SABB named market leader in trade finance in Saudi Arabia by Euromoney

Short Url
Updated 22 March 2023

SABB named market leader in trade finance in Saudi Arabia by Euromoney

The Saudi British Bank has been recognized by Euromoney as the “Best Trade Finance Service Provider” and “Market Leader” in Saudi Arabia for 2023. This is the seventh successive year that SABB has been awarded as the market leader, widely recognizing SABB as the preeminent trade finance bank in the Kingdom.

The awards are based on a survey by Euromoney, where Saudi corporates have recognized SABB as the market leader within the trade finance space. The survey takes into consideration corporates’ view on their banks’ ability in providing trade finance products, solutions, quality of services and market share.

In 2022, SABB continued its focus on client experience, digitization, and the development of trade opportunities for clients, offering a range of digital initiatives, including a newly launched digital trade solutions package aimed at enhancing letter of credit and guarantee procedures for enterprises’ international business operations by cooperating with blockchain-based digital platform Contour and local fintech Bwatech. SABB is also the first bank in the Kingdom to complete an international trade transaction via blockchain technology, reducing risk and paper in the industry and ultimately increasing the velocity of trade and liquidity in the market

Commenting on the awards, Yasser Albarrak, chief corporate and institutional banking officer, said: “We are delighted to be winning these awards, which highlight our leading position and excellence in providing innovative solutions that meet the growing and diverse needs of our customers in a market that is witnessing rapid growth at various levels. These awards are based on a customer satisfaction survey, which is a testament to our successful approach in providing products and services in trade finance and proving that it is widely accepted by customers.”

Saudi Awwal Bank named ‘Best Bank for Small and Medium Enterprises in the Kingdom’

Updated 27 September 2023

Saudi Awwal Bank named ‘Best Bank for Small and Medium Enterprises in the Kingdom’

Saudi Awwal Bank has received the “Best Bank for Small and Medium Enterprises in the Kingdom” award, issued by the international magazine Euromoney. The award comes as a recognition of the bank’s steadfast commitment to empowering and supporting SMEs in Saudi Arabia.

The commitment of SAB to the SME sector is evident through its support for the Financial Sector Program of Saudi Vision 2030, specifically tailored to SMEs.

SAB has taken significant steps in digital transformation and the adoption of innovative digital banking services for SMEs. This includes launching various digital services with multiple features, such as user management without the need for direct communication with the bank and advanced security features. It has also introduced a digital banking account opening service for SMEs, which received the “Outstanding Initiative for Opening and Managing SME Accounts” award at the 2023 SME Banking Innovation Awards. The bank also provides innovative financing programs tailored to SME requirements.

Yasser Al-Barrak, chief corporate and institutional banking officer, said: “This award reflects our continuous efforts to provide the best services to SMEs in the Kingdom. Our investment in people, technology, and innovation not only demonstrates our commitment to growth and development but also our determination to meet the evolving needs of SMEs during this crucial period of their development. With each achievement, we always look forward to providing innovative banking solutions that meet the aspirations of small and medium-sized enterprises. As we continue to evolve to support them in expanding their business, our goal is not only to be the preferred partner but also to be the driving force behind their success.”

SAB supports many SMEs by collaborating with relevant entities such as Monsha’at, Small and Medium Enterprises Bank, Kafalah Program, the Real Estate Development Fund, the National Information Technology Development Program, the Tourism Development Fund, the Industrial Development Fund, and others.

The bank also collaborates with the London Stock Exchange to provide a range of training and awareness sessions as part of the SAB Academy program for SMEs, which are offered through virtual seminars, regardless of whether the SMEs are clients of the bank. The academy aims to empower these enterprises with financial planning and education as the key elements of success.


Bechtel opens new regional headquarters in Saudi Arabia

Updated 27 September 2023

Bechtel opens new regional headquarters in Saudi Arabia

Bechtel, a leading engineering, procurement, construction, and project management company, has announced the opening of a new regional headquarters in the heart of Saudi Arabia’s capital city, Riyadh.

Bechtel held a ribbon-cutting ceremony where Craig Albert, president and chief operating officer at Bechtel, said: “This new regional headquarters reflects our strong and long-standing commitment to our customers and partners in the region. For 80 years, Bechtel has provided training and development opportunities for the local workforce and strengthened local businesses. We are proud to build on this progress as we advance these transformational projects together.”

Bechtel has delivered some of the world’s most ambitious projects in Saudi Arabia. Current projects where Bechtel is applying its 125 years of expertise include NEOM, Trojena, the Riyadh Metro Project, and most recently, New Murabba. The new office will accommodate Bechtel’s growing team, which will help deliver these iconic projects.

At the launch event, Albert was joined by Hassan Al-Duhaim, senior adviser to the Minister of Investment, and Abdul-Rahman Al-Ghabban, vice president at Bechtel Infrastructure.

Al-Ghabban said: “Just last week, we celebrated Saudi National Day, which recognizes the unification of the Kingdom, and today we mark this important expansion of Bechtel’s presence that will play a role in the Kingdom’s continued success.”

Bechtel’s history in the Kingdom began in 1945 when it completed its first project, the Ras Tanura Refinery 1. Since then, Bechtel has completed or is currently working on over 300 projects in the Kingdom, including the Riyadh Metro Project that will provide an efficient and sustainable means of commuting for residents and visitors.

Bechtel, which celebrates its 80th anniversary working in the Kingdom this year, has nearly 3,000 professional staff working on projects, and continues to employ growing numbers of women and locals working at projects like NEOM, where more than 50 percent of women on the project are Saudi nationals. 

Realty sector must adopt people-centric approach to planning

Updated 26 September 2023

Realty sector must adopt people-centric approach to planning

In a world dominated by blueprints and budgets, the real estate development industry has often lost sight of its most crucial element — people.

For years, the industry molded urban landscapes to meet the market demands in residential, retail and commercial segments without a holistic approach to the community needs of promoting fulfilling lifestyles and focusing on the people who use them.

Developers have, unfortunately, been seen as faceless entities, prioritizing numbers over the impact on people’s lives.

However, the winds of change are blowing, and a shift toward a people-centric approach is gaining momentum. It is not just about meeting the needs of a new generation but also making good business sense and, most importantly, doing the right thing.

ROSHN recognizes the importance of this shift and empowers individuals at the heart of its approach to development. Responsibility is paramount, and we take ownership of our role in shaping the urban landscape.

As we look to the future, the UN predicts that nearly 70 percent of the world’s population will reside in urban areas by 2050. This global trend is also mirrored in Saudi Arabia, where urbanization rates have increased significantly.

Comprehending this shift is vital for our future and is at the core of ROSHN’s most ambitious project to date, MARAFY.

A groundbreaking initiative, MARAFY embarks on the journey of transforming northern Jeddah into a hub of integrated living.

The project unfolds a seamless convergence of residential and commercial spaces with culture, cuisine, entertainment, hospitality and wellness.

This transformative urban development aspires to offer residents and visitors a blend of modernity and tradition.

Through the fusion of diverse elements, MARAFY aims to create an environment that redefines urban living and nurtures pleasant experiences, connections, and possibilities for anyone who calls it home.

MARAFY will redefine urban living by reimagining space and blurring the lines between work, leisure and community interaction.

Its contemporary design philosophy reflects our commitment to promoting fulfilling lifestyles and fostering vibrant communities. This development will triple the amount of publicly accessible waterfront, creating a new era of riverside urbanism.

By integrating MARAFY with ALAROUS, ROSHN’s first significant development in Jeddah, we create a synergy that enriches the lives of both communities.

ALAROUS is designed to provide high-quality housing with integrated amenities and public spaces that effortlessly connect with the MARAFY vision.

As MARAFY reshapes the urban landscape, ALAROUS residents will enjoy enhanced access to MARAFY’s cultural, recreational and social offerings, further enriching their quality of life.

Like other ROSHN communities, ALAROUS and MARAFY will embrace modern living while preserving the Kingdom’s rich heritage and local urban designs. This integrated neighborhood concept is what ROSHN has successfully introduced in Riyadh’s SEDRA, where early offerings were met with an encouraging response. It demonstrates the market demand for ROSHN’s concept of integrated neighborhoods packed with amenities that support a well-balanced, fulfilling lifestyle.

As a giga-project backed by the Public Investment Fund, ROSHN is determined to lead the way in the regional market, demonstrating through its groundbreaking developments how a people-centric approach improves the quality of life for residents, builds a stronger sense of community and ensures long-term business success.

As developers, we must recognize that our work profoundly impacts the lives of those who live in and around our developments.

The decisions we make today will shape our nation’s urban landscape for generations to come, and it is a privilege and a responsibility to be involved in this exciting process.

  • The writer is the Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Roshn Group

ROSHN honors National Day with 93 planting initiatives

Updated 26 September 2023

ROSHN honors National Day with 93 planting initiatives

As Saudi Arabia celebrates its 93rd glorious year, ROSHN, the Kingdom’s leading national real estate developer and PIF-funded giga-project, unveiled 93 pioneering planting initiatives. Coinciding with the special occasion of the 93rd Saudi National Day, ROSHN’s initiative serves as a testament to the Saudi Green Initiative launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also the chairman of ROSHN’s board of directors. By striving toward a verdant Saudi Arabia and the preservation of the Kingdom’s vast landscapes, ROSHN aims to actively contribute to several key aspirations of the Saudi Green Initiative. This commitment further resonates with the values of ROSHN’s CSR program, YUHYEEK, which emphasizes the company’s dedication to environmental sustainability.

ROSHN will distribute and plant more than 65,000 trees across a range of different initiatives to support sustainability, the environment, and quality of life. The company already kick-started its commitment to a greener future at the inaugural launch of CityScape in Riyadh, where visitors actively engaged in planting trees at ROSHN’s pavilion, symbolizing a joint effort toward sustainability. These trees, enriched by the collective care of the event’s attendees, have been seamlessly transitioned to their new home in the ROSHN Front and SEDRA community in Riyadh. Building upon this initiative, ROSHN is set to further its environmental endeavors by planting additional trees within the ROSHN Front, integrating 1,500 trees in SEDRA, and rolling out school distribution, planting, and awareness sessions with an ambitious goal of 31,000 trees. Furthermore, a significant effort will be channeled into mangrove planting in three distinct locations, aiming for a contribution of 25,000 trees. These diverse efforts not only symbolize actual planting but emphasize giving away plants, nurturing a young generation’s love for the environment.

The compass guiding this ambitious journey is Ghada Alrumayan, group chief marketing and communication officer of ROSHN.

Alrumayan said: “The greatest gift we can bestow upon our homeland is one that nourishes, endures, inspires, and flourishes. Our green initiative exemplifies this sentiment. It’s not just about planting; it’s a profound gesture of love and commitment to our land. From the delicate hands of our youngest — the children who lovingly plant, water, and watch with hope — to the steadfast guidance of the visionary leadership of this country, every aspect of this initiative resonates with a tale of unity, dedication, and growth.”

She added: “Our narrative is one of a nation, deeply rooted in its history, ceaselessly nurtured by its people, and bolstered by the wisdom and foresight of our leaders. Blossoming day after day, we’re on a journey toward a brighter and more sustainable future. As we commemorate this day, we pledge our continued allegiance to a greener, more vibrant Saudi Arabia. To every soul that celebrates, I salute our collective spirit of hope, unity, and the verdant promise we’re crafting for generations to come.”

Dammam school hosts memorable Cluster Meet 2023

Updated 27 September 2023

Dammam school hosts memorable Cluster Meet 2023

The CBSE Saudi Chapter 31st Zonal Cluster Meet 2023 is being hosted by the International Indian School Dammam in two phases. The first phase took place on Sept. 16. It comprised a total of 15 schools, with 350 students registering for the event. More than 24 sports and literary competitions will be held in two phases. The Dammam school hosted a similar meet in 2017.

The event kicked off at a bright and colorfully decorated venue. Misbahullah Ansari, managing committee member and alumnus, was in attendance as the chief guest along with IISD Chairman Moazzam Gulam Abdul Kader Dadan and MC members Firoz Ashraf and Sadia Irfan Khan. Among the guests were CBSE observer Dr. Vijendar Singh, International Indian School Jubail Principal Alamgir Islam, Dunes International School Jubail Principal Mohammed Aamir and Dunes International School Alkhobar Principal Mujeebur Rahman.

The prep section students gave a warm welcome to the guests and the various contingents through an enthralling performance. The welcome address was delivered by Principal Mahenaz Farid, who highlighted the motto of the Cluster Meet — “Indomitable Spirit, Indelible Moments” — indicating that the event would provide valuable, unforgettable experiences along with unleashing an unwavering spirit to strive forward for success.

IISD chairman Dadan addressed the gathering with his inspiring words, reminding the audience that the event is a celebration of respect, unity, and healthy competition. He urged the participants to follow the rules laid down by the organizing committee and be examples of good sportsmanship.

The flag-hoisting ceremony commenced with the hoisting of the CBSE flag by the chief guest. The flag of the Saudi Chapter was hoisted by the school chairman, while the principal hoisted the school flag of IISD.

The audience were in for a visual treat as the parade led by sports captains with school banners and flags, marched enthusiastically in contingents of 15 schools, including IISD. A strong message of camaraderie and unity was delivered through the contingent march.

Chief guest Ansari formally declared the opening of the cluster meet. He addressed the gathering expressing his views on the pivotal role of sports in building one’s personality and urged the participants to give their best performance. 

Learning to persevere in the face of adversity and working as a team toward a common goal, were some of the valuable life lessons that he highlighted in his address.

The vote of thanks was proposed by Principal-designate Sunil Peter. He applauded the fact that Ansari was the right person to inaugurate the cluster meet as he was an alumnus of IISD and is currently serving as an MC member. He also expressed his gratitude to the CBSE observer and principals of neighboring schools for attending the event.