Virtual MENAISC 2020 spotlights cyber resilience

A screen grab shows the virtual venue of the 8th edition of Middle East and North Africa Information Security Conference, which was inaugurated on Monday and focuses on cyber resilience.
Short Url
Updated 06 October 2020

Virtual MENAISC 2020 spotlights cyber resilience

The 8th edition of Middle East and North Africa Information Security Conference (MENAISC 2020) was virtually inaugurated on Monday, under the theme “Evolving from Cyber Resistance to Resilience, in the Age of Smart Cities, Digital Economy and IoT.” The two-day conference, from Oct. 5-6, includes the participation of seven countries, namely: Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt and Jordan.
The theme of the conference is in line with the digital transformation goals of governments in the region; the objective of achieving a more digitized government makes their exposure to cyberthreats more likely than ever before.
Samir Omar, CEO of VirtuPort and a cybersecurity expert, highlighted the participation of a large number of regional and international experts in cybersecurity, in addition to the diversity of sectors joining the first virtual conference of its kind in the region. These sectors include: Defense, finance and banking, insurance, information technology, energy, health, retail, education, and building and construction.
Omar said: “All topics presented by the experts are aimed at enhancing the cyber resilience of various governmental and private sectors as well as the nongovernmental sector to effectively respond and recover from a business disruption due to cyberattacks. Being resilient is critical for rapid recovery from attacks. Furthermore, a proactive analysis of environmental vulnerabilities contributes to the reduction of physical and moral damage.”
MENAISC 2020 is being held under the national sponsorship of the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP). Professor Muhammad Ali Al-Ghamdi, cybersecurity track manager, SAFCSP, spoke on the topic of penetration testing for the next generation, while Basma Ahmedoush participated in a panel discussion titled “Women in Cyber — Nationalizing our Most Precious Resources,” focusing on the pioneering role of Saudi women in the field of cybersecurity.

HIGHLIGHT

The two-day conference, from Oct. 5-6, includes the participation of seven countries, namely: Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt and Jordan.

During a session titled “Building the Cyber Resilient Smart City,” Trend Micro, a diamond sponsor of MENAISC 2020, presented its vision for the use of 5G networks in smart cities that will change the concept of communications. The company’s presentation focused on developing a proactive approach through exposure to security risks related to penetration of digital privacy of the public and private information infrastructure.
In its session titled “The New Security Playbook: Taming the Unmanaged and IoT Device Tsunami,” CyberKnight, the event’s official distribution partner, predicted that by 2021, up to 90 percent of devices used by businesses in all industries will be unmanaged and unprotected. These new smart devices, which go beyond traditional laptops, desktops and mobile phones, run operations, manage building automation systems, drive manufacturing lines, and track and deliver health care to patients, and are being deployed at an accelerated rate.
Citrix, a platinum sponsor, in a session titled “Zero-Trust, the Cornerstone of Future Cyber Resilience,” stated that data breaches are a hot topic at the corporate level, which puts cybersecurity teams at the forefront of countering these attacks through planned cyber resilience.
VMware Carbon Black, a platinum sponsor, described data theft and Trojan horse malware as constant and looming cyberthreats, stating that the methods of destructive attacks have evolved and their impact on companies has intensified. The company said that cyberattacks of today did more harm than before as they are accompanied by direct extortion and the sale of entry data.
 


Bahri reinforces industry leadership with award wins

Updated 27 November 2021

Bahri reinforces industry leadership with award wins

Bahri, a global provider of logistics and transportation services, bagged three prestigious awards at The Maritime Standard Awards 2021 and one award at the All India Maritime And Logistics Awards 2021. The award successes further strengthen the Saudi shipping company’s reputation for building market-leading capabilities and delivering excellence.

Bahri was awarded “Ship Manager of the Year,” “Tanker Operator of the Year,” and “Shipping Company of the Year” at TMS 2021, held on Nov. 22 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE, and “Shipping Line of the Year — Multipurpose Vessel Operator” at MALA 2021, held on Nov. 18 in Mumbai.

Abdulaziz Sabri, president of Bahri Ship Management, accepted the TMS awards on behalf of Bahri, in the presence of nearly 500 senior executives from shipping, ports, shipbuilding, and other maritime sectors, along with decision-makers and senior officials from governmental agencies from across the region.

Bahri CEO Eng Abdullah Aldubaikhi

Commenting on the awards, Abdullah Aldubaikhi, CEO of Bahri, said: “We are delighted to be honored with four coveted awards and thank The Maritime Standard Awards and MALA Awards for recognizing our efforts to transform Bahri into the undisputed leader that sets new benchmarks in the world of logistics and transportation. These accolades reflect the success of our wide-ranging initiatives to create excellence in our operations and services, in pursuit of the fullest satisfaction of our customers, superior value for our partners and shareholders, and sustainable impact on the industry and Saudi Arabia’s economy.”

The “Ship Manager of the Year” award was presented to Bahri for demonstrating particularly high levels of effectiveness in managing vessels and, especially, in ensuring outstanding levels of operational performance, quality and safety, and business growth over recent years.

Bahri was awarded the “Tanker Operator of the Year” title in recognition of its most exceptional level of performance over the year, based on the assessment of a range of criteria, including a commitment to customer service and efficiency, investments in vessels and related shipping services, diversification into new trades, expansion of service networks, financial performance, and social and environmental commitment.

Meanwhile, the “Shipping Company of the Year” award recognized Bahri for indicating a significant process of change and improvement and showing activities that have had a particularly significant effect on the region’s maritime sector.


ALJ Health partners with EQRx to develop affordable cancer treatments for 1.5 billion people

Updated 22 November 2021

ALJ Health partners with EQRx to develop affordable cancer treatments for 1.5 billion people

Abdul Latif Jameel Health, part of international diversified family business Abdul Latif Jameel, and EQRx, a pharmaceutical company committed to developing and delivering new medicines to patients at significantly lower prices, have entered into a strategic collaboration for the commercialization of two affordable novel lung cancer therapeutics for millions of people across the Middle East and Africa.

The two oncology programs, Aumolertinib, an epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor, and Sugemalimab, an anti-PD-L1 antibody, have shown promising Phase 3 data for the treatment of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. 
These therapies may offer treatment at a fraction of the cost of existing and traditional approaches.

This new strategic collaboration will see Abdul Latif Jameel Health commercialize the drugs to selected markets throughout the Middle East region, as well as all of Africa, providing access to affordable treatments for thousands of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

“This agreement comes as we forge ahead in our mission to source, collaborate with and fund innovators within the medical world that are reexamining how to improve the current healthcare landscape by disrupting existing methods and working to accelerate the wider inclusivity of healthcare throughout the world,” said Akram Bouchenaki, chief executive, Abdul Latif Jameel Health. 

“It’s our joint mission with EQRx to change that and, a mission that is aligned with the values of the Jameel Family.”
“This strategic collaboration aims to expand the commercial reach of our lead oncology programs throughout the Middle East and Africa and provide millions of people with access to affordable new cancer treatments,” said Melanie Nallicheri, chief executive officer of EQRx. 

“We are excited to partner with Abdul Latif Jameel Health who brings extensive regulatory and commercial expertise in these vast regions as we continue to work to create sustainable access to innovative medicines globally.” 

Abdul Latif Jameel Health also confirmed that it participated in previous funding rounds for EQRx through the dedicated JIMCO Life Sciences Fund, part of JIMCO, the Jameel Family’s global investment arm. 


LuLu Hypermarket launches ‘Super Friday’ shopping bonanza 

Updated 22 November 2021

LuLu Hypermarket launches ‘Super Friday’ shopping bonanza 

Regional retailer LuLu Hypermarket launched on Tuesday its “biggest sale of the year” — the “Super Friday” promotion, offering massive discounts on electronics, mobile phones, fashion items and other products from the grocery and fresh food categories. The sale coincides with the “Black Friday” shopping season across the globe.

The discounts at all Lulu Hypermarkets across the MENA region — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar as well as Egypt and also in the Far East in Indonesia and Malaysia — give shoppers great choices at excellent prices, especially ahead of the festive gifting season. 

FASTFACT

The ‘Super Friday’ sale is running at all Lulu Hypermarkets across the MENA region — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar as well as Egypt and also in the Far East in Indonesia and Malaysia. 

Shehim Mohammed, director LuLu Saudi Hypermarkets, said: “LuLu Super Friday sale is much awaited because of the scale of discounts, along with the variety and range of products we strive to arrange for customers. Once again, we are excited to launch our biggest promotion yet for the exciting shopping season of the year. Our shoppers can expect big discounts across all our major categories, such as tech, fashion, home appliances, and even grocery products. Customers can pick up some great deals for everyday lifestyle choices as well as glamorous and stylish festive gifts.” 

Offers from the campaign, which runs until Nov. 30, are available across all LuLu stores and on its online shopping portal www.luluhypermarket.com/en-sa/

LuLu is a leading hypermarket and supermarket chain and the only Middle East retail group to be featured in Deloitte’s annual “Global Powers of Retailing 2021” survey, for the MENA and Asian regions. Founded in the early 90s, it is present across the GCC, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Suriname and Egypt. Serving more than 1,600,000 shoppers every day, it is the fastest growing retail chain across 10 countries and currently operates more than 219 stores with a multinational staff force of more than 57,000. From 2020, LuLu’s carefully structured expansion plan includes hypermarkets, express store-format smaller outlets and a vibrant online shopping platform.


Saudi Re named ‘Reinsurance Company of the Year’

Updated 20 November 2021

Saudi Re named ‘Reinsurance Company of the Year’

Saudi Reinsurance Company (Saudi Re) bagged the “Reinsurance Company of Year” award at the 8th Middle East Insurance Industry Awards 2021 held virtually in Dubai.

“Saudi Re is delighted to win the ‘Reinsurance Company of Year’ award, which recognizes the evolution of Saudi Re and reflects our client-centric approach, commitment to market development and efforts to promote sustainable practices,” said Fahad Al-Hesni, managing director and chief executive of Saudi Re.

The judging panel noted that despite the unprecedented market challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Saudi Re succeeded in sustaining its growth momentum in 2020.

The gross written premium grew 18 percent to SR935 million ($249.2 million), driven by 25 percent growth in the international markets and 8 percent in the domestic market. In addition, the efforts exerted during 2020 resulted in a growth rate of 58 percent in Q1 2021.

BACKGROUND

In 2020, Saudi Re’s international business grew to represent 63 percent of the overall portfolio, with an increasing presence in more than 40 countries across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Lloyd’s market.

Furthermore, in line with its strategy to develop international business, Saudi Re successfully built strong relationships with clients and brokers outside its home market, projecting an image of a reliable Middle Eastern reinsurer.

In 2020, Saudi Re’s international business grew to represent 63 percent of the overall portfolio, with an increasing presence in more than 40 countries across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Lloyd’s market.

Saudi Re is the first Middle Eastern reinsurer to publish a sustainability report, developed in line with national and international strategic visions and objectives such as the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

The Middle East Insurance Awards are assessed by a distinguished judging panel comprising 25 industry leaders representing regulatory bodies, rating agencies, insurance federations and prominent industry leaders. The results were also independently audited by a Big Four audit firm.

The award is granted to companies demonstrating leadership in the MENA’s general reinsurance industry through innovation in product offerings, thought leadership, enhancing stability and security of the industry while boosting the image of the profession.


Nathan’s Famous brings halal hot dogs to Saudi Arabia

Updated 20 November 2021

Nathan’s Famous brings halal hot dogs to Saudi Arabia

Nathan’s Famous, Inc., an American fast food restaurant chain operating New York favorites for more than 100 years, has announced a new expansion plan into Saudi Arabia. Nathan’s Famous will serve their world-famous hot dogs and fries in seven kiosks across the Kingdom, with plans to open three more in the coming weeks.

“Nathan’s Famous is known all over the world, which is why we’ve had success in recent years growing across the globe,” states James Walker, senior vice president, restaurants. “We have seen success with our offerings in the Middle East, and we are looking forward to introducing our food to new consumers in Saudi Arabia.”

James Walker, senior vice president

Nathan’s Famous, which is currently available in 20 countries globally, will be available at key locations such as Riyadh Winter Wonderland, Riyadh City Boulevard and Combat Field Zone. The kiosks will offer Nathan’s Famous halal hot dogs, crinkle-cut fries and an assortment of the classic hot dog toppings, including chili and cheese. Select kiosks will also offer Nathan’s Famous halal New York Cheesesteak by Pat LaFrieda.

In 1916, Nathan Handwerker started his nickel hot dog stand on Coney Island, with a $300 loan and his wife’s secret recipe. At the time, he had no idea how famous those hot dogs would be. In 1916, to settle an argument over who was the most patriotic, legend has it that four immigrants held a hot dog eating contest at the Nathan’s Famous Coney Island stand.

HIGHLIGHT

Kiosks in Saudi Arabia will offer Nathan’s Famous halal hot dogs, crinkle-cut fries and an assortment of the classic hot dog toppings, including chili and cheese. Select kiosks will also offer Nathan’s Famous halal New York Cheesesteak by Pat LaFrieda.

In 1939, President Roosevelt served Nathan’s hot dogs to the King and Queen of England.

Fast forward to 2020, 104 years later, and the start of a new decade and Nathan’s Famous embarked on a new path. The restaurant launched a revamped menu with a new line of burgers, chicken, onion rings, shakes and more.