AMC launches Saudi Arabia’s first cinema loyalty program

Riyadh’s Panorama Mall is the cinema chain’s second location in Saudi Arabia. The first is located in the King Abdullah Financial District, which became the first cinema to officially open in the Kingdom on April 18 of 2018.
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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.


J-Clinic study identifies powerful new drug

Updated 26 February 2020

J-Clinic study identifies powerful new drug

A powerful new antibiotic compound has been identified by researchers at MIT using a machine-learning algorithm. The drug killed many of the world’s most problematic disease-causing bacteria in laboratory tests, including some strains that are resistant to all known antibiotics. It also cleared infections in two different mouse models.

The computer model, which can screen more than a 100 million chemical compounds in a matter of days, is designed to pick out potential antibiotics that kill bacteria using different mechanisms than those of existing drugs. 

Regina Barzilay and James Collins, who are faculty co-leads for MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health (J-Clinic), are the senior authors of the study, which appears in Cell. The first author of the paper is Jonathan Stokes, a post-doc at MIT and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

J-Clinic is a key part of the MIT Quest for Intelligence and focuses on developing machine-learning technologies to revolutionize the prevention, detection, and treatment of disease.

In their new study, the researchers also identified several other promising antibiotic candidates, which they plan to test further. They believe the model could also be used to design new drugs, based on what it has learned about chemical structures that enable drugs to kill bacteria.

“The machine-learning model can explore, in silico, large chemical spaces that can be prohibitively expensive for traditional experimental approaches,” said Barzilay, the Delta Electronics professor of electrical engineering and computer science in MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).

Over the past few decades, very few new antibiotics have been developed, and most of those newly approved antibiotics are slightly different variants of existing drugs. Current methods for screening new antibiotics are often prohibitively costly, require a significant time investment, and are usually limited to a narrow spectrum of chemical diversity.

“We’re facing a growing crisis around antibiotic resistance, and this situation is being generated by both an increasing number of pathogens becoming resistant to existing antibiotics, and an anemic pipeline in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries for new antibiotics,” Collins said.

“The world is in desperate need of new antibiotics to combat dangerous diseases, so it is hugely encouraging that the team at J-Clinic at MIT, has helped make a breakthrough in finding a genuinely new one using machine learning,” said Fady Jameel, Community Jameel president, international. “For decades, Community Jameel has been committed to supporting research that can help improve people’s lives. Combatting the risk from antibiotic-resistant infections, like tuberculosis, could have a profound impact on us all.”

The research was funded and made possible by a number of supporters including the Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health.