Huawei summit builds bridge for business growth in Middle East and Africa for global partners

Huawei summit builds bridge for business growth in Middle East and Africa for global partners
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Huawei summit builds bridge for business growth in Middle East and Africa for global partners
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Huawei summit builds bridge for business growth in Middle East and Africa for global partners
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Updated 29 November 2023
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Huawei summit builds bridge for business growth in Middle East and Africa for global partners

Huawei summit builds bridge for business growth in Middle East and Africa for global partners

The HDC·Together Huawei MEA Ecosystem Summit, held in Dubai, showcased a seamless fusion of collaboration and innovation. The first day of the exclusive event was on Nov. 27 at the illustrious Dubai Opera. It brought together Huawei Ecosystem partners from China and across the Middle East and Africa.

Building bridges for future growth

Organized in partnership with Dubai Economy and Tourism and Saudi Tourism Authority, the summit combined the strengths and initiatives of both entities, fostering innovation, economic growth, and developments in technology and tourism.

In the convergence of technology and opportunity, HDC.Together becomes the bridge connecting the MEA region and China, fostering innovation, partnerships, and business exchange across markets, paving the way for growth and a better future.

Throughout the summit, speakers emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts within Huawei’s Ecosystem for advancing technology and innovation. Maryam Al-Balooshi, vice chair and UAE representative of the Committee of Aviation Environment Protection — ICAO, said: “In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, Huawei’s ecosystem stands as a testament to transformative collaboration, enriching experiences by building bridges into a better future.”

Ali Khalifa bin Thalith, secretary-general of HIPA, said: “Through the lens of innovation, Huawei Themes has not just adorned our digital spaces but has become a platform to globalize the beauty of art and photography, making creativity universally accessible to users with an impressive download of over 1,000,000 on the official Huawei Themes store.”

Acclaimed Emirati artist Mahmood Al-Abadi shared the story of his successful journey with calligraphy and arts as well as his collaboration with Huawei Themes, and how it elevated his digital experience to new heights. He expressed excitement over the vast array of customizable themes and the seamless integration with Huawei smartphones, foldable phones, tablets and smartwatches.

Strategizing for the year ahead

The event outlined a comprehensive 2024 action plan with HMS’ strategic partners, formalizing commitments to innovation and growth with 24 partners from across the region like Emirates, Arabian Oud, Jahez and Viu, who expressed their dedication to these shared goals.

The summit featured dynamic discussion panels and round tables, engaging industry experts in profound conversations. They explored the collaborative potential of Huawei AppGallery and Petal Ads, uncovering shared capabilities.

Unveiling prospects with AppGallery

With a focus on fostering new growth opportunities in gaming, Huawei AppGallery is strategically leveraging the rapid expansion across the MEA region and China. The summit served as a dynamic platform for facilitating partnerships and collaboration between local and global players, fostering an environment of innovation and mutual growth. Participants were treated to crafty presentations sharing insights, case studies and success stories from top regional and global gaming partners, offering a comprehensive overview of the latest trends in the market. The discussions were enriched by the participation of esteemed guests in the MEA Game Business Trends panel, talking about esports, government support, payment landscape and importance of localization. Together, they set the stage for AppGallery to further elevate its role as a driving force in the gaming industry, uniting key players for a future of unprecedented success and collaboration.

Global perspective

Emirates provided an insightful account of its journey with Huawei Ecosystem, highlighting the successful collaboration and providing valuable benchmarks for the broader travel industry, emphasizing the power of strategic partnerships within evolving technological landscapes. This year, Emirates App successfully released a version for Huawei’s smartwatches that allows users to use QR codes as boarding passes.

Petal Ads and regional insights

Additionally, Middle East Communications Network provided a comprehensive analysis of global and regional advertising trends tailored for regional advertisers. This included an in-depth exploration of the current global advertising landscape, emerging trends, consumer behavior patterns, and effective strategies. These testaments highlighted Petal Ads’ advanced capabilities for offering enriched user experiences, setting the stage for a new era in this sphere.

HMS introduced new solutions and innovations, underscoring a commitment to connecting with customers, enabling brand growth, and embracing future challenges. The HDC·Together Huawei MEA Ecosystem Summit stands as a testament to Huawei’s unwavering dedication to fostering collaboration, innovation, and a connected future. Ultimately, the summit served as an annual showcase for knowledge-sharing and cutting-edge solutions within Huawei’s thriving ecosystem, uniting partners from China and the MEA.


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.