Saudi Arabia’s first robotic-assisted intervention in Tabuk

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Updated 27 October 2021

Saudi Arabia’s first robotic-assisted intervention in Tabuk

The first robotic-assisted percutaneous coronary intervention was successfully completed on Sept. 18 in King Fahad Specialist Hospital in Tabuk city. The procedure was performed using the revolutionary Corindus CorPath GRX system by Siemens Healthineers.

The robotic-assisted intervention enables precise measurement of anatomy and device positioning with the added benefit of radiation protection for the physician by 95 percent reduction in radiation exposure and 20 percent reduction in radiation dose for cardiovascular intervention patients compared to manual PCI patients.
Dr. Wael Qashqari, the cardiac intervention consultant who performed the interventional case, said: “The system demonstrated great accuracy in passing complex lesions. It also allowed me to work in a radiation-free environment. The system is friendly and easy to use.”

This case was broadcasted live and viewed by various key opinion leaders as well as officials from the Ministry of Health. Michel Atallah, CEO of Siemens Healthineers Saudi Arabia, said: “We have introduced CorPath GRX to the Kingdom as part of our promise of expanding precision medicine and to pioneer breakthroughs in health care, for everyone … everywhere.”

According to Precision GRX Registry, 98.2 percent clinical success has been achieved for all treated lesions, and 99.1 percent clinical success in chronic total occlusion cases. Additionally, a recent study has demonstrated that accurate measurement of coronary anatomy, using CorPath, reduced the use of unnecessary additional stents by 8.3 percent.


Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle opens first CB2 store in KSA

Updated 01 October 2022

Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle opens first CB2 store in KSA

Majid Al-Futtaim, a leading shopping mall, communities, retail, and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, has opened doors to its first CB2 store in Riyadh. Promising a highly curated collection of contemporary furniture and decor, the brand has made its much-anticipated arrival following the recent store launch of its sister brand Crate and Barrel earlier this year. The opening of the store on Sept. 15 marks an important milestone for Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle as it continues to enhance its retail offering in the Kingdom.

Located on the ground floor of Sahara Mall, the large showroom hosts a range of design-forward pieces that will inspire customers to elevate their own spaces at home. From velvet sofas to ivory embossed nightstands, CB2 offers a curated selection of unique furniture and decor that can be mixed and matched to suit any aesthetic. Customers can experience CB2 both in the Riyadh store or online at www.cb2.sa, where they can browse the full collection.

“We are proud to be introducing CB2 to the Kingdom for the very first time, expanding the brand’s physical and digital footprint to cater to customer demand,” said Fahed Ghanim, chief executive of Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle. “Our focus is on customer experience as we collaborate with leading designers and brands to create world-class brand encounters. The omni experience we serve to our customers will help them enjoy CB2 and establish deeper connections with the brand.”

“We are thrilled to be working with our partners, Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle, to expand the CB2 brand in the Middle East,” said Janet Hayes, CEO of Crate and Barrel Holdings. “We believe that the design-forward product collection will resonate with both the international and local
Saudi clientele who are inspired individuals searching for ways to creatively transform their homes.”

“Through our partner Majid Al-Futtaim Lifestyle, we’re excited to see our brand’s second international home in the Middle East,” said Ryan Turf, president, CB2. “Our collections are an evolving exploration of modern design. As with our recent opening in Dubai, we hope the store allows even more people to explore, dream, and bring their heart’s desire home.”

The new store’s assortments include indoor and outdoor furniture, kitchenware, bedding, lighting, rugs, accessories and more. Customers can also explore exciting collaborations with leading designers such as Kara Mann, Ross Cassidy, Jennifer Fisher, Paul McCobb, Lawson-Fenning, Mathew Williamson, and Azeeza — all known for their individual creative aesthetic.

To provide a seamless omnichannel shopping experience, CB2 offers its products online with free delivery across Saudi Arabia, cash on delivery, and other convenient payment methods via Tabby, which allow shoppers to pay later — at zero interest.


Walaa Insurance taps Software AG for digital integration

Updated 01 October 2022

Walaa Insurance taps Software AG for digital integration

Saudi insurance company Walaa Insurance has entered into a strategic technology partnership with Software AG (Frankfurt MDAX: SOW) to transform its technology landscape. Software AG’s hybrid digital integration platform will allow Walaa to launch new products, services and channels in the Saudi market with an enhanced customer focus. The technology partnership will allow Walaa’s existing and new customers to experience innovative products and digital services across multiple channels.

This cooperation announcement was made last week in Riyadh during a handshake ceremony between Abdullah Albar, head of IT, Walaa Insurance, and Philippe La Fornara, president EMEA, Software AG. The event was attended by key executives of both companies.

Albar said: “Technology is a critical enabler in fueling our business priorities. Embracing innovation driven by Software AG technologies will act as Walaa’s central nervous system and will enable us to connect both external and internal APIs through a unified integration platform, powering our ecosystem and elevating our business competitiveness through enhanced delivery capabilities and customer experiences. In line with the leadership’s Vision 2030, this is our contribution toward a growing digital economy for our customers in Saudi Arabia and the broader region.”

Mamdouh Alolayan, country manager, Saudi Arabia, Software AG, said: “The fast-paced technological change in Saudi Arabia is advancing and reshaping all sectors including the insurance sector. We are pleased to support Walaa’s aspirations to upgrade its digital framework with an emphasis on interconnectedness and interoperability of services aimed to grow and revolutionize end-user experiences. Our API management platform and webMethods will open doors for a modern and global platform with newer business opportunities for this insurance giant in the years to come.”

Software AG’s transformative technologies will enable Walaa Insurance to fully harness the power of data in an age of fast-changing customer expectations and the evolution of the insurance sector. The insurance company will drive increased value for the segment continuing to stand out in today’s innovative and new business model dynamics.

Headquartered in Alkhobar, Walaa Insurance serves clients all over the Kingdom through three regional offices and more than 70 retail offices.


voco first Riyadh hotel to offer EV charging station

Updated 28 September 2022

voco first Riyadh hotel to offer EV charging station

voco Riyadh, owned and operated by the InterContinental Hotels Group, has launched an electric vehicle charging station, as part of a series of new initiatives to protect and preserve the environment. In doing so, voco Riyadh has become the first hotel in the Saudi capital to offer an EV charging point.

Green initiatives such as these have made voco hotels around the world popular among tourists and guests looking for environmentally-friendly accommodation options.

M. Allaf, regional general manager of IHG and general manager of voco Riyadh, said sustainability is one of the most important priorities of voco hotels in the Kingdom. “voco aims to be the leading destination for sustainable tourism in the Kingdom, in line with Vision 2030 goals, which have placed sustainability among its most important pillars, as the Kingdom aims to reach zero-carbon neutrality by 2060.”

He added: “voco is a brand built on sustainability, and it continues to take sustainable measures with regard to carbon, energy, waste and water. voco cares about our planet as much as it takes care of its guests. voco’s care for the environment is seen in practices such as serving guests drinks in biodegradable glasses and cups or providing them with the opportunity to refresh and bathe under energy-efficient ventilated shower heads.”

The new EV charging station is also in line with the Saudi government’s direction toward supporting and developing the electric car industry. In May, the Saudi Ministry of Investment announced an investment of more than SR12.3 billion ($3.27 billion) to build a Lucid Motors EV factory in Saudi Arabia, with an annual production capacity of 155,000 cars. The move reflects the Kingdom’s global commitment to promoting a green economy and reducing carbon emissions.

Allaf said that voco has taken several other proactive measures to reduce carbon emissions, save energy and water, and reduce waste. “voco is a unique example of a green hotel model in the Kingdom, and it will continue to promote long-term sustainability and care for the planet in the communities where it operates,” he added.

Among its green initiatives is the use of large packages containing shampoo, soap and other toiletries for guests, which help reduce plastic waste. Moreover, voco uses recycled materials for various purposes and glass water bottles instead of plastic ones. Personal hygiene items such as toothbrushes, razors and others are made with biodegradable materials.

Recycled plastic bottles are used in guest rooms, transforming plastic waste into high-quality bedding. By November 2019, this initiative had recycled more than half a million bottles.

In order to reduce the use of paper and benefit from digital transformation, the IHG Hotels and Resorts application provides visitors with the ability to book more than 5,900 hotels and resorts within the IHG Group around the world, including voco Riyadh and Alkhobar. The hotels also plan to eliminate plastic cards and digitize reservations to reduce plastic consumption.

The IHG Green Engage program features 200 eco-friendly solutions to improve sustainability practices at a global level.


NMC-KIA sponsors Taif racing season activities

Updated 28 September 2022

NMC-KIA sponsors Taif racing season activities

National Marketing Company, the official dealer of Kia cars in the western region of Saudi Arabia, is a strategic sponsor of the Taif Equestrian Club, which is currently hosting the 39th Taif racing season at King Khalid bin Abdulaziz Square in Hawiyah, located 15 km from Taif.

With a large number of spectators in attendance, the season, running from June 16 to Oct. 8., comprises a total of 384 races, and several valuable new contests have been added to the calendar. One of the contests, titled “Race Kia,” saw “Roga 3” winning first prize, outperforming all the other competitors.

NMC presented a KIA K5 car to the winner. Hassan Al-Shamrani, chief executive of NMC, handed over the car in the presence of Adviser to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Khalid Al-Faisal and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Supreme Equestrian Authority Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al-Faisal.

The officials ensured that all the arrangements for the competitions were in place, in line with the directives of the leadership and the goals of Vision 2030 to advance all sports activities, including horseback riding.

A display stand showcased the latest Kia cars at the event, allowing attendees to discover the newest offerings and even submit a purchase order after conducting a test drive.

By participating in the event, NMC-Kia aimed to strengthen its presence in the city of Taif, which is one of the most important cities in the Kingdom and a destination for those looking for pleasant weather, fresh air and scenic views.

Al-Shamrani said that supporting sports activities of all kinds is part of the company’s main goals, “where we seek to support and empower those who aspire to grow and develop in line with the Kia slogan ‘The Inspiring Movement.’”

“We are also keen to provide integrated services to Kia customers and provide points of sale in all governorates and cities of the western region in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” he added.

Al-Shamrani said that earlier this year, NMC-Kia opened an integrated “3S” (showroom, service and spare parts) branch in Taif.


Riyadh exhibition to explore digital health transformation

Updated 27 September 2022

Riyadh exhibition to explore digital health transformation

The focus on digital health and transformation will be front and center at Global Health Exhibition 2022, as the Kingdom’s leading healthcare exhibition returns for a live in-person edition from Oct. 9 to 11 at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center. Being held under the patronage of the Saudi Ministry of Health and under the theme of “A new era of healthcare in KSA,” attendees from across the Kingdom and abroad are expected to visit the three-day event that will showcase the latest in healthcare tech as well as host high-level accredited conferences.

More than 250 local and international exhibitors from over 30 countries will showcase the latest healthcare innovations and solutions, right from state-of-the-art medical imaging equipment to disposables. The show will also feature the “Medical Lab Zone,” highlighting the most up-to-date medical laboratory technologies and advancements in genomic sequencing, AI, and machine learning.

In addition, the Leaders Forum, part of the Global Health Exhibition, will feature inspiring sessions with speakers putting the spotlight on factors driving the digitization of healthcare in the Kingdom.

Visitors will also be able to interact with Sophia, the first intelligent humanoid robot, who was granted citizenship of Saudi Arabia in 2016. “This beautiful country is like a second home to me. AI is very important for the future of healthcare. I believe great things will come from humans and robots working together in the spirit of fellowship. It’s all about making human lives better. I’m here to help,” she said.

Furthermore, the startup competition, Innov8 Talks, will take place on Day 3 of the event and will offer aspiring startups the opportunity to perform live product demonstrations of their game-changing innovations. Over three rounds, entrepreneurs will pitch how their solutions will address current gaps and redefine healthcare to an audience of investors.

The event is being hosted by Informa Markets, organizers of well-known healthcare exhibitions such as Arab Health in the UAE and Florida International Medical Expo in the US.

Mohamed Sabri, strategic partnerships director at Informa Markets, said: “We are excited to be back in person and meet with Saudi Arabia’s healthcare community. Established as a must-attend event in the Kingdom, Global Health attracts regional and international healthcare professionals who value the power of learning, face-to-face networking and business. We look forward to bringing together hospitals, governments and innovators looking to deliver the next generation of healthcare services under one roof.”

As part of Informa’s commitment to providing the highest hygiene and safety levels, the event will take place under the protocols introduced via the company’s Informa AllSecure health and safety mandate. The enhanced measures include 35 guidelines covering all aspects of cleaning and hygiene, social distancing measures, and the use of PPE, screening, and a track and trace in conjunction with local authorities.