LuLu Xpress in Jeddah’s Al-Balad gives city’s historical district new address for shopping

Ahmed Abdel-Hamid Al-Zahrani, mayor of Al-Balad, inaugurated the 31st LuLu Xpress in the Al-Balad District of Jeddah.
1 / 3
Ahmed Abdel-Hamid Al-Zahrani, mayor of Al-Balad, inaugurated the 31st LuLu Xpress in the Al-Balad District of Jeddah.
LuLu Xpress in Jeddah’s Al-Balad gives city’s historical district new address for shopping
2 / 3
LuLu Xpress in Jeddah’s Al-Balad gives city’s historical district new address for shopping
3 / 3
Short Url
Updated 25 May 2023

LuLu Xpress in Jeddah’s Al-Balad gives city’s historical district new address for shopping

Ahmed Abdel-Hamid Al-Zahrani, mayor of Al-Balad, inaugurated the 31st LuLu Xpress in the Al-Balad District of Jeddah.

LuLu Hypermarket, the fastest expanding retail chain in Saudi Arabia, has opened its 31st express store in Saudi Arabia — in the Al-Balad District of Jeddah. The single-level compact store was inaugurated by chief guest Ahmed Abdel-Hamid Al-Zahrani, mayor of Al-Balad. The chief guest was welcomed by Shehim Muhammed, director — LuLu Hypermarkets, Saudi Arabia, and senior management members. Rafeek Mohammed Ali, regional director — LuLu Western Province, was also present on the occasion.

Founded in the seventh century, Al-Balad has historically served as the center of Jeddah. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2014.

Spread over 35,000 square feet, the Xpress outlet brings shoppers the ease and convenience of LuLu’s signature product range as well as the promise of quality and affordability in a setting where space has been optimally utilized. It also has excellent parking facilities with 275 car spaces and will primarily target those who love to shop in smaller quantities nearer to their home or office to avoid traffic and larger, crowded stores, while still enjoying the price advantage of big format stores. The store has 13 checkout counters for customers to complete the speedy shopping circle.

Fresh fruits and vegetables, grocery, meat and poultry, and fresh and frozen food sections are the main focus of the store with emphasis on quick service. New features include an emphasis on contemporary food preferences, with a wide range of organic and “free from” food ingredients, freshly made in-store food such as world cuisine items, fresh-baked goods, juices, salads, sushi, fish grill, premium fresh meat cuts and seafood and healthy diet foods. The modern and easy layout includes a section for pet foods, household goods, an expansive imported product range and a dedicated section for food items that are “Proudly Grown in KSA.”

In addition, there are also the popular LuLu sections such as BLSH beauty products and LuLu Connect, the electronics and digital products hub. Al-Balad, also known as the “Gate to Makkah,” is of utmost importance to Hajj and Umrah pilgrims, and as a result, LuLu Xpress has designated retail areas for them as well.

LuLu director Muhammed said that the opening of LuLu Express represented the group’s flexible expansion policy and showed how closely the group is supporting the Kingdom’s urban planning and new developments. “LuLu Saudi is incredibly delighted to add a store in the historic city as well as to make a better shopping experience accessible to the citizens and visitors,” he said.

“Today, many customers are looking for a quicker and more concentrated shopping format such as the ‘LuLu Express.’ However, they also want the key deliverables of our brand, which is quality, affordability, and great customer service. We aim to combine these promises with our ‘LuLu Express,’” Muhammed added.

“The LuLu Express store format will complement the hypermarket store expansion in the years ahead.”

There will be plenty of special deals and promotions until May 30 to celebrate the opening.

Al-Habtoor City Hotel Collection announces Eid Al-Adha staycation offer

Al-Habtoor City Hotel Collection announces Eid Al-Adha staycation offer
Updated 01 June 2023

Al-Habtoor City Hotel Collection announces Eid Al-Adha staycation offer

Al-Habtoor City Hotel Collection announces Eid Al-Adha staycation offer

This Eid Al-Adha, Al-Habtoor City Hotel Collection has announced an exclusive staycation offer across its trilogy of luxury hotels: Hilton Dubai Al-Habtoor City for a family friendly stay, Habtoor Palace Dubai, LXR Hotels and Resorts, for a Dubai-made palatial journey and V Hotel Dubai, Curio Collection by Hilton for fun and nightlife. Guests can now reserve at either of the three hotels and stay for five nights but only pay for three nights.

Perfectly located by the arterial Sheikh Zayed Road and on the back of Dubai Water Canal, Al-Habtoor City Hotel Collection is within the grasp conveniently via land through Sheikh Zayed Road and sea through the exclusive RTA water taxis. Guests can enjoy more than 30 entertainment venues, ranging from casual to fine dine including live music, two tranquilizing spas, three rooftop pools to let off the summer heat, and a kids’ club, so when the kids are away, the parents can experience some we-time, including the miraculous La Perle — a Las Vegas style extravagant world-class water themed show by Dragone.

Al-Habtoor City Hotel Collection offers spacious rooms with breathtaking views of either Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai Water Canal or Burj Khalifa, allowing guests to choose the ideal haven. Every room boasts ultra-comfortable signature beds. Guests can also rejuvenate at the award-winning Silk Spa, three rooftop pools and indulge in more than 30 dining destinations.

They can dine and enjoy world-class experiences and endless opportunities for a fulfilling and truly eventful Eid break:

  • The award-winning World Cut Steakhouse at Habtoor Palace Dubai, represents an American steakhouse with a modern touch offering a selection of signature cuisines, bold beverages and mesmerizing live entertainment. Guests can indulge in the famous Raise the Steaks brunch on Saturday from 12 p.m. — 4 p.m. or a night of exquisite elegance featuring a luxurious four-course set menu on Tuesday from 7.30 p.m. — 10 p.m.
  • Serving French classics at BQ French Kitchen and Bar at Habtoor Palace Dubai represents memories of a local brasserie on Avenue des Champs Elysees in Paris, with the new “Sunday Lunch” showcasing French terroir products and live stations from 1 p.m. — 4 p.m.
  • Surrounded by astute elegance, Sidra at Habtoor Palace Dubai is a relaxing lounge offering an impeccable selection of fine tea blends paired with delicious pastries, homemade cakes and live entertainment for the perfect summer afternoon tea get-together.
  • Guests can escape to comfort at The Roof Gardens at Habtoor Palace Dubai with soothing colors and plush seating, to enjoy great food and signature cocktails in a vibrant atmosphere.
  • The Market at Hilton Dubai Al-Habtoor City offers a wide range of cuisines from around the world. Every choice is a healthy choice, indulgent and always soul feeding. To add to the fun, The City Brunch is back for a family frenzy Saturday afternoon from 12.30 p.m. — 4 p.m. Little ones will have a blast here too, with a special kids’ area. They can enjoy several fun activities and treats such as popcorn, sugar candy, nachos, mini burgers and live ice cream stations.
  • Guests can enjoy sports with friends and family at Ribs and Brews, an American restaurant serving gourmet comfort food and beverages. Guests can also enjoy daily theme nights such as “Trivia Night” every Wednesday or “Night Brunch” every Thursday.
  • For a lazy afternoon, guests can chill at Firefly, a chic and urban poolside lounge, and enjoy great food and staple cocktails in a vibrant atmosphere, where they can watch live games and chill with aromatic shisha.
  • Guests can enjoy the new V Hub, which is home to V Lounge. Sunsets are never out of fashion in this urban chic setting with a retro futurism design and views from the seventh floor, where they can groove to global rhythms with the resident DJ.
  • Guests can beat the heat at V Deck, an urban poolside spot, sleekly lavished with all the fundamentals of stylish contemporary deck cabanas, DJ booth and tantalizing cocktails. The venue offers complimentary pool access from Monday to Thursday for the ladies, and a “Ladies Night” every Wednesday.
  • Guests can relish in a casual dining lounge at Level 7, a unique hideout on the 7th floor, while enjoying live cooking stations overlooking the Dubai Water Canal.

IHG Hotels & Resorts’ top 5 luxury summer destinations

IHG Hotels & Resorts’ top 5 luxury summer destinations
Updated 01 June 2023

IHG Hotels & Resorts’ top 5 luxury summer destinations

IHG Hotels & Resorts’ top 5 luxury summer destinations

Higher temperatures, the long school break, and somewhat slower office days can only mean one thing — it is summertime in the Middle East and it is the perfect time to travel — locally, regionally or even abroad. But before the trip comes the planning, which is one of the best parts of the experience. And with the summer months just on the horizon, it is time to start thinking about where to go and what to do. Decisions, decisions.

Whether you prefer a hassle-free staycation centered on wellness or adventurous family activities, or you are looking to add stamps to your passport, IHG Resorts and Hotels has got you covered. With its portfolio of 6,000 hotels across 18 brands in more than 100 countries, IHG Hotels and Resorts follows a “no two guests are ever the same” mantra, ensuring each experience is carefully curated to each visitor.

Indecisive and don’t know where to begin your planning? Here are five standout options from IHG Hotels and Resorts, whether you want to venture internationally or relax in near-by familiar bliss.

Wellness with a side of adventure at Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman

Everyone deserves a wellness retreat with a side of adventure at least once a year to restore the mind, body and soul. Look no further than Six Senses Zighy Bay, a village-inspired resort situated at the heart of Oman’s Musandam Peninsula — a secluded spot much-loved for its contrasting rugged mountains on one side and its long private stretch of beach on the other.

With two Arabic style hammams, an ice cave, skin purifying and soothing spa treatments, outdoor sunrise yoga and more, this wellness sanctuary is ideal for those who want to pause, reflect and relax. The resort goes a step further and will design a wellness program customized for you, created through a non-invasive wellness screening facility and the hotel’s smart tech and dedicated wellness experts.

Apart from relaxation, the resort also offers adventurous adrenalin-spiking activities such as paragliding (launching oneself into the sky from 960 feet), as well as snorkelling and more.

Dining is also on point. Indulge in traditional Bedouin dining, as well as contemporary local and international culinary experiences during your stay.

Family first at InterContinental Durrat Al-Riyadh Resort and Spa

Staycations or local micro-trips are a great way to take the entire family away on a break without the stresses of air travel, check-ins, and overweight baggage. IHG Hotels and Resorts has made this very much possible with a range of luxury hotels across Saudi Arabia.

The recently opened InterContinental Durrat Al-Riyadh Resort and Spa is distinctive, offering local Saudi residents and their families a luxurious and private family escape among a 154,000-square-meter lush green oasis.

Adults can relax and replenish with therapeutic massages or treatments from the largest 5-star resort spa facility in Riyadh and one of the best in the Kingdom.

Kids are also well catered to. There are unique activities such as the hotel’s in-house kids’ club with a ball pool, toy horses, and thrilling slides. Not to mention a tennis course and a fantastic space dedicated to mini-golf — the first miniature golf course in all of Saudi Arabia.

Impressed yet? The property also boasts 18 indoor and outdoor swimming pools, featuring an infinity edge pool.

Fall in love all over again at Carlton Cannes, a Regent hotel

Been eyeing that “once-in-a-lifetime” romantic trip? If you are feeling all things croissants, pretty streets and local flavors, then look no further than the exquisite Carlton Cannes, a Regent hotel.

Located on the French Riviera’s La Croisette Boulevard, this new Regent hotel is a luxury destination featuring charming high-ceilings, Côte d’Azur facing rooms, decorated with artisan fabrics and modern luxury detailing.

For a forever memorable perfect escape, you can charter a sunset sail, reserve a glorious helicopter tour over the coastline, or simply take a stroll along the famed boulevard’s designer boutiques. The hotel’s “experience agents” are always at your service to add magic to your stay in any way possible.

Shop or chill at Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown

Just five minutes away from Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa, Hotel Indigo is on the doorstep of Dubai’s most vibrant shopping destination and bustling boulevard. Here you can enjoy your break just the way you like it — whether that is keeping your fitness routine in check at the hotel’s gym and 25-meter infinity pool, relaxing with chill beats and shisha at the Orange Feels Bar and Shisha Lounge, exploring the canal walkways, or simply soaking up the glorious sunset from the hotel’s floor to ceiling views of the marvelous cityscape, all this while relaxing at its carefully curated rooms, designed with funk and pearl.

Furry friends are welcomed here, so bring your pet for a vacation of its own. There are also lip-smacking culinary experiences including Emirati, Levantine and Anatolian cuisines.

Live like a Londoner at Kimpton Fitzroy London

If you are a history lover wanting to spend your summer at places that will turn back time (with a very modern touch), the Kimpton Fitzroy London is for you.

Retire to rooms filled with dreamy art pieces and unwind in lounges adorned with historic, ancient design flair. But there is also an array of modern-day needs thrown into the mix — including a fitness center, private dining experiences, as well as a British bar and grill where dishes are prepared from ethically sourced produce. There are also pet-friendly amenities (inclusive of stay charges).

The hotel’s outstanding “Stay Human Concierge” will help you curate your very own personalized London adventure, which could include a leisurely picnic in Russell Square Gardens, private tours of the Tower of London and The British Museum, or even a Paddington afternoon tea bus tour.

Get planning soon and remember the IHG One Rewards program offers a suite of member benefits including discounted rates and promotions, late check-out, suite upgrades or food and drink discounts. Rewards points can be used across IHG’s growing portfolio — each of which provides a unique experience, from islandic or beachside escapes to restorative wellness getaways, luxury retreats, striking cityscape stays and much more.

Emirati artist Mahmood Al-Abadi shares his inspiring journey at HUAWEI P60 Pro product launch

 Emirati artist Mahmood Al-Abadi shares his inspiring journey at HUAWEI P60 Pro product launch
Updated 31 May 2023

Emirati artist Mahmood Al-Abadi shares his inspiring journey at HUAWEI P60 Pro product launch

 Emirati artist Mahmood Al-Abadi shares his inspiring journey at HUAWEI P60 Pro product launch

Meeting consumers’ shifting expectations is not only about providing them with the best hardware available, but also developing innovative software and services to make the most out of it. The Huawei Mobile Services ecosystem keeps evolving and growing in all of its aspects, and Huawei Themes is a bright example. Offering an endless array of themes, watch faces, Always-On-Display options, wallpapers, and fonts, Huawei Themes turns Huawei devices into a bold expression of self-identity.

In order to create exclusive, premium quality content for Huawei users, Huawei Themes has joined forces with prestigious partners and renowned local and regional artists. The acclaimed Emirati artist Mahmood Al-Abadi is one of them, and he shared the story of his successful journey with calligraphy and arts as well as his collaboration with Huawei Themes, during the Huawei P60 Pro and Flagship Product Launch Event, held in Dubai.

Al-Abadi enthusiastically took the stage at the event and shared with the audience his firsthand experience with Huawei Themes, and how it elevated his digital experience to new heights. He expressed his excitement about the vast array of customizable themes and the seamless integration with Huawei smartphones, foldable phones, tablets and smartwatches.

Al-Abadi offered the attendees a glimpse of the beautiful sets of aesthetically unique Ramadan themes, which are available for download on all Huawei smartphones, tablets and smartwatches, with nearly 500,000 downloads recorded so far for this new theme - a number that keeps increasing. He also showcased the recent themes “Soaring Falcon” and “Sailing Ship,” which were customized for all Huawei devices including the latest release of Huawei Mate X3 and Huawei P60 Pro. The new designs add a unique touch to traditional Arabic calligraphy by fusing it with contemporary art and technology.

Al-Abadi’s testimonial exemplifies the unwavering dedication of HMS to providing users with innovative features and personalized options that enhance their daily interactions with their devices.

William Hu, managing director of Huawei Consumer Business Group, Middle East and Africa Eco Development and Operation, said: “We are delighted to expand our partnership with Mahmood Al-Abadi, a master of Arabic calligraphy. By bringing together his exceptional creative prowess and our cutting-edge mobile technology, we were able to establish an unconventional and innovative approach for promoting the rich cultural heritage of the Middle East. Huawei Mobile Services will continue to deploy internal resources and incentive programs to encourage designers to unleash their creativity and develop higher-quality themes for our users.”

Huawei’s latest smartphones, the flagship Huawei P60 Pro and the super-thin foldable Huawei Mate X3, are ideal for consumers who wish to immerse themselves in the magnificent realm of Arabic art, since Al-Abadi’s themes look marvelous on their impressive displays. With elegant design, outstanding performance and a superb array of cameras, the Huawei P60 Pro re-establishes the benchmark for smartphone photography. The Huawei Mate X3 is the world’s thinnest and lightest foldable smartphone, with an ultra-light and strong aluminum and carbon fiber build that allows for substantial weight savings. Both the Huawei P60 Pro and Mate X3 are powered by HMS.


CMI drives development of digital economy in MEA

CMI drives development of digital economy in MEA
Updated 30 May 2023

CMI drives development of digital economy in MEA

CMI drives development of digital economy in MEA

Fifth-generation networks will account for nearly a fifth of mobile connections in the Middle East and Africa by 2025, and almost half of connections in the GCC states, according to the GSMA. With the backing of China Mobile, China Mobile International remains committed to the region, providing global network resources and integrated solutions to help carriers and businesses tap into the opportunities that 5G will bring. 

As one of the industry leaders, CMI is connecting the world and driving global adoption of 5G. Its extensive global infrastructure supports customers in MEA with reliable, scalable and resilient network resources. 

The 45,000-km 2Africa submarine cable is an ambitious project to interconnect Africa, Europe (eastward via Egypt) and Asia (via Saudi Arabia). It was announced by CMI and other partners in May 2020, with 26 out of a total of 46 landings completed by February this year. When 2Africa goes live in 2024, it will deliver more than the total combined capacity of all subsea cables currently serving Africa, with a design capacity of up to 180 Terabits per second.

The only Chinese company investing in the project, CMI is committed to the further growth of 4G in MEA and the continued roll-out of 5G and fixed broadband services. Its mission is to help bring connectivity to underserved and rural areas across the region while enhancing network resilience and global connectivity to benefit businesses and individuals throughout MEA. 

As a gateway to international connectivity, the 2Africa cable will also help to drive the upgrade and expansion of telecommunications networks in the region. It will offer customers seamless links between Africa and Europe, further interconnecting with CMI’s SEA-ME-WE 5 and Asia-Africa-Europe 1 subsea cable resources to extend connectivity to Asia. This will support the development of a thriving internet ecosystem, especially for underserved communities across Africa. 2Africa is an important milestone in CMI’s global development strategy. Offering ample capacity and faster transmission will allow CMI to help the nations of MEA to further develop their digital economy today and in the future. 

CMI continues to enhance regional telecom infrastructure in MEA by investing in network resources and expanding its footprint to better serve local customers and support business development. CMI currently has 80 submarine and terrestrial cables that provide total network capacity of over 123 T. These include 15 submarine cables and 23 terrestrial cables in which CMI has directly invested, such as the 20,000-km undersea SMW-5 cable between Egypt and Singapore. In addition, more than 30 of CMI’s 232 points of presence are located in the Middle East and major African countries, including UAE, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria. Together with CMI’s 80+ cloud connect PoPs, this creates a strong global network that provides direct internet access and internet transit services for MEA at lower cost.

On March 7, CMI announced the successful launch of its Oman Muscat MC1 PoP. CMI’s second PoP in Oman is located within the carrier-neutral Equinix MC1 data center in Barka. This data center is also a landing station for multiple submarine cable systems, reinforcing the country’s importance as a network hub bridging Asia, Africa and Europe. 

In coming years, the Middle East will benefit hugely from the introduction of developments like smart city technologies, digital financial services and the Internet of Vehicles. CMI continues to work with partners like Zain KSA, Etisalat Egypt and Master Power Technologies etc. in driving the development and adoption of 5G, IoT and IDC solutions to boost digital transformation and advance the region.

GIB signs credit facility agreement with Italy’s SAIPEM

GIB signs credit facility agreement with Italy’s SAIPEM
Updated 30 May 2023

GIB signs credit facility agreement with Italy’s SAIPEM

GIB signs credit facility agreement with Italy’s SAIPEM

Gulf International Bank — Saudi Arabia has announced the signing of a SR1.07 billion ($285.3 million) credit facility agreement with the Italian-listed multinational engineering group SAIPEM. The facility, in the form of a letter of guarantee, supports the company’s ongoing activities in the Kingdom.

SAIPEM is a leading oil and gas contractor with a nearly 50-year track record operating in Saudi Arabia where it has successfully delivered multiple onshore/offshore/drilling infrastructure projects. 

An official signing ceremony was held at GIB KSA headquarters in Alkhobar. Representing GIB was Abdulaziz Al-Helaissi, GIB’s group chief executive officer, and the relationship management team alongside Khaled Abbas, group head of wholesale banking. Present from SAIPEM was Jean-Luc Dubois, chairman of the board of directors of the main operative company in Saudi Arabia, and administration, finance and control regional manager — Middle East.

Al-Helaissi said: “GIB is proud to have signed this facility agreement with SAIPEM, supporting its ongoing activities in the Kingdom and in one of the most important sectors of the economy. We are pleased to be a go-to partner for large corporates, both local and foreign, operating in the Kingdom and will continue to build our position as a market leading financing bank.” 

Dubois added: “We are proud to collaborate with GIB as a trusted business partner supporting SAIPEM’s activities and growth perspectives in the Kingdom.”

GIB KSA provides retail, corporate and institutional customers across the Kingdom with a comprehensive offering of banking and financial services covering wholesale banking, asset management, investment banking and retail banking service via “meem” by GIB. 

The bank, which is the first to be headquartered in the Eastern Province, has branches in Dhahran, Riyadh and Jeddah, and was established as a local Saudi bank in April 2019 after having operated in the Kingdom for nearly 20 years as foreign branches of the pan-GCC GIB. The bank, during this time, has been a pioneer in the local market, having launched its meem digital banking services in 2015, making it the first digital bank in the region providing Shariah-compliant products for retail customers.

GIB Saudi Arabia is regulated by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority and has been established with a paid-up capital of SR7.5 billion. It is owned equally by GIB and the Public Investment Fund.