Modest fashion app launched for Saudi shoppers

21/07/20

The label, launched in 2018 in the Kingdom, will introduce its application to other GCC countries by the end of 2020. (Instagram)

DUBAI: Fashion label Leem has started a new mobile application for shoppers in Saudi Arabia this week.

The label, launched in 2018 in the Kingdom, will introduce its application to other GCC countries by the end of 2020.

Leem, which has stores across the Middle East, offers modern yet conservative designs that include wide-leg trousers, large sweaters, elegant dresses, oversized tops and more.

The brand promises that all the orders placed will be delivered within three to five business days, with free delivery offered on standard orders.

Leem will soon add premium services such as same-day and next-day delivery to their platform, which is currently available on Apple and Android devices via the App Store and Google Play Store.

A number of fashion brands have either gone digital or closed down during the pandemic.

In April, luxury modest wear e-tailor The Modist announced it will stop operating, and in June, UAE-based Al Tayer Group announced that e-tailer Nisnass will close down from July 16.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Lulu to go ahead with KSA expansion Previous

Time: 29 June, 2020

Riyadh: Region’s top retailer Lulu Group has revealed that it’s going ahead with its expansion plans despite the challenges faced due to Covid19 pandemic across the world.  The popular hypermarket chain will open 5 new hypermarkets this year in the Kingdom.

Currently there are 34 Lulu hypermarkets & supermarkets including 17 Commissaries in Aramco, Petroleum Research Center, 5 outlets inside National Guard and 4 shopping malls in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Al Khobar regions serving more than 250,000 customers daily.

Commenting on the new projects Yusuffali MA, Chairman of Lulu Group said “KSA is a very important market for us and we have full confidence in the economic scenario and future prospects in the Kingdom, thanks to the wise leadership of the rulers and their proactive initiatives.

“Our main focus will be to take the world-class shopping experience nearer to residents not only in big cities but also in Tier-2 cities such as Hail, Al Hassa, Al Kharj, Jubail, Tabuk which have witnessed exponential growth. With the completion of these 5 new projects, our aim is to provide employment to 1,000 more Saudi nationals, in addition to 2,800 already employed by us including more than 1,000 ladies”.

“As per our plans 3 hypermarkets were supposed to be already opened, but we had to postpone the inauguration due to the global pandemic situation. Now that the restrictions have been lifted and with resumption of normal activities, we have decided to go ahead and launch new hypermarkets on a priority basis” added Yusuffali.

New initiatives

As part of it’s commitment to support and promote Kingdom’s non-oil based trade, Lulu group has signed special agreement with Ministry of Agriculture and Saudi Export House to promote Saudi mark dates and local products outside KSA in Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Egypt & GCC countries.

Another focus area would be the expansion of Lulu online shopping to cover larger area with bigger range of grocery and fresh produce.

Covid Challenges

Yusuff Ali further said that the “thanks to the visionary leadership of the Kingdom, the pandemic situation has been controlled very well and various sectors including the retail, tourism and other trade activities are returning to normal and this will further accelerate the national economy. We are proud to be part of the KSA’s overall development and will continue to support sustainable development strategies”.

During the outbreak of pandemic situation, the role played by leading hypermarkets and supermarket chains such as LULU Group is highly commendable, as they have ensured un-interrupted food supply from around the world at most affordable prices, which resulted in ZERO-PANIC situation in the Kingdom.

This article was first published in Arab News

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#Halawani_Al-Khair campaign spreads goodness in Saudi Arabia

Time: 08 June, 2020

Over 500,000 meals for iftar are being distributed all over the Kingdom

Halawani Brothers, a leading food manufacturing company in the Kingdom, has launched the second edition of the #Halawani_Al-Khair campaign. The initiative is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) and aims to promote volunteering and extend philanthropy, reflecting the company’s commitment toward Saudi citizens and residents.

This year, the #Halawani_Al-Khair initiative has added more development and philanthropy activities. Over 500,000 meals for iftar are being distributed all over the Kingdom. The campaign includes the “Employees Volunteering Program” in cooperation with the “Khadoom” program.

“Iftar Al-Khair” at the King Abdul Aziz International Airport included the distribution of more than 800 Ramadan baskets, in addition to supporting about 10,000 families in cooperation with the Nama Charity and Development Association.

Saleh Ahmed Hefni, CEO and managing director of Halawani Bros, said the #Halawani_Al-Khair campaign has achieved many successes in its second year through initiatives targeting diverse segments of society.

He said the campaign has also achieved its objective of promoting the community and empowering individuals to be effective and productive members of society.

“Successes energize Halawani Bros. to develop the initiative and include several new activities and sectors, which has encouraged many associations and charities to become partners in these activities,” Hefni added.

The #Halawani_Al-Khair initiative in its first year achieved remarkable successes in volunteering and charitable work. This Ramadan, it is expected to reach wider segments of society with the gold sponsorship of the “Ramadan Aman 7” campaign in the Kingdom, which aims to reduce traffic accidents and excess speed.

Around 14,000 volunteers from different segments of society are involved in the distribution of light iftar meals to drivers before the Maghreb prayer at vital traffic junctions and crowded sites in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan and Bosnia. Over 360,000 meals will be distributed in 17 cities in the Kingdom.

The company’s executives, employees and their families are participating in the initiative with the objective of interacting with the community in spreading goodness and serving the people of the Kingdom.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Canon supports Saudi health care sector with medical scholarship

Time: 07 June, 2020

Canon Saudi Arabia has partnered with Mohammed Al-Mana College for Medical Sciences for a scholarship grant, demonstrating its commitment to promoting medical education among Saudi nationals as well as advancing women in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

As part of the partnership, Canon will grant a full-term scholarship to one female student of Mohammed-Al-Mana College of Medical Sciences. The initiative aims to build the talent pipeline of medical professionals, particularly in the nursing field, to further support the health care sector.

Mohammed Al-Mana College of Medical Sciences specializes in health care education and applied vocational training for a mainly female student-base, located in Dammam.

Canon’s support also salutes the dedication of the college’s founder Dr. Aisha Al-Mana to female empowerment through education.

Mai Youssef, corporate communications and marketing services director, Canon Middle East, said: “We are committed to creating employment and development opportunities for young people in Saudi Arabia that support economic diversification, and contributing to socio-economic progress in line with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030. There is no better time than now to support the education of Saudi nationals in medical fields, especially nursing, so they can continue to contribute to the delivery and advancement of a robust health care sector. Our initiative reflects our commitment to the communities in which we operate and our corporate culture of kyosei.”

Dr. Aisha Al-Mana, founder and general supervisor of Mohammed Al-Mana College for Medical Sciences, said: “Education is key to empowerment. The commitment from private sector organizations such as Canon is critical to driving forward the education of young people, in particular females. Our college was established with women’s empowerment as a top priority, and we are delighted to partner with Canon in support of this important cause. We aim to educate and support the next generation of female medical professionals in the Kingdom to support the wider goals of our leadership to provide opportunities for all.”

This article was first published in Arab News

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Bupa Arabia supports the underprivileged & orphans

Time: 26 May, 2020

Bupa Arabia’s free health insurance program for orphans offers a range of quality services, including regular checkups, all treatments, a designated hotline to receive calls, and health education workshops to raise awareness.

Bupa Arabia for Cooperative Insurance has partnered with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development to distribute 3,000 food baskets among underprivileged families, which are registered with the ministry’s Social Welfare and Family Welfare Agency. The initiative comes in line with the spirit of Ramadan, a month of giving, and in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

This year, orphans who are covered under Bupa Arabia’s free health insurance program will help in preparing and distributing the baskets to inculcate a sense of giving among them.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Wahaibi, undersecretary at the Social Welfare and Family Welfare Agency, hailed Bupa Arabia’s move to involve orphans in preparing and distributing baskets under the supervision of the agency, saying: “This is a caring gesture from Bupa Arabia, and it promotes a sense of belonging among orphans while cultivating the principles of giving, communication and closeness between them and society.”

He added that the initiative supports what the company has been offering orphans for years. More than 2,600 orphans, living in more than 47 homes across the Kingdom, benefit from Bupa Arabia’s free health insurance program. The program includes divorced orphans and widows who live with their children in social care homes.

Loay Hisham Nazer, chairman of Bupa Arabia, said: “The orphans will be joining hands to assemble and distribute baskets to the families in an attempt to get a sense of the pride of giving during the holy month. We’ve also extended this to our employees, who collectively prepared 411 food baskets. We hope that we make a real and positive impact through this initiative.”

Bupa Arabia was the first company to offer free health insurance for residents of “Dar Al-Rafeef” in 2011. Three years later, in 2014, the program expanded to cover all orphans residing in shelters supervised by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development.

“We believe that in order to play a proactive role in society, we need to provide more than just health insurance; we should aim to become the health care partner for every orphan in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, we would like them to know that we are always by their side,” Nazer said, adding that the orphans receive special treatment and the same services that are given to some VIP clients.

The free health insurance program offers a range of quality services, including a designated hotline to receive calls and provide immediate assistance. Bupa Arabia also developed an integrated program that enables doctors to visit beneficiaries periodically for checkups, and regularly organizes health education workshops to raise awareness. The program is approved by the Cooperative Health Insurance Council and covers all treatments, including plastic surgery, dermatology, and even cases that are not covered by regular health insurance.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Salman Faqeeh, managing director of Cisco Saudi Arabia

Time: 21 April, 2020

Salman Faqeeh
  • Faqeeh obtained a bachelor’s degree in management information systems in 2002 from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals

Salman Faqeeh has been the managing director of Cisco Saudi Arabia since October 2018.
Cisco has been identified as one of the “Best Workplaces in Saudi Arabia” by Great Place to Work (GPTW)- Middle East, achieving second position in this year’s rankings.
GPTW evaluates an organization’s success based on a comprehensive employee satisfaction survey and external audit.
“We are extremely grateful to see the recognition that Cisco Saudi Arabia is receiving,” Faqeeh said. “I would like to thank each and every person on our team, who helps create a work environment which we look forward to each day. We will continue to uphold these values and ensure that Cisco remains one of the best companies to work for in the Kingdom.”
Faqeeh obtained a bachelor’s degree in management information systems in 2002 from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.
He began his professional career at Microsoft as an account manager for the company’s communications sector.
Faqeeh joined Cisco Saudi Arabia in August 2006 and has held several positions there since then.
During his long tenure with Cisco, he managed important clients and strengthened ties with vital sectors such as defense, health care and energy.
He also served as Cisco operations manager, leading and managing the public sector in the Kingdom.

This article was first published in Arab News

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ACWA Power to build mobile hospital in Madinah

Time: 15 April, 2020

The signing for the 100-bed mobile hospital in Madinah was executed by Thamer Al-Sharhan from ACWA Power and Essam Al-Muhaidib from THABAT.

Energy and desalinated water provider ACWA Power and THABAT will build a 100-bed integrated mobile hospital, fully resourced with the medical equipment and supplies needed to treat COVID-19 cases. The new hospital is expected to be operational within 70 days and will provide comprehensive health care services and aid in handling the pandemic.
The agreement between ACWA Power and THABAT was concluded under the patronage, and in presence of Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, minister of energy; Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, minister of health; and Mohammad Abunayyan, chairman of ACWA Power. The signing was executed by Thamer Al-Sharhan, representing ACWA Power, and Essam Al-Muhaidib, representing THABAT.
Abunayyan said: “I would like to extend my deep appreciation to Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, minister of energy, for his kind support in enabling us to implement our initiative to build a mobile hospital for combatting the spread of COVID-19. This initiative is part of the efforts driven by the national energy sector to address the crisis in our beloved Kingdom.”
Abunayyan extended his appreciation to Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman for his generous support in facilitating the agreement for ACWA Power’s community-based initiative. The governor played an invaluable role in expediting processes, allocating land for the hospital, and providing optimum support from the official bodies of the governorate to complete the project within its required time frame.
The new hospital will be fully dedicated to caring for COVID-19 patients. It comes as part of ACWA Power’s commitment to reinforcing the efforts of the Saudi energy sector to enhance preventive actions taken by the Saudi Ministry of Health during these times.

HIGHLIGHT

The new hospital is expected to be operational within 70 days and will provide comprehensive health care services and aid in handling the pandemic.

As per the agreement, ACWA Power will utilize its expertise and capabilities in the swift implementation and delivery of projects that require the highest standards of safety and security. Upon completion of construction within 70 days, the assets and contracts will be handed over to the Ministry of Health.
Abunayyan added: “We are an active part of the Saudi energy sector, and remain in full solidarity with all national initiatives to overcome this crisis. Leveraging our technical expertise and capabilities in mobilizing and deploying highly secured projects, we believe this project will supplement existing medical resources by providing a dedicated facility, quickly and efficiently to help diagnose, support and treat COVID-19 patients.”
Abunayyan lauded the efforts of Minister of Health Dr. Al-Rabiah for enabling the execution of ACWA Power’s initiative. He praised the Ministry of Health and its various sectors and bodies for their heroic endeavors undertaken to confront the spread of the pandemic since its emergence. He also applauded their role in implementing precautionary and preventive measures to protect the citizens and residents’ health and safety across the Kingdom.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Bahri donates SR10m to help combat COVID-19

Time: 02 April, 2020

Mohammed Abdul Aziz Al-Sarhan, chairman of Bahri.

Bahri, a Saudi provider of logistics and transportation, announced that its board of directors has recently approved a donation of SR10 million ($2.7 million) to Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health (MoH) to support its initiatives against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease in the Kingdom.

Mohammed Abdul Aziz Al-Sarhan, chairman of Bahri, said: “Given the current global situation and challenges resulting from the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Bahri is pleased to express gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. We also extend our appreciation to the government sectors in general, and the MoH in particular, for their round-the-clock, tireless efforts to ensure the safety and health of citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia.”

Al-Sarhan added: “Underlining its social responsibility commitment to cooperating with all entities in the Kingdom to strengthen the national efforts and support the government during this period, Bahri decided to donate SR10 million to back the initiatives of the MoH to contain the outbreak.” We are also pleased to place our expertise, maritime fleet, logistics services, and offices around the world at the disposal of the ministry, to help achieve the common national goal of preserving public health.”

Bahri has taken all the necessary precautionary measures to ensure the safety of its employees at its offices and onboard vessels. The company is operating as normal to deliver on its commitment to its customers around the world and to ensure that they receive the highest quality service without disruption. As it continues to evaluate the situation, Bahri is also keen to implement further instructions and preventive measures being issued by the government of Saudi Arabia.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi retail giant BinDawood reports 200% growth in online sales amid coronavirus pandemic

Time: 27 March, 2020

App installations of BinDawood Holding’s two e-commerce platforms – Danube and BinDawood Online – topped 400 percent. (Supplied)

DUBAI: Saudi Arabian retailer BinDawood Holding has seen a 200 percent increase in its online sales since the escalation of the coronavirus crisis.

BinDawood Holding’s two e-commerce platforms – Danube and BinDawood Online – have recorded a “significant upturn in organic growth the last few weeks”, according to Majed M. Al-Tahan, the co-founder and managing director of Danube Online.

“Our average sales on a 10-day basis has shot up 200 percent, with our average order value up 50 percent and our app installations topping 400 percent,” Al-Tahan said. “The demand has been so great that we are adding jobs [such as packers and drivers]. It has been an incredibly busy period.”

Ahmad AR. BinDawood, chief executive of Danube & BinDawood, BinDawood Holding, said all its stores remain open in the Kingdom, with additional stringent sanitization measures to protect its customers and staff.

“All our 72 stores remain open and we continue to provide effective customer service as we play an important role in serving the communities across the kingdom,” BinDawood said.

“This week, as planned, the newest Danube store opened in Al Andalus in Riyadh, with the support of the government, to cope with the demand that is happening,” he added.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Halalah secures SAMA’s fintech license

Time: 24 March, 2020

Esam Al-Nahdi Founder and CEO of Halalah

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) announced last week that Halalah has successfully attained the full e-money institution license (EMI) in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-based fintech company has been operating in the local market previously under a sandbox trial period license. Halalah managed to “graduate” from the trial period ahead of schedule after complying with all regulatory requirements that focused on the maturity of product, the structure of the company, the agility of its processes and the security of its infrastructure.
“Halalah is not your typical startup, as it has gone through a long journey in a short period of time to reach where it is today,” said Founder and CEO Esam Al-Nahdi. Starting in Saudi Arabia with clear ambitions for the regional fintech market, the company got licensed in UAE in 2017 by the FSRA’s Fintech RegLab in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), before coming back to Saudi Arabia to get SAMA’s sandbox approval in the first quarter of 2018, to kick-start its operations in November 2018.
“Throughout 2019, Halalah managed to institutionalize its operating model, and build a robust infrastructure and product engine, as well as striking a few strategic partnerships that will cater to the needs of the new generation of customers and putting the company in the right position to achieve its local, regional and global plans,” added Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Maher Loubieh.
With the full license now obtained, “the next milestone in Saudi Arabia is to relaunch Halalah KSA with a new set of financial services and products that will enable customers to manage their finances and do transactions through Halalah,” said Al-Nahdi.

This article was first published in Arab News

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