Cercle to host live concert on castaway island at W Maldives

Cercle to host live concert on castaway island at W Maldives
The white sandy beach and turquoise lagoon of Gaathafushi, a remote island a stone’s throw away from W Maldives, will serve as a stage for Monolink’s concert.
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Updated 25 July 2021

Cercle to host live concert on castaway island at W Maldives

Cercle to host live concert on castaway island at W Maldives

If you throw a concert in the middle of the Indian Ocean and there is no one around to hear it, does it still make a sound? You bet it does. W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International, has announced a collaboration with Cercle, a French media company known for filming and broadcasting music performances in the world’s most awe-inspiring places, to host an unforgettable live concert at Gaathafushi — the private castaway island at W Maldives. Streaming live on July 26, the hour-and-15-minute set will feature a performance by Berlin-based electronic musician Monolink with the island’s white sandy beach and turquoise lagoon serving as the stage. 

“From our Sound Suite recording studios to our intimate Living Room stages and DJ booths, there is always live music happening at a W hotel somewhere around the world,” said Carly Van Sickle, senior director, global brand marketing, W Hotels Worldwide. “For our next act, we’re excited to be collaborating with the visionaries at Cercle to celebrate the beauty and wonder of one of our most beautiful escapes — W Maldives — through the power of music.”

Cercle has produced and live streamed some of the most jaw-dropping musical performances ever filmed. From a hot air balloon above Cappadocia, Turkey and the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt to Glacier 3000 in the Swiss Alps and Mont Saint-Michel island in France, Cercle productions have amassed millions of views online. At sundown on July 26, Gaathafushi Island at W Maldives will join this list of iconic locations, becoming the first hotel to serve as the site of a Cercle show. 

“Cercle is all about great aesthetics, culture, nature and music, values which are shared by W, making this collaboration a groundbreaking no-brainer. When two entities have the same goal and vision, everything flows and expectations are exceeded,” said Pol Souchier, head of communication at Cercle. “That’s why we wanted to collaborate with W Maldives and the resort’s magnificent Gaathafushi Island. It’s a location we’ve been eager to feature on Cercle, and with Monolink, an artist long-awaited on the channel, we’re thrilled to celebrate the power of music with our loyal fan base alongside W.”

Electronic singer-songwriter Monolink is known for combining melodic techno with dreamy guitar-led folk. His performance will be live streamed via Facebook, Twitch, and Oculus Venues. Cercle will then work their magic to release the official performance video on their YouTube channel in August, which will be broadcast at select W Hotels around the world. 

This performance is meant to honor Gaathafushi, the remote island a stone’s throw away from W Maldives. Guests can take a two-minute speedboat ride to the secluded beach and enjoy more than 76,000 square feet of tropical playground by swimming in the surrounding lagoon, indulging in a candlelit meal on the beach prepared by a private chef, or simply relaxing and stargazing under a thatched-roof hut. W Maldives also offers an “Island Takeover” package where guests can book the entire W Maldives property, including Gaathafushi, for the ultimate castaway island experience. The resort is also home to one of the best reefs in the destination with vibrant colors of the coral forest and captivating, diverse marine life right at guests’ doorsteps.


Thakher Makkah to host three new Radisson hotels

Thakher Makkah to host three new Radisson hotels
Updated 21 September 2021

Thakher Makkah to host three new Radisson hotels

Thakher Makkah to host three new Radisson hotels

Radisson Hotel Group has announced the signing of three hotels within the Thakher Makkah megaproject, an urban development in the holy city. The Park Inn by Radisson Makkah Thakher City Tower West, the Park Inn by Radisson Makkah Thakher City Tower East and the Radisson Hotel Makkah Thakher City are set to open in Q4 2022. The new signings will add a total of 992 rooms and apartments, doubling the group’s portfolio in Makkah, a key target growth market in Saudi Arabia.

Elie Younes, executive vice president and chief development officer EMEA, Radisson Hotel Group, said: “We are delighted to announce this portfolio of three new hotels, as it not only accelerates our growing presence in Makkah, but also reaffirms our commitment toward the country and its future. The Thakher Makkah megaproject is designed to attract millions of pilgrims every year and will positively contribute to the country’s ambitious plan that aims to host 30 million Umrah visitors, as well as, hosting 6 million Hajj pilgrims by the year 2030. We remain committed to the country’s Vision 2030 and its initiatives to significantly increase the contribution of leisure and business tourism to the country’s economy. We would like to thank our business partners for their trust in our brands and teams as we look forward to an exciting and rewarding journey.”

Located within the Thakher Makkah megaproject, a mixed-use development comprising hotels, residential and retail units, the hotels are just a stone’s throw away from the holy site.

Abdulaziz Al-Aboudi, CEO of Thakher Development Co., said: “The keenness of international hotel companies to provide their services to the Thakher Makkah Project reflects the importance and value of the project as a prominent tourism destination in the holy city. Such cooperation gives an indication that we are on the right path to providing new distinctive hospitality and housing options, which is in line with Vision 2030. We are excited to announce the launch of further cooperation with Radisson Hotel Group, which we anticipate will be a fruitful endeavor.”

A combination of both hotel and residential options, the Radisson Hotel Makkah Thakher City will consist of 440 rooms and 206 branded residences, a lobby café, and an all-day dining restaurant. For leisure and recreation, the hotel will feature separate ladies and male gym facilities, while the meeting and event spaces will include five meeting rooms as well as three conference rooms.

Park Inn by Radisson Makkah Thakher City Tower West and Park Inn by Radisson Makkah Thakher City Tower East are designed to facilitate pilgrims’ stay and experience in the Kingdom. With clever use of color, contemporary design, and friendly and personalized services, guests can relax while fully embracing their pilgrimage.

Boasting 203 rooms, the Park Inn by Radisson Makkah Thakher City Tower West offers its guests a lobby cafe and an all-day dining restaurant. The upcoming Park Inn by Radisson Makkah Thakher City Tower East houses 143 rooms, a lobby lounge, and one restaurant.

The city of Makkah, situated 70 km southeast of Jeddah, is known as the holiest city in Islam. The main sources of economic activity in Makkah are the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage, with millions flocking to Makkah each year for worship and devotion. Since the seventh century, Muslims all over the world have visited Makkah, the birthplace of Islam. It is a pilgrimage that marks their observance of one of the five pillars of Islam and the fulfillment of a once-in-a-lifetime ritual.


KPMG Graduate Program hones Saudi talents

KPMG Graduate Program hones Saudi talents
Updated 21 September 2021

KPMG Graduate Program hones Saudi talents

KPMG Graduate Program hones Saudi talents

KPMG in Saudi Arabia has announced that a good number of Saudi nationals joined its graduate program this year, with many taking up internship positions across the firm’s various functions and offices in the Kingdom.

The KPMG Graduate Program is part of the company’s commitment to Vision 2030 and to developing and training Saudi talents. The program provides exceptional learning and professional development opportunities for young Saudis. It further aims to build a foundation of expertise for KPMG’s business through a combination of diverse assignments and a concentrated on-the-job development plan.

The three-year graduate program starts with attracting and recruiting top graduate talents, followed by on-the-job training, exam preparation training and mentorship. KPMG ensures young Saudi talents feel settled and have the required knowledge to perform their daily tasks up to a high standard. The ultimate goal of this program is to support young nationals to acquire knowledge, experience and pass the professional qualification that will help them start successful careers.

“Investing in our young Saudi talents is a strategic priority for KPMG. We want to nurture our young and dynamic local talents that will empower and equip the leaders of tomorrow,” said Dr. Abdullah Al-Fozan, chairman of KPMG in Saudi Arabia.

“The aim of our graduate program is to develop the next generation of leaders through challenging and interesting assignments, accompanied by comprehensive training sessions. They will be able to boost their resumes with solid work experience and accreditation,” he added.

KPMG in Saudi Arabia was established through its member firm KPMG Professional Services and has operated in the Kingdom since 1992. It has grown to become one of the largest professional service providers in the country, reaching a workforce of nearly 1,300, based in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar.


Bupa Arabia launches innovative telehealth platform for seamless customer experience

Bupa Arabia launches innovative telehealth platform for seamless customer experience
Updated 21 September 2021

Bupa Arabia launches innovative telehealth platform for seamless customer experience

Bupa Arabia launches innovative telehealth platform for seamless customer experience

Bupa Arabia for Cooperative Insurance has launched a new telehealth platform that delivers value-added healthcare services such as doctor-patient video consultations (telemedicine) and appointment bookings. The move is in line with the Ministry of Health’s “E-Health Strategy” and specifically, its efforts to expand the scope of telemedicine services in the Kingdom, especially after these services have proven their effectiveness and success during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also aligns with Bupa Arabia’s digital transformation objectives.

The Kingdom’s National Digital Transformation Unit recently lauded in a tweet the efforts made by Bupa Arabia in driving innovation in the Saudi healthcare sector in line with Vision 2030 and elevating the standards for digital health through its app.

Mohamed El-Missaoui, chief operating officer at Bupa Arabia, said: “Digital transformation is a key pillar in our strategy. We are committed to transforming the delivery of healthcare services by expanding our digital leadership and creating sustainable and accessible technological solutions.”

He said that Bupa Arabia, through its new telehealth platform, focuses on delivering the best customer experience for its members, directly connecting major healthcare providers with members to enable a seamless experience, and positioning Bupa Arabia as a pioneer of digital transformation in the Kingdom’s health insurance industry.

Commenting on Bupa Arabia’s digital transformation plans, El-Missaoui said: “We are proud to be working with the most prestigious partners from the healthcare sector in the Kingdom that include major hospitals and healthcare professionals while also further advancing our capabilities by partnering with other health tech platforms such as Okadoc and Sanar.”

Bupa Arabia’s new partnerships will contribute to creating a better healthcare experience as it will allow users to book instant appointments with doctors through Okadoc and stay connected to hundreds of specialists and doctors online with Sanar.

The introduction of the innovative telehealth platform completes the Bupa Arabia healthcare ecosystem, which also includes the Tebtom program. This unique program allows members to refill and receive medication, conduct home labs, and download the results, schedule a vaccination appointment, and conduct live chat sessions with Tebtom doctors to manage their chronic conditions, or receive maternity or childcare coaching with comfort and ease. Furthermore, members can access their electronic health records to download e-prescriptions and manage all other health-related documents. All these features are supported by best-in-class technology that integrates their information and documents in a single app.


Four Seasons Riyadh sparkles in green for National Day

Four Seasons Riyadh sparkles in green for National Day
Updated 20 September 2021

Four Seasons Riyadh sparkles in green for National Day

Four Seasons Riyadh sparkles in green for National Day

Saudi National Day is a time to celebrate tradition and the Kingdom’s prosperity with a grateful spirit. Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Center will once again sparkle on Sept. 23rd in celebration of the 91st Saudi National Day. Shining bright in green against the city skyline, the hotel will join the celebrations with sumptuous culinary offerings, traditional dance shows and experiences perfect for the whole family to enjoy.

“This annual celebration is one of the most anticipated highlights of the hotel’s social calendar,” said Guenter Gebhard, senior general manager at Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh. “We will be offering a myriad of National Day-inspired experiences for our guests designed to celebrate this special occasion with our community, as well as introducing our international guests to the traditions of the city and country in which our hotel resides.”

Guests visiting Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh during the Saudi National Day week can expect:

Traditional favorites at Elements

Guests are invited to celebrate the special day by treating their family and friends to an exquisite dining experience at Elements. Traditional offerings specially curated by the hotel’s Saudi chefs and live stations featuring favorite dishes from the region promise something satisfying for every appetite, from Sept. 21-24 from 7 p.m. to midnight. The experience is priced at SR270 ($72) + 15 percent VAT.

A festive feast at The Grill

Families are invited to gather for a traditional feast at The Grill, expertly prepared by the hotel’s Saudi culinary team. A mouth-watering family-style set menu of traditional favorites will be complemented by a festive ambiance with live entertainment, on Sept. 23 from 7 p.m. until midnight. The price is SR325 + 15 percent VAT.

Lively happenings at The Lobby Lounge

Light fare, an Arabic coffee station and a live marasea station await guests at The Lobby Lounge on Sept. 23 to celebrate this wonderful time of year. Traditional Saudi dance and live music entertainment will add a note of festivity to each gathering.

Rejuvenation at the spa

Serenity awaits at the hotel’s award-winning Spa and Wellness Center. Guests are invited to pamper themselves with signature treatments, therapies, or massages and get some well-deserved rest and relaxation during the Saudi National Day weekend, with 15 percent off treatments, from Sept. 22-24.

A fashion-filled staycation

This Saudi National Day, guests can explore the finest in luxury from the comfort of their suite and shop to their heart’s content from the global platform for luxury fashion, Farfetch. Celebrate this special occasion by enjoying a virtual styling session with a stylist, and access to Farfetch’s exclusive fashion concierge service.

To make the stay complete, complimentary breakfast, Skybridge tickets and a luxurious afternoon high tea experience are just some of the perks guests can enjoy during their stay.


Muvi to open five-screen cinema at Quwaieyah Mall

Muvi to open five-screen cinema at Quwaieyah Mall
Updated 20 September 2021

Muvi to open five-screen cinema at Quwaieyah Mall

Muvi to open five-screen cinema at Quwaieyah Mall

Saudi Investment Company, a developer, owner and operator of shopping malls in Saudi Arabia, recently signed an agreement with Muvi Cinemas, a homegrown cinema brand, to open a cinema complex at one of its malls, the Quwaieyah Mall, in Al-Quwayiyah city, Riyadh region. The state-of-the-art five-screen cinema, accommodating 650 moviegoers, will open in the summer of 2022.

Managing Director of SICO Sultan Fahad Al-Shathri said: “We are delighted to announce our plan to open a cinema complex in Quwaieyah Mall. This will strengthen our position as the market maker in providing special cinematic experiences to our patrons, enhancing their overall experience at our unique shopping mall.”

He added: “Taking a bold call in going to type B or C cities, our endeavor is to facilitate modern retailing and entertainment experience and boost engagement with the local population for employment/ business.”

CEO of Muvi Cinemas Sultan Fawaz Abdulaziz Al-Hokair said: “At Muvi, we believe people should experience movies and not just watch them, that’s why we brought you the best technology available, coupled with luxury and fun features for the entire family to enjoy.”

Muvi Cinemas is the first homegrown cinema brand in Saudi Arabia owned and operated by Muvi Cinemas Company. Muvi has an aggressive expansion plan over the next few months — by the end of 2021, the company plans to open an additional nine screens to have a total of 21 sites in eight different cities with a total of 209 screens, offering customers a vast range of unique experiences.

Al-Quwayiyah governorate is among one of the fastest developing regions, with a rapidly increasing population. Located prominently along the highway connecting Taif, Jeddah and Makkah, this governorate currently has 23 million square meters of new developments, undertaken by various ministries (approximately 60 percent are fully developed and the remaining 40 percent, including a new university, are expected to be ready in the next three years).

There are nearly 175,000 people residing in Al-Quwayiyah city and another 120,000 more people residing in nearby villages. Government support and promising living conditions are significantly helping local society at large.

Currently, Quwaieyah Mall is serving the needs of the city population, registering an increase in footfall month-after-month. The mall has been developed over a 70,000-square-meter area, having an outdoor parking space for nearly 800 vehicles. Currently, big brands such as Panda and Redtag are operating in the mall while the popular kid’s entertainment outlet Sparky’s is about to start their operations in November.