Saudi Airlines rebrand will ‘bring the world’ to the Kingdom

Khaled Tash, Group Chief Marketing Officer of Saudia
Khaled Tash, Group Chief Marketing Officer of Saudia
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Updated 10 February 2024
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Saudi Airlines rebrand will ‘bring the world’ to the Kingdom

Saudi Airlines rebrand will ‘bring the world’ to the Kingdom

At the recent Diriyah E-Prix in Riyadh, it was hard to escape the presence of one of Formula E’s most established partners — Saudi Airlines. The Kingdom’s national carrier has been a partner of the all-electric racing series since its debut in the Saudi capital in 2018.

Since then, the Kingdom has undergone a cultural revolution that has swept through every possible sector, including business, tourism and sport.

“Look at how much has happened in Saudi Arabia over the last few years, it’s amazing,” said Khaled Tash, group chief marketing officer at Saudia. “We have Formula 1, we host so many different football, boxing, tennis and other tournaments. The culmination of all this is going to come when we host the Asian Cup 2027, Asian Games 2034, and World Cup 2034 Insha’Allah. I think the trajectory is at an accelerated rate, probably unprecedented anywhere else in the world.”

“We’re very fortunate as an airline to be associated with everything that is happening in Saudi Arabia; we’re very happy to be in Formula E for the sixth year in our partnership with them,” he said, adding: “The best is yet to come.”

Last year saw the partnership with Formula E take Saudia’s involvement in the sporting sector to an expanding market.

“Last year we started activating this partnership in other parts of the world,” said Tash. “It gave access to cities like Jakarta, Rome, and London, and we’re very happy with the partnership so far. It also goes very well with the sustainability agenda of the world, the country, and the airline,” Tash said.

“This year, we’re going to Berlin as well, in addition to other cities where we’ve activated globally. We’re very happy, and happier now that PIF has signed a strategic partnership with Formula E. I think what we will see in the next year or so is an increased level of partnerships and activations between Formula E, Saudia and the rest of the partners.”

Looking at the bigger picture, Tash sees the green shoots of recovery for the aviation industry continuing.

“The year 2023 was a good year for aviation globally, and very, very good for us, as we are almost back to the normal levels of the pre-COVID era,” he said. “I believe 2024 has so many more opportunities than challenges. The travel demand is picking up, the importance of aviation in connecting the world is higher than ever.”

“There is a lot more interest to visit Saudi Arabia, be it for tourism, for Hajj and Umrah, for business and investment. So, we see a lot of opportunities,” said Tash. “There is a big challenge in terms of the supply chain; we have probably a lot of concerns when it comes to aircraft deliveries and when it comes to spare parts, things like that, but I think the players in the industry are mature and professional enough. These are big companies we work with, and we will find solutions. But I would say aviation has many more opportunities than challenges moving forward.”

Saudia launched a rebrand last year, and Tash said that it has been a “a great experience,” which will showcase where the airline is heading.

“Saudia is soon approaching its 80th anniversary; we are an old company but also a company that is still relevant today and will be in the future. We are changing our business model from one that only focused on taking Saudi to the world, to bringing the world to Saudi.”

He said: “We also want to play a very important role in realizing Vision 2030 and what is happening in the country, so there is a lot of work that happens between us, the government entities, and the private sector in Saudi Arabia. It revolves around how we can be in synergy with each other so that all our efforts can not only create better travel opportunities for passengers but also better job opportunities and local content opportunities.”

The coming months will see Saudia announce its biggest ever aircraft order, with 100 more planes joining the fleet that is already awaiting 50 aircraft to be delivered, according to Tash.

Under the new rebranding, Saudia will also be one of the first airlines to use artificial intelligence — in the form of ChatGPT — to help customers navigate its services.

“We want to change everything in the travel experience so that our customers can feel more enabled in a way that they are able to enjoy a truly authentic Saudi experience,” Tash added.


Emirates Steel and Eversendai partner for NEOM project

Emirates Steel and Eversendai partner for NEOM project
Updated 21 July 2024
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Emirates Steel and Eversendai partner for NEOM project

Emirates Steel and Eversendai partner for NEOM project

Emirates Steel, part of Emirates Steel Arkan Group, one of the largest publicly traded steel and building materials manufacturers in the region, is partnering with Eversendai, a global powerhouse in steel construction, solidifying their collaboration for the prestigious NEOM Trojena Ski Village project in the heart of NEOM, Saudi Arabia’s most ambitious giga-project.

The strategic partnership marks a significant milestone in the steel industry, highlighting the two companies’ joint commitment to delivering excellence in sustainable innovation across the wider GCC region. Emirates Steel will supply premium steel beams renowned for their sustainability, regionally record-setting low carbon emissions, and exceptional durability for the construction of the NEOM Trojena Ski Village.

The partnership agreement was formalized during an official ceremony, signifying the commencement of a robust alliance aimed at setting new benchmarks in construction excellence. The collaboration will not only enhance Emirates Steel’s position within the wider GCC market, but also highlights its pivotal role in shaping iconic projects in the region.

Saeed Alghafri, CEO of Emirates Steel, said: “We are delighted to partner with Eversendai on this significant project which promises to be a staple of NEOM in Saudi Arabia. Emirates Steel is committed to supplying benchmark sustainable steel solutions that meet the stringent demands of innovative construction projects. This collaboration exemplifies our dedication to driving sustainable growth across the GCC and delivering value to our partners and stakeholders.”

Narishnath Nathan, deputy group managing director of Eversendai, said: “Eversendai is proud to collaborate with Emirates Steel on the NEOM Trojena Ski Village, a landmark project that will showcase our collective capabilities in delivering world-class steel construction solutions. This partnership highlights our commitment to pushing the boundaries of engineering and construction.”

The NEOM Trojena Ski Village is poised to become a premier global destination, offering unparalleled recreational experiences in the region. Emirates Steel’s advanced steel beams will play a crucial role in the structural integrity and sustainability of the resort, ensuring it meets global standards for quality and safety.


Aqualia launches training program for Saudis

Aqualia launches training program for Saudis
Updated 21 July 2024
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Aqualia launches training program for Saudis

Aqualia launches training program for Saudis

Aqualia, a water management company, has underlined its commitment to advancing the growth and development of the Saudi water sector by launching an innovative customer services training program designed to upskill its diverse workforce and empower Saudi talent to fulfill their potential.

The immersive training program has been rolled out across Aqualia’s Northern and Southern clusters, with detailed training sessions being conducted by experienced instructors specialized in acquainting learners with all-important tools such as customer care and billing system, business intelligence, automatic meter reading, mobile device management, and workforce management system. In total, 447 Aqualia employees will undergo 4,250 hours of training over a period of 10 months, with each staff member receiving at least 25 hours of training in each key area of the company’s customer services function.

Participants will spend eight of the 10 outlined months assigned to specialist trainers to gain greater insights into each distinct area of Aqualia’s customer services department. Qualified experts will also be on-hand to deliver training sessions focused on creating a better and more in-depth understanding of Aqualia’s Northern and Southern clusters’ business units.

Javier Díaz, country manager — Saudi Arabia, Aqualia, said: “As part of our ongoing efforts to drive the transformation of Saudi water management services, we are fully committed to investing in the training and development of our staff. We believe that empowering the industry leaders of tomorrow is crucial to safeguarding the future — of our industry and the nation as a whole. With just short of 400 staff employed across our Northern and Southern clusters — in four regions — providing a constant supply of water to a population of 5 million people, we are aware of how vital it is to ensure that each member of our team is supported to work to the best of their abilities. We have launched our customer services training program to do exactly that, with the unique offering enabling us to deliver an even higher standard of service.”


New Zain KSA initiative to empower the visually impaired

New Zain KSA initiative to empower the visually impaired
Updated 21 July 2024
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New Zain KSA initiative to empower the visually impaired

New Zain KSA initiative to empower the visually impaired

Zain has announced a strategic partnership with “Be My Eyes,” the largest and fastest-growing app for assisting the blind and visually impaired community worldwide. Through this initiative, the first-of-its-kind in the region, Zain is expanding its volunteerism scope to engage its community, connect with visually impaired groups, and integrate advanced technology.

In collaboration with Be My Eyes, Zain KSA volunteers will receive incoming calls from the app’s user base, which includes more than 600,000 visually impaired users worldwide. Once the volunteer gets the video call, they will act as eyes for the caller, providing necessary support such as reading a document, identifying a medication, offering navigation guidance, and other potential scenarios. 

Loluwah Al-Nowaiser, EVP of Human Resources at Zain KSA

Loluwah Al-Nowaiser, executive vice president of human resources at Zain KSA, said: “Zain KSA’s commitment to innovation and growth has never been only about technological advancement, but it is rather rooted in our responsibility to harness advanced technology in serving people and the community. While we continue to innovate to deliver the most advanced digital services and user experiences, our core goal is to unlock the potential of every member of our community. In doing so, we aim to uplift our society and support the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 and the aspirations of our visionary leadership in enhancing the quality of life. We prioritize diversity and inclusion as part of our core values and support societal integration for all segments, with a particular focus on individuals with disabilities.

“By partnering with Be My Eyes, which exclusively caters to one segment of this community, Zain KSA provides its employees with a new volunteering opportunity, expanding our impact to help create a wonderful world for people from all segments while directly engaging the Zain KSA family.”

The initiative aligns with Zain’s strategy to empower employees to practice social responsibility. It reflects the values of Zain, extending beyond its telecommunications and digital services role where Zain is a catalyst for diversity and inclusivity, fostering a society where everyone has equal opportunities to dream and succeed.


Bahri partners with SLA to train Saudi logistics talents

Bahri partners with SLA to train Saudi logistics talents
Updated 20 July 2024
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Bahri partners with SLA to train Saudi logistics talents

Bahri partners with SLA to train Saudi logistics talents

Bahri, a global leader in logistics and transportation, has entered into a training agreement with the Saudi Logistics Academy, a nonprofit training facility established to qualify young Saudi talent across several industries including logistics, supply chain, e-commerce, and marketing. The agreement aims to enhance employment opportunities and skills development in the maritime logistics sector.

Under the terms of the two-year agreement, SLA will train and qualify a number of Saudi candidates in various specializations for placement across Bahri’s business units. Through a structured 12-month program, participants will gain hands-on experience and theoretical knowledge tailored to meet Bahri’s specific job requirements. This initiative not only fosters career growth for aspiring professionals but also contributes to the sustainability of the logistics sector by nurturing a skilled national workforce capable of driving innovation and industry excellence.

Hisham Alkhaldi, chief support officer at Bahri, highlighted the significance of this agreement, saying: “Our agreement with SLA stems from a desire to enrich Bahri with highly-trained young specialists and create greater synergy between national training organizations, educational institutions, and the increasingly competitive Saudi job market. By leveraging our combined expertise, we aim to establish a thriving ecosystem for the students, fresh graduates, and early careerists who will become tomorrow’s industry leaders.”

Dr. Abdullah Alabdulkarim, CEO of SLA, added: “With more international talent present within the Kingdom than ever before, providing the Saudi workforce with ample opportunities for upskilling and career development is essential to enhance competitiveness, foster innovation, and drive sustainable economic growth. At SLA, we eagerly anticipate our partnership with Bahri, which will see us train nearly a dozen Saudi talents to assume leading roles within one of the Kingdom’s most vital sectors.”

Established in 1978, Bahri has leveraged its established capabilities, locally sourced talents, and technical excellence across six key business units to emerge as a cornerstone in the nation’s efforts to transform and propel growth within the maritime logistics sector. With a commitment to bolstering Saudi Arabia’s position as a premier international gateway for logistical services, Bahri is dedicated to strengthening the Kingdom’s presence in global markets.


Honor supercharges EWC tournament with 200 Pro

Honor supercharges EWC tournament with 200 Pro
Updated 20 July 2024
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Honor supercharges EWC tournament with 200 Pro

Honor supercharges EWC tournament with 200 Pro

Honor, a global smart device provider, has been announced as the official smartphone partner for the Esports World Cup 2024 in Saudi Arabia. The Free Fire tournament was the first to kick off on July 10, with some of the top teams from around the world vying for the $1,000,000 total prize pool.

Honor equipped Free Fire competitors with the cutting-edge 200 Pro, empowering them to dominate the battlefield with unparalleled performance and innovative features.

Viewers experienced the raw power of the 200 Pro, which boasts features specifically designed to deliver exceptional mobile gaming performance. The industry-leading Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 mobile processor ensures seamless responsiveness, smooth graphics rendering, and lighting-fast in-game actions.

Maintaining peak performance during intense Free Fire matches is crucial, and this is where the Honor 200 Pro excels with its innovative cooling system with a large vapor chamber. This advanced thermal management keeps the phone cool, preventing throttling and ensuring sustained performance throughout the competition. The 200 Pro’s immersive OLED display allowed players to fully appreciate the vibrant world of Free Fire.

However, the Honor 200 Pro’s secret weapon is the revolutionary GPU Turbo X technology. The integrated hardware-software graphics acceleration technology restructures the traditional graphics processing framework on a system level, achieving improved image quality while significantly reducing power consumption. 

This allowed gamers to achieve smooth and stable frame rates without compromising visual fidelity while improving heat management and battery life for longer playing sessions.

Through continuous technological advancements and a keen eye on gamers’ needs, Honor strives to create a seamless and immersive mobile gaming experience for enthusiasts worldwide.