Hilton drives female leadership in Saudi Arabia’s hospitality sector

Hilton drives female leadership in Saudi Arabia’s hospitality sector
Jochem-Jan Sleiffer, Hilton’s area president for MEA and Turkey, with Bushra Al-Qahtani, operations manager at Hilton Riyadh, and other team members at the hotel.
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Updated 23 June 2021

Hilton drives female leadership in Saudi Arabia’s hospitality sector

Hilton drives female leadership in Saudi Arabia’s hospitality sector
  • Hilton Riyadh General Manager Hans Schiller said: “At Hilton Riyadh, we continue to see great success in helping our female team members take on leadership roles as a result of their incredible determination and our training and mentoring programs”

Saudi Arabia has seen many changes in several industries locally, including more women in leadership roles. Talented and committed female professionals are now given the opportunity to shine and lead, and have already proven capability and success. The tourism and hospitality industry is also witnessing many changes, including the increase of females in the industry.
Aligned with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, Hilton has always been committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. This includes equipping female team members with the tools, resources and opportunities they need to achieve their professional aspirations. One shining example of this is Bushra Al-Qahtani, the operations manager at Hilton Riyadh Hotel and Residences, who aimed high and is realizing her ambitions through the support of Hilton and her team.
Hilton Riyadh General Manager Hans Schiller said: “At Hilton Riyadh, we continue to see great success in helping our female team members take on leadership roles as a result of their incredible determination and our training and mentoring programs.”




At Hilton Riyadh, we see great success in helping our female team members take on leadership roles as a result of their determination and our training programs.
Hans Schiller
General Manager of Hilton Riyadh
Hotel and Residences

Schiller added: “I have known Bushra for several years now and have been lucky to mentor her prior to her joining Hilton Riyadh. Bushra has rotated in several departments and hotels, which is highly recommended in Hilton to gain hospitality exposure and skills. She demonstrates many great leadership qualities, and I personally see a potential future general manager in her.”

The current changes happening in Saudi Arabia make me optimistic that we will have many women in leadership roles in the coming years.

Bushra Al-Qahtani, Operations Manager at Hilton Riyadh Hotel and Residences

Al-Qahtani, 37, began her journey in tourism when she changed her career path and went to the US to pursue a masters in tourism and hospitality. She then returned to Saudi Arabia and joined a local hotel as a customer service executive in 2016. Following that, she joined Hilton in 2018 as front office manager and today she is the first Saudi female at Hilton to take on the role of an operations manager.
“I owe Hilton a great deal, as the career growth I have experienced is exceptional, and I credit this accomplishment to the many hours of online training and in-person mentoring I received. In addition, rotating across different departments has taught me many skills that I couldn’t have gained through training,” Al-Qahtani said. “At Hilton, I was provided with many resources to support my career growth such as [email protected], Women in Leadership and Shine, which is one of the most powerful operations programs in the industry. Also, through LinkedIn Learning, I completed several Harvard Management courses.”
She added: “The current changes happening in Saudi Arabia make me optimistic that we will have many women in leadership roles in the coming years. Make sure to always speak out when you think it matters, it will make a difference.”
Tariq Al-Harbi, deputy general manager at Hilton Riyadh, said: “I have worked with Bushra for over three years now, and I think she is a great role model for young Saudi women. In the past five years, I have seen incredible changes in our industry including the increase of knowledgeable and hardworking Saudi women, and this makes me feel very optimistic about the future of hospitality in the Kingdom.”


Bentley Mulliner celebrates 1,000th bespoke project

The Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner, introduced in 2017, is the ultimate accessory for the falconry enthusiast, featuring everything needed for a successful expedition.
The Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner, introduced in 2017, is the ultimate accessory for the falconry enthusiast, featuring everything needed for a successful expedition.
Updated 22 July 2021

Bentley Mulliner celebrates 1,000th bespoke project

The Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner, introduced in 2017, is the ultimate accessory for the falconry enthusiast, featuring everything needed for a successful expedition.
  • Taking inspiration from the prized Sinjari falcon, just four limited edition examples of the Mulsanne Sinjari were produced in 2016 for select customers in the Middle East

Bentley Mulliner is celebrating its 1,000th bespoke commission since its own dedicated design team was formed. In 2014, the increasing demand for bespoke and personalized vehicles was recognized by Mulliner and a dedicated team was formed.
Since then, the Mulliner team has produced numerous bespoke cars for customers across the Middle East, most notably in the form of the Bentayga Mulliner Pearl of the Gulf, Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner, Mulsanne Sinjari and Mulsanne Majestic limited edition models.
The 1,000th bespoke project is for a European customer who wanted two specific interior features to extend the personalization of their Bentley. The first request was the application of Olive Ash — a veneer associated with the heritage of Mulsanne — to the interior of a Bentayga. The second was to introduce a contrast twin stitch to the upper areas of the seats and door trims adding further contrast to the interior.
Seven years earlier, the first project was a small limited edition of 15 vehicles, which focused on increased levels of passenger comfort — the Flying Spur Serenity. The seats and headrests were re-engineered and as part of the broader redesign, a new and unique diamond quilting throughout the cabin was introduced to create a truly bespoke feel. This unique textured leather formed the inspiration of the diamond design that can be seen in the Continental GT Mulliner today.

FASTFACT

The 1,000th bespoke project is for a European customer who wanted two specific interior features to extend the personalization of their Bentley.

Paul Williams, director of Mulliner and Motorsport, said: “Since 2014, our Mulliner design team has averaged three customer commissions a week, showing just how popular bespoke Bentleys are becoming. The only thing all of those designs have in common is that they are for individual customers — apart from that, each one is as unique as the rest.”
Most recently in the Middle East, Bentley created the ultimate collector’s model inspired by the Arabian Gulf’s rich pearl diving heritage — the Bentayga Mulliner Pearl of the Gulf. Just five of these exquisite W12-powered cars were hand-built by Mulliner, each featuring unique Mother of Pearl and Arabian Gulf-themed motifs.
The Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner, introduced in 2017, is the ultimate accessory for the falconry enthusiast, featuring a bespoke installation in the rear to house everything needed for a successful falconry expedition. This included a stowage tray with compartments for a GPS bird tracking unit, binoculars and leather bird hoods and gauntlets, as well as individual perches stored in a natural-cork-fabric-trimmed case
Taking inspiration from the prized Sinjari falcon, just four limited edition examples of the Mulsanne Sinjari were produced in 2016 for select customers in the Middle East. They featured captivating exterior colors as well as numerous other bespoke details, including gold-plated transfer overlay images of the Sinjari falcon inside the cabin.
And at the end of 2014, Mulliner unveiled another exclusive series of cars devoted solely to the Middle East region. With only 15 models produced, the ultra-exclusive Mulsanne Majestic took Bentley’s then-flagship model, the pinnacle in luxurious, handmade grand touring, to the next level.


New Zealand to host festival of indigenous peoples at expo

The New Zealand pavilion will present the story of the Whanganui River.
The New Zealand pavilion will present the story of the Whanganui River.
Updated 22 July 2021

New Zealand to host festival of indigenous peoples at expo

The New Zealand pavilion will present the story of the Whanganui River.
  • Indigenous and tribal peoples’ economies provide the foundation upon which many modern societies are built and now flourish

New Zealand’s values-led approach to foreign affairs seeks to ignite connections between Indigenous and tribal peoples globally through the delivery of World Expo’s first-ever Festival of Indigenous and Tribal Ideas “Te Aratini,” during the Tolerance and Inclusivity Week at Expo 2020 Dubai from Nov. 17-19.
Expo 2020 will take place in the UAE, a place which, like New Zealand, is home to more than 200 nationalities. This shared diversity and respect for different cultures provides the ideal platform for Te Aratini to showcase the value of indigenous and tribal cultures.
Te Aratini will mark a culturally significant moment in the history of World Expos with New Zealand leading the collaboration of all participating countries to showcase the untapped potential indigenous and tribal peoples offer to solving global issues.
With the heralding in of Matariki, the Māori New Year, New Zealand is calling for international participants to join Te Aratini and be a part of the movement toward greater inclusion and acceptance of indigenous and tribal peoples’ knowledge and know-how.

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370k people worldwide identify as indigenous peoples.

“For many indigenous and tribal peoples, including Māori, our beliefs are grounded in ‘whakapapa’ (or genealogical connections) that establish relationships between people, the environment and the spiritual world. In the wake of the global pandemic, these beliefs and values can help shape the world’s much needed commitment toward empathy, sustainability, and intergenerational solutions for well-being,” said Nanaia Mahuta, minister of foreign affairs for New Zealand.
“Relationships are the cornerstone of Aotearoa New Zealand’s international connections. It is timely that Te Aratini will create a movement toward enhancing global relationships and exploring how to more proactively empower the resurgence and regeneration of indigenous economies. Globally, we can collectively build back better, fairer, more inclusively and more indigenously,” she added.
Indigenous and tribal peoples’ economies provide the foundation upon which many modern societies are built and now flourish. Approximately, 370 million people worldwide identify as indigenous peoples, and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals state that true sustainable development is not possible without “protecting the traditional knowledge and territories of indigenous people.”
Visitors to the New Zealand pavilion will be introduced to the story of the Whanganui River, one of the nation’s most precious natural resources and the first river in the world to gain legal rights under Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Act 2017.

The innovative legislation recognizes the river as a living and indivisible whole with indigenous values that guide and support its health and well-being.
The powerful, universal story is designed to encourage visitors to connect with and care for people and places and to create a paradigm shift from exploiting to valuing our relationship with natural resources.


UK fintech Napier sets up office at Dubai’s leading financial center

Salmaan Jaffery
Salmaan Jaffery
Updated 22 July 2021

UK fintech Napier sets up office at Dubai’s leading financial center

Salmaan Jaffery
  • Napier already works on AI-led anti-financial crime solutions with many organizations across MEASA, including the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, Central Bank of UAE and directly with DIFC

Napier, a provider of advanced anti-financial crime compliance solutions, has announced it has extended its global footprint by opening a new office at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the global financial center and leading fintech hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.
Located in the recently inaugurated Innovation Hub, part of the Dubai Future District, Napier’s new UAE base puts the regtech (regulatory technology) provider at the center of the region’s largest collection of financial services companies.
Salmaan Jaffery, chief business development officer at DIFC Authority, said: “The world’s leading financial and fintech institutions are based at DIFC and we are delighted to welcome Napier into the fold. Our new Innovation Hub is the region’s largest and most comprehensive innovation ecosystem and provides fintechs at all stages of their evolution with unparalleled access to a community of like-minded entrepreneurs, experts and technology innovators such as Napier.

The world’s leading financial and fintech institutions are based at DIFC and we are delighted to welcome Napier into the fold.

Salmaan Jaffery, Chief Business Development Officer at DIFC Authority

“We want to connect a wide range of large and small financial institutions and technology companies and create strong partnerships that will drive global innovation in the financial sector.”

HIGHLIGHT

Napier already works on AI-led anti-financial crime solutions with many organizations across MEASA, including the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency.

Napier already works on AI-led anti-financial crime solutions with many organizations across MEASA, including the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, Central Bank of UAE and directly with DIFC. The regtech has also made a number of key hires across support, sales, client and professional services that will be based in Dubai as it marks its further aspirations to continue to grow in the region.
Greg Watson, chief operating officer at Napier, said: “DIFC is recognized internationally as a leading global center for fintech and building a presence here will enable us to better serve our clients operating both locally and in international markets. Innovations in technologies to improve financial compliance are a key part of the huge ambition that we see across the UAE as it strengthens its position as a modern global financial hub, so it’s very important for us to be here.”
Headquartered in London, Napier works with international customers and has a presence in North America, Australia and Dubai, while its foothold in the APAC (Asia-Pacific) region was also strengthened recently with key senior hires from the industry and the addition of new offices in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.


Yas Island fireworks leave audiences spellbound

Photo/Supplied
Photo/Supplied
Updated 22 July 2021

Yas Island fireworks leave audiences spellbound

Photo/Supplied
  • The festive display is live-streamed on Yas Island’s Instagram channel for all to enjoy virtually as gatherings are prohibited as part of the island’s precautionary measures

The sky above Yas Island, one of the world’s leading leisure and entertainment hubs, illuminated with fireworks in celebration of Eid Al-Adha as Yas Bay Waterfront was covered in what is one of the UAE’s most highly anticipated firework celebrations, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi.
The festive display is live-streamed on Yas Island’s Instagram channel for all to enjoy virtually as gatherings are prohibited as part of the island’s precautionary measures. It is being held throughout the three nights of Eid on July 20, 21 and 22, at 9:00 p.m.
Located on the golden shores of Abu Dhabi — just 20 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi and 50 minutes from Dubai — Yas Island 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 a host of musical and family events — all within the 25-square-kilometer Island.


Valhalla: Hybrid supercar defines the mastery of driving

Valhalla is a new generation Aston Martin, it defines a new driver and driving experience and is a true ultra-luxury, exclusive British supercar.
Valhalla is a new generation Aston Martin, it defines a new driver and driving experience and is a true ultra-luxury, exclusive British supercar.
Updated 21 July 2021

Valhalla: Hybrid supercar defines the mastery of driving

Valhalla is a new generation Aston Martin, it defines a new driver and driving experience and is a true ultra-luxury, exclusive British supercar.
  • CEO Moers said: “Preserving the essence of an exceptional concept car is vital when meeting the challenge of bringing it into production

Aston Martin’s transformational journey is taking a huge step forward with the Valhalla concept car brought to production reality as a truly driver-focused mid-engined hybrid supercar.
Led by Aston Martin’s CEO Tobias Moers, Valhalla is the latest and most significant product of the brand’s Project Horizon strategy to date, a car that will broaden the model portfolio to reflect Aston Martin’s presence in Formula One, set best-in-class standards for performance, dynamics and driving pleasure, and drive the transition from internal combustion to hybrid to full electric powertrains.

The launch of Valhalla demonstrates Aston Martin’s commitment to building a range of exceptional mid-engined driver-focused cars.

Lawrence Stroll, Executive Chairman of Aston Martin

Aston Martin’s executive chairman Lawrence Stroll said: “Aston Martin’s first series production mid-engined supercar, Valhalla, is a truly transformational moment for this ultra-luxury brand. The launch of Valhalla demonstrates Aston Martin’s commitment to building a range of exceptional mid-engined driver-focused cars, a crucial next stage in the expansion of our product lineup. It also seemed fitting to unveil this stunning track-biased supercar at the home of motorsport and the home of the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team, marking Aston Martin’s return to the British Grand Prix for the first time in over 60 years, a true milestone.”
Built with chassis, aerodynamic and electronics expertise forged in Formula One, and a cutting-edge hybrid powertrain technology at its heart, Valhalla is a formidable technological showcase. Yet far from engineering the driver out of the loop, Valhalla’s sole focus is immersing them in a new kind of supercar driving experience.
With pinpoint handling, prodigious levels of downforce and a blend of instant battery-electric torque and the intensity of a V8 engine, Valhalla’s fusion of raw emotion and hybrid efficiency reflects a new era.
With a mid-engined 950 bhp gasoline/battery electric powertrain, new carbon fiber structure and aerodynamics shaped by the pioneering philosophy first seen in the Aston Martin Valkyrie, Valhalla will bring the perfect balance of hypercar performance and advanced powertrain, driving dynamics and uniquely sophisticated design materials to truly redefine the supercar sector.
CEO Moers said: “Preserving the essence of an exceptional concept car is vital when meeting the challenge of bringing it into production.
 “With Valhalla not only have we stayed true to our commitment to build a world-beating supercar, but we have exceeded our original aims. The result is a pure driving machine — one which exists right at the cutting-edge of performance and technology yet allows the driver to feel the emotion and thrill of complete connection and control.”