Mastercard unveils ‘Carbon Calculator’ for banks in MEA

Mastercard unveils ‘Carbon Calculator’ for banks in MEA
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Updated 07 June 2021

Mastercard unveils ‘Carbon Calculator’ for banks in MEA

Mastercard unveils ‘Carbon Calculator’ for banks in MEA

Amidst the growing trend toward eco-conscious spending and consumption among people who want to pursue more sustainable choices and practices, Mastercard has released its Mastercard Carbon Calculator for the Middle East and Africa. 

Developed in collaboration with the Swedish fintech Doconomy, the Carbon Calculator is a feature that provides access to insights and data about environmental impact. It enables consumers to receive a snapshot of the carbon emissions generated by their purchases across spending categories. Banks and financial institutions can easily adopt and customize the feature for eco-conscious consumers, by seamlessly integrating the Carbon Calculator into their mobile apps through new APIs that are now available on Mastercard Developers. 

“The new Mastercard feature enables banks to equip people with carbon footprint data and insights to help inform consumer spending and offer ways to contribute to reforestation,” said Gaurang Shah, senior vice president, product management, digital payments and labs for Middle East and Africa, Mastercard. 

Results from Mastercard’s most recent research released on Earth Day last month, highlighted strong consumer demand for payment solutions that address sustainability.


Yas Island offers special packages for National Day

Yas Island offers special packages for National Day
Updated 19 September 2021

Yas Island offers special packages for National Day

Yas Island offers special packages for National Day

In partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi, Yas Island Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s leading leisure and entertainment hubs, will be covered in green in celebration of the 91st National Day of Saudi Arabia on Sept. 23. In addition, the destination is offering a 20 percent discount to travelers from Saudi Arabia when booking hotel stay with theme parks access, directly through www.yasisland.ae.

The spectacular array of fireworks will be open for public viewing from selected hotels and restaurants on the island. Enhanced hygiene and social distancing measures are in place at the selected destinations to guarantee an enjoyable experience for all guests while ensuring their health and safety. Festivities are due to kick off at 9 p.m. with the fireworks live streamed on Yas Island’s Instagram page @yasisland as public gatherings are prohibited.

Moreover, attractions around Yas Island, including Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, CLYMB Abu Dhabi, Yas Mall, Yas Plaza Hotels, W Abu Dhabi — Yas Island and Etihad Arena, will be washed with green light in recognition of 91 years since the foundation of Saudi Arabia in 1930.

Yas Island — situated just 20 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi and 50 minutes from Dubai — offers holidaymakers a diverse mix of award-winning leisure and entertainment experiences, from one-of-a-kind theme parks, world-class shopping and dining, to a links golf course, exciting water and motor sports, and musical and family events, all within the 25-square-kilometer island.

It is home to Abu Dhabi’s largest mall, more than 160 dining experiences, seven hotels, and indoor and outdoor concert venues — all of which are complemented by a range of visitor services that connect all attractions to one another.


VFS Global launches services at Najran chamber

VFS Global launches services at Najran chamber
Updated 19 September 2021

VFS Global launches services at Najran chamber

VFS Global launches services at Najran chamber

VFS Global has announced that a memorandum of understanding has been signed with the Najran Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the city of Najran, to provide end-to-end visa and passport services. Moving forward, the chamber’s members and employees will benefit from the availability of these services on its premises, providing ease and convenience and ensuring they do not have to visit a visa application center.

Mohaimeed Saleh Al-Salem, chairman of the Najran Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Sumanth Kapoor, regional head — Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman, VFS Global, signed the MoU on Sept. 7 at the chamber’s headquarters. 

“We are proud to partner with VFS Global to provide unmatched convenience to our members and employees for their visa and passport requirements. Through this joint initiative, we offer Indian and Philippine residents an additional avenue to renew their passports. Furthermore, the revolutionary doorstep visa service will provide much relief to people living in Najran as they can now apply for a visa in comfort at a preferred location.” said Al-Salem.

“The need to receive services ‘at your doorstep,’ irrespective of location or time, is very crucial in today’s world. Our doorstep visa service offering is of immense benefit to those who reside in cities away from the existing centers and spend time traveling to the nearest center. Our partnership with Najran chamber will bring ease and convenience to customers living in the Najran province,” added Kapoor.

VFS Global services are expected to launch at the chamber’s premises by October. The following services will be available to customers from Sunday to Thursday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. 

1. Indian passport renewal — Application form filling assistance, form submission and collection of renewed passport.

2. Philippine passport renewal — Application form filling assistance, form submission and collection of renewed passport.

3. Doorstep visa services – Application form filling assistance, form submission and biometric enrollment. This service applies to Schengen and UK visa applicants and can be availed at the premises or other locations of choice, such as the employee’s residence. 

VFS Global also provides a range of optional services, including travel insurance, COVID-19 test booking and document scanning.


Dubai awards honor construction innovators

Photo/Supplied
Photo/Supplied
Updated 19 September 2021

Dubai awards honor construction innovators

Photo/Supplied
  • The Sustainable Initiative of the Year award was given for revised structural design guidelines for the Emirates, which seeks to drive down the consumption of material having a massive impact on sustainability

dmg events, organizers of the inaugural The Big 5 Construction Impact Awards, announced the winners of 15 categories last week during a glittering awards ceremony held at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
The awards, a platform to recognize sustainable development, technological and digital achievements in the construction industry, were judged by an independent panel of experts and thought leaders from the industry. They assessed hundreds of submissions and highlighted the winners who have shown innovation and project excellence through their success stories.
China State Construction Engineering Corporation Middle East LLC (CSCEC) and ACCIONA took home multiple awards on the night. Other winners included: HAS Engineering LLC, The Arab Contractors Company, AECOM, Turner and Townsend, OBMI, Expomobilia, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Authorities, Emaar, B3G Engineering Services FZ-LLC, Alpin Limited and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.
Koen Meert, group director structural design, Emaar, received the award on behalf of Dubai Municipality, Dubai Authorities, and Emaar. He said: “It’s a great recognition to receive this award at The Big 5, the biggest organization in terms of construction.”
The Sustainable Initiative of the Year award was given for revised structural design guidelines for the Emirates, which seeks to drive down the consumption of material having a massive impact on sustainability.

WINNERS ANDCATEGORIES

• Best Use of Technology of the Year: HAS Engineering LLC

• Community of the Future: The Arab Contractors Company

• Digital Transformation of the Year: AECOM

• Digital Twin Project of the Year: CSCEC

• Digitization Project of the Year: CSCEC

• Innovative Construction Organization of the Year: ACCIONA

• Off-site Project of the Year: CSCEC

• Partnership of the Year: Turner and Townsend

• Sustainability Champion of the Year: OBMI

• Sustainability Leader of the Year: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill

• Sustainable Construction Organization of the Year: ACCIONA

• Sustainable Construction Project of the Year: Expomobilia

• Sustainable Initiative of the Year: Dubai Municipality, Dubai Authorities, Emaar

•Technology Leader of the Year: B3G Engineering Services FZ-LLC

• Workforce of the Future Initiative: Alpin Limited

“Sustainability is such an important topic. We are therefore happy to be able to achieve this with the authorities as a joint effort for Dubai and the construction industry in general. The guideline submitted is now applicable for the whole industry, and every new building constructed in 2021 and later will be following it,” added Meert.
Yu Tao, president and CEO of CSCEC, said: “Over the years, The Big 5 keeps improving. It’s the first year for the award and it’s not an easy award. We have gone through six months with submission and verification and have won against very fierce competition; The Big 5 is keeping a very high quality with this award.”


Emirates NBD, Mastercard launch new card programs to power Expo 2020 experience

A customer uses an ATM machine at the Emirates NBD head office in Dubai, UAE. (REUTERS file photo)
A customer uses an ATM machine at the Emirates NBD head office in Dubai, UAE. (REUTERS file photo)
Updated 19 September 2021

Emirates NBD, Mastercard launch new card programs to power Expo 2020 experience

A customer uses an ATM machine at the Emirates NBD head office in Dubai, UAE. (REUTERS file photo)

As a premier partner and the official banking partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, Emirates NBD Group, a banking group in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region, has joined hands with Mastercard, the official payment technology partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, to create two exclusive new card programs: Emirates NBD Expo Mastercard Prepaid Card and the Emirates Islamic Expo Mastercard Credit Card.
The limited-edition cards are designed to enhance the Expo 2020 Dubai experience for both residents and visitors from across the globe, while also elevating their time spent in the UAE with memorable possibilities to discover year-round.
Emirates NBD Expo Mastercard Prepaid Card
The Emirates NBD Expo Mastercard Prepaid Card is a digital-first offering, issued via a dedicated mobile app, Joyn from Emirates NBD. The product is available to both UAE residents and international visitors for use while in the UAE and provides a fully digital payments experience. The benefits will merge a specially curated selection of offers from Emirates NBD’s Bon Appétit, LiveWell and Good Times programs, as well as offers from Mastercard’s Priceless Platform.

FASTFACT

The limited-edition cards are designed to enhance the Expo 2020 Dubai experience for both residents and visitors from across the globe.

With 25 million visits expected at Expo 2020 Dubai, the card will provide access to privileges, deals and discounts of up to 50 percent at more than 2,000 shopping, dining, wellness, and entertainment touchpoints, as well as access to exclusive expo-related offers. The reloadable card will provide an enhanced customer experience with personalized offers, while also enabling international visitors to spend in the local UAE dirham currency.

Emirates Islamic Expo Mastercard Credit Card
 The Emirates Islamic Expo Mastercard Credit Card offers exceptional value with a wide range of benefits across key expo partners. Cardholders can earn up to three Emirates Islamic SmartMiles for every 1 dirham ($0.27) spent as well as gain U By Emaar Gold Tier Status, 50 percent cashback on their first Expo 2020 Dubai ticket transaction, and access to exclusive travel, hotels and lifestyle privileges offered by Mastercard.

Other benefits include 10 percent cashback on fuel, complimentary valet parking service at the Expo 2020 Dubai site, complimentary golf sessions, exclusive dining offers, and access to more than 1,000 airport lounges worldwide. Customers can enjoy the flexibility to instantly redeem their Emirates Islamic SmartMiles for flights, hotels, and retail transactions anywhere in the world. Emirates Islamic SmartMiles can also be exchanged with multiple partner loyalty programs.


Calling all entrepreneurs: MITEF Startup Competition launches

The MITEF Pan Arab and MITEF Saudi Arabia startup competitions have succeeded in establishing more than 550 startups and providing more than 15,600 job opportunities. (Supplied)
The MITEF Pan Arab and MITEF Saudi Arabia startup competitions have succeeded in establishing more than 550 startups and providing more than 15,600 job opportunities. (Supplied)
Updated 16 September 2021

Calling all entrepreneurs: MITEF Startup Competition launches

The MITEF Pan Arab and MITEF Saudi Arabia startup competitions have succeeded in establishing more than 550 startups and providing more than 15,600 job opportunities. (Supplied)
  • The competition aims to enable entrepreneurs and promote an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world, with a special focus this year on Madinah.

RIYADH: MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) Pan Arab and MITEF Saudi Arabia have announced the launch of the MITEF Startup Competition 2021-2022. This year’s competition will provide the opportunity for the participants from Arab Startup Competition and Saudi Startup Competition to compete under a single competition, organized and supported by Bab Rizq Jameel and Community Jameel Saudi and under the patronage of the governorate of Madinah.

The MITEF Startup Competition 2021-2022 pits entrepreneurs in three different tracks: Ideas, Startups and Social Entrepreneurship. The competition aims to enable entrepreneurs and promote an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world, with a special focus this year on Madinah. This year’s edition launches with the slogan “Empowering Today. Transforming Tomorrow” and takes participants through a seven-month journey, filled with exciting activities like top-tier training, mentorship, media exposure, and networking opportunities. Moreover, the winning teams benefit from equity free-fund cash prizes.

The MITEF Startup Competition 2021-2022 will conclude with a final conference and awards ceremony that will take place during the Start Smart Conference in March 2022 in Madinah, during which this year’s Startup Investment Forum will also take place.

Applications are open for submissions until Dec. 6. Entrepreneurs and innovators from Saudi Arabia and the Arab world of all ages and industries can apply to one of the competition’s three tracks through the competition’s website: www.mitarabcompetition.com or www.mitefsaudi.org. The competition’s organizers will be conducting several roadshows and informative sessions throughout several Arab countries and Saudi Arabia, introducing the competition’s criteria and application process and helping candidates perfect their applications.

Mohammed Sanad Al-Yousif, CEO of the Economic Development Center in the Madinah governorate, said: “Community Jameel Saudi’s MITEF Startup Competition contributes to the enhancement of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, the success of the region’s startups, and the support given to ideas and investment projects. This is the role that serves the expansion and support of innovation and entrepreneurship.”

He added: “We are pleased to host the forum in Madinah as a global destination for launching businesses and attracting qualitative investments to achieve sustainable development.”

Hala Fadel, founder and chair of MITEF Pan Arab, said: “After running the Arab Startup Competition for 15 successful editions in different Arab cities, we realize the importance of empowering our entrepreneurs by providing them with the proper training and mentorship and the effect that they have on transforming the entrepreneurship ecosystem. According to the 2020 Arab Entrepreneurship Maturity Index: Insights and Forecasts report that we published, ASC startups’ customer base grew by 43 percent over the previous two years and 45 percent of startups expanded into new geographic markets, notably the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa and East Asia.”

Hassan Jameel, vice chairman of Community Jameel, said: “We are proud to be a partner and to take part in this exceptional edition of the 2021-2022 MITEF Startup Competition welcoming entrepreneurs across the Arab world. The MITEF Pan Arab and MITEF Saudi Arabia startup competitions have succeeded in establishing more than 550 startups and providing more than 15,600 job opportunities.”