ACWA Power secures investment from Silk Road Fund

From left, Cao Min, Mohammad Abu Nayyan, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, and Saeed Mohammed Al-Tayer.
Updated 24 July 2018

ACWA Power secures investment from Silk Road Fund

ACWA Power, a leading developer, owner, and operator of power generation and water desalination plants, has announced that China’s Silk Road Fund will acquire a 24.01 percent equity interest in the 700MW DEWA Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project in the UAE.
In the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Saeed Mohammed Al-Tayer, MD and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), and Yanzhi Wang, president of the Silk Road Fund, exchanged the executed investment agreements concerning the DEWA Concentrated Solar Power Project (DEWA CSP Project), which will be jointly invested and developed by DEWA, the Silk Road Fund, and ACWA Power.
The DEWA CSP project, which was awarded to an ACWA Power led consortium in 2017, is the 4th phase of the Mohamed bin Rashid Solar Park, the largest single-site concentrated solar power plant in the world.
The project uses a state-of-the-art combination of a central tower and parabolic trough technologies to collect energy from the sun, store it in molten salt and produce steam as required to generate electricity during the day and throughout the night.
The project is projected to deliver electricity at a levelized tariff of $7.30 cents per kilowatt-hour 24 hours a day; a cost level that competes with fossil fuel generated electricity without subsidy for reliable and dispatchable solar energy around the clock.

Sanad, La Vache qui rit bring laughter to children

Updated 01 March 2021

Sanad, La Vache qui rit bring laughter to children

Saudi-based nonprofit Sanad Children’s Cancer Support Association has partnered with La Vache qui rit or The Laughing Cow, a brand of processed cheese, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary, to bring laughter to those who need it the most.

The nonprofit association provides services to children with tumors across the Kingdom, supports children’s centers with the medical equipment they need, and provides social, residential, educational and recreational services for patients and their families — citizens and residents — in need. In addition, the center also focuses on funding research and studies in the field of childhood cancer.

Running for one month starting Feb. 15, La Vache qui rit has introduced a dedicated web-application where consumers can register and “laugh to donate.” Showcasing the uniqueness and power of each person’s laughter, the initiative will turn every laugh recorded into a monetary donation toward the Sanad Children’s Cancer Support Association.

A simple click on is all that is required to record the laughter through the device’s microphone; each laugh recorded will boost contributions toward children in need. Donations generated through the online platform will be utilized toward the association’s “Make a Wish” program. This program focuses on making children’s wishes come true — ranging from toys such as blocks and puzzles, to gadgets such as gaming consoles and smartphones, to large-scale activities such as a curated personalized art gallery.

“We believe that our partnership with La Vache qui rit for the Golden February campaign and supporting children with cancer is a noble cause, and we proudly celebrate it this year with International Childhood Cancer Day,” said Reem Alhegelan, general manager at Sanad.

“The monetary contribution will be toward the ‘Make a Wish’ program that fulfills children’s wishes. We believe that making their wishes come true during the difficult times they are going through, will help improve their lives and maintain their psychological balance during intensive treatments. This year’s slogan “Gold at heart,” is for all the pure hearts who are willing to contribute to our fruitful journey.”

Garo Matossian, general manager, Bel Group Middle East, manufacturer of La Vache qui rit, said: “We are joining forces with Sanad Children’s Cancer Support Association on our 100-year anniversary to make a difference in the lives of young children diagnosed with cancer. At La Vache qui rit, we believe that laughter is our most precious gift and our core mission is to inspire people to choose to laugh at life and garner the strength to face life’s difficulties every day. We want to give the Saudi community an opportunity to transform their laughter, or the laughter of their loved ones, into a good deed that can help those in need of optimism. La Vache qui rit has been in the homes of Saudi families for a very long time, and it is of utmost importance to us to ensure a healthier, happier society for generations to come.”

NCB and Mastercard launch credit card for corporates

Updated 25 February 2021

NCB and Mastercard launch credit card for corporates

Mastercard and the National Commercial Bank (NCB) have launched a new corporate credit card offering the bank’s corporate and micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) clients a range of financial solutions. 

The Mastercard Corporate World card allows companies to effectively manage their expenses and corporate payment needs. The card aims to maximize companies’ financial control and provide them with full visibility in order to reduce costs and enhance cash flow. 

J.K. Khalil, country manager, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Levant, Mastercard, said: “As a trusted technology leader and proud supporter of the business community, we are delighted to collaborate with NCB to expand inclusion for best-in-class financial control, B2B expenditures and corporate travel benefits. We remain committed to helping businesses by offering innovative tools and payment solutions that enable them to make the most of the digital economy and an ever-strengthening payment ecosystem.” Majed Al-Ghamdi, chief executive of retail, NCB, said: “We are delighted to once again collaborate with Mastercard for another solution which we believe will provide strong value to businesses by offering the tools to enhance efficiency as well as meet their working capital requirements. Through the commercial credit card, our large corporate customers as well as SME clients will be able to make cashless transactions seamlessly and conveniently, while maintaining a stronger control over their cash flows. Furthermore, the initiative will add benefits to our corporate customers, such as control of spending and compliance with corporate policies.” 

The new corporate credit card delivers a range of innovative benefits and product offerings designed for the diverse needs of large corporations. Additionally, the dedicated self-service portal on AlAhlieCorp responds to requests and enables best-in-class relationship management. The card also offers consolidated e-statements and spending trends, so that cardholders and the management can benefit from simplified reconciliation and enhanced, integrated reporting.

The new credit card features a host of offers and rewards, including complimentary airport lounge access in more than 1,000 lounges across 300 cities with LoungeKey. It further includes complimentary travel and accident insurance, cover for medical emergencies, trip cancellations and lost baggage, in addition to other value-added benefits.

Additionally, companies that request an NCB corporate credit card before June 30 will have their annual fee waived for the first year.

Cloud kitchen ‘Kitopi’ launches in Jeddah

Updated 11 February 2021

Cloud kitchen ‘Kitopi’ launches in Jeddah

Kitopi, a managed cloud kitchen platform headquartered in Dubai, is opening its doors to F&B outlets and restaurants in Jeddah, starting this week. The tech company, which currently operates in the UAE (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah), Kuwait (Kuwait City), and Saudi Arabia, recently marked its three-year anniversary, and already has successful operations in Riyadh, working with more than 40 restaurant partners. 

The company partners with restaurants and cooks on their behalf, handling the end-to-end operations including sourcing of ingredients, customer experience and, working with third-party delivery apps to deliver the food fast and safely.

Now, Kitopi aims to make alliances with F&B partners and restaurants across the Red Sea hub, giving them the option to expand beyond borders in less than 14 days, with minimal capital expenditure and operational costs. 

Kitopi has seven kitchens in Riyadh and will look to open more than five kitchens in Jeddah before the end of Q3. 

“We are excited to expand our reach in Saudi Arabia, a key market for us. We look forward to partnering with restaurants in Jeddah, enabling them to scale beyond borders and giving customers a chance to experience exceptional food on their terms, quickly and safely,” said Mohamad Ballout, CEO and co-founder of Kitopi. 

The company works with more than 200 brands globally, operating over 60 kitchens and employing a staff of 1,200 “Kitopians.” Kitopi’s competitive advantage lies in its smart kitchen operating technology (SKOS), which powers all of its 60+ state-of-the-art kitchens regionally. SKOS is a cloud kitchen operating system that manages the end-to-end order experience with the aim of improving customer experience and operational efficiency. Thanks to SKOS, an order takes less than 35 minutes to be delivered, from the time an order is placed to when the customer receives it. Kitopi’s technology is supported by its tech hubs in Poland and the UAE, as well as a global customer support center, which operates in Dubai. 

Part of Kitopi’s expansion strategy in the Kingdom will be aimed at hiring more Saudis across its operations, with a focus on hiring more women. This investment in people will support the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 while opening up new professions for Saudis to embark on.

Courtyard Riyadh offers culinary adventure from under the sea

Updated 07 February 2021

Courtyard Riyadh offers culinary adventure from under the sea

Courtyard Riyadh Northern Ring Road is all set to take guests on a culinary adventure from under the sea with the opening of the Seven Restaurant. The venue has a weekly seafood night every Thursday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., offering a scrumptious buffet style dining experience, starting from SR170 ($45) per person.

Head chef Sofyan Alasmi has curated a menu that will have guests indulging to their hearts’ content. With more than 15 years’ experience in the hospitality industry across the GCC under his apron, all his culinary creations are bursting with extraordinary flavors. “From signature dishes such as the mouth-watering Thermidor to Seven’s special catch of the week, palates are set to enjoy the freshest and most succulent seafood in the city,” a statement said.


The restaurant features a seafood market where gastronomes will get to choose from a variety of fish and see it prepared at the live cooking stations.

A feast for the eyes and mouth, the restaurant also features a seafood market where gastronomes will get to choose from a variety of fish, including shrimp, Sultan Ibrahim, calamari and Deans’ Fish, and see it prepared at the live cooking stations.

The venue’s striking décor, an open kitchen and a live cooking station take center stage, ensuring guests seated indoors get to immerse themselves in the culinary show. Those seated on the outdoor terrace can enjoy sweeping views of the Riyadh city skyline.

The restaurant’s name has a symbolic significance. “Seven is the number of completion and perfection, and is highly symbolic across cultures, the seven wonders of the world, the seven continents and the seven days of the week,” the hotel’s website said.

Courtyard Riyadh Northern Ring Road offers a pleasant getaway for business and leisure travelers to Riyadh, with seamless service, easy access to the city’s top tourist attractions, and exciting dining experiences to choose from. The hotel features a restaurant, fitness center, a shared lounge and garden. Among the facilities at this property are a 24-hour front desk and room service, along with free WiFi throughout the venue.

Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Center opens in Riyadh’s DQ

Updated 07 February 2021

Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Center opens in Riyadh’s DQ

Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Group (HMG) has announced the opening of its new state-of-the-art medical center in Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter (DQ).

The inauguration of Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Center was held in the presence of Nasser Mohammed Al-Haqbani, chief executive of HMG, a number of diplomats, businessmen and management officials of the group.

Guests at the event toured the various departments and facilities of the new center, including its emergency, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, dental, ENT, ophthalmology, internal medicine, family medicine, dermatology, and cosmetology clinics, in addition to the pharmacy.

The laboratories in the radiology department are equipped with the latest diagnostic technologies, which enable the provision of the most accurate results at high speed, thereby reducing the waiting time. All departments are manned by experts qualified in their respective medical fields.

The guests were also briefed on the services provided by the 24/7 rapid response team, ambulances and emergency transport, and the pharmacy, which is open round-the-clock.

“Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Center represents a great addition to the Diplomatic Quarter as it includes the best medical, technical, and administrative experts, to provide superior levels of medical care in accordance with the highest international standards,” Al-Haqbani said. The center includes all specialties and is equipped with the latest medical technologies, and it operates with an integrated digital system to ensure the provision of diagnostic and therapeutic services in no time, he added.

The medical center’s unified electronic system (VIDA) and mobile application for patients enable users to book appointments, obtain medical reports, view the results of laboratory and x-ray examinations and get copies of them via email, view the insurers’ approvals, connect with physicians in all specialties, get medical prescriptions, and obtain a wide range of other services.

Al-Haqbani said that since its inception, HMG has been keen to achieve excellence based on the approach of continuous development and right now aims to benefit from the ongoing digital revolution.

“The effective combination of modern technology and human competencies can provide the highest levels of medical care and a unique health model in the Middle East,” he added.

In addition to the new center in the DQ, HMG has four other hospitals in Riyadh.