MariMatic wins waste collection contract for Masar

MariMatic wins waste collection contract for Masar
The infrastructure phase of Masar comprises several key elements, including pedestrian underpasses and service tunnels 3,650 meters long and 320 meters wide.
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Updated 30 July 2020

MariMatic wins waste collection contract for Masar

MariMatic wins waste collection contract for Masar

Technology company MariMatic, which specialize in automated solid waste collection systems (AWCS) and vacuum conveying systems for underground waste collection, has secured a new order for supplying MetroTaifun systems to Makkah’s upcoming destination — Masar.

The project’s core components consist of walking boulevards lined with waste bins and more than 210 plots comprising hotels and apartment buildings connected to a pipe network. Umm Alqura for Development and Construction (UAQ) is the owner and developer of the Masar destination.

Waste is collected and transported directly through an underground pipe network by using vacuum conveying to a waste transfer terminal, eliminating noisy and polluting traditional waste trucks from the area. The waste eventually ends up in containers located in the waste transfer terminal. The system can collect up to 300 tons of waste per day.

The design, build and operate contract includes operation and maintenance until the end of 2030.

In addition, a new order with the Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) has been received, for the Mataf area within the Holy Mosque. This area will be connected to the world’s largest automatic waste collection system supplied by MariMatic. The recently secured contracts in Saudi Arabia are worth 60 million euros ($69.9 million).

The key to MariMatic’s energy-efficient AWCS is the usage of smaller diameter pipes, often 300 mm diameter “composite piping,” instead of the commonly used 500 mm carbon steel piping systems in the Middle East. The usage of smaller diameter pipes not only reduces energy consumption but achieves a longer life cycle of the systems due to the absence of corrosion. Interruptions of possible blockages are minimized, as the waste easily fills up the pipe, giving higher vacuum force for conveying. Development of MariMatic’s formator technology enables use of larger waste bags (250 liter) in 400 mm size piping, instead of 600 mm piping used by other companies.

MariMatic’s patented Ring-Line configuration allows change of air flow direction, to facilitate removal of possible blockages.

Recently, MariMatic also won a contract to supply automatic waste collection systems for a new neighborhood in Amsterdam. The public tender focused on technology, reliability, performance, quality, and a technical life cycle of 60 years. MariMatic’s technology and solutions achieved maximum scores.

MariMatic develops and markets vacuum pipe conveying systems. Development of the products and solutions began in 1983 and since then, more than 1,000 systems have been delivered to over 40 countries.

The infrastructure phase of Masar comprises several key elements, including pedestrian underpasses and service tunnels 3,650 meters long and 320 meters wide over an area of 1.25 million square meters.

This will be complemented by a rapid transit bus network and the Makkah Metro as well as car parks and bridges, connecting the destination to the western entrance of Makkah. Seventy-one percent of the bridge work has been completed with construction progressing as planned.


MITEF announces winners of Saudi startup competition

MITEF announces winners of Saudi startup competition
Updated 09 March 2021

MITEF announces winners of Saudi startup competition

MITEF announces winners of Saudi startup competition

The MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) in Saudi Arabia, a branch of the global network of MITEF, concluded the activities of the Startup Investment Forum and the StartSmart Conference, which took place from March 4 to 6. During the StartSmart Conference on March 6, names of the nine winning teams in the fifth edition of the MITEF Saudi Startup Competition were announced.

The nine Saudi winning teams won cash prizes totaling SR325,000 ($86,650). In the Startups track, the winners were: First, Hudhud Al; second, Nugttah; and third, Taffi. As for the Ideas track, SARsat came first, Themar came in the second place, while Genomez won the third prize. Finally, in the Social Enterprise track, Ad Astra won the first place, Cube DX came second, and Baleegh won the third prize. All teams will now enter the MITEF Arab Startup Competition.

The forum and conference were organized in partnership with Bab Rizq Jameel and under the patronage of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

The Startup Investment Forum came this year in its virtual version, with the participation of more than 50 startups from Saudi Arabia and other countries, including the UAE, Lebanon, Bahrain, Egypt, Palestine, India, North Macedonia, China, the US, the UK, and Lithuania.

The StartSmart Conference was attended by a galaxy of investors, entrepreneurs, and speakers from around the world. 

In a speech at the conference, Deputy Minister for Technology and Industrial Capacity Dr. Ahmed Altheneyan said: “We are pleased to support the fifth edition of the MITEF Saudi Startup Competition, with the aim of stimulating and enriching the digital entrepreneurship ecosystem, exploring national entrepreneurial talent and supporting its growth, in line with the ICT Strategy 2023, to enable a coherent present and an innovative future to realize the Kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030.”

He added: “The ministry has sought to create an effective model to support the process of digital entrepreneurship by providing an integrated ecosystem that supports entrepreneurs and innovators in the field of digital transformation, linking them with investors, opening markets for them, and transforming their ideas into widely deployable startups.

“A center for innovation and digital entrepreneurship was established, through which services were provided to more than 300 male and female entrepreneurs; more than 500 new digital business models were launched, and 14 innovation labs were launched with our partners in the private and public sectors.”

Hassan Jameel, vice chairman, Community Jameel, said: “This year’s virtual competition reflects the way the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the global business environment — a challenge that all our participants approached with an agile mindset. Entrepreneurs and SMEs are a vital part of the economy in Saudi Arabia. By 2030, Saudi Arabia aims to scale SME contribution to national GDP from 20 to 35 percent, and they will play a key role in our economic recovery after the pandemic. The ideas and innovation shown by this year’s participants reinforce that we have some of the finest and brightest talents right here in the Kingdom, to achieve this ambition.” 


VFS Global switches to an all-female staff on Women’s Day

VFS Global switches to an all-female staff on Women’s Day
Updated 09 March 2021

VFS Global switches to an all-female staff on Women’s Day

VFS Global switches to an all-female staff on Women’s Day

To commemorate women for their resilience and their contribution in building a sustainable world, VFS Global operations at the Al-Hada Visa Application Center in Riyadh were managed by an all-female staff on International Women’s Day.

As part of the initiative, a women-only team handled visa applications for 28 countries including Canada, the UK and countries falling under the Schengen zone. In addition, female team members took control of security, operated control rooms as well as transported passports to respective embassies or missions. 

Sumanth Kapoor, business head — Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, VFS Global, said: “VFS Global is proud to support International Women’s Day. 

We are having an all-female work day at Al-Hada center to honor the social, economic and cultural achievements of women in Saudi Arabia and across the world. 

The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality, so we are committing to empowering our teams with actionable steps for personal, professional and organizational success in the Kingdom and beyond.”

In line with Saudi Vision 2030 goals for women’s empowerment, VFS Global has enhanced its inclusion and diversity framework. 

Its efforts have culminated in 40 percent of its existing workforce in Saudi Arabia being female, 90 percent of which are Saudi nationals. 

Other female staff members belong to the Philippines, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Palestine and Yemen. 

Worldwide, VFS Global has a ratio of 58 percent women across all its operations in more than 140 countries.

VFS Global is the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide. With 3,490 application centers, operations in 143 countries across five continents and more than 227 million applications processed (since inception in 2001), VFS Global is the trusted partner of 64 client governments. 

The company manages non-judgmental and administrative tasks related to applications for visa, passport and consular services for its client governments, enabling them to focus entirely on the critical task of assessment.


Asharq Al-Awsat’s special coverage on Women’s Day

Asharq Al-Awsat’s special coverage on Women’s Day
Updated 08 March 2021

Asharq Al-Awsat’s special coverage on Women’s Day

Asharq Al-Awsat’s special coverage on Women’s Day

An all-women team of journalists and media practitioners is taking over Asharq Al-Awsat’s editorial content and press coverage, for a day, to mark this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8.

The global newspaper in Arabic language, a publication of the Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG), will feature special interviews, editorials and dedicated articles on the occasion.

The move is part of an initiative titled “By women, for all” that has been launched by the media platforms under SRMG to celebrate the Women’s Day. In addition to Asharq Al-Awsat, other participating media platforms include: Arab News, the English-language daily of record; Sayidaty and Hia, the region’s leading women’s magazines in print and digital; and Asharq News, the multiplatform Arabic news service.

The timely initiative comes in line with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 and within the framework of the UN’s sustainable development goals, all of which aim at promoting the importance of women’s active participation in public life. The campaign also reflects SRMG’s long-established commitment toward women’s empowerment and inclusion in Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

“The Arab world in general, and Saudi Arabia in particular, are rich in stories that demonstrate the pivotal role women play in our everyday lives, business, society, education, healthcare and beyond,” said Jomana Alrashid, CEO of SRMG. “This year, we celebrate International Women’s Day across our media platforms, with remarkable women, each in her respective area of expertise, as well as with our female colleagues who are qualified to assume executive roles, and take on managerial and career positions within the group.”

Alrashid added: “Simultaneously, we pay tribute to distinguished Arab women who play an important role in the public and private history of our countries and communities. We are thrilled and privileged to witness the unwavering commitment and steadfast support of Saudi Arabia’s youthful and visionary leadership to women’s causes. More than ever, Saudi women have now become an integral part of the growth, prosperity and advancement of our country. We at SRMG are fully prepared to play our part.”

SRMG — the Middle East’s premier media and publishing house — pays special attention to women’s empowerment. The group has reiterated its commitment to hiring more competent women in the future, entrusting them with media executive roles, as well as managerial and career positions across various departments and functions, with a primary emphasis on Saudi female competencies.

Women’s issues

Some of the women’s issues tackled by the various SRMG platforms on Women’s Day (and beyond) include: The role of government and private institutions in advancing women’s issues, exceptional female journalists and their journeys to success, women in public, women in business, female entrepreneurs, women-owned and women-run businesses, women in healthcare — especially those on the frontline fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and other infectious diseases, in addition to women’s contribution to cultural and creative industries and in the areas of beauty, luxury, fashion and design, among many others.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Prominent female journalists and media practitioners take over Asharq Al-Awsat’s editorial content and press coverage on March 8. The international Arabic newspaper will feature special interviews, editorials, articles and press coverage revolving around remarkable Arab women, showcasing their compelling and inspiring stories.

Arab News

As it does every year, this year too Arab News is producing dedicated Women’s Day coverage, including but not limited to, interviews and stories around Saudi and Arab women’s issues and areas of interest. In addition, Assistant Editor-in-Chief of Arab News Noor Nugali will take the lead and manage the day’s operations.

Sayidaty and Hia

The two leading women’s titles in the region tackle women’s issues all year long. For Women’s Day, Sayidaty is publishing a wide range of interviews and stories featuring successful and inspiring women. These include: Women behind famous brands, international female creative directors in jewelry and fashion, young Arab and Saudi women in tech, culture, design, fitness, fashion, beauty and lifestyle, and mother and baby stories. There is also an article on cinema in the eyes of eight Arab female directors and filmmakers, in addition to a story on two Saudi couples creating a female soccer team with 120 participants.

Meanwhile, Hia magazine is celebrating Saudi women leaders and renowned female fashion icons and designers around the world. In addition, Hiamag.com will also feature a number of articles and stories related to Women’s Day, across all its sections, which include: Fashion, beauty, jewelry, health, food, décor, travel, bridal and miscellaneous.

Asharq News

Throughout the day, and in its various programs and daily segments, Asharq News will feature women journalists who go above and beyond in delivering impactful news to audiences across the MENA region. The multiplatform Arabic news service will also conduct interviews with iconic women, celebrating their accomplishments and tackling challenges ahead. A dedicated page for women has also been launched on the website.


BinDawood Holding marks 25% jump in female hires

BinDawood Holding marks 25% jump in female hires
Updated 08 March 2021

BinDawood Holding marks 25% jump in female hires

BinDawood Holding marks 25% jump in female hires

Marking International Women’s Day 2021, Saudi grocery retailer BinDawood Holding celebrated the achievements of its female workforce and released key data on its mission to hire more women across the organization.

In 2019, BinDawood Holding grew the percentage of its female employees by 28 percent and in 2020, that number increased by a further 25 percent. The figure applies across the BinDawood and Danube retail brands as well as BinDawood Holding’s headquarters.

Chief executive Ahmad A.R. BinDawood said: “BinDawood Holding has a long legacy of championing and supporting women. Women are fundamental to the success of any retail business, and as an organization we are proud that our business has a history of continuously striving to support women. One of our missions is to increase the percentage of women in our workforce and I am proud to share that in 2019 and 2020, that increased by over 25 percent year-on-year.”

Commenting on the visibility of women at managerial levels of the organization, he said: “This is an ongoing process across BinDawood Holding. We are working on promoting gender equality across the organization. Over 13 percent of duty managers across our stores are women; this is an important role in our organization, as the second-in-command at a branch. This number was reached as a result of a training program that advanced entry level employees through to duty manager level.”

BinDawood Holding employs more than 10,000 people across the Kingdom. The country is set to provide jobs for 1 million Saudi women by 2030 under the strategic framework of Vision 2030. The ambitious reform plan, presented by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aims to diversify the country’s economy and increase women’s participation in the workforce.

BinDawood Holding operates a total of 74 stores in the Kingdom — 51 hypermarkets and 23 supermarkets — under the brands BinDawood and Danube.


Häagen-Dazs renames flavors to celebrate iconic Arab women

Häagen-Dazs renames flavors to celebrate iconic Arab women
Updated 06 March 2021

Häagen-Dazs renames flavors to celebrate iconic Arab women

Häagen-Dazs renames flavors to celebrate iconic Arab women

One may be hard-pressed to play favorites with ice cream, but four popular flavors from Häagen-Dazs are being topped with a special meaning. The brand is commemorating International Women’s Day 2021 by renaming their vanilla, Belgian chocolate, salted caramel, and strawberries and cream flavors to reflect the achievements of four iconic women who have not held back.

The renamed flavors have been designed to ensure customers start their order with what they want and end each order with a self-affirming flavor of success — be it “Scale New Heights,” like Raha Moharrak (vanilla); “Beat the Odds,” like Yasmin Yousri (salted caramel); “Direct My Story,” like Nayla Al-Khaja (Belgian chocolate); or “Design My Destiny,” like Maz Hakim (strawberries and cream).

These signature ice creams with thematic names will only be available in the UAE at the brand’s Dubai Mall, Mall of Emirates and Kite Beach stores. Women across the city can scoop up, for free, their motivational flavor of choice exclusively on March 8 and at discounted rates until March 21.

In addition, Häagen-Dazs is asking residents across the region to nominate by March 14, the exemplary women who inspire them every day. To celebrate these heroines, Häagen-Dazs will then rename two of their bestselling ice creams — cookies and cream and vanilla caramel brownie — in their honor.

“We believe the world needs to hear about these remarkable women living in the Middle East, from all walks of life, who have shattered glass ceilings, looked beyond life-threatening illness, scaled even the world’s highest peak and taken a passion project to one of the world’s leading fashion houses,” said Michelle Odland, Häagen-Dazs global brand director.

“While these four brilliant icons are undeniable examples to thousands of women around the world, we’re asking women across the Middle East to join the celebration. We are excited to use our platform to share and then pay tribute to the fascinating stories of how mothers, painters, pilots, chefs, entrepreneurs and countless other women in the region have not ‘held back’ and have inspired others,” she added.