Amazon supports Saudi entrepreneurs to establish logistics startups

Saudi Arabia is the first country in the region to host the flagship Delivery Service Partner program from Amazon. (Supplied)
Saudi Arabia is the first country in the region to host the flagship Delivery Service Partner program from Amazon. (Supplied)
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Updated 18 June 2022

Amazon supports Saudi entrepreneurs to establish logistics startups

Amazon supports Saudi entrepreneurs to establish logistics startups
  • Saudi Arabia is the first country to roll out the program that will expand later to cover the MENA region
  • The initiative will result in 30 new startups and hundreds of job opportunities in the first three years

RIYADH: Amazon has announced the launch of the latest iteration of its global Delivery Service Partner program that empowers local entrepreneurs to set up and manage their own logistics businesses delivering Amazon packages. Saudi Arabia is the first country in the region to host the flagship program, which will be expanded to cover the MENA region at a later stage. Launched in collaboration with Monsha’at — the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises — it aims to establish more than 30 new local startups and create hundreds of job opportunities within the local logistics sector during the program’s first three years. 

The Delivery Service Partner program was announced during a ceremony held at Monsha’at’s headquarters in Riyadh and attended by the authority’s Governor Saleh Al-Rasheed and Ronaldo Mouchawar, vice president of Amazon MENA. Amazon has teamed up with Monsha’at for the launch as part of an ongoing partnership designed to empower communities by creating jobs and opening new career paths for Saudi nationals. The company remains committed to helping small businesses succeed, including the sellers and distribution partners that form a fundamental part of Amazon’s ecosystem.

Saudi entrepreneurs who join the Delivery Service Partner program can take advantage of various benefits, including a specific delivery volume from Amazon, access to the company’s sophisticated delivery technology, hands-on training, and discounts on a suite of assets and services such as Amazon-branded vehicles, branded uniforms, and comprehensive insurance. 

Last March, Amazon signed an MoU with Monsha’at to empower local seller SMEs. Amazon’s new initiative to nurture logistics startups further aligns with Monsha’at’s vision to incentivize and invest in SMEs. As the program grows, it will create hundreds of jobs in the logistics sector across the country, supporting Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning e-commerce sector and upskilling local talent with future-ready skills. The company’s collaboration with Monsha’at also aligns with the national goal of developing a robust public-private partnership ecosystem and demonstrates how public-private partnerships can pave the way for businesses and entrepreneurs to succeed and thrive. 
Speaking about Amazon’s new initiative, Al-Rasheed said: “Small and medium enterprises are a key contributor to the national economy and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 diversification goals. We at Monsha’at are keen to support and enable this vital sector through several programs, agreements, and public-private sector partnerships. This initiative from Amazon clearly reflects this spirit of cooperation and represents a key outcome of the agreements signed during the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, which was organized by Monsha’at in cooperation with the Global Entrepreneurship Network. We look forward to this ambitious program achieving its goal of supporting the entrepreneurial environment in the Kingdom and emerging as a leading model for partnerships between the public and private sectors.”

Mouchawar said: “Saudi Arabia has always had a culture of entrepreneurship, and its small business owners inspire us with their vision, grit, and ingenuity as they set new benchmarks in customer-centric thinking every day. At Amazon, we reiterate our commitment to championing SMEs across the region. With our new Delivery Service Partner program, we provide the tools, technology, and know-how for any interested Saudi entrepreneur to set up and run their own logistics company. Through this initiative, we aim to empower enterprising innovators, enable startups and emerging brands across the Kingdom to realize their full potential, and contribute to Saudi Arabia’s strong, fast-growing digital economy.”

Amazon will take an active role in its partnership with each entrepreneur, helping to minimize startup costs by securing the most favorable terms for resources needed to operate a delivery business. As a key global player with more than 20 years of operational and technological experience, the DSP 2.0 program allows Amazon to support the growing appetite for entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia. The company is also creating career opportunities that are in line with Saudi Arabia’s national ambitions to invest in educating and training Saudi nationals to become successful entrepreneurs. 

The first entrepreneur to join the Delivery Service Partner program, Sahal Shuaib, said: “With e-commerce on the rise over the past few years, I had been dreaming about getting into the logistics industry for some time, but did not have the experience or the knowhow. When Amazon launched the Delivery Service Partner program, I realized that my dream became a reality, as the program provided me access to Amazon’s global logistics experience and technology. This is an excellent opportunity to learn while I earn and grow my own business. I am proud to say we rolled out our first deliveries to Saudi customers last week. With a specific delivery volume from Amazon and access to its sophisticated tools and assets, the Delivery Service Partner program represents an outstanding way for budding entrepreneurs to build a thriving business.” 

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has launched a number of programs targeted at increasing the contribution of SMBs to the economy, such as the Vision Realization Program’s National Transformation Program and Human Capability Development Program. By unlocking opportunities for SMBs and entrepreneurs, Amazon’s DSP 2.0 program contributes to the growth of the national economy and strengthens the SME ecosystem in the country. The program also supports the National Transport and Logistics Strategy’s goal of establishing Saudi Arabia as a regional and global logistics hub by bolstering the competitiveness of the local logistics sector. 

Any motivated individual with no prior background in delivery services can aspire to join the Delivery Service Partner program. Self-starter Saudi nationals with five to 10 years of professional experience delivering results in operations roles such as managing events, operations, construction, and teams, as well as workers who are interested in starting their own delivery business in Saudi Arabia may apply for the program through the link: www.amazon.sa/DSP.


Rotana announces soft opening of 5-star hotel in Dammam

Rotana announces soft opening of 5-star hotel in Dammam
Updated 02 October 2022

Rotana announces soft opening of 5-star hotel in Dammam

Rotana announces soft opening of 5-star hotel in Dammam

Rotana recently announced the soft opening of its first 5-Star hotel Dana Rayhaan in Dammam, the largest city in the Eastern Province, under the distinguished brand of “Rayhaan by Rotana.”

Rotana is one of the leading hotel management companies in the region with over 100 properties across the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and Türkiye.

Meant for selective business and leisure travelers, Dana Rayhaan by Rotana captures a prime location in the heart of the bustling city, offering a striking modern design, exceptional amenities and stunning views of the Arabian Gulf and Al-Ashriah Roundabout. 

Rotana’s new hotel stands out as it is a short walk from the city’s corniche, with popular shopping malls and tourism attractions close by, and King Fahd International Airport just 30 minutes by road, this elegant property promises convenience and exceptional experiences.

For those who like to stay in style, the hotel provides flawless guest services in state-of-the-art facilities featuring elegant comfort and charming views of the city and the sea, and is all set to contribute to meeting the growing demand for tourism in Saudi Arabia.

On the 16th floor of the hotel, guests who seek personalized services and added benefits will have access to a special stay at Club Rotana, Rotana’s “hotel-within-a-hotel” concept, offering 285 luxurious rooms and suites and an exclusive lounge that reflects Rotana’s high-end luxurious standards which the brand is well-known for.

With premium dining options, Dana Rayhaan by Rotana offers various culinary experiences, including Rodeo Grill steakhouse with an outdoor terrace; Elements, an all-day dining restaurant serving international cuisines; Dana Lobby Lounge, which can be enjoyed over a selection of lip-smacking meals and refreshing cocktails; Sundeck Pool Lounge on the large terrace overlooking the outdoor swimming pool; and 24-hour in-room dining service. 

Our purpose-built event space includes three meeting rooms and a spacious ballroom with flexible set-up options and can host a range of corporate and social occasions. For relaxation, our separate male and female recreation areas are equipped with a treatment room, sauna and steam room while Bodylines Fitness and Wellness Club, with a gym and an outdoor temperature-controlled swimming pool, is the place to keep in shape.

Christian Rainalter, general manager of Dana Rayhaan by Rotana, said: “We are very excited about the soft opening of Dana Rayhaan by Rotana, which comes at a time when the hospitality sector in Saudi Arabia is experiencing rapid development. With the Kingdom leading the world in hotel supply growth, according to a 2021 report by hotel data company “STR”, Dana Rayhaan by Rotana will help contribute to Vision 2030 as Saudi Arabia aspires to attract 100 million visitors annually by 2030, making the Kingdom among the top five countries that receive the most tourists worldwide. This means that a significant increase in the number of hotel rooms is required.”

Rainalter said: “We look forward to introducing our signature hospitality and outstanding accommodation to guests in the Eastern Province, whether they are traveling for business or leisure.”


Al-Borg Laboratories sign agreement with Al-Amin Hospital

Al-Borg Laboratories sign agreement with Al-Amin Hospital
Updated 02 October 2022

Al-Borg Laboratories sign agreement with Al-Amin Hospital

Al-Borg Laboratories sign agreement with Al-Amin Hospital

Al-Borg Laboratories signs agreement with Al-Amin Hospital in Taif Al-Borg Medical Laboratories signed a partnership agreement with Al-Amin Hospital in Taif to operate and manage the medical tests for five years starting Saturday.

Al-Borg Medical Laboratories was represented by CEO Dr. Saeed bin Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Amoudi and Al Amin Hospital in Taif was represented by General Manager Abdulmalik Abdulmughni Mohammed Al-Amin.

This partnership aims to expand the scope of services provided by both parties.  The hospital seeks to be a leading medical center that provides a wide range of unprecedented medical services at a high level with the highest quality. Within this strategic partnership comes the expansion plans for Al Borg Laboratories in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Moreover, this takes Al-Borg’s vision to be the diagnostic medical laboratory of choice for all customers and the optimal health partner. Al-Borg Laboratories will give patients the opportunity to benefit from the medical tests and produce the most accurate results.

This will allow Al-Borg to expand its business base throughout the Kingdom where it conducts more than 16.3 million tests per year and has 83 international accreditations.

This cooperation aligns with the Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to develop health care in the Kingdom to place it amongst one of the highest ranked countries in the health sector.

Al-Borg Medical Laboratories Company was established in 1998 in Jeddah and expanded to become the largest chain of private laboratories in Saudi Arabia with more than 72 branches in the Kingdom. It is also present in 8 countries with more than 1,000 specialized and expert doctors.

Al-Amin Hospital, with bed capacity of 134 beds, was one of the first hospitals to open in Taif. Over the past 40 years it has been a distinguished private institution and a leader in providing medical services of unique quality to the community with the approval of the Saudi Center for Accreditation of Health Facilities.


Floward unveils official licensed product collection

Floward unveils official licensed product collection
Updated 02 October 2022

Floward unveils official licensed product collection

Floward unveils official licensed product collection

Floward, the go-to online flowers and gifts delivery destination in MENA and UK announced its appointment as an official FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 licensee  making it the first ever company to be awarded this license in the flowers industry.

Floward made the announcement at an extravagant event held at The Ritz Carlton Doha on Sept. 28, where the official licensed product line was unveiled.

Floward chairman and CEO Abdulaziz B. Al Loughani said: “We are proud to be the first in our industry to get this license from FIFA and be involved in an event with the magnitude of the FIFA World Cup. We pride ourselves in always being active in our communities and taking part in their events and celebrations. We would also like to congratulate Qatar on this amazing achievement of being the first ever Arab country to host the largest global sporting event, and we thank the Qatari government for the support they always give us and wish them all the success in hosting this event.” The Official Licensed Products line includes exclusively designed premium arrangements, embossed with the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 official emblem.


Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle opens first CB2 store in KSA

Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle opens first CB2 store in KSA
Updated 01 October 2022

Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle opens first CB2 store in KSA

Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle opens first CB2 store in KSA

Majid Al-Futtaim, a leading shopping mall, communities, retail, and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, has opened doors to its first CB2 store in Riyadh. Promising a highly curated collection of contemporary furniture and decor, the brand has made its much-anticipated arrival following the recent store launch of its sister brand Crate and Barrel earlier this year. The opening of the store on Sept. 15 marks an important milestone for Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle as it continues to enhance its retail offering in the Kingdom.

Located on the ground floor of Sahara Mall, the large showroom hosts a range of design-forward pieces that will inspire customers to elevate their own spaces at home. From velvet sofas to ivory embossed nightstands, CB2 offers a curated selection of unique furniture and decor that can be mixed and matched to suit any aesthetic. Customers can experience CB2 both in the Riyadh store or online at www.cb2.sa, where they can browse the full collection.

“We are proud to be introducing CB2 to the Kingdom for the very first time, expanding the brand’s physical and digital footprint to cater to customer demand,” said Fahed Ghanim, chief executive of Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle. “Our focus is on customer experience as we collaborate with leading designers and brands to create world-class brand encounters. The omni experience we serve to our customers will help them enjoy CB2 and establish deeper connections with the brand.”

“We are thrilled to be working with our partners, Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle, to expand the CB2 brand in the Middle East,” said Janet Hayes, CEO of Crate and Barrel Holdings. “We believe that the design-forward product collection will resonate with both the international and local
Saudi clientele who are inspired individuals searching for ways to creatively transform their homes.”

“Through our partner Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle, we’re excited to see our brand’s second international home in the Middle East,” said Ryan Turf, president, CB2. “Our collections are an evolving exploration of modern design. As with our recent opening in Dubai, we hope the store allows even more people to explore, dream, and bring their heart’s desire home.”

The new store’s assortments include indoor and outdoor furniture, kitchenware, bedding, lighting, rugs, accessories and more. Customers can also explore exciting collaborations with leading designers such as Kara Mann, Ross Cassidy, Jennifer Fisher, Paul McCobb, Lawson-Fenning, Mathew Williamson, and Azeeza — all known for their individual creative aesthetic.

To provide a seamless omnichannel shopping experience, CB2 offers its products online with free delivery across Saudi Arabia, cash on delivery, and other convenient payment methods via Tabby, which allow shoppers to pay later — at zero interest.


Walaa Insurance taps Software AG for digital integration

Walaa Insurance taps Software AG for digital integration
Updated 01 October 2022

Walaa Insurance taps Software AG for digital integration

Walaa Insurance taps Software AG for digital integration

Saudi insurance company Walaa Insurance has entered into a strategic technology partnership with Software AG (Frankfurt MDAX: SOW) to transform its technology landscape. Software AG’s hybrid digital integration platform will allow Walaa to launch new products, services and channels in the Saudi market with an enhanced customer focus. The technology partnership will allow Walaa’s existing and new customers to experience innovative products and digital services across multiple channels.

This cooperation announcement was made last week in Riyadh during a handshake ceremony between Abdullah Albar, head of IT, Walaa Insurance, and Philippe La Fornara, president EMEA, Software AG. The event was attended by key executives of both companies.

Albar said: “Technology is a critical enabler in fueling our business priorities. Embracing innovation driven by Software AG technologies will act as Walaa’s central nervous system and will enable us to connect both external and internal APIs through a unified integration platform, powering our ecosystem and elevating our business competitiveness through enhanced delivery capabilities and customer experiences. In line with the leadership’s Vision 2030, this is our contribution toward a growing digital economy for our customers in Saudi Arabia and the broader region.”

Mamdouh Alolayan, country manager, Saudi Arabia, Software AG, said: “The fast-paced technological change in Saudi Arabia is advancing and reshaping all sectors including the insurance sector. We are pleased to support Walaa’s aspirations to upgrade its digital framework with an emphasis on interconnectedness and interoperability of services aimed to grow and revolutionize end-user experiences. Our API management platform and webMethods will open doors for a modern and global platform with newer business opportunities for this insurance giant in the years to come.”

Software AG’s transformative technologies will enable Walaa Insurance to fully harness the power of data in an age of fast-changing customer expectations and the evolution of the insurance sector. The insurance company will drive increased value for the segment continuing to stand out in today’s innovative and new business model dynamics.

Headquartered in Alkhobar, Walaa Insurance serves clients all over the Kingdom through three regional offices and more than 70 retail offices.