PwC, Microsoft launch CoE to develop Saudi AI talent

PwC, Microsoft launch CoE to develop Saudi AI talent
PwC Middle East and Microsoft announced the AI Center of Excellence during LEAP.
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Updated 25 March 2024
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PwC, Microsoft launch CoE to develop Saudi AI talent

PwC, Microsoft launch CoE to develop Saudi AI talent

PwC Middle East in Saudi Arabia and Microsoft have announced the launch of an artificial intelligence center of excellence in Riyadh that will upskill and scale the AI capabilities of Saudi engineers and researchers. The launch of the AI Center of Excellence, announced during LEAP 2024, supports the Kingdom’s community development and nationalization agenda by nurturing next-generation talent in alignment with Vision 2030.

Running every two months, each cohort of the program will recruit top talent through partnerships with leading universities in the Kingdom. These young Saudi professionals will be trained in cutting-edge AI skills and technologies including Azure OpenAI and open source models and frameworks. The center will serve as a unique platform for knowledge exchange and collaborative learning, engaging both local and global partners from public and private sectors to expand expertise and perspectives.

Ali Hosseini, chief technology officer, PwC Middle East, said: “Our commitment to Saudi Vision 2030 and our future in technology is unwavering. We’re focused on building unparalleled AI engineering capabilities within Saudi Arabia. By investing in local talent, PwC is set to pioneer a new era of technological excellence that will not only serve the Kingdom but also the wider region. In partnership with Microsoft, we are proud to launch a platform that nurtures and develops next-generation AI talent, carefully selected from the Kingdom’s premier universities. This effort to enhance the skills of our talent pool underscores our dedication to maximizing the benefits of AI technologies for Saudi Arabia. Such initiatives are designed to drive economic growth in key sectors and position the nation as a leader in knowledge and technological innovation.”

As part of the collaboration, Microsoft will provide expertise, training resources, and access to cutting-edge AI technology platforms. PwC will spearhead the strategic approach, program management, operational framework, and curriculum development for the center of excellence.

Turki Badhris, president, Microsoft Arabia, added: “Skilling the workforce to take advantage of cloud and AI technologies is crucial to unlocking the full potential of these transformative technologies, and we are proud to play a role in this important endeavor. Through our partnership with PwC Middle East and the launch of the AI Center of Excellence in Riyadh, we aim to provide young Saudi engineers with the skills and tools they need to help drive innovation and economic growth in the Kingdom.”

The Kingdom holds a clear vision for the development and implementation of AI-based technologies, embarking on large-scale national programs to digitally transform the country. PwC and Microsoft have a long-standing alliance across a variety of different areas. In 2023, PwC US announced plans to invest $1 billion over the next three years to expand and scale its AI offerings, which includes an industry-leading relationship with Microsoft, creating scalable offerings using OpenAI’s GPT-4/ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service.

By leveraging their best technology and resources worldwide, PwC Middle East and Microsoft are firmly focused on championing the next phase of digitally-focused talent development in the Kingdom. Ultimately, the AI Center of Excellence will help enable more innovative and sustained outcomes for clients across the region, supporting the digital transformation ambitions of governments and businesses alike.


Tiggo 7 Pro Max launches with record-breaking parade

Tiggo 7 Pro Max launches with record-breaking parade
Updated 18 June 2024
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Tiggo 7 Pro Max launches with record-breaking parade

Tiggo 7 Pro Max launches with record-breaking parade

Sanabel Modern Motors, a Mohamed Yousuf Naghi distributor for Chery Pro Max vehicles in the Kingdom, has set a Guinness World Record for the largest parade of Chery cars globally at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. The event also featured the unveiling of the new Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Max, a revolutionary addition to the SUV market in Saudi Arabia.

The event was attended by senior management from Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Company, Chinese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chen Weiqing, and senior officials from Chery International in China, along with Chery owners, media representatives, and influencers.

The event is part of the “Car of the Champions” platform for the Tiggo 7 Pro Max.

The “Car of the Champions” platform features exciting activities throughout June and July, including a cinema experience at Jeddah Corniche, the Chery Exceptional Experience at Red Sea Mall, and engaging summer activities at Jeddah Corniche.

During the record-breaking parade, more than 250 Chery cars, skillfully navigated by Chery owners and media personnel, achieved an unprecedented milestone by maintaining a straight line at 20 km per hour while precisely sustaining a 10-meter distance at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. Each participant in the parade was a true champion, showcasing their exceptional skills and dedication.

Managing Director of Sanabel Modern Motors Abdallah Madhoun said: “Striving for the extraordinary and embodying the spirit of champions are the core themes of this event. Today, we proudly achieved two significant milestones — setting a new world record and launching the Tiggo 7 Pro Max, the ultimate champion’s car.”

Wang Wei, deputy general manager, Middle East, added: “The Tiggo 7 Pro Max is a proud addition to the Chery family. This model features cutting-edge technology, unparalleled comfort, and top-tier safety standards, making it the premier choice for our esteemed Saudi customers.”

Unveiled at the event, the Tiggo 7 Pro Max is engineered to deliver an exceptional driving experience, seamlessly integrating advanced technology with luxurious comfort. Its key features include:

•360-degree all-view monitor: The comprehensive 360-degree camera system offers a panoramic view that simplifies parking and enhances navigation in any environment.

•Premium Sony speaker system: The Sony speaker system delivers clear, detailed sound designed to provide superior audio quality throughout the journey.

•Custom climate control and wireless charging: Dual-zone automatic air conditioning offers personalized comfort. The 50 W wireless fast-charging provides convenient power for devices.

•Smooth performance with turbocharged engine and 7DCT: The 1.6 T engine and 7-speed dual-clutch transmission create a perfect blend of power and efficiency. The electronic gear shift mechanism ensures seamless gear changes for a smooth drive.


Najm’s digital prowess wins ‘claims manager’ award

Najm’s digital prowess wins ‘claims manager’ award
Updated 18 June 2024
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Najm’s digital prowess wins ‘claims manager’ award

Najm’s digital prowess wins ‘claims manager’ award

Najm for Insurance Services has been named the “Leading Claims Manager of the Year” at the 10th Golden Shield Awards for Excellence. The award ceremony took place as part of the Middle East International InsureTek 2024 conference held in Riyadh on May 28, at Mövenpick Hotel and Residences.

The ceremony honored distinguished institutions and individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of the insurance industry.

Najm won this award for its role in developing several digital platforms to enhance the experience of motor insurance clients. Among these platforms is the Ashal service for third-party insurance customers, which offers a comprehensive service as an alternative to cash compensation. This service includes towing the damaged vehicle from the accident site, assessing the damages, transporting the vehicle to the repair center, and then returning it to the customer’s location with a repair warranty, all without any additional financial cost.

Additionally, Najm provides an insurance claims management platform that allows insurance claims to be submitted electronically by those affected by traffic accidents. This platform improves the accuracy of claim processing, assists insurance companies in enhancing customer service, and provides a seamless and user-friendly experience for policyholders. The services provided by the platform includes claims management, claims modification, claims review, and submission of claims to insurance companies.

Ajil Al-Jarba, vice president, marketing and sales, Najm, said: “This achievement is a result of Najm’s commitment to developing its services in the realm of digital transformation, in line with its strategy to improve business performance and customer experience through the integration of automation, artificial intelligence, and data analysis. This digital approach has enhanced the accuracy and quality of insurance data, facilitated claims processes, and automated Najm’s services.”

Al-Jarba added: “Najm has also launched several customer-centric services and initiatives, such as the insurance record platform, which allows clients to view their vehicle insurance data and benefit from a no-claims discount while maintaining insurance coverage for all their vehicles. Furthermore, Najm offers its services via its mobile app and WhatsApp platform, improving service quality and response time. These advancements have expedited and improved the accuracy and fairness of claims processing and settlement, contributing to the reduction of insurance fraud. These factors collectively highlight Najm’s commitment to excellence, innovation, and customer satisfaction, making it a deserving candidate for the ‘Leading Claims Manager of the Year’ award at InsureTek.”


Dell and Aramco to collaborate in emerging technologies

Dell and Aramco to collaborate in emerging technologies
Updated 18 June 2024
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Dell and Aramco to collaborate in emerging technologies

Dell and Aramco to collaborate in emerging technologies

Dell Technologies and Aramco have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore opportunities in quantum computing, artificial intelligence, edge computing solutions, and advanced computing architectures.

The role of technologies such as AI-enabled edge and quantum computing can help address complex problems in areas such as energy optimization, predictive maintenance, weather modeling, and materials science. The combination of AI and edge computing, along with a robust and scalable enterprise IT infrastructure, is expected to allow businesses to optimize operations, foster real-time data processing, and enhance computational efficiencies.

The MoU underscores Aramco’s aim to drive innovation in the global energy sector and paves the way for potential collaborations that could lead to future technological advancements. Nabil Al-Nuaim, senior vice president of digital and information technology, Aramco, said: “Technologies such as AI and quantum computing offer unparalleled processing capabilities and could be game-changers in the energy sector. The potential is limitless, and we are excited to explore new opportunities with Dell.”

These opportunities could enable us to further align with our sustainability goals and help contribute to the Kingdom’s position as a technological frontrunner in the energy domain.”

Mohammed Amin, senior vice president, CEEMETA, Dell Technologies, said: “From optimizing energy operations to finding solutions to complex challenges, we seek to drive transformative change within the energy vertical by helping companies like Aramco adopt the latest technological advancements to stay ahead of the innovation curve.”


Najm ensures road safety for Hajj pilgrims

Najm ensures road safety for Hajj pilgrims
Updated 17 June 2024
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Najm ensures road safety for Hajj pilgrims

Najm ensures road safety for Hajj pilgrims

Najm for Insurance Services is implementing its plans to enhance traffic safety in the holy sites, providing comfort for pilgrims to perform their rituals easily and safely, during this year’s Hajj season. It is ensuring the safety of pilgrims from the moment they enter the Kingdom until their safe return to their home countries.

Najm has established a direction and control center equipped with a network of IT systems and utilizing a range of smart applications, systems and digital channels such as the Najm app, the IVR system, WhatsApp service, a control and guidance system, and a call center. These channels contribute to increasing the speed of response and handling traffic accidents during the Hajj season, in coordination with the General Department of Traffic.

At the field level, Najm has also established an operating center in the holy sites to provide support and assistance. This center is equipped with trained personnel, numbering around 120 individuals, most of whom are responsibility determination specialists, in addition to a fleet of more than 80 vehicles and motorcycles to carry out field operations and serve the pilgrims. Due to the high traffic density in the area, the motorcycles will help deal with traffic accidents in the holy sites, ensuring the fastest possible response.

CEO of Najm Mohammed Yahya Al-Shehri said “We take pride in our mission, which aims at enhancing the security and safety of pilgrims within an integrated system in which all government sectors participate and are supervised by the Kingdom’s leaders.

“Our operational plan supports the Kingdom’s efforts to serve the pilgrims, in alignment with the objectives of the Pilgrims Service Program, one of the programs of Saudi Vision 2030, aimed at developing the Hajj journey to allow the performance of Hajj rituals with ease and peace of mind. Najm cooperates with all relevant authorities, including the General Traffic Department, which makes great efforts to support traffic plans on the roads leading to the holy sites, ensuring maximum traffic safety and the swiftest possible response to traffic accidents.”

Najm is a closed and unlisted joint-stock company established in 2007 to enhance the vehicle insurance sector in the Kingdom. Najm offers an integrated system of insurance solutions and services to citizens, residents, and visitors in 44 cities across the Kingdom, with a skilled and experienced Saudi workforce.


Something for everyone: Dyson shares gift guide

Something for everyone: Dyson shares gift guide
Updated 17 June 2024
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Something for everyone: Dyson shares gift guide

Something for everyone: Dyson shares gift guide

This Eid Al-Adha, Dyson has curated a gift guide of its pioneering products that blend technology with sleek design to address life’s pressing concerns.

The brand offers something for everyone — popular hair care solutions in a luxurious new colorway for the beauty enthusiast, the latest floor and home care for the house-proud and hi-tech headphones for the music lover.

Dyson Supersonic hair dryer

Dyson has recently introduced a new colorway — the luxurious, limited-edition Onyx Black/Gold — in its hair care innovations, including the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer. Combining stunning aesthetics and superior functionality, the Dyson Supersonic features a powerful digital motor and intelligent heat control, which dries hair quickly, protecting its natural shine and preventing heat damage. It is priced at SR1,749 ($466).

Dyson Airwrap multi-styler

Also coming in the opulent new colorway is the viral Dyson Airwrap multi-styler with matching attachments and a black presentation case. Engineered for different hair types and lengths, it comes with a selection of attachments and barrels to curl and wave in both directions, brushes to control and shape, and the multi-functional Coanda smoothing dryer to tame flyaways. The Dyson Airwrap starts from SR2,299.

Dyson V15 Detect Absolute cordless vacuum

Give the gift of a spotless home with Dyson V15 Detect Absolute that is capable of detecting, removing, sizing and counting microscopic dust for scientific proof of a deep clean and live data about the cleanliness of your house. The sensors can analyze how dirty the floors are and change the suction power dynamically, helping to achieve an optimum clean floor finish. It is available in Gold or Iron/Purple colorways, priced at SR2,199.

Dyson Zone noise-canceling headphones

Designed for those with a passion for music, the Dyson Zone noise-canceling headphones excel in delivering an immersive audio experience. Meticulously designed to minimize distortion, they offer a broad frequency range with an impressive audio-only run time of up to 50 hours. 

They are available in the Ultra Blue/Prussian Blue colorway for SR2,899.

Dyson Purifier Formaldehyde purifying fan

A perfect gift for the house-proud, the Dyson Purifier Formaldehyde purifying fan features a revolutionary formaldehyde-sensing technology, designed to capture ultrafine dust and allergens, even destroying potentially dangerous volatile organic compounds, including formaldehyde. It is available for SR2,099.