New ‘German Desk’ to be set up at Jeddah chamber

The Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) and the Delegate of German-Saudi Arabian Liaison Office for Economic Affairs (GESALO) have signed an agreement to establish a “German Desk” at the JCCI.
Updated 17 July 2019

New ‘German Desk’ to be set up at Jeddah chamber

The Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) and the Delegate of the German-Saudi Arabian Liaison Office for Economic Affairs (GESALO) have signed an agreement to establish a “German Desk” at the JCCI.

GESALO, the official representative of the German industry in the Kingdom, will staff the desk with a professional trade expert. GESALO is part of the network of German chambers abroad and has been operating in the Kingdom as a not-for-profit entity for more than 40 years.

JCCI President Mohammad Naghi welcomed the Jeddah-based “German Desk.” 

Oliver Oehms, GESALO delegate, said the “German Desk” would add to the efforts of the main office in Riyadh and the “German Desk” in Dammam. 

“Personal contacts matter. Therefore, our expectations are high that the presence of full-time staff will take the bilateral business relations to a new level,” he said. 

German Consul General in Jeddah Holger Ziegeler said: “German companies have a lot to offer to their Saudi Arabian counterparts. This is true especially for the many specialized medium-sized champions or Mittelstand companies.”

One of the first tasks of the new “German Desk” will be to organize an incoming delegation of German CEOs from the logistics sector.


Alawwal, SABB mark decade of support to disabled

Updated 09 December 2019

Alawwal, SABB mark decade of support to disabled

Saudi Arabia’s newly merged bank is reaffirming its commitment to inclusivity to mark UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, observed globally on Dec. 3. For more than 10 years, Alawwal Bank and SABB have helped thousands of disabled people in the Kingdom, now as one bank, it aims to take new steps to further this legacy of support. 

David Dew, managing director, SABB: “It’s up to large companies like ours to actively promote inclusivity across Saudi Arabia. We have the resources to make a difference, not just for the thousands of customers and staff we support but for the Kingdom as a whole.” 

Previously, both banks have been long-term supporters of the Disabled Children’s Association. For over 10 years, SABB’s “Employment Program for People with Special Needs” has helped find jobs for more than 5,000 young people in various companies. Alawwal Bank also donated to the association to help rehabilitate children aged 4-12. SABB also helped establish the Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Specialized Prosthetics Center (the largest in the Middle East), which now treats 9,000 patients a year. Other initiatives include donations to rehabilitation centers for females and orphans with disabilities, as well as to the Saudi Deaf Sports Federation.

Now the combined bank is taking new steps to promote accessibility — starting with staff. As well as using their offices to entertain kids from the Disabled Children’s Association, the bank challenged employees to tackle a wheelchair obstacle course, giving them first-hand experience of the difficulties disabled people face. 

Dew added: “We’re only really giving staff a glimpse of the day-to-day challenges disabled people face but it’s been a great learning experience. The more we understand, the more we can do to help.”

The bank is currently constructing a new head office which is being designed to accommodate people of all abilities. As well as accessibility for wheelchair users, the building will also be built to consider the needs of the deaf and blind.

A video promoting accessibility for wheelchair users is also being promoted Kingdom-wide by the bank. 

International Day of Persons with Disabilities is an international observance promoted by the United Nations since 1992, aiming to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development.