Omoda and Jaecoo set up Riyadh office for Saudi launch

Omoda is devoted to providing users with personalized, dynamic, technological and smart travel experiences through crossover products.
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Updated 28 May 2023

Omoda and Jaecoo set up Riyadh office for Saudi launch

Lately, Omoda and Jaecoo have been winning the hearts of customers across the globe. In the list of their success stories, Mexico, Australia, South Africa and other EU countries are on the top. With this, Omoda and Jaecoo are going to set their foot in the Saudi market in the third quarter of 2023 and 30 other countries altogether.

The parent company of Omoda and Jaecoo in China is already serving 11.2 million consumers globally, becoming the biggest passenger car exporter in the country. This also indicates that Omoda and Jaecoo are well equipped to enter the Saudi market with all their R&D and experience. In fact, during the Auto Shanghai show, they launched their Omoda 5 EV model. Globally, they hold a prestigious reputation and widespread popularity with young, smart technology-driven and urban elite consumers who understand and value future technology and luxury.

Omoda aims to offer a lifestyle to their consumers and not just a piece of metal. Omoda is the sheer depiction of cutting-edge technology. In fact, the slogan of Omoda is “Cross From Future,” which is based on the characteristics of target consumers who seek fashion and freedom and are no longer shackled by conventional norms. Also, Omoda as a brand is bold, so individuals who are fearless and passionate about socializing will certainly vibe with this brand. Omoda is devoted to providing users with personalized, dynamic, technological and smart travel experiences through crossover products.

Even though cars cannot be summarized in single words, Jaecoo makes it tempting to try: It is sophisticated. While their global launch at the Shanghai auto show turned some heads, the response from the media was evident when the curtains were raised. Needless to say, Jaecoo’s drop-dead styling alone inside and out was roaring luxury. Jaecoo is positioned as an urban road-off SUV brand and is oriented to urban elites with exquisite taste and extraordinary style.

Just like the brands Omoda and Jaecoo, the business strategy is also bold. Almost all car manufacturers find themselves major distributors and conduct their business through them in the Kingdom. However, Omoda and Jaecoo have not adopted the conventional way, instead, they are setting up their own international office in the capital city of Riyadh. This means the level of services they would provide in all aspects would be far better than any other car manufacturer. Their customers would have access to the principal company directly in Saudi Arabia. While car services have become a major issue for other auto brands, nevertheless, for Omoda and Jaecoo it will not be the case, as their maintenance centers and other services will be directly under the supervision of their subsidiary here in the Kingdom. This would be a game-changer in the Saudi automobile industry. For sales, each region will have a few selected dealers, which will be monitored by the subsidiary in the Kingdom. All showrooms and other facilities will be jointly developed with them.

For 12th year in row, Abdul Latif Jameel Motors wins ‘Gold’ from Toyota

Updated 27 September 2023

For 12th year in row, Abdul Latif Jameel Motors wins ‘Gold’ from Toyota

Abdul Latif Jameel Motors, an authorized distributor of Toyota vehicles in Saudi Arabia since 1955, has been awarded the prestigious Gold Award for the 12th time in a row in the 2022 Distributor Award Program by Toyota Motor Corporation. The achievement recognizes the company’s commitment to delivering an exceptional guest experience across the Kingdom.

“This award underlines Abdul Latif Jameel Motors’ continued efforts in listening to its guests and understanding their needs,” a statement said.

With Kaizen at the heart of Abdul Latif Jameel Motors’ operations, guests are placed at the center of developing services resulting in a unified, seamless guest experience, enabling them to voice their opinions and offer suggestions and allowing us to address their queries while meeting and exceeding guest expectations.

Akitoshi Takemura, regional CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, said: “We extend our warmest congratulations to Abdul Latif Jameel Motors on winning this prestigious award. This achievement is yet another tribute to the relentless efforts of Hassan Jameel and the Abdul Latif Jameel Motors team and their strong commitment to achieving exceptional results. Abdul Latif Jameel Motors has consistently demonstrated their dedication and passion to provide outstanding service and support to deliver happiness for all their guests in Saudi Arabia. We are proud to have them as an authorized distributor of Toyota vehicles in Saudi Arabia and look forward to many more years of success together.” 

Hassan Jameel, chairman of Abdul Latif Jameel Motors

Hassan Jameel, chairman of the board of managers of Abdul Latif Jameel Motors, said: “Receiving the Gold Award for the 12th year in a row is a remarkable achievement and a testament to our team’s unwavering commitment to delivering excellence in every aspect of our business. The Gold Award reinforces our dedication to providing the best possible services to our guests with our ‘guest first’ philosophy. We are grateful to Toyota for recognizing our efforts and thankful to our guests and employees who have played an important role in our success. We will continue to build on our successes and strive for even greater achievements in the future.”

The award also acknowledges the excellent after-sales service of Abdul Latif Jameel Motors, which aims to serve every guest in the best way possible.

Since 1955, Abdul Latif Jameel Motors has worked together with Toyota Motor Corporation to deliver a premium experience of automotive ownership and after-sales services in Saudi Arabia. Leveraging decades of considerable expertise across the mobility value chain, the company continues to improve products and services, meeting the evolving needs of its guests.

KSA professionals embrace AI as their ‘invisible teammate’: LinkedIn

Updated 27 September 2023

KSA professionals embrace AI as their ‘invisible teammate’: LinkedIn

According to new research from LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, employees are gearing up for a new way of working thanks to new advances in artificial intelligence such as generative AI. 

Amid AI’s growing prominence in the workplace, the new data has revealed that a vast majority of professionals in Saudi Arabia (79 percent) believe that AI will bring significant change to their work within the next year, while 85 percent believe AI will bring significant change to their work within the next five years. Even more employees (86 percent) think AI will be an invisible teammate to help them with their work. 

AI has been an area of focus in the Kingdom for some time, especially since the announcement of its Artificial Intelligence Strategy in 2020. This was further cemented by the establishment of the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority as the central authority responsible for regulating and overseeing all AI-related matters.

Data shows that 70 percent of professionals want to learn about the different ways they can use AI in their work and 79 percent expressed confidence in their ability to leverage AI tools in carrying out their jobs. 

It is clear that professionals in the Kingdom are looking forward to the potential AI can bring to their careers, with an overwhelming majority (97 percent) saying they believe it will help their career progression in some way. 

In terms of specific benefits the use of AI will bring to their work, 72 percent of employees said it would enable them to spend more time to focus on the aspects of work they enjoy the most.

Meanwhile, 61 percent of Gen-Z employees surveyed are concerned about their level of knowledge about AI and worried that they should know more about it. 

Ali Matar, EMEA growth markets leader and head of LinkedIn MENA, said: “In Saudi Arabia, we’ve seen an overwhelmingly positive response to the adoption of AI, with a vast majority of professionals taking steps to embrace AI at work.

“Getting up to speed can feel overwhelming and there is more to be done to educate and train professionals to ensure they feel knowledgeable and ready to fully embrace AI. This is particularly true for the younger age group, who are showing more signs of hesitation in adopting AI, albeit eager to learn as they also recognize the many benefits AI can bring to their working lives, including supporting them with career progression and enabling a better work-life balance. 

“With this in mind it is even more important for us at LinkedIn to ensure we facilitate learning by offering the workforce the resources they need to feel equipped.” 

LinkedIn’s career expert Najat Abdelhadi said having the language to talk about and understand AI will put professionals ahead of the curve. She said: “Study up on popular AI skills with resources like LinkedIn Learning, where you can find the most popular AI courses unlocked for free until the end of the year. A good place to start is with ‘How to Research and Write Using Generative AI,’ and ‘What is Generative AI.”

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

Ghada Othman AlRumayan, Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Roshn
Updated 27 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