Thailand showcases halal food offerings at LuLu festival

Thailand showcases halal food offerings at LuLu festival
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The festival was inaugurated in Riyadh by Don Pramudwinai, deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of Thailand, in the presence of Shehim Mohammed. (Supplied)
Thailand showcases halal food offerings at LuLu festival
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The festival was inaugurated in Riyadh by Don Pramudwinai, deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of Thailand, in the presence of Shehim Mohammed. (Supplied)
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Updated 20 May 2022

Thailand showcases halal food offerings at LuLu festival

Thailand showcases halal food offerings at LuLu festival

LuLu Hypermarkets across Saudi Arabia are hosting this week the “Thailand Halal Food Festival 2022,” featuring in-store promotions and online offers for more than 500 products from Thailand.

The event coincided with the visit of Don Pramudwinai, deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of Thailand, to the Kingdom from May 15-18.

The festival was inaugurated at LuLu’s outlet in Riyadh’s Atyaf Mall by the visiting minister, in the presence of Shehim Mohammed, director of LuLu Hypermarkets Saudi Arabia. In Jeddah, it was launched by Soradjak Puranasamriddhi, the consul general of Thailand, at the Amir Fawaz branch.

LuLu’s in-store promotion was co-organized by the Royal Thai Embassy and Team Thailand in Saudi Arabia. The event, which is running across all the hypermarket branches in Saudi Arabia from May 15-21, aims to introduce Thai products and cuisine to Saudi citizens and expatriates residing in the Kingdom.

Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, especially among those who appreciate historic architecture, pristine nature, and an abundance of flavorful food choices. As a beacon of cultural diversity, Thailand welcomes all nationalities, races, and religions from around the world. The country has a strong presence in the global halal supply chain as all Thai halal products consumed domestically and internationally are certified by the relevant national Islamic authorities.

Thailand leverages science, technology and innovation to ensure the quality and safety of its food products, reaffirming its capacity as the “Kitchen of the World” in the global food supply chain.

“Thailand is one of the food storehouses of the world and is known for its abundant agricultural produce,” said Mohammed. “Thai food is one of the trending and popular cuisines of the world and at LuLu, we work with suppliers to offer shoppers a wide variety of top-quality Thai goods. All this is being showcased at our Thai festival, which is part of a series of year-round national spotlights that add variety, dimension and excitement to the unique LuLu retail experience.”

Currently, Thailand practices the bio-circular-green economy model, which aims to utilize natural assets more efficiently with the least possible adverse impact on the environment. The key strategic areas are based on Thailand’s economic foundation and strengths namely, food and agriculture; medical and wellness; energy, material, and biochemicals; and tourism and creative economy.

Thailand plans to support innovative agricultural products and methods to enhance productivity and hopes to achieve comprehensive security in the key areas of food, health, energy, employment, and sustainable natural resources and environment. Important best practices and lessons learnt could also be exchanged with Saudi Arabia, as Thailand’s BCG model and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 are implemented respectively in the years ahead. 


Umm Al-Qura partners with Midwam to develop ‘Masar Experience Center’

Umm Al-Qura partners with Midwam to develop ‘Masar Experience Center’
Updated 28 November 2022

Umm Al-Qura partners with Midwam to develop ‘Masar Experience Center’

Umm Al-Qura partners with Midwam to develop ‘Masar Experience Center’

Umm Al-Qura for Development and Construction, the owner and developer of the upcoming multibillion megaproject “Masar Destination” in Makkah, has partnered with Saudi company Midwam, a pioneer in designing immersive experiences using the latest advanced technologies, to design and implement the Masar Experience Center as a cutting-edge visitor destination.

The latest visual, light and sound technologies will be used in Makkah for the first time to showcase the features of Masar Destination. This experience will also include a virtual theater with the latest 3D projection technology that will be updated with new visual content as the work on the project continues to progress.

The partnership will be supported by the expertise of Icaria Atelier, a cutting-edge company based in Seville that integrates design, storytelling, media, and technology to transform spaces into experiences and that has won several awards during Dubai Expo 2020.

Yasser AbuAteek, CEO of Umm Al-Qura for Development and Construction, said: “I am delighted to sign this agreement with Midwam to design and implement this Experience Center, which combines innovative technology with the essential investment and business information in order to engage existing and prospective stakeholders and to demonstrate how the Masar Destination is a unique and distinguished project.”

Khalid Al-Muawad, CEO and co-founder of Midwam, said: “The Experience Center will play an essential role in promoting and showcasing the destination to its potential stakeholders, investors and customers. We are also looking forward to working with our award-winning partner, Icaria Atelier, and using our expertise and know-how in the latest immersive technologies to achieve a world-class Experience Center for Masar Destination.”

Masar is being developed as an urban destination in Makkah that will offer unparalleled experiences to inspire each visitor while enhancing the quality of life of the city’s residents through a diverse range of hospitality, mobility, retail, entertainment, and other offerings. It aims to simultaneously preserve the spiritual and cultural heritage of Makkah while providing opportunities to boost the region’s economic potential.


ROSHN’s landmark development SEDRA welcomes first residents

ROSHN’s landmark development SEDRA welcomes first residents
Updated 28 November 2022

ROSHN’s landmark development SEDRA welcomes first residents

ROSHN’s landmark development SEDRA welcomes first residents
  • The national real estate developer passes a historic milestone as it hands customers the keys to their new homes ahead of schedule — becoming the first Saudi giga-project to deliver

ROSHN, the national real estate developer bringing new, sustainable modes of living to the Kingdom, has started the handover process at SEDRA, its landmark development in northern Riyadh, ahead of scheduled time. New homeowners are receiving the keys and title deeds to villas and townhouses located in SEDRA’s Phase 1, making them the first customers to take possession of properties in a ROSHN community.

“The handover of the first ROSHN home is a momentous occasion not just for ROSHN but for the Kingdom at large. While this marks another step on our journey to provide high-quality homes to the Saudi people, we are also driving change, creating a new concept of living, and adding to the quality of life of our citizens and residents. SEDRA will be the first project that sees our vision for the future become a reality on the ground and I am excited for our first residents to experience the ROSHN way of life,” said Group CEO David Grover.

ROSHN is facilitating the moving process for its customers by providing them with dedicated advisers that act as a single point of contact before, during and after the handover. New residents also have access to the ROSHN Contact Center, which can answer customer queries on a wide range of issues, from visitor access to how to take advantage of special offers provided by ROSHN’s partners.

SEDRA is ROSHN’s first project in the Kingdom and is being developed over eight phases in Riyadh’s vibrant northern corridor. The start of the handover process at its first phase makes it the first Saudi giga-project to deliver to customers. When completed, it will add more than 30,000 residential units to the capital’s housing stock and provide 20 million square meters of integrated neighborhoods supported by education and healthcare infrastructure, retail outlets, restaurants, parks, shaded footpaths, cycle tracks and carefully tended green spaces.

ROSHN is also bringing its vision to the Kingdom’s western region: ALAROUS, announced in May this year, will add more than 18,000 new homes to northern Jeddah’s housing stock. It features the same winning formula of amenities as SEDRA, including its “open living” design principle built around public spaces, green areas, communal facilities such as local majlis, and “living” streets characterized by curb-less roads and homes without perimeter walls.


SCE, Schneider sign deal to expand engineering training

SCE, Schneider sign deal to expand engineering training
Updated 27 November 2022

SCE, Schneider sign deal to expand engineering training

SCE, Schneider sign deal to expand engineering training

Schneider Electric, a global leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Council of Engineers to launch an accredited training program to build digital skills across energy and automation systems.

Both partners will provide specialized training courses for SCE’s membership. Doing so will create highly skilled professionals, strengthen the economy, and ensure that one in five private sector engineering jobs are held by Saudis.

“As the world moves toward a green power transition, we are committed to working with regional partners to ensure today and tomorrow’s generation of engineers has the skills and technologies they need for a new era of energy management. The Saudi Council of Engineers is one such trusted partner in this endeavor as we focus on delivering top-quality training within the Kingdom,” said Mohamed Shaheen, cluster president, Schneider Electric, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Abdulnasser Saif Al-Abdullatef, secretary-general of the SCE, said: “We are committed to promoting engineering within Saudi Arabia and upgrading its standards with a view to enhance the level of engineering talent and encourage innovation and creativity in the field. Our collaboration with Schneider Electric builds on our commitment and strategic efforts in this regard. Through a concerted and collaborative top-quality training in the Kingdom, we hope to build the next generation of engineers in Saudi Arabia.”

The MoU builds on a collective vision to enhance the capabilities of engineering and technical talent across the country, as well as to facilitate an exchange of engineering expertise and knowledge that will play a key role in the successful delivery of the Kingdom’s ambitious construction pipeline.

Schneider Electric aims to drive digital transformation by integrating world-leading process and energy technologies, end-point to cloud connecting products, controls, software and services, across the entire lifecycle, enabling integrated company management, for homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industries.


Ensuring a long drive for electric vehicles in Saudi Arabia

Ensuring a long drive for electric vehicles in Saudi Arabia
Updated 27 November 2022

Ensuring a long drive for electric vehicles in Saudi Arabia

Ensuring a long drive for electric vehicles in Saudi Arabia

Transportation is a major polluter, causing a significant chunk of greenhouse gas emissions. Greener ways of getting goods and people around are urgently needed and leaders gathering at COP27 in Egypt must make this a focus.

More electric vehicles are expected to hit the roads soon, followed swiftly by electric trains, hydrogen-powered planes and more sustainable shipping. By 2035, the largest automotive markets are expected to be fully electric — hardly a surprise as EVs tend to be up to four times more energy-efficient than the internal combustion engine-based vehicles.

When Saudi Arabia announced plans to achieve net-zero status by 2060, widespread adoption of EVs was always expected to go up a gear. With more than 15 million vehicles in Saudi Arabia in 2020 and nearly four-fifths of these being cars and other light vehicles, numbers are expected to go up in the coming years.

This is critical because the transportation sector consumes more than a fifth of the country’s total energy use, claims the Saudi Energy Efficiency Center. The Saudi government clearly — and rightly — wants to promote EVs in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

The Kingdom plans to ensure that 30 percent of the vehicles on the roads of Riyadh are electric by 2030. EV adoption is also fundamental to meeting the Saudi Green Initiative objectives, which include reducing carbon emissions by more than 278 million tons per annum by 2030.

In pursuit of this goal and wider economic diversification, boosting domestic production of EVs has come into sharp focus: The Kingdom plans to produce 150,000 EVs annually, and just rolled out its first homegrown electric vehicle brand Ceer, which will create 30,000 jobs and add billions of dollars to the economy.

Offering a comprehensive nationwide charging infrastructure to precede the introduction of EVs in the Kingdom has become paramount.

The recent EV Auto Show in Riyadh provided a glimpse of things to come — from promoting electric mobility to charging technology and the infrastructure required to make it possible.

We were proud to debut Schneider Electric’s EVlink Smart Charger in Saudi Arabia for the first time at the EV Auto Show to highlight our electric mobility and sustainability goals, alongside Abunayyan Trading Corporation, one of the most trusted names in the energy and water space in Saudi Arabia and the wider Gulf. This technology helps highlight the benefits of managing heavy EV energy load and reiterates our priority on renewable energy sources.

This technology stands out with its smart charging experience at home, in buildings, for fleets or in transit, helping customers and partners set the path of efficient planning and execution of projects — by going beyond the charging station and getting a comprehensive solution for an efficient EV charging experience.

The Saudi government is ramping up its efforts to develop EV infrastructure in a bid to increase efficiencies within the EV ecosystem in the Kingdom. Strategic partnerships are central to these efforts and as a key player in energy and automation, we see great value in partnering with government-backed giga-projects and smart cities to support and power the future of mobility in the Kingdom.

• The writer is cluster president, Schneider Electric, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.


Geidea launches CFP program to boost role of Saudi women in fintech

Geidea launches CFP program to boost role of Saudi women in fintech
Updated 27 November 2022

Geidea launches CFP program to boost role of Saudi women in fintech

Geidea launches CFP program to boost role of Saudi women in fintech

Saudi fintech company Geidea is launching an open and fully sponsored training program in partnership with The London Institute of Banking and Finance to support women in fintech in Saudi Arabia.

The six-week part-time course begins in February 2023 and is open to women who work in tech, fintech, or financial services. GeideAct is part of the company’s commitment to accelerate building an inclusive fintech sector. Graduates will receive a Certified Fintech Practitioner qualification.

The program covers key fintech topics, including how fintech impacts business models across banking and finance, different strategies for growth, and how risk and regulation affect fintech development across the globe. Participants will also learn about the latest technologies and how they impact product design and distribution.

Renier Lemmens, group CEO at Geidea, said: “By providing women in Saudi Arabia with access to training and development, GeideAct delivers a more inclusive, and diverse Saudi fintech talent bank. GeideAct is all about accelerated learning, and as the largest fintech in Saudi Arabia, we are giving back to a vast pool of young talents to help them to become future fintech leaders.”

The CFP program is for early to mid-career professionals and entails twice-weekly 45-minute sessions for six weeks, so that working professionals can fit their studies around their schedules.

Lemmens added: “We view the CFP qualification from LIBF as the first of many GeideAct programs. The program enables women to participate in the growth opportunities that the fintech sector offers. We are launching the GeideAct program in Saudi Arabia, and planning to introduce the initiative across all markets where we operate.”

Kareem Refaay, managing director of GCC and MENA at LIBF, said: “Leveraging over 140 years of excellence in the banking and finance industry, LIBF is delighted to partner with Geidea. Through collaboration on the Certified Fintech Practitioner qualification and the provision of world-class faculty expertise, we look forward to advancing female professional development in Saudi Arabia’s fintech sector.”

Course enrollment requires intermediate English language skills and a managerial role with exposure to fintech, technology, or financial services.

Interested participants can submit their application online via https://careers.geidea.net/job-invite/1002/ before Dec. 16; places are limited.