GESALO ensures project continuity in Kingdom

Thyssenkrupp, a German multinational conglomerate specialized in industrial engineering, is working on a number of projects in Saudi Arabia with focus on fertilizer, mining and petrochemical sectors.
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Updated 26 July 2020

GESALO ensures project continuity in Kingdom

One of the challenges in the current COVID-19 crisis are the travel restrictions put in place by various countries. This has had a major impact on business operations in Saudi Arabia. Critical infrastructure projects between German companies and Saudi entities have been affected by the travel ban. In order to ensure business continuity, the German-Saudi Arabian Liaison Office for Economic Affairs (GESALO) has obtained special permission to bring a number of German experts back to the Kingdom.

More than 10 German companies responded to the call of GESALO and the German Embassy by registering their specialists, who are needed back in the Kingdom to ensure ongoing projects.

On July 13, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave GESALO and the German Embassy the green light to bring back the experts on the Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt on July 18.

The delegate of the German Industry Dr. Dalia Samra-Rohte said she is extremely thankful to the Saudi government for the generous opportunity, granting special permission and the tremendous support the various government entities have given.

“Working together with the respective Saudi government entities, Lufthansa and the German Embassy, was a great experience and we are very grateful for the fast and non-bureaucratic solution that was offered to us. It is another positive milestone in the bilateral business relationship and great support for the German companies in Saudi Arabia and their local counterparts,” said Dr. Samra-Rohte.

“It is a big honor for us to bring the first specialists back to Riyadh on our flight. Our special thanks go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the GACA, which made this flight possible,” said Peter Mosch, Lufthansa station manager.

Thyssenkrupp, a German multinational conglomerate with focus on industrial engineering and steel production, in a statement said it appreciates the efforts undertaken by the local authorities and GESALO to enable some of its specialists to re-enter the Kingdom in these critical times. “We see this as an important step on the path to having a more regular and frequent exchange of personnel between Germany and Saudi Arabia,” the statement said.

GESALO advises, supports, and represents German companies that wish to develop or expand their business activities in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen. “We are very proud to make this important contribution to secure ongoing business processes and that we were not only able to support our German companies but also many Saudi Arabian project partners,” a press release said.

“Our whole team is very proud to have been a part of this massive mission.”


3rd META Cinema Forum to screen at Vox Cinemas

Updated 01 October 2020

3rd META Cinema Forum to screen at Vox Cinemas

Now in its 3rd edition, META Cinema Forum is the biggest cinema convention covering the Middle East and African markets. After signing an agreement with the Pan African Film Consortium, the MENA Cinema Forum is now rebranded as META Cinema Forum, inclusive of the Middle East and the entire African continent.

The forum takes place on Oct. 27 and 28 and is set to be one of the only annual events for the cinema industry in 2020 as most global conventions were canceled as a result of the pandemic and will be executed in a hybrid format. The forum will give delegates the option between attending physically at Vox Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates and Sheraton Hotel, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, or alternatively delegates can attend virtually from the comfort of their home or offices across the globe via video conferencing technology.

“The cinema industry has been among the most impacted sectors by the pandemic, but if the $54 million box office sales of Tenet, the first blockbuster release since the pandemic, in its opening week at select international markets has proven anything, is that moviegoing is a habit we do not wish to kick, and that passion for movies and cinema as a form of accessible entertainment is here to stay,” said Leila Masinaei, META Cinema Forum Conference director and managing partner of Great Minds Event Management.

“Therefore, in close coordination with the major global stakeholders, we came up with a true hybrid event, the first of its kind in the world for the cinema industry, to facilitate collaborations that are required to help with the recovery. The event will highlight the plan for projects in the region, the recovery phase for the cinema industry, and content diversification as key critical elements.”

The forum includes a one-day, knowledge-packed conference, select slate presentations of upcoming content and films from leading Hollywood and international studios, a live META Cinema Projects Insight session with the most senior cinema leaders in the region and rounded off with a networking after-event reception.

Cameron Mitchell, CEO of Majid Al-Futtaim Cinemas and Majid Al-Futtaim Leisure and Entertainment, said: “At Vox Cinemas, we remain fundamentally confident about the future and resilience of the cinema industry, which has weathered many societal storms and survived more than a century of challenges ... We have witnessed a significant increase in our box office following the first wave of new releases and, with a backlog of blockbusters about to light up our screens regionally, cinema is set for a major comeback.”

The third edition is officially supported by some of the biggest cinema operators in the Middle East including Vox Cinemas, Novo Cinemas, Cinépolis Cinemas, and AMC Cinemas.