excellence and will act as a case study in highlighting the benefits of integrating renewable energy solutions in commercial and industrial settings.”


Healthcare groups emerge stronger than standalone clinics in pandemic

Healthcare groups emerge stronger than standalone clinics in pandemic
Updated 15 May 2021

Healthcare groups emerge stronger than standalone clinics in pandemic

Healthcare groups emerge stronger than standalone clinics in pandemic

The ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique conflict to healthcare businesses across the region. While hospitals operated at the forefront at maximum capacity to manage COVID-19 and emergency cases in these unprecedented times, multiple “elective” departments such as plastic surgery, dentistry, aesthetic dermatology, and ophthalmology were given the short end of the stick during periods of intense lockdown, resulting in financial loss.

Karan Rekhi, CEO of Forte Healthcare, a consultancy firm, observed that healthcare chains were seen to be more resilient than their counterpart, the humble standalone clinic. These chains benefited and cut costs as they were able to shuffle their staff, rotations, and rapidly make adequate adjustments within their own facilities to accommodate the changing landscape. Standalone clinics, alternatively, were forced to shut down operations entirely and made to implement solutions upon reopening, functionally arresting their operations with alternative patient flow management as advised by regulatory authorities.

“Due to heavy financial investments made prior to lockdown, borrowing interests piled up on many healthcare clinics, leaving them with few options on recouping losses,” Rekhi added.

Experts warn that the upcoming 18 months will drastically shift dynamics in this sector, but with proper guidance moving forward, should not be an area of concern to investors of big chains.

Forte Healthcare provides advisory services to healthcare investors and institutions, and has successfully catered to more than 116 startups in the past two decades. They established last year in the UAE with a vision to endorse diversity and novelty in the field of healthcare. 

“Lockdown was painful for many sectors and healthcare was undoubtedly one that took a hit,” Rekhi said. “However, these businesses managed to rebound in some aspects.” 

Mainframe hospitals and healthcare chains saw a rise in hospital efficiency and financial improvement, as corporations realigned themselves to adapt to the changing climate. Telehealth and online consultations, additionally, came to the forefront at this time, benefiting both the patient and the institution. 

Rekhi remains optimistic that breakthrough plans to revive smaller clinic operations post-pandemic will transpire.

He said that small clinics and elective surgeries should be merged into larger hospitals, as this particular market calls for consolidation and integration. Big institutions would benefit with additional income, while the smaller clinics could use the provided facilities to carry out business as per normal. 

Healthcare across the region varies widely — while some countries relish in world-class centers and facilities, others lack basic long-term care. Utilizing their professional talent and expertise, Forte Healthcare aims to unify the global landscape of the healthcare industry as a whole, allowing for a more fruitful and robust approach to health management.


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.