Diving for all: Red Sea Global boasts KSA’s first PADI certified centers

Diving for all: Red Sea Global boasts KSA’s first PADI certified centers
Winning the accreditation for RSG involved ensuring that all aspects of the dive bases, including infrastructure and logistics, are designed to be inclusive and welcoming to all divers.
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Updated 06 April 2024
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Diving for all: Red Sea Global boasts KSA’s first PADI certified centers

Diving for all: Red Sea Global boasts KSA’s first PADI certified centers

Red Sea Global, the developer behind regenerative tourism destinations The Red Sea and AMAALA, announced that its two dive centers have become the first and only PADI Adaptive Service Facilities in Saudi Arabia.

PADI, or the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, the world’s leading scuba diver training organization, recognizes dive centers that have adaptive provisions.

Earning the accreditation for RSG involved ensuring that all aspects of the dive bases, including infrastructure and logistics, communication methods, training protocols, and safety measures, are designed to be inclusive and welcoming to all divers. The rating requires each center to have PADI Adaptive Techniques Instructors on staff and wheelchair access throughout, including both for the diving pool and any boats it uses to provide dive experiences. Successfully attaining the rating means RSG is now able to offer inclusive diving experiences to all its guests.

Rosanna Chopra, executive director — destination development, Red Sea Global, said: “As the world’s largest ocean exploration and diver organization, PADI’s mission resonates with our commitment to creating a billion torchbearers to explore and protect the ocean. We are proud to be part of this global network and to lead the way in adaptive diving initiatives in Saudi Arabia.”

Red Sea Global has two PADI 5 Star Dive Centers: Nujuma Dive Center at the Nujuma Ritz Carlton Reserve hotel, and the TBV Dive Club at Turtle Bay Village. Both are operated by Galaxea, RSG’s wholly owned dive operations subsidiary, responsible for offering diving experiences at its destinations. 

To attain the rating of Adaptive Techniques Instructor, each of the Galaxea instructors participated in three days of training across the classroom, the pool and open water. Using webbed gloves, they experienced diving with limited mobility, and through a black out mask, diving with a sight impairment. They were also taught how to guide divers with these types of disabilities. These instructors are now able to teach the following two PADI specialties: Adaptive Techniques Diver and Adaptive Support Diver.

In a statement, Saudi Water Sports and Diving Federation said: “We celebrate Red Sea Global for their remarkable feat as the inaugural ‘PADI Adaptive Service Facilities’ in Saudi Arabia. This significant milestone shines a bright light on diving in the Red Sea, showcasing inclusivity, excellence, and unique marine life. The federation will continue collaboration with Red Sea Global, creating a sea of opportunities and destinations for all divers to explore and enjoy.”

Last year, RSG announced a commitment to ensuring its luxury destinations and experiences will be fully accessible and inclusive for guests and visitors with disabilities and special needs. This latest achievement demonstrates its continuing progress against this commitment.

Last year, The Red Sea welcomed its first guests, and the Red Sea International Airport has been receiving a regular schedule of domestic flights since September 2023; international flights are set to commence imminently. Two of the destination’s hotels are open, with three more on track to open this year.

A second destination, Thuwal Private Retreat, will also open this year. AMAALA remains on track to welcome first guests in 2025, when the first resorts complete as part of Triple Bay Phase 1, along with Corallium and the iconic Yacht Club.


Emirati-Chinese cultural exchange on show at book fair

Emirati-Chinese cultural exchange on show at book fair
Updated 24 June 2024
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Emirati-Chinese cultural exchange on show at book fair

Emirati-Chinese cultural exchange on show at book fair

In a bid to support Emirati publishers in exploring the trends of the Chinese publishing market and understanding the aspirations of readers in this ancient country, the Emirates Publishers Association participated in the Beijing International Book Fair 2024. This event, one of the most influential book fairs in Asia, took place from June 19-23.

The association’s participation, featuring a dedicated pavilion, underscored its commitment to supporting Emirati publishers and advancing the publishing industry in the UAE. This initiative aligns with the vision and directives of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al-Qasimi, founder and honorary president of the EPA.

As part of its ongoing efforts to provide global expansion opportunities for its members, the EPA successfully secured sponsorship from the Beijing International Book Fair for three of its members through the SME sponsorship program. This program, which supports small publishers worldwide, offered a unique opportunity to 30 publishers globally, including three Emirati publishers. The selected publishers benefitted from a sponsored pavilion, training courses, and networking opportunities to expand their businesses both in China and internationally.

The three sponsored publishers are: Khalid Al-Ali, founder of Bawabat Al-Kitab Publishing House; Nour Arab, founder of Nour Publishing; and Kira Jean, founder of The Dreamwork Collective, a community of writers, entrepreneurs, creators, and trainers committed to inspiring creators and sharing their stories with the world.

Publisher Mohammed Bindekhain, member of the EPA board and treasurer, and director of Altakhayol Publishing House, said that participating in the exhibition reflects the UAE’s openness to diverse cultures and civilizations. He emphasized the association’s dedication to strengthening cultural cooperation and exchange between China and the UAE, and to leveraging China’s pioneering experience in publishing and knowledge production.

He said: “The book fair provides an opportunity to strengthen ties with international organizations and institutions in the publishing sector. It also serves as a platform to promote Emirati publishers and open horizons for forming partnerships to exchange publishing and translation rights through organized sessions with international publishers.”


Hyundai deploys robots at Seoul smart office

Hyundai deploys robots at Seoul smart office
Updated 24 June 2024
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Hyundai deploys robots at Seoul smart office

Hyundai deploys robots at Seoul smart office

Hyundai Motor Group announced the deployment of Hyundai Motor and Kia’s “DAL-e Delivery” robot and Hyundai WIA’s “Parking Robot” at Factorial Seongsu, providing innovative services at the robot-friendly office building in Seoul. The group also released a video of its deployed robots.

At IGIS Asset Management’s Factorial Seongsu, occupants can enjoy beverage delivery from the DAL-e Delivery robot and parking services from the Parking Robot, both utilizing the group’s latest technologies.

“With DAL-e’s full-fledged delivery service, we aim to make Factorial Seongsu the first building to apply our Robot Total Solution,” said Dong Jin Hyun, vice president and head of Robotics LAB at Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation. “We plan to expand our robotics services to more buildings, making these technological enhancements a major criterion for space innovation.”

The group has proposed a “Robot Total Solution” development plan, which involves using various robots and facial recognition systems in smart buildings, starting with Factorial Seongsu. It also intends to develop a “multi-integrated control system” for managing multiple delivery robots within the Robot Total Solution.


Commvault boosts emerging markets operations

Commvault boosts emerging markets operations
Updated 24 June 2024
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Commvault boosts emerging markets operations

Commvault boosts emerging markets operations

Commvault, a provider of cyber resilience and data protection solutions for the hybrid cloud, has announced the appointment of Ravi Baldev as senior director, sales engineering, emerging markets.

In his role as sales engineering director, Baldev will lead his team to continue supporting the development of new business within the emerging markets, providing invaluable leadership to the talented pre-sales team in the region.

With extensive and significant background at Dell, Ravi served as the chief technology officer (field) for cyber resilience in EMEA, where he orchestrated high-level engagements with CxOs, earning recognition as a central advocate for the organizations he worked with.

Prior to his time with Dell, Baldev has also held senior positions with ISIT AE, HSBC and STME.


KitKat partners with Esports World Cup in Riyadh

KitKat partners with Esports World Cup in Riyadh
Updated 23 June 2024
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KitKat partners with Esports World Cup in Riyadh

KitKat partners with Esports World Cup in Riyadh

Nestlé’s iconic chocolate brand KitKat has partnered with the Esports World Cup Foundation to support the inaugural Esports World Cup this summer in Riyadh. Their collaboration with the world’s largest gaming festival further integrates KitKat into global gaming culture, combining the brand’s catchy “Have a Break” philosophy with the necessary pauses that come with gaming at all levels — Get Ready to Climb, Break, and Dominate!

By supporting the Esports World Cup, KitKat aims to connect with competitive and casual gamers through its legendary ethos. Whether it is a tactical pause on stage to discuss strategy, or simply a moment to reset and come back refreshed to take on what is next, having a break is an essential aspect of the gaming experience. KitKat and EWC view breaks as an integral part of life inside and outside the game, together aspiring to make each moment of enjoyment and rejuvenation for players and maintain a healthy approach to gaming.

“We are excited to partner with an amazing brand like KitKat to bring a fresh energy and connection to the esports community,” said Mohammed Al-Nimer, sales director, Esports World Cup Foundation. “This collaboration will not only enhance the experience of all visitors, but also highlight the importance of having strategic breaks for better performance. I highly encourage all fans attending the Esports World Cup to visit the KitKat booth, have a break and enjoy some delicious KitKat goodies!”

“This partnership enables us to connect with the next generation of gaming enthusiasts, offering them the breaks they need both in-game and in life,” said Robert Helou, CEO of Nestlé KSA. “We believe we will deeply resonate with gamers by integrating our ‘Have a Break’ philosophy into the esports world. This collaboration highlights the importance of taking breaks and prioritizing mental well-being, especially in the high-stress environment of competitive gaming.”

Beginning July 3, the Esports World Cup will transform Riyadh into the epicenter of esports fandom and gaming culture. Located in Boulevard City, fans can watch their favorite athletes and clubs compete across 22 game championships for a share of more than $60 million in life-changing prize money — the largest prize pool in esports history. Across eight weeks, the Esports World Cup will also feature festival activities that include numerous gaming activations, community tournaments, pop culture celebrations, international experiences, and more.


Bahrain Airport Company conducts runway maintenance

Bahrain Airport Company conducts runway maintenance
Updated 23 June 2024
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Bahrain Airport Company conducts runway maintenance

Bahrain Airport Company conducts runway maintenance

Bahrain Airport Company, the operator and managing body of Bahrain International Airport, has successfully completed its second regular runway maintenance program, underscoring its continuous commitment to elevating safety measures across the airport operations, in adherence to the highest industry standards.

The runway maintenance program is conducted three times a year in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization Annex 14, Bahrain Civil Aviation Authority regulation, the Aerodrome Manual, and other ICAO standards and recommended practices. This maintenance program highlights BAC’s dedication to safety, business continuity, and the integration of preventative and corrective measures to avoid any disruption due to infrastructure unavailability.

BAC Chief Executive Mohamed Yousif Al-Binfalah said: “I would like to express my gratitude to our BAC facility management team, whose dedicated round-the-clock support and hard work has led to keeping our airport operations running smoothly and securely. Keeping the runway in optimal condition is crucial for safe and secure daily operations at the airport. At BAC, we are committed to continuously enhancing our safety measures to ensure the airport’s resilience and business continuity.”

The maintenance program is managed by a dedicated Bahraini team, which includes qualified engineers from the Airside and Landside Maintenance team. 

The planning for Airside Ground Lighting infrastructure is executed by a 20-member team of Airfield Ground Lighting technicians, working in four shifts.

BAC executes its runway maintenance program each time over a continuous period of 15 nights. During this period, the runway is closed for a brief span of two hours and 25 minutes to facilitate thorough maintenance works. The primary aim of these activities is to significantly enhance safety standards and provide safe aircraft movement surfaces.

During the runway maintenance program, on average, 114 personnel and 40 vehicles and equipment are deployed for maintenance. The maintenance covers runways, taxiways, and strips, including tasks like rubber removal, asphalt patching, remarking, joint sealing, shoulder repairs, grading, and various lighting and signage maintenance.