UAE SMEs recognized for growth

UAE SMEs recognized for growth
The winners of the 8th Gulf Capital SME Awards 2019 were announced at a gala dinner hosted at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Center.
Updated 30 September 2019

UAE SMEs recognized for growth

UAE SMEs recognized for growth

Gulf Capital has unveiled the winners of the 8th Gulf Capital SME Awards 2019 at a gala dinner hosted at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Center. Seventeen SMEs across the technology, F&B and health care sectors were recognized for implementing innovative techniques and strategies that lead to business growth and rapid expansion. 

This year, the awards, which recognize new and existing SME businesses, received a record number of 300 applications from companies and entrepreneurs across 17 categories. 

Dr. Karim El-Solh, CEO of Gulf Capital, said: “SMEs are the driving force of the UAE’s economy, as they constitute over 90 percent of all the organizations in the country. We are pleased to recognize and celebrate the achievements of the SMEs that continue to fuel the growth of the UAE economy and are displaying world-class capabilities by being champions of growth and innovation.”

“Entrepreneurs and small companies are the drivers of the future success of this region,” said MEED editorial director Richard Thompson. “Through these awards, MEED is supporting SMEs in the UAE by celebrating their finest achievements. And even if they have not won an award on the night, every company participating in the Gulf Capital SME Awards 2019 is a winner and should be applauded for the contribution it is making to the future of this region.”

The UAE continues to be the preferred location for SMEs to flourish as the number of new companies entering the market has increased by 30 percent in the last decade, according to a recent report by Diligencia, Gulf Capital and MEED.


Visa appoints Dr. Saeeda Jaffar as senior vice president for GCC region 

Visa has announced the appointment of Dr. Saeeda Jaffar as group country manager and senior vice president for its operations across the GCC region. (Supplied)
Visa has announced the appointment of Dr. Saeeda Jaffar as group country manager and senior vice president for its operations across the GCC region. (Supplied)
Updated 20 June 2021

Visa appoints Dr. Saeeda Jaffar as senior vice president for GCC region 

Visa has announced the appointment of Dr. Saeeda Jaffar as group country manager and senior vice president for its operations across the GCC region. (Supplied)
  • Jaffar joins Visa with deep financial services and payments expertise

RIYADH: Visa has announced the appointment of Dr. Saeeda Jaffar as group country manager and senior vice president for its operations across the GCC region. Jaffar will join the global digital payments company to oversee its presence in six countries and will be based in Dubai.

Jaffar joins Visa with deep financial services and payments expertise. She has spent the past five years serving as managing director for the Middle East at Alvarez and Marsal, while previously holding leadership positions in the region for both Bain and Company and McKinsey and Company, working with private and public sector clients. In her new role, Jaffar will report directly to Andrew Torre, regional president for the Central Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) and will be part of the CEMEA Leadership Team.

“The past year has brought tremendous change to commerce in the Middle East with consumers and merchants shifting to digital with greater speed and urgency,” said Jaffar. “As we continue the path toward recovery, Visa’s mission to help individuals, businesses and economies to thrive is more important than ever. With digitization high on the regional government agenda, I am looking forward to further helping establish Visa as a partner of choice, while unlocking growth opportunities for new and existing clients and partners across the GCC.”

“At Visa, our commitment to the GCC region remains as firm as ever, and as we further strengthen our presence, I am delighted we will be joined by a leader of Saeeda’s expertise and experience,” said Torre. “The GCC region is rooted in payments innovation, and with an expanding network of banks, fintechs and partners, Saeeda will play a critical role in further accelerating consumer payments, while advancing some of the new and exciting areas where there is demand for seamless, fast and secure money movement.” 

Jaffar holds a bachelor of science in biomedical engineering from Boston University, and a masters of science, in addition to a doctorate in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which she gained through the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum EDAAD scholarship.


AMC Cinemas says ‘Thank You’ to frontline workers

AMC Cinemas says ‘Thank You’ to frontline workers
Updated 20 June 2021

AMC Cinemas says ‘Thank You’ to frontline workers

AMC Cinemas says ‘Thank You’ to frontline workers

AMC Cinemas has launched a campaign in recognition of frontline healthcare workers and their endeavors with “Take The Step” — the national initiative to combat coronavirus, which was launched by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Saudi authorities across the country, in response to the outbreak of the pandemic.

The “Thank You” initiative reflects AMC Cinemas’ commitment to its social responsibility at this critical time and demonstrates its support for the dedication of health sector staff as they work tirelessly to protect the citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia. AMC Cinemas worked closely with the MOH to design the initiative, which jointly seeks to raise awareness of the vital role of frontline healthcare workers and remind people of the importance of their individual and collective cooperation in the fight against COVID-19.

Since cinemas and the entertainment sector are both notably contributing to the Kingdom’s development, AMC Cinemas seeks to use its locations and channels to take a proactive role in providing support for public health awareness campaigns.

The “Thank You” initiative follows the previous “#Your_Health_Matters” campaign, which was introduced by AMC Cinemas to highlight the importance of adopting healthy habits. It was well received, gaining traction across all social media channels.

In 2018, Saudi Arabia granted AMC the first license in the Kingdom to operate movie theaters. At the time, the US giant announced that it planned to open 100 cinemas by 2030 across the Kingdom.

The recent opening of AMC Stars Avenue 9 cinema in Jeddah last month, in addition to the opening of the first cinema in Dawadmi (a town in Riyadh region) in April, brings the total number of AMC Cinemas in Saudi Arabia to nine locations, with five in Riyadh and one each in Hafar Al-Batin and Al-Majmaah governorates.


Emirates Stallions Group wraps up Serbia resort

Emirates Stallions Group wraps up Serbia resort
Updated 20 June 2021

Emirates Stallions Group wraps up Serbia resort

Emirates Stallions Group wraps up Serbia resort

Emirates Stallions Group, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi-based International Holding Company, is a diversified investment, construction and real estate services business that has completed work on the new Viceroy hotel in Kopaonik, Serbia. 

Less than 6 hours’ flight time from the UAE, the resort is located close to one of Serbia’s largest national parks and offers panoramic views across the nearby Kopaonik mountain. 

It offers outstanding access to nature, cultural and food experiences, and a range of outdoor activities including paragliding, water sports, hiking and snowboarding. With 160 snow days a year, the resort is also home to its own ski school, for beginner and experienced skiers to explore more than 55 kilometers of nearby ski runs.

Emirates Stallions Group, listed on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange Second Market in May, provided development consulting services through its developments arm Royal Development Company (RDC). 

The project value, including construction, was 260 million dirhams ($70.8 million).

Matar Suhail Al-Yabhouni Al-Dhaheri, chairman of the Emirates Stallions Group, said: “We see excellent opportunities for Emirates Stallions Group and its subsidiaries to expand, where development of major projects will continue. 

We have brought the company’s outstanding real estate development skills to the beautiful Viceroy Kopaonik in Serbia, and we look forward to more luxury development projects in the near future.”

Established in 2008, Emirates Stallions Group has grown rapidly as a business dedicated to construction, development, and management of real estate, as well as a service provider. 

The company, which is present in 20 markets, had assets of 537 million dirhams as of the end of Q1 2021 and more than 3,000 employees.

“We’re proud to open our first European resort in the beautiful, culturally rich destination of Kopaonik, Serbia,” said Bill Walshe, CEO at Viceroy Hotels and Resorts. 

“Through inspiring experiences, engaging service and genuine connections, we always strive to create lasting memories for all of our guests. With Viceroy Kopaonik, we are bringing an elevated offering that will stand out from its competitors across Europe and we hope will contribute positively to the prospering community and destination.”


Two days, thousands of deals: Amazon.sa launches Prime Day savings extravaganza

Two days, thousands of deals: Amazon.sa launches Prime Day savings extravaganza
Updated 20 June 2021

Two days, thousands of deals: Amazon.sa launches Prime Day savings extravaganza

Two days, thousands of deals: Amazon.sa launches Prime Day savings extravaganza

Marking the one-year anniversary of Amazon in Saudi Arabia, Amazon.sa is hosting Prime Day for the first time with two days of epic savings for Prime members in the Kingdom. The savings extravaganza started at midnight on June 21 and runs through June 22. Prime Day features something for everyone with deals across every category including electronics, fashion, beauty, home, kitchen and more.

Anyone can join Prime or start a 30-day free trial at amazon.sa/primeday to participate in Prime Day, get access to fast and free shipping, and enjoy entertainment benefits like Prime Video, Prime Gaming and more.

Some of the best Prime Day deals include:

• Electronics: Save up to 20 percent on the SoundPEATS Wireless Earbuds TrueAir2, up to 24 percent on the Innoo Tech PC Microphone, up to 20 percent on the VAVA USB C Hub Adapter, and up to 11 percent on the SoundPEATS Smartwatch Fitness Tracker.

• Amazon devices: Save up to 31 percent off Kindle devices including the Kindle Paperwhite, up to 35 percent on the Ring Spotlight Wired Cam-Wi-Fi, up to 28 percent on the Ring DoorView Cam, and up to 11 percent on the Ring Stick-Up.

• Mobile phones: Save up to 27 percent on the Samsung M11 Dual SIM smartphone, up to 22 percent on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Dual SIM smartphone, and up to 21 percent on the Xiaomi POCO X3 Pro Dual SIM smartphone.

• Kitchen and dining: Save up to 53 percent on the Philips Air Fryer, up to 46 percent on the Philips Food Chopper, and up to 17 percent on the Philips 3200 Series Espresso Machine.

Prime members in Saudi Arabia can also shop thousands of Amazon US and UAE deals via Amazon Global Store on Amazon.sa, while enjoying free international shipping for international orders over SR100 ($27) on Prime eligible products. 

To make it easy for customers to support local businesses this Prime Day in the Kingdom, Amazon has curated a “Shop Local” collection to connect customers with local sellers. 

All Prime members on Amazon.sa using Saudi National Bank Mastercard will enjoy an additional discount of up to 10 percent at check-out, with a maximum discount of SR100 with code SNB10.


Sipchem CEO elected to GPCA board of directors

Sipchem CEO elected to GPCA board of directors
Updated 20 June 2021

Sipchem CEO elected to GPCA board of directors

Sipchem CEO elected to GPCA board of directors

Abdullah S. Al-Saadoon, CEO of Sahara International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem), has been elected to serve on the board of directors of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA). The appointment was announced during the GPCA 2021 annual general assembly meeting held recently in Dubai, and underlines Al-Saadoon’s significant contribution to the petrochemicals industry.

Al-Saadoon joined Sipchem in 2001 and was appointed CEO in 2020. The company has gone on to achieve many milestones under his leadership, as well as significant increases in revenue. Sipchem reported a net income of SR411.5 million ($109.7 million) during the first quarter of 2021. 

Recognized as one of the leading petrochemical companies in both Saudi Arabia and the wider region, its strategy is closely aligned with Vision 2030, the Kingdom’s roadmap to economic diversification and sustainable prosperity.

Established in 2006, the GPCA represents the downstream hydrocarbon industry in the Arabian Gulf. The association voices the common interests of more than 250 member companies through advocacy, networking and thought leadership initiatives that help member companies to connect, share and advance knowledge, and become prime influencers in shaping the future of the global petrochemicals industry.