Danube Group, a Dubai-based multibillion dollar diversified business conglomerate, has announced its contribution toward COVID-19 relief efforts in India. Danube will donate 10 percent of its group company Danube Home’s Dubai profits from its sales for the month of May, which run into crores, to mitigate COVID-19 pains in India. The relief initiative will be handled by the Danube Home Foundation, through which customers too will be urged to contribute toward this noble cause.
Danube Home will primarily be donating to oxygen provider agencies as well as NGOs in Mumbai, the city from where the company’s chairman Rizwan Sajan hails. To begin with, Danube Home has already decided to donate to three institutions based in Mumbai, which include the Popular Front of Maharashtra, Rotary India and Kalsekar Hospital. Further, Danube Home is also looking to donate to other NGOs across the country engaged in COVID-19 relief operations.
Adel Sajan, group managing director — Danube Group, said: “Given the severity of the devastating pandemic situation in India, it’s our utmost responsibility to make efforts toward helping the needy and the sufferers across India. Since its inception, Danube Group has stood strong with the people of India to make a positive difference in society. If we look at the nationwide fight against COVID-19, it is very much required for all organizations to come forward in every possible way to ensure that our citizens have seamless access to the healthcare services, oxygen and other necessary requirements which can save precious lives.”
Danube Home — the home interior retail arm of Danube Group — has showrooms in several strategic locations across the UAE. The stores are located in Al-Barsha, Fujairah, Jimi Mall, Sharjah, Ras Al-Khaimah, Al-Ain and Abu Dhabi. Apart from the UAE, Danube Home has seven showrooms in Oman, one showroom in Bahrain, and one in India, and is now a global brand with stores across 20 countries through its franchise-based model. It also has an e-commerce website, which is making new strides in the GCC market.
Saudi businessman underlines role of leadership in crisis management at Horasis India meet
Updated 28 July 2021
Horasis, the global visions community, held its annual Horasis India Meeting on July 24, co-hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The event brought together several hundred of the most senior members of the international organization, focusing on how to overcome the COVID-19 crisis and inspire India’s future.
Dr. Turki Faisal Al-Rasheed, a prominent Saudi businessman and adjunct professor at the University of Arizona, was a featured speaker at this online event, delivering a talk on the vital role of “Strategic Management Strategy for Crisis and Disaster,” under a session themed “Strategic Management for a Pandemized World.”
Al-Rasheed opened the talk by highlighting the importance of leadership awareness. He said that crises do not wait for the leaders to be ready; in most cases, crises happen at the worst time. He emphasized the significance of strategic management in times of crisis and disaster to prepare and empower society to protect itself. Crises and disasters are considered among the foremost obstacles to sustainability.
At the heart of his talk, Al-Rasheed defined strategic management as the continuous planning, monitoring, analysis and assessment that is necessary for an organization to meet its goals and objectives. The strategic management process involves analyzing cross-functional business decisions prior to implementing them, according to his book, titled “Public Government and Strategic Management Capabilities: Public Governance in the Gulf States,” published in 2017.
Al-Rasheed said that strategic management in the public sector means developing an explanation of a firm’s performance by understanding the roles of external and internal environments, and positioning and managing within these environments. While in the private sector, it means the interdisciplinary field that studies the behavior of companies and other market parties.
Crisis and disaster management requires a clear strategic vision and priorities as well as strong coordination with all the stakeholders. It requires leadership capable of making critical decisions. Decisions must be balanced between economic, social and safety requirements. Critical decisions cannot be left to the military leaders, doctors or scientists. It is the political leader’s responsibility.
Al-Rasheed concluded his speech by saying that we live in a complex world where disasters are inevitable and that there is no time for false security.
After the panelists delivered their talks, there was a Q and A session. Al-Rasheed was asked, “How do you manage a crisis?” He said that in managing a crisis, you have to look at it from two different perspectives: From a business leader’s perspective, they must consider every crisis as an opportunity to advance their business, as it is their responsibility to the company and stakeholders; and from the public servants’ and political leaders’ perspective, they must realize that no country can manage a crisis on its own, so they must empower society and other stakeholders, and prepare a crisis management center that is able to manage the team.
Asked what advice he would give to the Indian business community and to the rest of the world, Al-Rasheed said: “God gave you power and energy and wealth; while it is important to meet your bottom line, you must also pay Zakat for the common good of humanity and mankind.”
Regional online food delivery and q-commerce platform Talabat has launched a sustainable packaging program to reduce plastic waste and carbon emissions across the region, starting with pilot operations in the UAE and Qatar. The launch is part of Delivery Hero’s (Talabat’s parent company) global rollout of the program, across eight markets.
Talabat’s new packaging, which will be available for select restaurant partners and vendors to adopt, is 100 percent plant-based and contains no perfluoroalkoxy-alkanes (PFA), which are commonly known as forever chemicals, and cannot be broken down by nature. The packaging has also been rigorously tested to meet food safety, quality assurance, sustainability, and ethical supply standards.
Research conducted by Delivery Hero underlined that consumers want a more sustainable delivery ecosystem; 92 percent of customers in the UAE would consider ordering from restaurants that offer sustainable packaging, while two-thirds of customers in the UAE would order more from a restaurant that offers sustainable packaging.
Tomaso Rodriguez, CEO of Talabat, said that the organization is committed to creating a sustainable delivery ecosystem.
“Globally, I think everyone can agree that a plastic-free world is imperative. Statistics from the National Geographic and Ellen McArthur Foundation show that currently 91 percent of the world’s plastic is not recycled — and 70 percent of plastic ends up in landfills or the natural environment. By 2050, the amount of plastic in the ocean will outweigh fish. That is the enormity of the challenge that as a planet, we are facing.
“Regionally, our ultimate goal is to create a more sustainable delivery ecosystem by constantly introducing industry-leading standards and innovations, and that every product purchased through our Talabat platform be delivered in sustainable packaging,” said Rodriguez.
“However, this is not a short-term or medium-term fix. Through introducing our sustainable packaging program to the region as a pilot, we are aiming to influence the reduction of food packaging wastage.”
He added: “Also, as part of Delivery Hero, who are introducing this same initiative initially in seven other markets around the globe — Qatar, Austria, Chile, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary and Singapore — we are able to produce this packaging at scale, with the aim of deploying 10 million units globally by the end of 2022, which makes it a cost-effective solution to normal packaging for our restaurant partners and vendors.”
IHG to debut Hotel Indigo with four properties in Egypt
Updated 27 July 2021
Global hotel company IHG Hotels and Resorts is expanding its presence in Egypt with four new Hotel Indigo branded properties. As part of a management agreement signed with real estate specialists Mountain View, IHG will introduce the world’s first globally branded boutique hotel brand, Hotel Indigo, to Egypt with Hotel Indigo Mountain View North Coast, Hotel Indigo Mountain View iCity New Cairo, Hotel Indigo Mountain View iCity 6th of October City and Hotel Indigo Mountain View Ain El-Sokhna. The signing ceremony was held in the presence of Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, prime minister of Egypt, and Dr. Assem El-Gazzar, minister of housing and development.
The four new hotels will cater to a broad range of travelers as leisure and business tourism rapidly rebounds across the country.
Haitham Mattar, managing director, India, Middle East and Africa, IHG said: “Egypt is one of the most dynamic tourism markets in the region with a great vision for the future of leisure and business travel. We have a longstanding legacy in the country and are proud to continue to support the development of its hospitality sector through the introduction of our boutique and lifestyle brand, Hotel Indigo.”
Amr Soliman, Mountain View chairman, said: “With their innate understanding of local cultures, high standards of service and impeccable attention to detail, IHG is the ideal partner to build our hospitality offerings and take it to the next level.”
Set in one of Egypt’s most exclusive cities, the Hotel Indigo Mountain View North Coast will offer views of the Mediterranean Sea as well as high-end retail and dining once doors open in July 2024. The hotel will feature 100 design-led rooms, a spa, health club, pool and 165 square meters of meetings and events space.
Meanwhile, the 200-key Hotel Indigo Mountain View iCity New Cairo will cater to a business clientele with its location in the Fifth Settlement.
Hotel Indigo Mountain View iCity 6th of October City, set to open in January 2028, will be an urban escape in the Giza Governorate, 32 km outside the city of Cairo. The hotel will offer 200 rooms.
A short drive from the buzz of Cairo, Hotel Indigo Mountain View Ain El-Sokhna, offers the best of both worlds with its setting amidst mountains and sandy beaches. A haven for trekking, fishing, diving and skating, the new property will offer hotel guests a tranquil atmosphere in addition to 150 rooms, meeting and events space and F and B options, starting January 2028.
Abu Dhabi’s Jubail Island appoints operations corporate director
Updated 27 July 2021
Jubail Island Investment Company (JIIC) has announced the expansion of its senior leadership team with the appointment of Abdulla Saeed Al-Shamsi as operations corporate director.
An industry veteran with more than 20 years’ experience in the development, construction and roads, infrastructure and housing industries, Al-Shamsi will join the senior management team in spearheading the development of Abu Dhabi’s newest community, Jubail Island.
The 5-billion-dirham ($1.4 billion) Jubail Island development aims to be an idyllic collection of villages located between Yas Island and Saadiyat Island. A UAE national, Al-Shamsi has held senior management roles at some of the UAE’s most prestigious organizations including executive director at Abu Dhabi’s Housing Authority as well as executive director, strategic affairs of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, which is recognized as having a pivotal role in the achievement of Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.
In 2005, Al-Shamsi joined Abu Dhabi City Municipality, where he undertook important roles including acting executive director for infrastructure and municipal assets sector, as well as the executive director for the strategic planning and performance management division.
He has achieved many impressive career accomplishments to date including completing the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Sheikh Zayed Street and Tunnel (Al-Salam), Al-Mafraq Intersection Bridge, and Al-Ghuwaifat International Highway, and was also involved in the preparation and execution of the infrastructure master plan for three mega cities in Abu Dhabi, among other successes.
Al-Shamsi has directed many multimillion-dollar international projects in the UAE, Morocco, Pakistan, Syria, Kazakhstan and West Bank.
Mounir Haidar, managing director of JIIC, said: “We have no doubt that Abdulla will build upon his experience to lead his team with the dedication and passion he has become synonymous with. Abdulla is a huge asset to the organization and we’re confident that with his experience, drive for results, dynamic personality and innovative ideas he will help to lead the Jubail Island strategy and vision for an inclusive and sustainable community in the heart of Abu Dhabi.”
Al-Shamsi has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering/ project management and a master’s degree in international business. He has been an elected fellow member of The Charter Institute of the Highway and Transportation in the UK since 2010.
Huawei brings the best of ‘Smart Office’ experience to Saudi Arabia
Updated 26 July 2021
RIYADH: Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia has launched its innovative range of Super Device Smart Office products comprising the new 12.6-inch Huawei MatePad Pro, Huawei MatePad, Huawei MateView, Huawei MateView GT, Huawei FreeBuds 4 and the upcoming Huawei Watch 3 I 3 Pro.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Bill Yu, vice president of Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia, said: “This is the most important launch event for us this year as the new range of Super Device Smart Office products is now available for pre-order in Saudi Arabia. With this new range of devices and products, Huawei will allow consumers in the local market to enjoy a very smooth and seamless smart experience across multiple devices that suit different scenarios. The new high-end device product range is just a new step in our efforts to provide the best user-focused experience through a proactive innovative approach.”
A new “Smart Office” experience creates a productivity hub that breaks through boundaries for maximum creativity and efficiency. Super device connectivity with and without wires, along with Huawei MateView, Huawei MatePad Pro and Huawei MateBook exemplifies full integration suitable for our busy lifestyles.
Today’s consumers expect much more from their devices than just clever features or an attractive form factor. In Saudi Arabia especially, consumers want all this, in addition to demanding smart devices that complement their always-on, always-connected, seamless lifestyles — and increasingly, consumers want devices that can work together to create all new integrated digital experiences — like Huawei’s new Super Device range of products.
“Huawei is laying the foundation for the future development of the consumer electronics industry through the upcoming range of Super Device Smart Office products,” Yu said.
In parallel with the local launch of the Super Device Smart Office range of products, Yu explained how Huawei is building on its 1+8+N strategy, with an approach that brings consumers the very latest devices with a whole new level of interconnected functionality. “Huawei is so much more than a smartphone company. We are offering consumers a wide portfolio of products, including PCs, tablets, wearables, audio devices and more,” Yu said.
“Consumers today demand a more connected life and that is exactly what the 1+8+N Seamless AI Life Strategy delivers, and the Super Device range will go beyond that to create even better, highly-connected experiences that empower digital lifestyles. We launched our 1+8+N strategy more than two years ago and it proved to be hugely successful. We aim to bring people closer by creating a world where everything works together intelligently, safely and seamlessly.”
He added: “Huawei will continue its commitment to developing meaningful innovative products and services that truly impact people’s lives in a positive way. This is our promise to our users, and we will continue to have the same drive and energy to innovate and engineer the market with leading products and services. We are committed to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and will continue to provide users with the latest products and technology during 2021.”
The Super Device experience is a new approach that is intended to create a seamless, unified experience across all devices. While there are more smart devices in our lives than ever, the experience they provide often isn’t smart.
Devices that are complicated to connect together, or that are not compatible, lead to a frustrating and fragmented user experience. The Super Device experience is designed to address this problem by introducing a common language for different kinds of devices to connect and collaborate, providing users with a more convenient, smooth and secure experience.
It uses distributed technology to meet the varied needs of all types of different devices with a single system, enabling flexible deployment as needed. It also combines previously independent devices into a cohesive and holistic Super Device that integrates all hardware and resources to freely leverage the capabilities of its component devices based on the user’s real-time needs.
“2021 is the year that our future development strategy will begin to take shape. No matter what challenges come our way, we will continue to maintain our business resilience. Not just to survive, but to do so sustainably. As always, we will remain focused on the needs of our users and keep delivering practical business value,” Yu said.
“Huawei will continue its commitment to developing meaningful innovative products and services that truly impact people’s lives in a positive way. This is our promise to our users, and we will continue to have the same drive and energy to innovate and engineer the market with leading products and services,” he added.