Amadeus partners with Saudi Tourism Authority to develop destination management in the Kingdom

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Updated 12 June 2022

Amadeus partners with Saudi Tourism Authority to develop destination management in the Kingdom

Amadeus partners with Saudi Tourism Authority to develop destination management in the Kingdom

JEDDAH: Travel technology company Amadeus has signed a deal with the Saudi Tourism Authority to provide a destination management system that would enhance tourism and mobility in the Kingdom.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 116th Executive Council of the UN World Tourism Organization, Nashat Bukhari, managing director of Amadeus, Saudi Arabia & Bahrain, told Arab News that the technology would help the Kingdom attract tourists and new businesses into the region.

“We provide an application to show the traffic situation, where the travelers are, and how to attract and convert travelers. Hopefully, this will attract many travelers and tourists to Saudi Arabia,” he said.

The ecosystem starts with inspiring the traveler about the destination, showing what they should expect to see, which enables travel agencies to book airline tickets, accommodation, and transportation accordingly.

“Amadeus is the world’s largest travel technology company, with regional offices in more than 114 countries,” he said.

The company holds a 77 percent market share in the Kingdom, providing technology services in tourism, airlines and hospitality.

The company uses sophisticated software associated with Microsoft Cloud to preserve the maximum amount of data.

The Madrid-based company works with many regional companies, including Saudi Arabian Airlines, The Red Sea Development Co., and Hilton Hotels & Resorts, in addition to public entities such as the Saudi Ministry of Tourism and the Saudi Ministry of Investment.

“We have hospitality systems to provide hotels, which can be used for reservations and property management,” said Bukhari.

Amadeus’ client segment also includes travel agencies, providing them with traveling systems to manage their workflow.

“We provide the travel agencies with technology to fulfill the needs of the travelers,” he said.

Amadeus recently developed a platform for Riyadh-based travel company Seera Group to speed up customer post-booking experience.

The company’s advanced post-booking technology solutions provide numerous optimization benefits, drastically reducing the time needed to reissue tickets across all Seera’s omnichannel touch points by automating the process.

According to a press statement, requests for ticket changes, whether made via Seera’s travel verticals on booking platforms, call centers, in-branch, or WhatsApp channels, can now be processed in less than five minutes.

Seera Group is also the first to use these technologies to issue and reissue tickets for Saudi government entities, the statement said.


Saudi Astra Industrial H1 profit zooms 202% to $85m as sales rise

Saudi Astra Industrial H1 profit zooms 202% to $85m as sales rise
Updated 13 sec ago

Saudi Astra Industrial H1 profit zooms 202% to $85m as sales rise

Saudi Astra Industrial H1 profit zooms 202% to $85m as sales rise

RIYADH: Saudi Astra Industrial Group saw its profit soar 202 percent to SR318 million ($85 million) during the first half of 2022, bolstered by a rise in sales.

The company’s net profit almost tripled from SR105 million in the same period in 2021, driven by revenue growth of over 10 percent, according to a bourse filing.

Its revenue surged to SR1.24 billion, compared to SR1.12 billion a year earlier, while the profit per share went up to SR3.97 from SR1.32.

During the second quarter, Astra Industrial Group’s Al Tanmiya Steel sold its stake in Iraqi unit Al Anmaa for Construction Materials Production in a SR731 million deal.

Its companies are involved in various industrial segments including pharmaceuticals, steel construction, specialty chemicals and mining.


Saudi Arabian Mining Co. emerges as TASI’s 5th-best performer

Saudi Arabian Mining Co. emerges as TASI’s 5th-best performer
Updated 26 min 27 sec ago

Saudi Arabian Mining Co. emerges as TASI’s 5th-best performer

Saudi Arabian Mining Co. emerges as TASI’s 5th-best performer
  • Analysts expect Ma’aden to maintain its solid performance throughout 2022, owing to its expansion plans

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian Mining Co., known as Ma’aden, ranked fifth among the top share price gainers this year on the Saudi stock index TASI buoyed by strong results and a thriving mineral sector.

Ma’aden’s share price in 2022 opened at SR39.25 ($10.5) and climbed to SR59 on Aug. 4, surging 53 percent.

A booming mineral industry fueled this rise in Saudi Arabia as, in recent years, the Kingdom has shifted its focus toward discovering and extracting minerals and metals to support its mining industry.

“There is over $3-trillion worth of minerals to be exploited in the Kingdom, which opens huge opportunities for minerals companies,” said Peter Leon, a partner in Johannesburg-based law firm Herbert Smith Freehills.

Leon advised the Kingdom’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources on drafting its new mining law.

Khalid Almudaifer, vice minister of MIMR, told Arab News that the ministry had established the mining sector’s infrastructure, allowing the Kingdom to leapfrog in both mining and sustainable mining.

FASTFACTS

• The company’s share price in 2022 opened at SR39.25 ($10.5) and climbed to SR59 on Aug. 4, surging 53 percent.

• Ma’aden reported a 185 percent surge in profit during the first quarter of 2022, hitting SR2.17 billion.

• The mining company has a market capitalization of over SR100 billion.

As the Kingdom revealed that it could be sitting on untapped mineral deposits worth $1.3 trillion, Almudaifer added that the $1.3 trillion estimate of untapped minerals is only a starting point and that underground minerals are likely worth even more.

In March, the state-owned firm announced its plans to increase production capacity and invest in exploration to tap into $1.3 trillion mineral reserves, a reason economist Ali Alhazmi believes that made Ma’aden shares lucrative, further leading to high performance.

Speaking to Arab News, Alhazmi explained that one of the reasons could be attributed to Ma’aden turning into probability last year, reaching SR5.2 billion, compared to SR280 million in losses in 2020.

The other reason could relate to its plan to double its capital by distributing three shares to shareholders, which has attracted investors to buy Ma’aden shares.

According to Abdullah AlRebdi, CEO of Rassanah Capital, the beginning of the third line of its ammonia production also helped the company’s fortune, especially when there was a considerable shortage of raw material for fertilizer. It is worth mentioning that the ammonia plant expansion is set to add over 1 million tons of ammonia production to reach 3.3 million tons, making Ma’aden one of the largest ammonia producers east of the Suez Canal.

Ma’aden reported a 185 percent surge in profit during the first quarter of 2022, hitting SR2.17 billion, amid a jump in commodity prices.

Analysts expect Ma’aden to maintain its solid performance throughout 2022, owing to its expansion plans and gold mining projects in Mansoura and Masarrah.

“By the end of 2022, Ma’aden will achieve SR9 billion in profit, a growth of 50 percent from 2021,” Alhazmi predicted.

As one of the fastest-growing mining companies worldwide, Ma’aden has a market capitalization of over SR100 billion and is one of the Kingdom’s 10 most prominent players.


Oil up, rebounds on renewed gasoline demand, weak dollar

Oil up, rebounds on renewed gasoline demand, weak dollar
Updated 10 August 2022

Oil up, rebounds on renewed gasoline demand, weak dollar

Oil up, rebounds on renewed gasoline demand, weak dollar
  • US crude inventories up more than 5 million barrels
  • Transneft restarts oil flows via Druzhba

NEW YORK: Oil prices rose on Wednesday, rebounding from losses early in the session on lift from encouraging figures on US gasoline demand and as a lower-than-expected US inflation figure drove investors into riskier assets.

Brent crude futures rose 68 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $96.99 a barrel as of 12:46 p.m. EST (1746 GMT). US West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained 83 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $91.33.

US stocks

US crude oil stocks rose by 5.5 million barrels in the most recent week, the US Energy Information Administration said, more than the expected increase of 73,000 barrels. However, US gasoline stocks fell sharply as implied demand rose after weeks of lackluster activity during what is supposed to be peak summer driving season.

“Everyone has been very much focused on potential demand destruction, so seeing implied demand showing an outsized rebound for last week has probably given some comfort to those really concerned about that,” said Matt Smith, lead oil analyst, Americas, for Kpler.

Gasoline product supplied rose in the most recent week to 9.1 million bpd, though that figure still shows demand down 6 percent over the past four weeks compared with the year-ago period.

US oil refiners and pipeline operators expect strong energy consumption for the second half of 2022, a Reuters review of company earnings calls showed.

US consumer prices were unchanged in July due to a sharp drop in the cost of gasoline, delivering the first notable sign of relief for Americans who have watched inflation climb over the past two years.

That contributed to a rise in risk assets including equities, while the US dollar fell more than 1 percent against a basket of currencies. With most worldwide oil sales transacted in dollars, a weakening greenback is supportive for oil. However, crude's gains were modest.

Druzhba pipeline

The market earlier slipped as flows on the Russia-to-Europe Druzhba pipeline resumed, alleviating fears of another squeeze on world energy supply by Moscow.

Russian state oil pipeline monopoly Transneft restarted oil flows via the southern leg of the Druzhba oil pipeline, RIA news agency said.

Ukraine had suspended Russian oil pipeline flows to parts of central Europe since early this month because Western sanctions prevented it from receiving transit fees from Moscow, Transneft said on Tuesday.


Insilico raises $35m in Series-D round led by Aramco-backed Prosperity7 Ventures

Insilico raises $35m in Series-D round led by Aramco-backed Prosperity7 Ventures
Updated 10 August 2022

Insilico raises $35m in Series-D round led by Aramco-backed Prosperity7 Ventures

Insilico raises $35m in Series-D round led by Aramco-backed Prosperity7 Ventures

RIYADH: US-based Insilico Medicine has raised an additional $35 million in a Series D funding round led by Aramco-backed Prosperity7 Ventures.

According to FierceBiotech, with this new round the total Series D financing has reached $95 million.

The funds will allow the company to expand its artificial intelligence platform into other areas such as sustainable chemistry, green energy and agriculture.

The financing brought in Prosperity7 Ventures as a new investor.


Emirates airline invests over $2bn to boost customer experience 

Emirates airline invests over $2bn to boost customer experience 
Updated 10 August 2022

Emirates airline invests over $2bn to boost customer experience 

Emirates airline invests over $2bn to boost customer experience 

RIYADH: Dubai-based Emirates airline is investing over $2 billion to boost its inflight customer experience, according to a statement. 

The investment includes a program to retrofit over 120 aircraft with the latest interiors, in addition to an array of other service improvements across all cabins starting in 2022.

“While others respond to industry pressures with cost cuts, Emirates is flying against the grain and investing to deliver ever better experiences to our customers,” President Tim Clark said.

“Through the pandemic we’ve continued to launch new services and initiatives to ensure our customers travel with the assurance and ease, including digital initiatives to improve customer experiences on the ground,” he added. 

The airline’s latest initiatives include upgraded meal choices, new vegan menu, a “cinema in the sky” experience, cabin interior upgrades and sustainable choices.