stc raises the bar for innovation at Mobile World Congress

During the event, stc Group showcased a variety of on-ground activations, each highlighting different facets of their technological prowess.
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Updated 03 March 2024

stc raises the bar for innovation at Mobile World Congress

stc Group, a global leader in digital transformation, has successfully concluded its sponsorship and participation in Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The group solidified its commitment to innovation and growth through the signing of strategic MoUs with industry giants. The following partnerships were announced:

• IBM Middle East: stc Group and IBM Middle East agree to collaborate on upgrades to current fault management systems through the implementation of the latest cloud-based Netcool fault management platform.

• China Mobile International Limited: The agreement will see both partners work together to advance the deployment and implementation of IoT connectivity services for businesses in the region.

• Channels by stc x Huawei: In collaboration with Huawei, this MoU focuses on driving growth in the devices business, engaging in yearly business plans, and exploring strategic collaborations.

• Channels by stc x Samsung: This joint business plan with Samsung aims to sustain growth initiatives, marking a significant collaboration in the consumer electronics and services sector.

“Partnerships with global entities such as Ericsson, Huawei, and Samsung signify the great strides that stc is making toward an even more globally connected future,” the group said. “With these collaborations, stc is positioned at the forefront of shaping the ever-evolving digital landscape, driving collaboration, innovation and accelerating performance.”

During the event, stc Group showcased a variety of on-ground activations, each highlighting different facets of their technological prowess and commitment to sustainability. These included the AI Selfie, a customized interactive experience that enabled visitors to create their own digital avatars.

The Digital City 3D sand table demonstrated stc Group’s vision for the future of smart cities and their advanced technology. Visitors had the opportunity to be fully immersed in a 3D tour inside Makkah through Makkah 3D Experience, further underscoring stc’s continuous efforts in promoting cultural heritage and visualization technologies, all while illustrating how 5G-Advanced can catalyze digital transformation across sectors.

The IntelliReserve activation specialized in tracking and analyzing data on various wildlife species in the Kingdom, and the Sustainable Park activation gave visitors the chance to experience a virtual journey through interactive screens.

These on-ground activations represent stc Group’s innovative approach to digital transformation and its commitment to sustainability and connectivity.

RUUD, Modern Electronics tap into growing HVAC market

Updated 27 May 2024

RUUD, Modern Electronics tap into growing HVAC market

A strategic collaboration between RUUD — a brand in the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning industry under Rheem Middle East — and Modern Electronics, to become the exclusive distributor for RUUD’s air-conditioning products in Saudi Arabia, comes at a pivotal time when the HVAC sector in the Kingdom is witnessing substantial growth, driven by increased demand across various sectors including residential, commercial, and industrial markets.

The HVAC market in Saudi Arabia is projected to grow significantly, with a compound annual growth rate of 4.2 percent from 2021 to 2026. The surge in demand is attributed to the Kingdom’s rapid urbanization, extensive infrastructure projects, and a growing emphasis on energy-efficient solutions. Major infrastructure developments under Saudi Vision 2030 are further propelling the need for advanced HVAC systems.

Modern Electronics, well-known for its extensive distribution network, is well-positioned to meet this growing demand. The partnership with RUUD will enable Modern Electronics to deliver high-quality, reliable cooling solutions tailored to the specific needs of consumers in Saudi Arabia.

Brian Hempenstall, general manager of Rheem Middle East and Africa, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Modern Electronics as our exclusive distributor in Saudi Arabia. This collaboration underscores our commitment to providing premium HVAC solutions that meet the diverse needs of our customers in the region.”

Samer Bachour, general manager of sales at Rheem Middle East and Africa, said: “Modern Electronics’ market expertise and comprehensive understanding of Saudi Arabia’s HVAC demands make them an ideal partner. Together, we are dedicated to delivering innovative, energy-efficient cooling solutions that cater to the evolving needs of Saudi consumers.”

Wajih Beiruti, CEO of Modern Electronics, added: “We are delighted to join forces with RUUD to bring their best-in-class HVAC products to our customers in Saudi Arabia. By leveraging our local market knowledge and extensive distribution network, we aim to deliver the latest and most advanced cooling solutions, ensuring exceptional quality and value for our consumers.”

RUUD’s parent company, Rheem Middle East, has a strong reputation for providing highly customized and engineered HVAC solutions. In addition to expanding its product offerings, Rheem Middle East is committed to supporting the local HVAC sector’s development. Earlier this year, Rheem Middle East launched an innovation learning center in Riyadh to train young Saudis, aiming to increase local expertise in the HVAC industry.

This partnership and RUUD’s dedication to expanding its market presence and delivering advanced cooling solutions to meet the growing demand in Saudi Arabia also highlights the Kingdom’s appeal as a key market.

Samaco Motors unveils new Porsche Panamera

Updated 27 May 2024

Samaco Motors unveils new Porsche Panamera

Porsche Saudi Arabia and Samaco Motors have launched the new Panamera 2024, which challenges boundaries with more power, state-of-the-art technology, an enhanced driving dynamic, and new design features. The launch events were held in Riyadh and Jeddah.

The Panamera’s debut in Riyadh featured a glamorous reveal illustrating the seamless integration of luxurious design and digital innovation that defines the new model. Attendees experienced firsthand the advanced capabilities of the Panamera’s upgraded suspension systems and the robust performance of its e-hybrid powertrains, which promise an unmatched blend of power and sustainability.

In Jeddah, the event provided an exclusive opportunity for guests to take the wheel and experience the agility and power of the Panamera 2024. This hands-on experience highlights the vehicle’s enhanced driving dynamics and technological integrations, setting a new benchmark for what enthusiasts can expect from a luxury sports sedan.

Rashad Embaby, general manager of Porsche Saudi Arabia, said: “The new Panamera 2024 represents a pivotal evolution in our pursuit of combining luxury with performance and environmental consciousness. It exemplifies Porsche’s innovative spirit and our dedication to exceeding the expectations of our discerning customers in Saudi Arabia and around the world.”

The new Panamera 2024 showcases an array of advanced and sophisticated digital features, luxurious design elements, upgraded suspension systems, and enhanced e-hybrid powertrains, offering a superior blend of performance and efficiency.

Its four-liter V8 turbo engine paired with a 140 kW electric motor, delivers a combined output of 680 PS and a torque of 930 Nm. This configuration enables the car to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.2 seconds, with a top speed of 315 km/h, while offering an electric range of up to 91 kilometers.

In line with global trends toward sustainability and efficiency, the new Panamera 2024 includes features designed to minimize environmental impact.

This regional launch signifies the expansion of Porsche’s strategic vision and its commitment to exceptional automotive experiences across the Middle East. Porsche Saudi Arabia and Samaco are encouraging luxury car enthusiasts to visit their showrooms to discover the features embedded within the new model and test drive it.

Jeeny to swap 50% cars for EVs by 2028, full electrification by 2030

Updated 26 May 2024

Jeeny to swap 50% cars for EVs by 2028, full electrification by 2030

Saudi ride-hailing app Jeeny plans to swap all its cars for electric vehicles by 2030. Speaking at a media gathering in Riyadh on Wednesday, Hammad Ehtesham, Jeeny’s CEO, said: “At Jeeny, we are dedicated to sustainability: we will swap 50 percent of cars for electric vehicles by 2028 and aim for full electrification by 2030, supporting the government’s green initiatives and investing in the necessary infrastructure.”

Speaking to Arab News about the company’s contribution to Saudi Vision 2030, Ehtesham said: “Jeeny’s vision for the Kingdom is clear, we aim to integrate various mobility options within a single app, support the Saudi government and relevant authorities in achieving the objectives of Vision 2030, and reduce the carbon footprint of Jeeny and the overall transportation industry.”

“We aim to deliver unparalleled service quality across the Kingdom, ensure transportation is accessible and affordable for everyone, minimize cancellations and enhance car availability to provide the best transportation services in the region, and collaborate with regulatory authorities,” he added.

When asked if replacing regular cars with electric vehicles will cost extra to the riders, Ehtesham said: “In fact, it will be more profitable for the drivers, the prices will be unchanged for the riders, and it will help reduce the carbon footprint. I can say this from our experience in other countries.”

The CEO said that to meet the diverse needs of passengers in the Kingdom, Jeeny has introduced three distinct ride-hailing services: Ecolite — offering a quick and affordable ride, Smart — a reliable and convenient ride, and Elite — offering luxury and comfort.

“This strategic expansion allows us to cater to a broader audience, enhancing accessibility and satisfaction across the Kingdom,” Ehtesam added.

“Our mobility solution includes ride-hailing services across the Kingdom, facilitating seamless intercity transport. We offer diverse routes and integrate with metro and micro-mobility options for an efficient, interconnected travel experience,” said Ehtesham.

Earlier, making a powerpoint presentation at the media gathering, Ehtesham said that since launching their private car service in 2016, Jeeny has made significant strides: it has created more than 80,000 income opportunities for Saudi nationals, and continuously improved services to meet evolving user needs.

During the presentation, he said Jeeny was able to give back to society by supporting Saudization goals, as the company’s drivers are Saudi citizens.

Jeeny has undergone a remarkable evolution over the years, significantly enhancing both service offerings and the app itself.

Initially launched as Easy Taxi, the service onboarded 100,000 drivers across the Kingdom, greatly improving taxi services with features such as standardized pricing, car cleanliness, monitored driver behavior, enhanced security and safety, reducing idle kilometers, and boosting driver earnings.

Honor unveils ‘four-layer AI strategy’ at VivaTech

Updated 26 May 2024

Honor unveils ‘four-layer AI strategy’ at VivaTech

Global technology brand Honor made its debut at VivaTech, one of Europe’s largest tech and innovation events. During its keynote, the company showcased its innovative approach to on-device AI and unveiled its “four-layer AI strategy.” Honor also announced upcoming gen-AI experiences with Google Cloud, which are set to be featured on its upcoming smartphones.

“At Honor, we firmly believe that, by combining the power of on-device AI’s personalization, intuitiveness, and privacy protection, everyone can unlock the full potential of AI safely and securely,” said George Zhao, CEO of Honor Device Co., Ltd. “We are also delighted to forge ahead with Google Cloud, leveraging our combined expertise to unlock the potential of this hybrid approach and deliver even more seamless AI experiences to our users.”

During the keynote, Honor unveiled its four-layer AI architecture and demonstrated its strategic focus on integrating AI into MagicOS. This four-layer architecture comprises distinct layers. At the base layer, Cross-device and Cross-OS AI form the foundation of an open ecosystem, which allows the sharing of computing power and services among devices and operating systems. Building upon this foundation, the Platform-level AI layer enables a personalized operating system, allowing intent-based human-computer interaction and personalized resource allocation. At the third layer, App-level AI is poised to introduce a wave of innovative, generative AI applications that will revolutionize user experiences. Lastly, at the top, the Interface to Cloud-AI services layer provides users with easy access to massive cloud services while prioritizing privacy protection, creating a truly holistic and future-forward AI experience.

Honor also announced that the upcoming Honor 200 Series will revolutionize portrait photography by bringing the mastery of Studio Harcourt, a legendary French photography studio known for its expertise in capturing classic portrait shots with iconic figures. 

The series will leverage AI technology to recreate the iconic studio’s legendary lighting and shadow effects.

By using AI to learn from a vast dataset of Studio Harcourt portraits, the Honor 200 Series has successfully broken down the entire portrait photography process into nine distinct steps, and perfectly replicates the full Studio Harcourt method, ensuring flawless and studio-quality portraits with every shot.

The Honor 200 Series is set to launch in Paris on June 12.

LuLu brings taste of British summer to Saudi Arabia

Updated 26 May 2024

LuLu brings taste of British summer to Saudi Arabia

LuLu Hypermarket is celebrating summer with an array of British foods and other products in its “Best of Britain” festival. A range of seasonal goods, traditional favorites and top beauty products and fragrances is offering customers in Saudi Arabia the great taste of British summer.

The festival, which began on May 15 and runs until May 25, was formally inaugurated by British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Neil Crompton, at LuLu’s branch in the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh. 

With nearly 5,000 British items on its shelves, the LuLu stores are well stocked with a selection of popular and premium British products, many of which are on promotion for the festival. The event also spotlights the launch of 35 new products from six leading British brands. LuLu currently showcases 605 popular British brands.

The popular annual festival gives people in Saudi Arabia the opportunity to enjoy the extraordinary variety and high quality of British food produce and beauty brands. Shoppers will be able to make the most of the finest British summer treats, from freeze-packed berries to teas, British organic milk, cheeses, flavorsome yogurts and specialty breads. The promotion is running across the entire chain of LuLu outlets in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Crompton said: “I am pleased to inaugurate this year’s British food festival in LuLu. With the popularity of British FMCG goods growing, I understand there has been a growth of 25 percent in imports between 2022 and 2023. We have seen exciting growth in our range of goods, especially our organic range, our biscuits and chocolate. Over the last few years, this event has been very successful and I am particularly pleased that the festival is being held with active support from LuLu’s British subsidiary, the award-winning logistics and packaging center in Birmingham, which is a vital part of the LuLu Group’s strong partnership with the UK.”

Shehim Mohammed, director of LuLu Saudi Hypermarkets, thanked the British Embassy for their support, saying: “The LuLu Group’s Birmingham logistics and warehousing facility services our entire global hypermarket chain. LuLu Hypermarket’s long and delicious list of British products has won accolades from shoppers and our growing sales figures show that. Besides special promotions on British products, LuLu Hypermarket turns a spotlight on British food, cheeses and drinks from the UK that shoppers can enjoy.”