Aldar launches Grove District on UAE’s Saadiyat Island

Aldar launches Grove District on UAE’s Saadiyat Island
Grove District will also offer access to a landscape deck with greenery to enhance physical and mental well-being within the community.
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Updated 25 June 2022

Aldar launches Grove District on UAE’s Saadiyat Island

Aldar launches Grove District on UAE’s Saadiyat Island

Aldar Properties has announced the launch of apartments at Grove District, a new project that seeks to bring inspirational living to the heart of Abu Dhabi’s cultural epicenter on Saadiyat Island.

Grove District sits within Aldar’s flagship Saadiyat Grove development, and its apartments boast partial views of the sea, as well as the island’s three iconic landmarks: Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi, and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The development, when completed, will comprise 612 units in five residential buildings across luxury, lifestyle, and urban themed districts.

Each building will be interconnected with a unique retail-focused experience associated with the district in which it is located, intertwining art, dining, and lifestyle to create a culture-focused retail oasis in the UAE like no other. In a first for Aldar, Grove District will also feature amenity-themed lobbies in each building, which will aim to inspire and facilitate creativity among residents in engaging and open spaces.

Available for buyers of all nationalities, Grove District will be launched in phases, with 102 studios, one- and two-bedroom units available in the first building (Grove Museum Views), which is located in the lifestyle-themed district. Sales will start on June 25, with units starting from 905,000 dirhams ($246,400) for a studio, 1,400,000 dirhams for a one-bedroom apartment, and 2,399,000 dirhams for a two-bedroom unit.

Saadiyat Grove, Aldar’s iconic 10-billion-dirham landmark destination, will feature 60,000 square meters of experiential retail, entertainment and leisure spaces designed to create a lively and inclusive community. Including Grove District, the mixed-use destination will feature approximately 3,000 residential units, two hotels and co-working spaces for new enterprises and startups.

Rashed Al-Omaira, chief commercial officer at Aldar Development, said: “Since its launch, Saadiyat Grove has become Abu Dhabi’s most anticipated lifestyle destination, due to the array of cultural, leisure, and entertainment experiences it will bring to residents and visitors of Abu Dhabi. Grove District is Aldar’s latest residential offering within Saadiyat Grove, closely following the successful launch of Louvre Residences Abu Dhabi, and is set to bring a new dimension of vibrancy and modern living to the Island. The new destination will attract residents seeking a lively community that celebrates art, culture, retail, and entertainment in all types and forms.”

Each of the three districts at the development have been carefully designed to create and deliver memorable experiences, in line with Aldar’s commitment to customer centricity. Residents will benefit from a wide range of high-quality amenities, including a residents’ lounge, art workshop spaces, swimming pools, gyms, luxury games room and more, as well as direct access to a jogging track and meditation lawns. The development will also offer access to a landscape deck with greenery to enhance physical and mental well-being within the community.

As with Saadiyat Grove, the entire Grove District development has been designed with sustainability at its heart. Units have been built to meet the highest sustainability standards, with residential buildings targeted to achieve an Estidama two-pearl rating and an international LEED silver certification. Construction of the development commenced earlier this year, with handovers expected to begin in Q2 2025.


NMC launches Kia Sorento 2.5 L with powerful, economic engine

NMC launches Kia Sorento 2.5 L with powerful, economic engine
Updated 14 August 2022

NMC launches Kia Sorento 2.5 L with powerful, economic engine

NMC launches Kia Sorento 2.5 L with powerful, economic engine

With escalating car prices, drivers across the Kingdom are looking for an affordable family SUV that delivers on comfort, safety and fuel economy. The new economic Kia Sorento 2.5 L, which comes with a host of enhanced features and modifications, launched by NMC-Kia is the perfect choice for this segment.

Hassan Al-Shomrani, CEO of NMC, said: “At NMC-Kia, our mission is to innovate, serve and inspire with ‘The Drive to Win.’ We are keen to present the most attractive options and suitable cars to the Saudi market. The new Kia Sorento 2.5 L fills an important niche in the market as the perfect affordable family SUV that is spacious, practical and classy. It also offers excellent fuel economy and extremely competitive pricing.”

He added: “With a legacy of growth, excellence, and success at NMC-Kia, we also seek to champion and empower those who want to grow and be better, facilitating their success. The 2.5 L engine is the most popular in both retail and fleet segments, so the launch of the Kia Sorento 2.5 L will help those individuals and companies to grow and excel. Our culture is built on reliability, with customers’ interests as our priority, and the Kia Sorento, like all Kia vehicles, offers exceptional reliability as well as optimum comfort and economy.”

The Kia Sorento 2.5 L is available at the recently opened NMC-Kia flagship showroom in Jeddah, as well as at the other NMC-Kia showrooms across the Kingdom, located in Jazan, Najran, Abha, Madinah, Makkah, Taif, Tabuk and Yanbu. 

Abdullah Allam, product manager at NMC-Kia, said: “Standard options on the new Sorento 2.5 L include electric parking brake, cruise control, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamp, auto light control, LED fog lamp, push button start, an 8-inch display, rear-view monitor, front and rear parking sensors and wireless phone charging.

“While mid options include: 19-inch alloy wheels, LED rear lamp, LED daytime running lights, panoramic sunroof, aero blades, power driver and passenger seats, electrochromic inside mirror, electric folding outside mirror, leather steering, mood lamp and dual automatic temperature control.”

The model features a 2.5 GDI (8AT) engine with improved fuel efficiency, offering 194 HP and 25.1 KGf torque. The dual-clutch design translates into quicker gear changes, all at the simple turn of a dial. With eight speeds, optimal engine RPMs can be maintained at more vehicle speed levels for superior acceleration and economy.

Moreover, the ambient mood light has 64 variations and can change depending on driving mode or time of the day.

The car comes with a “Smartstream” powertrain, which is state-of-the-art technology for improved combustion efficiency, and combining elemental technologies for synergy.

The National Marketing Company is an exclusive distributor for the Korean Kia cars in seven administrative regions across the Kingdom — Tabuk, Madinah, Makkah, Bahah, Asir, Jazan, and Najran. The company strives to establish an automotive brand known for harnessing the power of technology and digital transformation, providing a seamless engaging experience with customers in Saudi Arabia.

The dealership is constantly developing and refining its services, teams, and processes to be the leader in operational excellence and customer-driven innovation.


A summer of English learning adventure at British Council

A summer of English learning adventure at British Council
Updated 14 August 2022

A summer of English learning adventure at British Council

A summer of English learning adventure at British Council

Summer is quite long and leaves a big learning gap for children. Reinforcing core English classes can help ensure knowledge is retained whilst also learning new skills to ensure academic improvement. The British Council in Saudi Arabia has announced a new edition of its popular “Summer School” program that helps parents give their children the confidence and tools to succeed in an evolving world.

The program has been created to spark children’s imagination, so they can express themselves with confidence that goes beyond their English language skills. They can continue confidence building as well as learn teamwork and leadership skills

Every child will have the opportunity to learn contemporary life skills such as creativity, critical thinking and problem solving to improve their confidence and communication skills through fun and interactive lessons with the best English language experts.

Fully face-to-face, children will benefit from hands-on, interactive projects with special focus on real-world topics like artificial intelligence, gaming, ethical food and climate change, while discovering their own style and talents.

The fun, interactive, and inspiring learning module is for children of age 6-17 years, segregated into age groups of 6-11 years and 12-17 years to ensure age-appropriate learning and tasks.

The curriculum has been adjusted with a greater focus on a child’s overall development and honing their interpersonal skills to create more agile and adaptive individuals prepared to succeed in a globalized, always evolving world.

With small class sizes, children will get the best out of learning English because they are guaranteed attention and personal support from an expert teacher. The courses offer flexible start dates with five classes per week, three hours per day from beginner to upper intermediate levels.

Those interested in learning more about the “Summer School” program, can visit the British Council website.


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.