1,000 Emirati students enroll in career readiness program

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Updated 01 September 2021

1,000 Emirati students enroll in career readiness program

Zayed University and the Abdulla Al-Ghurair Foundation for Education have successfully marked the first year of their partnership, following a memorandum of understanding between the two entities to support Emirati youth along their education and early employment journeys.
Within a year, the partnership produced exceptional results with the flagship initiative. Zayed University student engagement in the Al-Ghurair Young Thinkers Program (YTP), an online education and career readiness platform provided by AGFE, recorded a strong response, registering more than 1,000 Emirati students.
The three-year agreement to formalize the partnership between the two entities and integrate YTP — which offers career exploration tools, professional and soft skills courses, and education and career information — targets 6,000 student enrollments by 2023.
Noura bint Mohammed Al-Kaabi, minister of culture and youth, president of Zayed University, said: “The impressive results, achieved in the very first year of our partnership with AGFE highlight the value-add that the private sector can bring to academia, especially in mentoring young Emirati talent for future careers. With academic programs and extracurricular activities aligned to enhance student skills and prepare them for future jobs, the partnership adds further value in our goal to empower the next generation of talented Emirati professionals.”
Abdul Aziz Al-Ghurair, chairman of the board of trustees of AGFE, said: “We entered into our partnership with Zayed University at a critical time, when the higher education sector and job opportunities for young Emiratis were affected by the pandemic. It was important to build strategic collaborations to create ecosystems of success for youth and their communities. Our goal was to create multiple programs to upskill youth and support faculty, taking into consideration our new reality. We are delighted with the success of the program in the very first year, and we are on an accelerated course to achieving our ambitious targets. We believe that empowering our youth is vital when it comes to realizing the development goals set by our leadership.”


Cofe App launches campaign to support coffee industry

Updated 19 October 2021

Cofe App launches campaign to support coffee industry

The online coffee-centric marketplace Cofe App has launched a Discovery Points campaign to encourage new and existing users to discover global and artisanal coffee brands.

The innovative application offers multiple premium services and features on one platform with access to a wide range of international coffee franchises and local artisanal speciality coffee brands. The campaign has been launched across three key markets — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE — and offers SR300 ($80) worth of Discovery Points for coffee purchases from up to 30 different brands on the platform.

Ali Al-Ebrahim, founder and CEO of Cofe App, said: “We want to encourage our customers to try new brands, discover their favorite coffee from the different vendors on our platform and simultaneously support cafes and coffee houses get back on their feet. The COVID-19 pandemic took a huge toll on businesses all over the world. Our favorite coffee shops are essential to the vibrancy of a community and city, and Cofe App is solely dedicated to coffee and committed to supporting local coffee businesses.”

The app currently boasts a network of more than 700 coffee brands across over 4,000 branches, offering users access to international brands like Costa Coffee, Caribou, Dunkin’ and Gloria Jeans, and a host of artisanal coffee shops and roasters including Java Time, Copper Cup and Bicicletta.

Cofe provides multiple ordering solutions to coffee lovers with options including pickup, delivery, delivery to the car and express delivery. The campaign has already resulted in 1 million app downloads and caused the app to rank No. 1 on the App Store in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE.

One of the most popular drinks worldwide, more than 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day. The coffee industry in MENA is expected to reach $44 billion this year, with coffee consumption experiencing a massive shift and sales growing at twice the global average.

The Cofe App Discovery Points campaign instantly allows new consumers the opportunity to enjoy more of their favorite beverages and opens them up to the diverse world of coffee.

Users can avail SR10 worth of points from their Discovery Wallet for every order, across the wide variety of brands the app offers. The minimum order must be SR15 and using the points will effectively give the user a SR10 discount on every coffee order. The points can be used across 30 different coffee shops.


Traffic safety committee reviews Najm’s achievements

Updated 19 October 2021

Traffic safety committee reviews Najm’s achievements

High-level officials of the Ministerial Committee of Traffic Safety recently carried out an inspection tour of Najm Company for Insurance Services office premises. The purpose was to survey the company’s latest achievements and its operational readiness.

During the tour, Najm’s CEO Dr. Mohammad Hamad Al-Suliman met with Dr. Mohammad Abdullah Al-Qassim, president of the Ministerial Committee of Traffic Safety; Abdullah Ahmad Al-Tuwaijri, director general of the insurance supervision department at Saudi Central Bank and board member of the executive committee; as well as Ajdal Mohammad Al-Sulami, the committee’s secretary general, accompanied by the general secretariat team.

The committee was updated on Najm’s contributions toward enhancing traffic safety in line with the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. Dr. Al-Suliman underscored Najm’s continued efforts in collaboration with pertinent authorities to increase road safety across the Kingdom, pointing out the numerous benefits achieved as a result of that in terms of reducing traffic accident rates Kingdom-wide over the past years and raising public awareness about traffic safety and vehicle insurance.

In a meeting held during the visit, Dr. Al-Suliman presented the latest critical data and statistics collected by the company, revealing how accidents are adequately handled. He further emphasized Najm’s accomplishments in promoting traffic safety and its operating procedures, in addition to the challenges it encounters.

After touring the company’s premises, the members of the committee were briefed on how Najm has developed its services and enhanced its capabilities in handling vehicle accidents, through automation and a seamless service delivery offered to customers and the insured via advanced digital applications.

They were similarly filled in on how Najm’s strategy has contributed to a better customer experience by streamlining the various insurance operations and procedures, achieving record average time in inspecting accidents, and expertly mitigating the physical and mental aftereffects of traffic accidents without delay.

The delegation also visited some of the company’s departments that handle its data such as the Data Center, the Guidance and Control Center, and the Contact Center, where the visitors were briefed on the role and functions of each department.


Virgin Megastore KSA to accelerate digital transformation with IBM & SAP

Updated 19 October 2021

Virgin Megastore KSA to accelerate digital transformation with IBM & SAP

IBM, in collaboration with its business partner in Saudi Arabia Brmaja Commercial Company, has announced that Virgin Megastore KSA, a major entertainment retailer in the Kingdom, is migrating its SAP ERP application workloads to IBM Cloud as part of its hybrid cloud strategy. The migration from on-premises to a cloud environment is designed to help the retailer create operational efficiencies and provide a platform for new digital services to its clients.

Habits formed during the COVID-19 pandemic have raised consumers’ expectations for digital engagement, especially in service industries like retail. This is encouraging retailers to transform their operations to deliver an efficient, secured, and seamless experience across front and back-end business processes. Now retailers are modernizing operations, including mission-critical workloads such as finance and inventory reporting, as well as customer-facing processes to enhance experiences while protecting their data.

Fahad Alanazi

By migrating its ERP workloads to IBM Cloud, Virgin Megastore KSA will aim to boost productivity across business functions to help meet the evolving needs of its growing network of shoppers. With a secured and open hybrid cloud approach from IBM, the retailer aims to significantly reduce administration and reporting time, allowing its sales teams to stay focused on driving client experiences.

“Modernizing our infrastructure will allow us to enhance our customer-facing and back-end performance, allowing our employees to focus on delivering world-class experiences for shoppers,” said Russel Bacha, head of technology and loyalty, Virgin Megastore KSA. “Through working with IBM to accelerate our journey to the cloud in a way that helps ensure we’re able to protect client data, we can uncover new ways to reduce time-to-market and streamline operations — that will enhance the digital and real-life experiences of our customers.”

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the challenges facing many retailers in the region are extensive. By adopting a secured and open hybrid cloud strategy with IBM, Virgin Megastore KSA can modernize applications and access an innovative infrastructure, designed to be agile and easily adaptable to the expanding needs of the company, while offering a more personalized and secured experience for shoppers,” said Fahad Alanazi, general manager, IBM Saudi Arabia.

“By working with Virgin Megastore KSA to accelerate their digital transformation, we are able to support their business vision and fuel their growth.”


Ishraq Hospitality opens Holiday Inn Dubai Al-Maktoum Airport

Updated 06 October 2021

Ishraq Hospitality opens Holiday Inn Dubai Al-Maktoum Airport

Ishraq Hospitality, a division of the Mohammad and Obaid Al-Mulla Group, announced the launch of its newest upscale hotel in the new part of Dubai located next to the Expo Dubai 2020 site.

Holiday Inn Dubai Al-Maktoum Airport comes in line with the company’s expansion plans in the region and is adjacent to another successful property owned by the company — Staybridge Suites Dubai Al-Maktoum Airport — which comprises a total of 606 rooms.

The hotel also enjoys a strategic location as it is in proximity to Expo Dubai 2020, next to Al-Maktoum International Airport and top attractions such as Dubai Park and Resorts.

Touted to become a leading business destination, Holiday Inn Dubai Al-Maktoum Airport offers a 300-pax pillarless ballroom, boardroom with daylight, meeting rooms, business center and a co-working environment.

It also caters to the needs of families and leisure guests as it provides a perfect destination to escape the city hustle for a staycation with more than 600 rooms and apartments. Kids under 12 years can eat and stay for free. The hotel has a large 24/7 gym, spa, hair salon, yoga studio, pool lounge, and the South Central lounge, kitchen and terrace.

Chady Kanaan, general manager of Holiday Inn Dubai Al-Maktoum Airport and Staybridge Suites Dubai Al-Maktoum Airport, added: “Now that we have our two hotels open and running, we are looking forward to receiving our esteemed guests in our new properties right in the heart of this new business hub. And with the offerings we have, we are confident that we will be the hotels of choice for family and business travelers alike.”

Alexander Suski, acting CEO of Ishraq Hospitality, said: “Given our success and legacy in Dubai and the rest of the UAE and GCC, it was only natural for us to expand our presence in the region and especially in the Dubai South area as it comes in line with the futuristic visions of Dubai for Expo Dubai 2020 as well as Al-Maktoum airport for the longer term.”

When it comes to dining and entertainment, the hotel offers international cuisine selection, and a signature lounge and terrace concept that welcomes all neighbors at the South Central.


V-Line Group’s digitization drive boosts localization

Updated 03 October 2021

V-Line Group’s digitization drive boosts localization

RIYADH: The e-commerce platform of V-Line Group, a global leader in supply chain solutions, has come a long way in boosting localization while working closely with Saudi Arabia within the framework of Saudi Vision 2030. “This achievement required an incredible amount of effort, time and sustained innovation for us to reach a point where we are today,” said Detlef Daues, founder and chairman of V-Line Group, speaking on the occasion of the German National Day.
“Saudi Arabia made us who we are today and granted us opportunities to grow. We are proud that we can give back something to the country, the companies, and the people, with our knowledge and global network, thus strongly supporting Vision 2030,” he added.
Daues recalled the company’s genesis, saying that V-Line, a provider of maintenance, repair and operations solutions and services, started its business in 1979, supplying spare parts to desalination plants in the Kingdom.
“Today, for more than 40 years, V-Line is still strongly connected to Saudi Arabia, not only having its main clients like SABIC, SWCC, SEC, Maaden, PetroRabigh, and Tasnee here, but also an entity headquartered in Jubail, with a full trading license to be available on-site and transfer more supply chain knowledge to Saudi Arabia,” said the chairman. “V-Line Middle East fully commits and aligns itself with the goals of Vision 2030,” he added.
Daues further said: “We support clients to localize their business by identifying the local value proposition and benefit from job creation and expertise transfer to quality improvement. We employ Saudi nationals, among them many Saudi women, and train them.”
“Every employee is given a chance to participate in the employee exchange program between the global V-Line entities to provide opportunities for Saudis to acquire knowledge and skills,” said Hasnain Jamil, chief executive officer of V-Line Middle East. “These are some of the examples of how we can implement Vision 2030 in our daily business life,” he added.
Another milestone that V-Line achieved in local content creation was the commitment as an international strategic partner in SABIC’s NUSANED program. In this context, V-Line acts as an ambassador or facilitator to attract foreign manufacturers to invest in the Saudi market, promotes local manufacturing, identifies local demand and the possibility for scaling manufacturing in the Kingdom besides supporting small and medium-sized Saudi companies to increase their export.
Now, V-Line is intensifying its efforts for localization by intertwining them with the opportunities of digitization. “V-Marketplace,” an e-commerce platform that V-Line launched with its technology partner Codasol Technologies, offers an extensive variety of spare parts for different industry sectors.
“What makes the platform special is that it not only digitizes spare parts procurement and sourcing, it also opens up new channels for local exports,” said Jamil.
“With the platform, we can connect Saudi companies and their product catalogs with global partners,” he said, adding that V-Line is currently looking to extend their network with partners in the Kingdom with an aim to offer more and more localized content, both to their established clients as well as through the platform. He further said: “We are always happy to exchange with potential partners to create synergies, with one goal, to help our customers fulfill their mission.”
V-Line Europe GmbH, a global provider of industrial supply chain services, provides innovative and ingenious solutions with the mission to help customers fulfill their goals using data science and value chains. V-Line is harnessing the potential of digital technology to efficiently manage sourcing and supply. Today, V-Line Europe, headquartered near Hannover in Germany, offers end-to-end supply chain solutions in 20 different countries, primarily in the Middle East, through its Saudi Arabia subsidiary, and also via its customer service centers in other GCC countries, the US, Mexico and Brazil.
V-Line sourcing and procurement centers in Germany, the US, China, Japan and Korea offer industrial plants in all its markets an integrated set of services tailored to lowering their total cost of ownership for their foreign maintenance, repair, and operations spare parts while meeting the highest global standards of supply performance. Its tailor-made portfolio of procurement services facilitates the spare parts flow from order until delivery.