Mawani launches new shipping route from Jeddah port

Mawani launches new shipping route from Jeddah port
Jeddah Islamic Port has gained historical significance due to the fact that Jeddah is the main gateway to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. The port covers an area of 12.5 square kilometers.
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Updated 21 January 2021

Mawani launches new shipping route from Jeddah port

Mawani launches new shipping route from Jeddah port

Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) has announced the launch of a new shipping service from Jeddah Islamic Port, complementing its strategic partnerships with some of the largest shipping companies in the world, such as Hapag Lloyd, CMA CGM, COSCO and ONE. The introduction of the new service reflects the confidence of global shipping lines in Mawani’s capabilities and the prominent position of Jeddah Islamic Port in global trade through the Red Sea, connecting the Middle East to Europe and North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Indian subcontinent, and covering key ports like Port Tanger in Morocco and Algeciras in Spain.

The new shipping line is a major step forward by Mawani, taken as part of its initiatives launched under the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP), building on its achievements during the past year with the support of the Saudi logistics sector and the guidance of Saudi Minister of Transport Saleh Al-Jasser. The effort has been to enhance the international connectivity of ports and attract major shipping companies in line with the strategic objectives of Vision 2030 to enhance the Kingdom’s position in the investment and logistics arena.

The new line (IO3) will link Jeddah Islamic Port with the Indian Ocean and northern European ports. The service will consist of seven vessels with a capacity equivalent to 8,500 standard containers per vessel, approximately 48 vessels per year, which will allow a greater cargo capacity. 

Through the launch of the new line, Mawani aims to enhance the status of Jeddah Islamic Port as a direct point of connectivity between the ports of the East and the West, enabling the port to benefit from its strategic location between three key continents. It will also help strengthen the Kingdom’s position as a leading hub for logistics services and a facilitator of global supply chains, contributing to increased transshipment levels and attracting the largest number of ships operating on the Red Sea coast. Besides, it will make available additional shipping lines for local and international importers and exporters, raising the competitiveness of Saudi ports services and improving their operations. The new line will also help establish attractive logistics centers for investors in the ports sector.

Jeddah Islamic Port has gained historical significance due to the fact that Jeddah is the main gateway to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. It is the largest port in terms of volume and cargo handling capacity, as it handles more than 65 percent of all cargoes imported through Saudi ports. The port covers an area of 12.5 square kilometers.


TEDxAlQuoz inaugural event launches in Dubai

TEDxAlQuoz inaugural event launches in Dubai
Updated 13 October 2021

TEDxAlQuoz inaugural event launches in Dubai

TEDxAlQuoz inaugural event launches in Dubai

On Oct. 23, TEDxAlQuoz will launch its first event under the theme “Humanity and Interdependence” that seeks to reflect people’s current spirit through a series of captivating talks, artistic performances and networking opportunities. The event will take place at Warehouse Four in Dubai’s Al-Quoz district. Tickets are on sale on the event’s website.

The independently produced event, operating under a license from TED, is organized by volunteers and aims to create a forum to inspire and spark dialogue among the Dubai community through thought-provoking talks. The event is produced with the support of venue partner Warehouse Four and cultural partner Dubai Culture and Arts Authority.

Some of the speakers include athlete and Guinness World Record holder Dareen Barbar, award-winning photographer Waleed Shah, survival skills instructor Arnaud Laviolette, sustainable fashion influencer Amanda Rushforth, and renowned psychologist Dr. Saliha Afridi. A number of artists, including Emirati singer Arqam, are also scheduled to perform at the event.

Commenting on the theme of the event, organizer and curator Rihane Hassaine said: “TEDxAlQuoz aims to re-explore the meaning of interdependence within society and encourage a reflection on how we can all nurture the spirit that has rooted our modern societies and contributed to social change at a local, regional and global scale.”

TedxAlQuoz will present yet another platform to further attract, support and retain talents in the area as well as to ensure that culture is available through the emirate of Dubai for everyone. This comes in line with Dubai Culture’s strategy, which seeks to strengthen the emirate’s position as an integrated dynamic hub for creative people from all over the world and position it as an epicenter for creativity and cultural dialogue.

TEDx is a grassroots initiative, created in the spirit of TED’s overall mission to research and discover “ideas worth spreading.” TEDx brings the spirit of TED to local communities around the globe through TEDx events. These events are organized by passionate individuals who seek to uncover new ideas and share the latest research in their local areas that spark conversations in their communities.

TEDx events include live speakers and recorded TED Talks, and are organized independently under a free license granted by TED. These events are not controlled by TED, but event organizers agree to abide by its format, and are offered guidelines for curation, speaker coaching, event organizing and more. More than 3,000 events are now held annually.


Casio to develop localized calculators, training programs

Casio to develop localized calculators, training programs
Updated 13 October 2021

Casio to develop localized calculators, training programs

Casio to develop localized calculators, training programs

Casio Middle East FZE, the regional subsidy of Casio Computer Co. Ltd., alongside Mahmoud Saleh Abbar Co, the distributor of Casio products in the Kingdom, has partnered up with the Saudi Association for Mathematical Sciences to provide teaching materials for students of all levels, as well as support with various training programs for teachers.

For more than 30 years, Casio has been working around the world for the further enhancement of mathematics learning, by using the Casio calculator as a tool of educational technology integration. Also called “Gakuhan,” the program will see Casio collaborate with education officials and teachers to develop localized versions of scientific calculators and create teaching materials that make use of scientific calculators, based on local curriculums and textbooks. Casio will also conduct special training so that teachers can run classes using Casio teaching tools.

Takashi Seimiya, managing director at Casio Middle East, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with SAMS to bring our technology to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia alongside Mahmoud Saleh Abbar Co. SAMS has been a leading scientific, cultural and educational resource in the field of mathematics and teaching methods in the Arab world, so proved a natural fit for this collaboration. Together with SAMS, I am looking forward to the development of scientific research and mathematical knowledge through the use of Casio calculators and to supporting educational initiatives for many years to come.”

Ayman Tawfiq, general manager at Mahmoud Saleh Abbar Co, Casio’s distributor in Saudi Arabia, said: “It is indeed our aim that this collaboration would add significant value to the development of math and science education through knowledge sharing for the teachers, and by extension, students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Mahmoud Saleh Abbar Co. will continue extending support to Saudi students and educators to ensure constant enhancement of math learning and facilitating the training program.”

As the only company undertaking the Gakuhan program around the world with scientific calculators, the collaboration with JISR sees Casio develop training systems that allow teachers to train using their products, support online education of the usage of the Casio calculator emulator, support math competitions by offering a gamified solution, and support teachers, in order to make students’ lives simpler. The program will also connect teachers with each other to exchange their experiences while also supporting activities within classrooms through the Casio Teachers Forum.

Dr. Reem Al-Hefthi, vice chairman of the board of directors at SAMS, said: “Casio has indeed supported and sustained the professional development of mathematics through our contest.”

Last year’s contest was a success, the participants showed a great deal of creativity and excellence. Thus, we are really looking forward to upcoming events that will target different levels of the mathematical society, including students in general education, graduate students and university educational staff.”


UAE-based businessman appointed to World Tourism Forum board

UAE-based businessman appointed to World Tourism Forum board
Updated 13 October 2021

UAE-based businessman appointed to World Tourism Forum board

UAE-based businessman appointed to World Tourism Forum board

The World Tourism Forum Lucerne has appointed Adeeb Ahamed, managing director of Abu Dhabi-based Twenty14 Holdings, to its global advisory board.

For over 10 years, the WTFL has been bringing together industry experts, CEOs, investors and startups, establishing itself as a prestigious global platform for exchange. By fostering cross-generational collaboration, new ideas and solutions emerge to benefit tourism today and in the future.

Ahamed, who owns a slew of iconic properties across the world, including the Great Scotland Yard in London, Waldorf Astoria — the Caledonian in Edinburgh, Pullman Downtown Dubai and Port Muziris in Kochi among others, joins a select group of the industry’s top stakeholders and decision-makers who will collaborate on solving future challenges in the travel and tourism industry.

The advisory board is an international body of experts responsible for assuring the quality of the WTFL. It determines the themes for the forums and decides on the general content by including current global topics and addressing cultural differences. Some of its prominent members include: Franziska Bitzi Staub, head of finance department, Lucerne; Puneet Chhatwal, managing director and CEO, The Indian Hotels Company Limited; Geoffrey Lipman, president, International Council of Tourism Partners, and co-founder, SUN; and Isabel Hill, director of National Travel and Tourism Office, US Department of Commerce Office, among others.

On Nov. 15 and 16, WTFL will host an “Innovation Festival” in Andermatt, in which Ahamed will also take the stage. At the hybrid conference, well-known personalities, such as Klaus Schwab (founder of World Economic Forum), Laura Meyer (CEO of Hotelplan), Peter Fankhauser (CEO of PETRAF Ltd. and former CEO of Thomas Cook Group), Shannon Ghuian (chief sustainability officer at TTC), Niall Ferguson (historian and author) and Alex Lampert (CEO of GuestReady) will discuss the tourism industry’s current challenges and demonstrate how these can be tackled with forward-thinking solutions.


noon reveals future strategy at Seller Summit UAE

noon reveals future strategy at Seller Summit UAE
Updated 12 October 2021

noon reveals future strategy at Seller Summit UAE

noon reveals future strategy at Seller Summit UAE

Saudi e-tailer noon.com recently hosted a gala event celebrating the brightest and boldest sellers in the region. noon’s Seller Summit UAE offered sellers an exclusive look at upcoming launches, insights into noon’s biggest ever Yellow Friday Sale, and an address by noon’s founder Mohamed Alabbar, who drove a noon motorbike onstage to deliver a powerful keynote address.

Hundreds of sellers joined the event, which was held in line with social distancing measures in the beautiful setting of the Dubai Opera.

The annual Seller Awards were the highlight of the evening and saw 13 of the region’s brightest sellers handed trophies by noon’s CEO Faraz Khalid, and Alabbar. Among those were EMAX (Power Retailer), Shoexpress (Top Customer Rated Seller), L’Oreal Middle East (Most Innovative Partner), and Home Box (Best noon Seller).

The event also celebrated the rise of local-based entrepreneurship through noon’s Mahali program, created to give local sellers, Emirati and Saudi micro-entrepreneurs tailored support and guidance to help their business dreams and ambitions grow. Local Mahali seller SpeedyBee was awarded noon’s Top Customer Rated Mahali Seller Award of 2021.

Noon’s engineering team detailed the important progress that has been made in terms of tools available to sellers. Robert O’Kirwan, head of product, and Alex Nadalin, SVP technology, told the SME-packed audience that after listening to sellers — noon has worked overtime to alleviate friction. Improvements include an upgraded catalog system, a new reputation management dashboard, and brand stores to allow sellers to showcase their brand as they wish, using noon as their platform.

Details about noon’s largest sale of the year, Yellow Friday, featured prominently at the summit. The sale, which covers all of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, will begin on Nov. 22 and end on Nov. 28.

Ali Kafil-Hussain, chief of staff at noon, told the audience that noon has “come such a long way since our first Yellow Friday in 2018 where we started with 1,000 sellers and 5,000 brands. Now in our fourth Yellow Friday, we will have over 5,000 sellers and 50,000 brands participating.”

Neha Choudhary, VP onsite operations, said: “During the build-up to this year’s Yellow Friday Sale, we will have a huge 11/11 sale and reveal a ton of surprises, including exclusive offers and never-seen-before deals. This will set us up for 2021’s Yellow Friday Sale, which will be the largest one yet.”

Closing the event, Alabbar drove a noon food bike onto the stage, much to the delight of the audience, before removing his helmet and delivering a 15-minute keynote speech.

“This industry is the future of our lifetime, our children, and our society. It’s the future of our jobs. It is the state of mind of beyond tomorrow. The world is changing. Our businesses are changing,” Alabbar said.

Commenting on noon’s future strategy, he said: “The ecosystem we are building has a mission of bringing our cities online. All businesses, services and products will be accessible digitally through integrated platforms. This is our new business! We have built an incredible delivery system, we have built the technology, we are amazing people, and most of all — we are brave!“

Noon.com is a joint venture between Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Alabbar.


Consulate, NASSCOM host meet to boost Saudi-India ties

Consulate, NASSCOM host meet to boost Saudi-India ties
Updated 12 October 2021

Consulate, NASSCOM host meet to boost Saudi-India ties

Consulate, NASSCOM host meet to boost Saudi-India ties

The Consulate General of India, Jeddah, in association with the National Association of Software and Service Companies, conducted the inaugural event of the second edition of Datalogue — an exclusive virtual private IT B2B meet — on Oct. 11. The first edition was conducted in March this year, which saw around 50 B2B sessions with major Saudi companies.

The second edition would have a total of 100 meetings scheduled with Indian and Saudi companies. Datalogue gives a fillip to closer collaboration between India and Saudi Arabia in the IT sector.

Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia Dr. Ausaf Sayeed spoke about the growing connect between the two countries in the non-oil and nontraditional sectors, which he said reflects the depth of the strategic partnership between India and Saudi Arabia. Datalogue would be a half yearly event that would accentuate and engage the IT capabilities of both the countries, he added.

Dr. Faisal H. Al-Sugair, president and CEO, Saudi Center for International Strategic Partnerships, was the chief guest. He spoke about closer ties between the two countries in IT within the ambit of the Strategic Partnership Council.

A panel discussion on “Skilling: How Organizations and the Government Can Collaborate” was conducted, moderated by Shivendra Singh, vice president and head of global trade development, NASSCOM. Panelists included Abdullah Biary, chief information security officer, United Cooperative Assurance; Kirti Seth, CEO, SSC NASSCOM; and Mukund Nair, director, global HR, Nagarro, speaking on the topic.

Consul General of India Mohammed Shahid Alam in his remarks said that the Indian IT services export was mostly concentrated to the US and Europe. However, the MENA region in general, and Saudi Arabia in particular, is making great strides in development.

In alignment with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, India can be a formidable partner in development of IT/ITES solutions for futuristic cities like NEOM, he added.