Extend launches SR100m fund, academy to develop Saudi media sector

Extend launches SR100m fund, academy to develop Saudi media sector
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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.


Oppo teams up with football star Kaká for 2024 UEFA Champions League Final

Oppo teams up with football star Kaká for 2024 UEFA Champions League Final
Updated 29 May 2024
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Oppo teams up with football star Kaká for 2024 UEFA Champions League Final

Oppo teams up with football star Kaká for 2024 UEFA Champions League Final

To celebrate this year’s UEFA Champions League Final and its second year as the official global partner of the prestigious football competition, Oppo announced that it will be bringing its latest flagship Oppo Find X7 Ultra to Wembley Stadium. The phone will be used by official UEFA Champions League photographers to capture inspirational moments on and off the pitch and share them with fans around the world. 

“With Oppo smartphones, the non-stop excitement of football — whether captured through telephoto photography, portraits, or night scenes — becomes more than just a memory, but a collection of unforgettable moments to be shared with friends and family for years to come,” the company said.

As part of the celebrations, Oppo global brand ambassador Kaká once again plays a starring role in the brand’s “What A Shot” campaign and will meet with fans at the exclusive Oppo Hospitality Lounge in the Champions Village. 

Oppo will activate the Oppo Booth at Potters Field Park as part of the UEFA Champions Festival to create an unforgettable match-day experience for fans during the final.

“It’s been an honor to partner with Oppo and engage with fans through a whole series of offline and digital activities during the past two Champions League seasons,” said Kaká. “I’m super excited for this year’s final and I can’t wait to see who will be crowned champions of Europe this year.”

Earlier this month, Oppo rolled out the “What A Shot From You” social media campaign as part of the #OppoimagineIF Photography Awards, encouraging users around the world to share their most memorable moments through captivating photography. The campaign will also see selected photos taken to the big screen via the LED display inside Wembley Stadium during the UEFA Champions League Final.

Alongside the social media campaign, Oppo has invited Kaká to review and score the best shots in his football career and star in a new themed video “What A Shot.” 


Zain KSA to expand 5G on back of SR1.6bn Al-Rajhi deal

Zain KSA to expand 5G on back of SR1.6bn Al-Rajhi deal
Updated 28 May 2024
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Zain KSA to expand 5G on back of SR1.6bn Al-Rajhi deal

Zain KSA to expand 5G on back of SR1.6bn Al-Rajhi deal

Zain KSA, a provider of communications and digital services in Saudi Arabia, announced the signing of a supplier financing agreement worth SR1.625 billion ($433.3 million) with Al-Rajhi Bank to invest in expanding its 5G network and strengthening its infrastructure to support the business sector. This competitively rated financing solution will enable Zain KSA to expand its investments in its 5G network nationwide and enrich its portfolio with innovative digital solutions and applications targeting its individual and business users, ensuring they enjoy a top-notch digital experience.

Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Deghaither, Zain KSA’s CEO, said: “At Zain KSA, we adopt an integrated strategy, balancing between achieving our core goals of empowering our individual and business customers and providing them with cutting-edge technologies and digital solutions, along with maximizing value for our shareholders and investors. Simultaneously, our strategy supports our astute leadership’s ambitious Saudi Vision 2030 and its goal of achieving a nationwide sustainable digital transformation, marking the beginning of a new era of digital innovation across the Kingdom.

“Today, this competitively rated supplier financing agreement between Zain KSA and the nationally renowned Al-Rajhi Bank underscores our joint efforts to foster an enriched and inclusive digital experience across the Kingdom, mirroring Zain KSA’s strategy to provide exceptional customer experience and innovative services, including distinguished spiritual tourism services for pilgrims.”

Meanwhile, Waleed Al-Mogbel, CEO and managing director of Al-Rajhi Bank, said: “Our partnership with Zain KSA, the longstanding Saudi telecom leader, will open up new horizons for the development of the Kingdom’s telecommunications and digital services sector. At Al-Rajhi Bank, we are glad to be a key partner supporting Zain KSA’s ambitious goals and strategic plans for nationwide digital empowerment.”

Through targeted investments, Zain KSA aims to cement its role as a national champion, powering up the Kingdom’s digital capabilities and infrastructure. This translates to broader access to cutting-edge technology and digital services for everyone — individuals, businesses, and institutions — paving the way for a vibrant society and a thriving, knowledge-based economy.


MBSC reports 220% surge in 2024 graduate numbers

MBSC reports 220% surge in 2024 graduate numbers
Updated 28 May 2024
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MBSC reports 220% surge in 2024 graduate numbers

MBSC reports 220% surge in 2024 graduate numbers

In an unprecedented milestone, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman College of Business and Entrepreneurship, the Kingdom’s world-class business school, has announced an increase of more than 220 percent in its graduates this year, marking the largest graduating class to date with a total of 327 graduates in 2024 compared to 101 in 2023. This year also marks the graduation of the first Master of Finance cohort.

The graduating class represents a diverse group of high-calibre professionals from key sectors including government, technology, healthcare, and beyond, many of whom hold C-suite level positions. This diversity underscores the college’s appeal to those aiming to boost their strategic thinking and leadership abilities.

MBSC’s existing graduate programs (Executive MBA, Master in Management, and Master in Finance) showcase a commitment to meeting the demands of the business and finance sectors of the world today.

Dr. Zeger Degraeve, dean of MBSC, said: “The remarkable increase in our graduates this year is a clear indicator of MBSC’s growing impact and effectiveness in the realm of business education. Our hands-on pragmatic approach not only equips our students with essential skills but also instills an entrepreneurial mindset necessary for today’s and tomorrow’s leaders. We aim to provide our students with the tools to emerge as leaders and catalysts for change, ensuring they become pioneers for Vision 2030.”

It is noteworthy that MBSC has been conditionally accredited by the National Center for Academic Accreditation and Evaluation, at Education and Training Evaluation Commission, from May 2024 to April 2026.

The higher education institution is situated in King Abdullah Economic City, a contemporary urban center that provides an unparalleled modern environment for both students and faculty. MBSC offers world-class education “from Saudi Arabia for Saudi Arabia” in both King Abdullah Economic City and Riyadh, delivering practical, pragmatic, hands-on experiential learning to develop a new generation of transformative leaders.


SAB named ‘best bank’ in Saudi Arabia by Global Finance

SAB named ‘best bank’ in Saudi Arabia by Global Finance
Updated 28 May 2024
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SAB named ‘best bank’ in Saudi Arabia by Global Finance

SAB named ‘best bank’ in Saudi Arabia by Global Finance

Saudi Awwal Bank has been awarded the “Best Bank Award 2024 in Saudi Arabia” by Global Finance for the fifth time in a row. The award is a recognition of SAB’s innovative banking services and its efforts in serving its customers and enhancing their banking experiences.

The recognition came following a referendum in which a select panel of financial experts participated, considering a range of criteria that included asset growth, profitability, quality of customer service, strategic relationships, product innovation, and other relevant factors.

Tony Cripps, managing director and CEO at SAB, said: “Being honored with this prestigious award serves as a testament to our bank’s strategic vision and excellence across various departments and reinforces our commitment to supporting the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 in the Financial Sector Development Program. It highlights our position as a leading financial institution in contributing to economic development.”

He added: “Through our deep understanding of market needs, we develop products and services to exceed our customers’ expectations, enabling us to provide distinctive and innovative banking solutions, contributing to achieving their desires and helping them reach their ambitious goals.”

This year, SAB continues to strengthen its leading position in the banking sector through several achievements, including the “Accreditation in Innovation” award from the Global Innovation Institute, which makes it the first bank in the Kingdom to receive such recognition. SAB was also honored with the “Best Bank for Private Banking in the Kingdom” award by Euromoney magazine. These awards serve as a testament to the bank’s exceptional services, highlighting its strength and diversity in catering to the needs of its customers with efficiency and innovative solutions.


RUUD, Modern Electronics tap into growing HVAC market

RUUD, Modern Electronics tap into growing HVAC market
Updated 27 May 2024
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RUUD, Modern Electronics tap into growing HVAC market

RUUD, Modern Electronics tap into growing HVAC market

A strategic collaboration between RUUD — a brand in the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning industry under Rheem Middle East — and Modern Electronics, to become the exclusive distributor for RUUD’s air-conditioning products in Saudi Arabia, comes at a pivotal time when the HVAC sector in the Kingdom is witnessing substantial growth, driven by increased demand across various sectors including residential, commercial, and industrial markets.

The HVAC market in Saudi Arabia is projected to grow significantly, with a compound annual growth rate of 4.2 percent from 2021 to 2026. The surge in demand is attributed to the Kingdom’s rapid urbanization, extensive infrastructure projects, and a growing emphasis on energy-efficient solutions. Major infrastructure developments under Saudi Vision 2030 are further propelling the need for advanced HVAC systems.

Modern Electronics, well-known for its extensive distribution network, is well-positioned to meet this growing demand. The partnership with RUUD will enable Modern Electronics to deliver high-quality, reliable cooling solutions tailored to the specific needs of consumers in Saudi Arabia.

Brian Hempenstall, general manager of Rheem Middle East and Africa, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Modern Electronics as our exclusive distributor in Saudi Arabia. This collaboration underscores our commitment to providing premium HVAC solutions that meet the diverse needs of our customers in the region.”

Samer Bachour, general manager of sales at Rheem Middle East and Africa, said: “Modern Electronics’ market expertise and comprehensive understanding of Saudi Arabia’s HVAC demands make them an ideal partner. Together, we are dedicated to delivering innovative, energy-efficient cooling solutions that cater to the evolving needs of Saudi consumers.”

Wajih Beiruti, CEO of Modern Electronics, added: “We are delighted to join forces with RUUD to bring their best-in-class HVAC products to our customers in Saudi Arabia. By leveraging our local market knowledge and extensive distribution network, we aim to deliver the latest and most advanced cooling solutions, ensuring exceptional quality and value for our consumers.”

RUUD’s parent company, Rheem Middle East, has a strong reputation for providing highly customized and engineered HVAC solutions. In addition to expanding its product offerings, Rheem Middle East is committed to supporting the local HVAC sector’s development. Earlier this year, Rheem Middle East launched an innovation learning center in Riyadh to train young Saudis, aiming to increase local expertise in the HVAC industry.

This partnership and RUUD’s dedication to expanding its market presence and delivering advanced cooling solutions to meet the growing demand in Saudi Arabia also highlights the Kingdom’s appeal as a key market.