Bahri reinforces industry leadership with award wins

Abdulaziz Sabri, president of Bahri Ship Management, accepted the TMS awards on behalf of Bahri, in the presence of nearly 500 senior executives from the maritime sector.
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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.

Thailand showcases halal food offerings at LuLu festival

Updated 20 May 2022

Thailand showcases halal food offerings at LuLu festival

LuLu Hypermarkets across Saudi Arabia are hosting this week the “Thailand Halal Food Festival 2022,” featuring in-store promotions and online offers for more than 500 products from Thailand.

The event coincided with the visit of Don Pramudwinai, deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of Thailand, to the Kingdom from May 15-18.

The festival was inaugurated at LuLu’s outlet in Riyadh’s Atyaf Mall by the visiting minister, in the presence of Shehim Mohammed, director of LuLu Hypermarkets Saudi Arabia. In Jeddah, it was launched by Soradjak Puranasamriddhi, the consul general of Thailand, at the Amir Fawaz branch.

LuLu’s in-store promotion was co-organized by the Royal Thai Embassy and Team Thailand in Saudi Arabia. The event, which is running across all the hypermarket branches in Saudi Arabia from May 15-21, aims to introduce Thai products and cuisine to Saudi citizens and expatriates residing in the Kingdom.

Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, especially among those who appreciate historic architecture, pristine nature, and an abundance of flavorful food choices. As a beacon of cultural diversity, Thailand welcomes all nationalities, races, and religions from around the world. The country has a strong presence in the global halal supply chain as all Thai halal products consumed domestically and internationally are certified by the relevant national Islamic authorities.

Thailand leverages science, technology and innovation to ensure the quality and safety of its food products, reaffirming its capacity as the “Kitchen of the World” in the global food supply chain.

“Thailand is one of the food storehouses of the world and is known for its abundant agricultural produce,” said Mohammed. “Thai food is one of the trending and popular cuisines of the world and at LuLu, we work with suppliers to offer shoppers a wide variety of top-quality Thai goods. All this is being showcased at our Thai festival, which is part of a series of year-round national spotlights that add variety, dimension and excitement to the unique LuLu retail experience.”

Currently, Thailand practices the bio-circular-green economy model, which aims to utilize natural assets more efficiently with the least possible adverse impact on the environment. The key strategic areas are based on Thailand’s economic foundation and strengths namely, food and agriculture; medical and wellness; energy, material, and biochemicals; and tourism and creative economy.

Thailand plans to support innovative agricultural products and methods to enhance productivity and hopes to achieve comprehensive security in the key areas of food, health, energy, employment, and sustainable natural resources and environment. Important best practices and lessons learnt could also be exchanged with Saudi Arabia, as Thailand’s BCG model and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 are implemented respectively in the years ahead. 

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.