Cenomi Centers hosts grand opening of U Walk Jeddah

Cenomi Centers hosts grand opening of U Walk Jeddah
The grand opening of U Walk Jeddah was attended by Cenomi Centers officials and guests. (Supplied)
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Updated 19 February 2024
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Cenomi Centers hosts grand opening of U Walk Jeddah

Cenomi Centers hosts grand opening of U Walk Jeddah

Cenomi Centers, the largest owner, operator and developer of contemporary lifestyle centers in Saudi Arabia, is delighted to host the grand opening of U Walk Jeddah, the city’s first hybrid mall concept that seamlessly integrates indoor and outdoor experiences and a watershed moment in the future of retail.

Bringing together trendy eateries and leading brands, U Walk Jeddah is redefining the city’s retail landscape by offering a next-generation shopping experience. The hybrid mall features an indoor retail boulevard, its own leisure district and a nearly 2km-long, open-air promenade with landscaped gardens, shaded terraces and a dancing fountain.

Leading F&B and lifestyle brands such as Nike, Bershka, Starbucks and 19V69 Versace opened their doors ahead of the grand opening, with a host of additional stores still to come – including Victoria’s Secret, Adidas, Zara and Lululemon.  

At 60,000-square-meter  GLA, UWalk Jeddah is already 80 percent pre-let with a number of brands opening over the coming weeks as the center gears up for pre-Ramadan trading.

As the city’s premier lifestyle destination for shopping dining and entertainment, U Walk Jeddah embodies Cenomi Centers’ vision to create the next generation of lifestyle destinations in Saudi Arabia, delivering best-in-class experiences for the local and International visitor. The recent publication of Cenomi Center’s footfall and occupancy results for 2023 reflect the strength of the business’ growth trajectory, with footfall reaching 124 million and occupancy rising to 92.9 percent. 

To celebrate the Grand Opening, U Walk Jeddah is hosting its hotly anticipated Cenomi Urban Festival – which brings childhood nostalgia to life with captivating, Instagram-worthy neon-lit installations, and a variety of immersive games and activities. The Urban Festival runs until the end of February 2024.

The launch follows the soft opening of U Walk Jeddah in December, which was marked by the launch of the Adidas FIFA Fan Zone by Cenomi, a Football Festival to coincide with the FIFA Club World Cup tournament taking place in Jeddah.

Alison Rehill-Erguven, Cenomi Centers CEO said: “We are delighted to host the much-anticipated Grand Opening of U Walk Jeddah – the city’s premier lifestyle destination for shopping, dining and entertainment. U Walk Jeddah is redefining the mall experience with its next-generation design and offering, representing everything Cenomi Centers seeks to achieve in offering the retail experiences of tomorrow. This milestone is further evidence of our bold ambitions for the future.”

U Walk Jeddah can be found conveniently located in the heart of the dynamic Al-Zahar district, with direct access via major roads, and a parking facility to accommodate 1,250 vehicles.


New Murabba reaffirms commitment to sustainability

New Murabba reaffirms commitment to sustainability
Updated 21 April 2024
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New Murabba reaffirms commitment to sustainability

New Murabba reaffirms commitment to sustainability
  • New Murabba Development Company is currently in the development phase of New Murabba Modern Downtown, a transformative urban development in Riyadh

New Murabba Development Company, a fully owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund, participated in the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering Saudi Arabia Conference, held between April 17-18, in Riyadh’s Al-Faisaliah Hotel. The conference, under the theme “Navigating the Future: Innovations in Project Control,” provided a platform for industry leaders to convene and discuss the impact of emerging technologies on project controls, alongside strategies for enhancing collaboration in complex projects.
Highlighting New Murabba’s commitment to both innovation and sustainability, Michael Dyke, CEO of New Murabba Development Company, outlined the company’s focus on leveraging cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, big data, digital twins, and 3D modeling.

HIGHLIGHT

New Murabba recognizes that AI and big data can be powerful assets in a project manager’s toolkit, through which they can gain valuable insights and make informed decisions.

New Murabba Development Company is currently in the development phase of New Murabba Modern Downtown, a transformative urban development in Riyadh. The company is creating the world’s most transformative and modern city center, which will serve as a model for future urban development and contribute to the city’s evolution in line with Saudi Vision 2030.
New Murabba recognizes that AI and big data can be powerful assets in a project manager’s toolkit. By leveraging these tools alongside other methodologies, project managers can gain valuable insights from vast datasets, enabling them to make informed decisions that can expedite project completion and minimize unforeseen challenges.
Dyke’s address acknowledged the challenges associated with adopting new technologies, such as responsible data management, potential biases in AI, and integrating new systems with existing workflows. Moreover, it emphasized New Murabba’s unwavering commitment to overcoming these hurdles and establishing itself as a model for future urban development, where the latest solutions seamlessly integrate with a vibrant, human-centered experience.
The conference also addressed the evolving landscape of project controls in the context of sustainable and resilient infrastructure development.
“New Murabba, with its dedication to 25 percent green area allocation, energy-efficient practices, and a focus on circular economy principles, exemplifies a commitment to shaping the future of sustainable and resilient cities. Robust tracking systems for environmental impact, including resource consumption, carbon emissions, and waste generation, are a very important part of this and reflect the strong project controls in place,” said Dyke.
New Murabba’s AACE Saudi Arabia Conference participation reinforces its commitment to innovation and collaboration. By embracing new technologies and prioritizing sustainable practices, New Murabba is poised to become a model for future urban development, creating a vibrant and sustainable city for future generations.

 


Bahrain airport wins ‘best staff in Mideast’ award from Skytrax

Gulf Air Group Chairman Zayed R. Alzayani and Bahrain Airport Company CEO Mohamed Yousif Al-Binfalah received the award.
Gulf Air Group Chairman Zayed R. Alzayani and Bahrain Airport Company CEO Mohamed Yousif Al-Binfalah received the award.
Updated 21 April 2024
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Bahrain airport wins ‘best staff in Mideast’ award from Skytrax

Gulf Air Group Chairman Zayed R. Alzayani and Bahrain Airport Company CEO Mohamed Yousif Al-Binfalah received the award.
  • BIA is the central asset of Bahrain’s aviation sector, which receives great support from King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, and benefits from the close follow-up of Prime Minister and Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa”

Bahrain International Airport has been awarded the “Best Airport Staff in the Middle East 2024” from Skytrax for the second year in a row at the 2024 World Airport Awards, the most prestigious accolades for the airport industry. The awards were voted for by customers in the largest annual global airport customer satisfaction survey.
Gulf Air Group Chairman Zayed R. Alzayani and Bahrain Airport Company CEO Mohamed Yousif Al-Binfalah received the award on behalf of BIA, at the awards ceremony held at the 2024 Passenger Terminal Expo in Frankfurt, Germany.
Additionally, Alzayani and Al-Binfalah received the latest 5-star airport rating, which was awarded to BIA for the third consecutive time in recognition of its dedication to optimizing performance and attaining the highest levels of operational excellence.
Alzayani congratulated all the employees of BIA and BAC, for once again receiving the prestigious Skytrax award. He said: “In Gulf Air Group, we take immense pride in our dedicated BIA team, particularly our Bahraini competencies. Their remarkable commitment to delivering a distinctive and seamless travel experience to visitors and passengers transiting through BIA is commendable. BIA is the central asset of Bahrain’s aviation sector, which receives great support from King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, and benefits from the close follow-up of Prime Minister and Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa.”
He added: “Gulf Air Group is strongly committed to empowering its Bahraini workforce and investing in human capital, providing them with the necessary knowledge and skills to remain at the forefront of global industry standards. This strategic focus aims to cultivate the next generation of leaders within Bahrain’s aviation sector. The recent achievement of reaching a Bahrainization ratio of up to 90 percent across all departments of BAC is a source of great pride. This noteworthy milestone is the result of a series of carefully planned initiatives launched over the past years.”
Meanwhile, Al-Binfalah said: “I extend my heartfelt congratulations to our strategic partners for their ongoing support of BAC’s diverse programs and initiatives, which have been instrumental in the remarkable regional and global accomplishments of BIA ... This achievement is a testament to the collective spirit of team Bahrain that guides all our partners as we relentlessly pursue excellence in customer satisfaction, striving to consistently raising the bar and setting new industry standards. It reflects our key to success, which is deeply rooted in our commitment to creating remarkable and unforgettable experiences for every visitor.”
Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax, said: “We congratulate BIA for their success in winning this important award for 2024, which is a fabulous recognition of the quality of staff service provided across all of the customer-facing areas in the airport.”

 


Virgin Mobile Saudi partners with Hitek to develop smart cities in Kingdom

Yaarob Al-Sayegh, CEO of Virgin Mobile Saudi
Yaarob Al-Sayegh, CEO of Virgin Mobile Saudi
Updated 21 April 2024
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Virgin Mobile Saudi partners with Hitek to develop smart cities in Kingdom

Yaarob Al-Sayegh, CEO of Virgin Mobile Saudi
  • aarob Al-Sayegh, CEO of Virgin Mobile Saudi, said: “At Virgin Mobile, we believe in the transformative power of technology to create smarter, more sustainable cities

Regional technology services company Hitek, part of the Farnek group of companies, has signed a joint venture partnership with Virgin Mobile Saudi, a Beyond ONE group company, as the preferred technology partner to enable a joint strategic approach to developing smart cities in Saudi Arabia.
With smart cities relying heavily on connectivity, Virgin Mobile Saudi, in conjunction with local providers, will be responsible for advanced telecommunications solutions, including 5G networks, digital services and enablement.

FASTFACT

Virgin Mobile Saudi, in conjunction with local providers, will be responsible for equipping smart cities with advanced telecommunications solutions, including 5G networks, digital services and enablement.

Yaarob Al-Sayegh, CEO of Virgin Mobile Saudi, said: “At Virgin Mobile, we believe in the transformative power of technology to create smarter, more sustainable cities. Our partnership with Hitek marks a significant step toward realizing this vision in Saudi Arabia.”
He added: “By leveraging Hitek’s expertise in digital solutions and our capabilities in telecommunications, we aim to build robust infrastructure that will not only enhance connectivity but also enable the seamless integration of cutting-edge technologies like AI and IoT. Together, we are committed to developing innovative solutions that will improve the quality of life for residents and drive economic growth across the region.”
With the communications infrastructure in place, Hitek can employ a comprehensive suite of digital solutions to optimize waste, water and energy management, environmental monitoring, citizen engagement, retail and hospitality, data analytics and AI integration, smart transportation, real estate and urban development as well as education technology.
Javeria Aijaz, managing director of Hitek, said: “Through this ground-up partnership with Virgin Mobile Saudi, we can deliver an advanced, bespoke all-inclusive, intelligent and analytical digital platform, connecting people, assets and spaces.”
She added: “By utilizing IoT-enabled building management systems, machine learning and cloud and AI-based technologies, FM operations management will have a 360-degree overview of all facilities, 24/7, from a dedicated and centralized platform, enhancing efficiency, welfare and sustainability.”
Initially, the agreement will cover smart building solutions for potential projects in Saudi Arabia.

 


Zain KSA unveils 100% Saudi-made fleet management system

Zain KSA unveils 100% Saudi-made fleet management system
Updated 17 April 2024
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Zain KSA unveils 100% Saudi-made fleet management system

Zain KSA unveils 100% Saudi-made fleet management system

Leading telecommunications and digital services provider Zain KSA has launched the first 100 percent Saudi-made fleet management system for the business sector. This comprehensive solution incorporates state-of-the-art tracking devices designed, manufactured, and assembled locally. Leveraging the advanced capabilities of Zain Cloud and hosting all data locally, Zain KSA has become the first telecom operator in the Kingdom to offer a fleet management solution for the “Made in Saudi” program.

The fleet management system is a comprehensive cloud-based platform that helps businesses of all sizes streamline their logistics operations, improve travel routes, and reduce fuel consumption, thereby lowering carbon emissions, safeguarding the environment, and promoting sustainability. By offering real-time GPS tracking, this innovative system enhances road safety and security across the transportation and logistics sectors, empowering decision-makers with crucial insights through comprehensive reports based on accurate data. This allows for informed decisions that boost operational efficiency and save costs.

Saad bin Abdulrahman Al-Sadhan, chief business and wholesale officer at Zain KSA, said: “We are proud to be the first telecommunications and digital services provider to offer an integrated solution designed and developed in the Kingdom, aligning with our sustainability strategy of supporting local content. This achievement demonstrates our commitment to the aspirations of our astute leadership and Saudi Vision 2030, promoting the digital economy and localizing technology. At Zain KSA, we are steadfast in our commitment to building a robust technology ecosystem that leverages digitization and automation to empower the Kingdom’s productive, service, and logistics sectors. The fleet management system is a direct result of this commitment, and we take immense pride in being at the forefront of companies providing 100 percent national digital solutions, joining hands to bolster our cherished homeland and uphold its prosperity.”

“Made in Saudi” is a national program that supports homegrown goods and services, building a trusted brand for consumers. By positioning national products and services as a preferred choice and enhancing consumer loyalty, the program aims to activate the role of Saudi-made goods in bolstering non-oil GDP. This serves the economic goals of Saudi Vision 2030 to increase revenue diversification and enhance national products in accordance with the highest standards of reliability and excellence.

Zain KSA has recently secured the HRSD Labor Award for Talent Localization in the ICT sector in recognition of its efforts and achievements in empowering innovation and development in the sector through a dynamic and youthful national workforce. Demonstrating its commitment to local talent and innovation, Zain KSA has also signed a strategic partnership agreement with Pioneers Systems, the renowned Saudi company specializing in the design, development, manufacture, and assembly of electronic circuits, to develop Internet of Things solutions and localize specialized products and expertise in this field to achieve sustainability of innovation in the Kingdom’s communications and digital services sector, ultimately contributing to increasing the sector’s local content percentage.


SAB partners with Saudi EXIM and Kafalah to boost SME exports

SAB partners with Saudi EXIM  and Kafalah to boost SME exports
Updated 17 April 2024
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SAB partners with Saudi EXIM and Kafalah to boost SME exports

SAB partners with Saudi EXIM  and Kafalah to boost SME exports

In a significant move to bolster the Kingdom’s small and medium-sized enterprises sector in exporting and streamline their access to global markets, Saudi Awwal Bank has collaborated with the Saudi EXIM Bank and the Kafalah Program. Through the “Guarantee Financing for Export Sector Enterprises” initiative, the collaboration will enhance financing options for enterprises working in the export sector and enable them to ensure sustained growth.

This collaboration will expand financing opportunities for small and medium-scale enterprises across various sectors, fostering an environment that will enable their international product exportation. The initiative marks a significant advancement in the collective efforts to propel SMEs onto the global stage, and is in line with the goals of the Financial Sector Development Program supporting the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

The Saudi EXIM Bank introduced the “Export Sector Enterprises Financing Guarantees” product, specifically crafted to boost financing for small and medium enterprises engaged in international commerce, facilitating their export activities. This initiative reflects the Saudi EXIM Bank’s commitment to enhancing the operational capabilities of businesses and empowering them to play a significant role in the diversification of the national economy, the increase in non-oil GDP, and the expansion and spread of Saudi non-oil exports in global markets.

Yasser Al-Barrak, chief corporate and institutional banking officer at SAB, said: “This collaboration underscores our dedication to fostering the development of small and medium enterprises, particularly in international trade. Through the ‘Export Sector Enterprise Financing Guarantees’ product, we aim to provide specialized financing to empower these enterprises to reach new milestones on the global stage.”

He added: “Our collaboration with the Saudi EXIM Bank and the Kafalah Program aligns with our strategic goals of supporting the growth of small and medium enterprises. This enables these enterprises to navigate challenges and seize opportunities in the global market, underscoring the sector’s significance in enhancing economic expansion.”

The collaboration is specifically designed to offer tailored support for the Kafala Program beneficiaries through a unique credit track. This track assists local exporters within the program by offering reduced fees compared to the standard track and expanding the coverage volume. The overarching goal is to broaden the range of support, ensuring that a more comprehensive array of local exporters in the Kingdom can leverage these benefits to extend their businesses internationally.