Saudi artificial intelligence summit attracts global talents

The students who attended the Global AI Summit in Riyadh, represented six countries and were part of the knowledge exchange initiative launched by the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority.
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Updated 25 September 2022
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Saudi artificial intelligence summit attracts global talents

A group of artificial intelligence graduate students from several prestigious international universities concluded their participation in the second edition of the Global AI Summit, which concluded last week in Riyadh. The students also visited Masmak Palace in the center of Riyadh to be briefed on the history of the capital.

The students represented six countries, joined by several Saudi scholarship students in the same specialization. Their participation came within the knowledge exchange initiative launched by the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority, which hosted 19 male and female students of different nationalities including the US, the UK, India, Jordan, Algeria, South Korea and Nigeria. These students study at international universities and institutes, including the Sorbonne University in Paris, Oxford University, University College London, Durham University, Nottingham University, Sussex University in the UK, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US, and King’s College London.

Through this initiative, SDAIA aimed to attract global capabilities in AI and enhance the role of distinguished youths, based on the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and its aspirations to enable them to lead the future of AI in the Kingdom, the region and the world.

SDAIA President Dr. Abdullah Al-Ghamdi said that the knowledge exchange initiative was designed to achieve several benefits, including engaging visiting students in knowledge exchange dialogues to explore opportunities for future cooperation, and introducing them to the Kingdom’s efforts in pioneering data and AI in a journey that Saudi students will lead with their peers from international universities.

He said that the SDAIA aims through the initiative to build qualitative partnerships that support its efforts in data and AI and help attract global capabilities to the Kingdom. Al-Ghamdi added that the initiative contributes to activating the distinguished role of Saudi youth and engaging them in a real dialogue that develops their leadership spirit and shows their knowledge capabilities. “This will enhance the Kingdom’s position in data and AI as the initiative provides the opportunity to exchange knowledge and explore opportunities for future cooperation through a constructive dialogue that brings together Saudi youth and foreign graduate students,” he said.

The second edition of the Global AI Summit was held under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, deputy prime minister and chairman of the SDAIA.

The event took place at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh from Sept. 13-15. The three-day summit featured 200 speakers who lead data and AI policy reform in 70 countries, with the participation of more than 3,000 attendees from across the world.


Peet’s Coffee makes grand entrance into Saudi market

Updated 20 February 2024
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Peet’s Coffee makes grand entrance into Saudi market

Peet’s Coffee, the iconic original craft coffee brand, has officially marked its entry into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the inauguration of six new stores. This significant move underscores Peet’s steadfast commitment to embedding its esteemed legacy and footprint within the vibrant Saudi market.

The expansion into Saudi Arabia is a pivotal component of Peet’s Coffee’s overarching strategy to bolster its presence in the Middle East. Following its successful debut in the UAE last year, Peet’s Coffee recognizes the enormous potential within Saudi Arabia, a country renowned for its deep-rooted coffee culture and discerning coffee aficionados.

Peet’s Coffee is renowned for its bold and rich flavors, a reputation built upon its meticulous selection of the highest quality beans sourced from around the world. Each cup is expertly crafted by skilled baristas, ensuring a superior coffee experience for customers. Additionally, Peet’s remains committed to sustainability, with all coffee sourced in a manner that respects farmers, the environment, and communities.

The expansion into Saudi Arabia comes at a time of significant growth in the nation’s coffee industry. As coffee continues to hold a special place in the Saudi society, Peet’s Coffee looks forward to becoming an integral part of the country’s rich coffee tradition, fostering connections and creating memorable experiences for coffee lovers across the Kingdom. 

Peet’s Coffee has positioned itself to leave a notable mark on the Saudi coffee landscape with its flagship store situated in the vibrant area of The Zone in Riyadh. Complemented by strategic outlets in key locations across Riyadh, including Sheik Jaber, Al Munsiyah, Euromarche, Al Takhassousi, and Granada Mall, the brand is primed to make a significant impact. This expansion underscores Peet’s dedication to upholding quality and excellence while also embracing and enhancing local coffee culture in Saudi Arabia.

Peet’s Coffee flagship stores feature a Discovery Bar where guests can take a personalized coffee journey and experience Peet’s single origins and signature coffee blends, through tasting and full sensory experience led by baristas. The coffee is served in an array of signature beverages that include Peet’s Signature Havana Cappuccino, The Black Tie and the Classic V60. In addition to its exceptional coffee selection, Peet’s Coffee also delights guests with a delectable selection of freshly made food options from grilled halloumi and spicy tuna sandwiches to a range of irresistible desserts like the Peet’s Tiramisu and the chocolate cake — there’s something to satisfy every palate. 

Known for its inviting ambiance, Peet’s welcomes guests into a bright and spacious environment, characterized by a blend of cozy yet modern design elements. With wooden panels complementing cream interiors, the space exudes warmth and sophistication. 

Founded by Alfred Peet in California in 1966, Peet’s Coffee has since become synonymous with exceptional flavor and unwavering quality. With a growing number of coffee bars across the world, Peet’s Coffee continues to lead the way in the specialty coffee movement.


Gulf Air Group Holding honors ‘Tahleeq 3’ graduates at Bahrain Airport Company

Updated 20 February 2024
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Gulf Air Group Holding honors ‘Tahleeq 3’ graduates at Bahrain Airport Company

Zayed R. Alzayani, chairman of Gulf Air Group Holding, honored the graduates of the third batch from the “Tahleeq” program, an ambitious capacity building initiative aimed at creating future leaders in the Bahraini aviation sector.

The graduation ceremony was attended by Dr. Jeffrey Goh, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Air Group Holding; Mohammed Yousif Al Binfalah, Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain Airport Company; and other executives.

The “Tahleeq” program, launched in 2014 by BAC, in cooperation with Tamkeen, seeks to develop the capabilities of young Bahrainis, equip them with the technical and specialized skills required to continue developing the aviation industry in Bahrain, and reinforce its competitiveness and contribution to the development process in the kingdom, in line with the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030.

Alzayani congratulated the graduates and praised their efforts and dedication during the program. He said: “We wish the graduates success in their careers, and look forward to seeing them make progress and to effectively contribute to the aviation sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Investing in Bahraini talent has always been the right choice and has proven its outcome in various sectors.”

“The launch of ‘Tahleeq’ in parallel with new passenger terminal project, which succeeded in claiming international recognition and awards, has given the program a significant boost and created a strong foundation for its success. Today’s graduates will be tomorrow’s aviation sector leaders who will shape its success with the experience they have gained and their ambition,” he added.

 The “Tahleeq” program has been meticulously curated, with the first two years dedicated to theoretical and experiential training, including five modules on soft skills at Gulf Aviation Academy in partnership with the Bahrain Institute for Banking and Finance. 

The technical courses were provided by Airport Council International, and all candidates were awarded the GSN Initial (Silver) Diploma. The last two years of the program are designated for practical training and gaining experience through working on various projects in BAC.

BAC, a subsidiary of GFG, is responsible for enhancing the capabilities of Bahrain International Airport and increasing its contribution to the national economy, in line with the strategic goals set by GFG, through formulating plans and measures to continuously upgrade airport services, operations and infrastructure to accommodate the growing aviation industry and the increasing number of travelers.


Cenomi Centers hosts grand opening of U Walk Jeddah

Updated 19 February 2024
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Cenomi Centers hosts grand opening of U Walk Jeddah

Cenomi Centers, the largest owner, operator and developer of contemporary lifestyle centers in Saudi Arabia, is delighted to host the grand opening of U Walk Jeddah, the city’s first hybrid mall concept that seamlessly integrates indoor and outdoor experiences and a watershed moment in the future of retail.

Bringing together trendy eateries and leading brands, U Walk Jeddah is redefining the city’s retail landscape by offering a next-generation shopping experience. The hybrid mall features an indoor retail boulevard, its own leisure district and a nearly 2km-long, open-air promenade with landscaped gardens, shaded terraces and a dancing fountain.

Leading F&B and lifestyle brands such as Nike, Bershka, Starbucks and 19V69 Versace opened their doors ahead of the grand opening, with a host of additional stores still to come – including Victoria’s Secret, Adidas, Zara and Lululemon.  

At 60,000-square-meter  GLA, UWalk Jeddah is already 80 percent pre-let with a number of brands opening over the coming weeks as the center gears up for pre-Ramadan trading.

As the city’s premier lifestyle destination for shopping dining and entertainment, U Walk Jeddah embodies Cenomi Centers’ vision to create the next generation of lifestyle destinations in Saudi Arabia, delivering best-in-class experiences for the local and International visitor. The recent publication of Cenomi Center’s footfall and occupancy results for 2023 reflect the strength of the business’ growth trajectory, with footfall reaching 124 million and occupancy rising to 92.9 percent. 

To celebrate the Grand Opening, U Walk Jeddah is hosting its hotly anticipated Cenomi Urban Festival – which brings childhood nostalgia to life with captivating, Instagram-worthy neon-lit installations, and a variety of immersive games and activities. The Urban Festival runs until the end of February 2024.

The launch follows the soft opening of U Walk Jeddah in December, which was marked by the launch of the Adidas FIFA Fan Zone by Cenomi, a Football Festival to coincide with the FIFA Club World Cup tournament taking place in Jeddah.

Alison Rehill-Erguven, Cenomi Centers CEO said: “We are delighted to host the much-anticipated Grand Opening of U Walk Jeddah – the city’s premier lifestyle destination for shopping, dining and entertainment. U Walk Jeddah is redefining the mall experience with its next-generation design and offering, representing everything Cenomi Centers seeks to achieve in offering the retail experiences of tomorrow. This milestone is further evidence of our bold ambitions for the future.”

U Walk Jeddah can be found conveniently located in the heart of the dynamic Al-Zahar district, with direct access via major roads, and a parking facility to accommodate 1,250 vehicles.


Gulfood to lead the way on where the F&B industry goes next, driving investment, competitiveness and growth

Updated 19 February 2024
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Gulfood to lead the way on where the F&B industry goes next, driving investment, competitiveness and growth

The largest ever edition of Gulfood, the benchmark event for the global F&B community kicked off on Monday at Dubai World Trade Centre, opening its doors to 150,000 attendees from 190 countries. 

With an estimated $12 billion in international trade deals on the table, an exhibition floor spanning 24 event halls packed with displays of cutting-edge products, solutions by a record 5,500+ exhibitors, and interactive features including Top Table and Dubai World Cuisine which will convene over 100 renowned international chefs with 25 Michelin stars between them, expectations are very high for this year’s edition of the world’s largest annual food and beverage sourcing event, which looks set to have a lasting influence on the F&B industry.

Attendees heard insights from senior policymakers and global industry experts at the Inspire conference, including Dr. Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak Al Shamsi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment. 

“At a pivotal moment, the world’s largest F&B event will be the only place to get out ahead of how the global food community, from industry leaders and policymakers to innovators and chefs, are responding. We look forward to welcoming the F&B world as we inspire the future food economy,” commented Trixie LohMirmand, executive vice-president, Dubai World Trade Centre.

As Gulfood approaches its milestone 30th anniversary in 2025, the global food and beverage iindustry is looking more than ever to a multifaceted future, characterized by greater digitalization and technological innovation to drive efficiency and cut costs, more circular food systems to reduce food loss and waste, and an ever-greater focus on safety, security and transparency down the supply chain. 

“As Truebell embraces 40 years of excellence, Gulfood stands as our premier stage for global networking, connecting with our partners across 80 countries. We anticipate a robust upswing, positioning Truebell at the forefront of meeting heightened demand for premium produce in the years ahead,” commented Bhushant Ghandi, COO of Truebell.

At this year’s Gulfood Inspire Conference, over 200 influential figures from the global F&B industry, including food futurists, policymakers, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and culinary experts will lead a series of dynamic and engaging keynotes, panel discussions, fireside chats, showcases and workshops. 

A highlight of this year’s Gulfood Inspire Conference, for the first time over 60 leading global food futurists will convene to give invaluable insights into the trends in technology (e.g. personal AI), culture, demographics, lifestyle and flavours that are shaping the future of food. 

Food futurists slated to speak include: Daniel Levine, Director – Avant Guide Institute; Tom Cheesewright, Applied Futurist; Tony Hunter, Founder - Food Futurist: Future of Food Consulting; and Dr. Morgaine Gaye, Food Futurologist.


Cisco announces AI innovation and partnerships

Updated 20 February 2024
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Cisco announces AI innovation and partnerships

New AI-fueled solutions spanning networking, security, collaboration, and observability highlight Cisco’s ongoing commitment to AI innovation.

At Cisco Live in Amsterdam, the company’s flagship technology event in Europe, with over 14,000 of the world’s leading IT professionals attending, Cisco announced major momentum in artificial intelligence across its entire portfolio.

“As we witness the rapid advancements in AI technology, it’s imperative for organizations in the region to embrace all of these innovations strategically. Cisco’s commitment to AI excellence aligns seamlessly with our region’s vision for digital transformation. By leveraging AI-powered solutions, businesses can not only enhance operational efficiency but also foster unprecedented growth opportunities. We are dedicated to supporting our customers in navigating this transformative journey while ensuring the ethical and responsible use of AI,” said Reem Asaad, vice president Cisco in the Middle East and Africa.