Cisco announces AI innovation and partnerships

Cisco announces AI innovation and partnerships
Reem Asaad, vice president Cisco in the Middle East and Africa
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Updated 20 February 2024
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Cisco announces AI innovation and partnerships

Cisco announces AI innovation and partnerships

New AI-fueled solutions spanning networking, security, collaboration, and observability highlight Cisco’s ongoing commitment to AI innovation.

At Cisco Live in Amsterdam, the company’s flagship technology event in Europe, with over 14,000 of the world’s leading IT professionals attending, Cisco announced major momentum in artificial intelligence across its entire portfolio.

“As we witness the rapid advancements in AI technology, it’s imperative for organizations in the region to embrace all of these innovations strategically. Cisco’s commitment to AI excellence aligns seamlessly with our region’s vision for digital transformation. By leveraging AI-powered solutions, businesses can not only enhance operational efficiency but also foster unprecedented growth opportunities. We are dedicated to supporting our customers in navigating this transformative journey while ensuring the ethical and responsible use of AI,” said Reem Asaad, vice president Cisco in the Middle East and Africa.

 


5th MENA Construction Summit spotlights sustainable project delivery

5th MENA Construction Summit spotlights sustainable project delivery
Updated 25 May 2024
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5th MENA Construction Summit spotlights sustainable project delivery

5th MENA Construction Summit spotlights sustainable project delivery

The fifth MENA Construction Summit 2024, the region’s premier event bringing together key construction industry stakeholders, was held last week at Hilton Riyadh Hotel and Residences. The summit, organized by MEED and Enso Events Solutions, focussed on the effective delivery of key regional construction projects on time, in budget and with elevated standards of sustainability and efficiency. Riyadh Region Municipality was the diamond partner for the MENA Construction Summit 2024.

Inspired by ambitious national visions, construction spending is surging across the MENA region, driven by huge master plan developments and Saudi Arabia’s giga-projects program. The convergence of a number of factors, however, including the need for intricate supply chain management, urgency due to time-sensitive roadmaps, simultaneous execution of multiple projects and funding complexities, has forced a rethink of the traditional approach to project delivery.

Under the theme “Reimagining Project Delivery,” more than 600 attendees from over 150 companies gained actionable insights into the latest trends, research, innovations, opportunities, and challenges driving improvements in productivity, quality, reliability, cost-savings, waste reduction, and energy efficiency — and how these methods can be employed in ground-breaking projects across the region.

In the opening keynote fireside chat, Fahad Al-Solaie, deputy mayor for digital transformation and smart cities, Riyadh Municipality, was interviewed by Dr. Abdulrahman Albawardi, assistant professor at King Saud University, in the session titled “The Transformation of Riyadh City under Saudi Vision 2030.” Al-Solaie discussed innovative and sustainable urban planning strategies for the Riyadh Municipality, in line with the giga- and mega-projects, and the goals of Saudi Vision 2030.

Al-Solaie said: “To support the city development, the municipality is planning to enable aerial management of construction projects using drones with AI capabilities, which will enhance project delivery efficiency and assist in monitoring the project staff safety on the project site.”

Later in the morning, the keynote leaders panel session provided a deep dive on the opportunities and complexities of smart city development, and the need for a holistic approach that addresses social, economic and environmental sustainability. Panelists included Hani Rizkallah, president — KSA infrastructure at Bechtel; Dr. Hossam Abdel Gawad, vice president of technology and innovation at SETS; Dr. Mohammed Al-Surf, founder and president of Sustainability Professionals of Saudi Arabia; and Sherief Elabd, director — industry and innovation strategy at Oracle.

Sessions were delivered by more than 30 speakers in a series of engaging formats, including insightful keynote presentations, interactive panel discussions, and networking sessions designed to foster collaboration and knowledge exchange.

All parts of the broader construction ecosystem were represented at the summit including government stakeholders, project owners and developers, contractors, architects, engineers, consultants, digital technology specialists, material suppliers, equipment and software service provider solution companies.

“We are excited to bring together construction industry leaders and experts at the MENA Construction Summit 2024 to change the way we look at project delivery of major construction projects across MENA,” said Ed James, head of content and research MEA at MEED — GlobalData. “By sharing knowledge, best practices, and innovative solutions, we aim to catalyze positive change.”


Bentley Saudi Arabia unveils Batur Convertible

Bentley Saudi Arabia unveils Batur Convertible
Updated 25 May 2024
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Bentley Saudi Arabia unveils Batur Convertible

Bentley Saudi Arabia unveils Batur Convertible

Bentley Saudi Arabia has unveiled the third coachbuilt Bentley of the modern era — the Batur Convertible. Created by Mulliner, Bentley’s in-house bespoke division and the longest standing coachbuilder in the world, the Batur Convertible follows the exquisitely hand-crafted Bacalar barchetta and Batur coupe. With the Batur Convertible, Mulliner continues its long tradition of crafting truly individual cars, tailored to the wishes of each of its clients.

The Batur Convertible furthers the innovative design DNA introduced by its coupe sibling that will ultimately guide the design of Bentley’s future cars. The Batur Convertible retains the most powerful version of Bentley’s iconic W12, with a 750 PS and a hand-assembled 6-liter twin-turbocharged engine that has metaphorically and literally powered Bentley’s success for the last two decades. With the engine to finish production this summer, the Batur Convertible will be one of the last ever Bentleys to use this incredible powertrain.

Bentley has a rich history of open-cockpit cars, from the very first Bentley of 1919, through the company’s foundation years in the 1920s, to the most recent — the Bacalar. The architecture of the Batur Convertible has allowed Mulliner’s designers to seize the opportunity to create a theme that not only blends the design of the Bacalar and Batur but includes the usability of a convertible. The designers also chose to highlight the two-seater character with a “wraparound” cockpit inspired by the design of the Bacalar.

Bentley Saudi Arabia’s customers will be able to specify the color and finish of practically every surface of the Batur Convertible, to create a car as individual as they are. Beyond the exterior form of the car lies an almost endless array of choices for each car’s future owner to make.


'Perfumes of the East' exhibition opens to visitors at the National Museum in Riyadh

'Perfumes of the East' exhibition opens to visitors at the National Museum in Riyadh
Updated 23 May 2024
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'Perfumes of the East' exhibition opens to visitors at the National Museum in Riyadh

'Perfumes of the East' exhibition opens to visitors at the National Museum in Riyadh

Under the patronage of Prince Badr bin Farhan, the minister of culture, the Saudi National Museum, in partnership with the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, has unveiled the “Perfumes of the East” exhibition which is making its first international stop in Riyadh.

The exhibition offers an immersive journey through the rich history of the Arab world’s profound relationship with perfumes; it introduces the unique fragrances of the East and the cultural traditions that have endowed perfume with its significant social role. Attending the opening ceremony were distinguished delegates from the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, prominent leaders from the Ministry of Culture and the Museums Commission, and participating artists from Saudi Arabia, the Arab world, and France.

Highlighting the cultural and historical significance of perfumes in the Arab world, the exhibition traces its origins to the Arabian Peninsula, a pivotal trade hub that sourced and distributed precious aromatic materials to ancient societies. This trade sparked a profound passion for perfumes across the Arab world, and turned the peninsula into the cradle of a civilization that savored fragrances and used them to enrich human life. Over time, the use of perfumes proliferated as they came to symbolize familiarity, respect, and generosity in daily interactions.

Featuring over 200 archaeological items as well as contemporary artworks, the exhibition is structured around three sections, offering visitors the opportunity to explore different timeless themes.

“Sublime and Generous Nature” delves into the history of perfumes, emphasizing the discovery of the raw materials — flowers, herbs, spices, and fragrant natural resins — used in their creation, and the unique ingredients such as frankincense, amber, and myrrh that contributed significantly to the art of perfume-making in the Arabian Peninsula.

“The Scents of the City” guides visitors through various urban neighborhoods, showing perfumes as a collective experience deeply woven into the fabric of social interactions among friends, family, and loved ones.

Lastly, “Fragrant Courtesy” highlights the social traditions and customs associated with perfumes both in the Arab world and Islamic civilization. It explores practices such as perfuming, fumigating, and scenting guests to ensure that they feel warmly welcomed.

The exhibition routes are crafted to guarantee a balanced blend of olfactory and visual experiences. Innovative devices, carefully placed to release fragrances, offer visitors an immersive olfactory experience curated specifically for the exhibition by internationally acclaimed perfume designer, Christopher Sheldrake.

Complementing the exhibition is a series of workshops and seminars, offering insights into the ingredients of perfume, the art of perfume making, and packaging design.

This educational and cultural initiative aligns with the Saudi National Museum’s commitment to celebrate Saudi cultural heritage and promote the richness of Arab and Islamic civilization.

The exhibition is open to the public until Sept. 14, 2024. Entry tickets are available through the Discover Culture platform: https://dc.moc.gov.sa/home/event-tickets/343/perfumes-of-the-east/


Pure Beverages Industry Company brings world-first water treatment technology to Saudi Arabia

Pure Beverages Industry Company brings world-first water treatment technology to Saudi Arabia
Updated 23 May 2024
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Pure Beverages Industry Company brings world-first water treatment technology to Saudi Arabia

Pure Beverages Industry Company brings world-first water treatment technology to Saudi Arabia

Pure Beverages Industry Company has announced the launch of a world-first water treatment technology in Saudi Arabia, in partnership with German company Krones AG.

The move is in line with PBIC’s commitment to bringing the latest technologies to the Kingdom and Vision 2030, which aims to enhance innovation in the Saudi market. The company’s developmental efforts have led to providing pure and high-quality water by applying the highest international standards. Every drop of Ival and Oska, PBIC’s water brands, goes through a rigorous monitoring process to produce premium bottled water.

This new water treatment technology constitutes a milestone in the water sector as it enhances the company’s ability to provide innovative products that meet the aspirations of customers in the Kingdom and abroad.

Saad bin Ajlan Alajlan, general manager of PBIC, praised the successful cooperation with Krones AG, stressing the company’s commitment to achieving leadership in providing pure and healthy water to consumers.

Dr. Roland Fellner, head of water treatment units at Krones AG, highlighted the high quality of the technology provided and its support for the PBIC’s goals in achieving excellence and innovation.

“This latest upgrade to water treatment technology will be another major milestone for PBIC to achieve excellence in the quality of bottled water and become the first company in the world to possess the greatest possible know-how of the advanced water treatment process globally,” he said.

PBIC has a wide distribution network across Saudi Arabia, comprising a fleet of more than 850 vehicles.


New Murabba’s Mukaab signs piling contract with HSSG Foundation Contracting

New Murabba’s Mukaab signs piling contract with HSSG Foundation Contracting
Updated 23 May 2024
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New Murabba’s Mukaab signs piling contract with HSSG Foundation Contracting

New Murabba’s Mukaab signs piling contract with HSSG Foundation Contracting

In a significant milestone that propels the ambitious Mukaab forward, the New Murabba Development Company, a PIF company, has announced the signing of the “Mukaab Piling Works Contract” with HSSG Foundation Contracting LLC, known for providing technically advanced foundation solutions.

This marks a pivotal step in the development of the Mukaab, which is set to become the centerpiece of the New Murabba, Riyadh’s transformative downtown destination. Once completed, the Mukaab will be one of the largest built structures in the world, measuring 400 meters in height, width, and length.

The contract was formalized by Michael Dyke, chief executive of New Murabba Development Company, and Ali Korhan from HSSG Foundation Contracting, bringing together two leading organizations in a historic commitment. The partnership underscores HSSG Foundation Contracting’s experience and strong reputation and will leverage its extensive expertise in complex foundation engineering for the successful realization of the Mukaab project.

The contract awarded to HSSG Foundation Contracting, and other partnerships that to date have been established, represent a significant leap forward in the realization of the vision for the Mukaab, and the creation of the largest modern downtown in the world, in line with Vision 2030.

Piling, as an initial phase of construction, is fundamental to the structural integrity and longevity of any major development. For the Mukaab, this will mean establishing a strong base that will support its innovative architectural vision and ambitious scale. By securing this contract, New Murabba Development Company has reaffirmed its commitment to laying a resilient groundwork that will uphold the future vibrancy and dynamism of Riyadh’s new downtown.

As development continues for New Murabba and the iconic Mukaab, the New Murabba Development Company and its partners are laying the foundations for a lasting legacy — a vibrant, dynamic, downtown that will captivate the world and start a new chapter for Saudi Arabia’s bright future.