STC announces partnership with Alibaba Cloud

The state-owned Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and venture capital fund eWTP Arabia on Monday announced a joint partnership with Alibaba Cloud. (Reuters/File Photo)
The state-owned Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and venture capital fund eWTP Arabia on Monday announced a joint partnership with Alibaba Cloud. (Reuters/File Photo)
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Updated 28 December 2020

STC announces partnership with Alibaba Cloud

The state-owned Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and venture capital fund eWTP Arabia on Monday announced a joint partnership with Alibaba Cloud. (Reuters/File Photo)
  • Telecoms company makes joint announcement with venture capital fund eWTP Arabia

JEDDAH: The state-owned Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and venture capital fund eWTP Arabia on Monday announced a joint partnership with Alibaba Cloud to provide high-performance public cloud services in the Kingdom.

With international headquarters in Singapore, Alibaba Cloud provides cloud computing services to online businesses and is the digital technology backbone of the Chinese e-commerce conglomerate.

“This collaboration is a significant milestone for STC in our efforts to contribute to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 by introducing a trusted cloud service partner,” Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Swaha told the Saudi Press Agency.

Al-Swaha said the ministry supported companies with foresight, such as Alibaba Cloud, and it looked forward to Alibaba Cloud’s future performance and contribution to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Faisal Al-Khamisi, chairman of the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity Programming and Drones, said that such partnerships would make Saudi Arabia “one of the most innovative countries in the world.”

“It’s pivotal for companies to deploy and maintain an elastic, scalable and secure IT infrastructure to keep competitive and innovative in the digital era. We are excited to partner with Alibaba Cloud to bring their expertise to our customers,” said Nasser Bin Sulaiman Al-Nasser, CEO of STC Group.

Alibaba Cloud is planning to invest up to $500 million over the next five years as part of the partnership. As part of the deal, a new office to be set up in Riyadh to provide services and training to local customers.

The investment will also provide a wide range of resources to help build sustainability and ensure localization.

“Saudi Arabia is a strategic market for us,” said Jeff Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, Partner of Alibaba Group.

“Alibaba Cloud is committed to delivering our best-in-class services and solutions, as well as our business practices in digital transformation to the partners and customers we work with in the Kingdom,” Zhang said.

“We are very proud and thankful to bring both these great companies together with the support of the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity Programming and Drones,” Jerry Li, managing partner of eWTP Arabia Fund added.

Saudi Arabia has taken major steps in recent years to become the epicenter of cloud computing technology operations.

Last week, Saudi Aramco Development Company and Google Cloud signed an agreement to offer services to customers in Saudi Arabia. According to Aramco, Google Cloud will establish and operate a new cloud region in Saudi Arabia and a new company will be formed to supply cloud solutions and services to customers.


We are happier at home say UAE workers

We are happier at home say UAE workers
Updated 1 min ago

We are happier at home say UAE workers

We are happier at home say UAE workers
  • The Life and Beyond 2020 research after polling 10,000 workers in 11 countries to discover the impact of COVID-19 on their wellbeing

DUBAI: UAE workers are happy working from home according to a new study.

The Life and Beyond 2020 research, conducted by US-based technology company Avaya, revealed the UAE as “among the fondest of work-from-anywhere models,” after polling 10,000 workers in 11 countries to discover the impact of COVID-19 on their wellbeing.

The research found 64 percent of those polled in the UAE would support government policies aimed at adopting modern working practices, including remote working, adding it would contribute to their happiness.

The biggest worry for 51 percent of the country’s workforce was returning to work in the office full-time, the survey also revealed.

The UAE was also identified as the world’s best equipped country for remote working, with 64 percent claiming they have access to technology to be able to work from anywhere. Only 62 percent in the US said the same, and 55 percent inthe UK.


Al Ramz boss sees interest rate upside for UAE property

Al Ramz boss sees interest rate upside for UAE property
Updated 53 min 3 sec ago

Al Ramz boss sees interest rate upside for UAE property

Al Ramz boss sees interest rate upside for UAE property
  • Dubai-listed Al Ramz recorded a 2020 loss of investments of about 31 million dirhams ($8.4 million)

DUBAI: Low interest rates may fuel the recovery of the UAE real estate sector, according to the boss of one of the country’s biggest brokers.
The country is well positioned for an “accelerated bounce back from 2020 as all the ingredients for growth come back in play starting in 2021,”
Al Ramz chairman Dhafer Sahmi Al-Ahbabi said in the company’s annual report published on Monday.
“The backdrop of low interest rates not seen since the 2011 lows, will fuel the private sector and real estate sector in the country to fuel the growth over the next few years,” he said.

The UAE stock market has already signaled this positive outlook with the UAE indexes already outperforming in the EMEA and EM region in 2021.”
It comes after a tough year for regional brokers hit hard by the sharp decline in corporate profits and trading activity.
Dubai-listed Al Ramz recorded a 2020 loss of investments of about 31 million dirhams ($8.4 million), resulting to a net loss of 10.9 million dirhams, compared to a profit of 4.1 million in 2019.
Al Ramz had to diversify its income sources to buffer the blow of COVID-19, Al-Ahbabi said.


Dubai to become first location outside US to get self-driving vehicles

Dubai to become first location outside US to get self-driving vehicles
Updated 59 min 35 sec ago

Dubai to become first location outside US to get self-driving vehicles

Dubai to become first location outside US to get self-driving vehicles
  • The move will make Dubai the first location outside the US to operate self-driving vehicles

DUBAI: Dubai’s transport authority has signed an agreement with Cruise, a General Motors unit, to operate its autonomous vehicles in the emirate by 2023.
The move will make Dubai the first location outside the US to operate self-driving vehicles, the emirate’s Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum said on Twitter.
He said the goal was to convert 25 percent of the total transportation trips in Dubai into self-driving trips by 2030.
The fleet will reach 4,000 vehicles by 2030, the crown prince said, as Dubai aims to cut transportation costs by 900 million dirhams ($245 million) annually and reduce carbon emission by 12 percent per year by then.

 


Remittances from Egyptians abroad rose to $2.54bn in January

Remittances from Egyptians abroad rose to $2.54bn in January
Updated 12 April 2021

Remittances from Egyptians abroad rose to $2.54bn in January

Remittances from Egyptians abroad rose to $2.54bn in January
  • Remittances a major source of forex for Egypt
  • Comes as tourism revenues plunge on pandemic

RIYADH: Remittances from Egyptians working abroad edged up by $116.8 million to $2.54 billion in January from a year earlier, Asharq Business reported, citing a Central Bank filing.
Remittances from Egyptian expats between July 2020 and the end of January 2021 recorded a 10.6 percent increase.
Millions of Egyptians working overseas send money back to support their families at home, including a large diaspora across the Gulf states.
Together with income from ships passing through the Suez Canal, remittances are among the most important sources of foreign currency for the country.
Such remittances have become even more significant over the past year because of the sharp decline in tourism revenues as a result of the pandemic.


Qatar opposes Heathrow airport’s plan to raise $3.8bn

Qatar opposes Heathrow airport’s plan to raise $3.8bn
Updated 12 April 2021

Qatar opposes Heathrow airport’s plan to raise $3.8bn

Qatar opposes Heathrow airport’s plan to raise $3.8bn
  • The plan is “unreasonable, not in the consumer interest and should be rejected,” said Qatar Airways

RIYADH: London’s Heathrow airport faces opposition from some board members to its plan to raise £2.8 billion ($3.8 billion) from airlines and customers by increasing airport prices, the Telegraph reported.
The plan is “unreasonable, not in the consumer interest and should be rejected,” said Qatar Airways, whose owner, the Qatar Investment Authority, is also Heathrow’s second-biggest shareholder.
The airline’s top executive, Akbar Al-Baker, is a representative of the Gulf state on Heathrow’s board of directors.
Heathrow’s demands to change a complex regulatory framework so it could recoup losses caused by the pandemic, have been rejected by the Civil Aviation Authority, the newspaper said.
A spokesman for Heathrow said the regulatory adjustment is needed to lower prices for consumers.
Heathrow has been hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic, since it relies on long-haul markets that have been suspended.
Passenger volumes have fallen to the lowest level since 1966 due to the ban on non-essential travel and quarantine rules.
Qatar Airways owns a 25 percent stake in IAG, whose British Airways is the largest operator at Heathrow.