May 18, 2020

Dubai Airport McDonald’s wins MENA Shopping Centre and Retailer Award

food and drink
Retail
Marketing
events
Bizclik Editor
2 min
Dubai Airport McDonald’s wins MENA Shopping Centre and Retailer Award

McDonald's Emirates claimed the top prize for its Dubai Airport restaurant design at the Middle East and North Africa Shopping Centre and Retailer 2014 Awards.

Judges weighted the overall design concept, retail graphics and signage, the use of materials (combination of colours, materials used and lighting), and degree of difficulty and innovation, in choosing the winners.

Commenting on the award, said Walid Fakih, General Manager of McDonald's Emirates: "We are very honoured by this win and we are pleased that McDonald's has been recognised by the industry. Our restaurant at Dubai Airport reflects McDonald's ongoing commitment to creating innovative, convenient spaces for our customers."

McDonald's Dubai Airport concept reflects the design of a first-class lounge. The store, which also includes one of the first McCafe outlets in Dubai, is designed to meet customers the on-the-go needs.

The store is illuminated by specially designed lighting system, which includes stunning aerial images of Earth, along with a unique cloud design and LED lighting that reduces energy consumption and supports sustainable environment.

The Retail Store Design category entrants included retailers, architects and design companies, competing on the basis of new and renovated stores completed and opened within August 1, 2012 and July 31, 2014.

Projects competing in this category included both services and other non-retail uses, with the winners getting recognition on how professional store design contributes to the commercial success of the retail industry.

Operating since 1994, McDonald's Emirates today has 125 restaurants geographically located to service customers in many areas. 

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Jun 16, 2021

SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data

SAS
British Army
3 min
Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM, explains the important role that SAS is playing in the British Army’s digital transformation

SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation. 

“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.

In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”

Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.

Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”

SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”

With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.

“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”

Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.

“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”

 

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