Saudi Re named ‘Reinsurance Company of the Year’

Fahad Al-Hesni, managing director and chief executive of Saudi Re.
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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.


NMC-KIA celebrates 8 winning models at safety awards

Updated 20 April 2022

NMC-KIA celebrates 8 winning models at safety awards

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recognized eight Kia vehicles on its prestigious 2022 Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards lists. In the TSP category, the winning models included the Kia Telluride, Sorento, Seltos, Carnival built after March 2021 (with specific headlights), Sportage, and Soul (with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights). The TSP+ category featured the Kia K5 and Stinger sedans. Kia tied for the second-most combined TSP and TSP+ vehicles in the industry for 2022.

Commenting on the IIHS awards, Hassan Alshamrani, group chief executive of the National Marketing Company — the distributor of Kia in seven Saudi provinces, said: “As long-standing representatives and custodians of Kia, we are proud to celebrate this achievement and strongly echo Kia’s dedication to upholding passenger safety above all else. At NMC, we work relentlessly to offer our customers the best technology and the safest cars.”

NMC-Kia strives to establish an automotive brand known for harnessing the power of technology and digital transformation, providing a seamless engaging experience with customers in Saudi Arabia. The dealership is constantly developing and refining its services, teams, and processes to be the leader in operational excellence and customer-driven innovation.

NMC is Kia’s exclusive dealer in seven administrative regions of the Kingdom — Tabuk, Madinah, Makkah, Al-Baha, Asir, Jazan and Najran.


Trukkin clinches UAE logistics award for innovative solutions

Updated 27 March 2022

Trukkin clinches UAE logistics award for innovative solutions

Trukkin, a techno-logistics company headquartered in Dubai, won the Transport and Logistics Middle East’s “Most Innovative Truck Aggregation Solutions Provider Award.” The TLME awards used a public voting system that garnered thousands of votes from across the region, with Trukkin coming out as a clear winner.

Rajesh Nair, head of sales and operations at Trukkin in the region, received the award on behalf of the company’s founder and CEO Janardan Dalmia.

Dalmia said: “When we started Trukkin back in 2017, little did we know that the startup would cover so much ground in just a few short years. Trukkin’s strong year-on-year growth, its ability to enter and capture new markets and bring all transportation stakeholders in one place, are the result of the team’s relentless efforts to change the logistics ecosystem. We are thankful to Transport and Logistics Middle East and the people who voted for Trukkin for leading to this momentous win.”

The award recognizes companies that kept cargo moving and turned supply chain related challenges during the pandemic into an opportunity by focusing on innovative, technology-driven solutions to meet the demands of a changing world. Additionally, a simple yet powerful user interface and depth of functionality and data reliability were some of the defining characteristics of the winning innovation.

This is not the first time that Trukkin has won an award. In its short existence, the company has bagged numerous accolades, including the Best Brands 2021 UAE Edition and Road Transporter of the Year 2019, among several others.

Since its founding in 2017, Trukkin has used technology to reinvent and rebuild the logistics ecosystem. The company connects shippers with truckers (individuals and companies) in 12 countries across the region, with offices in UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. According to its website, the startup has more than 2,000 transporters and 10,000 drivers in its network — who have moved over 50,000 shipments to date. It claims to have grown threefold  since the start of the pandemic.

Trukkin’s seamless, powerful products enable faster delivery, a consistent and reliable system, and a transparent platform for both truckers and shippers. The company’s non-asset-based road network simplifies the entire process by extending flexibility, maximizing shippers’ ability to find a transporter, accelerating delivery, and reducing direct and indirect costs.


Amid ongoing market recovery, KSA prepares to meet hotel demand

Updated 23 March 2022

Amid ongoing market recovery, KSA prepares to meet hotel demand

A total of 32,621 hotel rooms are currently under construction in Saudi Arabia, as the Kingdom prepares to meet pent-up demand from pilgrims returning to the holy cities. This is according to the latest research from STR, commissioned by Arabian Travel Market 2022, which will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from May 9-12.

The analysts found that the country’s revenue per available room recovery index stands at 52 percent, noting that the absence of millions of Muslim pilgrims has significantly impacted hotel performance in Saudi Arabia. Madinah and Makkah witnessed RevPAR rates of just 33 percent and 24 percent, respectively, in 2021.

Although significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels, Saudi Arabia’s hotel performance registered year-on-year gains in 2021 and the sector’s recovery is expected to persist throughout the coming year, with pent-up demand driving further improvements as COVID-19-related restrictions continue to ease.

Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME — Arabian Travel Market, said: “As was the case for markets the world over, the global pandemic had a major impact on Saudi Arabia’s hospitality sector. Even so, STR’s findings clearly point to an ongoing and sustained recovery, and we are looking forward to exploring the vast untapped potential of the Kingdom’s burgeoning tourism sector at ATM 2022.”

Hotels in Alkhobar are currently outperforming those in Saudi Arabia’s other major cities, with RevPAR surpassing pre-pandemic levels in 2021. Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah, meanwhile, recorded recovery index rates of 88 percent, 85 percent and 56 percent, respectively, last year.

In terms of outbound travel, research conducted by Colliers International shows that overseas journeys from the Kingdom are set to grow to 6,075,000 in 2022, compared to an estimated 3,793,000 in 2021 and 4,839,000 in 2020. In the longer term, outbound tourist trips are expected to rise to 9,262,000 in 2025, although this figure would still be significantly lower than the peak of 19,751,000 recorded in 2019.

Outbound tourist expenditure is set to grow to SR32.656 billion ($8.7 billion) this year, compared to an estimated SR19.734 billion in 2021 and SR21.969 billion in 2020. The total expenditure is expected to increase to SrR54.624 billion.

With two sessions dedicated exclusively to the Kingdom, attendees, exhibitors and delegates will have ample opportunity to take a deep dive into Saudi Arabia’s tourism, travel and hospitality industry at ATM 2022.

The first, “From strategy to reality: Saudi Arabia’s tourism vision comes of age,” part of the ATM Saudi Forum, will focus on infrastructure progress, niche markets and fresh opportunities, as the country works to attract 100 million annual visitors by 2030. The second, “Saudi Arabia’s blueprint for responsible tourism development,” will explore how sustainability, community inclusion, education and training, and the legacy impact of the Kingdom’s broad-ranging tourism vision can offer a best-practice model for other global destinations.

The ATM Saudi Forum will feature high-level experts including Mahmoud Abdulhadi, deputy minister for investment attraction at the Saudi Ministry of Tourism; Captain Ibrahim Koshy, CEO of Saudia; Amr Al-Madani, CEO, the Royal Commission for AlUla; Majed bin Ayed Al-Nefaie, CEO, Seera Group Holding; Fawaz Farooqui, managing director, Cruise Saudi; John Pagano, CEO, Red Sea Development Company and AMAALA; and Jerry Inzerillo, CEO, Diriyah Gate Development Authority.

ATM 2022 will welcome a range of high-profile exhibitors from the Kingdom, including the Saudi Tourism Authority, which has expanded its exhibition area by 40 percent compared to 2021 — as well as Saudia Airlines, Flynas, Seera, Red Sea Project, NEOM, Dur Hospitality, and first-time participant Al-Hokair Group.


SSC makes Super Bowl history with Arabic coverage

Updated 20 February 2022

SSC makes Super Bowl history with Arabic coverage

Saudi Sports Company channels concluded its coverage of the Super Bowl match between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals, which ended Feb. 14 with a 23-20 victory at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.

The event, which was watched by hundreds of millions on screen, is considered the most prominent international sporting event, and was broadcast by SSC channels and the Shahid application in its sports package.

SSC’s team was the first Arab team to cover the event from inside the match stadium in the US.

The coverage, which began more than a week ago, also witnessed the presence of an analytical studio that provided Arabic commentary for the first time in Super Bowl history.

The match was attended by many international stars and celebrities from the fields of art, sports and politics, with a halftime performace by legendary entertainers Eminem, Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J Blige, in addition to Snoop Dogg.

This momentum of Super Bowl in 2022 elevated the pricing bar of television advertising to be at the highest end, worldwide.


Jeddah Art Promenade showpiece takes flight

Updated 05 December 2021

Jeddah Art Promenade showpiece takes flight

A golden falcon rises, wings outstretched, over the Jeddah coastline. Sela, the Saudi Arabian events producer, has unveiled the first art installation of its highly anticipated Jeddah Art Promenade.
The promenade is curated by renowned producer Swizz Beatz and his Saudi-headquartered creative agency, Good Intentions.
The one-of-a-kind sculpture by Kwest is visible for kilometers, perched amid the blue waters of the Jeddah Corniche, where the city is hosting thousands at the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Creators of some of the region’s most sought-after experiences and attractions, Sela has staged more than 3,000 events since 2005, including MDLBEAST, the Italian Super Cup, WWE Crown Jewel, Riyadh Season and Jeddah Season, in addition to launching projects such as Boulevard Riyadh City and Jeddah Superdome.
Sela’s Jeddah Art Promenade is a beachfront boulevard featuring art monuments in a leisure, hospitality and retail district scheduled for completion in the coming months.
Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean is a Grammy-award winning producer and owner of one of the world’s largest art collections.
Recognizing the creative renaissance unfolding in the Kingdom with Saudi Vision 2030, Swizz Beatz found a base for his global agency in Saudi Arabia, co-founding Good Intentions with Saudi native Noor Taher.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Creators of some of the region’s most sought-after experiences and attractions, Sela has staged more than 3,000 events since 2005.

• These include MDLBEAST, the Italian Super Cup, WWE Crown Jewel, Riyadh Season, Jeddah Season, Boulevard Riyadh City and Jeddah Superdome.

Their curations leverage a vibrant community of contemporary artists to bring a new cultural experience to the Kingdom at Jeddah Art Promenade.
Shihana Alazzaz, Sela chairwoman and general counsel to the Public Investment Fund, said: “The ‘Wusul’ (‘Arrival’) installation from artist Kwest is a powerful statement of energy and creativity taking flight.
“We at Sela are thrilled to be working with Swizz Beatz and the Good Intentions team, headed by homegrown lead Noor Taher, to give vital art a platform, with special thanks to the organizers of Jeddah Season for making all of this possible.
“With more than a dozen installations planned, the Jeddah Art Promenade will blaze an iconic trail down our beautiful coast, offering visitors a visceral cultural experience and creating a landmark worthy of our nation’s vision.”
Swizz Beatz, co-founder of Good Intentions, said: “We’ve always wanted to work with the gatekeepers in that arena and knew Sela would be a partner aligned with our vision at Good Intentions. This is just a scratch on the surface, we’re only going bigger and more disruptive from here.”