Café Bateel marks Saudi National Day with premium specials

Café Bateel marks Saudi National Day with premium specials
To celebrate the special occasion, Café Bateel will present an elevated take on the Beef Brochette Salad.
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Updated 10 September 2022

Café Bateel marks Saudi National Day with premium specials

Café Bateel marks Saudi National Day with premium specials

Café Bateel, an award-winning restaurant renowned for its sophisticated dishes, is marking the 92nd National Day of Saudi Arabia with a curated selection of premium dishes and beverages.

In recognition of the Kingdom’s growing luxury dining landscape and well-traveled residents, Café Bateel has created dishes that meld traditional flavors with Mediterranean zest.

“Our guests have a penchant for quality experiences and seek distinct flavors that reflect their culture and love for global cuisines. As a home-grown purveyor of inimitable dining service and cultivator of fine food, we have curated an exquisite Mediterranean fare enriched with local flavors to commemorate the Kingdom’s National Day,” said Chef Nicholas Cuadrado, Bateel’s culinary director.

Café Bateel’s talented chefs have created specials that mirror the restaurant’s longstanding commitment to authenticity, quality, and most importantly, nutrition. The exclusive National Day Specials include a nutritious salad, premium desserts, and a selection of beverages crafted using the finest ingredients.

To celebrate the special occasion, Café Bateel will present an elevated take on the Beef Brochette Salad, reinvented by highly skilled, award-winning chefs dedicated to technique and high standards, ensuring topmost taste and quality. The dish features perfectly grilled tenderloin skewers served with fresh radicchio, spinach, red peppers, quinoa and avocado, dressed in a pink peppercorn, pomegranate and zaatar vinaigrette.

This year, the restaurant has also curated an assortment of decadent sweets that will satisfy even the most discerning dessert connoisseurs.

Guests can indulge in the L’or Noir Vanilla Gateaux, a handcrafted cake made with the finest Tahitian vanilla beans, regarded as the most sought-after of all vanilla varieties in the culinary world. The dessert features a fine sea salt vanilla base layered with the finest Madagascar vanilla biscuit, topped with creamy vanilla ganache. Another exceptional offering is the Pistachio and Cherry Panna Cotta. A delicate panna cotta made with the world’s best pistachios handpicked from Mount Etna in Sicily and the unique Amarena cherries from Bologna known for their luscious flavor.

The specials also feature a choice of beverages, including the Coco Lavender Latté, an aromatic and flavorful latté made with coconut milk served hot complemented with Bateel’s maamoul biscuit or as an iced drink. And for those who prefer something refreshing, the Sparkling Cucumber, a mix of soda, lemon, fresh cucumber, thyme and mint, is the perfect drink.

Café Bateel’s National Day Specials are available across all its restaurants and delivery platforms in Saudi Arabia throughout September.

Thakher Development inks deal with Banque Saudi Fransi

Thakher Development inks  deal with Banque Saudi Fransi
Updated 2 min 15 sec ago

Thakher Development inks deal with Banque Saudi Fransi

Thakher Development inks  deal with Banque Saudi Fransi

Thakher Development Company, the master developer of the upcoming Thakher Makkah project, has signed an MoU with Banque Saudi Fransi, under which the company’s customers can avail a range of different financing solutions, including off-plan financing. The move is in line with Thaker’s constant efforts to fulfill its customers’ needs and aspirations by delivering optimal solutions, services and products.

The MoU was signed by Karim Hashem, vice president for finance and investment at Thakher, and Attaf Faiz Ramadan, regional branch network manager at Banque Saudi Fransi.

“We are proud of this cooperation with Banque Saudi Fransi that shows and asserts confidence in the development work carried out by Thakher,” said Hashem.

He added: “It also comes in the context of the partnerships that Thakher has with financing agencies and other companies to provide the best options and products for its customers and to achieve best results in line with Saudi Vision 2030.”


The move is in line with Thaker’s constant efforts to fulfill its customers’ needs and aspirations by delivering optimal solutions, services and products.

Meanwhile, expressing his pleasure over the signing of the MoU with Thakher, Ramadan said: “The MoU comes as part of Banque Saudi Fransi’s efforts and keenness to strengthen the economy and provide various financing solutions that suit all customers’ needs, as well as to support and develop the real estate sector to achieve the objectives of Vision 2030.”

Thakher Makkah supports the ambitious vision of Saudi Arabia, which aims to host 30 million Umrah performers and 6 million pilgrims by 2030.

The project spans an area of more than 320,000 square meters. Upon completion, it will include around 100 land plots for hospitality, residential, commercial, and service-related purposes. Residential and hotel apartment units will be available in various categories, and the units will also be available for ownership.

Among the international hotels that will open in Thakher Makkah are Radisson Hotel, Park Inn by Radisson, and Novotel Hotel, which will be the largest in the world in terms of the number of rooms.

The second phase of Thakher Makkah is expected to be completed by 2024.

Thakher Development Company aims to change the real estate development scene in Makkah. The company’s vision is to contribute to the sustainable development of Makkah and to become the preferred destination for visitors to the holy city.

The Thakher Makkah project will provide 15,000 direct jobs and 18,000 indirect jobs, while the total value of the project is estimated to be SR26 billion ($6.93 million).

VFS Global: A supporter of Vision 2030’s Saudization and tourism goals

VFS Global: A supporter of Vision  2030’s Saudization and tourism goals
Updated 01 December 2022

VFS Global: A supporter of Vision 2030’s Saudization and tourism goals

VFS Global: A supporter of Vision  2030’s Saudization and tourism goals

In line with the goals of Vision 2030, VFS Global, the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions, aims to achieve 100 percent Saudization in its customer-facing roles by December this year, with 65 percent of its workforce in the Kingdom currently being Saudi nationals. Moreover, the company is working closely with the Saudi Tourism Authority to boost visitor numbers to the Kingdom, aiming to achieve yet another of Vision 2030’s goal of raising the contribution of the tourism sector to the domestic product to more than 10 percent. 

“As an organization, we strongly support Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030. Each of the three fundamental pillars of Vision 2030 — building an ambitious nation, thriving economy and vibrant society, is aligned to our growth philosophy,” said Zubin Karkaria, founder and chief executive officer, VFS Global Group. 

Highlighting the company’s efforts of supporting Vision 2030, he said: “Sixty-five percent of VFS Global’s workforce in Saudi Arabia are nationals, and 40 percent of our operations staff in Saudi Arabia are women. In our customer-facing roles, we have set a target of 100 percent Saudization by December 2022. In addition, we have launched a Global Talent Pool to provide Saudi nationals with international exposure by providing deputations and training in our centers across our global network in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Americas. Over the next 12-18 months, we will train and coach about 100 Saudi nationals through classroom and on-ground training. 

“Moreover, we have been working in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia to provide visa outsourcing services in 30 countries since 2013, as well as visa processing on behalf of 32 client governments in 13 cities across Saudi Arabia. We also work closely with the Saudi Tourism Authority in their initiatives.”

VFS Global has been providing visa and consular services in Saudi Arabia since 2005. The company offers visa and passport services on behalf of 32 governments through a network of 95 visa application centers in the Kingdom. The company also offers visa services on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 30 countries through a network of 58 centers. 

Globally, VFS Global is the trusted partner of 66 client governments, with more than 3,300 application centers in 140+ countries. 

Commenting on VFS Global’s operations in the Kingdom, Karkaria said: “VFS Global started its services in the Saudi market in 2005, and since then it has enjoyed a strong partnership with the government of Saudi Arabia, working closely with the authorities to ensure compliance with all the local laws and guidelines, and supporting the nation’s growth agenda. VFS Global was among the first group of companies to establish regional headquarters in Riyadh, and the success of our business here further highlights the importance and advantage of the Kingdom.”

Operated by a staff of up to 800 employees, VFS Global operates centers in 13 cities, namely, Riyadh, Jeddah, Alkhobar, Abha, Hail, Jubail, Makkah, Jazan, Al-Qassim, Al-Kharj, Tabuk, Madinah, Najran and Al-Jouf. 

In a bid to provide service with ease to applicants across the Kingdom, it has also tied up with Chambers of Commerce in Riyadh, Makkah, Jazan, Al-Jouf, Najran, Al-Qassem, Madinah and Al-Kharj, to provide their members, employees, and residents end-to-end visa and passport services at the chambers’ premises. 

Similarly, bringing passport and consular services closer to home for Filipino, Sri Lankan and Indian citizens in the Kingdom, VFS Global operates passport renewal services in three major cities — Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar — and Passport On Wheels services in locations where there is no permanent passport center. 

Noor Riyadh wraps up with 2.8m visitors & six Guinness titles

Noor Riyadh wraps up with 2.8m visitors & six Guinness titles
Updated 01 December 2022

Noor Riyadh wraps up with 2.8m visitors & six Guinness titles

Noor Riyadh wraps up with 2.8m visitors & six Guinness titles

Noor Riyadh, the Saudi capital’s citywide annual festival of light and art, celebrated its second edition with bigger and bolder figures, including six Guinness World Records titles. Foremost of the record titles that the event achieved is for the largest light art festival, as this year, the festival tripled in size, presenting 201 artworks by more than 130 artists, surpassing the minimum requirement of 185 installations. 

In addition, Noor Riyadh 2022 welcomed 2.8 million visitors across its 40 citywide locations and five hubs, an impressive achievement that far surpasses the footfall of its inaugural edition in March 2021.

This year, the festival was held under the theme “We Dream of New Horizons,” which centered around a sense of hopefulness for the future, as well as confidence in renewal and transformation. “We Dream of New Horizons” was curated by Hervé Mikaeloff, Dorothy Di Stefano, and Jumana Ghouth, along with curatorial adviser Arnaud Morand. 

Noor Riyadh 2022 included at least 90 new commissions from international and Saudi artists, such as Ahaad Alamoudi, Abdullah Al-Othman, Daniah Al-Saleh, Rashed Al-Shashai, Sarah Brahim, Daniel Buren, Bricklab, Douglas Gordon, Tadashi Kawamata, Alicja Kwade, Jean-Michel Othoniel, and Muhannad Shono. 

Marc Brickman’s unforgettable aerial installations that use 1,990 drones as their medium won the Guinness title for the most drones performing an aerial dance display. The choreographed drone display, titled “The Order of Chaos: Chaos in Order,” featured a swarm of drones that moved in fluid choreography over the skies of King Abdullah Park.

Meanwhile, the spectacular “Pulse of Light” by show designer Martin Arnaud is the reason behind two new records achieved: The largest laser show, in terms of area covered, and the longest distance covered by a laser light show. The nightly show, which beamed laser light across King Fahd Road, connecting the city’s most recognizable skyscrapers Kingdom Tower, Faisaliah Tower and Majdoul Tower with light, reached up to 14.4 million square meters, with lasers stretching 15 kilometers in distance, more than doubling the minimum requirements in place. 

“Pulse of Light” also broke two additional records, namely the largest mesh screen on a building and highest mesh screen on a building, for its installation on Kingdom Tower.

Prince Badr bin Farhan Al-Saud, minister of culture, board member of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City and chairman of the Steering Committee for Riyadh Art, said: “The success of Noor Riyadh 2022 shows how visionary leadership can elevate arts and culture to new heights. Through the unwavering support of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, prime minister and chairman of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City’s Board of Directors, the country’s culture sector will rise to the aspirations of Vision 2030. Fulfilling Riyadh Art’s aims, Noor Riyadh provides a platform for emerging and established artists to share their ideas here and beyond. To see a Saudi-created initiative break records and put the nation in the forefront of the global art scene as the largest light art festival in the world, creates a moment of pride.”

“Through the continued efforts of all our partners, such initiatives will cement our place within the international cultural landscape,” he added.

With the citywide festival ending on Nov. 19, Noor Riyadh will continue its programming through the world-class exhibition “From Spark to Spirit,” curated by Neville Wakefield and associate curator Gaida Al-Mogren.

The exhibition traces the role of light as a signal for change, exploring themes such as the “Technologies of Light,” “Architectonics of Light” and “Consciousness of Light.” Using the “Light and Space Movement” from the 1960s in California — which reflected changes in the established order — as a reference point, “From Spark to Spirit” proposes how light and art can offer ways to think through the rapid cultural transformations shaping the Middle East. 

The show includes works by 30 artists, including Doug Aitken, Zeinab Al-Hashemi, Zahrah Al-Ghamdi, Refik Anadol, Larry Bell, Jim Campbell, John Edmark, Phillip K. Smith III, Diana Thater, Haroon Mirza and Theories of Imagination.

The exhibition runs until Feb. 4, 2023, accompanied by a series of talks, workshops, and community engagement programs for audiences of various ages and interests. 

Salam showcases state-of-the-art cybersecurity technologies at Black Hat MEA 2022

Salam showcases state-of-the-art cybersecurity technologies at Black Hat MEA 2022
Updated 28 November 2022

Salam showcases state-of-the-art cybersecurity technologies at Black Hat MEA 2022

Salam showcases state-of-the-art cybersecurity technologies at Black Hat MEA 2022

Saudi-based telecom provider Salam showcased its advanced set of cybersecurity services and technologies at Black Hat Middle East and Africa, the region’s largest cybersecurity event that took place in Riyadh from Nov. 15 to 17. 

With organizations facing increasing information security challenges and constantly evolving cybersecurity threats, Salam highlighted its capabilities and technologies in safeguarding digital infrastructure and protecting government and private sector entities from cyber threats and risks. 

With explosive demand in the cloud and cybersecurity sector, Salam also took the opportunity to announce strategic partnerships during the event to boost its cybersecurity arsenal, signing agreements with two leading global InfoSec companies including SynAck, a global cybersecurity testing platform, and Global-IB, a Singapore-based group specializing in cyberattacks, fraud and information security. The partnerships are expected to further boost Salam’s offensive and defensive cybersecurity capabilities.

Salam has secured a niche in the market as a provider of essential cybersecurity services with its Security Device Management offering, a comprehensive solution covering design, implementation, monitoring, administration and support for firewalls, UTM and IPDS devices, email security, VAPT and anti-DDoS services.

Ahmed Al-Anqari, CEO of Salam, said: “Salam’s cybersecurity services are designed to help organizations manage and optimize security technology infrastructure by reducing their overall risk, allowing them respond to threats more quickly, thus lowering overhead costs and improving operational efficiency by freeing up security staff to focus on other critical matters. This aspect of Salam’s service offering will help us reach our objective of being an industry-leading operator enabling the Kingdom’s digital transformation journey.” 

In addition, Salam also offers security information and event management solutions designed to help organizations collect, analyze and store security events from their technology stack and identify potential risks round-the-clock in real time with best-in-class tools and a team of technology-enabled, fully-certified Saudi professionals. Salam provides advanced defense technologies, global threat intelligence, threat hunting, in-depth malware analysis and forensics, periodic cyberwar games and other incident response techniques and continuous vulnerability assessments of infrastructure, data, applications and users. 

Salam’s reputation as a leading homegrown telecom provider in Saudi Arabia has positioned the brand as a key participant and enabler in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 digital transformation efforts. With over 15 years of experience in the field, Salam is well-positioned to deliver cybersecurity solutions to customers in the Kingdom and beyond.

Digital innovation driving KSA healthcare transformation

Digital innovation driving KSA healthcare transformation
Updated 28 November 2022

Digital innovation driving KSA healthcare transformation

Digital innovation driving KSA healthcare transformation

Royal Philips, a global health technology company, has announced the publication of its Future Health Index 2022 report: “Healthcare hits reset: Priorities shift as healthcare leaders navigate a changed world.” Now in its seventh year, the FHI 2022 report, based on proprietary research from almost 3,000 respondents conducted across 15 countries, explores how healthcare leaders are harnessing the power of data and digital technology as they look to address their key challenges coming out of the pandemic.

The report provides a clear indication of strong momentum in innovation within Saudi Arabia’s healthcare system. Expanding patient care, unlocking the power of digital health, and leveraging strategic partnerships have emerged as top priorities for Saudi Arabia in its journey toward Vision 2030. 

“Over the past two years, pressure on the healthcare industry has been unrelenting. Today, as we emerge from the pandemic, we see healthcare leaders embarking on a reset — refocusing on several new and existing priorities, from addressing staff shortages to extending care delivery, to leveraging big data and predictive analytics, as they navigate new realities in medical management. Telehealth and digital health records have emerged at the forefront of driving technology-led transformation in healthcare in Saudi Arabia,” said Mohamed Sindi, CEO of Philips Healthcare Saudi Arabia. 

The FHI 2022 Saudi Arabia report highlighted three priorities for healthcare leaders as they strive to further expand access to care and deliver better patient outcomes:

Expanding care through digital health technologies

In the post-COVID-19 world, people continue to demand care beyond the hospital walls, making it necessary for healthcare leaders to continue to invest in technology and focus on enabling their workforce to support this. With many digital health tools already implemented, broader innovation is at the top of leaders’ priority list. One-fifth (22 percent) of Saudi leaders cite extending care delivery beyond the hospital walls as a top priority today and 26 percent expect to prioritize it in three years’ time. Digital and telehealth investments by healthcare leaders will also reduce staff workloads, thus improving staff retention and satisfaction, which is an important priority for 23 percent of leaders with 29 percent expecting it to remain a priority for the next three years.

Driving efficiency through innovation and partnership

With digital health now firmly embedded in healthcare delivery, it is imperative for healthcare leaders to unlock the next level of data utilization that will improve the efficiency of care delivery. The FHI Saudi Arabia 2022 research revealed that healthcare leaders are nurturing strategic partnerships with health technology companies for access to various kinds of expertise. Thirty-three percent of leaders seek partnerships that provide support in healthcare management services, as well as data analysis, 32 percent want partnerships that support technology integration, while 29 percent seek support in shaping a strategic vision.

Investments in AI for improved care delivery 

Advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and predictive analytics help to identify trends, optimize processes, and reduce costs. Saudi Arabia is on par with the European average when it comes to the use of predictive analytics, with 48 percent of healthcare leaders currently utilizing or in the process of adopting such technologies. More than three quarters of respondents believe that predictive analytics can improve staff experiences as well as patient outcomes. One in four (26 percent) of Saudi Arabia’s healthcare leaders say that improving tech infrastructure in their facilities is the most important priority if they are to fully unlock the power of data. 

Saudi Arabian healthcare leaders are also committed to AI-based technologies, with 46 percent investing in these technologies this year and 66 percent planning to invest in 2023.