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aswaaq 3rd annual staff gathering sets out objectives for 2015, honours strategic partners

aswaaq 3rd annual staff gathering sets out objectives for 2015, honours strategic partners

18% sales increase in 2014 commended by aswaaq

42Dubai 1st February 2015: aswaaq has announced its strategy for 2015, reviewed its achievements of the previous year, and honoured the outstanding employees and strategic partners. This all took place during aswaaq’s third annual staff gathering, which was held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Dubai.

Further development in a variety of fields is an

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immediate goal for aswaaq, with the aim of being ranked first in its field. It is also a priority to assist in the process of achieving the vision and direction of the Dubai government in providing both the UAE citizens and residents with smart services that will enhance the level of their happiness. Additionally, future expansion and the opening of four new branches, which are currently in the design and consultancy stage, will occur at a raft of locations in Dubai. aswaaq also plans to have branches in most of the new residential areas in Dubai, and to penetrate the Abu Dhabi and Northern Emirates markets.

There will also be a greater focus on social initiatives, and an emphasis on effectively contributing to service of the UAE community in various fields, such as education, health, philanthropy, and other areas that directly affect the lives of both UAE nationals cialis 20 mg price comparison and expatriates.

Among the greatest achievements of aswaaq last year were a sales growth of 18%, a full-year profit after five years of the opening of its first community centre in Nadd Al Hamar in Dubai in 2008.

Last year also saw the opening of two aswaaq community malls in Al Barsha South 1, and an aswaaq centre in Al Badaa. The total area of all aswaaq centres

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is now equal to 420,000 square feet, while the number of stores within these centres climbed to 190. These centres offer a variety of services and activities, including government services,

restaurants, mobile phone shops, gifts, medical clinics, pharmacies, laundry, and other stores that serve the people and meet their desires and requirements.

aswaaq obtained several local and international awards, and globally recognized accreditations and certifications during 2014. Most notable among these is the Dubai Quality Appreciation Award, OHSAS:18001, which is a standard for occupational health and safety management systems, ISO 9001:2008, a standard for quality management systems, as well as ISO 14001:2004, a standard for environmental management systems (EMS). Furthermore, most of aswaaq’s branches received an “A” in the Dubai Municipality Food Control Assessment. Additionally, aswaaq won ‘Brand Of The Year’ from Superbrands UAE for the years 2014 and 2015; this award being granted by the Superbrands’ Council in the UAE. And thus, aswaaq is the only company in the Gulf region to have earned such certificates, which distinguishes it from the rest, and confirms its commitment to achieve its strategy and goal to attain the first place.

In a speech delivered during the annual gathering of aswaaq, Mr. Yousuf Sharaf, CEO of aswaaq stressed that what has been achieved during the last year is a step on the way towards the pinnace of achievement that aswaaq is aiming for. “We must continue to challenge ourselves to put more effort and work in as a team to achieve even more, and to always provide the best for our customers, and meet their desires and requirements,” Sharaf continued.

He said that the achievements and future aspirations of aswaaq will not be possible without the great efforts that the staff of aswaaq is making. These efforts are greatly appreciated by the management of aswaaq, who attach great importance to those working at the company. They are keen to provide all means of comfort for employees in order to perform their work as efficiently, conveniently and enjoyably as

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The CEO of aswaaq said: “aswaaq places great importance on both UAE nationals and expatriates, and gives them every opportunity to contribute to the development of aswaaq as a company. This comes as an embodiment of the vision of our wise

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leadership to establish a capable and qualified generation, which possesses education, knowledge and skill, in order to better serve the aspirations of the nation. The UAE national human element plays an important role in the development and progression of the UAE, representing the real wealth of this country, and is considered the basis of the development and journey of progress that the nation continues to enjoy.”

Sharaf pointed out that

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aswaaq has also

been actively honouring outstanding individuals or departments. The plan for this approach has been drawn up by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, who launched numerous awards to honour outstanding people in Dubai in particular, and in the UAE in general.

“Honouring the outstanding individuals is aimed at motivating employees to raise the level of their performance, improve mechanisms cialis optimal dose at work, and contribute to disseminating awareness of the message of creating a culture of excellence, quality, and transparency. This is aimed at making this culture a key component in a variety of work environments, and raising the spirit of competition, as well as the development, capacity building and rehabilitation of workers, in order to ensure the best management practices in the provision of services,” Sharaf concluded.

In a similar speech during the gathering, Mr. Affan Al-Khoori, COO of aswaaq, cialis uk reviews confirmed the company’s commitment to provide the best standard of services to its customers, especially the provision of a wide range of different consumer products to leading local and international brands. Additionally, fresh daily food products in a wide variety of departments are central to the company’s operations. aswaaq is also passionate about supporting and encouraging young entrepreneurs within the nation.

Al-Khoori stated that aswaaq is keen to monitor and address the needs of various populations in Dubai, and offer convenient access to the people of Dubai in their areas of residence. Additionally, a goal is to provide a unique shopping experience with high quality and

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excellent service, in an atmosphere of convenience and comfort, as well as achieving the vision of aswaaq to build relationships on the basis of transparency, profitability, competitiveness and sustainability.

He added that aswaaq centres depend in various stages of their work on the efforts of a team which has extensive experience in retail, consumer products and related services. The company’s team members are very keen to deliver

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the highest level of service and provide all that is required by the people of the region during their shopping trips, which in turn ensures an upscale shopping experience comparable to the finest global retail stores.

Affan Al-Khoori explained that aswaaq centres offer numerous services to

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consumers, most notably the loyalty programme ‘wafa’,

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which is designed to reward customers for their purchases and is the highest paying loyalty programme in the region that is open to all nationalities, with cashback returns reaching 10 per cent. Another important service is the ‘Zakher’ card for the elderly, issued by the Community Development Authority and supported by aswaaq, which provides various services and discounts to its holders.

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Finally, the ‘Noor – wafa’ credit card, issued in collaboration with Noor Islamic Bank, offers its holders a cashback return of 11 per cent on their purchases.

At the end of the gathering, the CEO of aswaaq honoured a number of outstanding employees in different sectors and departments at aswaaq, as well as a number of strategic partners. A number of aswaaq’s customers and volunteers in campaigns and CSR initiatives also received accreditation.

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Visa invites cardholders to ‘Shop, Spin and Win’ prizes in Dubai Shopping Festival

Visa invites cardholders to ‘Shop, Spin and Win’ prizes in Dubai Shopping Festival

481Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), the global leader in electronic payments, and official payment partner of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) 2015, today launched its ‘Shop, Spin and Win’ activation that seeks to reward Visa cardholders during the annual shopping event.

Running until 25 January 2015, at the Waterfall Atrium in The Dubai Mall, the Visa ‘Shop, Spin and Win’ promotion welcomes shoppers using their Visa cards for purchases to win a host of exciting prizes, from leisure and hospitality, to shopping and entertainment offers. Every Visa cardholder, both visitors and residents, can avail a chance to ‘spin’ the Visa Wheel by presenting a receipt for a minimum spend of AED300, made anywhere in the UAE during DSF, with their Visa card.

To capture the excitement of winning with Visa, participants will be filmed while they hit the hammer that activates the Visa Wheel. An HD video of the spin will be broadcast on the social wall located at the Visa wheel during each play, while the celebratory reaction of winners will be recorded and made available to them as memorabilia from DSF 2015. The videos will also be available through Visa’s social media platforms.

Working in line with the vision of DSF to raise the profile of Dubai as a favoured international shopping destination, Visa has invested in bigger and better promotions that appeal to Visa cardholders in the UAE and countries and regions around the world. Across Middle East and North Africa, Visa is supporting the DSF promotional activities of over 50 banks.

Speaking at the launch of the promotion, Marcello Baricordi, General Manager UAE and Global Accounts Lead at Visa Inc. MENA, said: “Visa has been the official payments partner of DSF since it began in 1996 and we are proud to once again be at the very heart of the festival’s milestone 20th anniversary edition, with a refreshing new concept to reward Visa cardholders.”

“The Visa ‘Shop, Spin and Win’ promotion fulfils our promise of safe and easy purchases and highlights our focus on rewards that matter. It is our way of taking shoppers everywhere they want to be during this DSF.”

Karim Beg, Head of Marketing at Visa Inc. MENA, added: “The Visa ‘Shop, Spin and Win’ campaign is designed to give customers an opportunity to get even more from their DSF purchases. In addition to the instant prizes on offer at the ‘Shop, Spin and Win’ promotion, we are also inviting Visa cardholders to enter a lucky draw, for every purchase of AED300 made with their Visa card during DSF will give them a chance to win a luxurious fashion trip to London, Paris, Milan or Dubai, along with an accompanying personal shopper.”

In addition to the rewards and prizes, DSF shoppers can also benefit from technological innovations such as Visa payWave that enables contactless transactions by simply waving a Visa card over a secure reader at any Visa payWave enabled merchant location in Dubai. A large number of coffee shops, small retail outlets and supermarkets in Dubai accept Visa payWave payments, adding to the choice of easy and secure payment options that Visa offers its cardholders.

For added convenience, Visa cardholders in any part of the world can also access the Visa Explore mobile app, downloadable from that will serve as a single access point for all Visa offers and privileges available in Dubai, including dining, shopping and entertainment promotions during DSF 2015.

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DSF Nissan Grand Raffle dishes out a fantastic treat for Indian chef

DSF Nissan Grand Raffle dishes out a fantastic treat for Indian chef

480On the day his daughter turned one, Santi Biswas, a 32-year-old Indian chef working at China Garden restaurant in Karama, stepped out to find a convenience store to recharge his phone. Four days later, he became the winner of the Nissan Grand Raffle, organized as part of the 20th anniversary edition of Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), which runs until 1 February.

“I entered a convenience store to recharge my phone on 2 January as it was my daughter’s first birthday. A friendly Filipino employee offered me one of the recharge packs that come with the Nissan Grand Raffle coupons. I signed off the ticket with my daughter’s name, Snigdha, and forgot about it completely,” said Santi, who earns AED 2000 a month and is a resident of Dubai for the past 10 years.

On the night of 6 January, when Santi was still at work, his phone rang, and not in his wildest dreams did he imagine that it was about to change his life. “I was still at work when I received the call. I was overjoyed with the news that I had won the Nissan Grand Raffle. My colleagues felt that someone was joking with me but the phone number looked unique and I knew in my heart that the call was genuine,” adds an ecstatic Santi, as he recollected the course of events that has changed his life forever.

Speaking about his family’s reaction when he informed them of the great news, he said, “My family is very happy. It’s great news after all. However, they advised me to not quit working and to continue focusing on my job.”

When asked about his plans for the prize, he said, “I give my daughter all the credit for this winning moment of my life; she is obviously very lucky for me. And because it was her name that I wrote on the raffle, the prize is hers. I am going to exchange the car for money and secure her future with it,” he adds.

The Nissan Grand Raffle is offering shoppers the opportunity to win a Nissan car every day and as a DSF 20th Anniversary Special, a Nissan Patrol every week. Customers are entitled to a raffle coupon for every AED20 spent at the convenience store ZOOM or at Pronto, AED 30 spent for a car wash at ENOC/EPPCO or AED 100 spent for an Oil Change or any AutoPro service. The raffle coupons will be entered into a daily draw for a Nissan car and a weekly draw for a Nissan Patrol, which is being given away as a DSF 20th Anniversary Special. Lucky customers can win one of 10 Nissan models in the daily draw – Micra, Sunny, Sentra,Tiida, Altima, X-Trail, Murano, Z370, Pathfinder and Armada. Buy a ZOOM DSF promo pack to triple your chances of winning a Nissan car a day or a Nissan Patrol weekly in the Nissan Grand Draw plus discount coupons from Pronto, Tasjeel and major retailers.

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Dubai Shopping Festival 20th Anniversary presents 2nd edition of Market OTB

Dubai Shopping Festival 20th Anniversary presents 2nd edition of Market OTB

465Market OTB, the sustainable platform to discover new retail concepts, returns for its second edition from January 15-24 as a main attraction of the Dubai Shopping Festival’s 20th anniversary celebrations.

In an accessible new location at South Ridge Park in Downtown Dubai, Market OTB is an ‘out of the box’ approach to retail, dining and entertainment. For 2015, the number of participating retailers has grown to over 55, while the platform has expanded to include industry talks, performances, family entertainment for all ages and a multitude of dining options.

To support Dubai’s Expo 2020 vision to reduce waste and conserve finite resources, Market OTB uses refurbished shipping containers to house its retail concepts including fashion, jewelry, art and interiors, as well as a cubic structure made from recycled bottles to host panel discussions and talks around this subject by industry experts.

“Market OTB is a DFRE initiative and presented by DSF to create a destination of discovery, where the community gathers in a sustainably created space to experience new retail talent, performances, and fun for the whole family,” said Suhaila Ghubash, Director, Festival and Events at Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), and the organisers of DSF.

“The success of our first event in 2014 inspired Market OTB to expand its platform to 10 days – showcasing brands not found in conventional retail venues, but accessible to the public within a programme of events and experiences for all members of the community, residents and visitors.”

Market OTB will feature a number of performances, including an opening event on January 15 with GCC-based alternative/electronic multimedia artist and music producer Zahed Sultan, followed by the first-ever live performance in Dubai by Lebanese singer, songwriter and visual artist Tania Saleh on January 23, supporting her new album, A Few Images (Algumas Imagens). The live music performances throughout the event are supported by OHM Records.

New for 2015, an outdoor cinema concept will include screenings from regional filmmakers throughout Market OTB. To encourage the emerging and upcoming retailers and entertain a diversity of guests, the JamJar will feature arts and crafts activities, while the skater community can test their skills on a ramp custom-created by RAGE.

Visitors can experience Market OTB 2015 at South Ridge Park from 4pm – 10pm from Sunday – Thursday, and 10am – 10pm on Friday – Saturday. Entry to Market OTB and all supplementary events is complimentary. For more information and highlights from the inaugural edition

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aswaaq rolls out second phase of its new community mall in Al Barsha

aswaaq rolls out second phase of its new community mall in Al Barsha

New community mall to provide integrated consumer services for 3,300 residents

4104Dubai 22 December 2014: aswaaq has announced the launch of Phase II of its new community mall in Al Barsha South 1 in Dubai. The community mall will be comprised of several shops that provide a wide variety of services to residents, as well as an 11,000-square-foot aswaaq supermarket, which opened last April.

aswaaq’s new community mall provides integrated consumer and community-based services for the 3,300 residents of Al Barsha South One, with the number expected to increase with the completion of housing projects of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment.

Furthermore, several shops and restaurants have already opened within the new community mall, including Aster Clinic and Pharmacy, Al Furqan Stationary, The Doll house Ladies Salon, 4U Gents Salon, Falafel Factory restaurant, City Burger restaurant, My Special Gift Trading, ER Laundry, Golden Motors Telecom mobile shop, Style Trading Abaya, Green Belt Car Washing, along with an ATM from the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.

On the occasion of the completion and opening of its new community mall Al Barsha South One, aswaaq organised a ‘Happy Family Day’ event, which included a variety of activities such as face painting, a football field, cartoon characters, various workshops, inflatable castles, a clown, and many other interesting games. The event continued for several hours, and was attended by many children with their families.

aswaaq supermarket offers a wide range of consumer products from top local and international brands, as well as fresh daily food produce, in addition to national products. This serves the purpose of supporting local produce and encouraging young entrepreneurs.

aswaaq’s community mall extends over an area of about 22,000 square metres, 50 percent of which is occupied by the aswaaq supermarket, while the rest of the floor area is taken up by around a dozen diverse shops.

The new community mall in Al Barsha South One is scheduled to be expanded in the coming year, and this will go hand-in-hand with the opening of more shops, which will provide additional services to people resident in the area.

With the same community mall fully open to the public, aswaaq’s Al Barsha South One branch joins a raft of aswaaq community malls located in six areas in Dubai which are Mirdif, Al Warqaa, Umm Suqeim, Al Mizhar, Nadd Al Hamar, and Al Bada’a, as well as two stand-alone branches of aswaaq supermarket in Al Rigga street and Al Sufouh.

Yousuf Sharaf, CEO of aswaaq, stated: “The opening of the new community mall is part of aswaaq’s strategy of monitoring and meeting different demographic needs within Dubai. We are keen to reach out to the people of Dubai in their areas of residence, and offer them a unique high-quality shopping experience, with excellent customer service in an atmosphere of affinity, warmth and comfort.”

He added that the opening of the new community mall in the Al Barsha South One area forms part of the commitment to community service throughout the network of aswaaq community malls located in the heart of residential neighbourhoods. These offer a distinctive shopping experience for families by providing a diverse range of fresh and healthy products.

Sharaf stressed aswaaq’s commitment to providing business opportunities for young entrepreneurs, particularly members of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development (Dubai SME). aswaaq offers individuals affiliated to this organisation preferential rental rates for shops throughout its various community malls, including the new community mall in Al Barsha South One. A minimum of 20 percent of the available shops in each community mall are allocated for rental by members of Dubai SME. Priority is afforded to these recruits in terms of the prominent presentation and display of members’ products in supermarkets, in order to highlight and inform consumers about them to promote their widespread sale.

According to Affan Al-Khoori, COO, aswaaq, “The opening of the new community mall is a step towards realizing aswaaq’s vision which is aimed at building relationships on the basis of transparency, profitability, competitiveness and sustainability. This is intended to enhance customers’ living standards through the provision of services and consumer supplies commensurate with the highest standards of service, quality and excellence.”

Al-Khoori added that aswaaq community malls are the result of a team that has extensive experience in retail, consumer products and related services. Every member of aswaaq family is committed to providing the highest level of service and everything that is required by people of the area during their shopping sprees. This guarantees an upscale shopping experience for them which is comparable to the finest global retail stores.

Al-Khoori explained that aswaaq community malls offer many additional services to consumers, most notably its loyalty program, ‘Wafa’, which rewards customers for their purchases, as well as ‘Thukher’ elderly program card, issued by the Community Development Authority. The latter provides exciting services and discounts to cardholders. In addition, aswaaq also provides the ‘Noor-Wafa’ credit card in cooperation with Noor Bank, which gives its holders an 11-percent return on purchases.

aswaaq possesses a proven track record in the field of quality and food safety, which helped it win a number of local and international certifications, the most important of which are HACCP, ISO 14001:2004 (Environmental Management System), ISO 9001:2008 (Quality Management System), and OHSAS 18001:2007 (Occupational Health and Safety Management System). The company has also earned a number of distinguished awards, including the Dubai Quality Appreciation Award, AON Hewitt’s Best Employer Middle East Award, Cannes Bronze Award for Brand Identity, Dubai Municipality Customer Award in the category of Internal Training in Food Safety, and Dubai Municipality Food Safety Award in the category of Department Store. aswaaq was also voted as a ‘Superbrand’.

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Retail ‘therapy’ for weak economies? ME among world’s top 10 luxury markets

Retail ‘therapy’ for weak economies? ME among world’s top 10 luxury markets

4102The Middle East ranks in the top 10 list of global luxury markets,a report said, adding that regional consumption went up by 11 per cent in 2014, fuelled by the growth in tourism as well by a hike in the number of new malls in the GCC.

The Middle East ranks in the top 10 list of global luxury markets, a report said, adding that regional consumption increased by 11 per cent in 2014, fuelled by the growth in tourism flows.

The market is expected to continue to grow fast driven by a large number of mall openings throughout the GCC region the coming five years, added the  13th edition of the “Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Monitor” released recently by  Bain & Company, a leading advisor to the global luxury goods industry.

“While the international luxury market is affected by a number of causes such as the economic slowdown, unrest in various parts of the world, and currency fluctuation, the Middle East continues to demand luxury goods,” said Cyrille Fabre, a Bain partner and leader of the Retail & Consumer Products practice in the Middle East.

“In fact, the Middle East consumer base for luxury products is rapidly growing with a relatively stable profile. Among all luxury products in the region, the luxury car market and more particularly ‘supercar’ segment is predicted to post a solid growth,” Fabre added.

Globally, the luxury market is on target to reach 223 billion euros ($275 billion) in 2014, aided by a 5 per cent bump in growth this year– down just slightly from seven per cent in 2013, the report said.

“The focus is shifting to consumers, with local trends and tastes representing only part of the picture,” said Claudia D’Arpizio, a Bain partner in Milan and lead author of the study.

“This new mind-set has important implications for luxury brands. It requires that they think about their product offering from a more global perspective, with the concept of seasons, a key pillar of this industry, becoming increasingly obsolete.”

Bain’s research finds that international travel and tourism is also creating an appetite for 360-degree luxury experiences, such as high-end transportation, including highly customized ‘super cars’ and yachts, as well as luxury hotels and cruises:

•    Growth in the luxury car market is solid, up 10 per cent from 2013, driven by emerging markets, where luxury vehicles are still seen as a symbol of status and a social enabler. The high degree of personalization for vehicles and even after-sales services is helping to double or in some cases triple the basic price tag.

•    Hotels are benefiting from steadily growing demand, up 9 per cent. Younger generations (30+), who are seeking superior lifestyle experiences, helped to fuel 5 per cent growth in the cruise market.

•    Yachts are bouncing back at a low, positive single-digit pace (2 per cent in 2014), while private jet sales are up 9 per cent, boosted by emerging market demand – notably Brazil.

Not to be outdone, personal luxury goods continue to buoy the market. Luxury accessories captured 29 per cent of the market and grew by 4 per cent in 2014 (at current exchange rates) – more than apparel or hard luxury, the next two largest luxury categories.

For the first time since 2007, the growth of high-end shoes surpassed that of leather goods, emerging as an evident status symbol, albeit at a lower ticket price than other leather goods. At the opposite end, hard luxury, specifically watches took a hit from the downturn in Asia. In response, many watchmakers cut production to sidestep the risk of over-supply.

Across all personal luxury categories, the retail channel is growing, weighting approximately 30 per cent of the market. When it comes to a physical shopping experience, consumers prefer a monobrand environment – more than 50 per cent of the market. Conversely, online, they love variety and assortment and prefer buying in a multi-brand e-environment.

In an interesting twist, Bain’s study found that many consumers are on the hunt for greater luxury value for their money. Mature consumers, who are capping their luxury budget and downgrading to more accessible brands, as well as mid-income, aspirational shoppers, are fostering the growth of upper premium brands and the second-hand market, which represented 16 billion euros ($19.7 billion) in 2014.

Off-price channels, such as outlets, have also nearly doubled market penetration over the last three years, driven by more sophisticated store designs and customer service that replicates a full-price luxury environment.

“We are seeing strong polarization among luxury brands and the fast growth of an ‘Alternative to luxury’ segment – those upper premium brands ‘winking’ at luxury ones and promoting an image of status that exceeds that of their products,” said D’Arpizio.

“Recently, we have also witnessed a revamp of the second hand-market, fostered by an online revolution. While this market threatens new product sales, it is simultaneously turning luxury goods into durables with an increasingly defined re-sell price, thus increasing their value,” she concluded.

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42Customers in Saudi Arabia can once more enjoy the signature Toffee Nut Latte, Toffee Nut Frappuccino and the popular Holiday Blend that makes its triumphant return to Starbucks stores across the Middle East this week.

Toffee Nut Latte fans can relish the seasonal flavors of the popular beverage which is back on popular demand. The rich, buttery flavor of the sweet toffee is combined with the warmth of the toasted nuts and blended with smooth espresso and velvety steamed milk. Topped with whipped cream and toffee-flavored sprinkles, this hot beverage is a simple indulgence to start the holiday season in style.

Joining the Toffee Nut range this winter is the Toffee Nut Frappuccino blended beverage. A cool mix of roasted nuts, toffee, coffee and ice, all blended for a smooth finish, topped with whipped cream and toffee-flavored sprinkles, makes it the perfect winter beverage.

In addition to the Toffee Nut beverages, Starbucks will also add some seasonal cheer into the morning cup of coffee with its exclusive Holiday Blend. With its rich aromas and bold flavours, the Holiday Blend complements sweet and savoury feasts, as it warms the heart with every sip.

Rana Shaheen, Regional Communications and CSR Manager at Starbucks MENA said: “To ensure customers have an extra special holiday season, Starbucks has launched the Toffee Nut beverages which can be enjoyed with friends and family. These beverages will not just satisfy coffee cravings, but also encourage holiday joy in our stores.”

In keeping with the holiday spirit, the exclusive range of winter themed merchandise makes the Starbucks experience all the more enjoyable. Beautiful mugs and tumblers, perfect for last minute gifts, fun stocking fillers, or just personal treats are available for purchase across all Starbucks stores.

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aswaaq awards underline excellence, quality and safety

aswaaq awards underline excellence, quality and safety

433Dubai, 05 Nov 2014: aswaaq, a responsible local retailer and one of the subsidiaries to the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the investment arm of Dubai Government, has a huge record of accomplishments in all areas. It is particularly commended for its service in food quality and safety, which has enabled the company to win multiple local and global awards and accreditations such as the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, known as HACCP.

aswaaq has also won the 2013 Dubai Quality Appreciation Award, which is a milestone for the company. This honour was achieved as a result of the company’s commitment to best practices in its field of work and the adoption of effective work approaches and advanced methodology. aswaaq has been working in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to build a smart city that provides outstanding services to satisfy all people living in the Emirate.

As a result of winning the Award, aswaaq participated in the Share Best Practice Conference, which is held annually to showcase and promote the practices of the winners in each of the Dubai Quality Appreciation Award, the Dubai Human Development Award and the Dubai Service Excellence Scheme. The conference was an important opportunity for aswaaq to demonstrate to valued industry insiders the best practices it currently engages in within its field of work, and its organisational qualities, especially in the area of loss prevention and control.

Furthermore, aswaaq has acquired a much sought after global accreditation, the Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSAS 18001:2007). This accreditation includes a set of guidelines, which when adhered to; enable aswaaq to monitor the quality of an enterprise with regard to managing health and safety standards. The OHSAS accreditation ensures that aswaaq is producing a work environment free of occupational risks, and helps to reduce the level of risk exposure for employees to a bare minimum.

Yousuf Sharaf, CEO of aswaaq emphasised that the company pays great heed to quality and excellence and places them as its top priority. The company also considers customer service as number one on its agenda. Such consideration is apparent in supermarket branches of aswaaq, which applies the HACCP system to guarantee food safety and reduce risks, which may affect food products, especially during handling, storage, preparation and distribution.

Sharaf added that the main objectives of the HACCP system are to focus on compliance with the applicable regulations and to ensure the enforcement of health and safety of customers. This is achieved via adherence to the highest standards of hygiene, and raising awareness of health and safety and quality through the effective management of policies and procedures.

Affan Al-Khoori, COO of aswaaq likewise confirmed that the company has received numerous awards and accreditations from international and local bodies in the areas of Food Safety & Quality, Environmental Conservation and Best Practices, such as ISO 9001:2008.

The ISO 9001 is an internationally recognised standard for quality management systems. It acknowledges that aswaaq has met the needs of both customers and suppliers. The performance of aswaaq has also demonstrated consistent improvement in operations management. This proves the ability of the company to continually secure products and services conforming to the applicable legal and regulatory requirements.

The company has also won the ISO 14001:2004 certificate - an internationally recognised standard for Environmental Management System (EMS), which defines processes, which are to be monitored in order to achieve satisfactory environmental performance. aswaaq conducts detailed assessments of environmental risks in order to determine daily activities, which may have significant environmental impacts. The company has implemented monitoring systems in order to reduce environmental impacts and control them scientifically.

Al-Khoori added that aswaaq has also received the Dubai Municipality Food Safety Award for the category of Departmental Store. This achievement was acquired when the Mirdif branch won the Best Supermarket for Best Practices award in the field of Food Safety. This was based on an evaluation conducted by the Food Control Department at Dubai Municipality.

aswaaq also acquired the Dubai Municipality Award for Best Client for the category of Internal Training in Food Safety conducted for their employees, which are approved by the Dubai Municipality. aswaaq was also awarded the 2013 Certificate of Excellence in Training by Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance.

aswaaq pays great attention to its internal operational processes and value its employees highly, considering them pillars of its success. These elements were a big part of the company’s successful qualification for the 2013 Best Employer Award. aswaaq ranked second within the UAE, and twelfth within the Middle East, according to the evaluation conducted by Aon Hewitt.

aswaaq offers a unique shopping experience, recognised and acclaimed for its high-quality fresh products which are available at all times, and for the fast, effective and friendly service provided by its outstanding team.

aswaaq is proud of its values and consider it as a foundation for its trading. It respects the freedom of choice of its customers. In addition, the company supports the SME members as part of its corporate social responsibility, which provide increased opportunities for UAE nationals to work within their projects and occupy major positions, and thus allocate a percentage of profits to community service.

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411Red Sea Mall is the official silver sponsor for the annual Images RetailME (Middle East) which is a part of the Middle East Retail Forum. The forum aims to shed light on some of the most successful and most renowned retail brands in the industry, and to support them throughout their field in the Arab region.

In its third edition, the Middle East Retail Forum will be held on the 3rd& 4th of November, where Mr. Mohammad Alawi (CEO of Red Sea Markets, owner of Red Sea Mall) is appointed as one of the key speakers at the event and a part of the judging committee for the prestigious awards.

Mr. Alawi expressed his enthusiasm in supporting the forum’s annual events, and stated that the forum would be different from other retail events in being the only place that will unite the biggest retailers in the Middle East of all fields under one roof. These fields include, and are not exclusive to, the academic, technologic, real estate, infrastructure development and governmental institutes.

He also stated, “Through our support for the Middle East Retail Forum, we are proud to be involved in the growth of the retail industry in the region. Moreover, to be the reason in establishing communication between the corporation and the individual for our mutual goal of the emergence of the retail sector in the Arab region. Also achieving the profitability that we are aiming for, in addition to highlighting the innovative brands and companies in retail on the Middle Eastern scale in particular, given the constantly rising competitive nature of this region’s markets.”

Moreover, the annual forum will hold conferences comprised of the biggest names in the retail industry with the purpose of networking, exchanging expertise and discussing the latest trends and ideas. The forum will also include the Middle East Retail Expo, which is the perfect opportunity for distributers to announce their products and services, and to present their ideas and innovations. The forum will close with the final event, which will be the distribution of the annual Images RetailME awards.

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Red Sea Mall takes home 3 RECon awards

Red Sea Mall takes home 3 RECon awards

4142The International Council of Shopping Centers and the Middle East Council of Shopping Centers have awarded the famous Red Sea Mall three awards in the RECon 2014 held in Dubai. Such an achievement is a new addition to the awards-rich success record of the Mall in the shopping and entertainment industry across the kingdom, the region and the world.

This achievement was in timely with the 20th anniversary of the foundation of RECon Middle East. The first award was the ICSC Golden Award for Sales Promotion and Events 2014. The second was the ICSC Silver Award for New Media 2014 for the 360 campaign included Facebook and twitter promotions, as well as in-center events. The third award was presented by the ICSC in recognition for the Red Sea Mall charitable campaign “Iftar Al Khair” that was organized during the previous holy month of Ramadan.

On this occasion, Mr. Mohammad Alawi, the CEO of Red Sea Markets Co. the owner and operator of Red Sea Mall, has stated: “The Saudi Companies are dedicated and keen to leave great impression in the international events and summits. Their presence are becoming stronger in all sectors especially in the marketing, shopping and entertainment”. Mr. Alawi also added: “We are keen to be present in all international summits to promote the strong and firm Saudi economy, the factor that attracts many international commercial brands to come into the Saudi market and invest in the purchasing power that our beloved country enjoys”.

Mr. Alawi elaborates: “The shopping centers industry in the kingdom is valued at billions of Saudi Riyals as it attracts investors, retailers, businessmen and ultimately visitors which formed a strong competition between shopping malls across the kingdom. These malls are relentlessly forming new special strategies to attract retailers and visitors that makes it an industry in its own right. At Red Sea Mall, we participate in this industry and we exploit all potentials and capabilities to keep the name of the Red Sea Mall and the name of Jeddah City is known on a global scale.

Red Sea Mall organizes and hosts many national events and festivals around the year along with many charity and awareness campaigns, which made Red Sea Mall a destination of entertainment and shopping for the people of Jeddah and its visitors. The Mall also has proudly received many international awards in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

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