Business


SITA Connect Go harnesses SITA’s industry experience, coupled with the leading SD-WAN technology and best-in-class network security from Versa
GENEVA: SITA today announced a new partnership with Versa Networks, the recognized secure access service edge (SASE) leader, that will launch SITA Connect Go, a multi-tenant edge Secure SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) solution designed specifically for the air transport industry.
The new partnership combines the best of both companies into a single solution. SITA has its roots in providing connectivity to the air transport industry and has for decades remained a leader in providing cutting-edge connectivity to airlines and airports. Versa Networks, a US-based enterprise, has rapidly emerged as a market leader in SASE and Secure SD-WAN, with Gartner rating the company as among the top three providers globally.
Together, the companies have developed SITA Connect Go, a software-based solution that allows multiple airlines, ground handlers, and other tenants to securely access the same virtualized infrastructure at airports and in the cloud, delivering more scalable and agile connectivity. This brings greater flexibility and innovation to support the airline industry's journey into multi-cloud adoption.
The new solution will enhance SITA's extensive network connectivity, which bridges over 600 airports and more than 750 destinations worldwide, providing airlines with unrivaled connectivity performance and quick, secure access to airport applications and systems through the AirportHub shared platform. The ready-to-use Versa-powered SITA Connect Go solution means airlines can make rapid route changes and use shared airport infrastructure without a huge upfront investment.
SITA Connect Go was built with cybersecurity at its core, providing a multi-layer security design with a cloud-native network and security suite for users wherever they are. Users also benefit from the confidence that the software-based solution will adapt as new industry requirements arise, allowing them to adopt new functionalities as they are introduced without having to invest in costly upgrades.
Martin Smillie, Senior Vice President, SITA Communications & Data Exchange, said: "As a longstanding industry partner trusted with bridging more than 60% of the air transport community's data exchange, we are proud to introduce the next generation of SDN technology. The current volatile economic environment requires that airlines adjust to passenger peaks and troughs, wherever they want to fly. In Versa, we have found a tried-and-tested partner with market-leading technology to support the complex requirements specific to the air transport industry. We look forward to helping our customers reap the benefits."
Hector Avalos, VP MSP EMEA of Versa Networks, said: "We are delighted to partner with SITA to meet the connectivity needs of today's air transport industry. With today's shifting travel landscape, industry stakeholders need greater connectivity, agility, unprecedented reliability, and airtight network security. We have tailored the new solution to meet these requirements and power the future of air travel."


Dubai, October 2022 | A brand new homegrown bar/café concept has opened its doors at ICD Brookfield Place. Lulu & The Beanstalk is the result of two filmmakers – designing a cosy dreamy spot that gives guests their own little world to escape into. Curated, bespoke and memorable with high quality coffee, craft cocktails, comforting small dishes and hearty sharing platters all served alongside a beautiful book shop with whimsical interiors and a soundtrack of tailored tracks. Sink into a seat, with a drink in hand, and get lost in the sensory story of Mama Lulu.
Wafa Tajdin and Amirah Tajdin are the two sisters behind the brand who share a deep love for storytelling. A love that was passed down to them by their grandmother, Lulu, who always encouraged the joy of getting lost in one’s imagination. An additional chapter in their filmmaking careers (Wafa is a producer and Amirah a director) and looking to diversify what stories can look like, the sisters came together to create their very own love letter to Lulu. When they’re not on set, you’ll find the sisters in the space welcoming their guests into Lulu’s world.
Mama Lulu was a magical woman from the island of Lamu, Kenya. A force of nature who could weave a tale taller than a beanstalk and transport listeners into the depths of imagination and fun they never thought possible. She loved to chat dreams as she cooked, hosted and entertained people from across the neighbourhood and community in her humble home. A widowed mother of five, she raised more than just her children, she raised hope in the lives of so many people who got to call her a friend. But most importantly, Lulu was Wafa and Amirah’s grandmother. She taught them how to love, how to nurture human spirit and how to revel in the joy of life against all odds.
An excellent cook and host, Mama Lulu was a master in the art of bringing people together – a sentiment that forms the identity at Lulu & The Beanstalk, where guests are encouraged to hang out and catch a vibe. Whether that’s enjoying a meal, grabbing a coffee or staying late into the night with a cocktail and great music, with playlists carefully curated and selected by Amirah who is a DJ herself. From Thursday and into the weekend guests can come to hear local and international DJs play sets in store and spin a killer vibe.
Chef Chris took cues from Mama Lulu’s own recipe book, reflecting her travels and cultural cross over. Cosy, elevated comfort food anchors the menu with hot and cold small plates and sharing platters being dished up to the table. The bar offering is niche and features a curation of boutique blends, small batch organic grapes, and artisanal hops with signature cocktails that are twists on the classics.
An ode to Mama Lulu’s excellent storytelling skills, the sisters wanted guests to experience the journey of getting lost in wild worlds through the curated selection of art, design, photography and poetry books available for sale. As well as retail books, the floor to ceiling bookcase homes over 1,000 rare books that customers can browse through in store, with some of the books in the collection dating back to 1857.
Designed by Stockholm based architect and interior designer Jenny Askenfors at BOFINK, the space is a cosy explosion of colour and whimsy whilst still being rooted in the archives of memories from Mama Lulu’s house. Every piece of furniture evokes a sense of play and comfort. High design was at the core of the furniture selection and no detail was left unfinished. Some of the most iconic pieces in the space include the Verner Panton Cloverleaf, a dreamy de Sede DS 600, a recycled Meltingpot by Amsterdam design studio Kooij and anchoring the space is a custom handcrafted chandelier from South African artist Adam Hoets. These are just a few of the many pieces that create this little dreamlike escape.
Lulu & The Beanstalk seamlessly blends books, coffee, elevated comfort food and craft drinks into one space that celebrates aesthetic, creativity, stories and the spirit of the beloved Mama Lulu.


NEW YORK: The dazzling rise of the US dollar, which has hit one record after another, is raising fears of a currency crash of a severity not seen since the 1997 Asian financial crisis reverberated around the world. The Federal Reserve’s rapid, steep interest rate increases and the relative health of the US economy has caused investors to flood into the dollar, driving the greenback up and sending the British pound, Indian rupee, Egyptian pound and South Korean won and others to uncharted depths. “The moves are definitely getting extreme,” said Brad Bechtel of Jefferies, warning that the exchange rates could fall further creating a “dire situation”. Most other major central banks also are forcefully tightening monetary policy to bring down inflation, but so far the moves have not helped stabilise the currency market, nor has Japan’s direct intervention to support the yen last week. Many fear that the same will be the case with the Bank of England’s plan announced on Wednesday to conduct emergency purchases of government bonds to support the pound. “We have our doubts that the BoE’s plan will be the silver bullet to kill all of the angst that has been pressuring the pound ... considering its plan doesn’t have permanency,” said Patrick O’Hare of Briefing.com. Others, especially emerging market countries, are even worse off. The Pakistani rupee has lost 29 percent of its value against the US dollar in the past year, and the Egyptian pound has weakened by 20 percent. Those countries, and others like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh which “benefited from cheap and plentiful liquidity” when interest rates were low during the pandemic, “are all suffering from tighter global liquidity”, said Win Thin, head of currency strategy at BBH Investor Services. “Those countries with the weakest fundamentals are likely to be tested first, but others may join them,” he warned. Those countries rely on imported oil and grain which have seen prices soar, widening their trade deficits and fueling inflation, massive blows to their currencies. The appreciation of the US currency has exacerbated the problem, since many commodities are denominated in dollars. Already in a fragile position, Pakistan was hit with historic flooding in August, which prompted the government to discuss a restructuring of its debt. “There are severe pressures on the financial system now. And it’s only a matter of time until there’s a larger crisis somewhere in the world,” warned Adam Button of ForexLive. Bad memories US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen earlier this week said she had not yet seen signs of “disorderly” financial market developments amid the interest rate hikes. For countries like Taiwan, Thailand or South Korea, which also dependent on energy imports, China’s zero-Covid policy has caused their exports to this key trading partner to plummet. Larger economies like China and Japan have contributed in recent weeks to the turbulence on the foreign exchange market. The Japanese yen plunged its lowest level in 24 years, while the Chinese yuan hit its weakest in 14 years. Fear of destabilisation brings back memories of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, which was triggered by the devaluation of the Thai baht. Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia followed, which panicked foreign investors and led to massive outflows of capital, pushing several countries into a severe recession and South Korea to the brink of default. At the time, the collapse of the baht was in part linked to its fixed parity with the dollar, which forced the Thai government to support its currency, depleting its foreign exchange reserves, which was unsustainable in the face of market forces. Argentina eventually was forced to abandon its peg to the dollar and defaulted in late 2001 — the largest sovereign default in history. Erik Nielsen of Wells Fargo said that is a key difference between 2022 and 1997. “Now there’s not a lot of fixed exchange rates,” he said. “I’m frankly more worried about developed markets right now.” Lebanon, one of the few to still peg its currency to the greenback, on Thursday announced a drastic devaluation, taking the country’s pound to 15,000 to the dollar from the previous fixed value of 1,507. In the United States, by contrast, where inflation has soared to a 40-year high “the Fed sees strong dollar as a blessing,” said Christopher Vecchio of DailyFX, noting that it helps “insulate the economy from more significant price pressures. “‘ A strong currency means the country pays less for its imported products.

Grand Hyper, Kuwait's leading retailer distributed 5 Chevrolet Captiva cars to the winners of Grand BIG WIN contest of their mega promotion that ended last month, at a ceremony in their Grand Hyper Shuwaik store.
Car winners Analle Morales, Zageerudheen, Ismail Mohammed, Shahid Usman and Ibrahim Khalil were handed over with Chevrolet Captiva Cars. Customers Those who purchase for an amount of KD 5 were able to be a part of this Car promotion.
 
“Grand Hypermarket conducts grant promotions thrice every year and it reflects Grand family’s commitment to their loyal customers, more so because the customers are offered prizes as well quality products at best prices.
Mr. Ayyoob Kachery- Regional Director; Mr. Mohammed Suneer- CEO, Thahseer Ali - Director Retail Operations and Rahil Bassim- COO were also present at the event held at the Grand Hyper Shuwaik Store.


Al Muzaini Company, the leading exchange house in Kuwait with more than 80 years of experience within the industry is proud to announce the latest opening of its 124th branch in Aswaq Al Qurain Kuwait on Tuesday, 6th of September 2022 by Mr. Hugh Fernandes the General Manger and members of Al Muzaini Management.
Mr. Hugh Fernandes, the General Manager of Al Muzaini Company said: ‘We are extremely delighted to introduce our latest branch opening in Aswaq Al Qurain. We continually invest in our product to ensure convenience and ease of remittances. Since customers expect excellent service when it comes to money transfers and foreign exchanges, our commitment is towards delivering a Reliable and safe service each and every time and it is our number one priority.


Oil prices fell on Wednesday ahead of a key US report on inflation and after industry data showed US crude inventories unexpectedly rose last week, signalling a potential hiccup in demand.
Brent crude futures fell 74 cents, or 0.8 per cent, to $95.57 a barrel at 0651 GMT.
US West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell as much as $1.13 to $89.37. It was last down 88 cents, or 1pc, at $89.62 a barrel.
“The oil price and the Asian market all showed a weak trend,” said Leon Li, a Shanghai-based analyst at CMC Markets, adding that market uncertainty over US July inflation data “limits the rebound of oil prices today”.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) report will be released at 1230 GMT on Wednesday. US consumer prices are expected to have risen at a slower pace in July due to a sharp drop in the cost of gasoline, but that is not expected to stop the Federal Reserve from at least several more sharp interest rate hikes which could curb economic activity and fuel demand.
Meanwhile, US crude stocks rose by about 2.2 million barrels for the week ended Aug 5, according to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute figures. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast that crude inventories would rise by around 100,000 barrels. Official government data is due on Wednesday at 10:30am EDT. “Whatever crude demand destruction that occurs from a weakening global economy won’t be able to drag down oil prices much lower given how low the supply outlook remains,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda. “Much attention is falling on Iran nuclear deal talks and that could be a wildcard in providing much-needed supplies.” The European Union on Monday put forward a “final” text to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal which would boost Iran’s crude exports. A senior EU official said he expected a final decision on the proposal within “very, very few weeks”. Adding to supplies, the operator of the giant Kashagan oilfield in Kazakhstan has started gradually restoring output after an emergency shutdown last week caused by a gas leak. The Kashagan oilfield produces about 300,000 barrels per day. Though concerns over a potential global recession have weighed on oil futures recently, US oil refiners and pipeline operators expect energy consumption to be strong for the second half of 2022, according to a Reuters review of company earnings calls.


The rupee made a strong recovery in the interbank market on Wednesday, rising by more than Rs10 against the dollar.
According to the Forex Association of Pakistan (FAP), the rupee gained 88 paise by 9:50am to reach Rs237.5 compared to yesterday’s close of Rs238.38.
Later, the local currency recovered further and was being traded at Rs228 around 12:50pm, up Rs10.38 compared to yesterday’s close, according to Mettis Global — a web-based financial data and analytics portal.
FAP Chairperson Malik Bostan said that the lower import bill for July had helped reduce the country’s trade deficit, which in turn had eased the pressure on the rupee.

Business and economy journalist Khurram Husain said the rupee’s recovery was due to a sharp drop in import payments after all letters of credit for oil in July were cleared and exporters rushed to close their open positions.
“August likely to see lower oil-related payments with near record stockpiles of petrol & diesel in the country today. Rupee reverting to where it should be after a brief spell of extraordinary pressure in July,” he tweeted.
According to Mettis Global, today’s remarkable recovery is “primarily attributed to the improved economic fundamentals as the import bill in July 2022 has been reduced to $4.86 billion, down by 38.31 per cent, compared to $7.88bn in the previous month”.
Accordingly, the trade deficit for July narrowed to $2.64bn compared to a deficit of $4.96bn in the preceding month, a slump of 46.77pc.
Bostan said part of today’s recovery was also based on expectations that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would release its tranche soon.
“The difference of Rs10 between the rates in the open market and interbank market due to the smuggling of dollars into Afghanistan has been equalised because of tighter security at the border,” Bostan said. “The transfer of dollars into Afghanistan has stopped, the effect of which has strengthened the rupee.”
Mettis Global Director Saad bin Naseer said the PKR was stabilising over the bleak demand outlook amid rising inflation as seen in the slump in fuel and cement sales during July.
Referring to the IMF’s statement yesterday that Pakistan has completed all prior actions for the seventh and eighth review, he said the clarity on that front and expected inflows were also supporting the local currency.
“However, further strengthening of the US dollar or a flare-up in tensions between US and China over Taiwan could prove as downside risks for the rupee,” he added.

Import bill dips
Data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Tuesday showed the import bill dropped by 12.81 per cent to $4.86 billion in July from $5.57bn over the corresponding month of last year. On a month-on-month basis, the import bill dipped by 38.31pc.
In June alone, the import bill edged up to $7.74bn from $6.28bn over the same month last year, reflecting an increase of 23.26pc.
The import bill had increased 43.45pc to $80.51bn during fiscal 2021-22, up from $56.12bn a year ago.
Pakistan’s trade deficit declined by 18.33pc to $2.64bn in July from $3.23bn over the corresponding month of last year. The month-on-month decline in trade deficit was recorded at 46.76pc.
In FY22, the trade deficit reached an all-time high of $48.66bn from $30.96bn a year ago, indicating an increase of 57pc on the back of higher-than-expected imports.

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