King’s College Hospital London names CEO for Jeddah facility

 King’s College Hospital London names CEO for Jeddah facility
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Updated 23 April 2024
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King’s College Hospital London names CEO for Jeddah facility

Claire Smith, CEO of King’s College Hospital London - Jeddah

King’s College Hospital London announced the appointment of Claire Smith as the new chief executive of the hospital’s new facility in Jeddah, making her the first female British CEO in Saudi Arabia.

Prior to King’s College Hospital London, Smith served as CEO for HCA Healthcare UK, Joint Ventures, a private company in the UK. However, her journey began as a nurse, and her dedication and devotion to the sector propelled her to climb the ranks.

With more than 30 years of experience, Smith brings a wealth of knowledge in clinical, operational, and administrative areas in addition to her deep passion for serving the community, making her a perfect fit to uphold the hospital’s core values and visionary model of integrated care.

Smith’s mission extends beyond healthcare; she believes in connecting with patients on a human level, ensuring that their feedback shapes the hospital’s services around their actual needs.

When asked about her vision for Jeddah, she said: “Fundamentally, healthcare is always about serving the community in which we operate. It’s wonderful to come to Jeddah and work with so many people from Saudi Arabia and from around the world. The aspiration is to ensure that we serve our community and deliver exceptional healthcare.”

Under Smith’s leadership, King’s Jeddah is poised to introduce the best of international healthcare standards to the region, driven by a commitment to excellence, innovation, and person-centered treatment.


Jeeny to swap 50% cars for EVs by 2028, full electrification by 2030

Jeeny to swap 50% cars for EVs by 2028, full electrification by 2030
Updated 26 May 2024
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Jeeny to swap 50% cars for EVs by 2028, full electrification by 2030

Jeeny to swap 50% cars for EVs by 2028, full electrification by 2030

Saudi ride-hailing app Jeeny plans to swap all its cars for electric vehicles by 2030. Speaking at a media gathering in Riyadh on Wednesday, Hammad Ehtesham, Jeeny’s CEO, said: “At Jeeny, we are dedicated to sustainability: we will swap 50 percent of cars for electric vehicles by 2028 and aim for full electrification by 2030, supporting the government’s green initiatives and investing in the necessary infrastructure.”

Speaking to Arab News about the company’s contribution to Saudi Vision 2030, Ehtesham said: “Jeeny’s vision for the Kingdom is clear, we aim to integrate various mobility options within a single app, support the Saudi government and relevant authorities in achieving the objectives of Vision 2030, and reduce the carbon footprint of Jeeny and the overall transportation industry.”

“We aim to deliver unparalleled service quality across the Kingdom, ensure transportation is accessible and affordable for everyone, minimize cancellations and enhance car availability to provide the best transportation services in the region, and collaborate with regulatory authorities,” he added.

When asked if replacing regular cars with electric vehicles will cost extra to the riders, Ehtesham said: “In fact, it will be more profitable for the drivers, the prices will be unchanged for the riders, and it will help reduce the carbon footprint. I can say this from our experience in other countries.”

The CEO said that to meet the diverse needs of passengers in the Kingdom, Jeeny has introduced three distinct ride-hailing services: Ecolite — offering a quick and affordable ride, Smart — a reliable and convenient ride, and Elite — offering luxury and comfort.

“This strategic expansion allows us to cater to a broader audience, enhancing accessibility and satisfaction across the Kingdom,” Ehtesam added.

“Our mobility solution includes ride-hailing services across the Kingdom, facilitating seamless intercity transport. We offer diverse routes and integrate with metro and micro-mobility options for an efficient, interconnected travel experience,” said Ehtesham.

Earlier, making a powerpoint presentation at the media gathering, Ehtesham said that since launching their private car service in 2016, Jeeny has made significant strides: it has created more than 80,000 income opportunities for Saudi nationals, and continuously improved services to meet evolving user needs.

During the presentation, he said Jeeny was able to give back to society by supporting Saudization goals, as the company’s drivers are Saudi citizens.

Jeeny has undergone a remarkable evolution over the years, significantly enhancing both service offerings and the app itself.

Initially launched as Easy Taxi, the service onboarded 100,000 drivers across the Kingdom, greatly improving taxi services with features such as standardized pricing, car cleanliness, monitored driver behavior, enhanced security and safety, reducing idle kilometers, and boosting driver earnings.


Honor unveils ‘four-layer AI strategy’ at VivaTech

Honor unveils ‘four-layer AI strategy’ at VivaTech
Updated 26 May 2024
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Honor unveils ‘four-layer AI strategy’ at VivaTech

Honor unveils ‘four-layer AI strategy’ at VivaTech

Global technology brand Honor made its debut at VivaTech, one of Europe’s largest tech and innovation events. During its keynote, the company showcased its innovative approach to on-device AI and unveiled its “four-layer AI strategy.” Honor also announced upcoming gen-AI experiences with Google Cloud, which are set to be featured on its upcoming smartphones.

“At Honor, we firmly believe that, by combining the power of on-device AI’s personalization, intuitiveness, and privacy protection, everyone can unlock the full potential of AI safely and securely,” said George Zhao, CEO of Honor Device Co., Ltd. “We are also delighted to forge ahead with Google Cloud, leveraging our combined expertise to unlock the potential of this hybrid approach and deliver even more seamless AI experiences to our users.”

During the keynote, Honor unveiled its four-layer AI architecture and demonstrated its strategic focus on integrating AI into MagicOS. This four-layer architecture comprises distinct layers. At the base layer, Cross-device and Cross-OS AI form the foundation of an open ecosystem, which allows the sharing of computing power and services among devices and operating systems. Building upon this foundation, the Platform-level AI layer enables a personalized operating system, allowing intent-based human-computer interaction and personalized resource allocation. At the third layer, App-level AI is poised to introduce a wave of innovative, generative AI applications that will revolutionize user experiences. Lastly, at the top, the Interface to Cloud-AI services layer provides users with easy access to massive cloud services while prioritizing privacy protection, creating a truly holistic and future-forward AI experience.

Honor also announced that the upcoming Honor 200 Series will revolutionize portrait photography by bringing the mastery of Studio Harcourt, a legendary French photography studio known for its expertise in capturing classic portrait shots with iconic figures. 

The series will leverage AI technology to recreate the iconic studio’s legendary lighting and shadow effects.

By using AI to learn from a vast dataset of Studio Harcourt portraits, the Honor 200 Series has successfully broken down the entire portrait photography process into nine distinct steps, and perfectly replicates the full Studio Harcourt method, ensuring flawless and studio-quality portraits with every shot.

The Honor 200 Series is set to launch in Paris on June 12.


LuLu brings taste of British summer to Saudi Arabia

LuLu brings taste of British summer to Saudi Arabia
Updated 26 May 2024
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LuLu brings taste of British summer to Saudi Arabia

LuLu brings taste of British summer to Saudi Arabia

LuLu Hypermarket is celebrating summer with an array of British foods and other products in its “Best of Britain” festival. A range of seasonal goods, traditional favorites and top beauty products and fragrances is offering customers in Saudi Arabia the great taste of British summer.

The festival, which began on May 15 and runs until May 25, was formally inaugurated by British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Neil Crompton, at LuLu’s branch in the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh. 

With nearly 5,000 British items on its shelves, the LuLu stores are well stocked with a selection of popular and premium British products, many of which are on promotion for the festival. The event also spotlights the launch of 35 new products from six leading British brands. LuLu currently showcases 605 popular British brands.

The popular annual festival gives people in Saudi Arabia the opportunity to enjoy the extraordinary variety and high quality of British food produce and beauty brands. Shoppers will be able to make the most of the finest British summer treats, from freeze-packed berries to teas, British organic milk, cheeses, flavorsome yogurts and specialty breads. The promotion is running across the entire chain of LuLu outlets in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Crompton said: “I am pleased to inaugurate this year’s British food festival in LuLu. With the popularity of British FMCG goods growing, I understand there has been a growth of 25 percent in imports between 2022 and 2023. We have seen exciting growth in our range of goods, especially our organic range, our biscuits and chocolate. Over the last few years, this event has been very successful and I am particularly pleased that the festival is being held with active support from LuLu’s British subsidiary, the award-winning logistics and packaging center in Birmingham, which is a vital part of the LuLu Group’s strong partnership with the UK.”

Shehim Mohammed, director of LuLu Saudi Hypermarkets, thanked the British Embassy for their support, saying: “The LuLu Group’s Birmingham logistics and warehousing facility services our entire global hypermarket chain. LuLu Hypermarket’s long and delicious list of British products has won accolades from shoppers and our growing sales figures show that. Besides special promotions on British products, LuLu Hypermarket turns a spotlight on British food, cheeses and drinks from the UK that shoppers can enjoy.”


5th MENA Construction Summit spotlights sustainable project delivery

5th MENA Construction Summit spotlights sustainable project delivery
Updated 25 May 2024
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5th MENA Construction Summit spotlights sustainable project delivery

5th MENA Construction Summit spotlights sustainable project delivery

The fifth MENA Construction Summit 2024, the region’s premier event bringing together key construction industry stakeholders, was held last week at Hilton Riyadh Hotel and Residences. The summit, organized by MEED and Enso Events Solutions, focussed on the effective delivery of key regional construction projects on time, in budget and with elevated standards of sustainability and efficiency. Riyadh Region Municipality was the diamond partner for the MENA Construction Summit 2024.

Inspired by ambitious national visions, construction spending is surging across the MENA region, driven by huge master plan developments and Saudi Arabia’s giga-projects program. The convergence of a number of factors, however, including the need for intricate supply chain management, urgency due to time-sensitive roadmaps, simultaneous execution of multiple projects and funding complexities, has forced a rethink of the traditional approach to project delivery.

Under the theme “Reimagining Project Delivery,” more than 600 attendees from over 150 companies gained actionable insights into the latest trends, research, innovations, opportunities, and challenges driving improvements in productivity, quality, reliability, cost-savings, waste reduction, and energy efficiency — and how these methods can be employed in ground-breaking projects across the region.

In the opening keynote fireside chat, Fahad Al-Solaie, deputy mayor for digital transformation and smart cities, Riyadh Municipality, was interviewed by Dr. Abdulrahman Albawardi, assistant professor at King Saud University, in the session titled “The Transformation of Riyadh City under Saudi Vision 2030.” Al-Solaie discussed innovative and sustainable urban planning strategies for the Riyadh Municipality, in line with the giga- and mega-projects, and the goals of Saudi Vision 2030.

Al-Solaie said: “To support the city development, the municipality is planning to enable aerial management of construction projects using drones with AI capabilities, which will enhance project delivery efficiency and assist in monitoring the project staff safety on the project site.”

Later in the morning, the keynote leaders panel session provided a deep dive on the opportunities and complexities of smart city development, and the need for a holistic approach that addresses social, economic and environmental sustainability. Panelists included Hani Rizkallah, president — KSA infrastructure at Bechtel; Dr. Hossam Abdel Gawad, vice president of technology and innovation at SETS; Dr. Mohammed Al-Surf, founder and president of Sustainability Professionals of Saudi Arabia; and Sherief Elabd, director — industry and innovation strategy at Oracle.

Sessions were delivered by more than 30 speakers in a series of engaging formats, including insightful keynote presentations, interactive panel discussions, and networking sessions designed to foster collaboration and knowledge exchange.

All parts of the broader construction ecosystem were represented at the summit including government stakeholders, project owners and developers, contractors, architects, engineers, consultants, digital technology specialists, material suppliers, equipment and software service provider solution companies.

“We are excited to bring together construction industry leaders and experts at the MENA Construction Summit 2024 to change the way we look at project delivery of major construction projects across MENA,” said Ed James, head of content and research MEA at MEED — GlobalData. “By sharing knowledge, best practices, and innovative solutions, we aim to catalyze positive change.”


Bentley Saudi Arabia unveils Batur Convertible

Bentley Saudi Arabia unveils Batur Convertible
Updated 25 May 2024
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Bentley Saudi Arabia unveils Batur Convertible

Bentley Saudi Arabia unveils Batur Convertible

Bentley Saudi Arabia has unveiled the third coachbuilt Bentley of the modern era — the Batur Convertible. Created by Mulliner, Bentley’s in-house bespoke division and the longest standing coachbuilder in the world, the Batur Convertible follows the exquisitely hand-crafted Bacalar barchetta and Batur coupe. With the Batur Convertible, Mulliner continues its long tradition of crafting truly individual cars, tailored to the wishes of each of its clients.

The Batur Convertible furthers the innovative design DNA introduced by its coupe sibling that will ultimately guide the design of Bentley’s future cars. The Batur Convertible retains the most powerful version of Bentley’s iconic W12, with a 750 PS and a hand-assembled 6-liter twin-turbocharged engine that has metaphorically and literally powered Bentley’s success for the last two decades. With the engine to finish production this summer, the Batur Convertible will be one of the last ever Bentleys to use this incredible powertrain.

Bentley has a rich history of open-cockpit cars, from the very first Bentley of 1919, through the company’s foundation years in the 1920s, to the most recent — the Bacalar. The architecture of the Batur Convertible has allowed Mulliner’s designers to seize the opportunity to create a theme that not only blends the design of the Bacalar and Batur but includes the usability of a convertible. The designers also chose to highlight the two-seater character with a “wraparound” cockpit inspired by the design of the Bacalar.

Bentley Saudi Arabia’s customers will be able to specify the color and finish of practically every surface of the Batur Convertible, to create a car as individual as they are. Beyond the exterior form of the car lies an almost endless array of choices for each car’s future owner to make.