Khalaf bin Ahmad Al-Habtoor donates ambulances to war-hit Gaza

Khalaf bin Ahmad Al-Habtoor donates ambulances to war-hit Gaza
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Khalaf bin Ahmad Al-Habtoor donates ambulances to war-hit Gaza
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Updated 26 November 2023
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Khalaf bin Ahmad Al-Habtoor donates ambulances to war-hit Gaza

Khalaf bin Ahmad Al-Habtoor donates ambulances to war-hit Gaza

Stemming from his belief in humanitarian duty and social responsibility, Khalaf bin Ahmad Al-Habtoor, founder and chairman of the Emirati Al-Habtoor Group, donated a large number of fully equipped ambulances to the Gaza Strip in order to provide health assistance to Palestinians and address the health-related repercussions resulting from the Israeli aggression.

The first batch of ambulances was purchased and equipped with the latest medical equipment in Egypt. Islam Kamal Ghoneim, representative and CEO of Al-Habtoor — Egypt, handed them over to the Palestinian Red Crescent through Egypt’s Rafah crossing, in cooperation with the Council of Egyptian Tribes and Families, under the supervision of the Egyptian Armed Forces.

Al-Habtoor said: “Standing by our brothers in Gaza, especially under these difficult circumstances, is an inevitable duty for every Muslim and Arab and for all those who consider themselves humanitarians. We have been committed to aiding them since the 1970s. The suffering of our Palestinian brothers is great, and we must all do everything we can to support their resilience.”

“This donation reflects the spirit of solidarity and humanitarian support to which Khalaf bin Ahmad Al-Habtoor is committed,” said Ghoneim. “We hope that these ambulances will provide immediate support to improve the health conditions of our people in Gaza.”

Ghoneim added: “We thank and appreciate the efforts of the Egyptian Armed Forces and the Council of Egyptian Tribes and Families for allowing us to implement this humanitarian initiative in these conditions that make it almost impossible to deliver aid. Without them, we would not have been able to accomplish this.”

Al-Habtoor has long been committed to supporting the Palestinian cause and the brotherly Palestinian people by contributing to improving their situation. In 2012, he made a 1-million-dirham ($272,279) contribution to the UN Relief and Works Agency in order to support the Palestinian refugees in Syria, employ 200 Palestinian workers in the West Bank, provide thousands of Palestinian refugees with jobs and promote access to clean water and sustainable agricultural practices.

Additionally, as part of the UAE’s 2010 “Aghithouhom” (Help Them) campaign, which was dedicated to providing relief and support to the people of Gaza, Al-Habtoor donated 103 vehicles for the service sectors in Palestine. At the same time, he held a sports event under the title “UAE-Palestine Polo Cup,” the proceeds of which were fully allocated to projects supported by Taawon — Welfare Association, in marginalized areas and deprived communities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

He also supported the 2014 Palestine International Marathon, organized by Taawon under the slogan “Right to freedom of movement,” with $10,000.

During the same year, Al-Habtoor launched the Pathways of Peace at the University of Illinois, which mainly consisted of holding a symposium at the university for students to present historical examples of cultural, religious and ethnic conflicts, along with the steps that were taken to resolve them. At the end of the symposium, a group of the university’s students and faculty members traveled to the Middle East to find a solution that would put an end to the ongoing conflict, which is affecting the Middle East and the West.

Al-Habtoor also donated 3.7 million dirhams to The Carter Center in order to support the Middle East Peacebuilding Program, and particularly alleviate the suffering of the Palestinians.


Peet’s Coffee makes grand entrance into Saudi market

Peet’s Coffee makes grand entrance into Saudi market
Updated 20 February 2024
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Peet’s Coffee makes grand entrance into Saudi market

Peet’s Coffee makes grand entrance into Saudi market

Peet’s Coffee, the iconic original craft coffee brand, has officially marked its entry into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the inauguration of six new stores. This significant move underscores Peet’s steadfast commitment to embedding its esteemed legacy and footprint within the vibrant Saudi market.

The expansion into Saudi Arabia is a pivotal component of Peet’s Coffee’s overarching strategy to bolster its presence in the Middle East. Following its successful debut in the UAE last year, Peet’s Coffee recognizes the enormous potential within Saudi Arabia, a country renowned for its deep-rooted coffee culture and discerning coffee aficionados.

Peet’s Coffee is renowned for its bold and rich flavors, a reputation built upon its meticulous selection of the highest quality beans sourced from around the world. Each cup is expertly crafted by skilled baristas, ensuring a superior coffee experience for customers. Additionally, Peet’s remains committed to sustainability, with all coffee sourced in a manner that respects farmers, the environment, and communities.

The expansion into Saudi Arabia comes at a time of significant growth in the nation’s coffee industry. As coffee continues to hold a special place in the Saudi society, Peet’s Coffee looks forward to becoming an integral part of the country’s rich coffee tradition, fostering connections and creating memorable experiences for coffee lovers across the Kingdom. 

Peet’s Coffee has positioned itself to leave a notable mark on the Saudi coffee landscape with its flagship store situated in the vibrant area of The Zone in Riyadh. Complemented by strategic outlets in key locations across Riyadh, including Sheik Jaber, Al Munsiyah, Euromarche, Al Takhassousi, and Granada Mall, the brand is primed to make a significant impact. This expansion underscores Peet’s dedication to upholding quality and excellence while also embracing and enhancing local coffee culture in Saudi Arabia.

Peet’s Coffee flagship stores feature a Discovery Bar where guests can take a personalized coffee journey and experience Peet’s single origins and signature coffee blends, through tasting and full sensory experience led by baristas. The coffee is served in an array of signature beverages that include Peet’s Signature Havana Cappuccino, The Black Tie and the Classic V60. In addition to its exceptional coffee selection, Peet’s Coffee also delights guests with a delectable selection of freshly made food options from grilled halloumi and spicy tuna sandwiches to a range of irresistible desserts like the Peet’s Tiramisu and the chocolate cake — there’s something to satisfy every palate. 

Known for its inviting ambiance, Peet’s welcomes guests into a bright and spacious environment, characterized by a blend of cozy yet modern design elements. With wooden panels complementing cream interiors, the space exudes warmth and sophistication. 

Founded by Alfred Peet in California in 1966, Peet’s Coffee has since become synonymous with exceptional flavor and unwavering quality. With a growing number of coffee bars across the world, Peet’s Coffee continues to lead the way in the specialty coffee movement.


Gulf Air Group Holding honors ‘Tahleeq 3’ graduates at Bahrain Airport Company

Gulf Air Group Holding honors ‘Tahleeq 3’ graduates at Bahrain Airport Company
Updated 20 February 2024
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Gulf Air Group Holding honors ‘Tahleeq 3’ graduates at Bahrain Airport Company

Gulf Air Group Holding honors ‘Tahleeq 3’ graduates at Bahrain Airport Company

Zayed R. Alzayani, chairman of Gulf Air Group Holding, honored the graduates of the third batch from the “Tahleeq” program, an ambitious capacity building initiative aimed at creating future leaders in the Bahraini aviation sector.

The graduation ceremony was attended by Dr. Jeffrey Goh, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Air Group Holding; Mohammed Yousif Al Binfalah, Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain Airport Company; and other executives.

The “Tahleeq” program, launched in 2014 by BAC, in cooperation with Tamkeen, seeks to develop the capabilities of young Bahrainis, equip them with the technical and specialized skills required to continue developing the aviation industry in Bahrain, and reinforce its competitiveness and contribution to the development process in the kingdom, in line with the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030.

Alzayani congratulated the graduates and praised their efforts and dedication during the program. He said: “We wish the graduates success in their careers, and look forward to seeing them make progress and to effectively contribute to the aviation sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Investing in Bahraini talent has always been the right choice and has proven its outcome in various sectors.”

“The launch of ‘Tahleeq’ in parallel with new passenger terminal project, which succeeded in claiming international recognition and awards, has given the program a significant boost and created a strong foundation for its success. Today’s graduates will be tomorrow’s aviation sector leaders who will shape its success with the experience they have gained and their ambition,” he added.

 The “Tahleeq” program has been meticulously curated, with the first two years dedicated to theoretical and experiential training, including five modules on soft skills at Gulf Aviation Academy in partnership with the Bahrain Institute for Banking and Finance. 

The technical courses were provided by Airport Council International, and all candidates were awarded the GSN Initial (Silver) Diploma. The last two years of the program are designated for practical training and gaining experience through working on various projects in BAC.

BAC, a subsidiary of GFG, is responsible for enhancing the capabilities of Bahrain International Airport and increasing its contribution to the national economy, in line with the strategic goals set by GFG, through formulating plans and measures to continuously upgrade airport services, operations and infrastructure to accommodate the growing aviation industry and the increasing number of travelers.


Cenomi Centers hosts grand opening of U Walk Jeddah

Cenomi Centers hosts grand opening of U Walk Jeddah
Updated 19 February 2024
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Cenomi Centers hosts grand opening of U Walk Jeddah

Cenomi Centers hosts grand opening of U Walk Jeddah

Cenomi Centers, the largest owner, operator and developer of contemporary lifestyle centers in Saudi Arabia, is delighted to host the grand opening of U Walk Jeddah, the city’s first hybrid mall concept that seamlessly integrates indoor and outdoor experiences and a watershed moment in the future of retail.

Bringing together trendy eateries and leading brands, U Walk Jeddah is redefining the city’s retail landscape by offering a next-generation shopping experience. The hybrid mall features an indoor retail boulevard, its own leisure district and a nearly 2km-long, open-air promenade with landscaped gardens, shaded terraces and a dancing fountain.

Leading F&B and lifestyle brands such as Nike, Bershka, Starbucks and 19V69 Versace opened their doors ahead of the grand opening, with a host of additional stores still to come – including Victoria’s Secret, Adidas, Zara and Lululemon.  

At 60,000-square-meter  GLA, UWalk Jeddah is already 80 percent pre-let with a number of brands opening over the coming weeks as the center gears up for pre-Ramadan trading.

As the city’s premier lifestyle destination for shopping dining and entertainment, U Walk Jeddah embodies Cenomi Centers’ vision to create the next generation of lifestyle destinations in Saudi Arabia, delivering best-in-class experiences for the local and International visitor. The recent publication of Cenomi Center’s footfall and occupancy results for 2023 reflect the strength of the business’ growth trajectory, with footfall reaching 124 million and occupancy rising to 92.9 percent. 

To celebrate the Grand Opening, U Walk Jeddah is hosting its hotly anticipated Cenomi Urban Festival – which brings childhood nostalgia to life with captivating, Instagram-worthy neon-lit installations, and a variety of immersive games and activities. The Urban Festival runs until the end of February 2024.

The launch follows the soft opening of U Walk Jeddah in December, which was marked by the launch of the Adidas FIFA Fan Zone by Cenomi, a Football Festival to coincide with the FIFA Club World Cup tournament taking place in Jeddah.

Alison Rehill-Erguven, Cenomi Centers CEO said: “We are delighted to host the much-anticipated Grand Opening of U Walk Jeddah – the city’s premier lifestyle destination for shopping, dining and entertainment. U Walk Jeddah is redefining the mall experience with its next-generation design and offering, representing everything Cenomi Centers seeks to achieve in offering the retail experiences of tomorrow. This milestone is further evidence of our bold ambitions for the future.”

U Walk Jeddah can be found conveniently located in the heart of the dynamic Al-Zahar district, with direct access via major roads, and a parking facility to accommodate 1,250 vehicles.


Gulfood to lead the way on where the F&B industry goes next, driving investment, competitiveness and growth

Gulfood to lead the way on where the F&B industry goes next, driving investment, competitiveness and growth
Updated 19 February 2024
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Gulfood to lead the way on where the F&B industry goes next, driving investment, competitiveness and growth

Gulfood to lead the way on where the F&B industry goes next, driving investment, competitiveness and growth

The largest ever edition of Gulfood, the benchmark event for the global F&B community kicked off on Monday at Dubai World Trade Centre, opening its doors to 150,000 attendees from 190 countries. 

With an estimated $12 billion in international trade deals on the table, an exhibition floor spanning 24 event halls packed with displays of cutting-edge products, solutions by a record 5,500+ exhibitors, and interactive features including Top Table and Dubai World Cuisine which will convene over 100 renowned international chefs with 25 Michelin stars between them, expectations are very high for this year’s edition of the world’s largest annual food and beverage sourcing event, which looks set to have a lasting influence on the F&B industry.

Attendees heard insights from senior policymakers and global industry experts at the Inspire conference, including Dr. Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak Al Shamsi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment. 

“At a pivotal moment, the world’s largest F&B event will be the only place to get out ahead of how the global food community, from industry leaders and policymakers to innovators and chefs, are responding. We look forward to welcoming the F&B world as we inspire the future food economy,” commented Trixie LohMirmand, executive vice-president, Dubai World Trade Centre.

As Gulfood approaches its milestone 30th anniversary in 2025, the global food and beverage iindustry is looking more than ever to a multifaceted future, characterized by greater digitalization and technological innovation to drive efficiency and cut costs, more circular food systems to reduce food loss and waste, and an ever-greater focus on safety, security and transparency down the supply chain. 

“As Truebell embraces 40 years of excellence, Gulfood stands as our premier stage for global networking, connecting with our partners across 80 countries. We anticipate a robust upswing, positioning Truebell at the forefront of meeting heightened demand for premium produce in the years ahead,” commented Bhushant Ghandi, COO of Truebell.

At this year’s Gulfood Inspire Conference, over 200 influential figures from the global F&B industry, including food futurists, policymakers, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and culinary experts will lead a series of dynamic and engaging keynotes, panel discussions, fireside chats, showcases and workshops. 

A highlight of this year’s Gulfood Inspire Conference, for the first time over 60 leading global food futurists will convene to give invaluable insights into the trends in technology (e.g. personal AI), culture, demographics, lifestyle and flavours that are shaping the future of food. 

Food futurists slated to speak include: Daniel Levine, Director – Avant Guide Institute; Tom Cheesewright, Applied Futurist; Tony Hunter, Founder - Food Futurist: Future of Food Consulting; and Dr. Morgaine Gaye, Food Futurologist.


Cisco announces AI innovation and partnerships

Cisco announces AI innovation and partnerships
Updated 20 February 2024
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Cisco announces AI innovation and partnerships

Cisco announces AI innovation and partnerships

New AI-fueled solutions spanning networking, security, collaboration, and observability highlight Cisco’s ongoing commitment to AI innovation.

At Cisco Live in Amsterdam, the company’s flagship technology event in Europe, with over 14,000 of the world’s leading IT professionals attending, Cisco announced major momentum in artificial intelligence across its entire portfolio.

“As we witness the rapid advancements in AI technology, it’s imperative for organizations in the region to embrace all of these innovations strategically. Cisco’s commitment to AI excellence aligns seamlessly with our region’s vision for digital transformation. By leveraging AI-powered solutions, businesses can not only enhance operational efficiency but also foster unprecedented growth opportunities. We are dedicated to supporting our customers in navigating this transformative journey while ensuring the ethical and responsible use of AI,” said Reem Asaad, vice president Cisco in the Middle East and Africa.