Striving to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow through play, Lego Middle East held an exclusive event to unveil key global and regional findings from their Lego Play Well 2022 study. The event gathered thought leaders and influencers from across the region, to be part of starting an impactful conversation around the power of play and the attitudes and behaviors related to it.
The Lego Play Well 2022 report brings out the essence of what play means to children and parents across the globe. The findings from the report were gathered from a total of 32,781 parents and 24,593 children aged 5-12, through a 20-minute online quantitative survey conducted across 35 markets in early 2022.
In its third edition, the study delves into how play has evolved, the benefits it brings to individuals and families, the barriers that get in the way and how we can protect it.
The event hosted a panel of experts including Jeroen Beijer, general manager of Lego Middle East and South Africa; Aalia Thobani, communication and connection specialist; and Dr. Hessa Al-Suwaidi, executive director at UAE Sharjah Child Friendly Office. Each expert shared their views around the findings of the study.
According to the report, a large percentage of the Kingdom’s parents agreed that play must be prioritized and protected as it is an integral tool in a child’s development. More than 86 percent of parents in Saudi Arabia believe play is key in enabling children to learn new things and that Lego products help with their children’s development.
The movers and shakers of tomorrow, the children of Saudi Arabia, also confirmed their affinity toward Lego play, as it offers them a fun way to hone their thinking skills and create new ideas. More than 95 percent of children said play makes them feel creative and that playing with Lego products is fun.
In alignment with the Kingdom’s Quality of Life program, which endeavors to improve and nurture individuals’ and families’ quality of life, the Lego Play Well report revealed a large percentage of families in the Kingdom said that Lego play offers them a fun opportunity to create, share, converse and bond together. Ninety-five percent of children said that playing with Lego bricks is a fun activity to do with their parents. The parents’ sentiments were also aligned with their children, with 95 percent of parents saying that playing together makes their families happier.
Beijer, the general manager of Lego Middle East and South Africa, said: “Play has always been the cornerstone of humanity, in that it contributes to all facets of life, from exploration and discovery to creating lifelong learning values. Play is for everyone as it facilitates the necessary environment to create happier families. Most importantly for the Kingdom, the concept of play sheds light on how such a seemingly small, yet simple experience can cascade to impact people’s overall quality of life.”
Leading digital enabler stc Group has inaugurated one of its largest and significant projects, Center3 — the digital regional center for the Middle East and North Africa.
The new company will be the owner of the digital infrastructure assets owned by stc group, including data centers, submarine cables, international points of presence, and internet exchange points.
The inauguration took place in the presence of Prince Mohammad bin Khalid Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal, chairman of the board of directors of stc Group, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah bin Amer Al-Swaha, and a number of other senior executives of the company.
Center3 will be a group of carrier-neutral data centers and a provider of international communication for the telecommunications sector through a submarine fiber optic network. It aims to develop digital businesses and enhance investment opportunities in international communication services and data centers by providing the latest communication and hosting technologies and raising there capacities to meet the needs of the markets across Asia, Europe, Africa, and the rest of the world.
“The stc Group launched Center3 to enhance the digital system, which in turn will contribute to enhancing the Kingdom’s position as a regional digital center. This launch is in line with our strategy to expand the scope and markets to achieve digital empowerment,” said Olayan Alwetaid, CEO of stc Group.
“At Center3, we aim to build an integrated ecosystem of cables and data centers that seeks to attract hyper-scalers, big data, and local and international service providers,” said Fahad Al-Hajeri, Center3 CEO.
He added: “Center3 will provide data center services, international communication and internet exchange services through its assets. We will work to achieve the company’s vision of making the Kingdom the main digital hub connecting the three continents Asia, Europe, and Africa as well as leading the largest share of internet exchange and data traffic in the region.”
With the launch of Center3, stc Group have completed the digital system pursuit by launching a number of companies in the fields of cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, internet of things, and digital infrastructure.
Household chores is an unavoidable part of daily life. Many people consider it boring and time-consuming, given that we often spend hours on the monotonous actions of washing dishes or doing laundry. Keeping this in mind, LG Electronics offers state-of-the-art home appliances with innovative features designed to deliver the ultimate user convenience so that people spend less time and effort on their household routine.
Get More Hygiene with LG Dishwasher: Designed to clean all dishes the first time, LG QuadWash Dishwasher is equipped with the multi-directionally rotating arms that shoot water streams in various angles that reach every corner of the dishwasher. With four spray arms instead of two, the dishwasher provides enhanced coverage to clean every dish on every rack, no matter the shape or size. With temperatures reaching up to 80 degrees Celsius during the rinse cycle, LG Dishwasher ensures the ultimate hygienic care of dishes. Additionally, LG QuadWash is equipped with the LG’s Inverter Direct Drive Motor that provides quiet and reliable operation without compromising on performance. Compared to other motors, it also helps to reduce energy consumption.
Get More Smart Convenience with LG Dryer: Allowing users to save time on drying and ironing clothes, LG Dryer features the Sensor Dry humidity sensor that automatically optimizes drying time and ensures that laundry is well dried the first time. The TrueSteam feature creates pure steam that removes allergens and smooths out wrinkles, leaving laundry fresh and clean with no need for ironing. With the Lint Filters that minimize lint and dust, the clothes are even cleaner than natural drying. Additionally, LG Clothes Dryer does not need any external venting outlets, making it suitable for any location.
Get Intelligent Fabric Care with LG Vivace Washer&Dryer: For complete clothing care, the LG Vivace Washer&Dryer is equipped with Artificial Intelligence Direct Drive technology that detects the weight and softness of the fabric being washed or dried and automatically selects the optimized washing or drying pattern for each load to enhance fabric protection while reducing cycle times and energy usage. Additionally, the LG Vivace Washer&Dryer delivers maximum hygiene thanks to the LG Steam that eliminates 99.9 percent of common bacteria such as dust mites that can cause allergy or respiratory diseases. Ensuring maximum space capacity, the LG Vivace Washer&Dryer is equipped with LG’s advanced low vibration technology that creates more space inside the machine.
Bupa Arabia for Cooperative Insurance, a leading health insurance company in the Kingdom, participated in the 6th edition of the Saudi Insurance Symposium, which was organized by the General Insurance Committee on Sept. 28-29 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh.
The event, which spotlighted the growth and evolution of the insurance sector, was sponsored by Dr. Fahd Abdullah Al-Mubarak, governor of the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia.
The symposium this year was graced by the presence of more than 1,000 regional insurance experts, in addition to the participation of selected local and international administrators and executives.
With the insurance sector playing an indispensable role in the national economy, the two-day conference provided a timely opportunity for industry leaders to review developments in the sector and provide solutions to its most pressing challenges.
Loay Nazer, chairman of the board at Bupa Arabia, participated in a panel discussion on “Economic Growth and Developments in the Insurance Industry” with Dr. Khaled Al-Dhaher, vice governor for supervision and technology, SAMA; and Abdulmohsen Al-Fares, chairman of the board, Alinma Tokio Marine Co.
“Bupa Arabia’s participation at the Saudi Insurance Symposium came as part of our continuous efforts to be active partners in the development and growth of the insurance industry in Saudi Arabia and to support the government’s directions aimed at developing the Saudi insurance sector,” Nazer said.
Moderated by Resini Alresini of the Saudi Central Bank, the panel shed light on the developments in the Saudi insurance industry under the ambitious Vision 2030.
During the session, Nazer stressed the importance of building Saudi national cadres in the insurance sector and training them to provide quality services and distinctive insurance products.
He also said that the insurance sector has created 17,000 job opportunities in the Kingdom, estimating the Saudization rate in the sector at 77 percent.
Ali Sheneamer, chief ubsiness development officer at Bupa Arabia, moderated the panel discussion “InsurTech and Value Added” with several key leaders and CEOs in the industry discussing the significance of digital transformation currently underway in the insurance sector.
Bupa Arabia’s CEO Tal Nazer also joined a panel discussion on “The Future of Health Insurance.”
Callebaut, the chocolate maker preferred by artisans and chefs around the world, debuts its game-changing ‘Callebaut NXT’ series to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. NXT is 100 per cent plant-based dark and milky tasting chocolates, guaranteed free from any traces of dairy.
The launch comes on the heels of its successful global unveiling in early 2022 and responds to the burgeoning demand for plant-based foods across the Middle East. To kick off the NXT movement, an event held at Marriott Hotel in Riyadh on 4 October 2022, where three renowned chefs brought their A-game and took the audience by surprise with their creative spirit.
Chef Marike Van Beurden, Pastry & Chocolate Consultant presented an Earl Gray tea snacking bar, hazelnut and lime tarts and exotic coconut travel cake using the NXT chocolate, whereas Chef Romain Renard, Head of Chocolate Academies MENA curated two recipes by blending tropical fruit flavours like apricot, passion fruit, and lemon with the Callebaut NXT range to give the audience a great experience. And Chef Panagiotis Samaras, Sr. Technical Advisor, Chocolate Academy Dubai created a Vegan – Peanut & Caramel bonbon using the Dairy-Free NXT Milk tasting chocolate. Recipes can be downloaded here https://www.callebaut.com/en-OC/download-NXTrecipes
Epitomizing innovation in the world of chocolate, Callebaut NXT is all set to make waves in Saudi with its 100% plant-based dark and milky-tasting chocolates, guaranteed free from any traces of dairy. Promising the same great taste, creamy texture, smooth mouth feel and quality as traditional chocolate, NXT dark and milk chocolate is innovation like no other.
Specially curated for chefs & artisans, who frequently receive requests for vegan, plant-based, allergen-free and planet-friendly desserts and chocolates, the NXT range not just offers worry-free alternatives for traditional and new recipes, but also how-to guides, inspiration and tips and tricks through the new NXT digital platform—introduced with the support of R&D experts and an impressive line-up of chefs and artisans who’ve developed and tested the chocolate throughout several recipe applications.
Over the last quarter of 2022 and next year, Callebaut aims to create and grow a true NXT chef community for dairy-free confectionery, bakery, pastry, horeca and gelataria with a subsequent launch in UAE and the rest of the Middle East.
NXT is already available in Riyadh and Jeddah through Callebaut’s official partner Mawassem Al Ghizaa Co. EMF Saudi.
BOX OUT 1: NXT is 100 per cent plant-based dark and milky tasting chocolates, guaranteed free from any traces of dairy are curated for chefs & artisans to bring genuine vegan, plant-based, lactose-free & dairy-free chocolate indulgence to life without compromising taste and quality as compared to traditional chocolate.
BOX OUT 2: Plant-based foods are growing fast across the globe—not just in the savoury sphere but in the world of desserts and more specifically chocolate. According to industry stats, 54 per cent of Generation Z avoid meat or other animal-based products versus 34 per cent of baby boomers.
JCDecaux SA, the number one outdoor advertising company worldwide, announces that following a competitive tender, its subsidiary JCDecaux ATA Saudi has been awarded the advertising contract at the King Fahd Causeway, managed by the King Fahd Causeway Authority. Stretching 25kms, the Causeway represents the only land access between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
JCDecaux is now appointed as the exclusive advertising operator at the Causeway for a term of 10 years. This new contract represents a unification of the Causeway’s advertising landscape under a single operator, with a media plan which will include a mix of iconic digital screens, pole-mounted digital screens, and backlit large format assets.
This step into billboard advertising will extend JCDecaux’s footprint in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain from its current exclusive concession for all 27 Saudi airports and Bahrain International Airport. This regional synergy will continue to create value for advertisers and authorities.
Youssef Ibrahim Alabdan, chief executive officer of the King Fahd Causeway Authority, said: “Our Causeway carried 30 million vehicles in 2019, and we are excited about the post-COVID recovery potential as the Kingdom is gearing to be a regional tourism hub. We are hopeful that JCDecaux will leverage their local and regional client relations and create opportunities for brands to reach the Causeway’s audience.”
Martin Sabbagh, CEO JCDecaux Middle East and Africa, said: “JCDecaux is delighted to have been awarded this prestigious advertising contract. Inclusion of the King Fahd Causeway within JCDecaux’s current regional concessions is an important strategic step forward. JCDecaux has developed deep roots with advertisers as the premier operator of advertising at major regional points of international travel. The Causeway will complement both JCDecaux’s concessions in Saudi Arabia and in Bahrain. With extensive experience in the niche travel environment, JCDecaux will continue to allow clients to communicate with an ever-growing traveling audience. The two Kingdoms benefit from being one of the most frequently visited destinations in the Middle East, this connection between Saudi and Bahrain will prove essential for clients to enhance the visibility of their campaigns through a qualitative mix of static and digital solutions.”
Bassam Alaujan, managing director JCDecaux ATA Saudi, said: “JCDecaux is delighted to have been awarded this prestigious advertising contract. The Causeway will complement JCDecaux’s current concession at all 27 Saudi airports, allowing our clients to communicate with a greater traveling audience. Benefiting from being one of the most frequently visited destinations of the Middle East and welcoming tourists from all over the world.”