Saudi Arabia tightens reins on online delivery

The Saudi Transport General Authority (TGA) is revving up the engine of the Kingdom's online delivery sector with a series of new regulations. Geared towards boosting safety, efficiency, and local employment, these changes are set to reshape the industry by:1. Phased integration of non-Saudis: Over the next 14 months, non-Saudis will transition from independent delivery drivers to working through dedicated light transport companies. This move aims to improve service quality, standardize practices, and create more job opportunities for Saudi citizens.2. Monetization and innovation: The TGA is exploring the potential for targeted advertising on light delivery vehicles, in collaboration with the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing. This could generate new revenue streams for companies and support the sector's growth.3. Balancing speed with safety: In coordination with the General Directorate of Traffic, the TGA is establishing regulations for motorcycle use in order deliveries. This aims to maintain the agility of two-wheeled delivery while prioritizing rider and pedestrian safety.4. Building trust and transparency: Companies operating in the sector will be mandated to implement facial verification systems for their drivers, directly linked to the TGA. This enhances accountability and provides greater peace of mind for customers.5. A unified image: Non-Saudi delivery workers will be required to wear a standardized uniform, promoting professionalism and fostering a sense of community within the industry.The TGA's vision is twofold:Effective regulation and governance: By raising the bar for service quality, safety, and transparency, the TGA aims to ensure a trusted and reliable delivery experience for all.Boosting Saudi participation: The phased integration of non-Saudis into light transport companies is designed to create more job opportunities for Saudi citizens, contributing to their economic empowerment and strengthening the national workforce.Above image is used from

AnyMind Group expands to Saudi Arabia

AnyMind Group, a technology company for the business supply chain, has today announced its expansion into Saudi Arabia, and has set up an office in Riyadh. Rubeena Singh, Country Manager, India and MENA, AnyMind Group, will lead the Saudi Arabia operations, along with the company’s existing operations in Dubai and India.The company will first roll out its influencer marketing (AnyTag) and mobile marketing (POKKT) platforms into the market, and will subsequently look to provide its other platforms for enterprises, publishers and creators in Saudi Arabia.On the expansion into Saudi Arabia, Singh said: “Having previously served the Middle East region from our operations in Dubai, the timing of our entry into the Kingdom comes amidst a backdrop of a growing digital economy. We’re looking to help businesses unlock new inbound and outbound possibilities through our proven technology and growing networks to capture not just the domestic market but also look into expansion into the rest of the world.”AnyTag is a full-scale influencer marketing platform that enables marketers to discover influencers, and activate, manage, track and attribute influencer marketing campaigns throughout the marketing funnel, from awareness-based to conversion-based campaigns. POKKT is a mobile video advertising platform that specializes in rewarded video ads within mobile games, in-app video ads, rich media innovations and app performance marketing. In addition, POKKT has built strong data and machine learning capabilities that help its over 200 advertising partners to target their audiences effectively.AnyMind Group will also build a team of in-market specialists to help enterprises, publishers and creators in Saudi Arabia to maximize the company’s offerings.Both AnyTag and POKKT reside under AnyMind Group’s Brand Commerce business segment which is designed for enterprises, alongside platforms including AnyX (for e-commerce management and analysis), AnyShop (for e-commerce enablement), AnyChat (for customer engagement), AnyLogi (for logistics management), and more. Additionally, AnyMind Group also serves publishers and creators through its Publisher Growth business segment, which includes AnyManager (web and app publisher monetization and user growth platform) and AnyCreator (creator monetization and analytics platform). Publishers and creators can also tap into the company’s offerings under the Brand Commerce business segment.Kosuke Sogo, CEO and co-founder of AnyMind Group, said: “Since the company’s founding, we have built a track record of market expansion and have developed effective and scalable platforms across the business supply chain. Our initial push in the Saudi Arabia market will be through our marketing platforms, and we will subsequently look at introducing other products into the market once we have built integrations and connections with the local players.”In 2020, AnyMind Group entered the Middle East region with the setting up of operations in Dubai to serve marketers in the GCC and Middle East regions. This dedicated team continues to help clients and agency partners to leverage data and maximize the company’s proprietary technology by providing end-to-end support for their marketing campaigns.This expansion marks the company’s second market in the Middle East, and its 15th market and 22nd office globally. Founded in Singapore and now headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, the company has a presence across the Southeast Asia, East Asia, India and the Middle East regions. The company made its public debut on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Growth market earlier this year.

Anthology hosts EdTech conference in Riyadh

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia:– Anthology, a leading provider of education solutions that support the entire learner lifecycle, is hosting their annual conference for clients in the Middle East for the first time in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.More than 150 instiutional leaders, industy experts and instructors from 56 institutions across the Middle East are expected to attend the the two day conference on 13 – 14 November. The event is hosted by senior executives of Anthology, including Chief Executive Officer Bruce Dahlgren; President of Global Markets Joe Belanardo; and Senior Vice President of EMEA, Oleg Figlin.Anthology Together Middle East will feature keynotes by Anthology leaders and panel discussions on the most important issues facing higher education today, including the ethical and responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI).Executives from Anthology will be joined on stage by leaders in their fields from universities across the Middle East.“Saudi Arabia is home to some of the world's leading higher education institutions,” said Anthology Chief Executive Officer Bruce Dahlgren. "We believe that these institutions, with their commitment to academic excellence, are at the forefront of shaping the future. Our choice to host this conference in Riyadh reflects our commitment to our clients in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East, and our dedication to building solutions in direct partnership with our clients and the learners they serve.”Product and Report Launches at EventAnthology will launch their latest AI-facilitated feature, Authentic Assessments, at the event. Set for release in December, the feature in Blackboard Learn Ultra utilizes learning objectives and course material to develop prompts aligned to Bloom’s Taxonomy that promote critical thinking like analysing, creating, and evaluating. The feature addresses the evolving challenges of academic integrity in the era of artificial intelligence.News at the event also includes the results of a global survey conducted by Anthology on the use and perceptions of AI in higher education. More than 5,000 higher education leaders and current students from countries around the world, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United States, Brazil, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, participated in the survey.Key findings of the report highlight the positive approval of AI in Saudi Universities:49% of students in Saudi Arabia feel that artificial intelligence (AI) will revolutionise education.Students in Saudi Arabia are among the most frequent users of generative AI tools like ChatGPT, with 32% saying they use the tools weekly. Students in Saudi Arabia reported the highest likelihood that their use of generative AI tools will increase significantly in the next six months.  Download report: AI in Higher Ed: Hype, Harm, or Help, Spotlight on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.  Anthology Together will conclude with an awards ceremony, recognizing excellence in education. The following institutions will be honoured on Tuesday, 14 November:Saudi Electronic University: Excellence in Inclusion and DiversityKing Faisal University: Excellence in InnovationAl-Qassim University: Excellence in InnovationKing Khalid University: Excellence in Community EngagementAl-Baha University: Excellence in Community Engagement "Rafed"Tabuk University: Excellence in Training and DevelopmentNajran University: Excellence in Training and DevelopmentHa'il University: Excellence in Advancement and TransitionShaqra University: Excellence in Advancement and TransitionBoard Middle East: 2023 Strategic Channel Partner

Athar Awards to celebrate creative marketing excellence in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Athar – Saudi Festival of Creativity, the largest gathering of the creative marketing industry in the Kingdom set to take place from 13–16 November 2023 at the Hotel Crowne Plaza Riyadh RDC, will feature a special Athar Awards gala dinner to conclude the four-day festival.The inaugural edition will take place on November 16 and feature the Athar Legacy Awards of the Decade and Athar Special Awards, in addition to recognising the winners of the 24-hour hack competition, part of the Young Talent Academies.The gala dinner is set to be attended by creative directors, chief creative officers, CMOs, CEOs and other senior decision makers from all sectors of the creative communications landscape including creative, media and communications agencies, event agencies, advertisers, media houses, brands, platforms, government agencies, publishers, tech platforms, young talent, and start-ups.The Legacy Awards will be presented to agencies and brands verified by the Dubai Lynx and Cannes Lions international festivals of creativity based on points gained over the last decade by Saudi-based campaigns or agencies. Categories include Media Network of the Decade, Brand of the Decade, Agency of the Decade and Network of the Decade.The Special Awards will recognise outstanding individuals, market leaders and other stellar organisations who have positively contributed to the advancement of the local creative industry. It includes the Empowerment and Marketer categories for individuals and three other categories, Disruptors, Excellence and Gamechangers, celebrating organisations for their achievement.The award ceremony will also acknowledge outstanding participants from this year’s Athar Young Talent Academies; a set of six academies designed for young professionals and students to explore creative marketing topics from public relations, copywriting, innovation, branding & design, planning, and social communications.Ian Fairservice, Chairman of Athar Festival and Managing Partner & Group Editor-in-Chief of Motivate Media Group, stated: “With Saudi Arabia’s reception of the first-ever Grand Prix Award at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this year, the local creative industry is in an era of continual progression. Through the Legacy Awards which are verified by both Dubai Lynx and Cannes Lions, we are able to commemorate agencies and brands that have consistently set high standards and embodied excellence through their work. As we approach the start of this year’s festival, we are very excited to close the event on a very festive note, giving peers a chance to celebrate one another’s achievements.”“Saudi creativity is in a remarkable period of growth, proven by the innovative ideas that have been brought to life across various industries,” commented Mohamed Al Ayed, Vice Chairman of Athar Festival and CEO of TRACCS. “Athar Festival’s Special Awards and each of the award categories has been tailored to recognize the brilliance and versatility shown by both individuals and organisations in the Kingdom’s creative landscape. As the Kingdom advances forward guided by the framework of Vision 2030, we are proud to reward exceptionalism and congratulate the Kingdom’s diverse creative communities.”Organised by Motivate Media Group and TRACCS, the festival promises to be an inspiring occasion celebrating marketing excellence and affirming the value of creativity in the world of business. The four-day festival programme will include a two-day festival and two days of training for young talent, underlining the enduring role of creativity as an enabler of growth and development.With an extensive line-up of 100+ international and celebrity speakers, Athar Festival’s landmark edition is expected to welcome 1,500 industry professionals and young talent to attend the festival and its academies, celebrating innovation and exceptionalism within Saudi Arabia’s creative ecosystem.

Brand Lounge launches full-scale operations in Saudi Arabia

 Brand Lounge, a strategy-led brand consultancy, has officially marked its presence in the heart of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the launch of its Riyadh office.Founded in 2006, Brand Lounge has played a pioneering role in shaping brand narratives in the region. The consultancy is renowned for its proprietary approach to brand development, which helps businesses create and communicate differentiated brands that align with their business goals and maximize value. The consultancy has established itself as a benchmark for brand development firms in the region, delivering excellence with a nuanced understanding of the local market's needs. The launch of Brand Lounge's Riyadh office marks a new chapter in its journey, highlighting its commitment to maximizing value in the dynamic landscape of the Kingdom.The launch event, "Maximizing Vision: Unveiling Brand Lounge in Saudi Arabia," took place at the prestigious Marriott Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter on Wednesday, October 18. The occasion brought together influential figures, including C-level executives, senior managers, government officials, entrepreneurs, and valued partners of the consultancy.Themed "Maximizing Vision," the event emphasized the strategic importance of brand development and the private sector's integral role in contributing to the Kingdom's Vision 2030, particularly the goal of achieving a thriving economy.The evening unfolded with captivating keynote speeches, insightful showcases, and an exploration of the distinctive methodologies that have positioned Brand Lounge at the forefront of strategy-led brand development. The consultancy's outstanding work has been recognized with numerous awards, notably the Grand Prix Award for Transform Middle East Africa in May 2023.A highlight of the event was the revelation of details about Brand Lounge's recent acquisition of PeopleMena, resulting in the formation of BLP, the Brand Lounge culture practice. Additionally, Brand Lounge hinted at an upcoming innovative partnership in Saudi Arabia, promising innovative solutions for the Kingdom's people. An official announcement is anticipated in the coming weeks.Commenting on this milestone, Hasan Fadlallah, Founder & CEO of Brand Lounge remarked, "Saudi Arabia has always been a key market for us, and we've been working with Saudi brands since 2007. However, today's launch event symbolizes our renewed commitment to the Kingdom, collaborating with Saudi businesses to usher in a new era of branding excellence.”The launch event underscores Brand Lounge's ongoing commitment to maximizing value, creating differentiated brands for clients, and contributing to the broader strategic vision of the Kingdom.

The Sandbox expands to Saudi Arabia through a partnership with Sandsoft

The Sandbox, a leading decentralized gaming virtual world and subsidiary of Animoca Brands, today announced a collaboration with Sandsoft, the mobile-first Riyadh-headquartered game developer, publisher and investor powered by AAA talent. Sandsoft will be a key partner in The Sandbox’s expansion into Saudi Arabia and the Middle East and will also be a driver in attracting local talent in the video game sector and growing education and job opportunities within the region.The collaboration aims at building a team of Web3 gaming experts to create partnerships with local public and private industry actors, entertainment, IPs & Brands and celebrities to explore opportunities in gamified social experiences in The Sandbox, and to empower local creative talent by educating and onboarding developers and artists into its ecosystem.“We’re excited to collaborate with Sandsoft in bringing new creators to contribute towards the open Metaverse and develop together a virtual neighborhood on our map. This partnership will allow brands and creators across Saudi Arabia and the Middle East to discover the creative opportunities The Sandbox provides,” said Sebastien Borget, COO and co-founder of The Sandbox. “It will also enrich The Sandbox’s global ecosystem with Saudi Arabia’s rich culture and history.” “The Sandbox has great potential for game developers, creatives, brands and consumers from the Middle East and North Africa,” said David Fernandez, CEO of Sandsoft. “We’re pleased to announce this collaboration, which will drive opportunities for vibrant and diverse communities in Saudi Arabia and beyond, expanding on Sandsoft’s existing initiatives to nurture talent in the local gaming ecosystem.”With a diverse global team of more than 60 people, Sandsoft is on a trajectory to become a leading mobile-first gaming powerhouse. Sandsoft’s ‘Press Start’ internship program aims to provide opportunities for talented young people in Saudi Arabia to enhance their game development skills under the supervision of leading games industry figures including VP Studio Yahsir Qureshi (formerly of EA, Zynga) and CTO Ahmed Sharif (previously at Meta, Sony, EA). Part virtual real estate, part amusement park, The Sandbox fully embraces the idea of the metaverse as a continuous shared digital space where worlds and heroes collide to make magic. Over 400 partners have joined The Sandbox, including Warner Music Group, Ubisoft’s Rabbids, Cut The Rope, Gucci Vault, The Walking Dead, Invincible, Snoop Dogg, Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, SM Entertainment, The Smurfs, Care Bears, and Atari, all following The Sandbox team’s vision of empowering players to create their own experiences using both original and well-known characters and worlds.

Global female-led consultancy to launch in Saudi Arabia

Jeddah:  LOTUS Arabia, an award winning and female-led consultancy, officially launched in Saudi Arabia this week. Having partnered some of the Kingdom’s most prestigious brands and entities over the last three years, the global agency is now setting down roots bringing to the nation a totally new approach to marketing and communications.Designed to mirror the ambition of the Kingdom and its people LOTUS Arabia is an antidote to the existing networked model of agency. The new approach will be dynamic, creative and strategic giving Saudi’s start-ups, brands and projects the tools to accelerate and maximise growth. Providing destination marketing through the lens of travel, sport, entertainment, culture, celebrity and influencers the agency will offer a one-stop shop for brand fame and commercial growth.With offices in Jeddah and Riyadh amplified by existing presence in London, New York and Singapore LOTUS Arabia will provide a local to global service marrying international expertise with local understanding and nuance. With a commitment and mandate to nurture, train and grow Saudi-based talent LOTUS Arabia will also source the best international talent to spearhead and share best-practice.Led by a female team of multi-discipline experts LOTUS Arabia will be headed up in the Kingdom by Saudi brand communications professional Shorouq Mufti and award-winning CEO of the LOTUS Group, Jules Ugo.Jules Ugo, CEO of LOTUS Arabia, added “Having worked in international communications for over twenty-five years I can hand-on-heart say I have never seen such ambition and vision as shown by the Saudi nation and people. I am deeply honoured and humbled to be part of this vision through setting up LOTUS Arabia. To be here, establishing deep roots and offering something new to market is incredible and I look forward to working with Saudi’s most innovative and creative people and brands.”Shorouq Mufti, GM of LOTUS Arabia comments “I’m delighted to be part of establishing LOTUS Arabia and bringing this unique and fresh marcomms approach to Saudi. It’s a great honour to work with such an experienced and award-winning team. I look forward to applying my passion for my nation combined with my experience in storytelling to build lasting partnerships that support Saudi Arabia in achieving its goal of becoming a global tourism destination.”Our Services:StrategyCreativeBrand CommunicationsMedia Outreach & Press OfficeRepresentationSales & MarketingSocial MediaActivations & EventsCelebrity & Influencer EngagementThought Leadership and KOL Strategy

ALEC announces appointment of Barry Lewis as CEO

 ALEC Engineering and Contracting LLC (ALEC), a part of the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), today announced the appointment of Barry Lewis as its new CEO and the transition of former-CEO, Kez Taylor, into an advisory position on the board as a Non-Executive Director of ALEC. Barry will be charged with continuing to lead ALEC’s ambitious growth strategy with a focus on diversification into construction-adjacent lines of business, further penetration across the GCC, including into Saudi Arabia, and expansion into new geographies.“Under Kez’s leadership, ALEC has firmly established itself as one of the leading players in the region’s construction sector. With Barry Lewis as CEO, ALEC will be led through its next phase of growth, marking a new and significant milestone in ALEC’s journey,” said Khalifa Al Daboos, Deputy CEO at ICD, about the change in leadership. “Having worked closely with Kez for over two decades, and having expertly led ALEC’s operations, Barry has proven himself as a highly capable leader with a strong reputation in the industry. As CEO, I am confident that Barry will take the company from strength to strength, maximising ALEC’s value proposition to our clients, and distinguishing the group as the leading provider of world-class construction and related services in the region.”ALEC has been on a steady upwards growth trajectory in recent years. The company has recently been awarded major projects including the Wynn Resort Ras Al Khaimah and has achieved a year-to-date growth in revenue of 25%. The current work on hand is at a record level of over AED20 billion. To effectively deliver its impressive pipeline of projects, the company continues to expand its workforce of over 22,000 employees. The CEO transition plan has been in place for over four years, during which Barry Lewis has played a vital role in enabling these successes and will now lead the company through its ‘next golden phase’.In the months ahead, Barry will focus on overseeing three company-defining initiatives currently in progress ALEC’s focused expansion into Saudi Arabia; the continued diversification and growth of its business in areas such as modular and data centre solutions; and enhancing activities at TARGET, the recently acquired subsidiary, as a leader in the Energy, Oil & Gas and Marine Industries.Outlining his longer-term strategies, Barry highlighted his intentions to develop greater synergies between the Group’s multiple industry-leading lines of business to create highly comprehensive and compelling value for clients. He also aims to nurture the company’s culture and make further investments into its people development, innovation and the adoption of digital technologies — three areas which he believes give ALEC the definitive edge when it comes to attracting the industry’s best talent and delivering some of the most iconic projects in the region.“We firmly believe that it is our people, company values and culture, willingness to embrace technology and push the boundaries of what’s possible, and relentless pursuit of excellence that have earned us a reputation as the industry’s trusted partner in delivering complex mega projects,” said Barry Lewis. “As clients in the region continue to commission ambitious mega projects, that are establishing the Middle East as the epicentre of global tourism, culture and innovation, ALEC stands ready to turn these visions into reality.”

US-based reputation house to showcase AI based online performance ecosystem

Riyadh: The Confluence Of The Pandemic And Digitalization In Saudi Arabia Has Further Fueled The Surge In Interest Towards Online Reputation Management Services. Online Reputation Management Market Size Is Forecast To Reach A Staggering Sar12.754 Billion (usd3.4 Billion) By 2030 Globally. Industry Leaders Confirm That 44% Of A Business's Value Is Tied To Its Strong Reputation.“The rapid digital transformation of Saudi Arabia is ushering in cyber threats while presenting new opportunities for specialized technology companies to establish themselves in the Saudi market. At Seamless, we are wholeheartedly committed to contributing to Kingdom’s success story. Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 digital drive shows an urgent need to address online reputation management for the public and private sectors and for individuals from both sectors,” said Nikita Prokhorov, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Reputation House.Seamless conference and exhibition, taking place from September 4th to 5th 2023 at Riyadh Front Exhibition and Convention Center, will cover the latest innovations in payments, fintech, retail, e-commerce, home delivery and digital marketing.Reputation House, one of the pioneers of the online performance and reputation management industry, is set to showcase and explain how and why Online Reputation Management (ORM) will boost by 2030. In addition, the company will demonstrate its innovative solutions at Seamless Saudi Arabia, the Saudi edition of Dubai-based Seamless Middle East.Nikita added: “It's important to note that a significant 25% of the company's revenue is derived from programs designed to enhance the reputation. The ORM industry is experiencing rapid growth, and the digital world is evolving in response. To stay ahead, companies must quickly adapt, leverage advanced technologies, and create innovative solutions. The ability to seize emerging opportunities and adapt to the changing landscape is crucial for establishing leadership in this dynamic field of reputation, and every field. It's clear that we're seeing major trends such as rising demand, industry maturation, and increased investment.Reputation House’s Nikita will share his insights on the first day, September 4 at 12 noon. He will talk about Online Reputation Management (ORM) at the E-commerce University Stage located in the Digital Marketing Zone of Seamless Saudi Arabia.Nikita concluded: “Reputation House has set ambitious goals to enter the Saudi Arabian market. The company will assist both private and public sectors in safeguarding, establishing and maintaining their online reputation through our advanced solutions, applications, and specialized consulting services. We are expecting to forge new partnerships at the show.”Seamless has invited international companies with the latest knowledge to take to the E-Commerce University stage. The sessions aim to provide actionable insights.Reputation House will showcase its products and services at booth number AA62 shell scheme in the Digital Marketing Zone at Seamless Saudi Arabia, taking place from September 4th to 5th, 2023.The company’s team of experts will be available for orientation sessions to demonstrate how its innovative solutions can play a pivotal role across various sectors.

Flydubai's business suite adds lustre to ongoing campaign

The travel industry, once steadily growing, faced a major setback during the global pandemic, causing disruptions to the global GDP. However, according to forecasts by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), numerous international travel markets are projected to rebound to pre-pandemic levels by 2023. Amidst this optimistic outlook, low-cost airline Flydubai has taken proactive steps to expedite the recovery by launching a compelling summer campaign and introducing an enticing premium business suite, all aimed at enticing travelers and reigniting the industry.Dubai, renowned as a global travel hub, particularly during summers, serves as the perfect backdrop for Flydubai's strategic summer campaign. This initiative focuses on promoting travel through Flydubai and its vacation division, Holidays by Flydubai. With a meticulous plan to attract both existing and potential travelers, the campaign seeks to elevate brand awareness and subsequently drive bookings.Geared towards a broad audience across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain, Flydubai's creative marketing approach effectively captures the essence of its summer offerings. Collaborating with their in-house design team, the airline employs visually striking content to showcase the beauty of destinations, incorporating illustrations that evoke the playful charm of the season. <img src='\0d79acba0d1f503cefdf8dee1bd88f18.png' class='content_image'>Multifaceted approach to attracting travelers Harnessing the power of online services, Flydubai's campaign capitalises on the widespread digital presence in people's lives. However, the airline's promotional efforts extend beyond the digital realm. Utilising outdoor placements, bridge banners, lamppost displays, and other avenues, Flydubai maximises its outreach. Recognising the potency of radio advertising in reaching diverse audiences, the airline orchestrates activations and competitions, granting customers opportunities to engage with the brand and experience its offerings firsthand.A highlight of the campaign was the collaboration with Virgin Radio in the UAE, where every caller emerged as a winner, securing a holiday package for two to Thailand. Such interactions foster excitement and engagement among customers, enhancing brand loyalty.In May this year, Flydubai unveiled its premium business class seat – the Business Suite – a testament to the airline's dedication to enhancing passenger experiences. This seat, exclusively designed for single-aisle aircraft, ushers in a new era of comfort, privacy, and luxury in Flydubai's Business Class. Collaborating closely with Safran Seats and JPA Design, Flydubai has crafted a unique and unparalleled Business Class seating product that aligns seamlessly with the airline's commitment to excellence.Commenting on the new launch, Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, had said, “flydubai is committed to exceeding expectations. Our business and product offerings have evolved from the initial no-frills model over the past 14 years to cater to the ever-growing needs of our customers and the markets we operate to. We have come a long way since the introduction of our first Business Class offering in 2013, which has served us well. Today, we are proud to unveil a new premium product which rivals the Business Class experience offered by many airlines on wide-body aircraft. We will continue to invest in innovation to enhance the customer experience across our growing fleet.”Victoria Foy, CEO of Safran Seats, said: “we are very excited to have flydubai as our launch customer for flydubai’s “The Business Suite” VUE seat, it has been an exciting journey working together to bring this product to the market for the first time on a Boeing aircraft. flydubai will operate with an outstanding Business Class seat designed for the best onboard experience on single-aisle longer haul flights". <img src='\584277aa68056b5a839d0509c65c6fa3.png' class='content_image'>Synthesising luxury with the campaignFlydubai's campaign not only embraces the joys of summer travel but also spotlights the allure of its new business class offering. The campaign message revolves around the unparalleled comfort passengers can indulge in while flying business class with Flydubai. This addition underscores the airline's commitment to delivering elevated experiences and extends an invitation for travelers to rediscover luxury in the skies.Through creative marketing endeavours, strategic collaborations, and the introduction of a premium business suite, the airline not only reconnects travelers with their love for exploration but also reinvigorates the industry's prospects.

Saudi Arabia, Comoros Football Federations renew cooperation

Riyadh: The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) and the Comoran Football Federation (FFC) renewed their cooperation for football development, following an initial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in November 2021.The SAFF President Yasser Al Misehal and his counterpart the FFC President Said Athouman took the opportunity of their meeting on August 12th at the Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA) Congress in Taif, Saudi Arabia to renew the (MoU) and strengthen further development initiatives. SAFF had the privilege to host in December 2021 the Comoros Men’s National Team for a training camp in Jeddah, prior to their historic participation at the Africa Cup of Nations 2022 in Cameroon, where they reached the second stage of the flagship African competition.Furthermore, the Comoros Women’s National team also took part in the Women’s International Tournament that took place in Dammam in January 2023, alongside Saudi Arabia, Mauritius and Pakistan.As SAFF believes strongly in growing football together with all Member Associations, the renewal of such collaboration will further focus on mutual support around league football, grassroots and coaching.

Hopscotch expands footprint with new Saudi office

Riyadh: HOPSCOTCH Groupe, a communications consulting group and a major player in digital, PR, influence, and events, has expanded its presence with the launch of a new office in Saudi Arabia. To mark its Saudi debut, HOPSCOTCH Saudi, has taken part in Saudi Entertainment and Amusement (SEA) from May 28th to May 30th May.This strategic move reflects HOPSCOTCH’s ongoing growth and market influence, as well as its commitment to meeting the increasing demand for its high-quality services in Saudi Arabia, in support of Saudi Vision 2030. With this expansion, HOPSCOTCH’s integrated international network now spans 37 offices across 5 continents, positioning the company’s capacity to engage and support clients on a global scale.His Excellency the Ambassador of the Republic of France to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ludovic Pouille, graced the opening of Hopscotch Saudi office and expressed his warm welcome for the launch. He stated, “We are thrilled to witness the official launch of HOPSCOTCH Groupe, a leading French-based Global PR, in Saudi Arabia. We strongly believe that Hopscotch’s presence in the region will further strengthen the successful cooperation between France and Saudi Arabia, while actively supporting Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. The French-Saudi cooperation is diverse, offering great opportunities for French companies, especially in the areas of sustainable cities, energy, healthcare, education, digital economy, hospitality, and tourism sectors”.“The expansion of HOPSCOTCH is in line with our strategy of providing the most creative and innovative communications solutions. The opening of our Riyadh office represents a significant milestone for our Group as we continue to expand our network and influence in the region. As part of our commitment to support Vision 2030, we have been operating in the Middle East, collaborating with high-end clients in Saudi and the GCC on a number of projects,” states Frédéric Bedin, Managing Director and President of the Management Board of Hopscotch Groupe. As part of HOPSCOTCH’s operations in Saudi Arabia, the company has actively participated in the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo (SEA). This global event brought together professionals from around the world in the fields of entertainment and attraction under one roof, creating a unique global experience for like-minded individuals.Pierrick Moizan, Hopscotch’s Middle East Director, said: “The establishment of our new Riyadh office provides us with the opportunity to further support our clients in Saudi and the GCC, enabling their visibility and reputation through fresh, innovative, and tailored communication strategies. As we support our clients in their international growth, we had the pleasure of participating in the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo (SEA). I greatly enjoyed contributing to various influential panels, sharing Hopscotch’s best practices and success stories with industry peers.”Marie-Laure Boulot de Vomecourt has been appointed as Managing Director of Hopscotch Entertainment and Communication. Marie has over 20 years of experience in both France and Saudi Arabia.

SEVEN signs partnership agreement with Al Hilal Saudi Club

Riyadh: Saudi Entertainment Ventures (SEVEN), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has signed a three-year official partnership agreement with the leading football champion, Al Hilal Saudi Club. Starting from the 2023/2024 season, the partnership includes mutual commercial and marketing rights between the two entities that will support both SEVEN’s future guests and Al Hilal FC fans.The partnership aligns with SEVEN’s aspirations to be an enabler of the next generation of Saudi sporting talent through its entertainment destinations. Aspiring sportspeople can learn and hone their skills by participating in numerous sporting activities at SEVEN’s entertainment destinations, including skiing, climbing, surfing, bowling, golfing, indoor sky-diving and e-karting.Abdullah Al Dawood, Chairman, SEVEN, said: “At SEVEN, we are redefining the entertainment landscape of the Kingdom with an unrivalled offering of entertainment which includes education, sports, adventure, events, and more. We are committed in supporting the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 to enhance the quality of life among all residents. Our entertainment attractions, which offer a wide range of experiences and activities, will enable guests, especially sports enthusiasts, to strengthen their skills.He added, “This agreement with Al Hilal, one of Saudi Arabia’s leading football clubs with a long legacy of championing talent, will support SEVEN’s ambition to unlock sporting talent and reach a wider audience across the Kingdom.”Abdullah Aljarbou, CEO of Al Hilal Saudi Club, said he was pleased to have signed this partnership which illustrates how the sports and entertainment sectors are intertwined, in line with the goals of Saudi Vision 2023, and also enables both parties to fulfill their goals to enhance the quality of life for the people of Saudi Arabia. Over the past six decades, Al Hilal Saudi Club has won 66 championships and created a legion of loyal fans across the Arab world, Asia and further afield. The club’s greatest achievements include winning the Saudi Founder’s Cup, qualifying three times for the FIFA Club World Cup, and winning a record eight Asian Football Confederation trophies. Most recently, the club earned a silver medal at the 2022 FIFA Club World Cup.SEVEN is developing the Kingdom’s entertainment ecosystem by investing over SAR 50 billion in 21 integrated entertainment destinations in 14 cities across Saudi Arabia. The company seeks to enrich the quality and lifestyle of millions of citizens and residents in the Kingdom by diversifying entertainment options and activities, creating job opportunities and developing local Saudi talent in the entertainment sector. SEVEN is also partnering with leading international entertainment brands to bring the best-in-class experiences to the people of Saudi Arabia.The information, and any attachments contained in this email may contain confidential and/or privileged information and is intended solely for the use of the intended named recipient(s). Any disclosure or dissemination in whatever form, by another other than the intended recipient is strictly prohibited. If you have received this transmission in error, please contact the sender and destroy this message and any attachments. Thank you.

Saudi media group SRMG partners with NEOM

Riyadh: Saudi-headquartered media group SRMG has signed a MoU with NEOM Media Industries. Under the MoU, NEOM will leverage SRMG’s media expertise, extensive portfolio and established partnerships to increase content production in Saudi Arabia. This builds on the growing success of the sector in the Kingdom, as investment into infrastructure and upskilling of talent positions NEOM as a world-class production hub. SRMG’s existing and new partners will benefit from the collaboration between both brands, including access to world-class production facilities. Beyond production, SRMG and NEOM Media Industries will work together to design joint talent development and industry training programmes to continue to uplift the breadth and depth of the media talent pool within the region – including journalism, script writing and production. These programmes will build on the successful collaboration between NEOM and SRMG Academy in November last year - the “Stories to Tell” journalism bootcamp – which trained and upskilled young Saudi journalism graduates and media professionals and resulted in 22 interns being hired by SRMG. Nadhmi Al-Nasr, Chief Executive Officer of NEOM, said: “NEOM aims to be an accelerator of human progress – innovating across multiple industries and sectors to redefine business. NEOM Media Industries is one such example. Our mission is to create a new world-class media hub at NEOM, one that focuses on providing for screen production, gaming and digital publishing. This partnership with SRMG complements and accelerates NEOM’s commitment to creating a regional center to establish NEOM amongst the elite global media hubs.” Jomana R. Al-Rashid, Chief Executive Officer of SRMG, added: “This partnership represents an important moment for the media ecosystem in the MENA region. Working together, NEOM and SRMG will increase capability and capacity of localized production; accelerate media technology; and create new revenue streams for the industry. Through empowering local content creators, we will ensure that home-grown talent is nurtured and that regional stories are told on a world stage. There is extraordinary untapped creativity in the MENA region, and we are delighted to have created this opportunity to champion it.” Additional aspects of the MoU include media technology development, co-organising events at NEOM, and SRMG exploring establishing an early presence at NEOM in the long run.

Saudi plans English news channel to rival Al Jazeera

Riyadh: A state-backed media group in Saudi Arabia is reportedly considering the launch of an international English-language news channel, with the aim of expanding the country's global media influence and potentially rivaling Qatar's Al Jazeera. The Saudi Research and Media Group has already contacted media consultancies to study the viability the proposed venture, according to Financial Times. While it is still early days, sources close to the project have suggested that the initiative could be well-funded, with the intention of spreading the word of Saudi Arabia around the world. However, others have suggested that the project will only go ahead if it is found to be financially viable. Saudi Arabia is currently seeking to rivl Dubai as the Gulf region's financial hub and is investing heavily in gigaprojects aimed at diversifying its economy away from petrodollars. The Saudi Research and Media Group already runs 36 titles, which include Al-Sharq Al-Awsat and Asharq News, which has partnered with Bloomberg. It has partnerships with The Independent and operates its Middle East editions. Saudi Arabia currently owns Al Arabiya, an Arabic broadcaster that rivals Al Jazeera Arabic and Sky News Arabia. While concerns have been raised about editorial freedom following the sale of a 30% stake in The Independent to a Saudi businessman in 2017, media analysts suggest that the Saudi government is using a similar strategy to Qatar, which has used Al Jazeera to raise its global profile.

KPMG Report: Bold people strategies are crucial in achieving edge at HR

Riyadh: Optimizing people management has been a common pursuit for organizations worldwide, often achieved by leveraging best practices and drawing insight from others in the field. In its latest publication, The future of HR: Lessons from pathfinders, KPMG explores how HR professionals around the world are dealing with disruption and their organizations.The report explores six key themes: delivering strategic flow; being digital in thought; word and deed; advancing analytics from insight to action – safely; shopping for talent — building talent marketplaces; holding to the heading — how to make purpose real and prioritizing wellbeing.“Our interactions with global experts suggest that companies are now prioritizing bold people strategies as a crucial element in achieving a competitive edge, especially during the current period of the Great Reconsideration,” said Niam Sinno, Head of People and Change Advisory at KPMG Professional Services.Saudi Arabia has been introducing initiatives to build the capabilities needed for its marketplace, and one of the latest initiatives is the HR Transformation Initiative by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD).The initiative aims to update all HR departments in ministries into a new management style by qualifying their employees with professional certificates in the field of human resources and supporting the departments in terms of developing processes and structuring to ensure raising the level of growth. It strives to better enable HR functions to contribute to achieving the objectives of government entities.Additionally, the ministry has issued a standardized organization of the working environment to keep pace with the latest developments in the labor market. The decision intends to create an attractive and safe work environment, provide decent and sustainable job opportunities for the citizens, enhance the attractiveness of the work environment and address the challenges that workers and employers face.One of the many HR trends is the shift towards artificial intelligence (AI) and HR cloud. Various manual and inefficient HR processes are already being automated to ease administrative loads. A wide range of aspects has benefited from AI technology, from report generation to decision-making processes. In the years to come, companies expect these HR trends in Saudi Arabia to grow and have a greater impact on HR industries. Another HR trend in the country is the focus on data-driven decisions. As the role of HR professionals is changing, they are increasingly required to think strategically. Data such as compensation raises must be analyzed to ensure the business’s return on investment (ROI) isn’t affected.“Saudi Arabia’s economic landscape increasingly involves HR professionals in strategic and financial discussions. With market insights, data, metrics, and benchmarks, HR teams are challenged to assist in workforce skills development,” commented Sinno.Insight from KPMG experts on the metaverse suggests that people could spend more time in the metaverse than in real life by 2030. This propels HR to revisit service delivery in extended reality, creating a total experience for all stakeholders.“As our community continues to be impacted by global economic uncertainty, HR must stand tall and support its employees. It is time organ izations introspect and plan for the future, embracing the support of scientifically driven approaches while upholding their company values,” Sinno concluded.

IKEA Saudi Arabia & Bahrain partners with WebEngage

Riyadh:  WebEngage, the leading full-stack Retention Operating System, today announced that it has partnered with the world’s leading Swedish home-furnishings retailer IKEA Saudi Arabia & Bahrain, a subsidiary of Alsulaiman Group, to enhance its customer engagement. With the aim of providing a sustainable, affordable, unique, and customized furnishing experience to its consumers, IKEA Saudi Arabia & Bahrain will deploy WebEngage’s retention stack and streamline its data-driven customer engagement strategy.IKEA, known for its well-designed and functional products, has established a community of loyal customers by keeping their experiences at the heart of its offerings. Aligned with their vision, WebEngage will collaborate with IKEA Saudi Arabia & Bahrain, organizing their data to deliver exceptional customer experience and personalized engagement across multiple channels.Commenting on the partnership, Ahmad Al-Fagih, Digital Commerce Manager, IKEA Saudi Arabia & Bahrain, said, “At IKEA Saudi Arabia & Bahrain, we are committed to enhancing customer experience and creating a better everyday life for our shoppers. Our partnership with WebEngage will enable us to harness the power of hyper-personalization and omnichannel engagement to deliver a delightful experience and strengthen our relationship with our customers.”Hetarth Patel, VP - MEA and Managing Director - UAE, WebEngage, said, “IKEA's distinctive approach to consumers is a result of the company's core values, and we are truly excited to shoulder it with them. Through its intelligent, data-driven, and completely automated retention technology, WebEngage will enable IKEA to create unique consumer experiences across all touchpoints. We are thrilled to be partners with a pioneer in its segment and believe this association will enable IKEA to streamline its customer experience strategy effectively.”Since its entry into MENA, WebEngage has added over 60 new clients each quarter, in what can be deemed nothing short of a “retention revolution”. Partnerships with dominant brands such as Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority, Titan, eXtra Stores (United Electronics), Al Musbah Group, Vezeeta, Wego, TravelWings, B. TECH and Ajmal Perfumes have further reinforced WebEngage’s growing leadership in the MarTech domain. The meteoric growth phase recently culminated in the $20-million Series B funding round led by Singularity Growth Opportunities Fund and SWC Global, with participation from existing investors India Quotient, Blume Ventures, and IAN Fund, among other VCs.With this partnership, WebEngage has cemented its commitment to the enterprise ecosystem, a segment earlier dominated by players entailing excessive costs and prolonged implementation times. WebEngage’s full-stack Retention Operating System is used and recommended by 800+ marketers across the globe.

Netflix releases trailer of Saudi psychological thriller The Matchmaker

Riyadh: Netflix has opened the door to the mysterious, atmospheric and eerie world of The Matchmaker, with the latest release of the film's trailer. From the modern present day office setting to the ancient UNESCO World Heritage site of AlUla, The Matchmaker is one of the first psychological thrillers from Saudi Arabia and is filled with suspense moments that will leave you captivated. The Matchmaker follows Tarek (Hussam Alharthy), an IT professional who develops a passionate crush on the attractive intern working for him (Nour Alkhadra). He trails her to a strangely haunted desert resort where a matchmaker (Reem Alhabib) promises to pair visitors with their ideal bride. But when Tarek leaves the resort’s boundaries, he unearths a long-forgotten grudge.Director Abdulmohsin Aldabaan said: “I grew up hearing stories about both the supernatural and human stories of love and revenge, and I wanted to bring these together in The Matchmaker, set against the stunning backdrop of the ancient world of AlUla. I am excited that we were able to explore the relatively new genre of psychological thrillers from Saudi Arabia, following the complex emotions of the characters as they embark on a thrilling journey. I look forward to the audience’s reaction to this film that blends the modern and ancient world in a way that is distinctly Saudi.” The Matchmaker is produced by the creative minds at Telfaz11 and directed by Abdulmohsin Aldabaan and launches exclusively on Netflix on April 27, 2023.

Amazon Academy launches in Saudi Arabia in collaboration with MCIT

Amazon today announced at LEAP 2023 the launch of Amazon Academy, its largest professional development program, to provide training and certifications in future-facing sectors, such as cloud technology, logistics and retail, in Saudi Arabia. Amazon Academy offers a world-class curriculum that is designed specifically for Saudi Arabia by experts at Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon Operations and Customer Experience teams. The initiative complements the Human Capability Development Program of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and aims to train over 30,000 Saudi citizens and provide 35,000 certification vouchers over the next three years.Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) will collaborate with Amazon through MCIT’s Future Skills initiative to encourage Saudi talent to sign up for the skills development academy, which is operated by Saudi Digital Academy (SDA) and TUWAIQ Academy. Amazon Academy will provide transformative training and certifications, free of cost to the participants, to elevate in-demand competencies and equip Saudi talent for jobs of the future. Going forward, Amazon will continue to collaborate with government and academic institutions with the aim of driving active participation from the public and private sectors to make local talent more resilient, organizations more productive, and the Saudi economy more robust.Amazon Academy combines Amazon’s global technological and operational expertise with its understanding of the Saudi talent landscape to deploy cutting-edge skills training. The program’s industry-leading certifications will enable talent to build their technical expertise across cloud technology, logistics and retail. Certifications under the cloud computing path will include basic and advanced to specialized levels across Cloud Architecting, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Analytics and other job-ready technology certifications to propel professionals and companies towards a digital future. All courses will be underpinned by Amazon’s ‘customer backwards’ philosophy and leadership principles, equipping learners to develop management and leadership models that unlock customer obsession and create passion for invention and innovation in their careers and at their companies. Amazon Academy will be open to all candidates, from novices to experts, at no cost.Ronaldo Mouchawar, Vice President, Amazon MENA said, “Amazon is known to have a culture that cultivates continuous learning, knowledge, and innovation. We want to share this with the incredible talent available in the Kingdom, and that’s why we’re launching Amazon Academy. Specifically tailored for Saudi Arabia, the program will empower the next generation of Saudi youth, entrepreneurs and professionals at any stage of their career to achieve success across various in-demand skills such as cloud computing, logistics, and leadership.”As Saudi Arabia accelerates towards a digitalized and diversified economy, Amazon Academy will launch with a curriculum that focuses on cloud computing powered by AWS. Many Saudi-based enterprises, startups, and public sector organizations use AWS to lower costs, become more agile, and innovate faster.Eng. Faris AlSaqabi, Deputy Minister for Future Jobs and Capabilities at MCIT, said: “We are delighted to be launching the Amazon Academy through MCIT’s Future Skills initiative, which seeks to benefit more than 30,000 talented Saudi up-and-coming professionals. We will be extending all support necessary to enable digitally savvy young men and women to enroll in the academy, which offers a range of cloud-based training courses from Amazon together with guidance, academic learning, and online workshops. This innovative platform will empower young Saudi talents by enhancing their digital capabilities, enabling them to excel in tomorrow’s jobs and contribute to Saudi Arabia’s dynamic future.”Wojciech Bajda, Director of Public Sector Middle East and Africa, AWS, said: “We are honored to collaborate with MCIT to launch Amazon Academy, which will offer opportunities for participants to train and develop their skills as well as create a pathway for greater adoption of new technologies. Saudi Arabia has established itself as a technological powerhouse owing to smart infrastructure and cutting-edge technologies. Amazon Academy will provide the Saudi workforce with the newest tools and abilities to excel in the digital economy, providing major competitive advantages, cost savings and efficiencies. By leveraging the training program, organizations can gain the confidence and expertise they need to lead successful digital transformation in line with Vision 2030.”Upskilling talent for the burgeoning demand for e-commerce-related services, courses in logistics and operations will become available later this year. This learning path will incorporate Amazon’s distinctive capabilities in building and managing customer-centric operations at scale, innovations that power customer experience, and training that will empower local entrepreneurs to set up and manage their own scalable e-commerce operations.The program’s immersive curriculum combines the scalability of virtual learning with the engaging connections that are established through in-classroom sessions and hands-on workshops. The Academy’s flexible model allows candidates from all walks of life to integrate courses to suit their own schedules and learning needs. Candidates will benefit from a higher bar of learning through regular assessments and examinations that will prepare them for a competitive job market, enabling career advancement at both regional and international levels. In addition to skills development, the Academy will offer 100 internship opportunities.Working professionals, entrepreneurs and new graduates who are interested in learning more about Amazon Academy and the courses available can visit

Lenovo appoints Abdullah Bahanshal as new Country Manager for Saudi Arabia

Lenovo has announced the appointment of Abdullah Bahanshal as the new Country Manager for Saudi Arabia within Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG).In his new leadership role, Abdullah will be responsible for managing and growing country revenue within the Kingdom. He will also support customers with insights backed by his years of experience in IT and Digital Transformation.Abdullah brings with him over 20 years of experience in the ICT industry especially around leadership, strategic sales and development. He comes to Lenovo ISG from Honeywell, where he was the Country Sales Leader for the Productivity Solutions and Services (PSS) sales team. He also focused on end user relationship through channel parties across the Kingdom, while also developing country growth strategic plans. Prior to that, he worked with global ICT brands like Huawei, Cisco Systems and Cerner. During his tenure at previous ICT firms, he won awards for performance, sales and strategy, while also being one of the first Saudi nationals to be certified as an ICF coach.Abdullah comes from a diverse academic background as he holds a BSc in Pharmaceutical Science and MSc in Health Informatics from King Saud University, KSA. He is also certified in Project and Program Management (PMP & PgMP) while also being an ICF certified coach specialized in Personal and Career Coaching. He is currently pursuing his MSc studies in Psychology. He also volunteers part time with Monsha’at to help and support entrepreneurs.Alaa Bawab, Lenovo General Manager Middle East and Africa said: “Abdullah brings with him years of senior experience in the ICT industry and has worked with some of the biggest names. His knowledge, talent and skill make him a vital part of our expansion into the Kingdom. We believe in his leadership experience and are confident that he can take forward our presence in the Kingdom to new heights and establish Lenovo as an industry leader.”Abdullah is also an avid traveller and reader, who spends his free time writing short stories, visiting museums and watching soccer. He also actively provides coaching sessions for career and personal coaching.

Shape your future success in LEAP 2023 in Saudi Arabia

The information and communications technology (ICT) market in Saudi Arabia is the biggest in the Middle East and North Africa region, with a market value of more than $32.1 billion. Saudi Arabia is well-positioned to become a technology service and cloud hub, with access to global connectivity via the Red Sea and the Gulf, and the potential to serve European, Asian, and African markets.LEAP is Saudi Arabia's global tech event focused on bringing together the world's greatest minds; from leading tech corporations to inspiring pioneers from the next generation of start-ups and venture capitalists to make it all happen. It is a great platform for business and collaboration that will bring business innovative ideas, remarkable innovations, and emerging developments in technology, all under one roof.This will be the second edition of the technology conference which has been launched with the theme of ‘Into New Worlds’. Many of the world's most innovative technology professionals are expected to attend LEAP 2023 – held from the 6th to the 9th of February 2023 in Riyadh Front Expo Centre, Saudi Arabia.The first edition of the conference was held in February 2022 attracted more than 100,000 visitors and was a resounding success. The expo will provide an edge for tech innovators and industry professionals from all over the world to discuss the latest technological developments and trends.WorkSmart for Events Management together with the Bahrain Technology Companies Society (BTECH) will be facilitating Bahraini companies’ participation at the LEAP. The conference will draw international participation and is a unique expo that introduces future technologies.BTECH called on all Bahraini professionals, investors, decision makers, and tech workers to get in touch in order to organize their attendance in discovering business opportunities in Saudi Arabia.BTECH Chairman, Tareq Fakhro, noted that “LEAP is the largest technology conference in the region and provides expert insights and cutting-edge content concerning key tech topics that will help boost the IT industry. The expo represents a new opportunity for IT companies from Bahrain to meet leading tech companies and policy makers who will attend from around the world. The expo will provide a unique opportunity for insights into the very latest technological transformations.” Stated Mr. Fakhro.WorkSmart’s CEO, Ahmed Alhujairy, concluded that “WorkSmart will provide everything necessary for Bahraini companies attending the LEAP next year, ensuring that they can get the very most out of their participation. Bahraini attendees will be able to gain knowledge from the exhibitors, which will help them contribute to the development of the IT sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain.”

CEER to establish electric vehicle brand site at KAEC

Ceer, Saudi Arabia’s first electric vehicle brand, has signed a land purchase agreement worth 359 million Saudi Riyals with Emaar, the Economic City, for land at King Abdullah Economic City (“KAEC”) that will be used to develop Ceer’s manufacturing facility for electric vehicles. The site, located in Industrial Valley (IV) in close proximity to King Abdullah Port in KAEC, will cover over 1 million square meters. Once complete, Ceer’s manufacturing facility will create thousands of direct and indirect high-skilled jobs, the majority of which will be filled by Saudi nationals. Construction at the site will begin early 2023.The company, which is a joint venture between the Public Investment Fund (“PIF”) and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (“Foxconn”), will manufacture a portfolio of technologically advanced sedans and sports utility vehicles at the factory in KAEC. Ceer vehicles are scheduled to be available from 2025 onwards. The factory will be state-of-the-art, featuring the latest technologies to ensure manufacturing efficiency whilst minimizing energy and water usage. Ceer will work towards making the factory a zero waste to landfill site. Ceer’s Chief Executive Officer, James DeLuca, said: “We have found a place that meets all our needs. KAEC offers us a great location with world-class logistics, effective access for our global and Saudi-based suppliers, and an ideal location to base and develop our future workforce. KAEC will become our manufacturing hub as we work towards creating the first electric vehicle brand for Saudi Arabia and the wider region and, in doing so, contribute in a meaningful way to Saudi Vision 2030.”The establishment of Ceer comes in line with the PIF strategy to focus on unlocking the capabilities of promising sectors in Saudi Arabia, including the automotive sector, as well as creating opportunities for the growth and diversification of Saudi Arabia’s economy.“We are delighted to welcome Ceer to KAEC and to help make history by building the first automotive manufacturing hub in Saudi Arabia and the wider region,” said Cyril Piaia, CEO of Emaar, The Economic City, the master developer of KAEC. “KAEC is aiming at integrating into Vision 2030 initiatives with the vision to be a global manufacturing center, and we are spearheading the creation of an electric vehicle automotive industry that will be both innovation-focused and have sustainability at its heart. We cannot wait to see the cars of thefirst Saudi electric vehicle brand coming out of Ceer’s factory at KAEC in a couple of years’ time, and we are proud to be able to contribute to a project that supports so many facets of Saudi Vision 2030. This agreement is in line with KAEC’s new strategy to welcome third-party anchor investors, developers,and operators to realize their projects and ambitions in the city and accelerate its development.”

Flash Entertainment launches Saudi Arabia headquarters in Riyadh

Flash Entertainment, has officially opened its KSA headquarters in Riyadh with a commitment to contribute to rapid growth across Saudi Arabia’s entertainment industry and support the Kingdom’s Saudization goals.Leveraging a 15-year regional legacy, which includes delivering more than 400 major events in partnerships with global brands, associations and franchises, the strategic opening of Flash’s headquarters in Riyadh demonstrates the company’s alignment with Saudi Vision 2030 goals to foster a diverse economy and establish the Kingdom as a world-class live entertainment and tourism destination.“Saudi Arabia is witnessing major change in line with Saudi Vision 2030 and realising Saudization goals. The entertainment industry is evidently growing at a rapid pace and the goal in opening our KSA headquarters is for Flash Entertainment to become a key contributor to a priority trident of industry development, economy diversification and Saudization goals,” said John Lickrish, CEO, Flash Entertainment.“We will bring our learnings from the past 15 years in delivering major global events to meet market needs, while striving to create development opportunities for Saudi nationals to help shape the Kingdom’s entertainment industry. There is a huge appetite for a broad spectrum of entertainment concepts. It is an honour to be present in the Kingdom and hope we can contribute by leveraging our network of global IP partners and AAA talent.”Since its inception in 2008, Flash Entertainment has worked with global brands including Disney, FIFA, NBA, UFC, and WWE, as well as various international AAA music performers and more to create unmissable experiences. It has produced events of national importance, including the official UAE National Day celebrations, cultural festivals such as Abu Dhabi’s Mother of the Nation festival, and hundreds of community-centric showcases, bringing smiles to more than 10 million faces across the Middle East – from the UAE to KSA, Jordan, Bahrain, and Lebanon.While Flash Entertainment is no stranger to the Saudi market having delivered WWE Live! to Riyadh and Jeddah in 2014 and 2015, the company’s Riyadh HQ will enable an in-market team to broaden a diversified year-round event calendar for domestic, regional, and international audiences.In the past year, Flash has diversified into esports with events such as the award-winning Dota 2 MENA Cup, and organised an emirate-wide fitness initiative, Active Parks, in Abu Dhabi. In 2021, Flash also launched the Regional Artist Spotlight, which provides local musicians with a tailored platform to showcase their talent and enhance their exposure.