Halalah secures SAMA’s fintech license

Esam Al-Nahdi Founder and CEO of Halalah
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Updated 24 March 2020

Halalah secures SAMA’s fintech license

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) announced last week that Halalah has successfully attained the full e-money institution license (EMI) in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-based fintech company has been operating in the local market previously under a sandbox trial period license. Halalah managed to “graduate” from the trial period ahead of schedule after complying with all regulatory requirements that focused on the maturity of product, the structure of the company, the agility of its processes and the security of its infrastructure.
“Halalah is not your typical startup, as it has gone through a long journey in a short period of time to reach where it is today,” said Founder and CEO Esam Al-Nahdi. Starting in Saudi Arabia with clear ambitions for the regional fintech market, the company got licensed in UAE in 2017 by the FSRA’s Fintech RegLab in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), before coming back to Saudi Arabia to get SAMA’s sandbox approval in the first quarter of 2018, to kick-start its operations in November 2018.
“Throughout 2019, Halalah managed to institutionalize its operating model, and build a robust infrastructure and product engine, as well as striking a few strategic partnerships that will cater to the needs of the new generation of customers and putting the company in the right position to achieve its local, regional and global plans,” added Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Maher Loubieh.
With the full license now obtained, “the next milestone in Saudi Arabia is to relaunch Halalah KSA with a new set of financial services and products that will enable customers to manage their finances and do transactions through Halalah,” said Al-Nahdi.


LuLu stores in Saudi Arabia launch Indian food festival

Updated 13 August 2020

LuLu stores in Saudi Arabia launch Indian food festival

  • The week-long event, in celebration of India’s Independence Day, features about 2,000 products

LuLu Hypermarkets is celebrating India’s Independence Day, which falls on Aug. 15, with an Indian-themed food festival across its stores in Saudi Arabia.

The week-long promotion, which continues until Aug. 18, features about 2,000 Indian products, including organic groceries, fresh foods, ethnic delicacies and desserts.

“We are trying to showcase the versatility and diversity of Indian food products handpicked by our well-spread supply chain in India and across the world,” said Shehim Mohammed, director of LuLu Hypermarkets Saudi Arabia.

The proximity of India to the Kingdom means that more fresh products arrive regularly, he added, most of which are flown in to maintain their freshness “as we move closer to a farm-to-fork concept in (the Kingdom), featuring both locally and internationally sourced ranges.”

As Saudi Arabia gears up for the start of the new school term, LuLu has also launched its back-to-school promotions.