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Thu 29 May 2008 04:00 AM

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A night of excellence

The winners of Arabian Business Saudi Achievement Awards 2008.

The Arabian Business Saudi Achievement Awards 2008 were held at a glittering ceremony at the grand Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh.

We present the best and the brightest of the kingdom's business community this year.

Best in Aviation IndustrySama Airlines

Bandar Al Khorayef, board member of Sama was at the Arabian Business Achievement Awards last week to pick up his company's award for Best in Aviation Industry.

Launched in May last year Sama LelTayaran Company Limited, operating as Sama, is the second low-cost airline based at King Fahad International Airport, Saudi Arabia.

Since its launch Sama has carried more than one million passengers and has increased its routes to 13 domestic and nine international destinations including Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Beirut.

Most recently the carrier announced additional routes to Yemen and will soon start operating flights to a number of cities including Sana'a, Aden and Mukalla.

The move follows the increased traffic between Yemen and the kingdom. Sama aims to grow its fleet to 20-30 aircraft by 2010. Excellence in Industrial SectorMiddle East Specialised Cables Co

Abdul Aziz Namleh, chairman of Middle East Specialised Cables Company picked up the award for Excellence in Industrial Sector.

Established as a local manufacturing company in 1993 in line with the development and growth of the oil and gas industry, today MESC is one of the Middle East's most reputed brand names in the cable industry with a presence in 17 countries.

In 2003 it acquired the controlling shares of JNC Cable Company in order to complete its product range of low voltage power cables.

In May 2007 it formed a joint venture with one of Japan's leading cable manufacturers, Fujikura Company, allowing it to produce medium voltage cables.

MESC Fujikura Cable Company for Low and Medium Voltage Power Cables is due to start its commercial production in the third quarter of 2008. Bank of the YearRiyad Bank

Riyad Bank provides a wide range of services from retail and corporate banking to treasury and investment, providing money market trading and treasury services as well as management of the bank's investment portfolio.

The group has 195 local branches, one branch in London, one agency in Houston and one representative office in Singapore.

Total assets at the end of December 2007 were valued at US$32.3bn and shareholders equity reached US$3.5bn. It has also been awarded some of the highest ratings by international credit ratings agencies.

Fitch rated the bank "A" for long-term liabilities and an "F1" for short-term liabilities and Standard & Poor's rated it "A" and "A-1" for long-term and short-term liabilities respectively.

Receiving the award is Talal Al Qudaibi, president and CEO of Riyad Bank. Best Financial Institution in the KingdomAudi Saudi Arabia

Abdallah I Saade, deputy CEO for investment banking of Audi Saudi Arabia picked up the award for Best Financial Institute in the Kingdom.

Approved in May 2006 by the Capital Market Authority, Audi Saudi Arabia is a joint venture between Audi Saradar Group (70%, among which 10% are set aside for an employee stock ownership programme), a leading Lebanese financial institution with an active presence in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, France, Switzerland and Saudi shareholders (30%).

The bank provides a complete range of investment services including corporate finance, wealth management, asset management, brokerage and private equity.

The firm intends to capitalise on the regionalisation trend, whilst focusing on shareholders' value, improving regulation, consolidation, diversification and increasing liquidity characterising Saudi markets. Best New Investment BankFALCOM Financial Services

Adeeb Al-Sowailim, CEO of Falcom Financial Services, received the award for Best New Investment Bank at the Arabian Business Saudi Achievement Awards 2008.

Falcom Financial Services emerged as a result of Saudi Arabia's 2003 capital market reform process, which introduced the Capital Market Law (CML), followed by setting up the Capital Markets Authority (CMA).

Falcom arrived at the market at a time when deregulation in the banking, insurance and telecommunications sectors in the kingdom was in progress in the third quarter of 2007 as well as the privatisation of Saudi Arabian Airlines.

Today, boasting a capital of US$266.7m, the Sharia-compliant investment bank has eight branches across the kingdom, 150 employees and grand plans for the future, especially in its banking solutions arm. Best Investment StrategiesSavola

Mahmoud Abdul Ghaffar, senior vice president of corporate affairs at Savola, picked up the Best Investment Strategies award.

Established in 1979, the Savola Group's operating businesses have been consolidated into two core sectors: Savola Foods Sector and Savola Retail Sector, including retail (HyperPanda, one of the Middle East's leading grocery food chains), real estate (Modern Marafiq) and Savola Plastics.

In addition, Savola also has a franchising unit which has exclusive rights in Saudi Arabia for 10 internationally renowned brands of fashion wear. Savola has invested in a series of sectors, including the Al Marai Dairy Company (26%), Herfy Foods Company (70%), and Jordan's Taameer Company (5%).

Savola has widely-held stock with over 140,000 shareholders, and strong positioning in a large and growing MENA market. Outstanding Saudi Woman AwardNadia K Al Dossary

Nadia K Al Dossary, CEO and partner at Al Sale Eastern Co Ltd, was awarded Outstanding Saudi Woman Award at the Arabian Business Saudi Achievement Awards 2008.

Al Dossary heads an Al Khobar-based scrap metal empire with an annual turnover of US$133.3m and has been profiled in The Washington Post and named one of the top 25 economically influential women in the Middle East by The Financial Times.

Al Dossary was one of six women who ran in the Asharqia Chamber's board election last year, which was a new step in Saudi politics, allowing women to run as candidates. She believes that women entrepreneurs will do the most to promote women in the kingdom.

Born in Al Khobar, Al Dossary attended high school in Switzerland and then completed college in Saudi Arabia. Best in Healthcare SectorSaad Specialist Hospital

Dr Ahmed Al Ali, deputy executive director of Saad Specialist Hospital, picked up the trophy for the Best in Healthcare Sector.

Since its first patient was admitted in 2001, Saad Hospital's rapid development has, uniquely, been recognised by three major international accreditation organisations - the Joint Commission International, The Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation, and The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards International (ACHSI).

The hospital employs nearly 5000 highly skilled people, and the diversity of its workforce is a source of great strength: 19% of employees are Saudi Arabs, while the remainder is an expatriate workforce from 39 countries across the globe.

Almost half of the hospital's 440 medical staff have been trained in the West and are US/European board-certified. Best Real Estate DeveloperAl Oula Development

Abdulaziz Al Duailej, CEO of one of the top Saudi-based real estate developers, accepted the award on behalf of Al Oula Development for best real estate developer in the kingdom.

Al Oula Development, which owns a 40% stake in UAE-based Emaar Properties, has a regional portfolio that includes 16 homes in Dammam, the Souq Al Rawaq market in Al Khobar and the ambitious 3 million sq m Al Shamiya mixed-use development project in the heart of the holy site in Mecca, which will include hotels, markets and commercial centres.

The president of the Al Oula Development Company, Mr Al Qahtani, recently announced plans to expand into Syria with a large-scale development project valued at US$430m. It is forming partnerships with companies throughout the region, including the UAE and Egypt. Best in Food IndustryNational Agricultural Development Co

Abdulaziz Alowain, general manager of the Dairy Division of National Agricultural Development Company (NADEC), received the award for the best firm in the food industry this year.

NADEC, a public joint stock company, has been a top contender in the field since its establishment in 1981.

NADEC is the first and the largest agricultural Saudi share stock company that owns and operates five dairy farms specialising in the production of milk and milk products.

Four projects are under way in an area totaling 40,000 hectares for the production of wheat, potatoes, forage crops, vegetables, fruits and honey products.

The Saudi-based firm has made significant achievements in the field of agricultural production with a total of five projects including an agricultural products sector, management of cow farms and a dairy sector. Social Responsibility AwardThe National Commercial Bank (NCB)

It came as no surprise when Mahmoud Al Turkesttani, head of CSR Unit for the National Commercial Bank, accepted the Social Responsibility Award considering the number of programmes the firm has offered to the Saudi community, including educational, health, social and job opportunity programmes.

As one of the oldest banks in the kingdom, the firm has had a commitment to social responsibility for the past 50 years.

The National Commercial Bank, also known as Al Ahli Bank, was the first Saudi Arabian bank established in July of 1953, formed under the decree of the late King Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

Under the guidance of CEO Abdulkareem Abu Alnasr, the firm remains today one of the largest banks in the region in terms of market capitalisation and offers a range of commercial banking services. Best Media CompanyRotana Media Services

Nizar Nagro, the president of the Rotana Media Services, accepted the award for this year's winner of the Best Media Company.

What started off as a record company in 1987 has today become one of the most prominent media companies in Saudi Arabia, headed by HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

Rotana Media has a portfolio of more than 100 recording artists throughout the Middle East and Africa, and is involved in producing music videos and other paraphernalia of the music industry.

The company also has six free-to-air television channels, a radio station, a film and library production house and even a music café. A recent agreement with Rupert Murdoch means that Rotana will also bring Fox Movies to the Arab World through a partnership with News Corporation. Best Saudi IPO Media CampaignMohamad Al Mojil Group

Mesaad Al Madi, general manager of Mohamad Al Mojil Group picked up the award for Best Saudi IPO Media Campaign.

That campaign led to the construction group raising around US$1.75bn through a share sale last month. Established 50 years ago, Mohamad Al Mojil Group has grown to become one of the largest industrial construction groups in Saudi Arabia, with a 24,000-strong workforce.

It specialises in maintaining oil and gas as well as petrochemical facilities in the kingdom and has gained a strong track record of delivering projects on time and on budget.

The Mohamad Al Mojil Group has also become the construction services provider of choice for an increasing number of high-profile clients in the kingdom, including Saudi Aramco, the world's largest state-owned oil company. Best Construction Company Saudi Oger

Sheikh Ayman Rafic Hariri, deputy general manager and member of the Board of Directors of Saudi Oger stepped up to accept the award for Best Construction Company at the Arabian Business Achievement Awards 2008.

First formed in 1978, Saudi Oger has since expanded to become one of the most prolific construction companies in the region, landing several high-profile projects across the Middle East, and launching subsidiaries and affiliates in Saudi Arabia and abroad.

The group has industries including telecoms and real estate development as its sphere of influence has extended across the Gulf.

Most recently, Oger picked up two major contracts from the Ministry of Finance in Saudi to build a new headquarters complex, in addition to the construction of eight new aircraft hangars in Jeddah and Riyadh. Company of the YearNational Industrialisation Co (Tasnee)

Tasnee was named Company of the Year at the 2008 Arabian Business Achievement Awards.

Moayyed Bin Issa Al Qurtas, vice chairman of the company (also known as National Industrialisation Co) accepted the award in a tightly-contested category.

Founded in 1985, the Tasnee group has grown to employ some 2000 people across 12 operating units.

It established its first petrochemical complex in Al Jubail for the production of propylene and polypropylene in 2004.

Tasnee also boasts a considerable advantage through its tie-up with Basell, a major international player in the production of polypropylene and polyethylene.

Basell Polyolefins is owned by Access Industries of the US, and has production facilities in 26 countries and a business presence in 120 countries worldwide. Telecom Company of the YearSaudi Telecom Company (STC)

Engineer Saud Bin Majed Al Daweesh, president of Saudi Telecom Company, was on hand to collect the award for Telecom Company of the Year.

Judges were particularly impressed by STC's comprehensive coverage of Al Jawal which covers more than 98% of the inhabited land area, in addition to the provision of new and innovative services as well as the success of its strategy to meet the continuous development of technology in the telecommunications sector in the region.

Further credit was granted to STC's ongoing efforts to reinforce its vision of leadership in the global mobile telephone market, the company's positive contribution to various communications services, the distinction of the products and services of its enterprise sector, and also the company's efforts in achieving external growth. Man of the YearAbdul Rahman Al Zamil

Abdul Rahman Al Zamil, chairman of Zamil Group was the winner of the Man of the Year Award at the Arabian Business Saudi Achievement Awards 2008.

Taking over from the group's founder, the late Sheikh Abdullah Al-Hamad Al Zamil, Abdul Rahman Al Zamil has built a vast network of manufacturing facilities, joint ventures, affiliations, alliances and strategic acquisitions combined with a 10,000-strong workforce in more than 55 countries.

This has enabled the consistent delivery of innovative, high quality products and services and ensured investment opportunities for investors, partners and stakeholders over a number of decades.

Zamil Group's industrial activities have been diversified through investments in steel, air conditioning, plastics, glass, chemicals, petrochemicals, energy, ship building and ship repair and services. Special Award for PhilanthropyHRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud

Ahmad Al Toubaishi, executive assistant of HRH Prince Alwaleed picked up the Special Award for Philanthropy at the Arabian Business Saudi Achievement Awards 2008 in his behalf.

His Royal Highness established the Kingdom Foundation, a charitable and philanthropic organisation, which aims, among other things, to provide effective, rapid and focused aid for victims of natural disasters.

Other activities concentrate on alleviating poverty, developing and empowering young and progressive Islamic leadership and creating forums for dialogue between the Islamic world and other societies.

Moreover, HRH has donated US$20m to Georgetown University as a gift to support and expand its Centre for Muslim-Christian Understanding and donated US$20m to Harvard University to create the Islamic Studies Programme.

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