Severe weather sweeps across Saudi Arabia

1 / 5
Sand storm in the Saudi capital Riyadh, on August 17, 2017. (AFP)
2 / 5
Inclement weather is likely to continue in Makkah, Riyadh, Eastern Province, Qassim and other parts of the Kingdom on Monday. (SPA)
3 / 5
Inclement weather is likely to continue in Makkah, Riyadh, Eastern Province, Qassim and other parts of the Kingdom on Monday. (SPA)
4 / 5
Inclement weather is likely to continue in Makkah, Riyadh, Eastern Province, Qassim and other parts of the Kingdom on Monday. (SPA)
5 / 5
Inclement weather is likely to continue in Makkah, Riyadh, Eastern Province, Qassim and other parts of the Kingdom on Monday. (SPA)
Updated 28 January 2019
0

Severe weather sweeps across Saudi Arabia

  • Strong winds were also expected to stir up sandstorms in Makkah, Riyadh and the Eastern Province

JEDDAH: Strong winds, rainfall and sandstorms hit Jeddah on Sunday afternoon, severely limiting visibility. It was a similar story across the Kingdom, as predicted by the General Authority of Meteorology and Environment Protection in its daily report on Sunday morning.
The authority expected Tabuk, Al-Jawf, Hail, Madinah and the northern borders to experience rain and sandstorms.
Strong winds were also expected to stir up sandstorms in Makkah, Riyadh and the Eastern Province. The southwestern and western highlands would be partly cloudy, the forecast said.
As for the seas, the forecast predicted south-to-south-westerly winds of up to 40 km/h will hit the Red Sea in the evening, with the wind direction changing to north-westerly in northern parts. Waves were expected to be between one and two meters. South-to-southeasterly winds in the Arabian Gulf were likely to reach up to 35 km/h, with waves ranging between one and 1.5 meters, according to the authority. Inclement weather is likely to continue in Makkah, Riyadh, Eastern Province, Qassim and other parts of the Kingdom on Monday.


Top five trends shaping KSA retail industry

Saudis visit the International Coffee and Chocolate Exhibition held at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center in the capital Riyadh on December 4, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 15 min 16 sec ago
0

Top five trends shaping KSA retail industry

  • Artificial intelligence can identify consumer preferences with great accuracy

RIYADH: The Kingdom has a vast, young, tech-savvy population that is shifting behavior in Saudi Arabia, according to Ahmed Reda, MENA consumer industry leader for Ernst and Young (EY).
EY worked with more than 200 business leaders, futurists and industry experts through its FutureConsumer.Now program (FCN) to map the buying habits of consumers. “We asked questions such as how will consumers shop, eat, stay healthy, live, use technology, play, work and move in the future?” Reda said.
Here are some of the key trends powering the shift in consumer behavior and the retail industry in the GCC’s largest consumer base.
Data analytics and AI transforming traditional retail models: The new breed of GCC consumer expects a highly personalized experience. This will be even more critical as brand loyalty declines among GCC consumers. As analytics tools become increasingly sophisticated, the value of personalized data will grow. Artificial intelligence can identify consumer preferences with great accuracy.
Brands need to implement omnichannel strategies: In markets such as Saudi Arabia, which has some of the most affluent consumers, omnichannel strategies (any time, any place) are vital for companies to craft a user experience that cuts across online shopping, social media, mobile apps and conventional stores.
Physical stores still have a place: Online shopping has reduced the need for people to visit shops. Physical stores will still be a powerful asset if they are used for more than shopping. Retailers have a portfolio of well-located spaces that can be repurposed.
Rise of e-commerce: Physical stores won’t disappear, but the high penetration of smartphones and digital services has transformed the behavior of GCC consumers.
Value-seeking behavior after VAT: In a market that has been tax-free, the introduction of VAT, even at a relatively low rate of 5 percent, has caused a shift in consumer behavior. The average Saudi consumer is more cost-conscious than ever. Companies that can tap into additional value through economies of scale, or provide greater convenience, will reap the rewards.