Masar Destination, Future Investment Initiative Foundation Strategic Partner, participates in New York ‘PRIORITY’ Summit

Richard Attias, CEO, FII Intitute
Richard Attias, CEO, FII Intitute
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Updated 25 September 2022

Masar Destination, Future Investment Initiative Foundation Strategic Partner, participates in New York ‘PRIORITY’ Summit

Richard Attias, CEO, FII Intitute

Umm Al-Qura for Development and Construction Company, owner and developer of Masar, the SR100 billion ($26.6 billion) upcoming destination in Makkah, participated in a summit organized by the Future Investment Initiative Institute in New York on Sept. 22. The “Priority” summit took place on the sidelines of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.

Masar’s participation comes in line with its eagerness to effectively contribute to the institute’s work and to highlight priorities of people from all walks of life — leaders, CEOs, academics, investors and more. The summit mainly discussed the highest priority for each segment of society as the world goes through extraordinary social, economic and geopolitical changes.

Masar aims to achieve its strategic objectives in terms of environmental social governance practices by implementing the highest standards of sustainable growth and investment. The destination aims to support various development and economic initiatives, which in return will make a positive impact on humanity and achieve a better vision for the future of investments.

Masar is the strategic partner of the Future Investment Initiative Institute, which is gearing up to host the sixth edition of the FII conference in Riyadh from Oct. 25-27, under the theme “Investing in Humanity: Enabling a New Global Order.” The FII represents a platform targeting influential business leaders locally and globally and focuses on topics related to the economic future of the world and other key areas. The conference is a key opportunity for investment cooperation between national and international institutions in various sectors.


ToYou launches Kingdom’s first monthly multi-tier subscription model

ToYou launches Kingdom’s first monthly multi-tier subscription model
Updated 07 December 2022

ToYou launches Kingdom’s first monthly multi-tier subscription model

ToYou launches Kingdom’s first monthly multi-tier subscription model
  •  The new subscription model speaks to the diverse needs of its customer base with four attractive and affordable packages.
  •  Coinciding with the subscription launch, ToYou has introduced a digital wallet that boosts in-app spending and offers customers even more choice, flexibility, and exclusive deals.

Saudi-based delivery super app ToYou has launched a fresh new subscription model that is nothing short of an indulgent crime against delivery convention. With an offering that combines boundless ordering with free delivery, the platform’s new lineup of subscription packages takes customer experience to new heights and marks the beginning of online ordering without compromise.

The new subscription offering is the latest addition to the ToYou platform — an ecosystem that integrates m-commerce, logistics, and a full-scope chat system in one, easy-to-use system. The platform works with thousands of merchants to deliver everything from basic groceries to five-star restaurant requests, and from pharmacy essentials to designer fashion. 

With the first-of-its-kind subscription service, ToYou is ahead of the game. Unlike other subscription services on Saudi Arabia’s delivery landscape, the platform’s offering centers on a multi-tier model, with four categories — Plus, Advance, Pro, and Unlimited — that cater to varying demands and budgets. With subscriptions starting from as little as SR19 (l$5) and perks that include attractive discounts and value-added services, ToYou’s innovative offering speaks to the needs and preferences of an increasingly diverse customer base:

  • Unlimited: True to its name, ToYou’s Unlimited package gives users limitless access to merchants, with no cap on the number of deliveries. Whether in search of urgent essentials or the ultimate treat, with boundless options, customers can order what they want, when they want it, with delivery completely free of charge. 
  • Pro: The Pro subscription offers equally appealing access to an unlimited pool of merchants, this time with 10 free-delivery orders to enjoy. 
  • Advance: ToYou’s Advance package enables users to place unlimited orders with a wide number of merchants. That means loyal customers can order from their favorite stores and restaurants over and over again. 
  • Plus: For the less frequent user, ToYou’s Plus subscription includes up to five orders with select outlets — the perfect hassle-free option for the occasional indulgence or urgent purchase.

ToYou’s subscription offering coincides with the launch of another innovative feature: an in-app wallet that provides users with yet another flexible payment option, along with a lineup of exclusive offers that deliver extra value and customer savings. In addition to enhancing ToYou’s existing value proposition, the wallet, which involves a virtual prepaid card, will boost in-app spending and ensure a healthy cash flow as the platform continues on its growth trajectory.

The introduction of ToYou’s wallet and multi-tier subscription model comes at the right time for Saudi consumers. According to the Kingdom’s Communications and Information Technology Commission, online ordering activity is rising sharply within the country, with requests reportedly rising from 117,000 in Q4 2019 to 525,000 in the same period last year. Order values are increasing sharply too, reaching SR1.75 billion up from SR310 million, during the same period. 

By building on this market opportunity and delivering unrivaled choice and service to its users, ToYou is preparing for a future of growth and expansion in Saudi Arabia and beyond.

For CCO Ziyad Al-Ajlan, the launch of ToYou’s subscription model is a game-changer on the delivery landscape. He said: “ToYou is all about customer experience and the introduction of our multi-tier subscription service takes it to a whole new level. Our subscriptions deliver almost unlimited choice and flexibility to our users — not to mention a touch of luxury — enabling them to order from anywhere, anytime, with no delivery fee.” 

Al-Ajlan added: “You can now order your cocktails from Signature, your main meal from CrustCorner, and dessert from Magnolia Bakery. It’s delivery well and truly without compromise.”

 


Geidea to provide POS solutions at MDLBEAST & other festivals

Geidea to provide POS solutions at MDLBEAST & other festivals
Updated 06 December 2022

Geidea to provide POS solutions at MDLBEAST & other festivals

Geidea to provide POS solutions at MDLBEAST & other festivals

Saudi fintech Geidea has partnered with Gastro-Trends, the F&B arm of MDLBEAST, to provide payment and restaurant management solutions at four of the region’s biggest music festivals, namely Aravia, XP Music Futures, Soundstorm and Balad Beast.

Geidea, which already caters to the Kingdom’s thriving F&B sector with more than 52,000 restaurants and cafes, will supply a point-of-sale restaurant management system and payment terminals at the international star-studded events, with 600 terminals serving more than 150 merchants and brands on site.

More than 700,000 are expected to attend the mega events, two of which are in Riyadh and one in both Jeddah and Doha.

Laurent Dhaeyer, group chief strategy and growth officer at Geidea, said: “Our new-generation, fully integrated, cloud-based POS systems offer F&B and retail businesses the best-in-market point-of-sale solutions that can respond to the ever-evolving needs of customers. We are delighted to partner with Gastro-Trends to offer our safe, secure and seamless payments solutions to cater for the hundreds of thousands of festivalgoers.”

MDLBEAST, which boasts artists including Post Malone, Eric Prydz, Carl Cox, Bruno Mars and DJ Khaled, is a global and creative platform setting the tone for music, art and culture and shifting the epicenter of underground music. Starting with Saudi and echoing outwards, MDLBEAST supports artists in creating experiences that move people and, in turn, make people move.

Alex Gorman, project director, F&B, MDLBEAST/Gastro-Trends, said: “MDLBEAST events have become some of the biggest and best music events on the international calendar. It’s all about creating a memorable experience for everyone who attends and that includes being able to provide swift and simple payment solutions when it comes to buying F&B. Our collaboration with Geidea, a fellow homegrown Saudi brand, does just that.”

Founded in Saudi Arabia, Geidea is expanding rapidly across the region with operations in the UAE and Egypt. It is targeting seven more countries in the next two years, serving both financial institutions and small and medium businesses.


LuLu’s 29th hypermarket in Kingdom opens in Jeddah

LuLu’s 29th hypermarket in Kingdom opens in Jeddah
Updated 06 December 2022

LuLu’s 29th hypermarket in Kingdom opens in Jeddah

LuLu’s 29th hypermarket in Kingdom opens in Jeddah

The 29th LuLu Hypermarket in Saudi Arabia was inaugurated by Khalaf bin Houssan Al-Otaibi, vice chairman of the board of Jeddah Chamber. The new store is located on Jeddah’s busy Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah Road in Al-Ruwais district.

With Jeddah facing the onslaught of floods last Thursday, LuLu Group immediately cut back on the expenses of the inaugural ceremony and donated the money instead, through Nafa Charity Society, to more than 1,500 needy families who were affected.

“LuLu Group stands by the community and we decided to share the humanitarian responsibility and support the 1,500 needy, flood-affected families,” said Executive Director of LuLu Group Ashraf Ali M.A. who was present on the occasion.

The 90,000-square-foot single-floor store is set in a spacious 190,000-square-foot area and boasts of all facilities for shoppers, including 16 checkout counters and 275 dedicated parking slots.

The latest store will bring to shoppers all the conveniences that the group’s hypermarket chain is known for: an abundant range of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood from around the world, an in-house bakery to serve up freshly baked breads and cakes, as well as shopping options that tap into new award-winning trends. These include a wide selection of plant-based meat substitutes and foods, a special organic and superfoods section, and an extensive “free-from” range.

The store also includes popular LuLu shopping stations such as LuLu Fashion, the electronics section LuLu Connect and the beauty and cosmetics division BLSH.

Ali said that the new store opening comes in line with LuLu Group’s commitment to the new economic energy that has made the Kingdom a vibrant investor destination; it is also a vital link in the group’s expansion. He praised the Saudi leadership’s vision and energy for a bright future. The group is already planning more store openings in the country.

“LuLu Group has aligned its ambitious growth goals with the vision of the energetic and far-sighted leadership of Saudi Arabia and as we near the close of a satisfying 2022, I am very happy to announce that our 2023 blueprint will see major expansion in Saudi Arabia,” said Ali.

“Certainly, LuLu Group is positioning itself as a catalyst of economic growth — we see that the country is preparing for a major business boost and we are keen to be the drivers of economic partnership in Saudi Arabia.”

Also present on the occasion were Shehim Mohamed, director of LuLu Hypermarket Saudi Arabia; Rafeek Mohammed Ali, regional director of LuLu Hypermarket, western province; and other officials.


Aston Martin designs first luxury home in Japan

Aston Martin designs  first luxury home in Japan
Updated 05 December 2022

Aston Martin designs first luxury home in Japan

Aston Martin designs  first luxury home in Japan

Aston Martin will apply its design mastery to the world of Japanese real estate, as part of a new partnership that sees the first luxury home in Asia to be designed by the luxury British sports car manufacturer.

The collaboration between Aston Martin and Japanese concierge leader Vibroa commences with the design and construction of No. 001 Minami Aoyama, a stunning private home in the Omotesando area of Minami Aoyama, renowned as one of Tokyo’s foremost architectural and style centers. 

Impressions of the home, which features an automotive gallery, home cinema, gym, and private spa, have been unveiled, with Aston Martin’s design principles reflected throughout the property. Working with a local architect, the exterior design of the home is led by Aston Martin’s acclaimed designers, who are also responsible for the interior styling of the property and carefully selected furniture.

The four-story home, complete with roof terrace and stunning views of Tokyo, is already sold to a private buyer and is scheduled for completion in November 2023. It is Aston Martin’s first real estate design collaboration in Asia, and follows successful projects in the US, including the Sylvan Rock private residential estate and exclusive Aston Martin Residences in Miami, which are now 97 percent sold out ahead of the luxury waterfront tower’s scheduled opening in summer 2023.

Marek Reichman, executive vice president and chief creative officer of Aston Martin, said: “The influence of Tokyo culture, with its amazing history and style, holds an important creative space within our design studio. I see fashion, architectural and even culinary references being considered by our team when developing their work, so its presence can really be felt within our practice.

“We thought we would return the favor through our first ultra-luxury collaboration in Asia with Vibroa by tailoring our Aston Martin real estate design principles specifically to the No. 001 Minami property.

“Outside, we’ve created a striking architectural form with clean lines and seamless boundaries so the residents can connect with and experience this unique location. Inside, we’ve catered to the senses, using a holistic combination of elements and materials to create a calm and relaxing space for them to retreat.”

Toshiyuki Yoshida, chief executive of Vibroa, said: “Vibroa is committed to providing our clients with a priceless experience and added value in the world of luxury real estate through access to the world’s finest products and services. We are therefore delighted to be working with such an iconic ultra-luxury brand as Aston Martin, whose renowned design philosophy and expertise bring a unique dimension not just to this home, but the wider world of real estate in Japan.”


Xiaomi brings football fans together for Riyadh meetup

Xiaomi brings football fans together for Riyadh meetup
Updated 05 December 2022

Xiaomi brings football fans together for Riyadh meetup

Xiaomi brings football fans together for Riyadh meetup

Xiaomi Saudi Arabia called on all football fans across the Kingdom to celebrate their love for the beautiful game and enter the running to win an exclusive selection of prizes at a special fan meetup in Riyadh that took place over the weekend. 

The Mi Fan gathering took place on Nov. 26, bringing together football lovers and communities for a fun-filled day of football fandom built around the entertainment and thrills of the FIFA World Cup. 

At the event, guests were treated to a live screening of the Saudi Arabian national team’s vital Group C tie with Poland. They were given a colorful array of football paraphernalia — including Saudi and Xiaomi flags — to cheer the Saudi national side to victory. Guests were treated to a delicious spread of food, with a wide range of beverages and snacks available for them to choose from. After the match, a lucky draw was held, giving participants the chance to win Xiaomi-Eco prizes, including a 55-inch Mi TV, the state-of-the-art Mi Robot Vacuum Mop 2 lite, and an air fryer.

All fans were handed gift bags filled with prizes such as the Xiaomi Band 7 Pro, the Redmi Buds 3, and a Xiaomi T-shirt.

“The fan meetup underlines Xiaomi’s commitment to creating memorable experiences for the Kingdom’s tech-savvy community of consumers. It is in keeping with the smartphone company’s mission to make quality technology accessible to everyone across the Kingdom,” the company said in a statement.

“The event emphasizes Xiaomi’s dedication to catering to its customer’s needs, with the brand sharing Saudi citizens’ and residents’ passion for football. Ultimately, the meetup aims to reward Xiaomi fans for their loyalty and support for the brand.” 

In the run-up to the special fan event, a pre-meetup lucky draw was also held online on social media, with a group of winners being chosen to get their hands on a Redmi Note 11s — one of Xiaomi’s most acclaimed and cutting-edge smartphones.