Ma’aden to tackle industry challenges at Future Minerals Forum 2024

Ma’aden to tackle industry challenges at Future Minerals Forum 2024
Future Minerals Forum 2023 was a resounding success, with more than 9,000 participants attending in person and over 13,000 participating remotely. The next edition will be held in Riyadh from Jan. 9-11, 2024.
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Updated 19 November 2023
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Ma’aden to tackle industry challenges at Future Minerals Forum 2024

Ma’aden to tackle industry challenges at Future Minerals Forum 2024

The Future Minerals Forum has announced that Ma’aden will return as a founding partner to the event for the third consecutive year. Ma’aden, the largest multi-commodity natural resources company in the Middle East, will play a central role again in discussions shaping the global minerals sector during FMF 2024 in January.

This event will focus on creating resilient and responsible mineral value chains in the resource-rich mineral super region of Africa, Western and Central Asia. FMF 2024 will convene government leaders, mining executives, investors, and other stakeholders to drive partnership and growth contributing to a sustainable sector and strengthening global minerals supply chains.

Last year at FMF, Ma’aden made a series of significant announcements including a major joint venture with PIF, Manara Minerals, supporting global minerals supply chains that are critical to the energy transition. Ma’aden also announced milestone agreements with global mining leaders Ivanhoe Electric and Barrick Gold Corporation, helping to drive forward the development of the Kingdom’s mining sector.

The forum plays a key role in supporting investment and partnerships in Saudi Arabia and globally.

Exciting new initiatives that will be discussed at FMF 2024 include increasing human resource capacity and talent in the region through centers of excellence; developing sustainability standards that meet the requirements of host countries and maintain trust with society; and creating a green metals hub within the super region by utilizing modern technologies and developing processing centers.

FMF 2023 was a resounding success, with more than 9,000 participants attending in person and over 13,000 participating remotely. FMF 2024 is expected to have an even wider reach, with a focus on actionable solutions to the challenges facing the mining and minerals sector.

The event will be held under the patronage of King Salman, at the King Abdulaziz International Convention Center in Riyadh from Jan. 9-11, 2024.


DARCO showcases latest projects at Restatex exhibition

DARCO showcases latest projects at Restatex exhibition
Updated 25 February 2024
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DARCO showcases latest projects at Restatex exhibition

DARCO showcases latest projects at Restatex exhibition

 

DARCO Real Estate Company was the diamond sponsor of the recently concluded Restatex Riyadh Real Estate Exhibition 2024. This sponsorship is part of the company’s continued support for the prominent movement witnessed in the real estate sector in the Kingdom in light of Vision 2030, which has given top priority in its programs and initiatives to housing projects and enabling citizens to obtain suitable housing. 

DARCO’s pavilion stood out during the exhibition, where it unveiled a number of projects, including DARCO Al-Awal Project being implemented in Safa District in Jeddah. The project consists of 20 residential buildings, which include 184 housing units, and features private facilities including gardens, outdoor seating areas, and recreational areas.

During the exhibition, the company also presented a number of other projects in Riyadh and Jeddah such as DARCO Diamond, DARCO Valley, DARCO Oases, and DARCO Hills.

It also announced the launch of DARCO’s sister company Dawam for after-sales services and property management. Dawam will provide its services to DARCO’s clients according to the best standards that ensure sustainability.

During the exhibition, DARCO signed a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding with major financial institutions, suppliers, and supply chains to provide the best real estate products to customers through the easiest financing methods.

DARCO’s CEO Dr. Omar Al-Qahtani said: “At DARCO, we are committed to actively participating in exhibitions that contribute to the growth and development of the real estate sector in the Kingdom, of which we consider ourselves a part. We impact and are influenced like others in this vital sector. Therefore, we are keen to showcase our latest and most important projects through this exhibition, such as DARCO Al-Awal Project, which will be completed in the coming months as a model that demonstrates DARCO’s vision and standards for implementing its projects.”

Regarding the launching of Dawam, Al-Qahtani said the new company will work on improving customer experience in after-sales services and addressing many of the shortcomings that were particularly evident in projects with common benefits among residents. The launch of Dawam reflects DARCO’s extensive experience in its field, necessitating the need for a specialized company that provides after-sales services to customers.


Geidea reinforces leadership in Saudi fintech with key appointments

Abdulmalik Al-Sheikh, Independent Member of Geidea
Abdulmalik Al-Sheikh, Independent Member of Geidea
Updated 25 February 2024
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Geidea reinforces leadership in Saudi fintech with key appointments

Abdulmalik Al-Sheikh, Independent Member of Geidea

Geidea, a frontrunner in the fintech sector, has announced the joining of three industry leaders to its team in Saudi Arabia. The announcement reflects Geidea’s commitment to spearheading fintech innovation with seasoned talent and reinforces Saudi Arabia as its core market. 

Abdulmalik Al-Sheikh has been appointed to the board of directors as an independent member. Al-Sheikh brings to Geidea more than 30 years of groundbreaking leadership experience in finance, technology, and innovation. He played an instrumental role in driving the development of the Saudi financial system, in particular the national payment ecosystem since its establishment by the Saudi Central Bank. Moreover, he took an active role throughout his career in various working groups linked to the G20, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.

Ziyad Al-Eisa has been appointed to the Geidea board of directors and as the CEO of Geidea in Saudi Arabia, one of the three markets where the company operates and assumes a leading position in both market share and innovative product offerings. Al-Eisa is a results-driven business leader with a forward-thinking approach demonstrated through a long track record working in various entities, such as the Saudi Central Bank, Al-Rajhi Bank, and the Saudi Investment Bank. Prior to that, Al-Eisa served as the CEO of Neoleap and Bayan Credit Bureau, a Saudi Central Bank-regulated company offering integrated corporate credit reporting services in Saudi Arabia.

Omar Yassine has been appointed as a senior adviser to the executive chairperson of the board of directors at Geidea. He has a wealth of professional experience in leading financial institutions in the Kingdom. He has developed a strong track record in digital transformation, strategy development, profit maximization, and business transformation. Most recently, Yassine was the CEO of digital ventures and payments at the Saudi National Bank, where he worked for more than 14 years, assuming various leadership roles, including group chief digital officer, head of retail banking, and head of the remittance division.

Abdulla Al-Othman, founder and executive chairperson of Geidea, said: “Our roots in Saudi Arabia have always been a source of strength and inspiration, propelling us to lead innovation and disruption within the fintech sector. Welcoming Abdulmalik Al-Sheikh, Ziyad Al-Eisa, and Omar Yassine to Geidea marks a significant milestone in our journey. Their extensive experience and visionary leadership are perfectly aligned with our mission to revolutionize payment technology, making it more accessible, affordable, and intuitive for all clients. As we continue to expand our reach and impact, I am confident that their contributions will enable us to achieve unprecedented success, both in Saudi Arabia and internationally.” 


93% of KSA firms have AI strategy in place or under development: Cisco

93% of KSA firms have AI strategy in place or under development: Cisco
Updated 25 February 2024
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93% of KSA firms have AI strategy in place or under development: Cisco

93% of KSA firms have AI strategy in place or under development: Cisco

Ahead of the LEAP 2024 technology conference in Riyadh, Cisco announced the findings of its AI Readiness Index in Saudi Arabia. The index, which surveyed more than 8,000 companies across 30 countries, was developed in response to the accelerated adoption of artificial intelligence. The survey shows that 93 percent of organizations in the Kingdom have an AI strategy in place or under development, while only 8 percent consider themselves fully prepared to deploy and leverage AI.

Improving the efficiency of and increasing productivity was ranked among the top outcomes that companies are looking to drive through adoption of AI, with 47 percent of respondents in Saudi Arabia placing it on top of gains they expect from AI. Opening new revenue streams was the lowest on the list of expectations, as ranked by 30 percent of respondents.

On talent development, 31 percent of Saudi respondents ranked comprehension and proficiency of AI tools and technologies as the primary skill gap. The good news is that organizations are taking steps to address this gap. Among the organizations surveyed in the Kingdom, 82 percent say they are investing in training employees in this area.

On infrastructure readiness, the survey shows that a mere 12 percent of local organizations in the Kingdom have networks that are fully flexible to handle the complexity of AI workloads. Cybersecurity also needs increased focus, as 70 percent of respondents fall short of being “fully equipped” to detect and prevent adversarial attacks on AI models.

Salman Faqeeh, managing director, Cisco Saudi Arabia, said: “Saudi Arabia has made significant strides in recent years to establish itself as a leading player in the field of AI. The Kingdom recognizes the transformative potential of AI and has placed it at the center of its Vision 2030.”

He added: “At Cisco, we believe in the critical role of AI to revolutionize industries and drive innovation, and it has been an important element across our portfolio for over a decade. As the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority is working to implement the National Strategy for Data and AI, the insights from the index can help inform the prioritization across important pillars including strategy, infrastructure, data, governance, talent, and culture.”

This year, Cisco’s participation at LEAP, held from March 4-7, is revolving around the theme of “AI Unleashed: Shaping Sustainable Digital Evolution.” Visitors will be able to engage with subject matter experts at Cisco’s booth and discover demos to harness the power of AI to enable a sustainable, securely connected future.

Reem Asaad, vice president for Cisco Middle East, Türkiye, Africa, Romania, and the Commonwealth of Independent States, said: “Cisco has a long-standing presence in the region, working to advance national digital economies, develop infrastructure, strengthen cybersecurity, and build the region’s talent pool. This year at LEAP, we are excited to demonstrate the power of our portfolio to support our customers and partners in Saudi Arabia and beyond in leveraging our latest technologies to increase efficiencies and drive innovation.”


Lucid Air announces new prices and benefits for Saudi buyers

Lucid Air announces new prices and benefits for Saudi buyers
Updated 25 February 2024
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Lucid Air announces new prices and benefits for Saudi buyers

Lucid Air announces new prices and benefits for Saudi buyers

Lucid Group, Inc., the manufacturer of electric luxury sports cars and grand tourers, announced that it is making it easier than ever for people to buy and own a Lucid Air — America’s most awarded new luxury vehicle, selected to Car and Driver’s “10Best” list for 2024.

With an expanded ownership experience, Lucid is directly addressing the reasons people most commonly cite as barriers to purchasing or leasing electric vehicles: price and ease of ownership.

“We are optimistic about the future of EVs and believe strongly that increased adoption is a necessary path toward reducing the impact of climate change,” said Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO at Lucid. “We have worked tirelessly to enable the Lucid Air lineup to deliver unsurpassed range and performance from less energy, and so I’m delighted that today we are able to share this benefit with our customers.”

Now starting at SR299,000 ($79,720) — exclusive of 15 percent VAT — the Lucid Air Pure rear-wheel drive is priced as Lucid originally envisioned and represents extraordinary value. The Air Pure RWD features a sleek exterior design that reflects Air’s title as the most aerodynamic car currently on the market. It offers an exceptional WLTP-estimated driving range of up to 747 km — more than any other electric sedan on the market from any brand besides Lucid. On the inside, its luxurious and spacious interior features sustainably sourced quality materials.

The Lucid Air Touring adds all-wheel drive and even greater performance, with two motors making a combined 620 hp. The Air Touring is now priced from SR333,500.

The Lucid Air Grand Touring, with its 819 hp, all-wheel drive, and astounding performance, is the first and only fully electric vehicle to reach up to 839 km of WLTP-estimated range. The Air Grand Touring is now priced from SR503,000.

The Lucid AIR Dream Edition is priced at SR646,900, while the Lucid AIR Sapphire is available for SR966,500.

Although Lucid Air is among the very fastest charging vehicles on the market today, the majority of Lucid owners prefer the convenience of charging their vehicles at home. To help ensure that new customers enjoy the best possible home charging experience, Lucid now provides a SR3,750 allowance toward the installation of a home charging accessory by an approved Lucid provider in Saudi Arabia.

Free scheduled maintenance for two years or 40,000 km (whichever comes first) is also now included with every new Lucid Air purchase, providing additional peace of mind for customers and complementing Lucid’s existing comprehensive new vehicle warranty. 


Sports Boulevard sponsors Saudi Cup 2024 race

Sports Boulevard sponsors Saudi Cup 2024 race
Updated 25 February 2024
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Sports Boulevard sponsors Saudi Cup 2024 race

Sports Boulevard sponsors Saudi Cup 2024 race

The Sports Boulevard Foundation signed a partnership with the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia, making Sports Boulevard an official sponsor of one of the races held in the evening of the 2024 Saudi Cup, the world’s most valuable horse race.

The partnership to sponsor the Sports Boulevard Riyadh Dirt Sprint race was signed in the presence of Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al-Faisal, chairman of the Equestrian Authority and the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia, by Ziad Al-Mogren, CEO of the Jockey Club, and Jayne McGivern, CEO of the Sports Boulevard Foundation.

The Saudi Cup took place on Feb. 23-24 at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh, welcoming the greatest racehorses, jockeys, trainers, and owners.

This is the second year of Sports Boulevard’s official sponsorship of the Saudi Cup, which this year has a combined prize fund of more than $37.35 million — an increase of $2 million on last year.

Al-Mogren said: “Alongside the Sports Boulevard sponsorship of Riyadh Season races, their mission to transform the city of Riyadh and offer state-of-the-art equestrian sports facilities aligns with our ambition of bringing more of Saudi Arabia’s residents into the sport. We look forward to collaborating with Sports Boulevard to promote equestrian sports people across the Riyadh city.”

McGivern said: “Creating access to grassroots sports for people across Riyadh and the Kingdom, including horseback riding and other equine activities, is something I am passionate about. Horse racing has a deep-rooted history in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with thoroughbred horses descending from Arabian bloodlines. As a globally famous horse racing event, this partnership is the perfect platform to encourage community engagement.”

Through the partnership, attendees were able to have plenty of opportunities to find out more about Sports Boulevard. Visitors to its booth learned about how the megaproject will transform health and well-being in Riyadh.

Sports Boulevard — one of Riyadh’s megaprojects — was launched by King Salman in March 2019 to help achieve the Kingdom’s ambitious Saudi Vision 2030 strategy and Quality of Life program. The Sports Boulevard will transform the health and well-being of Riyadh’s residents today and in the future, helping the Kingdom to deliver on its goal of making Riyadh one of the world’s top 10 most livable cities.

Sports Boulevard is an innovative and sustainable urban regeneration project, expected to be one of the largest of its kind in the world. Taking a former pylon dominated utility corridor and transforming it into a green oasis, Sports Boulevard will connect the city from west to east through a grid of safe, green pathways for pedestrians, cyclists, athletes, and horse-riders.