Saudi entrepreneur invests in digital transformation firm – Arab News

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The Finland-headquartered IT and cybersecurity consultancy Oivan has announced the completion of a SR9 million ($2.4 million) growth funding round led by Saudi entrepreneur Bader Othman Alabduljabbar and Finnish tech investor TCG, in addition to the participation of several Oivan employees, joining as new shareholders of the company.
Oivan expects its team to grow from 160 experts in 2021 to more than 250 experts in 2022. The company’s service catalog ranges from design, web, and mobile development to cybersecurity consultation and mission-critical operations teams. Since 1998, Oivan’s operations team has managed critical components of the internet infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.
Oivan has strong Nordic roots and regional offices in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Thailand and Vietnam. The company operates with its proprietary enhanced distributed teams, in short, the EDT model.
Oivan’s CEO Rami Korhonen said: “We started Oivan with the idea that by bringing together technology and design talent from around the world, we can solve some of our clients’ biggest challenges and become a digital force for good.”
He added: “Today, our clients, such as the National Housing Company in Saudi Arabia, use Oivan to develop national e-services with the EDT model. Ten to 15 percent of our senior experts work onsite at the client location, while 85-90 percent of our production experts work at our international offices. The Sakani platform we developed in cooperation with the NHC has helped over 400,000 families find and buy government-subsidized homes in the past four years. Furthermore, the Ejar rental agreements platform we developed in partnership with the NHC has digitally processed millions of rental agreements.”
Rasmus Roiha, chairman of Oivan, said: “Being able to grow profitably throughout 2020-2021 is a testament to the tremendous talent and drive we have at Oivan. Getting the investment from our trusted business partner Bader allows us to take on even larger opportunities for our clientele’s benefit.”
The company expects its revenue to grow by more than 30 percent annually in 2022 and is actively hiring new talent to join its international team of over 20 nationalities.
“I have cooperated with Oivan since 2020 and been amazed by the skill and commitment the company has shown in serving its clients — the National Housing Company, Communications and Information Technology Commission, and Digital Governance Authority. The opportunity to bring Nordic quality digital transformation and cybersecurity expertise to Saudi Arabia is enormous, and I am delighted to be a shareholder and a close partner in the company’s future growth,” said Alabduljabbar.
CEO Korhonen added: “We are proud of having continuously played a part in Saudi Arabia’s digital transformation journey since the launch of public Internet in the Kingdom in 1998. This year we opened our Riyadh office and hired many highly skilled Saudi men and women to expand our local capabilities. We look forward to being the trusted digital transformation and cybersecurity partner for both public sector and private sector organizations in Saudi Arabia on their journey to reach the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals.”
Located in the heart of the UAE capital by the Abu Dhabi Corniche, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi has unveiled a program of thoughtfully imagined events and experiences that are perfect for the summer season. Guests are encouraged to escape the heat within the elegant ambience of the hotel, with a selection of the finest flavors from across the Middle East. Offering plenty to delight every member of the family, regal afternoon teas, bespoke menus, refreshing pool days and more are all available to enjoy throughout July.
‘Sagra dello Scoglio’ at Villa Toscana
Bringing the bounty of the Mediterranean ocean to the bright lights of Abu Dhabi, the luxurious and elegant Villa Toscana restaurant is dedicating July to “Sagra dello Scoglio.” Celebrating the harvest season for Italian fresh clams and shells, diners are invited to traverse the Italian coastline and savor a sumptuous array of unique and delectable seafood delights. The “Sagra dello Scoglio” menu is priced à la carte and available to enjoy from July 22 to July 31.
Espresso Business Lunch at Villa Toscana
Busy professionals and Italian food connoisseurs are welcome to take a break from their busy schedule to enjoy a sumptuous spread of traditional home-cooked dishes. Villa Toscana’s famous “Espresso Business Lunch” is a delightful culinary experience designed to satisfy the palate and showcase the best flavors of Italy. Expertly crafted by a team of passionate chefs, the voyage begins with a spread of flavorsome antipasti, starring European cheeses, home-baked breads, fresh salads, charcuterie and more.
Afternoon tea at Crystal Lounge
Providing a truly blissful way of spending a summer afternoon in the UAE capital, guests are invited to immerse themselves in the timeless St. Regis ritual of afternoon tea at Crystal Lounge. The palatial tea lounge is the perfect place for catching up with dear friends and bonding over an array of delicate light sandwiches, pastries and artistic homemade cakes and scones. Guests are invited to choose between the “Classic Afternoon Tea,” featuring an array of traditional British recipes such as smoked salmon and crème fraiche sandwiches and lemon meringue tarts, or the Arabic-style of “The St. Regis Abu Dhabi,” starring delectable dishes like sumac scented chicken with harissa mayonnaise sandwiches, saffron and cardamom scones and more dainty bites inspired by the UAE’s authentic tastes and flavors.
A citrus summer at Crystal Lounge
As the weather heats up in the UAE capital, Chef Hajar Fassal, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi’s pastry sous chef, is introducing the exotic flavors of citrus fruits to the UAE capital through a new selection of summer-themed desserts. Dedicated exclusively to the most uplifting, delicious, and zesty seasonal citrus fruits, the new collection of artistic sweets showcases the vibrant tastes of lemon, lime, orange and passion fruit with spectacular style and imaginative flair.
The ‘Social Sunday Breakfast’
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi is welcoming guests into the bright and stylish ambiance of the Terrace on the Corniche, serving up a sumptuous breakfast spread created by Executive Chef Joseph Murphy. The “Social Sunday Breakfast” offers an extensive selection of hearty recipes that are guaranteed to uplift every diner’s mood and energy levels before the working week begins again. Egg creations such as smoked salmon omelettes, Eggs Benedict and shakshuka are cooked to order and delivered directly to the table, whilst further comforting highlights include chicken waffle sandwiches, classic English toad in the hole, Yorkshire pudding, traditional pies such as shepherd, beef and chicken, fish and chips, whole rotisserie chicken, roasted prime rib or striploin beef with roasted root vegetables.
HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, has announced three new feature phones to offer an alternative for people seeking to escape technology fatigue and the “always on” culture.
Taking inspiration from the resilient trio of feature phones, is the durable Nokia T10 — a tablet designed for work, home and family life. It comes in an affordable, compact 8-inch package with handy capabilities. It is a great all-rounder for juggling a busy life, whether you are taking video calls from home, streaming your favorite TV shows, using the second screen feature to make it an expansion of PC display or keeping the kids entertained on Google Kids Space. The Nokia T10 will be available in the UAE by the end of July, starting at a price of 519 dirhams ($140).
The latest portfolio additions reaffirm HMD Global’s commitment to ensuring everyone has access to affordable and long-lasting technology in both the phone and tablet categories. More importantly, these value devices are being released at a time of anxiety for consumers as the cost of living continues to rise.
Florian Seiche, CEO of HMD Global, said: “Classic Nokia heritage is combined with innovation in our feature phone portfolio. This iconic range is gaining momentum as your trusted companion for all your communication needs. At the same time, we have brought our signature longevity promises to the tablet market.”
Nokia 8210 4G
Nokia 8210 4G — a new addition to the “Originals” family — celebrates the iconic Nokia 8210 launched in 1999 at Paris Fashion Week. Inspired by the classic feature phone, the new phone turns heads by combining memorable design and signature durability with 4G, VoLTE capability, a large 2.8-inch display and intuitive user interface. Plus, it has weeks of standby battery like the good old days. The Nokia 8210 4G will be available by mid-August in blue, red, and sand color options for the price of 199 dirhams.
Nokia 5710 XpressAudio
The Nokia 5710 XpressAudio takes what people loved about the Nokia 5310 and makes it even better. A bigger battery, dedicated audio control keys, and built-in wireless earbuds ramp up the audio experience to the next level and meet the needs of modern users. It will be available by mid-August in white/red and black/red color options for the price of 249 dirhams.
Nokia 2660 Flip
The flip functionality and thoughtful design of the Nokia 2660 Flip makes call handling simple by bringing the mic and earpiece closer to you. Its big display, hearing aid compatibility, stellar battery life, and big buttons provide a seamless experience for those who need it the most, especially those above 55.
The Nokia 2660 Flip will be available by mid-August in black, blue, and red color options for the price of 209 dirhams.
According to a new Ericsson report, the number of 5G mobile subscriptions will reach 1 billion worldwide by the end of 2022. The number of service providers launching standalone 5G networks is expected to double this year. This 5G expansion brings more opportunities not only to subscribers, but also to telecommunication companies, along with the need for dedicated cyber-protection measures.
5G has brought around the skyrocketing production and exchange of data, along with an increase in the use of cloud services and the adoption of various IoT infrastructures, with more devices generating more data. This will affect many industries such as manufacturing, transport, retail and healthcare, as well as other industries that were not very digitized before — for example, farmers could adopt devices to measure moisture and soil temperature and potentially even develop full farm automation.
The IoT expansion, thanks to 5G, will require associated security countermeasures: IoT security gateways with built-in immunity to cyberthreats and new cybersecurity services, such as infrastructure security assessments. For telcos and service providers, this means more opportunities to sell value-added services, such as using associated security solutions to scan customers’ 5G-enabled IoT traffic, saving customers from having to deploy these solutions themselves. Another new security aspect that will need addressing is remote computing (where all CPU and RAM-hungry tasks would be offloaded onto cloud backends). This would mean that the security of remote APIs and DDoS protection could become additional value-added services.
In industrial enterprises, 5G can also empower the mobile workforce. It will enable the use of mobile devices for equipment and system management through dedicated applications inside the OT perimeter.
These devices will also need specialized protection to meet the high OT security equirements.
SMBs and consumers will adopt 5G faster if it is easily available, cheap, easy to use — and secure. The first two aspects are clearly the responsibility of the telcos.
The second two, whilst less obvious, also go hand-in-hand with the first, as telcos provide 5G connectivity bundled together with leased hardware (5G access points/routers and IoT endpoints coming together with security gateways, etc.) and services. Using 5G must become as effortless as possible to be picked up by both consumers and SMBs. And here telcos and service providers can explore new business opportunities, such as “smart-home-in-a-box,” complete with bundled security solutions or security services bundled with an SD-WAN offering.
Abu Dhabi Maritime Academy, the maritime education and training arm of AD Ports Group, has rolled out a maritime logistics certificate, the region’s first integrated certificate allowing trainees to work on a broad spectrum of maritime economics and shipping industry modules.
This certificate comprises four core/mandatory units, including: Introduction to Shipping, Economics of Sea Transport and International Trade, Shipping Business, and Legal Principles in Shipping Business. These core units prepare the groundwork for the learner to take up the fifth specialization from the following 12 specialist units: Port Agency, Liner Trade, Dry Cargo Chartering, Tanker Chartering, Port and Terminal Management, Ship Sale and Purchase, Logistics and Multi-modal Transport, Ship Operations and Management, Marine Insurance, Shipping Law, Shipping Finance, and Offshore Support Industry.
Dr. Yasser Al-Wahedi, director of Abu Dhabi Maritime Academy, said: “We are proud to launch this certificate, the first-of-its-kind in the region, which aims to equip learners with the knowledge, skills and competencies in maritime economics and the shipping industry across planning and implementation of solutions, responding to complex problems and performing independently across a wide range of functions without guidance.
“This certificate, recognized by the UAE Ministry of Education and the UK Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, is designed to meet the needs of both individuals who are new to the maritime logistics industries with a need to acquire new skills and knowledge for better employment opportunities, as well as those who are currently working in these industries and wish to elevate their skills and knowledge to a higher level,” he added.
The certificate program spans 600 hours, comprising 450 hours of classroom/ online teaching, 150 hours of assignments, case studies and presentations spread over 30 weeks. Bachelor’s degree holders in any discipline, or with a minimum of 12 years of structured education or Advanced Level or an equivalent standard of education are eligible to apply for the program. On successful completion of the four mandatory units and one specialist from the 12-list unit, a Certificate in Maritime Logistics will be issued by the Abu Dhabi Maritime Academy.

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