Citi signs on as official USA Pavilion partner at Expo 2020 – Arab News
Citi has signed on as an official sponsor of the USA Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, running from Oct. 1 until March 31, 2022. The Citi Rocket Stage at the pavilion will be a platform for American innovation, technology and progress.
Citi launched the Rocket Garden Stage at the USA Pavilion, a showcase of its longstanding mission to enable growth and progress in the world. The stage will support American performers as they dazzle global audiences at the largest cultural gathering of the year.
Located next to the iconic SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket replica, the third largest structure at Expo 2020, the Citi Rocket Garden Stage amplifies a common vision of progress, mobility and sustainability. “Enabling progress has been Citi’s mission for over two centuries. As a global bank, connecting millions of people across hundreds of countries and cities, we are thrilled to be part of Expo 2020 Dubai with the USA Pavilion and contribute to shaping the future and building a better world,” said Elissar Farah Antonios, CEO of Citi UAE and MENA cluster head. “Citi’s partnership with the USA Pavilion is an opportunity to highlight innovative and forward-thinking American companies that are driving the future at the world’s largest gathering in Dubai.”
“The partnership between the USA Pavilion and its partners, including Citi, demonstrates the support of American businesses for the USA Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai,” said USA Pavilion Commissioner General Robert Clark. “The USA Pavilion provides an opportunity for businesses to showcase brands, products and services, while creating opportunities for expansion into new markets. We are grateful for Citi’s generous support in helping to make the USA Pavilion’s Citi Rocket Garden Stage possible. The USA Pavilion will host many American cultural acts on this stage.”
Citi has had a unique presence in the UAE market since 1964 and continues to present significant opportunities for clients in corporate finance, trade finance, investment banking and wealth management across various client segments.
At Expo 2020 Dubai, the US is celebrating “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of the Future.” This powerful theme reflects America’s commitment to promoting prosperity, opportunity, and innovation globally and domestically.
In 2021, Citi made a major announcement of $1 trillion to sustainable finance by 2030, extending its current environmental finance target from $250 billion by 2025 to $500 billion by 2030. Additionally, Citi laid out last March a bold commitment to accelerate its net zero emissions by 2050.
RIYADH: This year again, three students from Saudi Arabia have been selected to join the 2022 global class of Rhodes Scholars. Ahmed Aljohani, Jood Al-Thukair and Mohammed Alghadeer will join a total cohort of more than 100 Rhodes Scholars who will travel to Oxford in October next year.
The Rhodes Scholarships are post-graduate awards supporting outstanding students, to enable two to three years of study, depending on the academic route taken, at the University of Oxford. The scholarship is not just a financial bursary, it is a life-changing opportunity for exceptional young people with the potential to make a difference for good in the world.
The scholars elect for Saudi Arabia demonstrated their energy and commitment to making a difference during a rigorous selection process, which included three rounds of reviews before the final virtual interviews of several shortlisted candidates with an international selection committee.
Aljohani currently studies biology at Emory University. Growing up next to the Red Sea has led him to pursue a career in biology research to explore the sea’s captivating natural beauty and its secrets. At Oxford, Aljohani hopes to pursue his passion in learning more about the Red Sea’s super corals and use them as a model to save dying coral reefs globally.
Al-Thukair graduated from King Saud University with a BA in English language and literature in May this year. She is passionate about honoring Arab literature, hence her founding of Sumou — one of the leading independent publications in the region. At Oxford, Al-Thukair will study the intersections between politics and literature that mark the features of Arab women’s literary works.
The Rhodes Scholarships are post-graduate awards supporting outstanding students, to enable two to three years of study, depending on the academic route taken, at the University of Oxford.
Alghadeer studied both physics and electrical engineering at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. He is currently working in collaboration with the Quantum Nanoelectronics Laboratory at University of California, Berkeley. As a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, he plans to study condensed matter physics with research focus on quantum information technology.
The first endowed Saudi Arabia scholarship was established in 2018 and was funded by Muhammad Alagil, with a second endowed scholarship added in 2020, funded by Abdulrahman Alagil Sons. Both donors are co-founders of Jarir Bookstores. This funding was done with encouragement from the Ministry of Education, as education is one of the core elements of Vision 2030, the Kingdom’s ambitious blueprint for the future.
Dr. Elizabeth Kiss, warden and CEO of the Rhodes Trust, said: “Three years ago and thanks to Muhammad Alagil’s generous gift, we launched the first Saudi Arabia endowed scholarship to ensure that more of world’s diversity would be reflected at Rhodes House. It has been a pleasure to meet the exceptional young scholars from Saudi Arabia selected in these three previous years and witness their enriching contribution to Rhodes House — cultural diversity is a core value of ours and one that we see benefit our cohort of scholars every day, as they learn from each other in profound ways.”
The applications for the next round of admission for the Rhodes Scholarship will open in June 2022.
RIYADH: An exquisite range of more than 4,000 American products, including 24 brands, will be featured across all LuLu stores in Saudi Arabia as part of “Discover America” festival from Nov. 10 to 16. 
The festival was inaugurated at Atyaf Mall in Yarmouk, Riyadh, today in the presence of the guest of honor, the deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Riyadh, Denison Offutt, and the US consul general in Jeddah, Faris Asad. In Al-Khobar, the inauguration was attended by the US consul general in Dhahran, David Edginton, and the regional US agriculture attache, Mark Ford. 
With a plethora of US-made selected and attractive promotional offers on all American foods, chilled products, fresh fruit and vegetables, this is a great opportunity to showcase LuLu’s American connection. 
The popular LuLu kitchens will fill the aisles with specialty hot foods fragrant with signature American flavours inspired by classic culinary items.
LuLu Hypermarkets director for Saudi Arabia Shehim Mohammed said: “The LuLu Group has a very active and large sourcing hub in New Jersey, US through Y-International US and this is reflected across our global network of 218 stores in the range of excellent food and non-food products that carry the US innovation and production impression. Discover America is a great way to explore the popularity of products that represent the new tastes which America has introduced to the world.”
DUBAI: Mobily has announced a collaboration with Amazon Prime, enabling Mobily prepaid and postpaid mobile customers in Saudi Arabia to enjoy the best of shopping, savings and entertainment from Amazon by seamlessly signing up for a Prime membership using their mobile numbers. 
Prime membership is available to everyone in Saudi Arabia with a free 30-day trial, after which members can enjoy Prime for only SR16 ($4) per month, or save with the annual membership of SR140.
This integration means that Mobily customers in Saudi Arabia can have the flexibility to pay for their Prime membership via one consolidated Mobily bill. Prime benefits include exclusive shopping deals across a wide selection of products on, access to thousands of award-winning movies and TV series, including Amazon Originals, with Arabic subtitles and dubbing on Prime Video, as well as free in-game content and free games from Prime Gaming. Delivery benefits for Prime members in Saudi Arabia include free and fast local delivery options, across hundreds of thousands of products, such as free one-day delivery and free two-day delivery, in addition to free delivery options from Amazon US and Amazon UAE. 
In a statement, Mobily said: “We are delighted to be able to provide Mobily customers in Saudi Arabia with easy access to everything that Amazon Prime has to offer, with a full suite of shopping, savings and entertainment benefits at their fingertips. This partnership is a testament to our ambition to offer the best-in-class experience and added value to our customers across the Kingdom.
“We are always striving to deliver seamless experiences, convenience, and flexibility to our customers. This collaboration to offer a convenient payment method for Prime memberships through our digital platform was a natural next step, and we will continue to look for new ways to add value and enrich the lives of every Mobily user in Saudi Arabia.”
Dubai Internet City and in5 concluded their activities at the close of GITEX Global with DIC hosting a series of knowledge-sharing workshops at its pavilion, while the incubator’s stand saw startup founders gaining invaluable brand exposure as they interacted with potential clients and investors.
Throughout the Middle East’s largest technology event, DIC, the region’s leading tech hub, saw a number of high-level figures visit its centrally located pavilion, including Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, crown prince of Dubai and chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai.
LinkedIn, Huawei and HTC were among the tech giants that had a presence at the pavilion, where they held a series of professional development workshops across a range of topics over the course of GITEX. LinkedIn offered attendees advice on topics such as how to maximize their SME’s presence on the platform; Huawei’s talks included discussion on the importance of the cloud in an organization’s digital transformation journey; and HTC’s workshops explored the rapidly expanding scope of business opportunities in virtual reality, including game development, training, health and safety, and design.
At the in5 stand in Zabeel 6, startup founders were able to sit down one-to-one with angel investors and venture capitalists to discuss potential partnerships and funding opportunities, among other things.
For Atif Ahmed, CFO of ViewIT, a property technology startup, being hosted at the in5 stand at GITEX has been an invaluable experience. “It’s a fantastic experience for a young startup like ours, which only launched on the Apple and Google app stores six months ago, to be here.
“In5 has got a beautiful setup, and we’ve actually been able to sit down and talk with a number of investors, which is crucial for a seed-stage startup like ours. Our product video has been playing on a loop, and that has attracted a lot of curious visitors who we have had the chance to educate about our offering.”
ViewIT is a platform that allows real estate agents to visit a listing and create a walkthrough video for a verified listing in three easy steps. It seeks to solve two issues: The prevalence of misleading images — the platform does not allow pictures, only video — and fake listings.
Andrew Widera, co-founder of, a mobile-first online streaming community that offers creators tools to easily manage and monetize their content, also feels that he has taken a lot away from GITEX, where he spent Day 1 at the DIC pavilion and Day 3 at the in5 stand.
“It’s a really good opportunity for us to meet people — potential customers, investors and various people in the ecosystem,” Widera said.
in5 signed a number of agreements to further enhance the strength and offering of its ecosystem. Pen was put to paper on MoUs with Tie Dubai, TomTom, Gellify and Parsons to improve in5 startups’ access to mentorship networks, cutting-edge location technology, appropriate investors and market access to large corporate projects. The agreements followed in5’s announcement that its startups had raised a collective 1.4 billion dirhams ($381.1 million) in funding from VCs and angel investors so far.
VOX Cinemas, the dedicated cinema arm of Emirati company Majid Al-Futtaim, has launched its latest cinema in Jubail. The move underpins its commitment to making entertainment experiences accessible to everyone across Saudi Arabia and contribute to the growth of the entertainment industry in the Kingdom.
Located at Jubail’s must-visit shopping and lifestyle destination, VOX Cinemas Galleria Mall-Jubail features five screens including KIDS, a dedicated auditorium for young movie lovers to watch the latest family-friendly films, and Candy Bar, which serves a menu of popular cinema snacks. It also boasts cutting-edge audio-visual technology for a unique cinematic experience.
The five-screen cinema is VOX Cinemas’ 15th cinema in Saudi Arabia and will lead to the creation of 50 new direct jobs and 60 indirect jobs.
Mohamed Al-Hashemi, country head of Majid Al-Futtaim Leisure, Entertainment, Cinemas, and Lifestyle in Saudi Arabia, said: “VOX Cinemas is excited to join forces with Al-Mutlaq Group to open our first cinema in Jubail as we continue to expand our footprint to new cities as well as opening entertainment experiences where we have an established presence. We’re also extremely proud to support job creation with the hiring of local talent, including our first female cinema manager in the Eastern region who will be leading our business in Jubail, as part of our commitment to realizing the goals of Vision 2030. The Kingdom is evolving at a rapid pace into a global powerhouse of leisure and entertainment, and we will build on the success of 2021 by significantly increasing our pace of growth. We will also continue to introduce pioneering concepts that provide a place where communities can socialize and enjoy quality time together. We look forward to creating more great moments with our guests at VOX Cinemas Galleria Mall — Jubail.”
Abir Al-Mutlaq, director of transformation, Al-Mutlaq Group, added: “VOX Cinemas has a wealth of market expertise and consistently delivers exceptional entertainment experiences for families throughout the Kingdom. We are extremely proud to collaborate once again following our first opening at The Roof in Riyadh in 2019. The state-of-the-art cinema is the first of its kind in Jubail Industrial City and a strategic addition to Galleria Mall. We are confident that it will be a popular entertainment destination with families and movie lovers in the Eastern Province.”
VOX Cinemas now has a total of 154 screens across 15 movie theaters in six cities, making it the largest exhibitor by screen count and ticket sales. It is also the largest independent film distributor in the Kingdom.
In 2018, VOX Cinemas signed an exclusive distribution deal with Saudi Arabian animation studio Myrkott to screen its first animation feature Masameer across the MENA region, and during the summer it distributed the highly anticipated Saudi Japanese anime The Journey, having inked a deal with Manga Productions at last year’s Berlin Film Festival.


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