LuLu festival brings Sri Lankan spices & cuisine to Kingdom

LuLu festival brings Sri Lankan spices & cuisine to Kingdom
The festival was inaugurated at Lulu Hypermarket, located in Malaz, Riyadh on Sept. 11.
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Updated 14 September 2022

LuLu festival brings Sri Lankan spices & cuisine to Kingdom

LuLu festival brings Sri Lankan spices & cuisine to Kingdom

This week, the spicy and full-bodied flavors of Sri Lanka’s cuisine have permeated Lulu Hypermarkets across the Kingdom, with the best of the island nation’s goods on offer, including tea, spices, fruits and vegetables, rice and a variety of coconut products.

The “Best of Sri Lanka” festival was inaugurated at Lulu Hypermarket, located in Malaz, Riyadh on Sept. 11, by Pakeer Mohideen Amza, ambassador of Sri Lanka to Saudi Arabia. Also present on the occasion were Shehim Mohammed, director of LuLu Saudi Hypermarkets, and other LuLu Group officials.

Through this festival, the hypermarket aims to bring alive the unique culinary heritage of Sri Lanka, which is a blend of many colonial influences — British, Dutch and Portuguese as well as pan-Asian, with Indian (especially Southern) and Indonesian influences.

The festival promotion gives shoppers a chance to stock up on top-quality spices that Sri Lanka is famed for, especially cloves, pepper and cinnamon, all packaged for hygiene, aroma and convenience. There is also a variety of tea and tea-based herbal infusions with turmeric, chamomile and other herbs and a range of teas from signature plantations around Sri Lanka.

Several varieties of healthy and organic coconut products — such as coconut cream, coconut milk and virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil — are available in the special deals section, while the vegetable racks are bursting with the goodness, color and juicy flavors of Sri Lankan farm produce.

“LuLu Hypermarket has brought together a rich and classic collection of the best of Sri Lankan products, and this is certainly an invitation to all shoppers to explore the taste of our country,” said Ambassador Amza. “Sri Lanka and the Arab world share a rich culinary experience, which nurtured the spice trade of olden days and is still a vibrant presence in Arab kitchens today.”

Mohammed, director of LuLu Saudi Hypermarkets, thanked the Sri Lankan Embassy for their support of the festival. He added: “The food products of Sri Lanka are exotic, health-giving and unique and with the LuLu sourcing center in the country, we have a network of suppliers who give us first pick of the best on offer from there.”

We are delighted to share this bounty with our customers and explore the taste of the best of Sri Lanka.”

The festival runs until Sept. 17.


Software AG and IBTech join forces to develop mission-critical public safety system across region

Software AG and IBTech join forces to develop mission-critical public safety system across region
Updated 19 March 2023

Software AG and IBTech join forces to develop mission-critical public safety system across region

Software AG and IBTech join forces to develop mission-critical public safety system across region

Enterprise software company Software AG and Intelligent Business Technologies, an IT-focused subsidiary of Albara’ah Telecom Co. Ltd., have entered into a partnership to nurture the formation of advanced safe and smart cities in the region. The partnership will foster the creation of unified emergency services across the Middle East region, in addition to a unified “command control center” in Saudi Arabia. The unified emergency hotline for first responders will support the handling of emergencies, ensuring the safety of human life within the safe and smart city norms and requirements. 

The agreement was signed between Yasser Alhakbani, board member, IBTech, and Mamdouh Al-Olayan, country manager — Saudi Arabia, Software AG, at LEAP 2023. The collaboration will facilitate IBTech to leverage Software AG’s Cumulocity IoT and webMethods integration expertise to create novel and future-oriented use cases that align with safe and smart city goals within Saudi Vision 2030. The cutting-edge use cases will lay the foundation for smart cities, resulting in innovative services to benefit businesses and end users, based on an ecosystem of fully connected enterprises.

Al-Olayan said: “Saudi Arabia is leading the region’s creation of safe, smart cities with megacity projects such as NEOM and Red Sea to name a few. Multifaceted technologies such as IoT and integration are serving as the foundation of such rapid and fast-tracked development in the country. Software AG has pledged its solidarity to the nation and the region along with our partner IBTech to contribute to the development and advancement of safe, smart cities. We aim to expand the reach of the unified emergency public safety solution to provide speedy support and enhance safety of human life. With support from our reputed local partners, Software AG aims to upscale adoption of these versatile technologies across use cases and initiatives for application in the Kingdom and the region.”

 


American Express Saudi Arabia inks deal with Riyad Bank

American Express Saudi Arabia inks deal with Riyad Bank
Updated 19 March 2023

American Express Saudi Arabia inks deal with Riyad Bank

American Express Saudi Arabia inks deal with Riyad Bank

American Express Saudi Arabia has announced the signing of a partnership agreement with Riyad Bank that will permit merchants on Riyad Bank’s point of sale network to accept American Express card payments. The agreement will allow American Express cardmembers to pay with their cards at a significant number of new locations, providing greater payment choice and wider acceptance for them. 

The PoS partnership agreement was signed during a ceremony held at Riyad Bank’s headquarters in the capital city, in the presence of Fahad Mubarak Al-Guthami, chief executive officer at American Express Saudi Arabia, and Mohammed Abo Al-Naja, chief corporate banking officer at Riyad Bank, with senior officials from both sides in attendance.

Commenting on the significance of the new agreement, Al-Guthami said: “We are pleased to work with Riyad Bank to expand on the number of locations that welcome American Express in the Kingdom, providing our cardmembers access to more locations and wider coverage to pay with their cards across Saudi Arabia. This is part of our commitment to significantly expand on the businesses that accept American Express in the Kingdom and around the world as a payment method.” 

American Express Saudi Arabia is regulated by the Saudi Central Bank as a finance company. The company owns and operates the American Express card and merchant business in the Kingdom. Even though American Express products have been available to customers, merchants and corporations in Saudi Arabia for more than 20 years, the formation of American Express Saudi Arabia in 1999 represented a major milestone for the development of the American Express brand in the Kingdom. Combining the resources and expertise of American Express with The Saudi Investment Bank has contributed to developing and expanding the services offered to American Express cardmembers and merchants in the Kingdom. 


Embracing equity: Hyatt champions women across Mideast

Embracing equity: Hyatt  champions women across Mideast
Updated 19 March 2023

Embracing equity: Hyatt champions women across Mideast

Embracing equity: Hyatt  champions women across Mideast

Empowering women to fulfill their full potential is a vital part of Hyatt’s strategy for talent growth and success. 

Hyatt has launched two pioneering initiatives including [email protected], a globally dedicated diversity business resource group, and the Inspirit Mentorship Program, created exclusively in the EMEA region, to support female colleagues to feel a sense of belonging and be inspired in their daily roles. Now in its sixth year in EMEA, [email protected] supports Hyatt’s regional diversity, equity and inclusion mission through cultivating and maintaining an active network, fostering a culture that supports a gender-diverse and inclusive workplace and supporting the needs and advancement of women at Hyatt. 

With 29 branded properties in the Middle East, Hyatt is committed to championing women across different roles within the region, including those of leadership and setting a benchmark across the industry.

The company’s purpose is to care for people so they can be their best, which is reflected in Hyatt’s 2025 DE&I goals, setting out three main areas to accelerate the organization’s progress toward advancing diversity and inclusion efforts. This includes doubling the representation of women in senior management roles at Hyatt, across the region and globally. 

Katrin Melle, regional vice president of DEI and talent, Europe Middle East and Africa, Hyatt, said: “It is truly inspiring to see the growth of [email protected] and the Inspirit Mentorship Program across the EMEA region. Diversity and inclusion is at the core of Hyatt’s values, and I’m proud that our teams bring our commitment to life, continuously working together to embrace equity and empower female leadership growth at Hyatt.” 

[email protected]

[email protected] is a global initiative designed to accelerate and increase professional growth opportunities for female employees at Hyatt. Founded in 2012, the initiative has seen significant growth in activity during 2022-2023 in the EMEA region. At present, there are six active “chapters” in the region including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan, spearheaded by female employees with many male allies. [email protected] chapters are country-based, city-based, or functional focused networking groups supporting women and are based on voluntary formation and participation. 

The goal of the program is to foster a culture that promotes professional and personal growth opportunities for women.

Britta Leick-Milde is the general manager of Hyatt Centric Jumeirah Dubai. She is an active mentor in the Inspirit Mentorship Program and a participant in [email protected], through which she has introduced new initiatives and resources for female staff, including extended maternity and paternity leave options to provide new parents with ample bonding time with their children. 

Inspirit Mentorship Program

A core component of [email protected] in EMEA is the Inspirit Mentorship Program, a bespoke mentoring program for female employees at Hyatt in the region. The program was launched in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi at the end of 2022, with Jordan launching soon. Currently, there are 18 colleagues from the Middle East in the regionally run Inspirit Program for female leaders.

Ruba Taha is the director of marketing and communications at Grand Hyatt Amman in Jordan. An award-winning hospitality professional, Taha is also the chapter chair for [email protected] in Jordan. One of her main achievements is to apply for menstrual leave as an official monthly two-day off for the women working in Grand Hyatt Amman. The hotel team also received a 2022 award from the UN Women’s Women’s Empowerment Principles program for their best practices, recognizing all their efforts made toward women’s empowerment.


Amazon Saudi Arabia policy supports new parents

Amazon Saudi Arabia policy supports new parents
Updated 19 March 2023

Amazon Saudi Arabia policy supports new parents

Amazon Saudi Arabia policy supports new parents

As the Kingdom strives to accelerate progress toward a gender-balanced workforce, Amazon Saudi Arabia outlined its paid parental leave policy that benefits all employees who have become new parents, regardless of gender. Reiterated in celebration of International Women’s Day, the inclusive policy offers both parents, who have completed one year of service, paid parental leave for up to six weeks within the first year following the birth of a child. Birth mothers can choose to add the six weeks of parental leave to their 14 weeks of maternity leave to avail 20 weeks of paid time off, including one month before birth, to focus on parenthood and the family.

Ensuring gender equality in the workplace is crucial to achieving the Saudi Vision 2030 objectives of a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation, says Abdo Chlala,
Country Manager, Amazon Saudi Arabia

Abdo Chlala, country manager, Amazon Saudi Arabia, said: “We continue to listen and evolve our employee experience to ensure our policies and benefits deliver the support new parents need to thrive both at work and at home. Amazon’s parental leave policies represent another important step toward meaningful progress that will support Saudi Arabia’s drive to unleash the full potential of its people. Ensuring gender equality in the workplace is crucial to achieving the Saudi Vision 2030 objectives of a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation. We at Amazon are proud to contribute to bringing these goals to life.”

HIGHLIGHT

The inclusive policy offers both parents, who have completed one year of service, paid parental leave for up to six weeks within the first year following the birth of a child.

As part of a broader benefits package for new parents, Amazon also provides a “Ramp-Back” program that offers primary caregivers eight consecutive weeks of flexibility and partial work hours as they adjust to work schedules as new parents.
“A parent’s return-to-work plan after the birth of a child is just as important as the leave itself. Our ‘Ramp-Back’ program allows new parents to ease their transition back to the workplace and customize their schedules, giving them the flexibility to prioritize family responsibilities as they resume work following their parental leave,” said Bikram Walia, director, human resources, Amazon MENA.
Speaking about her maternity experience, Dana Al-Shahrani, delivery station shift manager at Amazon Saudi Arabia, said: “Bonding with my newborn was extremely important to me. Knowing that Amazon understands what a mother needs during this phase was very comforting and allowed me to focus my full attention on my child and the needs of my growing family. The policy enabled me to start my leave a month before my child was due, and that allowed me the time and mental space to focus on myself and my needs as well.”
Moreover, all Amazon offices and operations sites in Saudi Arabia include dedicated and fully equipped “Mothers’ Rooms.”

 


EFS Logistics named PSA for EgyptAir Cargo’s Saudi operations

EFS GSA recently hosted an event to officially announce their partnership with EgyptAir Cargo, at Le Méridien Jeddah.
EFS GSA recently hosted an event to officially announce their partnership with EgyptAir Cargo, at Le Méridien Jeddah.
Updated 19 March 2023

EFS Logistics named PSA for EgyptAir Cargo’s Saudi operations

EFS GSA recently hosted an event to officially announce their partnership with EgyptAir Cargo, at Le Méridien Jeddah.

EFS Logistics has been chosen as the preferred sales agent for EgyptAir Cargo in Saudi Arabia, based on their reputation and expertise in the air cargo logistics industry.
EFS GSA, a subsidiary of EFS Logistics, recently hosted an event to officially announce their partnership with EgyptAir Cargo, at Le Méridien Jeddah. The event formally started with a welcome speech by Sultan Al-Quraishi, HR and public relations manager of EFS Co. Ltd. Captain Gaser Hussein, chairman of EgyptAir Cargo, officially announced EFS GSA as the PSA for Egypt Air Cargo, followed by a speech by Hesham Elliwa, vice president of EgyptAir Cargo.
Managing Director Najeeb Kalappadan introduced the various services of EFS Co. Ltd., which has been in the logistics industry for more than 26 years. “We at EFS Logistics are thrilled to announce that we have been selected as the PSA for EgyptAir Cargo for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This appointment is a testament to our strong reputation and exceptional expertise in the air cargo logistics industry,” he said.
“We are excited to embark on this new venture and look forward to serving the customers of EgyptAir Cargo with the same dedication and commitment that has made us a leader in the logistics industry,” he added.
Nadir Kalappadan, executive director of EFS Co. Ltd., said: “With our ability to provide outstanding customer service, we are well-equipped to offer comprehensive air cargo solutions that ensure the seamless and efficient transportation of goods for our client.”
Elliwa and Nadir Kalappadan then signed the bond between EFS GSA and EgyptAir Cargo.
Egypt Air operates in more than 70 international destinations, including major cities of the US, Canada, Europe, Africa, the GCC, and the Far East. From Saudi Arabia, EgyptAir currently operates more than four flights daily from Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Madinah. The airline’s cargo hub is located at Cairo International Airport, in addition to several regional hubs.
The new partnership between EFS GSA and EgyptAir Cargo will allow both companies to leverage their strengths and work together to provide customers with the best possible service.
Delegates from the Egyptian Consulate, Saudi Arabian Logistics, Saudi Customs and General Authority of Civil Aviation also attended the event. Fahad Al-Bishri, clearance department manager of EFS Co. Ltd., extended his wishes and support to the entire team.