Riyadh to host inaugural SaudiFood Manufacturing show

The SaudiFood Manufacturing exhibition will convene more than 400 global brands from 35 countries for the first time in the Kingdom.
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Updated 22 April 2024
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Riyadh to host inaugural SaudiFood Manufacturing show

The inaugural edition of SaudiFood Manufacturing, the first dedicated F&B manufacturing event in the Kingdom spanning processing, packaging and ingredients, will be the launchpad for the industry to take its place at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s economic transformation. Following the highly successful launch of The Saudi Food Show, the largest food event in the Kingdom, organizers KAOUN International and dmg events, recently unveiled highlights of the much-anticipated SaudiFood Manufacturing event, taking place at Riyadh Front from April 30-May 2, under the patronage of Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar bin Ibrahim Al-Khorayef.

Underpinning the fast-growing F&B market in Saudi Arabia — currently worth around $60 billion and growing at four percent per year, the Saudi F&B manufacturing industry is on the cusp of a step change in its growth and importance within the nation’s economy.

Trixie LohMirmand, CEO of KAOUN International, said: “The launch of SaudiFood Manufacturing coincides with a pivotal moment in the F&B manufacturing industry, both in Saudi Arabia and globally. To achieve the ambitious goals of Vision 2030, the Saudi government is focusing on diversifying the nation’s industrial base, while enhancing the security and resilience of food systems, encouraging investments in F&B manufacturing to establish the Kingdom as a prominent global F&B hub. Concurrently, rapid technological advancements are revolutionizing the industry by enhancing efficiency, quality, and safety while reducing costs.

“The inaugural edition of SaudiFood Manufacturing will provide participants with valuable insights into these market dynamics, showcasing how leading global players are addressing them and how businesses can effectively leverage these trends.”

One of the key forces driving Saudi Arabia’s industrial transformation, and creating an attractive environment for inward investment and innovation, is the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones, known as MODON — the strategic partner for the launch edition.

Ali Alomeir, VP of business development at MODON, said: “After the success of the first edition of The Saudi Food Show last year, the first edition of the SaudiFood Manufacturing Show 2024 also comes with a strategic partnership with MODON, reflecting MODON’s pivotal role in achieving the goals of the National Strategy for Industry, and Saudi Vision 2030, to achieve food security and effectively contribute to diversifying the national economy.”

For professionals in F&B manufacturing, spanning processing, packaging, ingredients, supply chain solutions, and control and automation, the SaudiFood Manufacturing Show offers a strategic platform abundant with opportunities to discover tailored solutions for their businesses.

The SaudiFood Manufacturing exhibition will convene more than 400 global brands from 35 countries for the first time in the Kingdom, including industry powerhouses AMC, Anasia, Apical, Brenntag, Buhler Chemco FSL, CGS, Clextral, Cybernetik Technologies, IFFCO, Kanoo Machinery, Multivac, Novonesis, Senovia and many others.

“Saudi Arabia’s food market is a growing arena full of opportunities for innovation and fruitful collaboration. Al-Azzaz, now being Brenntag BSP Nutrition, is attending the inaugural SaudiFood Manufacturing exhibition in Riyadh with a deep commitment to developing solid relationships. Cementing our dedication to driving innovation and growth within Saudi Arabia’s food sector, we are pleased to announce our investment and upcoming launch of Brenntag’s new Innovation and Application Center, which will open in Riyadh in 2024. This center will serve as a lighthouse of innovation, highlighting Brenntag Specialties’ investment and unwavering belief in how important it is for us to be close to our customers,” said Brenntag Nutrition-EMEA President Frank Haven.

Under the theme “Building the Food Manufacturing Ecosystem of the Future,” more than 50 international experts, thought-leaders, and policymakers are already confirmed to speak at the first Food Forward Summit — many of them for the first time in Saudi Arabia. 

These include: Dr. Flavia Fayet-Moore, space nutritionist and CEO of FOODiQ; Ross Dawson, global leading futurist, entrepreneur and bestselling author; Bugge Holm Hansen, senior futurist and head of innovation and technology, Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies; George Peppou, founder and CEO of Vow; Richard Dillon, CEO of Ivy Farms Technologies; Luke Tay, founder of Cornucopia FutureScapes; Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy, professor, University of Toronto and founder and chief science officer, Nutrigenomix Inc.; and many more.


Najm ensures road safety for Hajj pilgrims

Updated 17 June 2024
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Najm ensures road safety for Hajj pilgrims

Najm for Insurance Services is implementing its plans to enhance traffic safety in the holy sites, providing comfort for pilgrims to perform their rituals easily and safely, during this year’s Hajj season. It is ensuring the safety of pilgrims from the moment they enter the Kingdom until their safe return to their home countries.

Najm has established a direction and control center equipped with a network of IT systems and utilizing a range of smart applications, systems and digital channels such as the Najm app, the IVR system, WhatsApp service, a control and guidance system, and a call center. These channels contribute to increasing the speed of response and handling traffic accidents during the Hajj season, in coordination with the General Department of Traffic.

At the field level, Najm has also established an operating center in the holy sites to provide support and assistance. This center is equipped with trained personnel, numbering around 120 individuals, most of whom are responsibility determination specialists, in addition to a fleet of more than 80 vehicles and motorcycles to carry out field operations and serve the pilgrims. Due to the high traffic density in the area, the motorcycles will help deal with traffic accidents in the holy sites, ensuring the fastest possible response.

CEO of Najm Mohammed Yahya Al-Shehri said “We take pride in our mission, which aims at enhancing the security and safety of pilgrims within an integrated system in which all government sectors participate and are supervised by the Kingdom’s leaders.

“Our operational plan supports the Kingdom’s efforts to serve the pilgrims, in alignment with the objectives of the Pilgrims Service Program, one of the programs of Saudi Vision 2030, aimed at developing the Hajj journey to allow the performance of Hajj rituals with ease and peace of mind. Najm cooperates with all relevant authorities, including the General Traffic Department, which makes great efforts to support traffic plans on the roads leading to the holy sites, ensuring maximum traffic safety and the swiftest possible response to traffic accidents.”

Najm is a closed and unlisted joint-stock company established in 2007 to enhance the vehicle insurance sector in the Kingdom. Najm offers an integrated system of insurance solutions and services to citizens, residents, and visitors in 44 cities across the Kingdom, with a skilled and experienced Saudi workforce.


Something for everyone: Dyson shares gift guide

Updated 17 June 2024
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Something for everyone: Dyson shares gift guide

This Eid Al-Adha, Dyson has curated a gift guide of its pioneering products that blend technology with sleek design to address life’s pressing concerns.

The brand offers something for everyone — popular hair care solutions in a luxurious new colorway for the beauty enthusiast, the latest floor and home care for the house-proud and hi-tech headphones for the music lover.

Dyson Supersonic hair dryer

Dyson has recently introduced a new colorway — the luxurious, limited-edition Onyx Black/Gold — in its hair care innovations, including the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer. Combining stunning aesthetics and superior functionality, the Dyson Supersonic features a powerful digital motor and intelligent heat control, which dries hair quickly, protecting its natural shine and preventing heat damage. It is priced at SR1,749 ($466).

Dyson Airwrap multi-styler

Also coming in the opulent new colorway is the viral Dyson Airwrap multi-styler with matching attachments and a black presentation case. Engineered for different hair types and lengths, it comes with a selection of attachments and barrels to curl and wave in both directions, brushes to control and shape, and the multi-functional Coanda smoothing dryer to tame flyaways. The Dyson Airwrap starts from SR2,299.

Dyson V15 Detect Absolute cordless vacuum

Give the gift of a spotless home with Dyson V15 Detect Absolute that is capable of detecting, removing, sizing and counting microscopic dust for scientific proof of a deep clean and live data about the cleanliness of your house. The sensors can analyze how dirty the floors are and change the suction power dynamically, helping to achieve an optimum clean floor finish. It is available in Gold or Iron/Purple colorways, priced at SR2,199.

Dyson Zone noise-canceling headphones

Designed for those with a passion for music, the Dyson Zone noise-canceling headphones excel in delivering an immersive audio experience. Meticulously designed to minimize distortion, they offer a broad frequency range with an impressive audio-only run time of up to 50 hours. 

They are available in the Ultra Blue/Prussian Blue colorway for SR2,899.

Dyson Purifier Formaldehyde purifying fan

A perfect gift for the house-proud, the Dyson Purifier Formaldehyde purifying fan features a revolutionary formaldehyde-sensing technology, designed to capture ultrafine dust and allergens, even destroying potentially dangerous volatile organic compounds, including formaldehyde. It is available for SR2,099.


Saudi Arabia embraces fitness: GymNation sees record sign-ups

Updated 16 June 2024
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Saudi Arabia embraces fitness: GymNation sees record sign-ups

GymNation, a homegrown GCC fitness brand, has announced record-breaking demand from Saudi residents, ahead of the official opening of its first six gym locations in the Kingdom in August.

More than 120,000 people initially registered their interest in the four Jeddah and two Alkhobar locations, with the first phase of 12,000 memberships selling out in under 72 hours, breaking all previous pre-opening sales records for a gym brand in the Middle East.

Already the UAE’s largest gym brand, GymNation’s launch into Saudi Arabia aligns directly with the ambitions of Vision 2030 and building a strong, happy, and fulfilling society as the foundation for economic prosperity. With physical, psychological, and social well-being at the heart, Vision 2030 aims to promote a society where everyone enjoys a high quality of life, a healthy lifestyle and an attractive living environment.

Loren Holland, founder and CEO, GymNation, said: “The unprecedented number of memberships we have sold in just three days shows the huge demand and interest from citizens and residents in improving their physical and mental health across the Kingdom. At GymNation, we want to provide a far better gym experience at a much more affordable price point than is currently available from the existing operators. We are an inclusive brand that provides a welcoming environment for everyone regardless of ability, shape or size.”

“Our pipeline of new locations across Saudi Arabia is incredibly strong and with the support of our investment partners Tricap Investments and Ruya Partners, we are looking forward to an exciting period of growth and having a similar positive and disruptive impact on the Saudi Arabia fitness scene by breaking down affordability and accessibility barriers, like we did in the UAE.”

The Saudi Sports for All Federation recently launched its 2024 summer campaign, “Move Your World,” to help people engage in physical activities. GymNation’s launch supports the federation’s aims to raise awareness about the benefits of physical activity and help people overcome barriers to healthy living habits.

As the region’s “movement partner,” GymNation will play a leading role in improving the health and well-being for everyone in Saudi Arabia, by making going to the gym less intimidating, more affordable, more accessible and fun for everyone.


Coworking spaces shift from real estate investment to entrepreneurial enabler

Updated 16 June 2024
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Coworking spaces shift from real estate investment to entrepreneurial enabler

Coworking spaces first emerged as alternative workplaces that reduced fixed costs like rent and utilities. Now, they are undergoing a major evolution to become strategic hubs that foster entrepreneurship and development in communities.

That is a critical development for SMEs, which came under unprecedented pressure during and after COVID-19. The pandemic did not just challenge traditional office-based work models and exacerbate economic uncertainties; it left numerous small and emerging businesses vulnerable, with about 50 percent of SMEs shutting down within five years of starting operations.

Now, the sector is increasingly finding support and the ability to reinvent itself through supportive co-working spaces. One example of this is the Social Development Bank’s Jada30 project, a coworking initiative that is aligned with Saudi Vision 2030. Unlike traditional coworking spaces, which are driven by a real estate investment imperative, Jada30 is an out-and-out enabler of entrepreneurship.

As such, it offers a suite of comprehensive services, including professional advisory services, training, and access to both financial and non-financial products to support the lifecycle of emerging projects. The result of this initiative is a vibrant business community that is both supportive and conducive to sustainable business growth.

Today, Jada30 has expanded to include 11 branches across the Kingdom, with plans to add six more. It currently supports 245 enterprises, providing services to 60,000 beneficiaries. The addition of new branches in Al-Jouf, Makkah, and Dammam earlier this year highlights the initiative’s commitment to fostering an entrepreneurial ecosystem that is both resilient and expansive, enabling people to achieve their full potential and ambition.

Ultimately, the value of Jada30 is that it is not just a coworking space, but a dynamic environment that empowers local entrepreneurs to thrive and succeed. By changing our mindset from viewing coworking spaces as simple real estate investments to platforms of entrepreneurial empowerment, we are significantly contributing to the very economic fabric of the nation.

For our economy to reach its full potential, it is vital that we create the optimal conditions for new businesses to flourish and achieve their aspirations. Through Jada30, we are offering a vibrant alternative model for the Kingdom’s entrepreneurial development. This is an approach we can all get behind.

The writer is chief executive of the Social Development Bank.


SADAFCO’s sustainability report highlights progress toward Vision 2030

Updated 15 June 2024
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SADAFCO’s sustainability report highlights progress toward Vision 2030

Saudia Dairy and Foodstuff Company has unveiled its latest sustainability report for the year 2023, showcasing its steadfast commitment to sustainability, innovation, and alignment with the ambitious goals of Saudi Vision 2030. Developed under the esteemed Global Reporting Initiative’s Universal Standards and as per Tadawul stock exchange guidelines, this report highlights SADAFCO’s leading role in integrating sustainable practices across its operations, setting a benchmark for the industry.

SADAFCO is dedicated to environmental stewardship, aiming to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060. Through initiatives like replacing steam boilers with energy-efficient models, the company anticipates saving up to 2.1 million kg/ year in CO2 emissions. Additionally, SADAFCO plans to offset 40 percent of its electricity consumption with solar power by the end of 2024, while enhancing operational efficiency through its Digital Factory Program.

Working toward a zero-emissions fleet by 2045, SADAFCO is transitioning to zero-emission vehicles and collaborating with NTSC to install EV charging stations. The recent acquisition of the first frozen electric vehicle in the Middle East underscores the company’s dedication to pioneering sustainable transportation solutions.

“We aim to embed sustainability across all facets of our operations. Our alignment with Saudi Vision 2030 is evident in our strategic priorities, which focus on operational efficiency, value chain enhancement, and regional growth,” said Patrick O. Stillhart, CEO of SADAFCO. He added: “Despite a shorter financial year, we have made remarkable progress in fleet decarbonization, digital transformation, and supplier engagement, resulting in significant improvements in our factory operations.”

SADAFCO’s sustainability strategy is centered on product innovation, focusing on crafting healthier options by introducing new non-dairy alternatives and reducing sugar and salt content. The recent launch of the Mezete brand by Saudia range products exemplifies this commitment, offering natural and preservative-free alternatives to consumers. This dedication to providing healthier choices is rooted in SADAFCO’s philosophy of prioritizing consumer delight and ensuring the delivery of innovative, high-quality, and safe products while empowering consumers through transparent communication and responsible marketing practices.

In tandem with its sustainability efforts, SADAFCO actively engages in social responsibility initiatives such as the Saudia Falcons program, aimed at nurturing and empowering youth. Additionally, the company’s consumer education campaigns play a pivotal role in promoting healthy food choices and fostering informed decision-making among consumers.