MYNM’s Defender partners with Hero Balloon Flights in AlUla

MYNM’s Defender partners with Hero Balloon Flights in AlUla
Rhett Maxwell, managing director, MYNM Co. (Jaguar Land Rover), and Adam McEwan, co-founder and chief executive of Hero Experiences Group.
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Updated 29 May 2024
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MYNM’s Defender partners with Hero Balloon Flights in AlUla

MYNM’s Defender partners with Hero Balloon Flights in AlUla

Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Motors Co., the official distributor of Jaguar Land Rover products in Saudi Arabia, has signed a landmark partnership with Hero Balloon Flights, a subsidiary of Hero Experiences Group, the Kingdom’s first commercial hot air balloon operator, and the exclusive hot air balloon experience provider in AlUla. This collaboration is designed to enhance the guest experience in AlUla, one of the most enchanting and historic regions in Saudi Arabia.

AlUla, known for its rich history and stunning landscapes, now hosts an innovative experience that fuses tradition with modernity. This partnership will see the iconic Defender, renowned for its adventurous spirit and heritage, integrated into Hero Balloon Flights’ offerings. Guests will be transported in luxurious Defenders to enjoy breathtaking hot air balloon journeys over AlUla’s majestic canyons and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Hegra archaeological site.

Rhett Maxwell, managing director, MYNM Co. (Jaguar Land Rover), said: “The Defender, much like AlUla, is steeped in heritage, designed for adventure and embodies a legacy of endurance and exploration. Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Motors Co. is pleased to showcase the Defender’s capabilities in a setting that resonates with Jaguar Land Rover, with a shared heritage and a commitment to exceptional experiences. We are thrilled to offer guests of AlUla an unparalleled experience that combines the thrill of exploration with the utmost luxury and comfort of the Defender.”

Adam McEwan, co-founder and chief executive of Hero Experiences Group, highlighted the significance of the partnership: “The addition of the Defender to our fleet in AlUla rounds off the experience with that touch of luxury we are known for. The three key elements in this venture — AlUla, Defender, and Hero Experiences Group — are all passionate about adventure, culture, and heritage. That makes this the ideal partnership in an ideal location, giving us the opportunity to truly showcase what makes AlUla so special, enhanced by unique experiences in beautiful vehicles. We are extremely excited to partner with Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Motors Co. in this venture. We see this to be a long-term and fruitful relationship that will take the opportunities to discover AlUla to new heights, quite literally.”

The collaboration is more than a partnership; it is a celebration of the shared values of adventure and heritage. The Defender complements AlUla’s awe-inspiring beauty, offering a harmonious blend of the past and the present. 

Together, MYNM Co. and Hero Balloon Flights are committed to providing visitors with a truly memorable and unique experience that honors the spirit of exploration as well as the rich cultural tapestry of AlUla.


Tech giants urge data center suppliers to help decarbonize digital infrastructure

Tech giants urge data center suppliers to help decarbonize digital infrastructure
Updated 22 July 2024
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Tech giants urge data center suppliers to help decarbonize digital infrastructure

Tech giants urge data center suppliers to help decarbonize digital infrastructure

The Governing Body of the iMasons Climate Accord, a program of Infrastructure Masons, is calling on all suppliers serving data centers to support greater transparency in Scope 3 emissions as part of broader efforts to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.

Consisting of AWS, Digital Realty, Google, Meta, Microsoft and Schneider Electric, the Governing Body released an open letter that explains the importance of widespread adoption of Environmental Product Declarations, which are standardized, third-party-verified documents reporting the embodied emissions of a product. EPDs outline the greenhouse gas emissions of a product through its entire lifecycle, from the raw materials in the product (e.g., how they are extracted, transported, and processed), to manufacturing, transportation, product use, and product end-of-life (e.g., landfill, recycling, repurposing, etc.).

While EPDs are common in some business sectors, there is not widespread adoption of EPDs in the data center industry. The open letter demonstrates a significant push forward from the world’s largest hyperscalers and digital infrastructure companies to drive meaningful change across the industry, working in partnership with their trusted suppliers.

It is essential to continue to ensure the digital infrastructure industry decarbonizes as it grows. The signatories of the iMasons Governing Body’s open letter all have net-zero carbon emissions commitments in place to address their responsibility in mitigating data center carbon emissions (with deadlines ranging from 2025 to 2040, which is at least 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement), and this letter marks another milestone toward decarbonizing of operations.

Hyperscalers have implemented strategies to reduce and/or mitigate Scope 1 and 2 emissions. As they seek to reach net-zero carbon emissions in the coming years, solving the next piece of the sustainability puzzle lies in reducing Scope 3 emissions, which can represent anywhere from 38-69 percent of data centers’ total carbon footprint. Scope 3 emissions are not produced by the company itself; rather, they include the indirect emissions throughout the value chain.

Access to the critical information in EPDs empowers data center owners, operators, and end-users to effectively calculate their environmental impact and choose products (servers, cooling systems, uninterruptible power supplies and services based on lower Scope 3 emissions, best aligning with sustainability targets.

“EPDs are crucial in transforming the future of digital infrastructure to be more resilient and climate positive. The adoption of EPDs within the global supply chain fosters both sustainable and accountable outcomes. As standardized and verified data provides a layer of transparency, this initiative supports a collective approach to reducing our carbon emissions and environmental footprints,” said Miranda Gardiner, executive director of the iMasons Climate Accord, a coalition of 250+ members that represents an $8 trillion combined market cap.

“At AWS, we are committed to reaching net-zero carbon emissions across our operations by 2040 by investing in carbon-free energy, scaling solutions, and collaborating with partners to broaden our impact,” said Eric Wilcox, vice president of data center engineering at AWS. “We support the iMasons call for suppliers to adopt the use of Environmental Product Declarations. Doing so will provide greater transparency in Scope 3 emissions embodied in equipment and help accelerate the overall industry’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.”

“As a leading data center company, we recognize the need to address Scope 3 emissions associated with the construction of new data centers,” said Lex Coors, chief data center technology and engineering officer for digital realty and Infrastructure Masons Governing Body member. “By advocating for the adoption of EPDs, we’re not just committing to transparency; we are taking a decisive step toward empowering the entire industry to make informed, responsible choices that align with our collective sustainability ambitions. This initiative is crucial as we strive to meet the growing demands of our digital world in a sustainable manner.”

“In line with our commitment to open standards and our company-wide goal to achieve net-zero emissions across all our operations and value chain, we support industry-wide adoption of Environmental Product Declarations as a crucial lever in low-carbon procurement of digital infrastructure,” said Joe Kava, vice president, global data centers, Google. “As a member of the Governing Board of iMasons Climate Accord, Google is excited to help accelerate solutions that drive progress toward a more sustainable, transparent data center industry.”

“Reducing our emissions is Meta’s top priority to reach net-zero emissions across our value chain in 2030. We join our peers in calling for greater transparency in the data center supply chain to better understand the embodied carbon of the infrastructure that underpins our operations. These declarations will play an important role in accelerating decarbonization efforts for the data centers of tomorrow,” said Rachel Peterson, VP, infrastructure data centers at Meta.

“Microsoft has committed to becoming carbon negative by 2030 and removing all greenhouse gas emissions produced since our founding by 2050. By joining our peers in promoting sustainability and using digital innovation to drive progress, Microsoft is helping to create a more sustainable future for all,” said Shirin O’Connor, CVP, datacenter engineering, procurement and construction, Microsoft.

“To enable the digital infrastructure industry to align with net-zero emission goals, carbon emissions must be a fundamental consideration in procurement decisions,” said iMasons Governing Body Member Anna Timme, who is also the head of sustainability for secure power and data centers at Schneider Electric. “Promoting industry-wide adoption of EPDs is a critical step in enabling carbon-informed decision making. Schneider Electric has been dedicated to publishing EPDs since 2008, and we are excited about the significant impact that industry adoption will have as we collectively progress toward net-zero.”

The open letter is the second issued by the ICA calling for action from suppliers to accelerate decarbonization efforts. In April 2023, the Governing Body of the ICA called on data center industry suppliers to use lower-carbon concrete in data center infrastructure.


Emirates Steel and Eversendai partner for NEOM project

Emirates Steel and Eversendai partner for NEOM project
Updated 21 July 2024
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Emirates Steel and Eversendai partner for NEOM project

Emirates Steel and Eversendai partner for NEOM project

Emirates Steel, part of Emirates Steel Arkan Group, one of the largest publicly traded steel and building materials manufacturers in the region, is partnering with Eversendai, a global powerhouse in steel construction, solidifying their collaboration for the prestigious NEOM Trojena Ski Village project in the heart of NEOM, Saudi Arabia’s most ambitious giga-project.

The strategic partnership marks a significant milestone in the steel industry, highlighting the two companies’ joint commitment to delivering excellence in sustainable innovation across the wider GCC region. Emirates Steel will supply premium steel beams renowned for their sustainability, regionally record-setting low carbon emissions, and exceptional durability for the construction of the NEOM Trojena Ski Village.

The partnership agreement was formalized during an official ceremony, signifying the commencement of a robust alliance aimed at setting new benchmarks in construction excellence. The collaboration will not only enhance Emirates Steel’s position within the wider GCC market, but also highlights its pivotal role in shaping iconic projects in the region.

Saeed Alghafri, CEO of Emirates Steel, said: “We are delighted to partner with Eversendai on this significant project which promises to be a staple of NEOM in Saudi Arabia. Emirates Steel is committed to supplying benchmark sustainable steel solutions that meet the stringent demands of innovative construction projects. This collaboration exemplifies our dedication to driving sustainable growth across the GCC and delivering value to our partners and stakeholders.”

Narishnath Nathan, deputy group managing director of Eversendai, said: “Eversendai is proud to collaborate with Emirates Steel on the NEOM Trojena Ski Village, a landmark project that will showcase our collective capabilities in delivering world-class steel construction solutions. This partnership highlights our commitment to pushing the boundaries of engineering and construction.”

The NEOM Trojena Ski Village is poised to become a premier global destination, offering unparalleled recreational experiences in the region. Emirates Steel’s advanced steel beams will play a crucial role in the structural integrity and sustainability of the resort, ensuring it meets global standards for quality and safety.


Aqualia launches training program for Saudis

Aqualia launches training program for Saudis
Updated 21 July 2024
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Aqualia launches training program for Saudis

Aqualia launches training program for Saudis

Aqualia, a water management company, has underlined its commitment to advancing the growth and development of the Saudi water sector by launching an innovative customer services training program designed to upskill its diverse workforce and empower Saudi talent to fulfill their potential.

The immersive training program has been rolled out across Aqualia’s Northern and Southern clusters, with detailed training sessions being conducted by experienced instructors specialized in acquainting learners with all-important tools such as customer care and billing system, business intelligence, automatic meter reading, mobile device management, and workforce management system. In total, 447 Aqualia employees will undergo 4,250 hours of training over a period of 10 months, with each staff member receiving at least 25 hours of training in each key area of the company’s customer services function.

Participants will spend eight of the 10 outlined months assigned to specialist trainers to gain greater insights into each distinct area of Aqualia’s customer services department. Qualified experts will also be on-hand to deliver training sessions focused on creating a better and more in-depth understanding of Aqualia’s Northern and Southern clusters’ business units.

Javier Díaz, country manager — Saudi Arabia, Aqualia, said: “As part of our ongoing efforts to drive the transformation of Saudi water management services, we are fully committed to investing in the training and development of our staff. We believe that empowering the industry leaders of tomorrow is crucial to safeguarding the future — of our industry and the nation as a whole. With just short of 400 staff employed across our Northern and Southern clusters — in four regions — providing a constant supply of water to a population of 5 million people, we are aware of how vital it is to ensure that each member of our team is supported to work to the best of their abilities. We have launched our customer services training program to do exactly that, with the unique offering enabling us to deliver an even higher standard of service.”


New Zain KSA initiative to empower the visually impaired

New Zain KSA initiative to empower the visually impaired
Updated 21 July 2024
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New Zain KSA initiative to empower the visually impaired

New Zain KSA initiative to empower the visually impaired

Zain has announced a strategic partnership with “Be My Eyes,” the largest and fastest-growing app for assisting the blind and visually impaired community worldwide. Through this initiative, the first-of-its-kind in the region, Zain is expanding its volunteerism scope to engage its community, connect with visually impaired groups, and integrate advanced technology.

In collaboration with Be My Eyes, Zain KSA volunteers will receive incoming calls from the app’s user base, which includes more than 600,000 visually impaired users worldwide. Once the volunteer gets the video call, they will act as eyes for the caller, providing necessary support such as reading a document, identifying a medication, offering navigation guidance, and other potential scenarios. 

Loluwah Al-Nowaiser, EVP of Human Resources at Zain KSA

Loluwah Al-Nowaiser, executive vice president of human resources at Zain KSA, said: “Zain KSA’s commitment to innovation and growth has never been only about technological advancement, but it is rather rooted in our responsibility to harness advanced technology in serving people and the community. While we continue to innovate to deliver the most advanced digital services and user experiences, our core goal is to unlock the potential of every member of our community. In doing so, we aim to uplift our society and support the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 and the aspirations of our visionary leadership in enhancing the quality of life. We prioritize diversity and inclusion as part of our core values and support societal integration for all segments, with a particular focus on individuals with disabilities.

“By partnering with Be My Eyes, which exclusively caters to one segment of this community, Zain KSA provides its employees with a new volunteering opportunity, expanding our impact to help create a wonderful world for people from all segments while directly engaging the Zain KSA family.”

The initiative aligns with Zain’s strategy to empower employees to practice social responsibility. It reflects the values of Zain, extending beyond its telecommunications and digital services role where Zain is a catalyst for diversity and inclusivity, fostering a society where everyone has equal opportunities to dream and succeed.


Bahri partners with SLA to train Saudi logistics talents

Bahri partners with SLA to train Saudi logistics talents
Updated 20 July 2024
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Bahri partners with SLA to train Saudi logistics talents

Bahri partners with SLA to train Saudi logistics talents

Bahri, a global leader in logistics and transportation, has entered into a training agreement with the Saudi Logistics Academy, a nonprofit training facility established to qualify young Saudi talent across several industries including logistics, supply chain, e-commerce, and marketing. The agreement aims to enhance employment opportunities and skills development in the maritime logistics sector.

Under the terms of the two-year agreement, SLA will train and qualify a number of Saudi candidates in various specializations for placement across Bahri’s business units. Through a structured 12-month program, participants will gain hands-on experience and theoretical knowledge tailored to meet Bahri’s specific job requirements. This initiative not only fosters career growth for aspiring professionals but also contributes to the sustainability of the logistics sector by nurturing a skilled national workforce capable of driving innovation and industry excellence.

Hisham Alkhaldi, chief support officer at Bahri, highlighted the significance of this agreement, saying: “Our agreement with SLA stems from a desire to enrich Bahri with highly-trained young specialists and create greater synergy between national training organizations, educational institutions, and the increasingly competitive Saudi job market. By leveraging our combined expertise, we aim to establish a thriving ecosystem for the students, fresh graduates, and early careerists who will become tomorrow’s industry leaders.”

Dr. Abdullah Alabdulkarim, CEO of SLA, added: “With more international talent present within the Kingdom than ever before, providing the Saudi workforce with ample opportunities for upskilling and career development is essential to enhance competitiveness, foster innovation, and drive sustainable economic growth. At SLA, we eagerly anticipate our partnership with Bahri, which will see us train nearly a dozen Saudi talents to assume leading roles within one of the Kingdom’s most vital sectors.”

Established in 1978, Bahri has leveraged its established capabilities, locally sourced talents, and technical excellence across six key business units to emerge as a cornerstone in the nation’s efforts to transform and propel growth within the maritime logistics sector. With a commitment to bolstering Saudi Arabia’s position as a premier international gateway for logistical services, Bahri is dedicated to strengthening the Kingdom’s presence in global markets.