With the summer heat making people spend more time indoors, television entertainment brings family and friends together to watch movies and streaming shows. Making it easier for users to enjoy premium at-home streaming, LG Electronics offers LG OLED and LG QNED TVs to deliver an “ultimate viewing experience.” From Netflix’s Stranger Things to Disney’s+ Ms. Marvel, the content delivered by LG TVs suits every taste and interest.
Designed to deliver true cinema experience and bring the utmost detail out of each scene, LG OLED TV offers the best-in-industry picture quality with the enhanced screen’s peak brightness, rich color palette and self-lit pixels that turn themselves on and off without a backlight, allowing users to experience the perfect black and vivid colors in any screening. Compatible with both Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos, LG OLED TV delivers a multi-dimensional experience with extraordinary depths and subtle textures, as well as immersive surround sound.
Disney+ app recently became available on compatible LG TVs, allowing users to enjoy movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and Star.
Meanwhile, combining Quantum Dot and NanoCell technology, LG QNED TV delivers revolutionary color experience, expressing the full DCI-P3 spectrum across a 3D color space and covering the full luminance range. This allows colors to be displayed vividly and accurately no matter how bright or dark the display. With Mini LEDs allowing more lights to fit into the screen and Precision Dimming Pro+ technology ensuring precise blacklight control, LG QNED TV displays deeper blacks with enhanced brightness while minimizing halo effect. This allows users to enjoy breathtakingly realistic images even on the biggest screens.
Disney+ app recently became available on compatible LG TVs, allowing users to enjoy movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and Star. For this, LG TV owners need to ensure that their TV runs webOS from 2017 or later, click the Disney+ icon on LG Home Launcher or press Disney+ direct button on the LG Magic Remote that is available for all 2021 and 2022 TV models in the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, select their subscription type, and finally start watching their favorite shows. Disney+ provides access to hundreds of Disney+ Originals and thousands of episodes from The Walt Disney Company’s library along with a growing lineup of exclusive, original entertainment that is conveniently categorized and available to stream right now on the large screen at home.
Aldar Properties PJSC, through its Aldar Investment business, has added scale to its diverse and growing hospitality and leisure portfolio with the acquisition of the beachfront resort, DoubleTree by Hilton Resort and Spa Marjan Island, and an adjacent beachfront development plot for a total consideration of 810 million dirhams ($220.5 million).
The acquisition adds considerable weight to the company’s hospitality and leisure portfolio, which now has a total of more than 4,250 keys, and brings Aldar’s total investment in Ras Al-Khaimah to 2 billion dirhams, complementing the recent acquisitions of Al-Hamra Mall and Rixos Bab Al-Bahr.
Jassem Busaibe, chief executive at Aldar Investment, said: “The mature nature of this five-star asset complements our existing suite of properties in Ras Al-Khaimah, which continues to represent a robust hospitality and tourism market with strong growth potential in line with the emirate’s aim to attract 3 million visitors annually by 2025.
The acquisition adds considerable weight to the company’s hospitality and leisure portfolio, which now has a total of more than 4,250 keys, and brings Aldar’s total investment in Ras Al-Khaimah to 2 billion dirhams.
“The transaction not only affirms our commitment to the market, but it also adds depth and scale to our reach given the asset’s complementary value proposition, development potential, and target clientele. While the acquisition is both value and yield accretive, we still see room for additional upside by leveraging our scale and deploying our asset management capabilities effectively as we continue to grow and transform our platform at an accelerated pace.”
The property, which benefits from above-market average occupancy levels, is located on the first section of Al-Marjan Island, a growing tourism hub and staycation destination in Ras Al-Khaimah. The market continues to exhibit strong tourism growth potential, particularly in light of the progressive measures that the emirate continues to implement as part of a wider and concerted effort to advance its tourism agenda.
Jahed Rahman, chief investment officer at Aldar Investment and chairman of Aldar Hotels and Hospitality, said: “Through this investment, we have not only bolstered our portfolio of recurring income-generating assets but also positioned Aldar to capture a greater share of the growing Ras Al-Khaimah market through additional development rights at the destination. The acquisition adds to the significant investment already made in our recurring income business this year and we continue to assess and pursue opportunities to deploy further capital as we ramp up the execution of our growth strategy and drive value across our platform.”
Completed in 2014 and expanded further in 2016, DoubleTree by Hilton Al-Marjan Island is a 724 key 5-star resort under a management agreement with Hilton. The resort features a GFA of 67,000 square meters and its amenities include eight restaurants, one nightclub, male and female spas, eight pools, a kids’ club and aqua park, a private beach, a gym, one ballroom, three meeting rooms and ample parking area across a total GFA of more than 234,000 square meters.
Volkswagen has launched its Brand Attributes Campaign, which will use Google testing to test if biases still exist and to see which assets resonate best with a certain audience. It will also help gain valuable audience insights, enhancing the brand’s overall marketing strategy. The campaign will highlight how models in Volkswagen’s lineup exemplify each attribute the German manufacturer is best known for through strategically placed content.
Through the campaign, the brand plans to highlight all of its key attributes, including technological features, comfort, design and safety. Volkswagen recognizes that customers build a close affinity with brands that truly speak to their needs through content that resonates with them.
Anja Petrovski, marketing director of Volkswagen Middle East, said: “Volkswagen is a people’s brand, and it is important to us that we highlight the brand attributes to our regional customers through the right content that appeals to their needs. We are pleased to partner with Google to undergo testing that will support us with doing this.”
sirar by stc, the cutting-edge cybersecurity provider by stc Group, was awarded the “Managed Security Service Provider Partner of the Year 2021” for its valuable contribution toward the cybersecurity industry, at a recent event in Riyadh.
sirar by stc offers a comprehensive range of cybersecurity products and services that help businesses manage digital risks effectively, achieve compliance with relevant laws and regulations, and enable a robust and secure digital transformation journey.
Fortinet, a leading vendor for cybersecurity solutions, recently hosted the Fortinet Security Day at Crowne Plaza Riyadh RDC Hotel, where leading partners, distributors and key customers of the region were invited. During the event, Fortinet announced the winners for the top partner awards, recognizing them for their outstanding achievements and contributions in various domains.
Established by stc, the region’s leading ICT and digital services provider, sirar by stc is a cutting-edge cybersecurity provider that empowers organizations to take control of their cyber capabilities and digital environments.
As experts in business security and privacy, the company offers a comprehensive range of solutions that help businesses to operate online safely, securely, and efficiently. The tools it provides help organizations detect and prevent cybersecurity attacks, safeguarding their digital future, and providing security from that point forward.
Established by stc, sirar by stc is a cutting-edge cybersecurity provider that empowers organizations to take control of their cyber capabilities and digital environments.
A research team at the Department of Cyclotron and Radiopharmaceuticals at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center has succeeded in developing a novel technique of producing large quantities of the highly purified radioactive isotope gallium-68 used in cancer diagnosis. The development is also expected to end the dependence on expensive Gallium-68 generators. In addition, this achievement will contribute to improving the diagnostic and therapeutic quality of cancer patients and will increase the availability of radiopharmaceuticals throughout the Kingdom.
Dr. Ibrahim Al-Jammaz, chairman of the Department of Cyclotron and Radiopharmaceuticals at KFSH&RC, explained that the radioactive gallium isotope was produced locally by means of a novel process using proton irradiation technology via nuclear accelerators for solid targets plated with Zinc 68. He added that the radioactive gallium-68 is used as a raw material for producing radioactive clinical pharmaceuticals (Ga-68 DOTATATE and Ga-68-PSMA), which are used in diagnosing several types of tumors, particularly adenocarcinomas and prostate cancer.
Dr. Al-Jammaz said that the project, carried out under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, will expand to include the new isotope gallium-68’s techniques including using liquid targets, which could completely replace the gallium generator.
For the past four decades, KFSH&RC has been regarded as the leading Middle Eastern hospital in the production of isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals used in advanced medical applications. The hospital is recognized by the IAEA as a global center for nuclear-medicine production, research and development. Every year, it produces around 30,000 doses of radioactive pharmaceuticals, which are used in diagnosing many diseases and treating malignant tumors. This achievement is in line with the hospital’s ambitious vision to meet the needs of the Kingdom and achieve self-sufficiency in the production of radiopharmaceuticals, which contribute to the provision of reliable and high-quality health care, as well as the financial sustainability of KFSH&RC in privatizing the health sector.
Saudi Arabia’s National Transformation Program has identified innovation powered by research and development as a vital enabler of its long-term socioeconomic goals.
One of Saudi Arabia’s goals, as stated in Vision 2030, is to be among the top 10 countries in the Global Competitiveness Index by 2030, increasing from 24th in 2022.
Two core components of the Global Competitiveness Index are directly related to R&D.
Saudi Arabia can improve these metrics by increasing public-private partnerships in R&D and focusing on an innovative talent pool.
Another objective stated in Vision 2030 is to have at least five Saudi universities among the top 200 universities in international rankings.
Both these objectives can be pursued to realize socioeconomic development.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a new program for the research, development and innovation (RDI) sector.
The program aims to inject an additional SR60 billion ($16 billion) into the nation’s GDP by the year 2040.
Mainly, the priorities for the RDI initiative include a yearly investment equivalent to 2.5 percent of the country’s GDP in 2040, creating job opportunities in science and technology, and ultimately facilitating the Kingdom to become the Arab world’s largest economy.
A strong pillar of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 is technology.
The government is enabling entrepreneurs and seeking investment from private and public companies to develop the sector.
According to the International Data Corporation, Saudi Arabia is expected to spend $33 billion in 2022 on ICT development as the technology sector expanded by 8 percent between 2019 and 2021.
Additionally, government data highlighted that the economic sector of the nation witnessed the highest rate of growth in the first quarter of 2022 in comparison to the last 10 years due to an increase in activity in the oil sector.
A good example to learn from for national development strategies focused on nurturing innovation is China, which focuses on innovation that will have a massive impact on the economy and national competitiveness.
In recent years, substantial public and private sector investment in R&D has seen China establish R&D primacy and global innovation leadership, particularly in the technology domain through technologies like artificial intelligence and 5G.
In AI, China is fast narrowing the substantial lead the West, mainly the US, had on its research.
Chinese researchers now publish more papers on AI and secure more patents than their US counterparts and the country is poised to become a leader in AI-powered enterprises.
China also accounted for nearly one-fifth of global private investment funding in 2021, attracting $17 billion for AI startups, a promising direction that Saudi Arabia is already taking.
Saudi Arabia can similarly use AI to accelerate its digital economy.
The Middle East is projected to accrue 2 percent of the total global benefits of AI in 2030, equivalent to $320 billion, with Saudi Arabia set to have the largest gains during that period with AI contributing over $135.2 billion to its economy, according to a PwC report.
The growing ecosystem in the Kingdom concluded its best year in terms of venture funding and deals in 2021, growing about fourfold and attracting around $548 million in funding, data platform Magnitt said in its annual report for the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia aims to attract the “very best” national and international talent, and cooperate with and co-invest in major research centers, global and private companies, and nonprofits. Startups would be prioritized.
Saudi Arabia aims to attract a $20 billion investment in data and AI as outlined under the National Strategy for Data and AI. The strategy aims to transform its workforce by training and developing a pool of 20,000 AI and data specialists and experts, with 5,000 of those being highly qualified AI and data scientists.
Such focus on AI will enable Saudi enterprises to remain competitive by improving decision-making processes, solving administrative problems, reducing costs and boosting service delivery.
The other sector China has taken a global lead in is 5G innovation. China is home to the world’s most extensive 5G mobile infrastructure, with 1.43 million 5G base stations installed as of 2021, accounting for over 60 percent of the global total.
As a result, the Chinese mobile ecosystem has become a critical driver of 5G evolution globally.
China is set to extend its 5G leadership to next-generation 6G networks; the country announced a 6G strategy in 2019, even before industry standards or definitions had been established.
It is leading in 6G-related R&D. A report by Nikkei shows that China topped the list with 40.3 percent of 6G patent filings, well ahead of the US with 35.2 percent.
Chinese enterprises have followed suit, with China’s corporate R&D outpacing GDP in 2019-2020.
The corporate R&D/GDP ratio rose to 1.84 percent, from 1.26 percent in 2010, increasing faster than most developed countries.
An excellent example is Huawei, a Chinese yet global company demonstrating the direct link between R&D and innovation.
Huawei’s R&D expenditure reached $22.4 billion in 2021, representing 22.4 percent of total revenue and bringing its total R&D expenditure over the past 10 years to over $132.5 billion.
The company ranked second in the 2021 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard.
In 2021, Huawei had about 107,000 employees, representing approximately 54.8 percent of the entire workforce, working in R&D.
Today, Huawei maintains one of the largest patent portfolios globally.
By 2021, Huawei held more than 110,000 active patents across over 45,000 families.
In 5G, Huawei was the frontrunner, having invested more than $600 million into 5G technology research between 2009 and 2013.
It was followed by an additional $1.4 billion into 5G product development in 2017 and 2018.
The company has also taken the lead in 6G innovation after an early 2019 start in 6G R&D and announced plans to launch its 6G networks in 2030.
Not only has R&D powered Huawei’s past success, it is also powering its business diversification drive.
From its R&D ventures, Huawei has nurtured new business units such as Huawei Digital Power, which integrates digital and power electronics technologies, developing clean power, enabling energy digitization and carbon neutrality directions to drive energy revolution for a better, greener future.
In this regard, Huawei signed an agreement with Saudi Red Sea New City on an energy storage project.
The energy storage capacity of the project reaches 1300 MWh, which is by far the world’s largest energy storage and off-grid energy storage project.
Also, Huawei’s Rotating Chairman Guo Ping has announced plans to launch a cloud region in Saudi Arabia, noting that the top 10 percent of organizations embracing digitization are growing their revenue as much as five times faster than those not.
Following the Chinese government’s initiative to empower startups, Huawei announced a new support program in the region last year called SPARK.
It is part of the HUAWEI CLOUD Oasis Program launched in September 2021, which plans to invest $15 million over the following three years to accelerate the development of technology enterprises and ecosystems in the Middle East.
The company contributes to developing ICT talent in Saudi Arabia and has successfully implemented the Saudi Talent Enabling Program (STEP), which aims to build the ICT talent ecosystem in the Kingdom.
Such public-private collaborations can enable the country to bridge the gaps between the demand for the future digital workforce and the supply of local talents.
Also, Huawei has recently added a new category to their 2022 global Apps Up content — “Best Arabic App” — to encourage regional developers to create app solutions that address the region’s needs and enrich Arabic content.
Innovation is also key to building resilient economies fortified against global disruptions.
R&D enabled China to circumvent the US-led campaign to isolate Chinese firms from the global technology market. China’s public and private sector enterprises responded to the challenge by pursuing technology self-sufficiency, particularly in semiconductors.
China is traditionally the world’s largest importer of chipsets. However, last year saw Chinese imports of integrated circuits (I.C.s) shrink 9.6 percent in volume in Q1 of 2022 from a year ago, according to Chinese customs data, reversing a 33.6 percent increase in the same period in 2021.
The reduction in import volume mainly comes from China’s forceful push toward technological self-sufficiency.
Saudi Arabia is an ambitious nation that is currently making impressive leaps and bounds toward the future and innovation.
Owing to the positive changes the Kingdom has seen during the year 2020-2021, it has jumped from 83rd to 63rd place, according to the index of the Freest Economies of the Heritage Foundation.
The country has already made impressive progress in forging a knowledge-based economy in the last decade, thanks to ambitious government initiatives.
With a solid foundation of a tech-savvy population, a world-class ICT infrastructure, and the biggest economy in the region, innovation will be the spark that accelerates this objective.