L’Oréal Middle East launches women upskilling project in Saudi Arabia

L’Oréal Middle East launches women upskilling project in Saudi Arabia
L'Oreal Middle East held its 25th anniversary ceremony at Dubai Expo City. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 25 April 2024
Follow

L’Oréal Middle East launches women upskilling project in Saudi Arabia

L’Oréal Middle East launches women upskilling project in Saudi Arabia
  • L’Oreal Middle East inks pact with Kingdom’s Himayah Organization
  • The initiative aims to help 600 women prepare for the workplace

DUBAI: As it celebrates its 25th anniversary, L’Oreal Middle East has signed an agreement with the Himayah Organization in Saudi Arabia to support its “Safe Homes” initiative, which seeks to provide skills training for more than 600 women.

“The project aims to have a lasting long-term impact through psychological support and skill training,” said Laurent Duffier, CEO of L’Oreal Middle East, in an interview with Arab News en Francais.

Over the past 25 years, L’Oreal has assisted 25,000 women in the region.

L’Oreal launched its Hairdressing Academy in Riyadh and Dammam in 2023, to upskill and integrate women in the workforce, recording a 70 percent employment rate in this growing beauty segment in Saudi Arabia. The program is expected to create 15,000 jobs for Saudi women.

The flagship “L’Oreal for Women in Science” program invested over $925,000 in endowments to support 51 female Arab scientists over the past decade and advocate for gender equality in STEM, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

In addition, the firm’s “Stand Up Against Street Harassment” project trained more than 11,000 participants on countering gender-based violence.




Laurent Duffier, CEO of l'Oreal Middle East and Dr. Sameera Alghamdi, chairwomen of Himayah Organization announcing the MOU signature during the L'Oreal Middle East 25th anniversary event. (Supplied)

While the brand’s products have been distributed in the region since the 1960s, L’Oreal opened its first subsidiary in the Middle East in 1998, and currently serves 10 markets.

Today, the group is moving toward its 2030 sustainability, innovation and technology goals by engaging stakeholders across the supply chain, including consumers and startups, through strategic partnerships.

L’Oreal aims to foster innovation by investing in the startup ecosystem, the latest being the partnership with Astrolabs that launched the “L’Oreal Tech Quest Challenge” earlier in April 2024.

“The future is for beauty tech, tackling current industry challenges and augmenting the impact of L’Oreal’s solutions. ‘L’Oreal Tech Quest Challenge’ awarded a group of winners whose work will be incorporated in developing tools and best practices across the SAPMENA (South Asia Pacific - Middle East - North Africa) region,” said Duffier.

The region is home to a growing startup ecosystem. “LEAP in Saudi Arabia held in March reflects the growing entrepreneurial and creative energy in the Kingdom,” he added.

This is particularly important in the Middle East, where the beauty industry is recording one of the highest growth rates globally.

The GCC market ranks among the top 10 beauty markets worldwide, valued at $11.7 billion in 2024. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the market has grown by 10 percent, fueled by underlying macroeconomic trends.

“Non-oil GDP in the GCC is growing at 4 to 5 percent while growing at less than 1 percent in Europe. The inflow of high-net-worth individuals had a positive impact on the luxury market in the UAE. While demand for beauty, particularly in Saudi Arabia, tripled during the last three years with the rise in women’s access to the workforce, and increase in disposable income,” said Duffier.

“The quality of retail execution, and the growth of new beauty concepts in the Kingdom, are factors boosting the market in the region, further enhanced by the growth in e-commerce,” he added.

According to a Boston Consulting Group report, in 2020 the Kingdom’s e-commerce share of total retail was 6 percent. This was far behind mature e-commerce markets and the worldwide average of 18 percent, but was 60 percent higher than the Kingdom’s 2019 share. It has been forecast that there will be double-digit growth post-COVID-19, with market value expected to exceed $13.3 billion by 2025.

“Saudi Arabia displays accelerated growth across segments. Efforts to diversify the economy are clear. It is the biggest economy in the region, with the highest potential, and it is a priority market for L’Oreal,” said Duffier.




This is particularly important in the Middle East, where the beauty industry is recording one of the highest growth rates globally. (Supplied)

The offer-driven beauty and personal care market is expected to continue to be led by product innovation and beauty technology, for better end-user results, he said.

“We are launching Melasyl, after 18 years of R&D. A breakthrough ingredient for skin care treatments, among other applications,” said Duffier.

With lipstick used 5,000 years ago in Mesopotamia, Duffier describes the Middle East as the “cradle of beauty and a region that defines beauty trends.” The region has a diverse customer base, covering the full spectrum of skin and hair colors, is shifting toward digital platforms, and more sustainable consumption.

“We are working with startups to offer sustainable innovative products, with 70 percent of consumers opting for sustainable products,” said Duffier.

“We are no longer a beauty company, but a beauty tech company. Anchored in innovation and sustainability, the objective remains beauty for all. The future of beauty will be increasingly personalized to create beauty that moves the world, and most importantly to create beauty that moves the Middle East,” he said.

The quest for sustainability is also a byproduct of the reconciliation between beauty and tech, developed and implemented across the various segments: hair care (Airlight pro), derma cosmetics, the latest being La Roche-Posay’s diagnostic virtual reality tools, and make-up applications in collaboration with Microsoft.

“By applying green science, 95 percent of products’ ingredients will be bio-based and traceable to natural green-science formulations by 2030,” he said.

Advancing toward its sustainability targets, the “L’Oreal for the Future” program aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at all sites, and move to renewables, waste management and water treatment by 2030.

L’Oreal Middle East expects a 50 percent reduction in distribution-related carbon dioxide emissions, and a 70 percent reduction in water consumption with the introduction of Gjosa shower heads in hair salons.

Set to launch in the region this year, the latter is expected to target 500 salons per year, for a total yearly saving of 35 million gallons of water.

This is in addition to the recycling of 340 tonnes of waste over the past two years in Saudi Arabia, which is a Garnier initiative in collaboration with Panda and Naqaa Solutions.


Al-Sudais launches presidency’s largest plan yet for Hajj season

Al-Sudais launches presidency’s largest plan yet for Hajj season
Updated 24 May 2024
Follow

Al-Sudais launches presidency’s largest plan yet for Hajj season

Al-Sudais launches presidency’s largest plan yet for Hajj season
  • Sheikh Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, President of Religious Affairs, described it as the largest religious operational plan yet undertaken by the presidency
  • The plan is focused on serving pilgrims, enriching their religious experience, creating a devotional atmosphere, and launching 120 religious enrichment initiatives during the Hajj season

MAKKAH: The Presidency of Religious Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque on Thursday launched its operational plan for the 2024 Hajj season.

Sheikh Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, President of Religious Affairs, described it as the largest religious operational plan yet undertaken by the presidency. The plan is focused on serving pilgrims, enriching their religious experience, creating a devotional atmosphere, and launching 120 religious enrichment initiatives during the Hajj season.

In his opening speech during the inauguration of the plan at the headquarters of the presidency in Makkah, Al-Sudais said: “This year’s plan is the largest since the establishment of the presidency with its purely religious specializations.”

He explained that the plan is the result of the efforts of the presidency’s teams through preparation, planning and study, as well as the achievements of past seasons. The plan is designed in harmony and integration with the various agencies working in the Two Holy Mosques, which collaborate and cooperate with the presidency to serve pilgrims.

The plan for the 2024 Hajj season, he said, revolves around various religious enrichment paths, which include numerous events and hundreds of religious programs encompassing scientific and guidance lessons.

Al-Sudais said the presidency’s plan this year is dedicated to promoting volunteer and humanitarian work, recognizing the Two Holy Mosques as attractive environments for such efforts. This focus is based on religious and Saudi values, which highlight the importance of generosity and hospitality.

A digital axis focuses on enhancing the religious digital experience provided by the Two Holy Mosques. This includes integrating religious digital services, investing in technology and artificial intelligence, and using applications and digital media. Specific religious initiatives are being activated to achieve digital leadership and to reduce the barriers of space and time through these applications.


Hajj pilgrims from Uzbekistan, Morocco, Niger and Iraq latest to arrive in Saudi Arabia

Hajj pilgrims from Uzbekistan, Morocco, Niger and Iraq latest to arrive in Saudi Arabia
Updated 24 May 2024
Follow

Hajj pilgrims from Uzbekistan, Morocco, Niger and Iraq latest to arrive in Saudi Arabia

Hajj pilgrims from Uzbekistan, Morocco, Niger and Iraq latest to arrive in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The first group of pilgrims from Uzbekistan, 950 in total, arrived in Makkah on Thursday ahead of Hajj.

Several expressed “gratitude to the Kingdom’s government for the services and facilities that have been provided to make their pilgrimage safe and reassuring,” the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Meanwhile, the Saudi ambassador to Morocco, Sami Al-Saleh, attended a farewell ceremony at Rabat-Sale Airport as the first group of Hajj pilgrims from the country set off for the Kingdom. He was accompanied by the Moroccan minister of endowments and Islamic affairs, Ahmed Toufiq, and other senior government officials.

Similarly, the Saudi ambassador to Niger, Zaid Al-Harbi, saw off the first group of Nigerien pilgrims as they departed from the capital, Niamey. The country’s prime minister, Ali Lamine Zeine, was also present.

Closer to home, a second group of Hajj pilgrims from Iraq arrived at the Arar border crossing in the Northern Borders Province on Thursday, where authorities said they received a warm welcome and benefited from a range of services and procedures designed to streamline entry procedures.

The Iraqi pilgrims expressed their thanks and “commended the Kingdom’s leadership for the generous hospitality and exceptional services provided by the authorities responsible for Hajj affairs,” SPA reported. 

They also praised the facilities at the crossing, which officials said will operate around the clock throughout the Hajj season to provide the best possible pilgrimage experience.


Saudi FM discusses Gaza, West Bank with Palestinian PM

Saudi FM discusses Gaza, West Bank with Palestinian PM
Updated 23 May 2024
Follow

Saudi FM discusses Gaza, West Bank with Palestinian PM

Saudi FM discusses Gaza, West Bank with Palestinian PM

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Thursday spoke to Palestinian Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed Mustafa by telephone, the Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry said.

They discussed developments in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and its surrounding areas.


Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority issues statement following Riyadh food poisoning incident

Riyadh experienced a wave of food poisoning cases caused by clostridium botulinum at the end of April. (File/Shutterstock)
Riyadh experienced a wave of food poisoning cases caused by clostridium botulinum at the end of April. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 23 May 2024
Follow

Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority issues statement following Riyadh food poisoning incident

Riyadh experienced a wave of food poisoning cases caused by clostridium botulinum at the end of April. (File/Shutterstock)
  • Nazaha says royal directives mandate the holding of all responsible officials accountable

RIYADH: Following the recent food poisoning incident at a Riyadh restaurant, the Kingdom’s Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority has said anyone found to be negligent in ensuring public health and safety will be held accountable.

The authority, also known as Nazaha, added on Thursday that measures will be taken against anyone found to have obstructed the investigation into the incident and concealed crucial information regarding the cause of poisoning.

Riyadh experienced a wave of food poisoning cases caused by clostridium botulinum at the end of April.

The outbreak was linked to the consumption of food from a Hamburgini fast-food restaurant and led to several hospitalizations and one death.

The Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing later announced that a Saudi Food and Drug Authority laboratory test found clostridium botulinum in the Bon Tum mayonnaise brand used by the food chain.

As a result, the distribution of the mayonnaise product was suspended and it was withdrawn from markets and food facilities across all cities in the Kingdom.

Operations at the Bon Tum factory producing the mayonnaise were halted in preparation for implementing statutory procedures.

Initial investigations by Nazaha “revealed attempts to conceal or destroy evidence, suggesting potential collusion by a small number of unscrupulous food establishment inspectors who prioritized personal gain over public health and safety,” the authority said on Thursday.

Nazaha said that royal directives mandate the holding of all responsible officials accountable, regardless of position.

“This applies to those who neglected or delayed fulfilling their duties, actions which may have contributed to the poisoning or hindered response efforts. Consequently, a high-level committee has been established to verify and oversee the implementation of these directives,” Nazaha said.

Nazaha added that comprehensive reports detailing the circumstances, causes, and those potentially responsible for the poisoning were produced around the clock after the incident.

The reports encompassed laboratory analyses of samples from various establishments and details of medical care provided to suspected victims, it said.

Precise laboratory testing, conducted by local and international foodborne illness specialists, swiftly identified the type and cause of the poisoning, the authority said.

Nazaha said the incident was contained and has been resolved.


Saudi Arabia secures membership in International Transport Forum

Saudi Arabia secures membership in International Transport Forum
Updated 23 May 2024
Follow

Saudi Arabia secures membership in International Transport Forum

Saudi Arabia secures membership in International Transport Forum

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia secured membership in the International Transport Forum on the sidelines of the event held in Leipzig, Germany.

Saudi Minister of Transport and Logistics Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser said that the membership symbolizes the Kingdom’s commitment to addressing transportation challenges through innovative and sustainable solutions. It also supports the Kingdom’s established role in developing the transport and logistics sector, he added, highlighting the Saudi Vision 2030 goal of benefiting from the country’s strategic location to become a global logistics center.

Al-Jasser said that the Kingdom has made significant strides in logistics, jumping 17 places to reach 38th place globally in the logistics services performance index. Additionally, the Kingdom achieved 13th place globally in the IATA’s international air connectivity index and 16th in the maritime navigation network connectivity index. He also noted the launch of a new air carrier, Riyadh Air, aimed at connecting the Kingdom to more than 250 international destinations.

The Kingdom is committed to enhancing the resilience of its transport infrastructure, promoting sustainable mobility and ensuring equitable access to transport services for all, Al-Jasser said.

Saudi membership of the ITF confirms its prominent position in the global transport sector, the minister added. This membership will enable the Kingdom to contribute to enacting legislation and regulations that improve and develop transportation on an international scale, he said.