Shaza Makkah wins ‘The World’s Leading Luxury Halal Hotel’ award

Comprising 251 guest rooms and suites, Shaza Makkah interiors convey a fusion of elegance and the spirit of classic Arabic decor that is inspired by heritage.
Comprising 251 guest rooms and suites, Shaza Makkah interiors convey a fusion of elegance and the spirit of classic Arabic decor that is inspired by heritage.
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Updated 20 December 2021

Shaza Makkah wins ‘The World’s Leading Luxury Halal Hotel’ award

Comprising 251 guest rooms and suites, Shaza Makkah interiors convey a fusion of elegance and the spirit of classic Arabic decor that is inspired by heritage.

Shaza Makkah, the 5-Star hotel among the first in line hotels in Jabal Al-Ka’bah to Haram, has won “The World’s Leading Luxury Halal Hotel” at The World Travel Awards 2021.
The hotel is being recognized for the third consecutive year for its unique guest experience and world class services to visitors of Makkah.
Upon receiving the prestigious award, Bassam Khanfar, general manager said: “We are honored to be recognized by The World Travel Award as the World’s Leading Luxury Halal Hotel 2021. This milestone comes in line with our continuous efforts and commitment to provide the best hospitality service and create a memorable experience for all of our guests.”
Comprising 251 guest rooms and suites, Shaza Makkah interiors convey a fusion of elegance and the spirit of classic Arabic décor. Its contemporary art inspired by classic silk route heritage evokes its wonder, artistry, the beauty of shapes and colors, the Middle Eastern charm along with other sophisticated details. These features make Shaza Makkah undoubtedly the perfect luxury escape that immediately embraces one with absolute serenity.
The World Travel Award brand is an ultimate hallmark of industry excellence, established in 1993 to reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries.


LuLu celebrates ‘king of fruits’ with mango festival

LuLu celebrates ‘king of fruits’ with mango festival
Updated 25 May 2022

LuLu celebrates ‘king of fruits’ with mango festival

LuLu celebrates ‘king of fruits’ with mango festival

As temperatures soar in the Kingdom, the region’s largest hypermarket chain, LuLu, has launched the “Kingdom of Mangoes 2022” festival to celebrate the much loved summer fruit, also known as the “king of fruits.”


The festival, which runs until May 31, is being taken up a notch this year, with more than 80 different varieties of mangoes from all over the world, including 25 local varieties. The event features a grand display and several interactive activities that shoppers can be a part of. A diverse range of mangoes, including totapuri, neelam, gudadath, badami, sindura, thoomi, samak and many more, is available at great prices in the stores as well as online. Apart from India and Saudi Arabia, mangoes have been sourced from Kenya and Thailand.


The festival was inaugurated on May 24 by Ram Prasad, charge d’affaires at the Indian Embassy in Riyadh, at the Riyadh Avenue Mall branch. Speaking at the launch, Prasad highlighted the growing trade ties between India and Saudi Arabia across all sectors in the backdrop of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the bilateral relations between the two countries. He also highlighted the pride of place that the Indian mango enjoys in the country’s global export basket, as India accounts for 45 percent of global mango production.


“LuLu has always been vibrant in its approach to showcase the freshest and most authentic range of mangoes and we’ve remained consistent with the quality we provide. Mangoes and summers are almost synonymous and this promotion will put forth an interesting showcase for the public. Everyone loves a good mango and we aim to raise the bar this year and put forward our best efforts to give the best shopping experience,” Shehim Mohammed, director of LuLu Hypermarkets Saudi Arabia, said.


For the “Kingdom of Mangoes” festival, LuLu has put up sampling booths where shoppers can get a taste of the different delicacies — a unique selection of mango-based items. The festival also offers various processed and packaged mango products, ranging from jams to pickles, pulps, chutneys and cakes.


LuLu Group has a reputation of being a one-stop shop for the multiethnic community of the region, with an international assortment of products catering to the tastes and preferences of every customer.


Spain’s IE Business School to provide leadership training to stc employees

Spain’s IE Business School to provide leadership training to stc employees
Updated 25 May 2022

Spain’s IE Business School to provide leadership training to stc employees

Spain’s IE Business School to provide leadership training to stc employees

In line with its strategy to invest in national talents and prepare future leaders, stc has signed a three-year agreement with IE Business School, a top-ranked international business school located in Madrid, Spain. The agreement reflects stc’s commitment to the continuous development of its professionals and to ensure that its group of middle managers, specifically men and women who are pre-section managers, section managers and directors, are prepared for leadership positions.

The agreement’s signing ceremony was held at the stc Academy in Riyadh, in the presence of Ambassador of Spain Jorge Hevia Sierra; Dr. Moudhi Al-Jamea, vice president of stc and dean of stc Academy; and Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, president of IE University.

Commenting on the agreement, Al-Jamea said: “The stc Academy’s vision is to be the learning and innovation hub in the Kingdom and beyond, with the objective of enabling the stc Group to drive digital and cultural transformation. Our aim is to develop future leaders with strategic capabilities through innovative learning solutions and experiences.”

De Onzoño said: “This agreement between IE Business School and stc is expected to benefit more than 2,000 individuals. Furthermore, the impact will be highly personalized, with each leadership program of the agreement focused on the specific needs of stc middle management employees and based on the company’s leadership and core competencies.”


BMW Group uses sustainable paints made from bio-waste

BMW Group uses sustainable paints made from bio-waste
Updated 24 May 2022

BMW Group uses sustainable paints made from bio-waste

BMW Group uses sustainable paints made from bio-waste

BMW Group is using innovative technologies in its efforts to improve sustainability and taking advantage of new options to conserve resources and reduce emissions from painting bodywork.

The BMW Group is the first automotive manufacturer worldwide to use matte paints made from biomass instead of crude oil at its European plants. In addition to this, BMW Group Plants Leipzig and Rosslyn (South Africa) are also using sustainably produced corrosion protection. Renewable raw materials such as bio-waste or waste from sewage treatment plants serve as the starting material for the paints. The CO2 savings determined in a TÜV-certified process amount to more than 15,000 tons of CO2 emissions between now and 2030.

“By reducing our use of fossil raw materials, we can conserve natural resources and lower CO2 emissions at the same time. To achieve this, we are increasingly relying on sustainability innovations in our supplier network,” said Joachim Post, member of the board of management of BMW AG responsible for purchasing and supplier network. “Innovative paints based on renewable raw materials are an important step in this direction.”

BASF’s innovative production process makes it possible to replace petroleum-based precursors, such as naphtha, with renewable raw materials from organic waste, starting in the early stages of paint production. This not only reduces consumption of fossil resources, but also avoids the CO2 emissions associated with the production, transport and processing of crude oil.

The corrosion protection and matt paints used at BMW Group Plants Leipzig and Rosslyn are chemically identical to the paints previously used, with all the same properties as conventionally manufactured body coatings.

 


UAE proptech startup Stella Stays enters Saudi market

UAE proptech startup Stella Stays enters Saudi market
Updated 24 May 2022

UAE proptech startup Stella Stays enters Saudi market

UAE proptech startup Stella Stays enters Saudi market
  • The Stella Stays Riyadh Olaya Tower, which will open its door in June, will offer modern, fully equipped, tech-enabled apartments and hotel suites

Emirati proptech startup Stella Stays has announced its expansion into Saudi Arabia, introducing the first tech-enabled residential hospitality concept in the region.

The Stella Stays Riyadh Olaya Tower, which will open its door in June, will offer modern, fully equipped, tech-enabled apartments and hotel suites, a co-working space, and recreational and commercial amenities.

Stella Stays offers holidaymakers, business travelers, and residents a seamless hospitality experience, through leveraging ground-breaking technology and modern service. Guests and residents in Saudi Arabia will be able to use the Stella Stays app to navigate the entire journey — from booking and managing their stays, checking-in, controlling smart home systems, to ordering a wide range of guest services. Payment terms are flexible and can be made through various methods, including debit, credit cards and crypto payments.

Riyadh and Jeddah are strategic locations for Stella Stays’ expansion with more than $1 trillion in real estate and infrastructure developments underway. The Kingdom’s economy has fueled solid growth in residential construction with developers progressing a booming number of freehold apartment projects. Saudi Arabia also offers some of the most attractive setup costs in the real estate sector in the region.

Mohammed Al-Ghussein, chairman of Stella Stays, said: “We are extremely proud of our launch in Saudi Arabia, and we believe that our vision for the future of living and hospitality aligns perfectly with Vision 2030, in transforming the Kingdom into a world economic center with blossoming tourism and entertainment industries. The speed of national development is phenomenal, with around 730,000 homes to be added to Riyadh by 2030.

Stella Stays aims to disrupt the Kingdom’s hospitality sector landscape by partnering with real estate developers and property owners, such as Four Direction Development, to provide an innovative residential hospitality concept, with unmatched profitability potential.”

Four Direction Development has extensive experience in terms of investment returns since 2014 with several development projects around the Kingdom.

“We are excited to announce our agreement with Stella Stays in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that will boost both the hospitality and travel industries. Stella Stays offers us, the property owner, hands-off management with real-time analytics that delivers significantly more income and less operational costs compared to traditional hotel models,” said Abdullah Al-Majed, co-founder at Four Directions Development.

Stella Stays’ real estate portfolio growth strategy in Saudi Arabia is through master leases or profit-sharing agreements with property owners and developers. To create a global real estate pipeline, the company uses proprietary algorithms that identify, evaluate, and select the most desirable properties around the world, based on location, financial projection, and trends.

Mohannad Zikra, CEO and co-founder of Stella Stays, said: ‘‘The digital economy, COVID-19, and tech-savvy millennials are driving massive behavioral shifts related to how people live, travel and work. Business travel is also bouncing back and increasing significantly, requiring the flexibility for longer stays.

When Stella Stays began operations in 2019, the average length of stay was three nights per booking. Today, the average length of stays has increased to 28 nights per booking, with many repeat guests and permanent residents. Stella Stays continues to capture these opportunities by creating modern living spaces, futuristic technology and a highly profitable business model. Our occupancy is now higher than the pre-pandemic level, reaching 100 percent around events such as Expo 2020 Dubai and the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix 2022.’’


ROSHN announces first integrated community in Jeddah, Al-Arous

ROSHN announces first integrated community in Jeddah, Al-Arous
Updated 24 May 2022

ROSHN announces first integrated community in Jeddah, Al-Arous

ROSHN announces first integrated community in Jeddah, Al-Arous
  • First integrated community in Jeddah will extend over approximately 4 million square meters

JEDDAH: ROSHN, Saudi Arabia’s national mixed-use developer, and a fully owned company by the Public Investment Fund, chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, announced its new venture, the Al-Arous community, during the Al-Hilal and Al-Ittihad match in Prince Mohammed bin Salman Cup Professional League.
The Al-Arous community will extend over approximately 4 million square meters, and includes more than 18,000 different residential units to suit all segments of society. Al-Arous is ROSHN’s second community, and part of a larger strategy of developing modern and vibrant neighborhoods in four regions and nine cities in the Kingdom.

The Al-Arous community will extend over approximately 4 million square meters, and includes more than 18,000 different residential units. (Supplied)


Al-Arous is located in north Jeddah, at a site that connects the population with the city’s main roads and public transportation network. The community will include parks, pedestrian walkways, bicycle paths, restaurants, cafes, schools and mosques, all of which will be developed to the highest standards. Like other ROSHN communities, Al-Arous is designed to offer a modern, open lifestyle, while preserving the Kingdom’s rich heritage and local urban designs. 
The development of ROSHN’s latest community is another important step toward the Vision 2030 ambitions of raising the quality of life of all Saudi citizens and boosting homeownership levels across the country.