Omega celebrates 50th anniversary of moon landing

George and Amal Clooney attended an event by Omega to pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing.
Updated 26 May 2019

Omega celebrates 50th anniversary of moon landing

Omega partnered up with NASA to pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing back in 1969.
George and Amal Clooney were in attendance as were an impressive lineup of NASA veterans.
The event took place at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, where guests enjoyed the “Golden Moments” dinner underneath a Saturn 5 rocket.
President and CEO of Omega Raynald Aeschlimann said he was proud of the Swiss brand’s claim-to-fame as the first watch worn on the moon. “It’s a huge achievement to land on another world,” he said.
Omega ambassador George Clooney drew a great deal of media attention, but the actor was determined to ensure the spotlight remained on his fellow guests. “It’s a great pleasure to be here — and an honor. I have enormous respect for the people who made the Apollo missions such a success.”
Clooney was joined on stage by veteran of four NASA space missions and commander of Apollo 10 Lt. Gen. Thomas Stafford, along with CAPCOM for Apollo 11 and Apollo 16 lunar module pilot Charlie Duke.
Reflecting on the pioneering spirit of the Apollo era, Duke described it as an exciting time but stressed that the success of the 1969 mission was down to hard work and commitment. “We were heading to the moon, but we were also grounded, very realistic, and we never took success for granted, not once.”
Stafford talked about the “alien yet familiar” qualities of the lunar surface, and spoke proudly of his role in Apollo 11’s glory. “It was a great honor for me to play my part in the successful mission that followed.”
Also in attendance were astronaut and artist Nicole Stott, NASA pilot and ISS commander Terry Virts, ESA astronaut and NASA veteran Jean-François Clervoy, and former NASA engineer and the man behind the Moonwatch, Jim Ragan.
To mark the 50th anniversary, Omega released a 42 mm Speedmaster in 18-carat Moonshine gold — a new alloy which is said to offer a paler hue than traditional yellow gold and higher resistance to fading over time. The design is replete with lunar history as well as modern materials and a new movement. The limited-edition watch is limited to 1,014 pieces.


New IHG office, leadership to drive growth in Saudi Arabia

Updated 26 January 2020

New IHG office, leadership to drive growth in Saudi Arabia

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), a global hotel company, has announced plans to open an office in Riyadh in March. The news comes as IHG continues to expand its portfolio in the Kingdom in response to Vision 2030 and the opportunities it presents to the tourism and hospitality sector. The new office will also drive the performance of IHG’s existing estate further in the country and simultaneously support the expanding portfolio, as well as the company’s ambition toward leading Saudization efforts in the industry, a statement said. 

To lead IHG’s business in Saudi Arabia, Bastien Blanc has been appointed as managing director, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, effective March 1. In his current role with IHG, Blanc is responsible for leading the operations across IHG’s portfolio of hotels in the Middle East and Africa, including Saudi Arabia. He will also be responsible for driving both growth and performance for IHG in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. With extensive experience of working in the Kingdom, Blanc has been deeply ingrained into the market. He has also been leading IHG’s Saudization efforts, which he will continue to drive further in his new role. Blanc will continue to report to Pascal Gauvin, managing director, IMEA, IHG. 

IHG has also appointed Saad Al-Ahmari as director of HR and government affairs, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Al-Ahmari joins IHG from Boeing, Saudi Arabia where he served as the head of human resources. As a senior HR practitioner and Saudi national, he is well versed with the transformation taking place in the Kingdom and has expertise in HR strategy, Saudization, change management, employee engagement, government relations, employment law, and talent management. 

HIGHLIGHT

The Riyadh office will be further supported by new roles, across functions including commercial, financial and procurement, learning and development and IT. 

Managing director Gauvin said: “Saudi Arabia is a key market for IHG in the Middle East. With Saudi Vision 2030 and the rapid socioeconomic transformation in the country, we believe the tourism and hospitality industry will continue to be presented with unparalleled opportunities. We are therefore, pleased to solidify our presence in the country with the opening of a new office in the capital city, and appoint a talented team led by Bastien, to drive our growth and performance in the market. We also have strong commitment and an ambition toward leading Saudization in the industry and the new structure will help us engage with and facilitate the development of Saudi talent.”

He added: “This is an important next step in our growth in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is a truly significant move to solidify IHG’s position as one of the leading hospitality companies in the country.”