This week, the spicy and full-bodied flavors of Sri Lanka’s cuisine have permeated Lulu Hypermarkets across the Kingdom, with the best of the island nation’s goods on offer, including tea, spices, fruits and vegetables, rice and a variety of coconut products.
The “Best of Sri Lanka” festival was inaugurated at Lulu Hypermarket, located in Malaz, Riyadh on Sept. 11, by Pakeer Mohideen Amza, ambassador of Sri Lanka to Saudi Arabia. Also present on the occasion were Shehim Mohammed, director of LuLu Saudi Hypermarkets, and other LuLu Group officials.
Through this festival, the hypermarket aims to bring alive the unique culinary heritage of Sri Lanka, which is a blend of many colonial influences — British, Dutch and Portuguese as well as pan-Asian, with Indian (especially Southern) and Indonesian influences.
The festival promotion gives shoppers a chance to stock up on top-quality spices that Sri Lanka is famed for, especially cloves, pepper and cinnamon, all packaged for hygiene, aroma and convenience. There is also a variety of tea and tea-based herbal infusions with turmeric, chamomile and other herbs and a range of teas from signature plantations around Sri Lanka.
Several varieties of healthy and organic coconut products — such as coconut cream, coconut milk and virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil — are available in the special deals section, while the vegetable racks are bursting with the goodness, color and juicy flavors of Sri Lankan farm produce.
“LuLu Hypermarket has brought together a rich and classic collection of the best of Sri Lankan products, and this is certainly an invitation to all shoppers to explore the taste of our country,” said Ambassador Amza. “Sri Lanka and the Arab world share a rich culinary experience, which nurtured the spice trade of olden days and is still a vibrant presence in Arab kitchens today.”
Mohammed, director of LuLu Saudi Hypermarkets, thanked the Sri Lankan Embassy for their support of the festival. He added: “The food products of Sri Lanka are exotic, health-giving and unique and with the LuLu sourcing center in the country, we have a network of suppliers who give us first pick of the best on offer from there.”
We are delighted to share this bounty with our customers and explore the taste of the best of Sri Lanka.”
The festival runs until Sept. 17.
Saudi Arabian Airlines, known as Saudia, the Kingdom’s national flag carrier, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority and the Saudi Company for Artificial Intelligence to utilize digitization and artificial intelligence solutions and cement the Kingdom’s global leadership in the field.
The signing took place in the Global AI Summit, which was held at King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh from Sept. 13-15, under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, chairman of the SDAIA.
Under the terms of the MoU, the three parties will establish a joint framework for utilizing the latest AI and emerging technologies to enhance customer experiences, in addition to exploring ways to collaborate on developing and deploying AI applications. The three parties have agreed to utilize advanced technology and natural language processing across Saudia’s customer care and digital channels.
Dr. Majid Altuwaijri, chief executive of the National Center for Artificial Intelligence, signed the MoU on behalf of SDAIA, while Ayman Al-Rashed, CEO of SCAI, and Dr. Khaled Alhazmi, Saudia’s vice president of operations and IT support, signed for their respective companies.
“We at Saudia are delighted to be joining forces with SDAIA and SCAI on developing and deploying advanced, sophisticated digital products,” said Dr. Alhazmi. “Throughout our digital channels, our never-ending quest to enhance our guests’ experiences has always been digital-first, and we will be working with emerging technologies, AI, and the Internet of Things to take the way we communicate with them to the next level.”
Al-Rashed, the CEO of SCAI, expressed his enthusiasm to be working with the Kingdom’s national flag carrier to enhance its customer experience using the latest in AI and emerging technologies.
“We discussed ways to develop and utilize AI applications to help accomplish Saudia’s strategic targets, including supplying them with SauTech, a voice-to-text system that is sure to elevate the experiences of Saudia’s guests,” said Al-Rashed.
“SCAI and Saudia will work together to use the system’s highly sophisticated speech recognition solution to improve their customer care applications.”
Dr. Altuwaijri, the CEO of NACI, stressed SDAIA’s intention to build a data-driven, AI-powered economy, saying: “Our mission is to unleash the latent value in big data to achieve the targets of Vision 2030.
“This MoU will help us diversify the sectors in which the Kingdom can develop and apply AI solutions and air transport is one of the key sectors to benefit from these technologies.”
Saudia announced earlier this week that it has been named strategic sponsor and official carrier of the Global AI Summit, a three-day event in which more than 200 speakers representing digitization and AI policymakers from 70 countries attended, together with investors and the top executives of major tech corporations.
Saudia’s sponsorship of the prestigious event underlines its commitment to the targets of Vision 2030, including establishing the Kingdom as a global leader among data-driven, AI-powered economies and applying cutting-edge AI solutions to ensure that its guests and staff benefit from the best possible service.
To celebrate the occasion of the Global AI Summit, Saudia offered attendees discounts of up to 20 percent on Saudia Holidays packages. 
Saudi Arabian Airlines, the Kingdom’s national flag carrier, announced its strategic partnership as the official carrier of the Global AI Summit. The event is being held under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, deputy prime minister and chairman of the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority.
This is the second edition of the Global AI Summit, which is taking place at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh from Sept. 13-15. The three-day summit features 200 speakers who lead data and artificial intelligence policy reform in 70 countries and more than 3,000 visitors from across the world are in attendance.
The summit seeks to serve as a communal meeting place for investors, innovators and political thought leaders worldwide who are all active in the fast-paced world of artificial intelligence by identifying business investment opportunities, exploring use case possibilities and discussing compliance policies. The Global AI Summit aims to identify solutions to make AI technologies more accessible across industries.
Saudia is set to sign a three-way memorandum of understanding with SDAIA and the Saudi Company for Artificial Intelligence to explore means to deploy AI-powered solutions that will enhance the airline’s operations. Included within these agreements are plans to develop AI applications, improve customer experiences using the latest emerging technologies, and utilize technology to process spoken languages across Saudia’s customer care applications and other digital channels.
Using the code AI20, visitors to the summit can take advantage of a special promotional deal offered by Saudia Holidays and receive 20 percent off on the travel package of their choice.
With its sponsorship of the summit, Saudia underlines its commitment and role as the “wings” of Vision 2030, where it seeks to achieve the objectives of the vision’s strategic framework, which include global leadership among data-driven, AI-powered economies.
In alignment with this commitment, the national flag carrier continues to identify ways to adopt cutting-edge AI solutions that offer high-quality services to Saudia’s guests and employees.
The first Global AI Summit was held virtually under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2020 with a record-breaking 5 million views throughout the event. During the landmark summit, the National Strategy for Data and AI, established to elevate the Kingdom as a global leader in the fields of AI and data, was announced.
In a fast-paced multi-sensory world, the concept of play is becoming a more crucial part in the lives of today’s children, as it is a vital way for them to develop the skills they will need later in life. Choosing a suitable toy is key in supporting this development, however, the dilemma parents face is that they are inundated with an array of options when it comes to choosing the ideal toys, games and gadgets for their child.
Toys are more than just for entertainment; while they should be fun, they should also be age-appropriate, creatively stimulating, and safe, and the Lego Duplo range offers the perfect solution. Thoughtfully designed to be larger and safe for toddlers to handle, Lego Duplo bricks are double the size of the Lego standard bricks, and twice the length, height and width, making them easier to handle on the little fingers of kids starting 1½ years, so they can pick them up, place, and pull them apart.
With increased awareness of the crucial role toys play in fulfilling a child’s true potential, parents are becoming progressively selective with what they introduce into their children’s lives, with Lego Duplo sets checking all the boxes. Not only have the Lego Duplo pieces and sets been lab-tested to pass the strict toy safety laws of over 140 nations worldwide, these toddler-friendly bricks are also a developmental bridge for children. There is no compromise when it comes to safety and quality. As with all Lego products, Lego Duplo sets live up to, and often exceed, the strictest global requirements. Lego Duplo offers endless benefits, all whilst providing parents with the comfort that their kids are safe while having fun.
The colorful Lego Duplo bricks stimulate the imaginations and creativity of the young builders, launching them into a universe of open-ended play as they act out endless stories of exploration and discovery. As kids’ imaginations are actively stimulated, their cognitive thinking, spatial reasoning and fine motor skills will soar, through repetitive motions using blocks that are designed to aid and encourage play for this very reason.
The Lego Duplo bricks also develop problem-solving skills as toddlers build; they essentially solve one problem after the next as they navigate their way to make the pieces fit together and structure the parts for different functions. What is more is that as children create with Lego Duplo bricks, they gain the basic concepts of counting, shapes and colors in a playful and accessible way.
Lego Duplo sets lend families hours of quality time spent playing and bonding through shared experiences. When children build something with their parents, they also experience the joy of working collaboratively, learning to share, practicing patience, and receiving constructive feedback. Lego Duplo play gives parents the opportunity to learn more about what their child excels in, as well as what they need extra support with, therefore aiding in their social and emotional development.
Ultimately, playtime transcends to more than just having fun but rather an activity that facilitates learning through play. This is especially important as the vital skills to thrive well into adulthood are first experienced through play.
The great thing about Lego Duplo bricks is that they are entirely compatible with standard Lego bricks, extending the lifetime of Lego Duplo bricks and allowing kids to continue to use them for their more advanced building projects as they grow.
OnePlus officially launched its newest flagship smartphone — the OnePlus 10T 5G — last month in New York City with a suite of super features including Snapdragon’s latest flagship chipset, super-fast charging, the brand’s largest and most powerful cooling system, and much more. And lately, the brand is preparing its new product launch in the Middle East market.
“We’re excited to launch OnePlus 10T 5G with our partners in Saudi Arabia,” said Pete Lau, founder of OnePlus. “The OnePlus 10T takes our signature fast and smooth performance to the next level at a highly competitive price, and we believe it will empower our local long-waiting fans through its better technology and expert craftsmanship embedded within the brand.”
Fast Performance
The OnePlus 10T takes fast and smooth performance to the next level with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform, offering faster CPU and GPU speeds with improved efficiency, up to 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and the largest, most advanced, and most powerful cooling system ever in a OnePlus device. Combined, these technologies allow you to perform intensive and everyday actions — like playing mobile games or scrolling through social media feeds — faster and for longer, with more than 35 apps suspended in the background at once so you can jump between them at rapid speed, picking up exactly where you left off.
Super-Fast Charging
With support for 150 W SUPERVOOC Endurance Edition, the OnePlus 10T allows you to spend less time tethered to an outlet and more time using the device the way you want to. 150 W SUPERVOOC Endurance Edition delivers up to a day’s power after just 10 minutes of charging, with a full charge — from 1-100 percent — taking only 19 minutes. The charging system is made safe and efficient by a series of technologies, such as the Battery Health Engine that extends the lifespan and preserves the capacity of the OnePlus 10T’s large 4,800 mAh battery.
Stronger Connectivity
A total of 15 antennas form the OnePlus 10T’s 360° antenna system that provides you with stronger Wi-Fi and cellular signals, no matter which orientation you are using the device. A feature called Smart Link works in tandem with the OnePlus 10T’s antenna system to improve upload signals and speed, particularly in areas with high levels of network congestion.
Burdenless Design
The OnePlus 10T advances OnePlus’ burdenless design philosophy with a unibody build glass back — which offers an excellent in-hand feel — and beautiful Moonstone Black and Jade Green colorways. A 6.7-inch display covers the front of the smartphone and provides an exceptional viewing and user experience with an adaptive 120 Hz refresh rate that also helps to better preserve battery life, so you can use the device for longer on a charge.
Triple Camera System
The OnePlus 10T comes with a triple camera system on its rear headlined by the 50 MP Sony IMX766 sensor with optical image stabilization, Nightscape 2.0, and an improved HDR performance, so you can take beautiful shots in bright and low-light conditions. Accompanying the OnePlus 10T’s main camera is an ultra-wide camera and macro camera, allowing you to capture more in every scene and get up close to subjects, respectively.
OxygenOS 12.1
The OnePlus 10T comes pre-installed with OxygenOS 12.1 based on Android 12 and will receive three major Android updates and four years of security updates.
The OnePlus 10T 5G is now available in Saudi Arabia in its brand store on Noon and Amazon.
Thakher Development Company, the master developer of Thakher Makkah, a mixed-use development comprising hotels, residential and retail units in the holy city, announced that it has obtained the off-plan sales permit from the Wafi off-plan sales and rent committee in the Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing in Saudi Arabia.
The Thakher Makkah project is located approximately 1 km from the Grand Mosque and a few kilometers from the holy sites of Muzdalifah, Mina and Arafat.
The company said that obtaining the off-plan sales license for both Thakher Makkah and Novotel Makkah Residences is a great achievement and proof of the commitment and efforts made by the company, leading to the fulfillment of all the requirements mandated by the Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing. Moreover, the license will allow the company to start the sales process.
Abdulaziz bin Saleh Al-Aboudi, CEO of Thakher Development Company, said: “The fact that Thakher Makkah obtained the license means recognition by the Ministry of Housing of the Thakher project and the development company. We are committed to delivering the project as per the schedule.”
The project’s first phase is almost complete, while the second phase is expected to be delivered in 2024.
Thakher Makkah is in line with the Kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030, which aims to host 30 million Umrah pilgrims and 6 million Hajj pilgrims by 2030.
The project spans an area of more than 320,000 square meters. Upon completion, it will include around 100 land plots for hospitality, residential, commercial and service-related purposes. Residential and hotel apartment units will be available in various categories, and the units will also be available for ownership. Among the international hotels that will open in Thakher Makkah are the Radisson Hotel, the Park Inn by Radisson, and the Novotel Hotel, the largest in the world in terms of the number of rooms.
Thakher Development Company aims to change the real estate development scene in Makkah. The company’s vision is to contribute to the sustainable development of Makkah and to become the preferred destination for visitors to the holy city.
The Thakher Makkah project will provide 15,000 direct jobs and 18,000 indirect jobs, while the total value of the project is estimated to be SR26 billion ($6.93 million).


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