LuLu opens 60th Saudi hypermarket in Khamis Mushait

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Updated 22 May 2024

LuLu opens 60th Saudi hypermarket in Khamis Mushait

Regional retailer Lulu Group has further expanded its presence in the Kingdom with the opening of its newest destination in Khamis Mushait, Asir province. 

Khaled bin Abdulaziz bin Mushait, governor of Khamis Mushait, inaugurated the hypermarket — the 60th LuLu outlet in Saudi Arabia — in the presence of Yusuf Ali M.A., chairman of LuLu Group, and other dignitaries. 

Present on the occasion were Saifee Rupawala, CEO of LuLu Group; Ashraf Ali M.A., executive director, LuLu Group; Shehim Mohammed, LuLu Saudi director; Rafeek Mohammed Ali, regional director, LuLu Hypermarket, Jeddah region; and other senior officials. 

The hypermarket is spread over 71,000 square feet in the popular Mujan Park Mall and comes packed with all the favorite shopping features that have made LuLu the fastest growing retail chain across the Kingdom. 

Chairman Ali said: “LuLu’s growth story in Saudi Arabia is a testimony to the quality choices of Saudi shoppers who recognize the commitment of LuLu to deliver its brand promise of quality, affordability and variety. Brand LuLu has always been known for catering to shoppers based not only in city centers, but also in the outskirts and suburbs, so that people do not need to travel long distances. We are committed to providing world-class shopping and we shall continue meeting the lifestyle needs of our clientele base.” 

He added: “We have also focused on promoting and providing local employment opportunities, which have been critical to our success through a structured recruitment process that aims to provide necessary training and skill enhancement opportunities to the local workforce.” 

As part of its expansion plan in the Kingdom, LuLu will open another 17 new hypermarkets in the near future, which will provide more employment to the local youth, Ali said.

“The onward march of LuLu Hypermarkets in Saudi Arabia signals our group’s commitment to the Saudi leadership’s vision and energy for a bright future. Our growth would not have been possible without the support of all our stakeholders — especially our valued customers who have always patronized our quality and service, and our management who have tapped retail trends and built a network of stores on the foundation of excellence.” 

“We are proud to be part of Saudi Arabia’s overall development and will continue to support sustainable development strategies. I thank the wise leadership of Saudi Arabia for their support,” added Ali. 

Located on the first floor of the mall, the store is designed with customer convenience at its core. The hypermarket offers the choicest selection of ingredients from across the world, fresh food in the Hot Foods section and bakery, electronics in the LuLu Connect section and a fashion store.

Shoppers have the convenience of 1,100 car parking slots and, inside the store, 12 checkout counters and four self-checkout counters. There are also dedicated green checkout counters to encourage the company policy of giving ecologically aware customers priority. LuLu will also offer e-receipt checkout, in line with its green drive that seeks to promote paperless transactions.

Special in-store features include an emphasis on healthy and diet food choices, an extensive range of “Free From” foods, pet foods, a seafood section that also extends to freshly made sushi and grilled fish, premium meats and an expansive imported product range. 

Thakher Company employees volunteer to serve pilgrims

Updated 19 June 2024

Thakher Company employees volunteer to serve pilgrims

Employees of Thakher Development Company, the master developer of the master plan and infrastructure for the Thakher Makkah project, participated in the “And Purify My House” initiative under the patronage of the Mayor of Makkah Musaed bin Abdulaziz Al-Daoud. Additionally, the company organized a campaign to raise health and food safety awareness and distribute umbrellas to pilgrims within the Thakher Makkah project, in partnership with the Municipal Volunteer Department in the Holy Makkah Municipality.

The “And Purify My House” initiative was held over three days, where volunteers prepared and cleaned the holy sites, such as Mount Arafat, Mina and Muzdalifah, for the arrival of the pilgrims. Efforts also involved restoring visual distortions and maintaining public facilities, including painting and other tasks.

These efforts are part of the company’s comprehensive program to promote healthcare during the Hajj season, with a focus on the importance of hygiene and nutrition. The initiative ensures proper facilities are available for pilgrims to guarantee a safe and healthy Hajj experience.

Abdulaziz bin Saleh Al-Aboudi, CEO of Thakher Development Company, said: “At Thakher Company, we emphasize the importance of cooperation and participation in volunteer activities within the Kingdom that aim to foster the values of generosity and social solidarity, and to enhance the esteemed image of the holy capital in the eyes of pilgrims. I would also like to extend my gratitude to everyone who participated in organizing this initiative, and to our employees for their humanitarian and volunteer efforts in serving the pilgrims and strengthening the spirit of cooperation and social responsibility.”

Thakher Makkah is located approximately 1 km from the Grand Mosque and a few kilometers away from the holy sites of Muzdalifah, Mina and Arafat. The project contributes to the Kingdom’s ambitious vision, which aims to host 30 million Umrah performers and six million pilgrims by 2030.

Upon completion, the project, spanning over an area of 320,000 square meters, will include 100 land plots for hospitality, residential and commercial uses. Residential and hotel apartment units will be available in various categories, and the units will also be available 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, in order to provide distinguished services to pilgrims.

Altawkilat Premium dominates global Hongqi awards

Updated 19 June 2024

Altawkilat Premium dominates global Hongqi awards

The Universal Premium Motors Agencies, known as Altawkilat Premium, the authorized dealer for Hongqi in Saudi Arabia, won four prestigious international awards at the Shaping the Future conference for Hongqi global partners. The event was held in Beijing, China, concurrently with the 2024 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition. These awards recognize excellence in sales, after-sales services, and marketing.

Additionally, Tarek Al-Saeedi, general manager of after-sales services at Altawkilat Premium, was appointed as a member of the Hongqi Overseas After-Sales Services Advisory Committee in China.

Jason Blane, general manager of Hongqi in Saudi Arabia, said: “Altawkilat Premium received these prestigious global awards, reflecting the successful strategic collaboration between FAW Group Corporation and Altawkilat Premium. The honors are a continuation of the company’s strategy to offer top-tier luxury vehicles.”

He added: “The Universal Premium Motors Agencies has a long history spanning over 70 years in the automotive sales and service sector, with an extensive network of branches across various cities in the Kingdom. This partnership with Hongqi strengthens the presence of luxury Chinese vehicles in Saudi Arabia.”

Hongqi is continuously striving to enhance its vehicles with the latest global technologies to keep pace with rapid developments in the automotive industry. The company has established global research centers in Nanjing, China, to attract local talent in artificial intelligence and future networking technologies. Additionally, Altawkilat Premium has launched programs and initiatives to enhance customer awareness and engagement, providing superior and impactful customer service. 

The company is dedicated to developing and improving its services and expanding its areas to meet customer needs and provide a distinguished purchasing experience.

The recent award wins are a testament to the company’s efforts in enhancing the brand and delivering excellent services. This success is expected to bolster Altawkilat Premium’s position as a leading partner for Hongqi in Saudi Arabia and strengthen customer confidence in the brand.

Tiggo 7 Pro Max launches with record-breaking parade

Updated 18 June 2024

Tiggo 7 Pro Max launches with record-breaking parade

Sanabel Modern Motors, a Mohamed Yousuf Naghi distributor for Chery Pro Max vehicles in the Kingdom, has set a Guinness World Record for the largest parade of Chery cars globally at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. The event also featured the unveiling of the new Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Max, a revolutionary addition to the SUV market in Saudi Arabia.

The event was attended by senior management from Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Company, Chinese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chen Weiqing, and senior officials from Chery International in China, along with Chery owners, media representatives, and influencers.

The event is part of the “Car of the Champions” platform for the Tiggo 7 Pro Max.

The “Car of the Champions” platform features exciting activities throughout June and July, including a cinema experience at Jeddah Corniche, the Chery Exceptional Experience at Red Sea Mall, and engaging summer activities at Jeddah Corniche.

During the record-breaking parade, more than 250 Chery cars, skillfully navigated by Chery owners and media personnel, achieved an unprecedented milestone by maintaining a straight line at 20 km per hour while precisely sustaining a 10-meter distance at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. Each participant in the parade was a true champion, showcasing their exceptional skills and dedication.

Managing Director of Sanabel Modern Motors Abdallah Madhoun said: “Striving for the extraordinary and embodying the spirit of champions are the core themes of this event. Today, we proudly achieved two significant milestones — setting a new world record and launching the Tiggo 7 Pro Max, the ultimate champion’s car.”

Wang Wei, deputy general manager, Middle East, added: “The Tiggo 7 Pro Max is a proud addition to the Chery family. This model features cutting-edge technology, unparalleled comfort, and top-tier safety standards, making it the premier choice for our esteemed Saudi customers.”

Unveiled at the event, the Tiggo 7 Pro Max is engineered to deliver an exceptional driving experience, seamlessly integrating advanced technology with luxurious comfort. Its key features include:

•360-degree all-view monitor: The comprehensive 360-degree camera system offers a panoramic view that simplifies parking and enhances navigation in any environment.

•Premium Sony speaker system: The Sony speaker system delivers clear, detailed sound designed to provide superior audio quality throughout the journey.

•Custom climate control and wireless charging: Dual-zone automatic air conditioning offers personalized comfort. The 50 W wireless fast-charging provides convenient power for devices.

•Smooth performance with turbocharged engine and 7DCT: The 1.6 T engine and 7-speed dual-clutch transmission create a perfect blend of power and efficiency. The electronic gear shift mechanism ensures seamless gear changes for a smooth drive.

Najm’s digital prowess wins ‘claims manager’ award

Updated 18 June 2024

Najm’s digital prowess wins ‘claims manager’ award

Najm for Insurance Services has been named the “Leading Claims Manager of the Year” at the 10th Golden Shield Awards for Excellence. The award ceremony took place as part of the Middle East International InsureTek 2024 conference held in Riyadh on May 28, at Mövenpick Hotel and Residences.

The ceremony honored distinguished institutions and individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of the insurance industry.

Najm won this award for its role in developing several digital platforms to enhance the experience of motor insurance clients. Among these platforms is the Ashal service for third-party insurance customers, which offers a comprehensive service as an alternative to cash compensation. This service includes towing the damaged vehicle from the accident site, assessing the damages, transporting the vehicle to the repair center, and then returning it to the customer’s location with a repair warranty, all without any additional financial cost.

Additionally, Najm provides an insurance claims management platform that allows insurance claims to be submitted electronically by those affected by traffic accidents. This platform improves the accuracy of claim processing, assists insurance companies in enhancing customer service, and provides a seamless and user-friendly experience for policyholders. The services provided by the platform includes claims management, claims modification, claims review, and submission of claims to insurance companies.

Ajil Al-Jarba, vice president, marketing and sales, Najm, said: “This achievement is a result of Najm’s commitment to developing its services in the realm of digital transformation, in line with its strategy to improve business performance and customer experience through the integration of automation, artificial intelligence, and data analysis. This digital approach has enhanced the accuracy and quality of insurance data, facilitated claims processes, and automated Najm’s services.”

Al-Jarba added: “Najm has also launched several customer-centric services and initiatives, such as the insurance record platform, which allows clients to view their vehicle insurance data and benefit from a no-claims discount while maintaining insurance coverage for all their vehicles. Furthermore, Najm offers its services via its mobile app and WhatsApp platform, improving service quality and response time. These advancements have expedited and improved the accuracy and fairness of claims processing and settlement, contributing to the reduction of insurance fraud. These factors collectively highlight Najm’s commitment to excellence, innovation, and customer satisfaction, making it a deserving candidate for the ‘Leading Claims Manager of the Year’ award at InsureTek.”

Dell and Aramco to collaborate in emerging technologies

Updated 18 June 2024

Dell and Aramco to collaborate in emerging technologies

Dell Technologies and Aramco have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore opportunities in quantum computing, artificial intelligence, edge computing solutions, and advanced computing architectures.

The role of technologies such as AI-enabled edge and quantum computing can help address complex problems in areas such as energy optimization, predictive maintenance, weather modeling, and materials science. The combination of AI and edge computing, along with a robust and scalable enterprise IT infrastructure, is expected to allow businesses to optimize operations, foster real-time data processing, and enhance computational efficiencies.

The MoU underscores Aramco’s aim to drive innovation in the global energy sector and paves the way for potential collaborations that could lead to future technological advancements. Nabil Al-Nuaim, senior vice president of digital and information technology, Aramco, said: “Technologies such as AI and quantum computing offer unparalleled processing capabilities and could be game-changers in the energy sector. The potential is limitless, and we are excited to explore new opportunities with Dell.”

These opportunities could enable us to further align with our sustainability goals and help contribute to the Kingdom’s position as a technological frontrunner in the energy domain.”

Mohammed Amin, senior vice president, CEEMETA, Dell Technologies, said: “From optimizing energy operations to finding solutions to complex challenges, we seek to drive transformative change within the energy vertical by helping companies like Aramco adopt the latest technological advancements to stay ahead of the innovation curve.”