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.

 


Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray arrives in Middle East

Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray arrives in Middle East
Updated 15 July 2024
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Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray arrives in Middle East

Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray arrives in Middle East

Chevrolet Middle East has announced the opportunity to pre-order the first-ever electrified Corvette, the 2024 E-Ray, with all-wheel drive, in limited volumes in the Middle East.

In 2023, Chevrolet announced the introduction of the first-ever electrified Corvette E-Ray, which was met with much excitement. Now, a select few in the Middle East will get the opportunity to be the first to experience the E-Ray with orders for the nameplate now live.

The E-Ray combines the raw power of the Corvette’s throaty V-8 LT2 engine with the cutting-edge efficiency and silence of an electric motor, delivering a staggering 655 HP combined. This electrified configuration ensures exhilarating performance with a 0-100 kph time in as little as 2.6 seconds, making it the quickest production Corvette in history.

Both powertrains on the Corvette E-Ray work in concert through an 8-speed dual clutch transmission to deliver staggering performance during spirited driving and on the track. The 160 HP electric motor provides ample torque from stand still and fills in torque demands as the 495 HP 6.2 L V8 revs quickly to deliver a total of 832 Nm combined. This immediate torque provides sensational acceleration off the line and out of the corners, and the eAWD capability it brings enables Corvette E-Ray drivers to access the full potential of the powertrain and chassis even in slippery conditions.

The E-Ray’s battery is located low in the Corvette’s central tunnel to contribute to the vehicle’s low center of gravity. Its 1.9 kWh Li-Ion battery gets recharged through regeneration, or the driver selectable Charge plus mode when in attack mode on the track, ensuring the battery pack is always optimally charged for maximum performance.

Additionally, Stealth Mode, activated at vehicle start up, allows for all-electric driving at speeds up to 70 kph, providing customers the ability to start and operate the vehicle quietly to avoid noise disruption to their surroundings — perfect for that early departure for a spirited drive about the closest mountain road.

The Corvette E-Ray joins the Corvette Stingray, and Corvette Z06 in the lineup, offering a transformed electrified driving experience.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 100 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year.


stc tv broadcasts Esports World Cup on five channels

stc tv broadcasts Esports World Cup on five channels
Updated 15 July 2024
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stc tv broadcasts Esports World Cup on five channels

stc tv broadcasts Esports World Cup on five channels

stc tv is providing comprehensive coverage of the ongoing Esports World Cup, across five dedicated TV channels, leveraging the advanced technical resources and capabilities of the stc Group to provide an unparalleled experience and exceptional tournament coverage.

It is playing a pivotal role in advancing the esports sector in Saudi Arabia by supporting the tournament, which is being held in Riyadh for the first time at Riyadh Boulevard City and runs until Aug. 25. It has the largest prize pool ever awarded in esports, amounting to $60 million.

The platform enables audiences to watch the 22 competitions, alongside detailed analyses and interviews with players and coaches, all through high-quality broadcasts on three live channels. Additionally, the “stc tv EWC Legends” channel offers exclusive and specialized coverage of the event in Arabic, while the “stc tv EWC” channel provides broadcasts in English, ensuring esports enthusiasts can watch all events and activities of the tournament seamlessly.

stc tv also offers esports fans the flexibility to watch the championship at their convenience with a replay feature available for up to 14 days after the initial broadcast. Additionally, the live broadcast of the tournament can be accessed through the stc play platform via its website, stcplay.gg, ensuring that viewers can stay connected to the action wherever they are.

These efforts align with stc Group’s commitment to fostering the growth of the gaming and esports sector in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

“By supporting the tournament as an Elite and Founding Partner of the inaugural Esports World Cup, stc Group aims to deliver unprecedented experiences in the EWC, further establishing Saudi Arabia as a global hub for esports,” the group said in a statement.

The stc tv platform offers 150+ live and free to air local and international channels, as well as a unified content library boasting 28,000 titles. This extensive library spans a wide range of engaging series, exclusive documentaries, and kids’ programs, catering to all tastes.


Saudi space graduate Sarah Alhabbas lauded in Germany

Sarah Alhabbas and Prince Abdullah bin Khalid bin Sultan Al-Saud were joined at this special event by Serco’s senior officials
Sarah Alhabbas and Prince Abdullah bin Khalid bin Sultan Al-Saud were joined at this special event by Serco’s senior officials
Updated 15 July 2024
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Saudi space graduate Sarah Alhabbas lauded in Germany

Sarah Alhabbas and Prince Abdullah bin Khalid bin Sultan Al-Saud were joined at this special event by Serco’s senior officials

Sarah Alhabbas, the first graduate of Serco’s Space Graduate Program, was invited on Thursday to the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Germany to meet with Prince Abdullah bin Khalid bin Sultan Al-Saud, the Saudi ambassador to Germany. The invitation was in recognition of her remarkable progress within a sector pitted to be instrumental in the achievement of Vision 2030. During the meeting, Alhabbas discussed how her experience with Serco can be an inspiration to the next generation of Saudi talent.

Alhabbas, currently working in Serco’s Copernicus Operations Support Services or COP-2, with the European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany as part of her intensive training program, was joined at this special event by Serco Middle East’s Head of Space Amar Vora, Serco’s KSA Country Director Mona Althagafi and Serco’s Head of COP-2 Islam Alizada. This prestigious invitation underscores Saudi Arabia’s keenness to develop its human resources and the pivotal role Serco is playing in advancing the Kingdom’s capabilities in the space industry, highlighting how the private sector company is supporting the Kingdom’s commitment to nurturing local talent capabilities to support Vision 2030 as a government impact partner.

Alhabbas was chosen by Serco as their first space graduate from more than 400 applications. An aerospace engineering graduate with a minor in applied mathematics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the US, she joined Serco as a graduate spacecraft operations engineer. In the past 12 months, Alhabbas underwent comprehensive training in the Kingdom and is now coming to the end of an intensive six-month training program at Serco’s COP-2 facilities in Germany, aimed at deepening her theoretical knowledge. Upon completion, Alhabbas will be certified as a proficient spacecraft operations engineer in a graduation taking place later this summer. After supporting a launch campaign, she will return to Saudi Arabia where she will transfer the knowledge gained to the wider Serco space team and its clients.

This accomplishment highlights the broader impact of Serco’s initiatives in the Kingdom. Serco has more than 60 years of space experience globally, supporting civil and military space programs, including those of the European Space Agency, the UK Ministry of Defense and NASA. In 2023, it launched a dedicated space division in the Middle East to support local talent and develop regional capabilities, ensuring the transfer of its wide-ranging operational knowledge and capabilities to the region. Its graduate, space-specific program is the first of its kind not only within the Kingdom, but also across Serco globally. By leveraging decades of global experience in the space industry, Serco is playing a crucial role in transferring knowledge and skills to Saudi nationals, impacting a better future.

Prince Abdullah said: “Sarah Alhabbas’ accomplishments epitomize the potential and the great expectation of Saudi Arabia’s youth in pioneering new frontiers. Her journey marks a significant personal achievement and symbolizes the leadership’s confidence and ambition in our nation’s youth. We are happy to celebrate Sarah’s accomplishment and look forward to her contribution to the Kingdom’s aerospace sector.”

Alhabbas said: “This opportunity to train with the European Space Agency and seasoned, international experts has been transformative. I am deeply honored by this recognition from Prince Abdullah. It reaffirms my commitment to contributing to the Saudi space sector and to inspiring other young Saudis to pursue their passions in this exciting field.”

Vora, Serco’s Middle East head of space, said: “At Serco, we are committed to bringing our global expertise to Saudi Arabia, fostering local talent and driving the Kingdom’s space ambitions. Sarah’s success is a shining example of what can be achieved through dedication and the right support. We are thrilled to see her represent the future of Saudi space exploration.”


Dell, Aramco, and NITA to empower future IT leaders of KSA

Dell, Aramco, and NITA to empower future IT leaders of KSA
Updated 14 July 2024
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Dell, Aramco, and NITA to empower future IT leaders of KSA

Dell, Aramco, and NITA to empower future IT leaders of KSA

Dell Technologies, Aramco, and the National IT Academy have signed a collaboration agreement to empower Saudi Arabia’s local talent with advanced science and technology skills.

The partnership will provide Saudi students with advanced training programs and certifications that will help develop a skilled and readily employable technology talent pool in the Kingdom.

The agreement was signed by Nabil Al-Nuaim, senior vice president, digital and information technology, Aramco; Majed S. Al-Ghassab, executive director, NITA; and Mohammed Amin, senior vice president, Central Eastern Europe, Middle East, Turkiye, Africa, Dell Technologies.

As per the agreement, a four-month-long program “ITXcelerate” will equip recent Saudi graduates in computer engineering, computer science, and IT with Dell Proven Professional Certification across areas such as storage management, data science, and AI. It also includes hands-on experience with on-site job shadowing and mentoring opportunities. This immersive program will go beyond theoretical concepts and arm local talent with the skills and knowledge required to excel and thrive in today’s data-driven world.

It aligns with Saudi Arabia’s vision to foster a vibrant tech ecosystem and equip its workforce with the skills necessary to contribute to the nation’s technological advancement and economic prosperity. By combining their expertise and resources, the collaboration signifies a shared commitment to fostering a competent and future-ready IT workforce in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Nuaim said: “Aramco is pleased to be part of this agreement with Dell and NITA, as we collectively seek to elevate the Kingdom’s technological offerings through talent advancement. By investing in the training and certification of local IT talent, we aim to meet the needs of the industry and position Saudi Arabia as a hub of IT innovation and excellence. This agreement underscores our plan to nurture a skilled workforce that will not only contribute to Saudi Vision 2030 but also showcase the nation’s prowess on the international tech landscape.”

Meanwhile, Al-Ghassab said: “As an establishment invested in nurturing Saudi Arabia’s human capital, NITA is committed to raising Saudi graduates’ skill levels through comprehensive training programs, hands-on experiential learning, and strategic industry collaborations. Working with Aramco and Dell on this exciting agreement allows us to leverage their expertise in program management and training delivery to create a valuable learning experience for students. We believe this agreement will help play a crucial role in preparing Saudi Arabia’s emerging talent for success in the dynamic job market and contribute to the nation’s ambitious technology goals.”

Amin added: “We are enthusiastic about collaborating with Aramco and NITA to empower Saudi Arabia’s future IT leaders. Dell has a distinguished track record of actively engaging with local communities and empowering them to build a sustainable cornerstone for tomorrow. By sharing our IT industry expertise and providing practical mentorship and industry certification, we aim to equip young Saudi people with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in the ever-evolving tech landscape. This agreement directly aligns with our mission to support the development of a robust and future-proof technology ecosystem in the Kingdom.”


Mastercard, Global Hotel Alliance launch co-branded card

Mastercard, Global Hotel Alliance launch co-branded card
Updated 14 July 2024
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Mastercard, Global Hotel Alliance launch co-branded card

Mastercard, Global Hotel Alliance launch co-branded card

Mastercard and Global Hotel Alliance, one of the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, have signed a multimarket agreement to introduce a co-branded card, designed to boost the travel and hospitality experience for discerning travelers. The collaboration will be tailored to the unique needs of affluent cardholders — offering a vast choice of accommodation arrangements and rewards.

According to Mastercard’s Affluent Travel Report, 34 percent of affluent travelers in the MENA region are users of loyalty schemes and membership cards, and more than half of the affluent travelers say they are looking for more meaningful experiences rather than shopping and souvenirs. With this partnership, Mastercard and GHA will curate more personalized and enriching travel experiences for UAE cardholders.

“Mastercard is committed to connecting people to their passions while also enhancing consumer experiences and driving positive change. As we witness a rise in luxury travel in the region, we continue to enrich customer experiences through comprehensive travel benefits, rewards, and convenience. We look forward to our partnership with GHA as we continue to chart a path in redefining luxury travel,” said Amnah Ajmal, executive vice president, market development, EEMEA, Mastercard.

“Our partnership with Mastercard marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to reward our loyal customers. The co-branded credit card will not only offer unparalleled rewards and benefits, but also reinforce our position as a leader in the luxury hospitality sector,” said Chris Hartley, CEO, Global Hotel Alliance.

We love partnerships that bring added value to our member base, and so we choose to collaborate with select partners, who can create unique benefits and exclusive opportunities for our customers,” said Chris Hartley, CEO, Global Hotel Alliance.

The two companies have a long-standing relationship that started in 2015, when they introduced exclusive fast-track to elite status of GHA’s award-winning loyalty program — GHA Discovery — for Mastercard World and World Elite cardholders in the Middle East and Africa as well as in Asia-Pacific.

GHA marks its 20th anniversary this year and represents a collection of 40 brands with more than 800 hotels in 100 countries.