Summit promotes PPP as alternative finance solution

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Updated 13 October 2020

Summit promotes PPP as alternative finance solution

MENA PPP Virtual Think Tank, a one-day virtual summit hosted by MEED-GlobalData, will bring together industry experts to discuss public-private partnership (PPP) frameworks and their growing importance in the region. The live event on Tuesday will give audiences an opportunity to engage with government dignitaries, top management officials and decision-makers from the region’s leading infrastructure companies and regulatory authorities.

The PPP Leaders Panel will discuss why PPP presents a new, more sustainable way of securing project finance, especially in light of the current climate. As the COVID-19 pandemic places an increasing strain on government budgets, there is a need to focus on alternative finance solutions that ensure social, municipal and transport projects continue to be financed. While PPP projects are gradually taking shape in the region, including schools projects in Saudi Arabia and health care in Kuwait, there is a need to discuss the PPP landscape to promote a wider adoption of this method of project financing.

Speakers from leading governmental bodies including Atter Ezzat Hannoura, director, PPP Central Unit, ministry of finance, Egypt, and Mahmoud Al-Khoshman, adviser to the prime minister of Jordan and head of the National PPP Program, will be on the panel. Experts from Abu Dhabi, CMS and National Center for Privatization (NCP), Saudi Arabia will also be present on the panel to discuss why PPP contracts are notably gaining traction in the region.

Elaa to redefine corporate & government travel in KSA

Updated 20 October 2020

Elaa to redefine corporate & government travel in KSA

Seera Group, a travel services company, has announced the launch of Elaa 3.0, a digital travel management solution (TMS) that has been designed to optimize corporate and government travel bookings across Saudi Arabia.

A new dedicated portal has been launched for Elaa, Seera’s travel management company, which enables employees of partner organizations to make all their bookings and travel planning seamlessly without having to go through a tedious and costly manual process. This means reduced cost through higher levels of transparency, predefined policy setting and travel management efficiency.

“Elaa made the most of the downtime caused by travel restrictions during the pandemic by digitizing and simplifying the processes and enabling continuous improvement and innovation for its partner companies across private and public sectors,” a statement said.

The new improved platform can digitally connect everything for customers whilst supporting them in the new normal, as travel management policies, structures and strategies have changed following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Government ministries, departments and corporations with large-scale travel management requirements, can now manage all their requirements through Elaa’s new portal, which is designed as a flexible and scalable booking platform that is easy to navigate and is both time- and cost-efficient.

Abdulrahman Mutrib, executive vice president and group chief technology officer of Seera Group, said: “The new reality has brought a significant change in the travel requirements of corporate and government entities. Travel policies are constantly being updated or reviewed, and only a travel management system that can factor in these changes in real-time can add true value to organizations. Over the past years, we have been investing significantly in digitizing our processes, and we are now ready to offer the next-generation TMS system for our customers.

“The digitization of the processes, end-to-end, will mean less complexities in bookings, easy modifications and changes, as needed, and higher levels of operational efficiency. The automation of travel management, through Elaa 3.0, will lead to not only saving time but also cost advantages for the organization.”

Among the benefits for customers include search, select and booking of employee trips as a self-service, as well as a streamlined and swift digital approval process seamlessly regulated with pre-configured internal travel policies.

“With real-time tracking of booking requests, Elaa 3.0 serves as a revolutionary product in the travel market sector in the Kingdom,” a statement said.

Elaa’s highly secure and automated platform aims to redefine corporate and government travel for the new era. Elaa, meaning “trusted adviser” in Arabic, has activated a suite of internal training programs to familiarize customers on the new models that will be implemented.