DIFC rolls out employee workplace savings scheme

Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority.
Updated 06 August 2019

DIFC rolls out employee workplace savings scheme

Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), an international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, aims to provide a progressive working environment for its clients.

In line with recent global employee benefit trends elsewhere, the DIFC Employee Workplace Savings (DEWS) scheme will see the evolution of end-of-service benefits within the center from a defined benefit structure to a funded and professionally managed defined contribution plan. The new plan, set to launch from January 2020, will offer a low-cost investment platform for receiving and managing mandatory employer end-of-service contributions on behalf of their employees and any added voluntary savings by employees, including cash or cash equivalent options for those members that do not want to take investment risk with their contributions.

DIFC has finalized the selection of the key service providers for the DEWS plan. Equiom, a global trust services provider, has been selected to act as master trustee of the DEWS plan, whilst Zurich Middle East has been selected as the scheme administrator. Zurich will be assisted in its duties by Mercer, as investment adviser, and Smart Pension as technology services provider.

Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, said: “Today, DIFC is recognized as a world-class financial and professional services hub and we are continuing to pioneer transformational directives that will drive the future of finance. The new DEWS scheme will reinforce our position as a jurisdiction that attracts and retains the very best professional talent from across the globe in accordance with best practice, including employee benefits.” 

Equiom’s Global Chief Executive Officer Sheila Dean said: “The selection of Equiom as master trustee for the DEWS scheme is a huge honor for us and testament of the capability of the team. Having spent many years myself working with Middle Eastern employers to provide employee incentives I am delighted to see the DIFC introduce a mandatory plan which will not only secure accrued benefits but provide a platform to enable growth and a longer term outlook.” 

Walter Jopp, CEO of Zurich Middle East, said: “We are pleased to have been selected by Equiom in conjunction with the DIFC Authority in what is a transformational opportunity for better financial services in the region. We look forward to working with the DIFC Authority and Equiom in providing a truly world-class solution for the DIFC community.”

Amiri added: “It was critical for us that the partners selected to manage the DEWS scheme demonstrated outstanding capabilities, a well-tested track record and alignment with international best practices. Based on the extensive experience and sterling reputation of the selected service providers, having implemented and participated in similar schemes in a number of other jurisdictions, also in the region, we are confident that their collective expertise of over 70 years in this field will help secure better employee end-of-service benefits for the DIFC workforce. In line with the UAE’s National Agenda and Dubai Plan 2021, we are committed to creating a cohesive society and enhancing our business environment, as we deliver on our own 2024 growth strategy.”


AMC launches Saudi Arabia’s first cinema loyalty program

Updated 15 January 2020

AMC launches Saudi Arabia’s first cinema loyalty program

AMC Cinemas has launched the first cinema loyalty program, along with a website and mobile application, in Saudi Arabia, ensuring that all updates and information are available for movie lovers here.

The loyalty program, AMC Da’era, is a first-of-its-kind experience that has been built specifically for the Saudi cinema goer. The app is designed to offer a personalized experience for each guest. With points being earned for every single riyal spent in AMC Cinemas, members keep ascending through each of the tiers by moving from Inner Circle to Select Circle and finally Elite Circle. Alongside each tier, the perks and benefits continue to expand from birthday, anniversary gifts, F&B discounts, free refills, and chances to win tickets to screenings and grand opening events. 

Being a member of AMC Da’era will give users a privilege to be the first to know about any advance tickets and cinema openings via a weekly newsletter.

Users can join AMC Da’era by signing with an AMC account on amccinemas.com or the AMC Cinemas app on iOS.

The new website amccinemas.com is set to be a one-stop digital hub for movie news and schedules in all AMC Cinemas, featuring advanced search tools that allow guests to narrow down their search and select a movie based on the name of the movie or the desired location. The handy booking system allows users to effortlessly purchase and book tickets online and once the transaction is completed, the tickets will be dropped into the visitors’ digital wallet. Moreover, the live chat option provides immediate real time support to help solve any problems and deliver all required information. 

The site also highlights any new food and drinks promotions for customers to benefit from. The new “Remind Me” function will keep cinema lovers always up to date. The website has been designed to be quite similar to amctheaters.com, the most visited entertainment site in the US.

“AMC Cinemas’ mobile application will allow guests to finalize everything in a seamless and speedy way. With a wide range of features that are available in both Arabic and English languages, booking a movie in AMC Cinemas will become a fun and on-the-go process,” a statement said.

AMC currently operates two theaters in Riyadh. According to Adom Aron, CEO of AMC, the company plans to open between eight and 10 theaters by June, between 12 and 20 theaters next year, and 50 theaters in the next three to four years.