Giordano celebrates 30 years of retail success in region

Giordano’s first store in the Middle East opened in 1993 in the UAE’s BurJuman Center. The company has since grown to become a trusted retail brand with 275 stores across the region.
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Updated 22 March 2023

Giordano celebrates 30 years of retail success in region

Giordano Middle East is celebrating its 30 years of operations in the region, having recently capped off a successful year by bagging two of the most prestigious global retail awards.

The global apparel brand — known for its everyday wardrobe essentials — first arrived in the region back in 1993. From a single store in the UAE’s BurJuman Center, Giordano has since grown to become a trusted retail brand with 275 stores across the region.

“One reason for the brand’s success with local consumers is its consistency, and this is a quality that extends far beyond the clothes it sells. The consistent and sustainable growth of Giordano in the region is testament to the strength of its brand and their products,” a statement said.

In 2022, Giordano received the RLI Global Retailer of the Year Award bestowed by Retail and Leisure International and Best Middle East and North Africa Retail Brand awarded by the Middle East Council of Shopping Centers and Retailers.

“Looking back, I could not have predicted just how far we have come since our inception in 1993 — our team, the Giordano brand, the malls and continuous opportunities for expansion across the region. I would like to express our gratitude for the support of the government and local authorities in each of the countries in which we operate for fostering the environment needed to thrive. It is a real cause for celebration,”
said Ishwar Chugani, CEO and managing director of Giordano Middle East.


The focus of this year’s celebration will be Giordano’s customers and its people, with a series of events being planned for its loyal customers throughout the year.

“The region’s growth in the past 30 years has been amazing. It is Giordano’s honor to be part of it. I have made many life-long friends here and am thankful for them teaching me the local history I deeply respect. We will continue to celebrate the region’s great culture and serve our local customers earnestly for the next many years,” said Dr. Peter Lau, chairman of Giordano International.

The focus of this year’s celebration will be the brand’s customers and its people — the backbone of its business. A series of events and activities have been planned for its loyal customers throughout
the year.

Chugani added: “The entire region is buzzing. The rapid development of local infrastructure and the number of megaprojects being rolled out is phenomenal.

“We will continue to take a cautiously optimistic approach, maintaining our expansion momentum while taking into consideration the challenges that lie ahead stemming from global geopolitical tensions and evolving local labor

Giordano International, the parent company of Giordano Middle East, now operates 2,000 stores across 35 countries.

King Abdullah Port records highest ever volume on single vessel

Updated 07 June 2023

King Abdullah Port records highest ever volume on single vessel

King Abdullah Port, the most efficient port according to the World Bank 2022 report, has recorded the highest handling volume on a single vessel call in Saudi ports. The port handled 20,152 TEUs within 77.46 hours of operation on the MSC Renee. This achievement comes as a testimony to its highly efficient and outstanding capabilities.

Commenting on the achievement, Jay New, CEO of King Abdullah Port, said: “Since the launch of our container terminal in 2013, we have relentlessly pursued excellence in our service offerings through the development of world-class infrastructure and port facilities. These efforts have resulted in impressive milestones as we drive toward the realization of Vision 2030 objectives. King Abdullah Port’s growing significance has built trust and support from our partners and together we are providing excellence to the wide base of importers and exporters benefiting from the port’s capabilities.

“We thank our partners and our employees behind all these achievements for their dedication and hardwork. One of the Middle East’s largest infrastructure megaprojects, King Abdullah Port has been built to the latest specifications and standards and is designed to support trade and economic growth in the Kingdom for decades to come. The port is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, including the world’s largest and most advanced cranes, and its 18-meter water berths are the world’s deepest.”

Owned by the Ports Development Company, King Abdullah Port is the region’s first port to be owned, developed, and operated by the private sector. Ranked as the world’s most efficient port by the World Bank in 2022, the port emerged as one of the world’s top 100 ports within four years of operation. With its strategic location in King Abdullah Economic City — a modern city with a pro-business ecosystem and infrastructure — King Abdullah Port leverages the city’s advanced facilities and services, particularly the Industrial Valley, which has attracted many logistics projects as well as light and medium industries.

Occupying an area of 17.4 square kilometers, and enjoying close proximity to the key Saudi cities of Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah and Yanbu, as well as its direct access to extensive transportation networks that facilitates cargo transport through the Kingdom and the rest of the region, the port is making an increasingly important contribution to the Kingdom’s global role in maritime trade and logistics. Once fully completed, King Abdullah Port will be capable of handling 25 million TEU, 1.5 million CEU and 25 million tons of clean bulk cargo annually.

With state-of-the-art infrastructure and processing facilities, the world’s deepest 18-meter berths, multi-level expanding operations, in addition to a fully integrated port community system, the smart gate system and multipurpose bonded and re-export zones, King Abdullah Port reflects the important role of the private sector in realizing Vision 2030.

Nissan Altima celebrates 30 years in Middle East

Updated 07 June 2023

Nissan Altima celebrates 30 years in Middle East

Following the regional launch of the new 2023 Nissan Altima, the technologically advanced sedan is celebrating three decades of rich heritage, legacy and innovation in the Middle East. Now in its sixth generation, the Nissan Altima continues to differentiate itself through bold and dynamic styling, cutting-edge performance, and a host of innovative technologies.

Regarded as one of Nissan’s best-selling nameplates with more than 6 million units sold globally, the Altima’s success story dates back to 1992 when it made its entry into the brand’s lineup. Prior to its global debut, the Altima name appeared on the top trim line of the Nissan Leopard and Nissan Laurel, playing on the word “ultimate” and positioning the car as the “ultimate sedan.” 

As the Altima marks a new milestone in the region, Nissan celebrates its continued success with the introduction of the new 2023 model, which features aesthetic upgrades inside and out, and welcomes a plethora of technological features, including a new 12.3-inch display and wireless smartphone integration.

The 2023 model builds on a strong legacy in the region and stays true to the brand promise of “Innovation that Excites.”

First generation

First produced in June 1992 as a 1993 model, the Altima replaced the Nissan Stanza, also known as the Nissan Bluebird in certain markets. The first-generation Altima was noted for its contemporary design and sporty performance and was a true technological trailblazer.

Second generation

The second-generation Altima, which was introduced in 1998, featured a fresh redesign and offered a sportier appearance inside and out, along with enhanced safety through the introduction of side airbags.

Third generation

Launched in 2002, the third-generation Nissan Altima introduced an all-new design and was the first Nissan vehicle to be built on the brand’s new FF-L platform (front engine, front-wheel drive, long) with a 6.9-inch longer wheelbase than its predecessor.

Fourth generation

Among the many changes that the fourth-generation Nissan Altima brought to the market in 2007, were a more powerful 270-horsepower V6 engine and the brand’s first use of its Xtronic CVT transmission.

Fifth generation

Launched in 2013, the fifth-generation model became known as the most innovative and premium Altima in the model’s 20-year history at the time. In addition to a restyled and lighter body, the model featured a more powerful 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, next-generation Xtronic transmission, and a refined suspension setup.

Sixth generation

Replacing the 3.5-liter V6 engine of the outgoing model, the sixth-generation Altima brought the world’s first variable compression turbo engine to the fore, delivering advanced excitement and fuel efficiency.

A refreshed sixth generation, the new 2023 Nissan Altima is currently available at Nissan’s partner network across the Middle East, including at Abdulmohsen Abdulaziz Al-Babtain Company showrooms, the exclusive dealer of Nissan vehicles in Kuwait.

PwC Middle East inaugurates regional HQ in Riyadh

Updated 06 June 2023

PwC Middle East inaugurates regional HQ in Riyadh

PwC Middle East has received its regional headquarters license from the Ministry of Investment and Ministry of Commerce in the Kingdom, reinforcing its commitment toward Vision 2030, driving the transformation program, and supporting ambitious local talent.

Khalid A. Al-Falih, minister of investment; Dr. Hazim Zagzoog, adviser to the Royal Court; and Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner, PwC EMEA; among other senior officials attended PwC Middle East’s regional headquarters inauguration ceremony held at Al-Faisaliah hotel in Riyadh on May 31.

The Middle East’s largest professional services firm supports the government’s vision realization programs, government ministries, royal commissions, giga-programs, and the broader ecosystem to set strategy, drive transformation, and offer human-led, technology-powered solutions to build trust and deliver sustained outcomes. 

Al-Falih said: “I am delighted to join PwC Middle East as it inaugurates its new regional headquarters in Riyadh, which will help to build the regional headquarters ecosystem in Saudi Arabia and set global standards for how a professional services sector regional headquarters should operate. It is a natural continuation of a longstanding, trusted and mutually beneficial relationship and I also commend PwC on its strong record of employing more than 1,000 talented Saudis in its workforce.”

Hani Ashkar, PwC Middle East senior partner, said: “We are thrilled to have received our license for our regional headquarters and are honored to continue supporting the Kingdom’s remarkable transformation, as we accelerate toward 2030 and beyond. At PwC Middle East, we are fully committed to supporting Saudi Arabia’s next phase of its transformational agenda as we digitize, decarbonize, localize, privatize and modernize.” 

Riyadh Al-Najjar, PwC KSA country senior partner and chair of the ME board, said: “We’re proud of our journey in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for over 40 years, building trust and delivering sustained outcomes. We are committed to the Kingdom’s ambition and efforts as it strengthens and diversifies its economy to deliver opportunities for its people and deliver on the promise of a remarkable future.”

With a strong workforce of more than 2,000 employees in Saudi Arabia, more than a 1,000 of whom are Saudi nationals including over 400 Saudi women, PwC Middle East is a significant contributor to talent development in the Kingdom and is committed to expanding its staffing numbers over the next three years in the region. This year, PwC Middle East has recruited more than 200 Saudi graduates, over half of whom are women. Additionally, PwC Middle East is deeply invested in Saudization as part of its “Hemam 2.0” program, which aims to develop and retain top national talent, empower Saudi youth and enable their professional growth. 

PwC Middle East will also open a new flagship office in Riyadh, which will include an experience center, in 2024. As a hub for innovation and creativity, the new experience center will provide a platform to ideate with clients and to showcase innovative products, services and disruptive technologies to solve the region’s most pressing problems. 

The Riyadh flagship office and headquarters sit at the heart of the Kingdom’s transformation and adds to PwC Middle East’s footprint of six offices across the Kingdom, including additional offices in Riyadh, Jeddah, Alkhobar, Dhahran and AlUla.

Honeywell solutions enhance warehouse efficiency

Updated 06 June 2023

Honeywell solutions enhance warehouse efficiency

Global technology leader Honeywell has revealed the latest trends for warehouses across the region, with increased demands for efficiencies bolstering technology adoption and growing the e-commerce sector.

In the Middle East, there is a spike in demand for efficiency in warehouses to ensure workers are fast and effective in distribution. Warehouses are integral for retail and serving digital converts, with around nine out of 10 customers in the region intending to continue buying online since the pandemic. 

The market for e-commerce is buoyant and remains focused on fulfilling customer demands for convenience. This has created a need for innovative tools and insights to manage the pace and scale of the growth being witnessed across industries. A recent report revealed that the MENA region’s total e-commerce market size reached $37 billion in 2022, with a double-digit growth rate from 2021 and a 32 percent compound annual growth rate over the 2018-2022 period.

In the Middle East, the appetite for investment in digital transformation is building rapidly as regional governments move toward “smart” strategies and initiatives as part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

Digitization is enabling warehouse operations to become smarter, less error-prone and more predictable. Honeywell mobile solutions for transport, logistics and warehousing empower workers to better perform their day-to-day tasks and enhance people’s skills and processes to achieve greater efficiency, accuracy and employee experiences. 

“Digital transformation is key to keeping ahead of rapidly increasing market demands and to remain resilient amidst unpredictable supply chains. The pressure to increase levels of efficiency and productivity has never been greater in distribution and fulfillment operations, and digitalization is a key factor to deal with today’s challenges and prepare for the future. In that space and beyond, Honeywell supports retailers and e-commerce companies by ensuring warehouse operators can improve performance through upskilled and a more productive workforce,” said Minda Xu, vice president and general manager, high growth regions, safety and productivity solutions at Honeywell.

Through intelligent, data driven and automated processes, Honeywell’s portfolio of mobile devices enables the digital transformation of a warehouse to increase reliability and maximize productivity for efficient supply chains. Advanced Honeywell solutions are helping solve current warehouse challenges and enabling faster order fulfillment. Two examples of such solutions include the CT47 Handheld Computer and the CW45 Wearable Computer. 

The CT47 is an all-purpose mobile device designed to provide 5G data connectivity and communications for workers in both indoor and outdoor warehouse environments. By connecting mobile computers to 5G networks, workers can experience significant improvements in productivity and efficiency, including faster data transfer speeds, better reliability for devices to remain online throughout the entirety of workers’ shifts, and the ability to have more assets connected to the same network at once.

Comfortable, powerful and easy to use, the CW45 brings the power and durability of Honeywell mobile computing into a compact, ergonomic wearable device. It helps streamline common tasks that previously required users to juggle handheld devices with the goods they are processing, leaving both hands free to accomplish their tasks like picking and packing, stocking and assembly, eliminating wasted motion and increasing productivity.

stc Pay Bahrain wins recognition in Dubai

Updated 06 June 2023

stc Pay Bahrain wins recognition in Dubai

stc Pay, the new subsidiary company of stc Bahrain, won the “Best Mobile Payments Solution Provider” award, at the 10th annual International Finance Awards held in Dubai. 

The award was presented to stc Bahrain in light of its achievements in empowering the fintech sector by launching stc Pay, and being at the forefront of helping Bahrain progress toward its vision of evolving into a cashless and digital economy with intelligent and sustainable digital payment solutions. stc Pay Bahrain is the only mobile wallet in the country, providing an all-in-one financial services feature for all types of transactions.  

Nezar Banabeela, CEO of stc Bahrain, said: “We are honored to accept this remarkable award in acknowledgement of our contributions to further the kingdom’s digital transformation journey by introducing new innovations in digital payments and empowering the local community.”

We hope to continue making an impact in the fintech sector by continuously providing innovative services and paving the way to advance the sector within Bahrain and the region.”

stc Bahrain launched stc Pay to address the need for on-the-go payment solutions that cater to the community’s financial service needs. The application has been instrumental in empowering the low-income expat workforce previously unbanked by the financial services sector, with a secure, affordable and convenient way to address financial needs.