Take on the winter season with Germany’s enticing activities

Take on the winter season with Germany’s enticing activities
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Germany’s expansive seasonal activations and incredible roster of family-friendly offerings. (Supplied)
Take on the winter season with Germany’s enticing activities
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Germany’s expansive seasonal activations and incredible roster of family-friendly offerings. (Supplied)
Take on the winter season with Germany’s enticing activities
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Germany’s expansive seasonal activations and incredible roster of family-friendly offerings. (Supplied)
Take on the winter season with Germany’s enticing activities
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Germany’s expansive seasonal activations and incredible roster of family-friendly offerings. (Supplied)
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Updated 21 January 2022

Take on the winter season with Germany’s enticing activities

Take on the winter season with Germany’s enticing activities
  • South German states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg are popular for its snow-capped mountaintops and alpine ski trails

GCC travelers looking to gain authentic winter experiences should look no further than Germany’s expansive seasonal activations and incredible roster of family-friendly offerings. The abundant wonderland of mountains and castles has created an infamous status for the country during the winter season, reminiscent of a charming icy fairytale. Visitors to Germany can sight-see, ski, hike, snowboard or go sledding at one of the many outdoor parks and recreation areas around.

The south German states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg are popular for its snow-capped mountaintops and alpine ski trails, and while the temperatures often average 0°C, the exciting sporting activities available will warm skiers up in no time.

Ski lovers can enjoy an array of Bavarian Alpine resorts with options for beginners, families, and sporting pros. The town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, only an hour outside Munich, features an array of outdoor activities perfect for winter strolls amid mountainous views, crystal clear lakes, and fresh pine forests.

For those looking for a more calming scene, cable car trips in Baden-Württemberg offer incredible views of the magnificent Black Forest dotting the mountain range.

“Germany’s luscious winter landscapes are the perfect backdrop for long walks, bike rides, and exciting sports such as skiing and snowboarding. We welcome GCC travelers to wrap up warm and explore the bountiful countryside vistas afforded by the cooler temperatures,” said Yamina Sofo, director of sales and marketing of the German National Tourist Office.

For an authentic German experience and the chance to grab some local souvenirs or shop for loved ones, seasonal shops are perfect for presents for the whole family, showcasing the region’s customary traditions and urbanized artisan trinkets.

Located in the south-west of Germany in the town of Rust, Europa Park is one of the most popular amusement parks in Europe. The attraction has won the global title of Best Amusement Park in the World for four consecutive years. Along with the thrilling rides and joyful show programs, the inviting scent of cosy hot chocolate and warm treats will leave any visitor in awe and eager to book their next visit before leaving.

The breathtaking beauty of the Black Forest is accentuated as snow piles into the pathways of the Lichtentaler Allee Park. A variety of charming cafes is also available for visitors to enjoy a cup of coffee while taking in the view, or those taking a break from the ski slopes and toboggan runs. For travelers wanting to warm up away from the cold climate, the State Art Gallery Baden-Baden and the Museum Frieder Burda are connected by a glass bridge and open yearly for tourists to explore.


Saudi Arabian Airlines & American Express extend partnership

Saudi Arabian Airlines & American Express extend partnership
Updated 17 May 2022

Saudi Arabian Airlines & American Express extend partnership

Saudi Arabian Airlines & American Express extend partnership

Saudi Arabian Airlines, the Kingdom’s national flag carrier, and American Express Saudi Arabia, have further strengthened their partnership by introducing the possibility for all American Express Saudi Arabia Cardmembers to transfer two Membership Rewards points for one Al- Fursan mile.

The announcement comes as an extension of the ongoing successful partnership between the two parties through the existing Al-Fursan American Express co-branded credit card that allows American Express Saudi Arabia Cardmembers to earn miles directly using the card.

Present to mark the occasion during a signing ceremony at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, were Saudia’s Vice President of Marketing and Product Management Essam Akhonbay and American Express Saudi Arabia Chief Marketing Officer Khalid Mohammad Kayal.

Commenting on the expanded partnership, Akhonbay said: “Saudia is proud to be building on the successful, long-standing partnership with American Express Saudi Arabia. Jointly, we are committed to providing members with additional convenience to maximize earned benefits and build travel journeys with flexibility in mind.”

Kayal added: “Consolidating our strategic partnership with Saudia for the benefit of our cardmembers is an important priority. The relationship with Saudia started with the successful Al-Fursan American Express co-brand credit card, and through signing our new agreement, all American Express Saudi Arabia Cardmembers will be able to access the benefit of our strategic partnership and redeem their Memberships Rewards points toward Al-Fursan miles.”

Saudia’s vast network of flights connects to more than 95 destinations across four continents. The airline recently announced the addition of 10 new international routes: Bangkok, Thailand; Barcelona and Malaga, Spain; Marrakech, Morocco; Mykonos, Greece; Moscow, Russia; Beijing, China; Seoul, South Korea; Entebbe, Uganda; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and Chicago and Illinois, the US. The airline provides a full suite of online services through www.saudia.com and its mobile app, enabling guests to book and manage their flights conveniently and easily.


Executive Suites Hotels & Resorts launches at ATM

Executive Suites Hotels & Resorts launches at ATM
Updated 17 May 2022

Executive Suites Hotels & Resorts launches at ATM

Executive Suites Hotels & Resorts launches at ATM

Abu Dhabi-based hospitality management company, Executive Suites Hotels and Resorts, founded in March 2022, successfully launched at the recent Arabian Travel Market 2022, introducing its core hospitality product and service offering.

The company is currently managing the Executive Suites hotel, centrally located in Al-Nahyan Camp area, Abu Dhabi, near top-tier corporate entities and government entities and major malls. Located only 10 minutes away by car from Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Executive Suites is a perfect location for local residents and visitors coming to the UAE for both business and pleasure.

Mahmoud Tharwat, hotel manager of Executive Suites Abu Dhabi, said: “We are excited to use the ATM as a platform to introduce our hospitality management offering and showcase the USP of our main hotel in Abu Dhabi.”

“Whether you are working, relocating or traveling with your family, our elegantly decorated 120 studios and apartments offer a host of amenities like LCD televisions, cable/ satellite TV, an in-room safe and coffee and tea making facilities,” he added.

The hotel offers free high-speed wireless internet, business center services, same-day laundry and dry cleaning services, travel and tours reservations, a multilingual team, a shoeshine service, 24-hours concierge services and a massage center for tired travelers. For leisure and recreation, facilities include a roof-top pool, sauna and a fully equipped gym.

For added convenience, the hotel has within the property the L’Auberge Palace Restaurant and Cafe serving traditional Lebanese cuisine. It also serves international dishes, snacks and a selection of teas and coffees. At Rooftop Café, patrons can enjoy an assortment of the best shisha flavors.

The in-room amenities that add convenience to long-term stay guests include: A fully-equipped kitchenette, washing machine, writing desk, IDD telephone facility, choice of smoking and non-smoking rooms and accessible rooms for people of determination.

Executive Suites is ideally located in the hub of Abu Dhabi and meets the needs of local residents and travelers from abroad. The management services of the hotel are provided by the parent company, Executive Suites Hotels and Resorts.


SAP, strategic partners to spotlight KSA’s cloud momentum at event

SAP, strategic partners to spotlight KSA’s cloud momentum at event
Updated 17 May 2022

SAP, strategic partners to spotlight KSA’s cloud momentum at event

SAP, strategic partners to spotlight KSA’s cloud momentum at event

At the forthcoming SAP RISE on the Road event in Riyadh, SAP SE and its strategic partners Google Cloud and Deloitte will highlight the impact and importance of cloud computing in enabling organizations in Saudi Arabia to adapt and digitize their business operations.

With digital transformation fueling significant change in the country’s business environment, organizations in Saudi Arabia and the wider region have seen a demand for agile and scalable IT infrastructures and business solutions that are not only efficient, but quick to adapt to changing scenarios, enabling seamless adoption of new technologies and encouraging new business models.

Ahmed Al-Faifi, senior vice president and general manager, Middle East North, SAP, said: “Cloud computing is a vital aspect of Saudi Arabia’s overall digital transformation strategy, in line with the country’s Vision 2030. With SAP, cloud is not just about infrastructure, but more about innovation. We are collaborating with both the public and private sectors in the Kingdom to modernize, standardize and digitize their operations, resulting in new business models and revenue streams. For Saudi Arabia, cloud services are the true enablers of tomorrow’s highest value solutions, today.”

The year 2022 has already delivered key milestones in the Kingdom’s move toward cloud adoption, with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology signing an MoU with SAP to collaborate in areas such as SAP’s cloud services and software solutions to power the country’s communications and information technology landscape. SAP also received Class C certification of its cloud data center in Saudi Arabia from the Communications and Information Technology Commission.

Set to speak at the SAP event, Abdul Rahman Al-Thehaiban, managing director, Turkey, Middle East and Africa at Google Cloud, said: “Since we joined the RISE program, Google Cloud has driven tremendous momentum, with global brands like Siemens Energy, Carrefour, Cisco and Veolia selecting Google Cloud for their RISE deployment. And in Saudi Arabia, we are beginning to see momentum from customers selecting Google Cloud for SAP RISE as businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the reliability, scalability and security that the cloud can provide. Together with SAP, we will support businesses in their digital transformation journeys in the Kingdom and maximize the potential of customers migrating to the cloud to achieve a compelling return on investment.”

Yannick Jacques, SAP EMEA leader, Deloitte, added: “Saudi Arabia is an ideal environment for the adoption of a cloud infrastructure — this approach reduces total cost of IT ownership and simplifies it, all while scaling infrastructure, reducing maintenance, accelerating business transformation, and enabling innovation acceleration. By working with SAP as our partner, Deloitte is delivering cloud solutions in the Kingdom today that enable tomorrow’s more digital world.”

The RISE on the Road tour, which is making a stop at major cities across the Middle East as well as in Europe and Africa, will bring leaders across industries together, with SAP showcasing its latest technologies and services targeted at organizations to better grow toward a complete digital transformation.


DETASAD unveils latest technology

DETASAD unveils latest technology
Updated 17 May 2022

DETASAD unveils latest technology

DETASAD unveils latest technology

DETASAD, Saudi Arabia's leading infrastructure provider and key contributor to the ICT sector, officially revealed its breakthrough “Dynamic Bandwidth Optimization” technology at the SATELLITE 2022 show in Washington, DC. Along with strategic partners including Intelsat, operator of the world’s largest integrated satellite and terrestrial network, DETASAD is redefining the way satellite companies can serve their end-users with Bandwidth-as-a-Service managed solutions.

As one of four solutions patented by DETASAD in 2022, this disruptive technology will power solutions allowing DETASAD and its partners to bring satellite-enabled, consumption-based IoT and edge computing services to new customers in verticals including government, finance, health, mining, education, and “Industry 4.0” organizations. These services will meet organizations’ growing needs for solutions with hyperscale type performance and convenience, delivering full data- and workload flexibility anytime and anywhere on a pure consumption model and without bandwidth and latency limitations.

The ideator behind the revolutionary patent, Mr. Felix Thomas Wass, President & CEO of DETASAD stated: “This technology and our strategic partnership with Intelsat, the global satellite innovator and leader, makes bandwidth and satellite technology relevant and competitive opening new revenue streams for the satellite ecosystem and unlocking value across the community of current and potential future satellite users. This creates satellite as a clear alternative to fixed and mobile terrestrial applications.”

In a blog post, Jean-Philippe Gillet, SVP Global Sales at Intelsat, said, “It’s remarkable how much innovation there is within and around satellite connectivity, and we are pleased to be an enabler for transformative ideas like DETASAD’s Bandwidth-as-a-Service solution. Edge-compute services are one of the keys to helping customers take advantage of the reach and reliability of the Flex network.”


Hyundai shares vision for self-driving robotaxis

Hyundai shares vision for self-driving robotaxis
Updated 16 May 2022

Hyundai shares vision for self-driving robotaxis

Hyundai shares vision for self-driving robotaxis

Hyundai Motor Company has launched a global manifesto campaign called “Innovation Begins, from Very Human Things” to share its vision for self-driving robotaxis. Motional, a global leader in driverless technology, will work in partnership with ride-hailing services to deploy the Level 4 autonomous vehicles across major US cities starting in 2023.

The all-electric Ioniq 5-based robotaxi, which was first unveiled at 2021 IAA Mobility to much acclaim, is an SAE Level 4 autonomous vehicle that can safely operate without a driver. To make the robotaxi a reality, Hyundai partnered with Motional, to equip the award-winning Ioniq 5 with an array of hardware and software to provide safe and secure driverless operation.

Hyundai’s vision for the technology and customer experience resonates with the assertion that the Ioniq 5 robotaxi is “a mobility solution with humanity inside — not just without a human driver.”

In line with Hyundai’s brand vision of “Progress for Humanity,” the company’s aim for the robotaxi is to go fully autonomous while retaining a humanistic touch. This narrative is depicted through two videos of the recently launched campaign.

The two campaign videos emphasize the humanistic qualities of robotaxis, showing how they adopt safe driving behaviors and care for passengers. The first episode emphasizes the robotaxi’s actions resembling those of a careful, considerate driver and the second episode focuses on the robotaxi taking care of passengers from teenagers to disabled and elderly.

In the first episode, a female engineer working in an autonomous lab for the Ioniq 5 robotaxi is inspired by her childhood memories of her father always driving carefully and considerately. Then, she applies his driving qualities when working on safety technologies for the Level 4 autonomous vehicle, which is later seen stopping for a cyclist, pulling over for emergency vehicles, and safely making a left turn after yielding to oncoming traffic.

The second episode starts by showing a robot engineer-inspired teen taking a ride in the Ioniq 5 robotaxi with her friends after school. They are surprised and delighted to see that the car is driving by itself and one of her friends unbuckles his seatbelt, causing the car to alert him to buckle up, much like a parent would if present. The video highlights how the self-driving robotaxi represents a mobility solution that anyone, including teenagers, disabled and elderly, can safely take a ride under any circumstances.

Hyundai and Motional plan to begin transporting public passengers in the Ioniq 5 robotaxi in 2023, starting in Las Vegas and then expanding to major cities in the US and globally.