UAE group launches campaign to plant 1 billion trees globally

UAE group launches campaign to plant 1 billion trees globally
Karen Storey, founder of OBTI.
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Updated 27 January 2021

UAE group launches campaign to plant 1 billion trees globally

UAE group launches campaign to plant 1 billion trees globally

The UAE’s The Storey Group (TSG) has launched an ambitious initiative to encourage Emirati residents and corporates to come together to help plant 1 billion trees globally by 2026 in a transformational project designed to help offset the country’s carbon emissions.

After almost two years of intense research and development, TSG has teamed up with EcoMatcher, a certified social enterprise and the world’s first blockchain-enabled digital tree-planting platform, to launch the One Billion Trees Initiative (OBTI), which is aimed at capturing 250 billion kgs of carbon within a decade of planting the full tree complement.

“The world produces 51 billion tons of greenhouse gases every year. Decarbonization is now the biggest challenge facing humanity. To reach zero, we need innovation, collaboration, and action. By helping to plant 1 billion trees by 2026, the UAE can play our part,” said Karen Storey, OBTI founder and project director.

OBTI enables people to buy or gift trees, with each tree delivering an annual carbon sequestration of 25 kgs, or plant and name a forest of 1,000 trees or more. Trees will be planted around the world with locations in nine countries — Guatemala, Peru, Uganda, the UAE, India, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines — with more to follow via a target of 20 NGO tree-planting partners by the end of this year.

Via the EcoMatcher app, tree “owners” can track every tree’s performance from their phones through ID geolocation, learn each tree’s story — its species, plant date, farmer and more, and even engage with each tree while tracking its carbon impact with easy-to-use dashboards.

“This offers up new and tangibly effective sustainability opportunities for individuals and brands to engage employees, customers and suppliers with a host of integrated digital marketing tools,” said Storey. “Brands can now fully integrate transparent tree-planting into their business and brand sustainability story on their road to carbon zero.”

OBTI has also teamed up with the UAE-based advisory and sustainability experts Mātiti Group and Mātiti Green to engage, connect and partner local and regional companies.

“OBTI is a remarkable initiative and a purpose-driven cause. With Mātiti’s mission of being a negative carbon footprint company, Mātiti Group are committed to walking the talk together with OBTI in delivering the 1 billion trees to the world, and setting the right example for change,” added Charul C. Jaitly, OBTI advisory board member and CEO of Mātiti Green.


Ascott offers a well-deserved family escape in Riyadh

Ascott offers a well-deserved family escape in Riyadh
Updated 20 April 2021

Ascott offers a well-deserved family escape in Riyadh

Ascott offers a well-deserved family escape in Riyadh

Planning a city escape with family and friends this holy season? Ascott Rafal Olaya is offering the perfect staycation deal for guests. 

The Riyadh hotel is currently offering up to 25 percent off with its “Escape in Style” promotion. Guests can indulge in varied exclusive lifestyle amenities, separate for men, women and children. These include swimming pools, a gymnasium, sauna, children’s playroom, prayer rooms, and locally popular restaurants that are situated on its ground floor — Don Puro and Opaline, which offer delicious Lebanese cuisine, and are an ideal choice for families wanting to celebrate iftar outdoors. 

With world-class hospitality and sophisticated serviced spaces that are designed to pamper guests, Ascott Rafal Olaya is among Riyadh’s prominent hotel apartments. Home to both leisure and business travelers, the property offers studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments that boast urban city views. 

Located in the capital city’s modern business district of Olaya, Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh sits among two of Riyadh’s tallest skyscrapers, which not only supply guests with an exceptional view of the city, but serve as handy orientation points: Faisaliah Tower and Kingdom Centre.

Opened in 2017, the Ascott residence is just a five-minute drive to the up-and-coming King Abdullah Financial District, where many multinational companies, embassies, and international banks are setting up shop. Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh provides easy access to these business associates as well as a wide variety of restaurants, shops, and other conveniences nearby. 

In view of the COVID-19 situation, Ascott Rafal Olaya has implemented the Ascott Cares’ nine commitments to hygiene, cleanliness and safe distancing. 

Bookings for the “Escape in Style” offer can be made at the-ascott.com/offers


Intigral marks Ramadan with unmatched content selection on Jawwy TV

Intigral marks Ramadan with unmatched content selection on Jawwy TV
Updated 19 April 2021

Intigral marks Ramadan with unmatched content selection on Jawwy TV

Intigral marks Ramadan with unmatched content selection on Jawwy TV

Intigral, a leading provider of digital entertainment and sports in MENA, has announced an exciting lineup of content titles to be aired on its flagship entertainment platform Jawwy TV during the holy month of Ramadan. This includes exclusive and original releases alongside a curated selection of Arabic and Khaleeji shows, all of which began airing from April 12 on the platform.

Topping the Ramadan list are two new original productions exclusive to Jawwy TV — the Bedouin drama series “Al-Kahif,” which sheds light on tribal struggles and tells the tale of twin brothers unraveling the mysteries of a curious cave, and “Al-Awael,” an inspiring Saudi docuseries that highlights stories of pioneering Saudi women across various fields and sectors. 

Jawwy TV will also air the exclusive Lebanese drama “Rahou,” and a couple of digital-exclusive Egyptian dramas — “Al-Tawoos” and “Faris bela Zawaj,” as well the Egyptian series “Thahab,” the animation series “Sohbet El-Ayat,” — and the Syrian drama “Bab Alhara 11” from StarzPlay.

Jawwy TV will bring its viewers numerous and varied Khaleeji titles to keep them entertained throughout the month, including dramas “Beit Al-Thol,” “Al-Rouh wo Al-Riah,” “Alwaseya Alghaybah,” “Hath Aljamelat,” and “Waraqah,” in addition to comedies “Yejeb Allah Matar,” “Abu Tar,” “Ghareb,” and “Kan ya Makan,” and thriller-romance “Seqar.” 

The rich content additions coincide with Jawwy TV’s recent expansion into regional markets including Egypt, Jordan, and the UAE, where more people will be able to enjoy watching Jawwy TV’s growing library of content and in particular its Ramadan lineup.

Markus Golder, CEO at Intigral, extended his warmest wishes to viewers across the region on the arrival of Ramadan, and reiterated Intigral’s commitment to offering the very best in entertainment to its valued subscribers. “We strive to continually augment Jawwy TV to the highest standards by producing and curating content that delights viewers of different tastes and preferences in the region, and we are certain that our Ramadan offerings will meet the expectations of those seeking the highest quality entertainment experience.”

Jawwy TV is widely regarded as a next-generation application for paid channel solutions. It focuses on providing entertainment offerings fit for the Arab family through utilizing world-class HD display technologies via smart devices, tablets, smart TVs and set-top-boxes. Jawwy TV also provides more than 25,000 shows in both Arabic and English, in addition to an array of special features, including the rewind feature, which adds value to the platform’s live channel offerings, including a full lineup of MBC channels, and enables viewers to enjoy previously-broadcast episodes at their convenience.


Rosewood Jeddah hosts ‘Arabian Nights’ in Ramadan

Rosewood Jeddah hosts ‘Arabian Nights’ in Ramadan
Updated 19 April 2021

Rosewood Jeddah hosts ‘Arabian Nights’ in Ramadan

Rosewood Jeddah hosts ‘Arabian Nights’ in Ramadan

No matter how much the world changes, timeless traditions will always be worth treasuring. Amid the rich heritage and culture of the Middle East, Rosewood Jeddah offers a magical setting for celebrating the spirit of Ramadan and coming together in a venue, where the desert meets the sea in a display of majestic splendor. 

Guests are invited to tuck into the hotel’s Arabian Nights-themed sahoor and iftar fare that serves the best of Saudi Arabian, Moroccan, Egyptian, Syrian and Lebanese flavors. Surrounded by breathtaking views straight out of the beloved stories, Habsburg complements its mouthwatering cuisine with its dedication to service, ensuring memorable dining experiences at affordable prices for groups or individuals. 

For guests looking to bask in the charm of an oasis-inspired backdrop, Soleil offers a cocoon of tranquility for cozy gatherings among families and friends. Bringing scenes from the Arabian Nights to life with its distinct decor, the lounge’s warm and welcoming ambience sets the tone for evenings to remember.

 On top of special menus at both restaurants, guests will be able to savor mezzeh assortments and drinks at their table with a selection of soups, grilled classics, clay pot mains, and desserts from the iftar food carts. The hotel will also offer group booking options for business gatherings of up to 100 people at Habsburg restaurant.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rosewood Jeddah is taking all the necessary precautions and protocols mandated by the government to provide a safe and comfortable environment for all its guests. The restaurants will be operating at a 50 percent capacity to allow for social distancing and greater peace of mind.

“Ramadan is all about remembering what matters and sharing moments with the people who matter,” said Mazen Allam, managing director of Rosewood Jeddah Hotel. “With our guests’ health and safety as our top priority at all times, we are looking forward to providing families and friends with the opportunity to celebrate a meaningful occasion — and life itself.”

The award-winning Rosewood Jeddah is a flawless combination of spectacular design and unprecedented sophistication. Ideal for both the business and leisure traveler, the hotel is situated on the Jeddah Corniche, one of the city’s most impressive locales, which runs parallel to the Red Sea for more than 20 miles. It is within easy reach of key business, diplomatic, government and designer shopping districts. 

The hotel features individually designed and handcrafted rooms. The 101 guest rooms and 26 suites are elegantly furnished and reflect a contemporary aesthetic. Many offer stunning views of the Red Sea and all enjoy 24-hour butler service and state-of-the-art entertainment and business solutions. 

Those interested to book iftar or sahoor can contact Rosewood Jeddah at +966 12 260 7111.


MBRCH expands food campaign to 10 countries

MBRCH expands food campaign to 10 countries
Updated 19 April 2021

MBRCH expands food campaign to 10 countries

MBRCH expands food campaign to 10 countries

Coinciding with the “100 Million Meals” campaign, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment (MBRCH) announced the expansion of food relief operations to 10 additional countries.

The MBRCH will finance and implement food support operations in a new list of countries including Benin and Senegal in Africa, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Nepal in Asia, Kosovo in Europe, and Brazil in South America, thus contributing to financing the “100 Million Meals” campaign efforts in 30 countries, and carrying out on-ground distribution operations in 17 of them.

The “100 Million Meals” campaign, launched on April 11, aims to provide food parcels for disadvantaged individuals and families across 20 countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa during the holy month of Ramadan.

The MBRCH is working with the campaign’s organizer, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), in collaboration with the United Nations World Food Program, the Food Banking Regional Network, and local humanitarian organizations to ensure swift and integrated food distribution to beneficiaries in target countries.

MBRCH also earlier announced a donation of 20 million dirhams ($5.4 million) to the campaign to provide 20 million meals for vulnerable communities.

Ibrahim Boumelha, adviser for humanitarian and cultural affairs to the ruler of Dubai, and vice chairman of the board of trustees of MBRCH, said the establishment has channeled its resources to support the objectives of the “100 Million Meals” campaign.

He added that MBRCH is working closely with all partners involved to ensure the food aid reaches their beneficiaries as quickly as possible.

Boumelha stressed that the success of the campaign is widely attributed to the close cooperation of all segments of society, with its entities, the public and logistic partners. “Partnering entities on the ground particularly bear the big responsibility of ensuring food parcels reach everyone in need, at a great time of need. The campaign reflects the UAE’s dedicated humanitarian efforts to vulnerable and low-income communities across the world, regardless of religion, race or nationality,” he added.

Since its inception in 1997, the MBRCH has been implementing local and international projects in the fields of relief, healthcare, social support, education and orphan care.

MBRCH’s local projects include health programs, financial aid, educational programs, zakat, food vouchers and the Mir Ramadan program, construction and housing maintenance, seasonal projects, and community partnership.


LuLu’s Ramadan campaign a mix of retail offers, charity activities

LuLu’s Ramadan campaign a mix of retail offers, charity activities
Updated 17 April 2021

LuLu’s Ramadan campaign a mix of retail offers, charity activities

LuLu’s Ramadan campaign a mix of retail offers, charity activities

LuLu is highlighting a host of retail promotions and charity activities in its Ramadan campaign this year.

In an effort to improve customer experience and make shopping easy and affordable during Ramadan, LuLu has introduced its pre-packed Ramadan kit for SR99 ($26), which has been especially created for essential shopping and donation.

In partnership with Saudi Food Bank, these kits along with the iftar boxes (priced at SR15 each) will be distributed to the needy and charity groups. An agreement was signed between Abdul Rahman Al-Huzaimi, regional manager of Saudi Food Bank in Riyadh, and Bashar Al-Besher, administration director of LuLu Hypermarkets, Saudi Arabia, in the presence of Shehim Mohammed, director of LuLu Hypermarkets, Saudi Arabia, LuLu officials, and other guests.

These kits are priced lower than the regular market price and have grocery products, such as rice, milk powder, sugar, oil, and others. LuLu’s Ramadan kits are available across all its stores and online via www.luluhypermarket.com.

Mohammed said: “As the current pandemic situation continues to restrict the majority with smaller gatherings and with more people staying at home, we launched products offers and Ramadan kits to make grocery shopping easier and more convenient. Our promotion sections in stores are fuller and wider with lots of product essentials offered with great discounts. The same offers are also boosted in our online shopping with deals and promotions to ensure safe shopping for those who do not want to buy from stores.”

LuLu will also launch traditional food stations at its stores celebrating essential delicacies savored in the holy month. 

The food stations will host themed events such as the Meat Fest, Dates and Nuts, Iftar Delights and Dessert Festival. Moreover, LuLu has introduced “Souk Al-Fawakeh” to provide customers with fresh fruits and vegetables at competitive prices in bulk packages. It features 30 exotic fruits for the entire month.

In keeping with the spirit of giving in the holy month, LuLu has launched Ramadan-themed cards, which are available at SR15 and SR150.

Abdulla Hamdan, marketing manager of LuLu Hypermarkets Saudi Arabia, said: “We’re glad to launch these Ramadan-themed cards for our customers, in line with our goal to make their shopping experience unique, especially during important occasions like Ramadan. Since gathering in large groups for iftar is restricted to prioritize the health and safety of everyone, this card is a perfect choice for gifting. 

“It is a convenient way to show your loved ones that you remember them and care for them in the midst of these challenging times.”

In collaboration with Saudi Food Bank, LuLu has launched iftar boxes featuring convenient packs of after-fasting essential meals that customers can buy for SR15 each. There is also an option to donate SR15 through the cash counters.

In collaboration with the Kayl Association for Combating Obesity, LuLu launched the “Health is Wealth” campaign to raise awareness on obesity and its risks to health along with the importance of limiting its spread among the community. For every purchase of a healthy iftar or sahoor meal, 5 percent will be donated to the charitable organization.