Home » Equiti Group receives naming rights for Dubai metro station – Arab News

Equiti Group receives naming rights for Dubai metro station – Arab News

by Arifa Rana

DUBAI: Brokerage service provider Equiti Group has secured the naming rights of Dubai’s Umm Al Sheif metro station for 10 years from the emirate’s Road and Transport Authority. 
The station, which will be rebranded as Equiti metro station, operates on the Red Line of the Dubai metro network. Its strategic location offers easy connectivity to several key roads and iconic landmarks of Dubai.
Abdul Mohsen Ibrahim Kalbat, CEO of Rail Agency, RTA, said that “the naming rights for metro stations represent a rewarding investment opportunity for numerous companies and businesses in the UAE to promote their brands in Dubai.”
He said the partnership will enhance the confidence of major companies and investors in RTA’s projects in Dubai. “The partnership also showcases the role of this vital sector in achieving sustainable economic growth, through capital and investment injections in RTA’s development projects, particularly Dubai Metro,” added Kalbat.
The RTA will this month begin promoting the newly renamed Equiti metro station on exterior signboards, in smart and electronic systems of the public transport system, as well as by using voice announcements on metro trains, to familiarize passengers and station goers with the new name.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Transport Authority has signed an agreement to develop the legislative and regulatory environment for land, sea and rail transport activities in the Red Sea region.
Rumaih bin Mohammed Al-Rumaih, the chairman of the authority, signed the memorandum of understanding with CEO of The Red Sea Development Company John Pagano in the capital, Riyadh, on Monday.
Al-Rumaih praised the strategic partnership with TRSDC, and said that they were looking forward to developing the transport sectors in the Red Sea region through cooperation and joint work.
He said that the two sides would create the legislative and regulatory environment to provide services according to the best international standards and models, through the use and employment of modern technology, to raise the level of quality and upgrade transportation options in the Red Sea.
Al-Rumaih said that the agreement supported the objectives of the national strategy for transport and logistics services in developing services, improving the experience of beneficiaries and contributing to raising the quality of life in Saudi cities and regions, by developing opportunities for innovation, technical cooperation, promoting investment, and keeping pace with the latest global developments in the transport industry in line with the Kingdom’s economic and social goals.
Pagano said that the goal was to connect the Red Sea destination in the best possible way using a fleet of smart vehicles to support sustainability goals in land, sea and air transportation.
The agreement will adopt future and modern transportation technology, and will allow the two parties to exchange expertise regarding the economic zone in the Red Sea, hold workshops on modern transportation services, provide a suitable environment for investors in transportation and logistics services, and to cooperate in new and smart mobility.
RIYADH: The Saudi-based Red Sea Development Company said on Monday that it had implemented the first wave of Enablon modules — an integrated data enterprise software system to automate manual tools and processes — as part of its ambitions as a global leader in responsible development.
The move aims to integrate, automate and streamline governance, risk compliance, health and safety, environment and sustainability, business continuity and internal audit practices across the organization.
The project was launched in January last year and the design and consultation process lasted 15 months, the company said. Wolters Kluwer’s Enablon was selected based on its industry-leading position as a provider of integrated software solutions, it said.
“We began this journey at the height of the global pandemic, with the aim of integrating several of our risk and control functions. The main objective was to enhance monitoring, reporting and alignment across the multiple functions involved in the delivery of standard setting health and safety practices,” said John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC.
“The rollout has arrived at an opportune time, with manpower at site exceeding 16,000 TRSDC employees and contractors,” he said. “This was a large-scale implementation project which engaged multiple internal and external stakeholders.”
TRSDC established a committee, with management consultants Ernst & Young, Wolters Kluwer as the software provider and Wipro as the implementation consultant, which oversaw the progress and implementation of the solution.
Laurent Dechaux, vice president and managing director, Wolters Kluwer Enablon, said: “Our Enablon Vision Platform offers TRSDC a full 360-degree view of risk, addressing the environmental, health and safety challenges of the project.”
Ernst & Young said that during the 15-month implementation, their priority was to ensure TRSDC requirements were met with a focus on future adoption and value: “TRSDC was indeed a pioneer in conceptualizing the alignment between its risk and controls functions, (and) utilizing the strength of Enablon.”
Given the remote location of many of the sites under development at The Red Sea Project, Enablon’s solution can also be used in an offline mode, allowing incident data or inspection and audit reports to be prepared and then uploaded once a device is connected to the network.
“Additional features are being assessed in efforts to continue to automate and enhance operations through the Enablon integrated platform. The system will also be rolled out for AMAALA and the growing number of projects in the TRSDC portfolio,” the Public Investment Fund-owned company said.
Work is on track to welcome the first guests to The Red Sea Project by the beginning of next year, when the first hotels will open. Phase one, which includes 16 hotels in total, will be completed by the end of 2023.
On completion in 2030, The Red Sea Project will comprise 50 resorts, with up to 8,000 hotel rooms and more than 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites. The destination will also include an international airport, luxury marinas, golf courses, entertainment and leisure facilities.
RIYADH:  With the pandemic abating, a new crop of fintech companies is heralding the winds of change in the way businesses are run in Saudi Arabia.
From facilitating cashless payments to offering financial data analytics to providing loans, these firms are coming out with simpler and customized alternatives to traditional banking.
“The GDP in Saudi Arabia is just impressive. You have much bigger potential for what you do in Saudi Arabia. You have 10 times the potential in Egypt and at least five times the potential in the UAE,” Ahmad Coucha, co-founder and CEO of FlapKap, told Arab News.
FlapKap, an Egypt-based company, provides AI-based insights and financial data analytics and is planning to set shop in the Kingdom.
The company offers e-commerce firms cutting-edge insights to optimize their advertising spending and maximize profits. It also provides these businesses with flexible payment terms on advertising spending to ensure sustainable growth without cash constraints.
Another innovative fintech company making its presence felt in the Kingdom is HyperPay, a Jordan-based online payment company.
The company recently obtained a technical permit from Saudi Payments, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Saudi Central Bank, or SAMA.
The technical permit allows e-payment service providers to activate Mada services, a central payment scheme connecting all ATMs and sales points across the country.
“After years of hard work to establish a proper digital infrastructure, Saudi Arabia is now ready to adopt digital payments. And that is why they are way ahead of anyone in the region,” said Muhannad Ebwini, co-founder and CEO of HyperPay.
Of late, there has been a lot of traction in the fintech space thanks to SAMA’s role in promoting the sector’s development by allowing the entry of new players and new products as part of its Fintech Saudi program launched in 2018.
The initiative, aimed at pushing fintech companies to compete locally and globally, is now bearing fruits with an increasing number of innovative companies enhancing financial stability and supporting the economic development in the Kingdom.
According to a Fintech Saudi report, fintech transaction values between 2017 and 2019 increased by over 18 percent year-on-year, reaching over $20 billion in 2019.
With an increasing number of first-generation entrepreneurs competing with large financial institutions, the report stated that the transaction value will surpass $33 billion by 2023.
Additionally, there is also ample room for growth, with the average investment deal size at $2.7 million compared to the global average of $7.3 million, the report revealed.
Also noteworthy is the drastic change in the financial industry, which was earlier governed by a complex set of rules and regulations to ensure monetary safety. Fintech Saudi has tackled the problem by taking the bull by the horns.
The financial authority is now supporting these startups by walking them through the regulations and providing a more straightforward way to obtain an operating license from SAMA.
The result: The Kingdom witnessed a massive jump in venture capital investments in the fintech sector, hitting 16 deals in the first eight months of 2021, totaling $157.2 million. In 2021, it witnessed a 37-percent rise in new fintech launches over the previous year.
Factoring this instant rise in fintech companies, the Saudi Central Bank and the Capital Markets Authority launched the first-of-its-kind Financial Technology Center last month in Riyadh.
Located in Riyadh’s King Abdullah Financial District, the center aims to provide these fintech startups with investment opportunities. There’s no doubt that the prospects of fintech companies based in the Kingdom are far brighter now.
Last month, Saudi-based digital broker for personal loans Arib raised $2.3 million in a seed round investment led by venture capital firm Merak Capital.
The fintech will use its acquired funds to meet the requirements set by the Saudi Central Bank to finalize its licensing process and introduce new services to its portfolio.
Founded in 2019, Arib provides its users with auto financing options to match their credit profiles and get easy access to loans.
“The Kingdom is witnessing a huge technological revolution and a remarkable acceleration in digital transformation, especially in the financial technology sector,” said Arib CEO Walid Talaat, confirming the warm winds of change sweeping the Kingdom.
WASHINGTON: The World Bank is seeking to create a $170 billion emergency fund to help the poorest nations being buffeted by multiple crises, the bank’s President David Malpass said Monday.
The “crisis response envelope” will continue the work begun during the COVID-19 pandemic, and help countries deal with surging inflation, which was made worse by the Russian invasion of Ukraine as well as the “severe financial stress” caused by high debt levels, he said.
“This is a continued massive crisis response,” Malpass told reporters. High debt and inflation “are two big problems facing global growth,” he said.
“I’m deeply concerned about developing countries. They’re facing sudden price increases for energy, fertilizer and food.”
The Washington-based development lender last week downgraded its forecast for global growth this year, and the IMF is expected to do the same when it releases its updated forecasts on Tuesday.
Speaking ahead of this week’s spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank, Malpass said the 15-month aid fund would run through June 2023 and build on the $157 billion COVID-response fund, which expired in June 2021.
“We expect to commit around $50 billion of this amount in the next three months,” he said, adding that he plans to discuss the fund with the bank board in coming weeks.
Malpass repeated his concern for poor countries facing high debt levels, noting that 60 percent of low-income countries already face debt distress or are at high risk.
He has recommended improvements in the G20 Common Framework adopted last year, which was meant to offer a path to restructure large debt loads, but has not yet produced results.
A key hurdle is the lack of information on the size of debt owed to China, as well as some other lenders, by private companies as well as governments.
G20 finance ministers will meet on Wednesday on the spring meetings’ sidelines.
NEW YORK: Debt accumulated by businesses and individuals worldwide could slow economic recoveries from the pandemic crisis, the IMF warned Monday.
Governments took exceptional measures to support their economies as COVID-19 spread two years ago, including rolling out debt repayment suspensions or offering large-scale loans.
But these programs resulted in higher debt levels for some sectors, including those most disrupted by the virus, like tourism and restaurants, as well as low income households, the Washington-based crisis lender said.
In a chapter of its World Economic Outlook, the IMF said the debt burden could hold growth back in developed countries by 0.9 percent and in emerging markets by 1.3 percent over the next three years.
“Financially constrained households and vulnerable firms, which have grown in number and proportion during the COVID-19 pandemic, are expected to cut spending by more, especially in countries where the insolvency framework is inefficient and fiscal space limited,” the lender said.
To avoid exacerbating problems, government should “calibrate the pace” of phasing out aid and spending programs.
“Where the recovery is well underway and balance sheets are in good shape, fiscal support can be reduced faster, facilitating the work of central banks,” the IMF said.
For struggling sectors, governments could offer aid to prevent bankruptcies, or provide incentives for restructuring, rather than liquidation.
“To lessen the burden on public finances, temporary higher taxes on excess profits could be envisaged. This would help claw back some of the transfers to firms that did not need them,” the lender said.


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