Archive | aswaaq

Charity motorcycle rally sees public hit the streets in support of breast cancer awareness month

Charity motorcycle rally sees public hit the streets in support of breast cancer awareness month

Leading retail company aswaaq hosts “Pink Ribbon” event in cooperation with Dubai Health Authority, raising funds and awareness

2121Dubai, October 30, 2010: Bikers across the UAE got strapped in for a one-of-a-kind charity motorcycle rally this past weekend, aimed at raising funds and local awareness about the work being done to combat breast cancer across the country.  aswaaq—the UAE’s leading local retail chain—served as the finishing post for the event in its community centre in Umm Suqeim, which was followed by a public gala event and garage sale of which profits were donated to the cause.

Clad in t-shirts bearing the world famous pink ribbon logo, the squad of bikers started from Dubai Hospital on Saturday afternoon and drove on Jumeirah road before reaching the finish post at aswaaq, marked by pink arches and a with a number of festivities organized for individuals as well as families.

Local businesses, aswaaq employees and neighboring schools were all invited to join in the gala, bringing items that they wished to sell in support of the “Pink Ribbon” campaign.  Dubai Health Authority also had stand at the event, and doctors from Dubai Hospital were on site to advise members of the public on issues related to the cancer.

Among the key messages of the event was emphasizing the need for all women to undertake regular screening tests and encourage donors to contribute to research done at local healthcare centers.

“aswaaq is proud to have partnered with the Dubai Health Authority and the community at large in aid of this crucial cause,” said Jassim Sajwani, Executive Director –Corporate Services at aswaaq. “The money raised will be used in a variety of ways to support those who have been affected by this disease, as well as encourage individuals to learn more about screening procedures offered at their local healthcare centers.”

Serving the needs of local residents, aswaaq community centers—which feature shops, laundries, cafes and supermarkets—have become regular hosts of non-profit events for people of all ages from throughout Dubai.

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Donation banks for used cloths and shoes installed at aswaaq’s community centres

Donation banks for used cloths and shoes installed at aswaaq’s community centres

Clothes & Shoes bank

Clothes & Shoes bank

Aswaaq, the leading UAE local retail chain with international standards, announced its recent partnership with BCR Global Textiles, a family-run organization for recycling and re-using textiles, to install clothes and shoes bank in aswaaq’s five community centers. Officials at aswaaq confirmed that the revenues generated will be donated to charity works, and revealed that the agreement between the two parties is an opportunity for the Dubai community to come closer together and give a hand in aiding those in need.

Upon the agreement, BCR installed clothes and shoes banks for the public to deposit surplus textiles, clothing, and shoes. The collection banks were installed in aswaaq’s five community centers located in Nad Al Hamar, Mizhir, Umm Suqeim, Al Warqa’a and Mirdif, and are expected to collect tons of used cloth that will be distributed to different countries.

Both parties have expressed their excitement with the initiative that supports their efforts to spread the goodwill to others in society. The new collection banks installed in aswaaq will benefit BCR Global in being a new collection point for its wide plans to send their recycled clothing to Africa and other far-eastern countries that would benefit greatly of the initiative.

“In line with our own CSR initiatives, we are excited to partner with BCR Global in this initiative,” said Yousuf Sharaf, Deputy CEO at aswaaq. “As a contributor to the economy and the society, aswaaq aims to bring smiles to those who need whenever possible. Everyone has something to contribute or to give in order to help those who are in need, and through the collection banks, we call our people in UAE to donate the clothes and shoes which could mean a lot to others in poor areas and countries.”

Commenting on the partnership, Maxine Sault, Managing Director of BCR Global said, “Aswaaq showed great support and was one of the first companies to respond to our activity. We are very proud and content with our agreement with aswaaq since it would be beneficial to the entire society. The installed banks at the community centers are targeted to encourage people to donate used textiles, shoes, or clothing and in turn support poor and less fortunate countries in a simple, yet effective way.”

Aswaaq’s agreement with BCR Global is the latest in a series of Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives launched by Aswaaq at the end of 2009. This year, aswaaq hosted many events and held several events to spread the joy and show support to the community, with events such as The Orphans Day, Food Safety Campaign, and other similar events that are aimed at strengthening community bonds.

It is also worth mentioning that BCR Global Textiles started off as a family run business in 1966 in the UK with aims to recycle and re-use second hand clothing and shoes, which account for up to 3% of the household waste. BCR is now considered the UK’s premier textile re-use & recycling specialist working with many councils and charities, serving thousands of banks nationwide.

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aswaaq sees retail spending hit annual peak as Ramadan shoppers reveal key consumer insights

aswaaq sees retail spending hit annual peak as Ramadan shoppers reveal key consumer insights

Shopping habits shift dramatically during the Ramadan season, and leading Dubai retailer projects nearly 40% increase in monthly sales compared to yearly average 

222Dubai, September 6, 2010: With consumers packing supermarkets across the country looking for the best in Ramadan offerings, retail spending for some has reached a year-long high as UAE retailer aswaaq announces a projected 40% increase in overall monthly sales across its network.  In addition to being one of the year’s busiest promotional periods, Ramadan is also a chance to gauge merchandise popularity and for retailers to build long-term relationships with the communities in which they operate.

This year, aswaaq launched its Ramadan offerings to bring to life the holy month spirit for its visitors.  Following individual product promotions and new store-wide offers, aswaaq footfall during the first half of Ramadan has increased by over 15% compared to the monthly average, and the company says they are expecting to maintain that pace in the coming weeks. 

Giving customers something extra has been an important part of the company’s success during the holy month.  shoppers spending AED 1000 or more for instance, have the opportunity to get an additional AED 1000 of spending at any aswaaq location, by receiving a booklet of 100 coupons each redeemable for AED 10 off their next purchase.  Looking at individual consumer groups, aswaaq WAFA loyalty members also receive an additional 10% off specified daily fresh products during the month of Ramadan.  The implementation of an expanded delivery service adds to the monthly specials, giving residents across Dubai the chance to enjoy free delivery of all orders made for AED 50 or more.  Moreover, aswaaq has introduced an Iftar pack for its customers worth only AED 10 and is already getting the desired demand on this package in all aswaaq centers.

“Many of the campaigns we run during Ramadan are designed in consideration of our customer’s feedback, responding to their needs and desires as provided through our ongoing customer satisfaction programme,” says Affan Khoori, Executive Director – Retail. “For our WAFA customers, we’ve seen over 20% increase in the number of transactions being made, totalling more than 40% growth in sales compared to the monthly average.  Those numbers are even higher than last year’s Ramadan and demonstrate to us that we’re moving in the right direction.”

With peak hours shifting to the three hours immediately preceding the iftar meal, ensuring a positive customer experience is no simple task.  In preparation of the rush on everything from fresh yogurt to rice and meats, aswaaq has spent extra time with its employees prior to the holy month.  This includes the organisation of special Ramadan awareness programmes for non-Muslim employees to highlight the important practices and customs that are observed during the Holy Month. 

“Ramadan is a time for people to come together and for us to share our experiences with the greater community,” adds Affan Khoori.  “Keeping this in mind, we are eager to provide our visitors with an exceptional level of customer care as well as welcoming new visitors to a more authentic shopping experience.”

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Dubai Civil Defense partners with aswaaq to host fire safety workshop for second consecutive year

Dubai Civil Defense partners with aswaaq to host fire safety workshop for second consecutive year

Training program part of larger aswaaq strategy to ensure highest level of customer care through knowledge-exchange initiatives with DCD

297Dubai, August 15, 2010- Building on its reputation for exceptional customer care, aswaaq has recently concluded a fire awareness and prevention workshop in cooperation with Dubai Civil Defense (DCD), marking the second consecutive year that the two organizations have come together in support of greater employee and customer safety.  The partnership follows a MoU signed between aswaaq and DCD earlier this year in which both organizations recognized their mutual interest in promoting public safety campaigns in high population areas throughout Dubai.

Focusing on fire safety, the most recent workshop was led by corporals Mohammed Kalil and Shehab Badawy from the DCD and requested by aswaaq as the company updates it fire safety guidelines. More than 55 employees from various departments at aswaaq attended the day-long course, which included practice drill on responding to emergency situation, different types of fires, evacuation procedures, as well as key information that must be relayed to DCD in case of emergency.

“These courses are very important as we continue to instill a sense of responsibility amongst our staff that we can all play an active role in taking care of our valued customers,” says Yousuf Sharaf, Deputy CEO at aswaaq.  “We have built a great relationship with DCD through these kinds of workshops and look forward to further developing initiatives outlined in the MoU shared earlier this year.”

To maximize safety, Sharaf says that aswaaq will continue knowledge-sharing programs with DCD to provide aswaaq with expertise on a number of security and emergency-response measures.  Part of that includes new employee training initiatives and licensing aswaaq facilities with voluntary building-safety guidelines. Sharaf indicated that aswaaq would even look into extending these programs to local customers and residents in the future.

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Aswaaq takes on community commitment

Aswaaq takes on community commitment

Aswaaq and Desert Group aim to develop local environment to bring neighbours closer together and develop staff expertise

2183Dubai, 24 July, 2010:  Expanding its pledge to communities throughout Dubai, Aswaaq—the leading UAE local brand with international standards—is continuing its focus on CSR and the environment with the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Desert Group, a premium provider of value landscaping and outdoor apparel. The memorandum will see the two companies work together to promote special events within local communities encouraging both city beautification and environmental sustainability.

Aswaaq has previously partnered with Desert Group in hosting special events at Aswaaq community centres in Umm Suqeim and Warqaa, and has voiced their intention of hosting future activities at other Aswaaq locations across Dubai.  Customers and residents of these areas will have the chance to learn more about their neighbourhoods while taking part in a wide range of sporting, cultural and social activities. Aswaaq and Desert Group will cooperate in organising and arranging sponsorship for these activities.

This most recent MoU will also see Aswaaq showcase the Desert Group’s select range of seasonal plants, organic soils and quality garden furniture in its stores, with Desert Group making an effort to equip special needs workers at Aswaaq with pre-employment training as well as rehabilitation and recreational programs.

In addition, Wafa Loyalty Cards will be issued for Desert Group employees as the two companies work to implement Wafa customer loyalty programs at Desert Group point-of-purchase locations, with Wafa customers benefiting from special offers and prices in Desert Group outlets.

“The MoU highlights our dedication to partnering with various companies and organizations in providing local communities with excellent services while taking responsibilities towards the environment seriously,” comments Yousuf Sharaf, Deputy CEO at Aswaaq. “Our agreement is further aimed at increasing Aswaaq’s capacity to serve as a genuine community centre for Dubai’s diverse and ever-expanding population.”

The two companies have actually demonstrated their commitment to the environment on a number of previous occasions, including the recent “Plant a Tree” campaign with Aswaaq employees and 40 special needs volunteers working together to protect and nurture landscapes in designated local areas. 

Naseer Talib, CEO at Desert Group, expressed great enthusiasm when signing the agreement with Aswaaq. “We are proud to partner with Aswaaq as it is a great opportunity to help the communities we serve,” says Talib. “Both our staffs will benefit from collaborative projects as we exchange experiences and perspectives on environmental development in Dubai.”

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Aswaaq host public car show in partnership with Emirates Motor Sports Federation

Aswaaq host public car show in partnership with Emirates Motor Sports Federation

Selection of rare motorcycles and classic cars fill Aswaaq parking lot during Aswaaq youth day event in Umm Suqeim 

2179Dubai, June 17, 2010: In cooperation with Emirates Motor Sports Federation (EMSF), Aswaaq recently organized and hosted a special youth activity day for residents throughout Dubai including a rate motorcycle and car show taking place in the parking lot of the Aswaaq community centre in Umm-Suqeim.  Emirates Motor Sports Federation generously contributed a number of its rarest and most impressive models for the event, which was attended by hundreds of individuals including special guests from the Awqaf & Minors Affairs Foundation in Dubai.   

Kicking off the day’s activities was a kids-only tour through the Aswaaq bakery where children had a chance to “live as an Aswaaq employee”—at least for a few hours. As the fun moved outside, the afternoon was dedicated to the Emirates Motor Sports Federation (EMSF) road show, in which EMSF arranged an impressive collection of Harley Davidson motorcycles, Ferraris, and other classic cars in the Aswaaq parking lot.  Professional drivers took the cars for a spin around the parking lot, later staying by to speak to visiting fan and take photos with those in attendance.  Children even got the chance to ride the motorcycles with the international champions around the entrance area.

“We strive to make Aswaaq community centres more than just a location for shopping, but a place for exploring life and meeting others in the community,” says Abdul Basset Al Janahi, CEO of Aswaaq.  “With the help of our customers, partners and other leading organizations and associations, we are able to build a real sense of belonging within Dubai’s diversifying urban areas.”

The event is not the first of its kind for Aswaaq as it is continuously places emphasis on bringing Dubai communities closer together by organizing events that involve activities for the entire population.  Youth-oriented events like the one on Saturday are part of a series of recent Aswaaq initiatives to support the development of young children, which has included a food safety campaign for youngsters and encouraging best practices in the area of hygiene in partnership with local school systems.

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Aswaaq partners with Awqaf & Minors Affairs foundation to provide children a ‘taste’ of summer

Aswaaq partners with Awqaf & Minors Affairs foundation to provide children a ‘taste’ of summer

Twenty boys and girls enjoy a full range of activities with the chance to act as an Aswaaq employee for a day 

248Dubai, June 6, 2010: Inspired to lighten up the lives of orphans, Aswaaq took the lead in organizing and hosting an event for 20 youngsters, in which they had a chance to live as an Aswaaq employee for a day. The event that was held recently in collaboration with Awqaf & Minors Affairs Foundation, took place from 5pm - 7pm at the Aswaaq community centre in Nadd Al Hamar, Dubai.

During the event, the children obtained a number of valuable experiences including working at the Aswaaq bakery. With the help of several ‘mentors’ from Aswaaq, the orphans were taught the essentials of preparing pastries and pizzas. They also gave a hand in baking cakes and decorating cupcakes for themselves and Aswaaq customers.

A number of other UAE organizations were eager to share in the joy, like the Emirates Driving Institute which educated the children on how to cross the street, ride the local busses, and other traffic tips to ensure their safety.  The day’s amusing atmosphere continued with a special event organized by ‘Kids Corner’ where each child got the chance to dabble with paints and get their favorite cartoon character painted on their face. 

The event concluded by the generous contribution from Al Farooj Al Tazaj giving delicious meals to all the participating children and Bin Sina Pharmacy providing gifts to brighten the orphan’s day.

“The children’s laughter brings us immense joy and encourages us to host other similar events that help give back to society,” says Abdul Basset Al Janahi, CEO of Aswaaq. “Our customers and partners help make programs like these a reality.  It’s amazing to see so many organizations throughout the UAE contributing every day to developing local communities and brining smiles to the faces of the nation’s youth.”

The Orphans day is the latest in a series of Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives launched by Aswaaq at the end of 2009. Aswaaq is working with organizations such as UAE Ministry of Environment & Water to help set up recycling centers and is collaborating with the Ministry of Social Affairs on the “Forsaty” project, creating outlets for marketing goods manufactured by local families through household production. Aswaaq has recently organized a food safety campaign that targets school children from grades 4 – 6 throughout the UAE. The campaign aims to assure Aswaaq’s commitments to quality and safety measures regarding hygiene while encouraging best practices in partnership with local school systems. Also, aswaaq was a silver sponsor of ‘Autism around the World Symposium 2010’ that was held in May.

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Aswaaq signs MOU with Boecker to strengthen community health and hygiene standards

Aswaaq signs MOU with Boecker to strengthen community health and hygiene standards

Companies seek to share expertise through coordinated training sessions and evaluation of local food and safety protocol

2305Dubai, May 31, 2010: Aswaaq has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Boecker Public Health, a specialized company in hygiene services and public safety, to promote community health and hygiene in Aswaaq locations throughout Dubai. The agreement was signed by Mr. Jassim Sajwani, the Executive Director of corporate Services at Aswaaq, and Mr. Antoine Abdel-Sater, Country Manager of Boecker.

The two companies aim to share expertise on the latest methods for implementing health and food-safety management in Aswaaq’s Dubai locations, including a full-day training session hosted by aswaaq.  Additional coordination on issues such as in-store sanitation have also been outlined in the MoU, with Boecker receiving the opportunity to sign yearly contracts across all Aswaaq branches.

According to the MoU, Boecker will offer special rates on Pest control contracts for the houses and villas surrounding aswaaq community centres and will support aswaaq’s initiatives and campaigns that are targeted to schools in Dubai. Boecker will also offer aswaaq employees a series of training programs which will be aimed at ensuring the health and food safety standards are met and that the companies’ services are delivered to the customers in a healthy environment.
 
Commenting on the agreement, Mr. Sajwani said that the MoU provides both companies with great opportunities for strengthening health and safety standards in the UAE, especially as summer gets into full swing. “The agreement highlights our commitment to cooperating with various companies and organizations in providing local communities with the very highest quality and safety standards,” said Sajwani.
 
Mr. Abdel-Sater further commented that the agreement with Aswaaq is an important step in complementing Boecker’s efforts to raise awareness about health and safety standards in the country.  He stressed that the agreement will ultimately benefit all members of the Dubai community as such programs are adopted throughout the coming months.

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Aswaaq launches food safety awareness campaign targeting schools across Dubai

Aswaaq launches food safety awareness campaign targeting schools across Dubai

Company says that the social responsibility measures are becoming a vital part of the organization’s push to encourage high standards in school systems

290Dubai, April 12, 2010- Aswaaq has announced the launch of a new food safety campaign that targets school children from grades 4 – 6 throughout the UAE. The campaign aims to assure Aswaaq’s commitments to quality and safety measures regarding hygiene while encouraging best practices in partnership with local school systems.

To mark the beginning of its campaign, Aswaaq and Diversey – the cosponsor of this session- made its first stop at Kings Dubai School in Umm Suqeim where the students were provided lessons about the effects of germs, hand washing procedure, the use of hand sanitizers, and ways to preserve food in their lunch boxes. Engaging the students more directly, demonstrations and videos were also used as the kids were able to see traces of germs and witness the consequences of unclean hygiene. At the end of the visit, children were awarded a certificate of appreciation, a gift box containing hand sanitizers, and booklets about food preservation and food poisoning.

According to Ms. Ebtisam Al Khaja, Safety & Quality Senior Manager at Aswaaq, the campaign will primarily serve to teach schoolchildren ways that they can avoid becoming sick when it comes to mealtime.  “Schools can be an environment where a lot of germs are spread as most children are unaware of the existence of harmful bacteria,” adds Al Khaja.

Aswaaq believes that children who are aware of the importance of hygiene can play a vital role in preventing food poisoning, which has been a major concern in the UAE lately. Furthermore, Aswaaq has voiced plans to continue the campaign in other Dubai schools throughout the year.

Aswaaq currently supports a variety of activities in order to ensure a high level of safety and health among its customers and employees, including rigorous self-evaluations and the implementation of Food Safety management systems like HACCP certification.

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Customer Loyalty Program Grabs Shopper’s Attention in UAE

Customer Loyalty Program Grabs Shopper’s Attention in UAE

wafa-card-21Over 40,000 people benefitting from Aswaaq’s Wafa Loyalty Program as company offers customers 10% back on their monthly purchases

Dubai, April 6, 2010: Rewarding customer loyalty is one of the key components of securing return business, and companies like Aswaaq—a leading UAE retail chain—has found that investing in personalized customer attention can bring unforeseen benefits to both the public and shareholders alike. The company’s Wafa Loyalty Program is currently used by over 40,000 subscribers in UAE, marking 63% of aswaaq’s customers —more than double what it was just six months ago.

The company reports a direct increase in sales and footfall numbers in response to Wafa promotions, and Aswaaq’s CEO, Abdul Baset Al Janahi says that these kinds of loyalty programs are an increasingly important method for earning consumer trust. “Rewarding customers through a dynamic program catered to the individual shopper builds a personal connection between the consumer and the brand,” says Mr. Al Janahi.  “If you can nurture that relationship in the long-term, there are incredible benefits for both the customer and the business.” 

Mr. Al Janahi believes that one of the reasons for the expansion of this program is the communication Aswaaq maintains with its customers.  “Through site-specific advertisements, selected email services and SMS campaigns, we can create targeted messages that inform public audiences in a timely and relevant way,”

“Loyalty programs have proven to be effective in the sales performance of many companies and in increasing the consumers’ cumulative purchases. According to a recent research that was done on 1000 companies using Loyalty Programs in the United States, 43% of the respondents confirmed that loyalty programs led to more frequent purchases, and 16% said the programs cause them to choose one company exclusively.”These studies along with the continuous success that Wafa is achieving amongst our customer base drive us to invest further in our programs with the opportunity to measure our promotions according to public sentiment and ongoing customer feedback.” 

After the successful campaign in March, which resulted in increasing the sales by 20%, aswaaq launched a new scheme for its customers in the month of April. The scheme will be based on an individual’s monthly purchase statements gathered from the entire network of aswaaq stores and consolidated into a single company-wide database, with no membership and no coupons required. Through this scheme, which is open to all UAE residents, customers can enjoy up to 10% cash back on their monthly purchases.

“When we decided to launch the Wafa program last year, our goal was to use it as a way to thank our customers for choosing to shop at Aswaaq through a series of small rewards and discounts,” comments Al Janahi  “Even we were overwhelmed by the positive response of our customers.”  Given Dubai’s very competitive retail market, aswaaq is now putting increased effort into analyzing the correlation between loyalty promotions and customer sales habits, and feels that this is the best method for growing the brand locally.

Aswaaq has launched two new offers in March including a 10% discount for Wafa Card members on every AED 500 spent. Another interesting offers was the 10 -10 -10 promotion which ran on a span of 10 days giving the customers an AED 10 cash back for every AED 100 they spent.

“We believe in rewarding our customers and sharing the benefits with them as a way to increase loyalty to the brand and to the shopping experience they live at aswaaq. Since we launched Wafa, we have developed many offers and promotions that played a key role in increasing the footfall and the sales throughout aswaaq’s supermarkets,” concluded Al Janahi.

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