British Council returns to Jeddah with English courses

British Council returns to Jeddah with English courses
The signing ceremony was hosted by Cecille El-Beleidi, UK consul general to Saudi Arabia, and attended by notable figures, including Lloyd Anderson and Daoud Osman. (Supplied)
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Updated 10 February 2024
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British Council returns to Jeddah with English courses

British Council returns to Jeddah with English courses

The British Council and The International British Dutch School joined forces to announce the reopening of English language education in Jeddah. The signing ceremony was hosted by Cecille El-Beleidi, UK consul general to Saudi Arabia, and attended by notable figures, including Lloyd Anderson, director of the British Council, and Daoud Osman, chair of the board of governors.

Responding to the growing demand for English language education in Jeddah, the British Council is taking proactive steps to meet the needs of Saudi youth by establishing new English teaching delivery locations.

El-Beleidi said: “Today marks a momentous occasion, not just for the British Council and The International British Dutch School, but for the future of education in the western region and the UK’s shared vision for a brighter Saudi Arabia. The British Council’s return to Jeddah is not only marked by renewed vigor but also by an ambitious initiative designed to empower the youth of this vibrant region. This agreement is not just about establishing an English language training center; it is also about planting the seeds of opportunity, cultural exchange, and a commitment to Vision 2030’s ambition for a flourishing knowledge economy.”

Anderson expressed his enthusiasm, saying: “I am delighted that we are signing this agreement with The International British Dutch School. At the British Council, we always look for ways to provide more English language teaching opportunities in new locations. Through this agreement, we hope to make our English courses more easily accessible to different communities. I am very grateful to the school management for their support, and I look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with them.”

This endeavor aligns perfectly with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which emphasizes human capital development and knowledge acquisition. The British Council aims to contribute to Jeddah’s aspirations, firmly believing that through education, the next generation can be empowered to shape a brighter tomorrow.

Osman emphasized the school’s readiness to host like-minded education organizations that share a similar vision to enhance the British educational landscape within the Kingdom. He particularly welcomed the British Council’s programs which teach and strengthen English language provision in Jeddah.

British Council courses are delivered by professionals with more than 80 years of global leadership experience in English teaching, ensuring that learning is engaging, effective, and relevant. With younger children, the focus is on literacy, confidence, and communicative skills, while courses for older children also complementarily focus on literacy, confidence, and communicative skills. Courses for adults also incorporate academic skills development and soft skills.

Starting from March, British Council English courses for all ages will be available at The International British Dutch School for both students and external learners of all ages.

The event was also attended by Dr. Zaheer Ahmad, vice chair of the board; Dr. Asma Khalil, board member; Zoe Woolley, headmistress; Manal Al-Tayeb, business and operations manager; Munsoor Shahzad, assistant head; Eric Mason, director of study; and Tom McGarry, head of Sixth Form.

British Council representatives who attended the event included: Faye Nicholls, Gulf cluster business manager; Abdulrahman Jumeh, commercial lead partnerships Gulf; Fahd Shafiq, head of business development; Sarah Yassin, teaching operations manager; and Ahmad Siddiqui, customer management and sales lead — Gulf Central.


Riyadh to host inaugural SaudiFood Manufacturing show

Riyadh to host inaugural SaudiFood Manufacturing show
Updated 22 April 2024
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Riyadh to host inaugural SaudiFood Manufacturing show

Riyadh to host inaugural SaudiFood Manufacturing show

The inaugural edition of SaudiFood Manufacturing, the first dedicated F&B manufacturing event in the Kingdom spanning processing, packaging and ingredients, will be the launchpad for the industry to take its place at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s economic transformation. Following the highly successful launch of The Saudi Food Show, the largest food event in the Kingdom, organizers KAOUN International and dmg events, recently unveiled highlights of the much-anticipated SaudiFood Manufacturing event, taking place at Riyadh Front from April 30-May 2, under the patronage of Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar bin Ibrahim Al-Khorayef.

Underpinning the fast-growing F&B market in Saudi Arabia — currently worth around $60 billion and growing at four percent per year, the Saudi F&B manufacturing industry is on the cusp of a step change in its growth and importance within the nation’s economy.

Trixie LohMirmand, CEO of KAOUN International, said: “The launch of SaudiFood Manufacturing coincides with a pivotal moment in the F&B manufacturing industry, both in Saudi Arabia and globally. To achieve the ambitious goals of Vision 2030, the Saudi government is focusing on diversifying the nation’s industrial base, while enhancing the security and resilience of food systems, encouraging investments in F&B manufacturing to establish the Kingdom as a prominent global F&B hub. Concurrently, rapid technological advancements are revolutionizing the industry by enhancing efficiency, quality, and safety while reducing costs.

“The inaugural edition of SaudiFood Manufacturing will provide participants with valuable insights into these market dynamics, showcasing how leading global players are addressing them and how businesses can effectively leverage these trends.”

One of the key forces driving Saudi Arabia’s industrial transformation, and creating an attractive environment for inward investment and innovation, is the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones, known as MODON — the strategic partner for the launch edition.

Ali Alomeir, VP of business development at MODON, said: “After the success of the first edition of The Saudi Food Show last year, the first edition of the SaudiFood Manufacturing Show 2024 also comes with a strategic partnership with MODON, reflecting MODON’s pivotal role in achieving the goals of the National Strategy for Industry, and Saudi Vision 2030, to achieve food security and effectively contribute to diversifying the national economy.”

For professionals in F&B manufacturing, spanning processing, packaging, ingredients, supply chain solutions, and control and automation, the SaudiFood Manufacturing Show offers a strategic platform abundant with opportunities to discover tailored solutions for their businesses.

The SaudiFood Manufacturing exhibition will convene more than 400 global brands from 35 countries for the first time in the Kingdom, including industry powerhouses AMC, Anasia, Apical, Brenntag, Buhler Chemco FSL, CGS, Clextral, Cybernetik Technologies, IFFCO, Kanoo Machinery, Multivac, Novonesis, Senovia and many others.

“Saudi Arabia’s food market is a growing arena full of opportunities for innovation and fruitful collaboration. Al-Azzaz, now being Brenntag BSP Nutrition, is attending the inaugural SaudiFood Manufacturing exhibition in Riyadh with a deep commitment to developing solid relationships. Cementing our dedication to driving innovation and growth within Saudi Arabia’s food sector, we are pleased to announce our investment and upcoming launch of Brenntag’s new Innovation and Application Center, which will open in Riyadh in 2024. This center will serve as a lighthouse of innovation, highlighting Brenntag Specialties’ investment and unwavering belief in how important it is for us to be close to our customers,” said Brenntag Nutrition-EMEA President Frank Haven.

Under the theme “Building the Food Manufacturing Ecosystem of the Future,” more than 50 international experts, thought-leaders, and policymakers are already confirmed to speak at the first Food Forward Summit — many of them for the first time in Saudi Arabia. 

These include: Dr. Flavia Fayet-Moore, space nutritionist and CEO of FOODiQ; Ross Dawson, global leading futurist, entrepreneur and bestselling author; Bugge Holm Hansen, senior futurist and head of innovation and technology, Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies; George Peppou, founder and CEO of Vow; Richard Dillon, CEO of Ivy Farms Technologies; Luke Tay, founder of Cornucopia FutureScapes; Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy, professor, University of Toronto and founder and chief science officer, Nutrigenomix Inc.; and many more.


IMC achieves ACGME-I accreditation for internal medicine residency program

IMC achieves ACGME-I accreditation for internal medicine residency program
Updated 22 April 2024
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IMC achieves ACGME-I accreditation for internal medicine residency program

IMC achieves ACGME-I accreditation for internal medicine residency program

The International Medical Center has obtained academic accreditation for its internal medicine residency program from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education International, an internationally recognized body renowned for its commitment to improving the quality of training and maintaining the highest standards in residency training programs for internal medicine. This accreditation underscores IMC’s dedication to providing excellence in medical education and training.

With this accreditation, IMC emerges as the first and only hospital in the Kingdom to achieve such recognition. This milestone establishes IMC as a globally acknowledged and distinguished training hospital for internal medicine residency programs.

“The ACGME-I accreditation serves as a testament to IMC’s unwavering commitment to providing high-quality medical training,” a statement said. “It highlights IMC’s capability to attract highly qualified faculty members and gain recognition from international medical bodies. Furthermore, it opens doors for residents to pursue fellowships in the US to complete subspecialty training.”

The exceptional advantages will undoubtedly motivate resident physicians to select IMC for their training.

It is noteworthy that the International Medical Center had previously obtained ACGME-I institutional accreditation, establishing itself as the first multi-specialty private hospital in Saudi Arabia to achieve this distinction.


SAB wins Euromoney’s ‘Best Private Bank in Saudi Arabia’ award for second time in row

SAB wins Euromoney’s ‘Best Private Bank in Saudi Arabia’ award for second time in row
Updated 22 April 2024
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SAB wins Euromoney’s ‘Best Private Bank in Saudi Arabia’ award for second time in row

SAB wins Euromoney’s ‘Best Private Bank in Saudi Arabia’ award for second time in row

Saudi Awwal Bank has been named the “Best Private Bank in Saudi Arabia” by Euromoney during their Private Banking Awards 2024, for the second time in a row. This achievement reflects the bank’s continuous efforts in developing and delivering outstanding and innovative banking services to its clients.

The award reinforces SAB’s position as one of the leading banks in the field of private banking services in the Kingdom, and confirms its continuous commitment to providing the best for its clients and supporting economic development in the Kingdom.

Bandar Al-Gheshayan, chief wealth and personal banking officer at SAB, said: “Winning this prestigious award demonstrates the extent of our strategic vision in providing a distinguished banking experience for our clients and reaffirms our commitment to developing and providing innovative financial solutions that meet their aspirations and contribute to the growth of their wealth and the achievement of their financial goals.”

Al-Gheshayan added: “We are proud of our role in enhancing the financial sector by providing private banking services and offering investment opportunities that enhance economic growth and support entrepreneurs and investors.”

The bank continues to enhance its efforts toward developing private banking services, aiming to provide a comprehensive range of financial and banking services that meet the diverse needs of its clients, within the framework of its strategy to contribute to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

SAB is one of the largest banks in the Kingdom and traces its origins in Saudi Arabia to more than 90 years, during which time it has been an active partner supporting the Kingdom’s economic growth and social development. It offers integrated financial and banking services, including corporate banking, investment, private banking, and treasury.


Cayan to develop second ‘Hampton by Hilton’ in Neom

Cayan to develop second ‘Hampton by Hilton’ in Neom
Updated 21 April 2024
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Cayan to develop second ‘Hampton by Hilton’ in Neom

Cayan to develop second ‘Hampton by Hilton’ in Neom

Cayan Group, a leading real estate investment and development company in the Middle East, is continuing its partnership with NEOM, a giga-project spanning 26,500 square kilometers in northwest Saudi Arabia — for a second Hampton by Hilton at NEOM Community. A signing ceremony between Cayan Group and Hilton for the hotel took place at the International Hospitality Investment Forum in Berlin, in the presence of Hilton’s President and CEO Chris Nassetta and Cayan Group’s Chairman Ahmed Alhatti.

Under the agreement, Cayan Group will fully fund and develop a 201-key Hampton by Hilton situated at the NEOM Community to meet the rising construction demand — a critical component to further progress earthworks at the site. With construction soon starting, the Hilton-managed hotel is expected to open at the beginning of 2025. The hotel will be the second property for the brand at NEOM Community, delivering the seamless experience and thoughtful amenities and interiors that the Hampton by Hilton brand is known for.

Alhatti said: “Further to the recent opening of Hampton by Hilton Sharma at the NEOM Community site, we are excited to continue with our participation of being part of this visionary and unique project alongside Hilton, our globally recognized hospitality partner. We believe in the vision of Prime Minister and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and we remain focused to continue investing within NEOM projects and securing more opportunities in the future.”

Further to the success of the previous agreement, this is the second hotel project at NEOM to be fully funded by the private sector, and Cayan Group’s investment further highlights the private sector’s interest in Saudi Arabia.

Carlos Khneisser, vice president, development, Middle East and Africa, Hilton, said: “We’re delighted to be working again with Cayan Group to add another great Hampton by Hilton to our growing portfolio in Saudi Arabia. This signing asserts Hilton’s long-standing commitment to the growth of the tourism sector in the Kingdom, where we are working with both public and private sector partners to respond to the rising demand for hospitality brands and expect to quadruple our presence in the coming years.”

The hotel’s flexible design and construction will center around sustainability while deploying energy-efficient systems. As NEOM moves forward to meet its ambitious targets, developing livability options is an important milestone to fulfill the needs of visitors.


Careem customers donate $170,000 in Ramadan

Careem customers donate $170,000 in Ramadan
Updated 21 April 2024
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Careem customers donate $170,000 in Ramadan

Careem customers donate $170,000 in Ramadan

Careem, a regional multi-service app, channeled more than $170,000 to regional causes during Ramadan through its revamped social impact platform for donations, “Right Click.”

Launched on the first day of Ramadan, Right Click empowers Careem customers in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, and Pakistan to discover more ways to connect with their communities, offering up simple ways to donate and change lives with just a few taps. Over time, the platform aims to provide a seamless donations experience and increase transparency to show how customer contributions contribute to real on-ground impact.

Careem customers used Right Click to buy “Quik Grocery” boxes for those in need, buy meals as part of the “Eat to Fill a Plate” campaign, make direct donations or pay Zakat for regional causes, and support Palestinian relief by buying a Gaza T-shirt. Partner organizations include Al-Birr Society and Children with Disabilities Association in Saudi Arabia; Emirates Red Crescent and Dubai Cares in the UAE; Al-Aman Fund, King Hussein Cancer Foundation, Tikiyet Um Ali and SOS Children’s Villages in Jordan; and The Citizens Foundation in Pakistan.

Vimbai Beverly Midzi, associate director — corporate affairs at Careem, said: “We’re excited to see so many customers use the Careem ‘everything app’ to give back to their communities. Right Click embodies Careem’s purpose to simplify and improve the lives of those that need it most. We’re grateful to have the opportunity to help our customers make a meaningful impact through our platform, and we’re leveraging technology for good as we build long-term social impact by investing in crucial building blocks of development, such as education, income generation and emergency relief.”

From 2018 to 2023, Careem distributed more than $4.7 million of humanitarian and development assistance in partnership with over 35 nonprofit and private sector partners, tens of thousands of customers and hundreds of colleagues that have donated generously.