Saudi delegation visits German trade fair Domotex

Participants of the Saudi VIP delegation with Maike Gessing, partner relations at Deutsche Messe AG, at the Domotex international trade fair in Hannover, Germany. The group had the chance to get first-hand information and exchange experience.
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Updated 19 January 2020

Saudi delegation visits German trade fair Domotex

From Jan. 10 to 13, the latest edition of Domotex — an international trade fair for carpets and floor coverings — stood out as the industry’s biggest, most pivotal hub for trends and innovations in flooring trends. A total of 35,000 attendees — 70 percent of them from abroad — were on hand for the four-day event in Hannover, Germany to explore the latest trends, products, and solutions presented by more than 1,400 exhibitors from 60 countries.

The show’s keynote theme of “Atmysphere” highlighted the aspects of flooring products that contribute to a sense of well-being and promote naturalness and sustainability — topics thoroughly reflected by the products on display.

“Domotex is and remains our most international trade show. We are delighted that the event attracts attendees from around the globe, who come for 2.3 days on average — 60 percent from Europe, 25 percent from Asia and 10 percent from the Americas, with the remainder from Africa and Australia,” said Dr. Andreas Gruchow, the Deutsche Messe managing board member in charge of Domotex.

“We have been truly impressed with the positive reception and special spirit at this year’s Domotex. The attendance figures reflect an ongoing trend toward increased market concentration. The further rise in the percentage of high-caliber professionals is an important factor in business growth for 2020. 

"Around 90 percent of the show’s visitors have decision-making authority at their companies, with half of them at top management level,” said Sonia Wedell-Castellano, global director for Domotex. “I am also delighted with how enthusiastically our exhibitors embraced the keynote theme of ‘Atmysphere,’ as well as with the success of the revamped ‘Treffpunkt Handwerk’ (meeting point craft) skilled trades hub and the volume of exhibitors who have indicated they will be back in 2021,” she added.

The German-Saudi Arabian Liaison Office for Economic Affairs (GESALO), as the official representative of the Deutsche Messe AG in the region, organized in cooperation with the Domotex team a VIP delegation to the trade fair.

The delegation was welcomed by Maike Gessing, partner relations at Deutsche Messe AG, and Wedell-Castellano. The group had the chance to get firsthand information and exchange experience. 

In total, more than 200 visitors from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait attended this year’s trade fair. 

The next Domotex will be staged from Jan. 15 to 18, 2021 at its traditional venue in Hannover.


New Huawei MatePad Pro offers ‘smart office’ experience

Updated 10 July 2021

New Huawei MatePad Pro offers ‘smart office’ experience

The new 12.6-inch Huawei MatePad Pro boasts a wide range of features that has made it one of the most sought-after 2021 tablets in the Kingdom.

The highlight of the new MatePad Pro is its impeccable “smart office” capabilities, offering you multiple ways to interact with your tablet and other smart devices such as your laptop or monitor. This new Tablet-PC Multi-Screen Collaboration opens the doors for seamless cross-device interactions ranging from editing laptop files on your tablet or even sharing files such as text, images, audio and video between both devices with a simple drag and drop! 

The tablet leverages the distributed capabilities of the “Super Device” to offer users a “smart office” experience with support for Multi-Screen Collaboration capabilities in the Mirror Mode, Extend Mode and Collaborate Mode. So what is this new tablet-PC Multi-Screen Collaboration? In Mirror Mode, your laptop’s screen is mirrored to your tablet display, allowing you to directly work on files and annotate documents, or draw/sketch on your laptop with the stylus of the Huawei MatePad Pro just like professional designers would. Extend Mode transforms your MatePad Pro into a second screen, providing extra screen space to display more content — great for online shopping or when you are browsing the internet and there are so many items to explore!

Additionally, the innovative Collaborate Mode enables cross-platform interactions, allowing you to transfer content such as text, images and documents between connected devices with a simple drag and drop. Tearing down the boundaries that separate tablets, smartphones and laptops, Multi-screen Collaboration enriches and elevates what you could possibly do with the new MatePad Pro and other connected devices, empowering you to be more productive and creative than before.

The new Huawei MatePad Pro features a 12.6-inch OLED FullView Display and has a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio, the highest among all tablets currently available in the market. The display comes with an incredible high color accuracy, delivering a crisp, color-accurate picture that is on par with professional displays. The new Huawei MatePad Pro also has an ultra-high contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, and supports DCI-P3 color gamut. The display is certainly crisp, vibrant and all-round impressive. 

Huawei’s newest tablet is a beast! It is equipped with the flagship Kirin 9000E chipset. The advanced and powerful 5nm Kirin 9000E SoC is capable of working seamlessly with smartphones, standalone smart monitors and laptops in addition to multi-tasking, processing massive amounts of data, and powering real-time AI computing with ease. 

Inspired by the clear case back design of luxury watches, the new transparent pen tip showcases the inner workings of the stylus, and comes with a frosted texture for a better drawing experience. Additionally, there is also the Huawei Smart Magnetic Keyboard, which is a full-sized keyboard that features a key travel of 1.3 mm to deliver satisfying typing experiences. Supporting Bluetooth and wireless charging, the magnetically paired keyboard synergizes with the MatePad Pro to boost the productivity of any user.

The MatePad Pro, comes with eight speakers with four tweeters and four woofers, which have been tuned and certified by Harman Kardon. Thanks to its combination of tweeters and woofers, the MatePad Pro brings exceptional sounds with delicate treble and powerful bass for all action-packed movies or high amplitude music.


Sair app: Making long-distance road travel safer, easier


Updated 04 July 2021

Sair app: Making long-distance road travel safer, easier


RIYADH: Sair is an application designed to serve those wishing to travel by road between regions in the Kingdom and the Gulf countries. It is one of the first applications that has obtained a license from the Public Transport Authority in this field.

Sair enables the customer to book a long-distance trip by car, specify the time of departure as well as the city of departure and arrival, choose the car they like to travel in, and the departure time. The “Captain” will arrive at the specified time to pick up the customer.

The company was established in 2017, and the application began operating in mid-2020. Despite the challenges represented by the pandemic, the app has transported more than 8,000 passengers since starting operations. This success indicates the large potential of the land transport sector and the great demand to travel by car.

Sair has made the process of traveling by land easier and safer as all trips are tracked through an advanced map system and a 24-hour control room ensures that the client has an easy, safe and comfortable trip.

The application provides two basic services — a private trip service, which enables the customer to fully book the car; and a seat reservation service, enabling users to reserve a seat and share a car with other travelers. The latter service, though considered economical, has been suspended due to COVID-19 precautions.

For more information, users can check out Sair’s Twitter account (@Sair_App).


Lebanon hikes fuel prices to shore up forex reserves

Updated 29 June 2021

Lebanon hikes fuel prices to shore up forex reserves

  • Fuel importers blamed the crisis on a delay by the central bank in opening credit lines to fund fuel imports due to depletion of foreign currency reserves

BEIRUT: Lebanon hiked fuel prices by more than 30 percent Tuesday as it reduced subsidies that have eaten away at the central bank’s foreign currency reserves amid a painful economic crisis.
Petrol and diesel prices went up sharply, according to a revised price list published by the official National News Agency (NNA), in a week when a steep currency devaluation sparked angry street protests.
The sharp fuel price rises came as Lebanon, a small country of six million people, grapples with an economic crisis branded by the World Bank as one of the world’s worst since the mid-19th century.
The Lebanese pound — which has been pegged to the dollar at 1,507 since 1997 — sold for more than 17,000 to the greenback on the black market this week, a record low.
The price of 20 liters of 95-octane petrol shot up nearly 16,000 Lebanese pounds ($10.6 at the official rate) to reach 61,000 pounds ($40.6), according to NNA.
The price of the same amount of 98-octane petrol climbed by 16,300 pounds ($10.8) to reach nearly 63,000 pounds ($42).
Meanwhile, the price of diesel reached 46,100 pounds ($30.7), up from 33,300 pounds ($22.2).
The new prices came after weeks of long queues at petrol stations that had started rationing gasoline and diesel fuel amid shortages.
Fuel importers blamed the crisis on a delay by the central bank in opening credit lines to fund fuel imports due to depletion of foreign currency reserves.
For their part, Lebanese officials said smuggling to Syria and stockpiling by fuel distributors had contributed to shortages.
The central bank used to fund 85 percent of fuel imports at the official exchange rate of 1,507 Lebanese pounds to the dollar while importers fund the rest of the cost at the street rate.
But the government last week authorized the funding of fuel imports at the weaker exchange rate of 3,900 Lebanese pounds to the dollar instead of the official peg to ease the crisis.
The central bank Monday said it would open credit lines for fuel imports based on the new exchange rate in compliance with the government’s decision.
Following the central bank announcement, the energy ministry said that fuel tankers docked in Lebanese waters had started offloading fuel shipments that would boost supply in the coming days.
Fadi Abu Shakra of the union of fuel distributors told NNA on Tuesday that six tankers had started offloading shipments and they would soon be distributed to gas stations across the country.

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KPMG study: Pandemic-led governments to focus on people-centric policies

Updated 16 June 2021

KPMG study: Pandemic-led governments to focus on people-centric policies

“Modernizing Government,” KPMG’s latest report on global trends in public administrations, presents insights from a study into evolving modus operandi in governments of eight major economies including Saudi Arabia. Aside from assessing the handling of service delivery, supply chain and back operations, the study also envisions the pandemic as an opportunity, a springboard for advancements in remote working, agile policy making and rapid service design.

The KPMG report examines the new trend of a modernized government, which is customer-centric, agile, digitally enabled and inspired for future change. KPMG believes that reliance on robust business cases, costly and time-consuming planning, and extensive programmer “big builds” are now poised to give way to a new model, which is built on digital technology, cloud platforms, collaboration with other governments, and new partnerships with industry — supported by new and upskilled civil servants — revolutionizing how governments function in the 21st-century public interest.
In response to the pandemic challenges, the Saudi government rapidly established new services and ways of working, including the setting up of new temporary hospitals, digital health solutions, supply chains, mobile apps, call centers and rapid economic stimulus packages. 

FASTFACT

The KPMG report focused on Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Saudi Arabia, the UK and the US.

“Saudi Arabia has seen a much more self-forgiving government that is taking action as needed while allowing itself to perfect its approach late. Acting fast rather than acting ‘spot on’ has become the norm. This is especially tangible in the digitization of the customer experience, where a certain level of error and risk is now allowed to implement new technologies,” said Ismail Alani, head of government and public sector at KPMG in Saudi Arabia.

The study emphasizes that the future is consumer-centric — stakeholders including citizens, businesses and other organizations — transforming public services to meet constituent needs and expectations. It finds that today’s consumers are more informed, connected and demanding than ever. And while they have come to expect the highest standards of personalization, choice, speed, satisfaction and security in every digital interaction, the pandemic has served to heighten consumer expectations surrounding the customer experience.

Governments’ stakeholders want to be treated like valued customers. The report indicates that government leaders will have to evolve the culture within and across their government entities by establishing a new “outward-looking mindset,” providing citizens with the opportunity to co-design government services via their input and feedback.


 


SABB named ‘Saudi Arabia’s Best Bank 2021’ for second year in row

Updated 15 June 2021

SABB named ‘Saudi Arabia’s Best Bank 2021’ for second year in row

The Saudi British Bank (SABB) has won the “Saudi Arabia’s Best Bank 2021” award given out by the Global Finance magazine for the second year in a row. The award is voted on by industry leaders, based on criteria including growth in assets, profitability, geographical scope, strategic relations, new business development and product innovation.

Global Finance is a monthly magazine founded in 1987 and headquartered in New York. Each year Global Finance selects the best financial institutions around the world. These awards have become a recognized and trusted standard of excellence.

Tony Cripps, managing director of SABB, said: “We are proud to have received this award for the second year in a row for the bank’s outstanding performance in providing innovative products and services to our customers and expanding our strategic relationships on the local, regional and global scale. We are also focused on investing in the strengths that we have established over the past years and growing in new areas in line with the opportunities offered by the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. After the success of our historic merger, we are in a stronger position and ready for future opportunities the Saudi market is witnessing in various fields.”

SABB is keen to move forward toward achieving its vision under the slogan “We bring a world of financial opportunities to an ambitious Kingdom.” The slogan emphasizes its keenness to continue supporting the ambitious growth plans of the National Transformation Program and the basic programs to achieve Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

SABB recently completed the historic merger with Alawwal Bank, which marks a positive step that will have a direct impact on the development of the financial sector in the Kingdom. The bank offers a range of services in corporate banking to support growth in all aspects of the economy and financing the largest infrastructure projects, in addition to enabling retail banking customers to access a wider branch network with the development of digital banking. 

SABB also continues to strengthen its position in highlighting ESG (environmental, social and governance) in the Kingdom through its participation as one of the main organizers of pooled financing of SR14 billion ($3.7 billion) for The Red Sea Development Company. 

SABB was established in 1978 as a Saudi joint stock company. It is an associate company of the HSBC Group.