Huawei to host Saudia app on AppGallery – Arab News
Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia has signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabian Airlines for an extensive partnership that includes adding the Saudia app to AppGallery — Huawei’s official distribution platform and one of the top three app marketplaces globally.
In addition to establishing a wider and closer cooperation on other digital products and services, the collaboration will also allow both brands to build awareness for a wider audience in the Middle East and Africa region, and beyond.
Saudia guests will now be able to book and plan their flights between Saudi Arabia and their chosen destination from the convenience of their Huawei smart devices, bringing users a richer and more engaging range of functions conveniently to their fingertips. 
Captain Ibrahim Koshy, CEO of Saudia, said: “We are delighted to announce the signing of our MoU with Huawei. This MoU further enhances our capabilities to develop and deliver exceptional digital products to our customers. We are continually striving to push the boundaries of innovation to ensure our guests enjoy high-quality experiences and our partnership with Huawei is testament to our success with our guests.”
The Saudia app has now become part of Huawei’s wider holistic ecosystem, which offers a broad range of solutions and services including customer-centric initiatives for Huawei users.
Bill Yu, device CEO of Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia, said: “Our MoU with Saudia Airlines is yet another example of the growing success of our Huawei Mobile Services and AppGallery.
With the addition of the Saudia app to the AppGallery, we are again reaffirming our commitment to delivering premium and intuitive experiences to our consumers in the Kingdom. The new app will enable users to book flights and plan their journeys between Saudi Arabia and the world with greater ease and comfort, all from the convenience of their Huawei smart devices.” 
Launched on Dec. 28, 2021, the Saudia app was downloaded 126,000 times in the first 24 hours only even before any announcement had been made; it had 1.3 million impressions in only three days. 
In addition, the MoU also involves further developments between the two parties to deliver the best user experience, provide continuous technical support, app updates, conduct joint marketing and promotions as well as provide cross market support.
By Dec. 31, 2021, more than 187,000 applications have integrated the HMS Core. With more than 5.4 million registered developers worldwide, Huawei Mobile Services ecosystem has become the third largest mobile application ecosystem in the world. Since its global launch in April 2018, AppGallery is available in over 170 countries/regions. In 2021, AppGallery witnessed over 432 billion app downloads across the globe.
The Hyundai Elantra achieved the top overall sales position in the Saudi Arabian market in 2021, according to official figures. In addition to being Hyundai’s best-selling model in the Kingdom, Elantra is also the best-in-class car in the sedan C segment.
Second only to its sibling, the TUCSON, as the global best-seller in the Hyundai lineup, the Elantra has steadily evolved in terms of design and quality refinement. With more than 30 years and seven model generations, the Elantra has become a formidable contender for the title of best-in-class vehicle around the world.
With enthusiasm and affection from loyal customers in the Kingdom, the Elantra has steadily maintained sales across the Kingdom. Powered by a design statement that is sharp and bold, the vehicle has a spacious interior with modern comfort and connectivity features, advanced safety and driver assistance systems, and a versatile driving experience that combines satisfying performance and unmatched fuel economy.
“The Elantra is a core part of Hyundai’s lineup in the Kingdom and across the Middle East and has served customers from all walks of life for nearly three decades. The stellar sales results are a testament to the popularity of the Elantra and bolsters our dedication to continuously offer customers advanced features and smart mobility solutions across all our model lineup,” said Hyoungjung Im, vice president of Hyundai Motor Company. He added: “This achievement motivates us to keep moving forward with enhancing the lives of our customers by investing in the technology, design, and quality of our products to help reinvigorate their trust in us.”
The Elantra’s modern look reflects the “Sensuous Sportiness” design identity of Hyundai and is equipped with an elaborately designed chassis, which allows the driver to enjoy the distinctive sporty character of the design.
The model comes with two powerful petrol engines, with an engine connected to either a six-speed manual transmission or automatic transmission. These features turn road driving into a real pleasure for both the driver and passengers.
The upgraded Nu 2.0 MPI fuel-saving engine produces a maximum power of 159 hp/6,200 rpm and a maximum torque of 19.5 kg/m at 4500 rpm. For even smoother performance, the Gamma II 1.6 MPI engine option is also available with 123 hp, 6,300 rpm, and maximum torque of 15.59 kg/m at 4,500 rpm.
Hyundai continues to focus on safety innovations as a priority across all its product lines. The 2022 Elantra is equipped with a wide range of features aimed at protecting occupants. These best-in-class technologies include: Forward collision-avoidance assist, blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, smart cruise control, and rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist, and rear seat passenger alert.
The Elantra features an advanced infotainment system that includes Bluetooth multi-connection, integrated voice recognition, smartphone pairing with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a 10.25-inch LCD screen with intelligent navigation, while the Bose premium sound system delivers exceptional sound quality through its eight high-performance speakers. The vehicle is also equipped with a wireless charger for smartphones, which helps prevent overheating and provides faster charging.
Prince Sultan University and US digital solutions company VMware have signed a memorandum of understanding to launch an innovation center equipped with VMware software and resources to give students, researchers, and businesses hands-on experience with transformative digital solutions for app modernization, cloud, networking, security, and digital workspace.
The MoU was signed under the patronage of Abdullah Al-Swaha, minister of communications and information technology, Saudi Arabia.
The innovation center, which is expected to start operating in the first half of the year, will help foster a culture of learning and build real-world information and communications technology skills, while providing a valuable resource to research projects underway at PSU by expanding access to VMware’s solutions.
The center will also be used to demonstrate the benefits of VMware’s solutions to local customers and partners, with the aim of helping accelerate digital transformation among the local business community.
Dr. Ahmed Yamani, president of PSU, said: “The innovation center is intended to spur innovation, research, and learning at the university, and among local businesses and partners that are interested in embracing a cloud-first approach. By helping a diverse range of people and organizations gain experience with VMware’s solutions, the innovation center will play an important role in furthering Saudi Arabia’s digitization agenda in line with Vision 2030.”
The innovation center will be equipped with the full range of VMware’s solutions and will showcase disruptive technologies such as edge computing, artificial intelligence, blockchain, machine learning and Kubernetes.
Saif Mashat, country director, Saudi Arabia, VMware, said: “We’re proud to collaborate with Prince Sultan University for the innovation center. VMware is committed to education and knowledge transfer, and I believe that this initiative will help give young people, researchers, and businesses the knowledge they need to innovate and develop their digital transformation plans.”
VMware is dedicated to empowering educators in Saudi Arabia. In June 2021, PSU and VMware started discussions to build a regional VMware IT Academy to support youth digital skills development in line with the aims of Saudi Vision 2030.
The VMware IT Academy works with a global network of educational institutions to provide students access to high-quality learning certification opportunities and hands-on lab experiences with VMware technologies. The company provides a free curriculum and materials, with the goal of helping students jump-start their software careers. In the past year, the VMware IT Academy partnered with more than 2,400 institutions in 93 countries, reaching over 48,000 students.
The US firm is helping to develop ICT education and skills as part of its VMware 2030 Agenda, a decade-long commitment to addressing critical challenges facing the global community.
French water management company Saur Group has joined forces with digital solutions company Obeikan to digitize its operations and services in the Kingdom’s water and utilities market.
By partnering with a local company, Saur aims to enhance its services for its customers as well as contribute to Saudi Vision 2030, by ensuring sustainable access to water resources and developing the digital economy.
Obeikan will offer Saur customers a digital platform, adding significant value to their operations, through the integration of innovative lean technology and practices. Obeikan’s industrial applications and consulting services are helping many Saudi companies cultivate new enterprise insights and intelligence that are enhancing their competitiveness.
Saur has big ambitions to transform the operations model of water asset management and water services through digitization. The company has already integrated cutting-edge technologies, including data, artificial intelligence, and analytics, as well as service innovations such as real-time scheduling and predictive maintenance.
Patrick Blethon, Saur Group CEO, said: “I am delighted to be partnering with such a dynamic company, to combine the strengths of the Saur Group with Obeikan’s cutting-edge lean technological expertise.
“Our goal is to use digital and lean technologies as a lever for progress to give water the value it deserves. Through this partnership, we will develop the future of Saudi water services by aiming to become a champion of water transition and ensuring better preservation of water resources. We are proud to contribute to the Kingdom’s ecological and digital transformation in line with Saudi Vision 2030.”
Abdallah Obeikan, Obeikan Investment Group CEO: “Over the past 10 years, Obeikan has developed a very strong expertise in lean management applied to the industry. Our digital solutions enable our customers to add significant value to their operations through the integration of innovative technologies and practices.”
This partnership with Saur allows us to further strengthen our expertise and our presence in the Kingdom, alongside a major player in the water sector — a key sector in the coming years.”
German carmaker Audi is set to spearhead the electrification of luxury transportation in the Kingdom. The full range of all-electric vehicles arrives in showrooms this year, setting the bar ever higher for luxury electrified mobility. The e-tron range will not only give Audi a head start on electric luxury transport in Saudi Arabia but will also show off the manufacturer’s capabilities in terms of future technology.
The RS e-tron GT has a rocketlike, 3.3-second acceleration from standstill to 100km/h, while the e-tron GT quattro accelerates in 4.1-seconds. The e-tron GT quattro has a range of up to 488 kilometers, and on the other hand, the RS e-tron GT has a range of up to 472 kilometers (in accordance with the WLTP). This is made possible by the battery, which has a net capacity of 83.7 kWh. The e-tron GT only needs 22.5 minutes on a high-power charging column for a typical charge of 5 percent to 80 percent. This makes the e-tron GT efficiently sporty and offers a 100 km range on a five-minute charge.
Progress, craftsmanship, and a passion for high performance come together in the Audi e-tron range featuring exhilarating launch control, boosting the cars’ ability to deliver up to 530 hp on the e-tron GT quattro, and 646 hp on the RS, an extraordinary power at the driver’s fingertips.
“There is no doubt that the Audi e-tron will be the leader in e-mobility across Saudi Arabia,” said Neil Lines, Audi general manager at Samaco Automotive. “We are especially enthusiastic and optimistic about the success of this unrivaled electric luxury grand tourer because Saudi Arabia is starting out strong with widespread electrification of transport. Also, one of the primary objectives of Saudi Arabia’s national transport strategy and key pillars of Vision 2030 is global leadership in sustainable development and awareness of healthy living.”
The Audi e-tron range’s electrifying performance is driven home with equally electrifying design, style, and attention to detail, from the dynamic roofline to the turbine-shaped wheels, and the extremely slippery exterior. The e-tron is not only visually electrifying, but invokes the silky-smooth sound of a high-quality, high-power electric motor that at once captivates and exhilarates the driver’s senses. The prominent, LED headlights highlight the Audi e-tron.
The Audi e-tron electric range is scheduled to be available in Saudi Arabia within the upcoming 12 months. Enthusiasts of electric premium grand tourers and lovers of Audi products can reserve bespoke models online including the Audi e-tron GT quattro, RS e-tron GT, and e-tron Sportback. Customers can select their very own combination of style and features built and finished to the exact high standards that they expect from the brand with the four rings.
The Saudi British Bank has been awarded “Best in Class E-Commerce Acquirer 2021” by Mastercard. It is in recognition of the bank’s digital innovation and continued progress in delivering market-leading payment solutions across all sectors, providing customers with advanced digital banking experiences.
Majed Najm, deputy managing director of corporate and institutional banking at SABB, said: “We are proud to have received this award, it is a culmination of our leadership and excellence in providing innovative solutions meeting the growing and diverse needs of our customers. The award also demonstrates our continuous efforts aligned to achieving the strategic goals of Vision 2030. We are committed to playing our role as a major financial institution stimulating economic and commercial growth in order to drive forward the Kingdom’s digital transformation.”
“A close long-term strategic partner, SABB has always been instrumental in driving digital growth in the Kingdom. We are delighted to have awarded them ‘Best in Class eCommerce Acquirer 2021,’” said J.K. Khalil, country manager, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Levant, Mastercard.
“We are committed to enabling the sustainable growth of the financial landscape across Saudi Arabia and the rest of the region. Together with our partners, we continuously connect consumers to the possibilities and benefits of digital payments and e-commerce. We will continue to advance growth by rolling out innovative solutions that provide simple and convenient ways to transact,” he added.
SABB is a leader in digital transformation, focusing on accelerating transformation steps at all levels, including e-commerce, which is an important pillar in providing a leading banking experience while stimulating the economy and developing various business sectors.
The bank was established in 1978 as a Saudi joint stock company and is an associate company of the HSBC Group.
SABB offers integrated financial and banking services including retail banking, corporate banking, investment, private banking and treasury. SABB’s paid-up capital is SR20.5 billion ($5.46 billion).


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