UAQ, Alinma close real estate fund at $4.5bn

Acting CEO of Alinma Investment Mazin bin Fawaz Baghdadi, left, and Yasser Abuateek, CEO of UAQ, announced the successful completion of the launch of the Makkah Real Estate Development Funds, with an investment value exceeding SR17 billion.
Updated 07 December 2019

UAQ, Alinma close real estate fund at $4.5bn

Umm Alqura Company for Development and Construction (UAQ) and Alinma Investment Company announced the successful completion of the launch of the Makkah Real Estate Development Funds, with an investment value exceeding SR17 billion ($4.5 billion). 

The funds are invested in seven hotel towers and two commercial complexes that will be developed within the King Abdul Aziz Road (KAAR) project in Makkah. It is one of the most significant developmental and urban development projects in the Makkah region. The project includes multiple options including housing and shopping, and provides easy mobility and means of transportation between the project facilities and the central area of the Holy Mosque.    

Yasser Abuateek, CEO of UAQ, said: “This strategic agreement is the first of several diverse investment activities designed to attract leading investment institutions. It confirms the appeal of investing in KAAR, an attractive destination for long-term investments, as well as the trust of the investment and financing community.

“This partnership also sheds light on the strength of Alinma Investment and its success in managing real estate funds, which makes it the ideal partner for implementing the project’s development and urban plan. The project aspires to become one of the modern landmarks in Makkah.”

Abuateek added: “By successfully attracting investments valued at SR17 billion, we will make progress in line with the execution plan for several diverse projects, especially since we have already reached several major milestones, including completion of the pouring and construction of all the concrete blocks for the Makkah Metro tunnels, while in addition we have completed nearly 50 percent of the bridges. Currently, we are working on completing all the unprecedented infrastructure projects that followed the demolition phase, which represent a transformation in the investment, development and preparation of the project’s lands, making it more attractive for development and creating new choices that help upgrade the quality of life for Makkah visitors and residents.”

Acting CEO of Alinma Investment Mazin bin Fawaz Baghdadi said: “We are very happy with the success of the Alinma Real Estate Development Funds together with our partner UAQ. This investment, with the large sum of capital, will play a major role in fulfilling the objectives of the finance sector, while our partnership will contribute to increasing the capacity to accommodate pilgrims and visitors through implementing urban developmental projects in the Makkah region.”

“The funds’ investment objective is to achieve long-term capital growth through the development of the superstructure in various parts of the King Abdul Aziz Road project in Makkah, which are: Five-star international hotels (Taj Hotel and Kempinski Hotel), four-star hotels (Hilton Embassy), three-star hotels (Hilton Garden Inn), apartments (Kempinski Residence), and two malls,” added Baghdadi.


LuLu to fly 12 students from Kingdom to NASA

Updated 23 January 2020

LuLu to fly 12 students from Kingdom to NASA

LuLu, the largest hypermarket chain in the Middle East, awarded a total of 12 young students of different nationalities from Saudi Arabia, India, Philippines, and Egypt, a chance to visit the NASA center in the US.
LuLu’s back-to-school promotion called “Fly to NASA” was held in partnership with Almarai. The hypermarket hosted a competition last September in search of students who are science and space knowledge enthusiasts to experience and visit the NASA center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Shehim Mohammed, LuLu Hypermarket director of Saudi Arabia, said: “We are glad to finally announce the winners of this innovative campaign, which is a first and the most unique among our activations over the years of operating in the region. Thank you to our partner Almarai for joining hands with us in this exciting promotion. This is the first time that LuLu will lead a great opportunity to children who have the high potential to grow and learn more while having fun through science.”
Winners include: Abrez Hussain, Mohammed Ahmed, Rayyan Abdul Aziz, Naif Saad Altwaim, Osama Al-Harbi, Hugh Matthew, Khalid Abdul Aziz, Munther Mohammed Qasim Abujazar, Ahmad Gahwagy, Ahmed Khalaf, Hamza Ladha and Asif Rijo.
“Fly to NASA” winners will get to enjoy and experience a one-week trip, which will include five days of fun and learning at NASA’s Space Camp. The selection process involved two phases — first was the preliminary online registration, while the final stage featured a live quiz to obtain the top 12 winners. Students aged 9 to 18 years were encouraged to register and join the online activation.
With 185 stores operating worldwide, LuLu is the fastest growing retail chain across 10 countries, which include the GCC, India, Egypt, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Founded in the early 1990s, it has successfully expanded to different parts of the world, garnering more than 1,600,000 shopping patrons everyday.
LuLu is one of the favorite shopping destinations in Saudi Arabia, where it offers a broad selection of international products. It is one of the Middle East’s top employers with its workforce numbering to 50,000.