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
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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. 


New partnership to empower climate tech startups in KSA

New partnership to empower climate tech startups in KSA
Updated 22 June 2024
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New partnership to empower climate tech startups in KSA

New partnership to empower climate tech startups in KSA

Berlin-headquartered Tact Hub, the think-and-do tank under Tact Invest, has announced a strategic partnership with Falak Investment Hub, a full-fledged investment firm that supports technology startups and entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia and the MENA region.

Falak, renowned for its expertise in nurturing startups and facilitating market entry, will collaborate with Tact Hub to identify and develop high-potential climate tech startups.

Its mission also encompasses uniting environmental, social, and governance principles with Shariah-compliant finance, ensuring its investments adhere to both ethical and religious standards.

Through this partnership with Falak Investment Hub, Tact Hub will leverage Falak’s extensive ecosystem in the MENA region to support early-stage companies aiming to scale globally.

Tact Hub startups will gain access to Falak’s robust network and resources, enabling them to scale effectively within the MENA and beyond. Both organizations will co-host curated investment pitch events, providing startups with unique opportunities to engage with a broad spectrum of investors. 

This partnership with Tact Hub embodies our commitment to nurturing a sustainable future through collaboration and respect for our planet.

Adwa Al-Dakheel, founder and CEO of Falak Investment Hub

Moreover, Tact Hub startups will participate in Falak’s Flagship ClimateTech Program done in collaboration with Roots Ventures, benefiting from comprehensive training, mentorship, and market access initiatives designed to accelerate growth and innovation.

This collaboration will support startups that align with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, contributing to the nation’s goals of environmental sustainability and economic diversification. The joint efforts are expected to significantly reduce CO2 emissions, targeting a collective reduction of 1 million tons.

Poonam Balan, managing director of Tact Hub, said: “This partnership with Falak Investment Hub is a significant step toward our goal of driving sustainable innovation. By combining our expertise and resources, we aim to support startups that can make a real impact on global environmental challenges and contribute to the ambitious goals of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.”

Adwa Al-Dakheel, founder and CEO of Falak Investment Hub, said: “At Falak, we believe in the transformative power of community, innovation, and entrepreneurship. This partnership with Tact Hub embodies our commitment to nurturing a sustainable future through collaboration and respect for our planet. With that being said, by joining forces, we are not only fostering the growth of pioneering climate tech startups but also empowering a new generation of entrepreneurs to lead with purpose and impact. We are building a resilient and innovative ecosystem that will drive meaningful change for our environment and our communities.”


Servcorp boosts Saudi business landscape with KAFD expansion

Servcorp boosts Saudi business landscape with KAFD expansion
Updated 22 June 2024
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Servcorp boosts Saudi business landscape with KAFD expansion

Servcorp boosts Saudi business landscape with KAFD expansion

Servcorp, a global provider of premium flexible office solutions, has announced the opening of its new office location in King Abdullah Financial District, Riyadh. This strategic move aligns with KAFD’s vision to enhance Riyadh’s position as a global business and lifestyle destination, offering a sophisticated platform for businesses to connect and grow their operations.

The opening is part of Servcorp’s strategy to extend its regional footprint, offering state-of-the-art office solutions to startups, SMEs, and multinational corporations. The facility features fully equipped private offices, co-working spaces, virtual offices, and meeting rooms, complemented by professional 24/7 IT support and local expertise.

A key driver of Riyadh’s economic ambitions, KAFD is the largest Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified mixed-use business district in the world. Set in the heart of the Saudi capital, KAFD is home to 1.6 million square meters of state-of-the-art office spaces, world-class venues, and iconic luxury residences, designed to transform the way urban communities live, work, and play.

David Godchaux, CEO of Servcorp for the Middle East, Europe and America, said: “We are delighted to open our new location in KAFD, aligning Servcorp’s expansion with Saudi Arabia’s strategic vision in one of the region’s most significant developments.”

Our clients in KAFD will benefit from state-of-the-art technology, and world-class office solutions backed by Servcorp’s global infrastructure.”

“With the number of SMEs in Saudi Arabia growing by an impressive 3.1 percent in Q4 2023 to more than 1.3 million, the total number of SMEs in Riyadh alone reached 571,298 by the end of the year. With this rapid expansion in entrepreneurship and SMEs, and the vast interest in co-working spaces, we are thrilled to welcome Servcorp to KAFD,” said Gautam Sashittal, CEO of the King Abdullah Financial District Development and Management Company. “Servcorp’s innovative workspace solutions are a strategic addition to our district, perfectly aligning with our vision of becoming a full-service business hub. This new partnership not only enhances our ability to support business success but also underscores KAFD’s vital role in driving the Kingdom’s economic diversification and achieving the ambitious goals of Vision 2030.”


Thakher Company employees volunteer to serve pilgrims

Thakher Company employees volunteer to serve pilgrims
Updated 19 June 2024
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Thakher Company employees volunteer to serve pilgrims

Thakher Company employees volunteer to serve pilgrims

Employees of Thakher Development Company, the master developer of the master plan and infrastructure for the Thakher Makkah project, participated in the “And Purify My House” initiative under the patronage of the Mayor of Makkah Musaed bin Abdulaziz Al-Daoud. Additionally, the company organized a campaign to raise health and food safety awareness and distribute umbrellas to pilgrims within the Thakher Makkah project, in partnership with the Municipal Volunteer Department in the Holy Makkah Municipality.

The “And Purify My House” initiative was held over three days, where volunteers prepared and cleaned the holy sites, such as Mount Arafat, Mina and Muzdalifah, for the arrival of the pilgrims. Efforts also involved restoring visual distortions and maintaining public facilities, including painting and other tasks.

These efforts are part of the company’s comprehensive program to promote healthcare during the Hajj season, with a focus on the importance of hygiene and nutrition. The initiative ensures proper facilities are available for pilgrims to guarantee a safe and healthy Hajj experience.

Abdulaziz bin Saleh Al-Aboudi, CEO of Thakher Development Company, said: “At Thakher Company, we emphasize the importance of cooperation and participation in volunteer activities within the Kingdom that aim to foster the values of generosity and social solidarity, and to enhance the esteemed image of the holy capital in the eyes of pilgrims. I would also like to extend my gratitude to everyone who participated in organizing this initiative, and to our employees for their humanitarian and volunteer efforts in serving the pilgrims and strengthening the spirit of cooperation and social responsibility.”

Thakher Makkah is located approximately 1 km from the Grand Mosque and a few kilometers away from the holy sites of Muzdalifah, Mina and Arafat. The project contributes to the Kingdom’s ambitious vision, which aims to host 30 million Umrah performers and six million pilgrims by 2030.

Upon completion, the project, spanning over an area of 320,000 square meters, will include 100 land plots for hospitality, residential and commercial uses. Residential and hotel apartment units will be available in various categories, and the units will also be available for ownership.

Thaker Makkah will be home to some of the biggest names in global hospitality including The Radisson Hotel, Park Inn by Radisson, and Novotel Hotel, which will be the largest in the world in terms of the number of rooms.

The company is also involved in developing the old neighborhoods of Makkah in coordination with the Royal Commission for Makkah City and Holy Sites, in order to provide distinguished services to pilgrims.


Altawkilat Premium dominates global Hongqi awards

Altawkilat Premium dominates global Hongqi awards
Updated 19 June 2024
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Altawkilat Premium dominates global Hongqi awards

Altawkilat Premium dominates global Hongqi awards

The Universal Premium Motors Agencies, known as Altawkilat Premium, the authorized dealer for Hongqi in Saudi Arabia, won four prestigious international awards at the Shaping the Future conference for Hongqi global partners. The event was held in Beijing, China, concurrently with the 2024 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition. These awards recognize excellence in sales, after-sales services, and marketing.

Additionally, Tarek Al-Saeedi, general manager of after-sales services at Altawkilat Premium, was appointed as a member of the Hongqi Overseas After-Sales Services Advisory Committee in China.

Jason Blane, general manager of Hongqi in Saudi Arabia, said: “Altawkilat Premium received these prestigious global awards, reflecting the successful strategic collaboration between FAW Group Corporation and Altawkilat Premium. The honors are a continuation of the company’s strategy to offer top-tier luxury vehicles.”

He added: “The Universal Premium Motors Agencies has a long history spanning over 70 years in the automotive sales and service sector, with an extensive network of branches across various cities in the Kingdom. This partnership with Hongqi strengthens the presence of luxury Chinese vehicles in Saudi Arabia.”

Hongqi is continuously striving to enhance its vehicles with the latest global technologies to keep pace with rapid developments in the automotive industry. The company has established global research centers in Nanjing, China, to attract local talent in artificial intelligence and future networking technologies. Additionally, Altawkilat Premium has launched programs and initiatives to enhance customer awareness and engagement, providing superior and impactful customer service. 

The company is dedicated to developing and improving its services and expanding its areas to meet customer needs and provide a distinguished purchasing experience.

The recent award wins are a testament to the company’s efforts in enhancing the brand and delivering excellent services. This success is expected to bolster Altawkilat Premium’s position as a leading partner for Hongqi in Saudi Arabia and strengthen customer confidence in the brand.


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.