Finastra introduces UAE students to the world of coding

Finastra’s Hour of Code program was delivered to pupils from Dubai International Academy Emirates Hill in December 2019.
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Updated 19 January 2020

Finastra introduces UAE students to the world of coding

For the second year since the inception of its corporate social responsibility program, Finastra in collaboration with Code.org, teamed up with Innoventures Education and two local schools to introduce young minds to the world of coding and computer science. The initiative is part of Finastra’s long-term commitment to delivering computer science skills to children and young people in the rapidly advancing digital Middle East. 

The Hour of Code initiative is designed to demystify code and broaden participation in the field of computer science. During a week-long event, Finastra hosted more than 580 students from Dubai International Academy (DIA) Emirates Hills and Dubai International Academy Al-Barsha. The children had the opportunity to design and execute commands within a gaming environment such as Star Wars or Flappy Bird. Younger children, between seven and nine years of age, used “blocks” of code in a drag-and-drop environment, while older children learned to write code in JavaScript.

According to the World Economic Forum’s report on “Future of Jobs and Skills,” 65 percent of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that do not yet exist. Participation in the program allows Finastra to help further expand the movement globally and to introduce computer science to a wider audience, encouraging more girls and under-represented minorities to get involved.

Serge Tohme, managing director, Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Finastra, said: “Through the Hour of Code initiative, we want to introduce innovation in the old silos of education systems, demonstrate the power of coding and show the younger generations new career avenues. The initiative is a great way to reach young people from all backgrounds, to make them more aware of the potential of computer science, open their eyes to new career opportunities and spark their interest in learning more.”

Candice Combrinck, head of primary, Dubai International Academy Al-Barsha, said: “It’s the second year that our children have taken part in the Hour of Code initiative and it’s been as big a success as the first. The program is helping raise our students’ aspirations and shown them what opportunities there are for coders. We believe it is very important to forge links between schools and the workplace even for young pupils so that they are encouraged to link their educational experiences with the real world.”


Hyatt Regency program supports Saudi Vision 2030

Updated 18 February 2020

Hyatt Regency program supports Saudi Vision 2030

Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya has announced a partnership with the Hotel and Tourism Management Institute Switzerland — Saudi Arabia (HTMi), and the international nonprofit Education for Employment (EFE), in an effort to support the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. With the help of EFE and HTMi, the hotel will sponsor various groups of women throughout the year, each for four months of training at HTMi — Riyadh. The hotel will then recruit them in various departments where they will be able to contribute to the best of their abilities. 

“I’m thrilled to be here today to celebrate with the team of Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya their new initiative to support Hyatt’s global program ‘RiseHY,’ which is designed to introduce youth to hospitality and provide needed employment opportunities,” said Giuseppina Bavasso, Hyatt’s director of human resources — Middle East, Africa and South West Asia. “The RiseHY program builds on our long-standing commitment with our existing or new relationships with community-based organizations across the world to provide vocational training and career readiness programs. We understand the challenges young people face and we believe that hospitality is one of the few industries where entry-level opportunities can lead to long-life career chances.”

RiseHY is a global program designed to pair the hospitality industry’s career opportunities with young people who need them. As part of the initiative, Hyatt hotels around the world commit to hiring 10,000 opportunity youth by 2025.

“The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 aims to boost women’s participation in the local labor market and provide equal and rewarding opportunities for everyone, so that they may use their talents and abilities to contribute to the Kingdom’s economy,” said Walid El-Awadly, Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya’s general manager. “Building an inclusive and diverse workforce has always been an integral part of Hyatt’s DNA and our commitment toward RiseHY is a chance to bring employment opportunities to the members of the communities in which we operate. This commitment brings Hyatt’s purpose — to care for people so they can be their best — to life in the Riyadh community.”

Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya opened its doors to guests in January 2017. The hotel offers 260 guest rooms, including 39 suites, spread across 28 floors.

Hyatt Regency’s strategy is aligned with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which focuses on stimulating tourism and boosting the Kingdom’s economy. The current Hyatt portfolio in the country comprises Park Hyatt Jeddah, Jabal Omar Hyatt Regency Makkah, Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya, Hyatt Place Riyadh Al-Sulaimania, and Hyatt House Jeddah Sari Street.