UAE proptech startup Stella Stays enters Saudi market

UAE proptech startup Stella Stays enters Saudi market
Stella Stays offers holidaymakers, business travelers, and residents a seamless hospitality experience, through leveraging ground-breaking technology and modern service.
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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.’’


New Audi A8: The ultimate luxury driving experience

New Audi A8: The ultimate luxury driving experience
Updated 13 August 2022

New Audi A8: The ultimate luxury driving experience

New Audi A8: The ultimate luxury driving experience

As a successor to the classic Audi V6, the A8 has been the brand’s leading edge in the luxury sedan segment since 1994. The new Audi A8 is a symbol of the status and prestige of one of the world’s most distinguished carmakers. With precision in all details and expanded intelligent functions, the new A8 is a high-value technology pioneer in user-centered and confident mobility. Audi’s luxury sedan is all set to capture both the imagination and hearts of the Kingdom’s drivers with its enhanced levels of power, look and performance.

The new Audi A8 exudes authority with an exterior that is more representative, confident, and athletic, announced by the new single frame “Winglets design.” The precisely orchestrated design elements in the front of the new A8 significantly increase presence and authority and sharpen the profile of the brand’s top model.

From a side view, the luxury sedan’s progressive character is particularly eye-catching. Stretched lines in the body of the car emphasize its length, while wide wheel arches hint at the standard quattro all-wheel drive. Additionally, the new Audi A8 PI comes in an S Line package, which gives a sportier look.

Personalization is available through Audi Exclusive, customizing of the interior and exterior color, belts, trim, and exterior trim. The color swatch for the new A8 features 11 colors, including the new metallic District Green, Daytona Gray, and Ultra Blue.

The new “digital matrix” LED headlights offer five animation design effects for exit and entry as Audi is known for being the world’s leading brand for automotive lighting technology. Comparable with video projectors, the headlights use digital micromirror device technology, with each headlight containing 1.3 million micromirrors that break down the light into tiny pixels, allowing the lights to be controlled with maximum precision.

The interior of the new A8 is comparable with a spacious, widely tailored lounge, offering an open, feel-good space, illuminated by a power panoramic sunroof. At night, the 30 LED ambient lighting array elegantly stages the interior, with reading lights in the rear utilizing matrix LED technology. The relaxation seat in the new A8 offers the highest degree of comfort for both self-driven and chauffeur cars, spacious and comfortable from both front and rear. The all-leather seats are equipped with a heating and cooling system. Front and back seats offer up to eight massage functions, plus total relaxation with the footrest massage functions. Passengers can use it to have the bottoms of their feet warmed and massaged.

A standout of the enhanced new A8 is the predictive active suspension, which leverages the navigation to prepare the vehicle for what is ahead. This fully active suspension system can load or unload each wheel with additional power and actively regulates the position of the chassis in any driving situation. This exciting advancement is coupled by more than 40 driver assistance systems.

The new Audi A8 L offers a 3.0 TFSI engine power with a 55 TFSI quattro V6 engine 250 kW. From 1,370 to 4,500 rpm, it pumps 500 Nm of torque into the crankshaft. From a standing start, it can reach 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds (L model: 5.7 seconds).

Car enthusiasts can now visit Audi Saudi Arabia showrooms to test drive the new Audi A8 L for an ultimate luxury driving experience.


Oman Air match day shuttle flights ready for takeoff ahead of World Cup

Oman Air match day shuttle flights ready for takeoff ahead of World Cup
Updated 13 August 2022

Oman Air match day shuttle flights ready for takeoff ahead of World Cup

Oman Air match day shuttle flights ready for takeoff ahead of World Cup

Oman Air, the national airline of Oman, continues to facilitate travel for football fans to this year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The airline will operate 48 “match day shuttle” flights between Muscat and Doha from Nov. 21 to Dec. 3. It offers wide-body service, including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, between Muscat and Doha. Passengers on shuttle flights will enjoy Oman Air’s award-winning products and services, both in the air and on the ground, and its signature Omani hospitality.

Return match day shuttle flights can be booked on the Oman Air website with prices starting from 49 Omani rials ($127) for economy class and 155 Omani rials for business class. Fares include fees, taxes, airport charges, and hand baggage allowance.

Passengers are advised to arrive in Doha at least four hours before the start of a match due to the high frequency of flights each day. In addition, all passengers must register for a Hayya card (fan ID) prior to their flight, as this is required for travel on all match day shuttle flights and for entry into Qatar.

Throughout the tournament, football fans can book their match day shuttle flights, which provide a smooth and comfortable 24-hour experience between Muscat and Doha. The service is intended to seamlessly connect fans to Qatar so that they can attend their respective matches. A no-check-in baggage policy also allows passengers to plan an easy-in, easy-out travel itinerary.

Football fans to the region can also visit Muscat to experience thrilling adventures, breathtaking natural beauty, and genuine Omani hospitality through a variety of stopover packages available from Oman Air Holidays. Whether stopping for a few hours, overnight or several days, Oman has something to appeal to every traveler’s itinerary.

Guests departing Oman should ensure that they are aware of all terms, conditions and pre-departure requirements for their flights.


Saudi EXIM Bank chooses SAS technology

Saudi EXIM Bank chooses SAS technology
Updated 13 August 2022

Saudi EXIM Bank chooses SAS technology

Saudi EXIM Bank chooses SAS technology

The Saudi Export-Import Bank has chosen to use SAS technology to increase the governance and efficiency of their risk operations and reporting with model risk management solutions.

The Saudi EXIM Bank was established in 2020 to promote the export of Saudi non-oil products and boost their competency across economic sectors in the global markets. The bank provides financing services, guarantees, and credit insurance with competitive advantages, to enhance confidence in Saudi products.

Saad Alkhalb, CEO of Saudi EXIM Bank, said: “We are thrilled to announce our decision to use SAS technology. SAS Model Risk Management was the next logical step given its proven methodologies and best practices to help us establish a risk-aware culture, optimize capital and liquidity, and meet regulatory demands. Through this project, Saudi EXIM Bank aims to deliver on the ambitious vision of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to diversify its economic base by promoting and enabling non-oil exports in line with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.”

“A unified platform can give a complete picture of financial and non-financial risks and swift decisioning as businesses’ requirements evolve ... the built-for-purpose content, role-specific user interface, and best-in-class, use-case-specific features of SAS Model Risk Management enable banks and financial institutions to maximize their investment for a variety of business objectives,” said Alaa Youssef, managing director of EMEA Emerging at SAS.


$10.6m ladies’ beach club to open at Jeddah Walk

$10.6m ladies’ beach club  to open at Jeddah Walk
Updated 10 August 2022

$10.6m ladies’ beach club to open at Jeddah Walk

$10.6m ladies’ beach club  to open at Jeddah Walk

Saudi leisure and entertainment group Tarfeeh Fakieh has finalized a landmark partnership with Blue Limits, a Jeddah-based company, for the management and operations of OIA Downtown, which will feature a ladies’ beach club, to be constructed in the Jeddah Walk development. The agreement, worth SR40 million ($10.6 million), establishes Blue Limits as the exclusive operational partner for OIA Downtown’s beach club, which will include two pools, a state-of-the-art gym, salon and lounges, and beachfront access, together with a host of luxurious dining venues.

The partnership to manage day-to-day operations of the boutique beach club comes as part of Tarfeeh Fakieh’s commitment to providing great service and an inviting ambiance to its visitors. Seeking to provide recreational services to residents of Jeddah and visitors to the coastal city, OIA Downtown’s scenic location and world-class service are set to elevate the leisure offerings within the heart of Jeddah’s corniche.

“We’re excited that our partnership with Blue Limits will further enhance the experience OIA Downtown was designed to provide,” said Jamil Attar, CEO of Tarfeeh Fakieh. “With help from our partners and our years of expertise within the leisure industry, we are confident that the OIA Downtown beach club will offer a wonderful experience for all, combining luxury with the lushness of nature.”

Since its founding in 1998 by prominent Saudi businessman Sheikh Abdul Rahman Fakieh, Tarfeeh Fakieh has developed an extensive and diverse portfolio across a range of fields. Thanks in part to its pioneering leadership, a tireless commitment to quality, and key strategic partnerships, the organization has developed many significant properties across Jeddah, such as Nobu Restaurant, Movenpick Al-Nawras and Fakieh Aquarium. Through 24 years of determined operations, the group has flourished within the leisure and entertainment sectors, offering memorable experiences to a wide variety of demographics and age groups within the Kingdom. With an overarching focus on “making Saudi families happier,” Tarfeeh Fakieh is poised to continually provide high-quality hospitality services to citizens, residents, and visitors, in line with the goals of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Blue Limits Hospitality is one of the leading operators in its field, driven by a team of skilled hoteliers and industry professionals to transform unique concepts into achievable results. The company prides itself on its years of expertise and aims to use its industry knowledge to help develop OIA Downtown into one of the premier beach clubs regionally.

Danni Rose, founder and CEO of Blue Limits, said: “This is truly an exciting time for tourism in Jeddah and across the Kingdom. We are equally excited to continue working alongside Tarfeeh Fakieh on making OIA Downtown one of the best-run beach clubs in the region.”

Catering to evolving consumer needs within the Kingdom, OIA Downtown will offer one of the region’s most prestigious seafront ladies-only clubs during the day. At night, the sweeping beachfront club will host a member’s lounge, restaurants, and outdoor cafes — all nestled on Jeddah’s corniche. OIA Downtown is scheduled to open in Q3 of 2022.


Autohub marks four years with eye on expansion

Autohub marks four years with eye on expansion
Updated 10 August 2022

Autohub marks four years with eye on expansion

Autohub marks four years with eye on expansion

Autohub celebrated four years of its success as one of the leading multi-brand auto care providers in Saudi Arabia — a one-stop shop for automotive repair solutions. Autohub, owned and operated by Abdul Latif Jameel Enterprises, is specialized in body and paint repairs, paint protection film, detailing, service maintenance, and much more.

The company operates in the Kingdom’s major cities through eight service centers in Jeddah, Riyadh, Makkah, Madinah, Taif and Dammam. Since establishment in August 2018, Autohub has been offering comprehensive automotive services to customers, and plans to further expand with more centers to open in the near future.

With customer satisfaction as the main goal of all its services, Autohub has been awarded several excellence awards and quality certifications, including:

•Best work environment 2022: Awarded by a specialized global authority for implementing best practices and providing superior work conditions for its employees for four consecutive years.

•Kodawari 2021: A Toyota-Japan certificate awarded to the best customer service workshop management.

•Moa’ama 2022: A certificate issued by the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources to businesses that equip their centers for customers with disabilities.

•ISO 14,001: Granted for repair, services of cars and storage/ sales of spare parts.

All of the above achievements can be attributed to Autohub’s team of professional advisers, engineers and workers. Autohub continues to align with major insurance providers and vehicle dealerships to enhance its repair services and make the customer experience smoother and more satisfactory. Moreover, the company continues to grow in providing automotive repair services to government and corporate sectors in various industries, such as modifying emergency vehicles to maintaining driving school vehicles.

“Autohub aims to continue to be the leader in the automotive repair and care industry through quality, expertise and on-time delivery and always exceed its customers’ expectations,” the company said in a statement.