Hong Kong university delegation visits UAE for collaborations

Hong Kong university delegation visits UAE for collaborations
The delegation will explore opportunities for research and technology transfer collaboration in robotics, artificial intelligence and clean energy.
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Updated 15 April 2024
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Hong Kong university delegation visits UAE for collaborations

Hong Kong university delegation visits UAE for collaborations

A high-level delegation from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology — a world-class research-intensive university that focuses on science, engineering, business, as well as humanities and social science, is visiting the UAE from April 15-18.

Led by the university president, the delegation aims to establish relationships with the UAE’s higher education and innovation sectors to explore opportunities for research and technology transfer collaboration in robotics, artificial intelligence and clean energy. Additionally, the delegation seeks to identify potential synergies between HKUST’s expertise in engineering and technology and the UAE’s investment in these essential areas for the future.

Over the past decade, Hong Kong and the UAE have formed strong economic partnerships, with the UAE emerging as one of Hong Kong’s main trading partners and the largest in the Middle East. Demonstrating the commitment to strengthening connections, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive John Lee embarked on his first overseas visit to the nation last year. Earlier in March, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry Professor Sun Dong, visited the UAE to foster collaborations, particularly in the fields of technological innovation. Consequently, building upon these efforts, HKUST’s President Professor Nancy Ip is leading a delegation to the UAE, marking a significant milestone as the first leader among Hong Kong’s universities to reinforce the city’s commitment to advancing research and innovation with the UAE.

The HKUST delegation will establish new connections with key partners and stakeholders in the UAE’s higher education and innovation systems through various meetings and discussions with government representatives, various companies and other partners dealing with innovation, research, technology, and technology transfer in the fields of robotics, AI, clean energy, and startup incubation. These key institutions include the Dubai Future Foundation, University of Sharjah, Khalifa University and Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence.

Given HKUST’s plans to establish Hong Kong’s third medical school, the delegation will also visit the state-of-the-art medical-related research facilities of these key UAE institutions to gain insights and explore potential collaboration opportunities.

“HKUST is a distinguished global research institution with leadership in the field of AI. There is tremendous potential for collaborative ventures that span education, research, and knowledge transfer with the UAE, which has made substantial investment in the field. Together, we can make meaningful contributions to the advancement and betterment of humankind,” said Ip.


‘Party with Pepsi’: Pepsi unveils closing show for ROSHN Saudi League

 ‘Party with Pepsi’: Pepsi unveils closing show for ROSHN Saudi League
Updated 21 May 2024
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‘Party with Pepsi’: Pepsi unveils closing show for ROSHN Saudi League

 ‘Party with Pepsi’: Pepsi unveils closing show for ROSHN Saudi League
  • Pepsi Becomes First Ever Brand to Take Center Stage at a Major Football Event in Saudi Arabia
  • Mystery DJs from MDLBEAST and superstar Fouad Abdulwahed to perform at the closing ceremony.

Pepsi will host the “Party With Pepsi” show, featuring the sensational singer Fouad Abdulwahed and a lineup of DJs, on May 23 at a major football closing ceremony in Saudi Arabia. This groundbreaking event marks the first time a brand will take center stage at a football event in the Kingdom. The unprecedented spectacle of light, sound, and celebration, in partnership with the ROSHN Saudi League, will not only showcase Pepsi’s bold new identity but also cement its position as a cultural vanguard, resonating with multiple generations through an electrifying musical journey from past to present.

The event will take place at the heart of Saudi cultural life, intertwining the excitement of football with the universal language of music, creating a platform where athletic passions and musical creativity collide. Through this event, Pepsi embodies a relentless quest for innovation and engagement, offering audiences not just a show but an experience that leaves them craving more. The motto “Thirsty for More” drives the event’s narrative, from the suspenseful reveal of mystery DJs blending iconic musical eras to a special performance by the superstar Fouad Abdulwahed, the finale promises continued innovation and excitement.

Pepsi has long stood as the sound of every generation, and “Thirsty for More” is more than just a brand slogan; it is a declaration of Pepsi’s commitment to pushing boundaries and pursuing excellence. By featuring a diverse lineup of artists who bridge the gap between generations, Pepsi demonstrates its unique ability to resonate with audiences both old and new. The show’s musical journey, meticulously curated by MDLBEAST, will transition from classic hits to contemporary anthems, illustrating Pepsi’s evolution while staying true to its roots.

Speaking about the campaign, Karim El-Fiqi, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at PepsiCo AMESA, said: “Recently, we launched our new identity and promised to keep delivering immersive and engaging experiences for our consumers. As part of the same, Pepsi will be the first brand to partner to create a never seen like before show at Roshn Saudi League. This event is a strategic move to solidify Pepsi’s standing as the premier brand that evolves with and supports the dynamic culture in Saudi Arabia. By aligning with the country’s burgeoning entertainment industry and rapidly expanding sports sector, Pepsi not only taps into the national zeitgeist but also sets the stage for future cultural engagements. This event is part of a broader strategy to embed the brand deeply into the cultural fabric of the markets it serves, making Pepsi synonymous with youthful energy and innovative experiences.”

Speaking about the collaboration, Ramadan Alharatani, chief executive of MDLBEAST, said: “This collaboration represents a powerful fusion of sports and music, igniting the passion of football enthusiasts through the universal language of music. With our meticulous curation of the musical journey, we aim to create an electrifying experience that resonates with multiple generations. Together with Pepsi, we are pushing boundaries, delivering innovation, and offering audiences an unforgettable experience that leaves them thirsty for more.”

Pepsi remains dedicated to supporting the growth and popularity of football in Saudi Arabia. Pepsi will not only deliver a spectacular finale but will also set a new standard for brand involvement in cultural events. This show will be a testament to Pepsi’s vision of staying at the forefront of cultural trends, delivering unmatched experiences that resonate across generations, and continuously inspiring audiences to remain “thirsty for more.”

Stay tuned as Pepsi continues to innovate and inspire. Follow @pepsi_Saudi for exclusive behind-the-scenes content and upcoming surprises. Join the conversation using #ThirstyForMore and share how Pepsi inspires you.


Two Saudi startups join climate action accelerator

Two Saudi startups join climate action accelerator
Updated 19 May 2024
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Two Saudi startups join climate action accelerator

Two Saudi startups join climate action accelerator

Two Saudi startups are among the eight companies from the Middle East and North Africa region selected by PepsiCo, SABIC, AstroLabs and partners for their Mega Green Accelerator. The selected participants have all submitted an innovative solution focused on either advancing the circular economy, transitioning to clean energy, or mitigating climate change through technologies to improve water use and agricultural processes. Timed to coincide with this year’s GPCA Plastics Conference, themed “Innovating for Sustainable Growth,” the selected startups also presented to industry leaders who are accelerating the development of a circular economy in the region.

Eugene Willemsen, CEO, Africa, Middle East, and South Asia, PepsiCo and International Beverages

The Mega Green Accelerator will nurture the next generation of innovators as they develop solutions to address both regional and global sustainability challenges. For the next six months, the eight promising change-makers will receive funding, mentorship with industry experts, and market access to scale their innovative solutions. At the end of the program later this year, one winning company will be awarded $30,000 in funding to continue its expansion.

HIGHLIGHT

For the next six months, the eight promising change-makers will receive funding, mentorship with industry experts, and market access to scale their innovative solutions.

A total of 363 submissions were received from sustainable startups in the region during the applications phase. The eight shortlisted companies that will proceed in the program are:

•Mrüna, UAE: A consulting and distribution company dedicated to developing innovative urban solutions.
•The Surpluss, UAE: A climate technology startup that helps SMEs reduce their greenhouse gas emissions profitably through resource sharing via a digital sustainability exchange.

Startups can act as epicenters of innovation, and reshape, disrupt, and define our future.

Eugene Willemsen, CEO, Africa, Middle East, and South Asia, PepsiCo and International Beverages

•Mirai Solar, Saudi Arabia: A solar technology startup that specializes in expanding solar energy use beyond conventional applications, improving the energy use efficiency of food production and smart buildings for a sustainable future.
•Ahya Technologies, Saudi Arabia: A climate software and AI startup building a unified platform for scaling climate action across the Middle East North Africa and Pakistan.
•YY ReGen, Lebanon: The startup provides innovative solutions through the promotion of renewable energy, sustainable water management, and regenerative farming.
•Viridia Tech, Egypt: The startup offers a platform for crop analytics at scale for industrial agricultural companies, leading to significant improvements in yield, unit economics and sustainability metrics.
•P-VITA, Egypt: A biotechnology hub that specializes in producing natural raw materials for cosmetics, and food and beverage industries using AI and IoT technologies to reduce carbon footprint through automated processes.
•Kumulus, Tunisia: A water tech startup that turns air into fresh drinking water through innovative AWG machines — aiming to make drinking water more accessible, sustainable, and economical for hotels and businesses across MENA and Southern European regions.
“With solutions spanning agriculture, water, and the energy sectors, this is an opportunity for us to accelerate the development of practical climate technologies crucial to address the MENA region’s challenges and strengthen our position as a testbed for climate innovation globally. Startups can act as epicenters of innovation, and reshape, disrupt, and define our future. The Mega Green Accelerator provides the incentive to bolster this through cross-sector collaboration and nurture the region’s next generation of entrepreneurs by providing the needed mentorship, funding, and market access,” said Eugene Willemsen, CEO, Africa, Middle East, and South Asia, PepsiCo and CEO of International Beverages.
“Over 300 fast-growing sustainability companies from all over the MENA region have applied to the program, showcasing a healthy influx of sustainable solutions and rapid growth in the sector. The selection of these eight companies underscores their readiness for scale, marking a pivotal time in the sector’s development. The Mega Green Accelerator is setting the stage for a robust sustainability infrastructure, bridging the gap between these companies, and the resources necessary for them to thrive, scale, and translate their innovative solutions into regional impact,” said Roland Daher, CEO of AstroLabs.
Strategic investment partners like Dubai Future District Fund, Venture Souq and Shurooq Partners will provide platforms for investment opportunities, mentorship in raising capital, and networking opportunities throughout the term of the Mega Green Accelerator. Schneider Electric will support the Mega Green Accelerator as a prize partner alongside participating in the final selection of the winner.

 


SEREDO 2024 showcases housing projects

Deputy Minister of Municipal Rural Affairs and Housing Talal bin Mohammed Al-Khunain inaugurated the exhibition in Jeddah.
Deputy Minister of Municipal Rural Affairs and Housing Talal bin Mohammed Al-Khunain inaugurated the exhibition in Jeddah.
Updated 19 May 2024
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SEREDO 2024 showcases housing projects

Deputy Minister of Municipal Rural Affairs and Housing Talal bin Mohammed Al-Khunain inaugurated the exhibition in Jeddah.

Deputy Minister of Municipal Rural Affairs and Housing Talal bin Mohammed Al-Khunaini on May 14 inaugurated the second edition of the Saudi Real Estate Development and Ownership exhibition in Jeddah.
Held at the Jeddah International Exhibition and Convention Center, the four-day event explored promising opportunities in the real estate development sector, while offering a platform for exchanging expertise, transferring best practices and experiences among professionals in the field, and strengthening local and international partnerships. The exhibition brought together leading real estate developers, providing an opportunity for companies to showcase their real estate products to specialists and interested individuals in the sector, and to foster new partnerships.
The exhibition covered a variety of topics related to the sector through its diverse sessions, notably including discussions on real estate sector developments and analysis of modern market trends, the utilization of geospatial data and its impact on shaping new horizons in real estate, methods and strategies to professionalize real estate auctions, entrepreneurship and innovation in the real estate market, real estate funds, and negotiation techniques for real estate brokers.

 These sessions featured the participation of officials, speakers, and specialists in the sector.
SEREDO 2024 witnessed the participation of several major real estate development companies, banks, and financial institutions. The event showcased the latest housing projects and financing offers for citizens, contributing to the development and sustainability of the real estate sector and enhancing housing diversity and financing solutions to support the goals of the housing program — one of the key initiatives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, aiming to achieve a 70 percent homeownership target.

 


DCAA spotlights air transport enablement at Airport Show 2024

Photo (@DcaaDubai)
Photo (@DcaaDubai)
Updated 19 May 2024
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DCAA spotlights air transport enablement at Airport Show 2024

Photo (@DcaaDubai)

The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority highlighted its pivotal role in advancing the aviation industry in the emirate during the 23rd Airport Show. Under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman of DCAA, chairman of Dubai Airports, and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group, the event saw participation from over 150 exhibitors from more than 20 countries worldwide.
One of the key achievements showcased was the significant growth in commercial activities in the aviation sector during the first quarter of 2024, totaling 11,990 activities, a 21 percent increase compared to the same period in 2023. This growth has led to a surge in permit requests by 72 percent and permit renewals have grown by more than threefold.
Meanwhile, requests for landing permits for aircraft (private, passenger, and cargo) at Dubai International Airport and Al-Maktoum International Airport to operate all types of non-scheduled and designated flights (commercial and non-commercial) have also increased, reaching more than 4,000 permits in the first quarter of 2024. Building and elevation permits in air easement zones have increased significantly as the emirate’s construction industry has grown, reaching two and a half times the previous level.
Mohammed Abdulla Lengawi, director general of DCAA, said: “The aviation industry of Dubai continues its sustainable growth thanks to the directives of our wise leadership represented by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE, ruler of Dubai.”
He added: “Our participation in the Airport Show underscores our significant achievements in industry development, illustrating our mission and role within this framework.”
The authority’s pavilion at the Airport Show attracted considerable attention from visitors and partners keen to understand its role in advancing Dubai’s aviation industry and its shift to fully digital, paperless services. This digital transformation simplifies customer access, enabling them to complete transactions anytime and anywhere via the authority’s website.
DCAA is dedicated to close collaboration with federal authorities, international, and regional bodies to enhance air transport relations and attract investment in Dubai’s aviation industry. It aims to maintain security and safety, and enhance infrastructure to solidify Dubai’s position as a global aviation hub.

 


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

Tony Cripps, managing director and CEO at SAB
Tony Cripps, managing director and CEO at SAB
Updated 19 May 2024
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SAB named ‘best bank’ in Saudi Arabia by Global Finance

Tony Cripps, managing director and CEO at SAB

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.