Budget Saudi listed among Fortune 500 Arabia

Budget Saudi listed among Fortune 500 Arabia
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Updated 28 November 2023
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Budget Saudi listed among Fortune 500 Arabia

Budget Saudi listed among Fortune 500 Arabia

The largest car renting and leasing company in the Middle East, United International Transportation Co. known as Budget Saudi, has been listed among the top companies in the Arab world by the Fortune 500 Arabia magazine.

Fortune 500 Arabia launched its inaugural list in 2023, becoming part of the global Fortune 500 lists that have been published by the magazine in the US since 1955.

This year’s inaugural edition includes the top 500 Arab companies from 22 Arab countries. These companies have been ranked by their collective revenues, which hit about $1.6 trillion in 2022, yielding a net profit of $343 billion. Private companies not listed on financial markets made up nine percent of the list.

Saudi Arabia led the list with the highest number of companies, accounting for 153 out of the 500 companies, or 30 percent. The UAE followed with 17 percent, then Egypt, Kuwait, and Qatar. While Saudi Arabian companies recorded the highest percentage of revenue and profits among the Fortune 500 companies, the UAE had the largest proportion of the top 100 profitable companies on the list.

Fawaz Abdullah Danish, president and group CEO, Budget Saudi, said: “Listing Budget Saudi among the Fortune 500 Arabia companies in the Arab world is a great honor for the organization. It is a testament to the consistent performance of the company over the years and the firm foundations on which it is being built for growth and diversification. We are committed to creating value for all stakeholders, customers, and partners in this journey. It augurs well for our company in its drive and passion to perform beyond expectations and contribute effectively to the larger vision of Saudi Arabia.”

Budget Saudi is Saudi Arabia’s premier short and long-term vehicle rental and leasing company, serving both retail and corporate clients. The enterprise was incorporated in 1978 and over the years has developed a reputation for excellence and dependability in the transportation industry. It is the first publicly traded automobile rental firm in Saudi Arabia and has internal QMS, EVS, and OHAS accredited to ISO 9001, 14001, and 45001 standards. The company has also been recognized as a “Great Place to Work” in Saudi Arabia.

With 33,000+ vehicles and a network of nearly 100 retail stations spread over 30 cities, Budget Saudi claims to have the largest rental and leasing network in the Middle East and North Africa. The company has received several accolades for its operations and management efficiency. It was awarded by the Global Economic Magazine in 2023 as the Best Vehicle Leasing Company and the Most Customer-Centric Car Rental Service Provider in Saudi Arabia, and the Best CEO of Logistics in Saudi Arabia in 2021.

Other accolades include the Global Leadership Award by Leaders International Magazine, and the 2023 Stevie Silver Award for the Sales Director of the Year. It has received five consecutive World Travel Awards, as well as the INSEAD Top 50 CEO award for publicly traded companies in the GCC.

Budget Saudi looks forward to focusing more on environment-friendly initiatives in the upcoming years. The business has already started taking action to conserve energy by introducing hybrid vehicles to its fleet. The company is also discussing the introduction of electric vehicles into its fleet, to achieve lower CO2 emissions.

 


New Murabba to bring Riyadh’s visionary downtown to life

New Murabba to bring Riyadh’s visionary downtown to life
Updated 03 March 2024
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New Murabba to bring Riyadh’s visionary downtown to life

New Murabba to bring Riyadh’s visionary downtown to life

New Murabba Development Company has signed an MoU with the Tourism Development Fund to spearhead the transformation of Riyadh. The agreement will see the two entities work closely together to create New Murabba: the world’s largest, modern downtown, serving as a model for future urban development and contributing toward Riyadh city’s evolution, in line with Vision 2030.

NMDC’s strategic partnership with TFD aims to fulfill Saudi Arabia’s potential as a leading investment destination — a go-to tourism and hospitality hotspot distinguished by a thriving tech ecosystem, an enabling business environment and a diverse and welcoming society.

The MoU was signed by NMDC CEO Michael Dyke and TDF CEO Qusai bin Abdullah Al-Fakhri. As part of the agreement, TDF will provide direct financing opportunities — in collaboration with its network of partners and contracted investors.

Al-Fakhri said: “We are pleased to have partnered with the New Murabba Development Company to bring this bold undertaking to life, an innovative undertaking that will enhance Riyadh’s status on the global stage as one of the commercial and financial capitals of the world. This is a future-focused partnership that extends our efforts to work in a fully aligned manner with the private sector to create a greater, more prosperous Saudi Arabia.”

He added: “In line with Vision 2030 and the National Tourism Strategy, our agreement with New Murabba Development Company marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Riyadh, one that adds to the richness of the Kingdom’s inspiring story of transformation. Together, we aim to create a modern downtown in the Saudi capital that provides even greater access to exceptional living, working and entertainment experiences. Representing the very best of Saudi excellence, we believe New Murabba will attract tourists — as well as investors — to the Kingdom, and improve citizens’ and residents’ quality of life.”

NMDC CEO Dyke said: “New Murabba will be a gateway to the future. We are confident that our partnership with TDF will enable us to play a transformative role in diversifying sources of income for the Saudi economy, aligning seamlessly with the objectives of Vision 2030. Together, we will create groundbreaking opportunities that will elevate the Saudi tourism landscape and drive New Murabba to the forefront of global innovation.”

He added: “Reflecting our commitment to the community and the environment, New Murabba has been designed in accordance with internationally established best practices and sustainability standards, incorporating green spaces, providing an extensive network of walking paths and promoting healthy living. Our goal is to make New Murabba a truly exceptional place to live, work, play, and visit. We will offer convenient access to a wide range of amenities and experiences that will enhance the lives of residents and visitors, fostering a sense of security and well-being. Accessibility is also a top priority for us, with New Murabba being just 20 minutes away from King Khalid International Airport by car. The Mukaab — a new architectural wonder — will, of course, serve as the centerpiece of New Murabba, redefining Riyadh’s skyline from the outside, while presenting a truly jaw-dropping experience within the inside.”

Established in 2022, NMDC is wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund, with its board of directors being chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


stc raises the bar for innovation at Mobile World Congress

stc raises the bar for innovation at Mobile World Congress
Updated 03 March 2024
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stc raises the bar for innovation at Mobile World Congress

stc raises the bar for innovation at Mobile World Congress

stc Group, a global leader in digital transformation, has successfully concluded its sponsorship and participation in Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The group solidified its commitment to innovation and growth through the signing of strategic MoUs with industry giants. The following partnerships were announced:

• IBM Middle East: stc Group and IBM Middle East agree to collaborate on upgrades to current fault management systems through the implementation of the latest cloud-based Netcool fault management platform.

• China Mobile International Limited: The agreement will see both partners work together to advance the deployment and implementation of IoT connectivity services for businesses in the region.

• Channels by stc x Huawei: In collaboration with Huawei, this MoU focuses on driving growth in the devices business, engaging in yearly business plans, and exploring strategic collaborations.

• Channels by stc x Samsung: This joint business plan with Samsung aims to sustain growth initiatives, marking a significant collaboration in the consumer electronics and services sector.

“Partnerships with global entities such as Ericsson, Huawei, and Samsung signify the great strides that stc is making toward an even more globally connected future,” the group said. “With these collaborations, stc is positioned at the forefront of shaping the ever-evolving digital landscape, driving collaboration, innovation and accelerating performance.”

During the event, stc Group showcased a variety of on-ground activations, each highlighting different facets of their technological prowess and commitment to sustainability. These included the AI Selfie, a customized interactive experience that enabled visitors to create their own digital avatars.

The Digital City 3D sand table demonstrated stc Group’s vision for the future of smart cities and their advanced technology. Visitors had the opportunity to be fully immersed in a 3D tour inside Makkah through Makkah 3D Experience, further underscoring stc’s continuous efforts in promoting cultural heritage and visualization technologies, all while illustrating how 5G-Advanced can catalyze digital transformation across sectors.

The IntelliReserve activation specialized in tracking and analyzing data on various wildlife species in the Kingdom, and the Sustainable Park activation gave visitors the chance to experience a virtual journey through interactive screens.

These on-ground activations represent stc Group’s innovative approach to digital transformation and its commitment to sustainability and connectivity.


Extend launches SR100m fund, academy to develop Saudi media sector

Extend launches SR100m fund, academy to develop Saudi media sector
Updated 03 March 2024
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Extend launches SR100m fund, academy to develop Saudi media sector

Extend launches SR100m fund, academy to develop Saudi media sector

Saudi Arabia’s marketing and communications sector has accompanied at all levels the unprecedented transformation underway in the Kingdom. Several partnerships have taken shape between various private sector companies specializing in marketing and communications, and government entities, to support the rapid growth, create new and promising opportunities for young talents, and attract foreign investment.

In this context, Extend, a leading national provider of marketing services and integrated strategic solutions, has signed a cooperation agreement with two global entities — Intuit Lap, a French academy of design and strategic creativity, and Peaksource Group, a creative technology platform. This agreement will see the establishment of “Extend Academy,” which will offer several educational and training programs under the supervision of international consultants. It will graduate 200 students annually in the following tracks: creative design, strategic planning, communication consulting, digital innovation, and brand specialization, with approximately 40 graduates in each track.

The agreement was signed in the presence of Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Swaha, in addition to a number of officials from the Ministry of Media and media professionals.

Moreover, a SR100 million ($26.6 million) fund was launched in partnership with Rassanah Capital, a specialized asset management firm that provides investment solutions in the Kingdom. The “Extend Fund” aims to support and incentivize local medium and small companies to grow and develop, attracting expertise and enabling them to compete more broadly in the sector. The fund will focus on digital media, arts, Arab culture and media production, and will be managed by Rassanah Capital. This fund is expected to create numerous job opportunities, empower national cadres to enhance the culture of Saudi Arabia globally, and serve as an attractive investment opportunity.

Extend also launched the third edition of its digital performance report for Saudi ministries. This report helps analyze news and public discourse in digital media for government entities. The launch was a collaboration with Crowd Analyzer, the first Arabic language platform for monitoring social media; Tailwind, which utilizes its specialized GWI market research tool; and Emplifi, a platform for technological tools and solutions in marketing and business. The initiative aims to keep pace with the rapid digital changes in the Kingdom, and monitor and archive them to serve as a reference for performance measurement, and conducting studies and research. This will contribute to the development of digital government media in the Kingdom.

The initiatives were announced at a ceremony held in Matal Al-Bujairi in Diriyah, to mark the 13th anniversary of Extend’s founding. Extend is committed to enhancing its responsibility toward the Saudi media sector, promoting media literacy, empowering individuals with experience in advertising, strengthening their ideas, and honing their skills to achieve a comprehensive transformation in all aspects of the Saudi media industry.


Ericsson, iot squared to transform Saudi Arabia’s waste landscape

Ericsson, iot squared to transform Saudi Arabia’s waste landscape
Updated 02 March 2024
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Ericsson, iot squared to transform Saudi Arabia’s waste landscape

Ericsson, iot squared to transform Saudi Arabia’s waste landscape

Ericsson and stc Group’s iot squared signed a memorandum of understanding at the Mobile World Congress 2024 in Barcelona, Spain to offer the Ericsson Connected Recycling platform as a software-as-a-service in Saudi Arabia. The partnership will increase awareness of the importance of waste management and contribute to shaping a more sustainable future in the country.

Ericsson Connected Recycling is an end-to-end platform that addresses the environmental impact of waste by digitizing the reverse supply chains to enable optimization, comprehensive traceability and transparency, and the possibility to monetize waste. The key is safeguarding the world’s natural resources by turning waste into recycled raw materials rather than putting them in landfills or burning them.

The platform also has a powerful sustainability reporting feature that provides valuable recycling insights that can optimize operations and empower circularity. It can integrate and orchestrate external data sources, store data safely and offer powerful big data management, which enables insightful data visualizations and efficiencies in the value chain.

As part of the MoU, Ericsson and iot squared will offer ECR in the Kingdom for several waste streams, with an initial launch to address municipal solid waste.

Othman Aldahash, chief executive officer of iot squared, said: “Our mission is to provide organizations with real-time insights for critical decision-making and intelligent operations. Ericsson Connected Recycling is a platform that complements iot squared’s mission as well as our ambition to transform the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s technological landscape with Internet of Things solutions to achieve sustainability in line with Saudi Green Initiative.”

Håkan Cervell, vice president and head of customer unit, stc, Saudi Arabia and Egypt at Ericsson Middle East and Africa, said: “Ericsson is building a better future today. The Ericsson Connected Recycling platform promotes circularity, innovation, and sustainability by digitizing and tracing several waste streams with an initial launch of municipal solid waste in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This transparent approach connects buyers and sellers of waste and recycled raw material, fostering a more sustainable economy in the country, aligned with the Saudi Green Initiative. We are proud to partner with iot squared to make this a reality.”

Ericsson Connected Recycling is an incubation unit within Ericsson ONE — an internal accelerator for Ericsson employees with pioneering new business ideas.


Crate & Barrel and CB2 flagship stores open in Jeddah

Crate & Barrel and CB2 flagship stores open in Jeddah
Updated 02 March 2024
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Crate & Barrel and CB2 flagship stores open in Jeddah

Crate & Barrel and CB2 flagship stores open in Jeddah

Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle, a leader in lifestyle retail across the GCC, has announced the opening of Crate and Barrel and CB2 in Red Sea Mall, Jeddah, marking the first side-by-side store for the sister brands outside the US. Connecting customers to designers worldwide, the stores are set to provide dynamic collections curated for Jeddah residents, featuring indoor and outdoor furniture, tableware, kitchenware, décor, accessories, rugs, and bed and bath items.

The openings mark the second store for both Crate and Barrel and CB2 in the Kingdom, following the success of the Riyadh-based stores, which saw a 27 percent growth since opening in 2022. The regional expansion is a continuation of the upward growth trajectory initiated by the brands’ partnership with Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle, which launched in 2017 and also includes three Crate and Barrel stores and the region’s first CB2 store in the UAE.

Fahed Ghanim, CEO of Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle, said: “We are thrilled to open our second stores for Crate and Barrel and CB2 in Saudi Arabia and bring these world-class brands to Jeddah residents. This move represents a significant milestone in our journey as we continue to elevate our home category across the region.

“The dual openings also underscore our commitment to expansion into the Kingdom, ensuring that our valued customers in Saudi Arabia have access to globally sought-after brands and the latest design trends.”

Renowned globally for its modern furniture, textiles, kitchenware, and home decor, Crate and Barrel offers exclusive designer collaborations with Jake Arnold, Leanne Ford, Athena Calderone and Molly Baz. The new 1,400-square-meter Jeddah store has a dedicated space for Crate and Kids, showcasing children’s decor, toys, furniture, accessories, and bed and bath items.

Meanwhile, CB2’s 630-square-meter store invites customers to explore collections featuring design-forward collaborations with designers such as Gianfranco Frattini and Lawson-Fenning, as well as a seasonal assortment of CB2 exclusives.

Sarah Sullivan, senior director of international operations at Crate and Barrel Holdings, said: “As we celebrate the grand opening of the Crate and Barrel and CB2 stores in Jeddah, we are delighted to see a growing demand for our brands in the region, a testament to the successful partnership with Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle.”

We look forward to curating inspiring spaces for Jeddah residents, introducing exclusive collaborations, and weaving our brands into the fabric of the community.”

Both brands also provide an online shopping option through local platforms.