Lubna Olayan joins global trade leaders in Riyadh

Lubna Olayan, SABB chair, gave the keynote speech at the forum.
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Updated 09 March 2020

Lubna Olayan joins global trade leaders in Riyadh

Riyadh hosted a global conference on Feb. 25 when the Asia House Middle East Trade Dialogue convened in the city. The dialogue looked ahead to the Kingdom’s key priorities for 2020, with sustainability, renewable energies and the role of women in the economy on the agenda. Wider developments and key trends in world trade were also explored by leading business and policy figures.
Lubna Olayan, chair, Saudi British Bank (SABB), gave the keynote speech at the forum, organized by Asia House — a London-based center of expertise on trade and investment in Asia and sponsored by SABB.
Other speakers included Simon Penney, UK trade commissioner to the Middle East; David Dew, managing director, SABB; and Victor Gao, vice president, Center for China and Globalization.
Lord Green, chairman of Asia House and former UK trade minister, said: “The Middle East remains an extremely important region for global trade, especially as the Gulf broadens its relationships with Asian markets. Just last year, more than 1,000 international companies set up new operations in Saudi Arabia, highlighting business interest in the Kingdom.
“With Saudi Arabia hosting the G20 this year, we believe it is an important time to bring our trade dialogue to Riyadh to explore the economic shifts taking place in the region and beyond. We are particularly honored to have Lubna Olayan share her unique insights with our audience of senior business and investment figures.”  

Our shared desire to fast-track the digitization of trade through continuous innovation, led to SABB being the first bank in Saudi Arabia to complete a blockchain-based trade transaction, a milestone of which we are especially proud.

Lubna Olayan Chair of SABB

Olayan said: “Trade has historically always been important to the development of the Kingdom, and that is equally true today as the Far East and the Middle East are once again becoming increasingly connected and we begin a year in which Saudi Arabia leads the G20, with deliberations around trade and investment being a major focus of the B20. 
“Through our partnership with HSBC, we are well positioned to support the growing trade volumes with Asia, and we see significant opportunities for collaboration with initiatives such as China’s Belt and Road and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. Our shared desire to fast-track the digitization of trade through continuous innovation, led to SABB being the first bank in Saudi Arabia to complete a blockchain-based trade transaction, a milestone of which we are especially proud.”
The conference featured discussions on the key issues shaping both regional and global trade, such as women leaders and sustainability and the rise of clean energy.


Oman set to welcome first IKEA store in 2022 

Updated 54 min 22 sec ago

Oman set to welcome first IKEA store in 2022 

Oman is all set to welcome its first IKEA megastore at the Oman Avenues Mall, in the heart of the capital city of Muscat. The Swedish furniture and home retailer is expected to open doors to the public by the first quarter of 2022.
A development agreement between the Al-Taher Group, a diversified business group in the sultanate, who are the developers of Oman Avenues Mall, and the UAE-based conglomerate, Al-Futtaim Group who represents IKEA franchise in Oman as well as other territories like the UAE, Qatar and Egypt, was signed this week. Senior officials made the announcement in a virtual press event.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al-Khalili, board member of the Al-Taher Group, said: “We are pleased to collaborate with Al-Futtaim Group, to bring the globally renowned IKEA brand to Oman Avenues Mall. We believe that IKEA Oman will not only strengthen the position of Oman Avenues Mall as a premier shopping destination, but also position the mall firmly as the shopping mall for the whole of Oman.”
Spread across two floors, the new store will be one of the largest stores of the brand in the region.
The Oman Avenues Mall is operated and managed by retail giant LuLu Group International.