Saudi Information Technology Company, Privafy announce JV for XDR company

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Updated 02 November 2023
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Saudi Information Technology Company, Privafy announce JV for XDR company

Saudi Information Technology Company, a PIF-owned company, announced at the Future Investment Initiative 2023 in Riyadh an agreement with the US-based Privafy Inc. to establish a new joint venture under the commercial brand METRAS. The JV will be specialized in the localization of world-class, next-generation cybersecurity solutions, including the launch of innovative extended detection and response offering.

The partnership aims to transfer and localize technologies and knowledge, build national capabilities in cybersecurity, and develop local technical content in line with the overarching objectives of the Public Investment Fund Program (2021–2025). The new JV is a testament to SITE’s position in the local and regional markets, leveraging its strategic partnerships to upskil local capabilities as befitting the market dynamics.


Saudi Sports for All celebrates success of Ramadan events

Updated 10 April 2024
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Saudi Sports for All celebrates success of Ramadan events

Saudi Sports for All has announced the resounding success of its series of Ramadan tournaments, culminating in an unprecedented celebration of sportsmanship, community, and healthy living across the Kingdom.

The SFA Ramadan Domes tournament, held in Dammam, witnessed an overwhelming participation of thousands of individuals across nine tournaments. From padel to basketball, male and female athletes showcased their prowess and passion for sports, embodying the spirit of camaraderie and competition. With cash prizes for winners and runners-up, as well as complimentary court bookings for spectators, the tournament truly encapsulated the essence of inclusivity and excellence.

In Riyadh, the R7 Run brought together hundreds of participants representing an impressive array of 37 nationalities, fostering unity and diversity through the universal language of sport. Meanwhile, in Jeddah, the Masafat Run witnessed an astounding participation of hundreds of individuals from 42 nationalities, underscoring the global appeal of SFA’s initiatives.

Furthermore, the SFA Ramadan Steps Challenge, a digital activation aimed at promoting physical activity and well-being, attracted a staggering 5,331 participants who collectively achieved an astonishing 724,010,991 steps, emphasizing the power of technology in driving positive lifestyle changes.

“We are thrilled to continue the ‘Ramadan a Chance to Change’ campaign for the second year,” said Ammar Alamro, director of marketing and communication at SFA. “Ramadan is a time of self-reflection and spiritual rejuvenation, and we believe it is also an opportunity for individuals to embrace positive change in various aspects of their lives. We invite everyone to join our events and embark on this transformative journey together.”

During the holy month of Ramadan, the SFA encouraged everyone to harness the power of change and embrace movement in their lives. Whether it is a conscious decision or a response to life’s challenges, change is a vital aspect of personal development. By approaching change with passion and dedication, individuals can experience remarkable results during this special month.

As SFA continues to champion the importance of sports and active living, the organization remains committed to empowering individuals of all ages and abilities to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives through inclusive and accessible sporting opportunities.


Bolt enables customers to book rides up to 90 days in advance

Updated 10 April 2024
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Bolt enables customers to book rides up to 90 days in advance

Bolt is extending its Scheduled Rides pre-booking feature’s window from 72 hours to 90 days in response to customer feedback. The ride-hailing platform has seen soaring demand for Scheduled Rides, with demand growing 30 percent month over month.

Extending the time period that a Scheduled Ride can be ordered in advance will upgrade customers’ ride-hailing experience by helping them plan their trips around their city and allow for better planning leading up to a trip abroad. When traveling in their own city, customers can better plan their travel to meetings, special occasions, events, airports, train stations, and bus stations. When traveling, customers can book a Bolt to the airport, from the airport in some cities to the restaurant in the evening after arrival in a new city, then to an event like a concert from there, all 90 days before their trip. In Riyadh and Jeddah, the company also offers the possibility of booking your Bolt to pick you up from the airport 90 days in advance.

Bolt Business customers benefit from access to advance booking for timely travel to meetings and planning trips for company guests to events, while travel industry customers can arrange transport like airport pick-up in advance for their guests.

Haitham Mansour at Bolt said: “We’ve seen tremendous demand for Scheduled Rides since introducing the feature in 2022 in response to customer feedback. By extending the pre-booking window from 72 hours to 90 days, we hope to see the same success. It’s another step toward our mission as enabling customers to plan and predict their ride makes it easier than ever for Bolt and Bolt Business customers to move away from private cars and shift to shared mobility options like ride-hailing.”

Bolt is an European mobility platform with more than 150 million customers in over 45 countries across Europe and Africa. The company seeks to accelerate the transition from owned cars to shared mobility, offering better alternatives for every use case.


30m pilgrims target to be met ahead of schedule: Thakher CEO

Updated 09 April 2024
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30m pilgrims target to be met ahead of schedule: Thakher CEO

Abdulaziz bin Saleh Al-Aboudi, CEO of Thakher Development Company, reaffirmed his confidence in the Vision 2030 goal of attracting 30 million Umrah pilgrims annually by 2030, or even before that.

“The government has made huge efforts and provided comprehensive support to achieve the objectives of Vision 2030, aiming to accommodate 30 million Umrah performers and 6 million pilgrims by 2030. I believe these numbers will be achieved before 2030, based on the current capabilities we see. Therefore, as real estate developers, we must align our strategies with this direction,” Al-Aboudi said.

Al-Aboudi made these remarks during his participation in a panel discussion at the second edition of the Manafea Forum. The event took place under the patronage of Madinah Gov. Prince Salman bin Sultan and was hosted by Prince Saud bin Khalid Al-Faisal, deputy governor of Madinah.

During the session, the CEO highlighted the importance of allowing non-Saudis to invest directly and for the long term in listed companies owning real estate in Makkah and Madinah, as well as through licensed funds. “This trend contributes positively to the real estate market and the Saudi economy at large, paving the way for significant investment returns in the hospitality sector by 2030, and opening new avenues for development and investment,” Al-Aboudi said.

He said that work on the Thakher Makkah project is progressing well, in line with the expectations of investors and visitors alike, including pilgrims and Umrah performers. He said that, as part of this initiative, eight four-star hotels and hotel apartments have been developed, which will be managed by international operators. These facilities boast more than 2,276 rooms and 7,000 beds, providing high-quality services designed to fulfill the diverse needs of all visitors.

Thakher Makkah contributes to Saudi Arabia’s ambitious vision, which aims to host 30 million Umrah performers and 6 million pilgrims by 2030. The project spans an area of more than 320,000 square meters. Upon completion, it will include about 100 land plots of various uses for hotels, residential, commercial, and service-related areas. Residential and hotel apartment units will be available in various categories, including for ownership.

Thaker Makkah will be home to some of the biggest names in global hospitality including The Radisson Hotel, Park Inn by Radisson, and Novotel Hotel, which will be the largest in the world in terms of the number of rooms.

The company is also involved in developing the old neighborhoods of Makkah in coordination with the Royal Commission for Makkah City and Holy Sites to provide distinguished services to pilgrims.


Samaco hosts second Porsche World Roadshow in Kingdom

Updated 09 April 2024
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Samaco hosts second Porsche World Roadshow in Kingdom

Samaco, the exclusive agent for Porsche cars in the Kingdom, recently hosted the second Porsche World Roadshow.

The event, held from March 21-24 in Riyadh and April 2-5 in Jeddah, offered Porsche fans and customers the opportunity to experience Porsche models up close and explore many different driving experiences such as handling, slalom and off-roading.

The event attracted more than 800 attendees in Riyadh and Jeddah over a span of eight days, providing a broad opportunity to engage Porsche enthusiasts and those interested in its technology and dynamic performance.

The roadshow is designed to allow participants to experience the dynamic of a Porsche car on a road-track or off-road, in a safe and monitored space guided by certified Porsche driving instructors. Participants were not only able to enjoy the thrill of driving a Porsche, but they also got the opportunity to enhance their driving skills.

The previous Porsche World Roadshow in Saudi Arabia took place in 2018 at Nofa Riyadh and The Track Jeddah.

This year, participants engaged in several exciting activities involving various Porsche models such as car control, road maneuvering, controlled tours on and off-road, and exploration of electric mobility. These activities allowed participants to experience the advanced technologies and dynamic performance that define Porsche models.

Rashad Embaby, general manager of Porsche Saudi Arabia, expressed his pleasure at hosting the Porsche World Roadshow for the second time in the Kingdom. He emphasized the unique experience that is offered across various Porsche models and its inspirational value.


STC Bank launch in line with Vision 2030 goal of cashless society

Updated 08 April 2024
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STC Bank launch in line with Vision 2030 goal of cashless society

stc pay has received formal approval from the Saudi Central Bank to move to the next phase of its transformation journey into STC Bank. This beta launch is limited to preselected customers and is a preparation for a full public launch later this year. The transition is supported by SAMA, affirming its commitment to playing a pivotal role in digital transformation and empowerment. It is in line with the ambitious goal of Vision 2030 to transition toward a cashless society by increasing the share of digital financial transactions.

The beta launch will enable selected users to upgrade their accounts from an stc pay digital wallet into an STC Bank account. Customers will be provided with an STC Bank International Bank Account Number and get additional banking services.

STC Bank will provide Shariah-compliant banking services and financial solutions whilst ensuring the utmost security and customer protection through the utilization of cutting-edge financial technologies. It will be a significant addition to the Saudi banking sector by offering traditional banking services through a customer-centric digital approach.

Founded in October 2018, stc pay is the first licensed fintech company by SAMA. Since then, it has become the region’s biggest digital wallet giving access to financial services to more than 12 million customers through its mobile-first approach. “This transformation aligns with the executive plan of the fintech strategy under the Financial Sector Development Program, aiming to establish the Kingdom as a global hub for financial technology and innovation in technology-based financial services, thereby enhancing financial and economic empowerment for individuals and communities,” a statement said.

According to official data released earlier this month, the share of retail consumer electronic payments in Saudi Arabia surged to 70 percent of total transactions in 2023, up from 62 percent in the previous year.

According to a statement released by SAMA, this increase is attributed to the substantial growth of transactions processed through national payment systems in 2023, totaling 10.8 billion deals compared to 8.7 billion in the previous year.