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Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category

Ufone offers lowest international roaming rates for Italy

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Pakistani telecom company, Ufone, has introduced another rewarding offer for its customers by providing the most economical international roaming rates for Italy. Customers can make voice calls, send SMS and use 1 MB internet in just PKR 10.

This is the lowest international roaming rate offered by any telecom operator in Pakistan, Even when compared to Italy’s own market; the rates offered by Ufone appear relatively low. The call back charges to Pakistan are even lower than Italy’s own home network international calling rates.


For service’s activation confirmation, customers can dial Ufone Customer Helpline 333 (In Pakistan) and Ufone IR Help Desk +92-333-5100038 (Outside Pakistan only). Standard Ufone Voice Outgoing Roaming charges apply on calling IR Help Desk. Another option for customers to avail the offer is to visit nearest the Ufone franchise, Service Centre or PTCL/Ufone Joint Shop.

The new roaming plans are built on affordability and convenience. Ufone has ensured that customers remain satisfied and can enjoy complete ease in transit.

With this offer, Ufone has once again reiterated the fact that customer convenience and ease is a priority for the company. Ufone is constantly striving to facilitate its customers and is diligently working to stay true to its slogan “Tum hi tou ho.” Ufone prides itself in connecting people from all over the country with ease and convenience.

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ACE Money Transfer advances Cross Border Payments through partnership with Bank Alfalah Limited, Pakistan

Friday, October 30, 2020

ACE Money Transfer and Bank Alfalah Launch a Mega prize Campaign for their customers in Europe and Pakistan

ACE Money Transfer, a leading cross-border remittance provider, today advanced its services and partnership with Bank Alfalah by launching a mega incentive campaign for its customers sending remittances to Pakistan and which are paid by Bank Alfalah. Customers stand to win various prizes, including high-end laptops, smartwatches, motorbikes, gift vouchers and a grand bumper prize of brand new 1.8L Honda Civic car.

The two organizations have also enhanced their collaboration whereby ACE Money Transfer customers may now also pay their utility bills in Pakistan, a service also powered by Bank Alfalah for all 1Link member utility bill companies. The two organizations are also under discussion for establishing inward remittance arrangement from Europe to Bangladesh.

“By launching this incentive campaign with Bank Alfalah, one of Pakistan’s most trusted and technologically advanced Bank, we look forward to giving back to our customers who trust our services with their hard-earned money,” said Rashid Ashraf, CEO of ACE Money Transfer. He also stated, “By working with them we have significantly expanded the scope of our services including instant account deposit service to all bank accounts in Pakistan, utility bill payment services, and of course cash payouts at their extensive branch network across the country”.

“Bank Alfalah is always striving towards exceeding the expectations and needs of our overseas partners – currently comprising of leading Fintechs, Money Transfer Operators, Banks, etc. – and we are always working to improve our service levels and offerings,” said Bilal Asghar, Bank Alfalah’s Group Head for Corporate, Investment Banking & International Business Division. “Our alliance with ACE Money Transfer allows us to serve even more overseas Pakistanis and their families in Pakistan, while furthering the aim of the State Bank of Pakistan for driving remittances through legal banking channels” added Mr. Bilal.

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Western Digital extends product portfolio in Pakistan

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Reinforces its commitment to the digital growth in the Pakistani market

Western Digital Corporation, a global data infrastructure leader, has reinforced its commitment to the Pakistani market with the introduction of a new range of data storage devices. The products are poised to expand Western Digital’s existing product portfolio in Pakistan and allow local consumers to access a wider range of WD®- and SanDisk®-brand products including four times faster NVMe internal SSD. The launch event was held via a virtual press conference at a local hotel in Karachi.

With the increasing digitization in Pakistan over recent years, the country has evolved its IT sector by introducing the latest technological innovations. This has created an opportunity for global leading technology brands to expand their presence and for Western Digital to offer its premium quality storage devices along with sales support from its authorized dealers.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Khwaja Saifuddin, Senior Sales director for Middle East & Pakistan, Western Digital stated “Western Digital has long been at the forefront of game-changing innovations and offering a range of premium-quality storage solutions. The essence behind this is to help our consumers capture, preserve, access and transform data with  complete peace of mind. We have seen the potential in the Pakistani market and are excited to see that the consumers’ trust already exists in our products. We aim to uphold and further strengthen our bond with our customer base and in due time bring more innovative products to Pakistan.”

Western Digital’s product line includes the SanDisk mobile storage solutions portfolio, with storage devices such as the iXpand™ flash drive, SanDisk Ultra™ Dual Drive , microSD™ and SD™ cards (SanDisk Extreme™ and SanDisk Extreme PRO™). The portfolio also encompasses a wide variety of SanDisk external SSD and WD internal SSDs, including the new addition to the award-winning [1]WD Blue™ solid state drive (SSD) portfolio, the WD Blue SN550 NVMe™ SSD. With such a diverse portfolio, Western Digital strives to deliver a complete experience to its Pakistani customers through its efficient aftersales services.

Adding on to the consumer storage portfolio, the SanDisk Extreme™ microSDXC™ UHS-I card[2], one of the world’s first 1TB cards in the world; SanDisk Ultra Flair USB 3.0 Flash Drive 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB; and the SanDisk Ultra Luxe™ USB 3.1 Flash Drive also available with capacities of 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB; are all now available and enhance overall drive capacity and performance for customers across Pakistan.* Each product was specifically tailored to address capacity needs and provide convenient on-the-go, reliable storage solutions for customers.

Western Digital is enabling a bigger, faster experience in its portfolio with new solutions that give consumers an excellent combination of performance and capacity so they can do more with the rich content they capture.

*1GB=1,000,000,000 bytes. 1TB=1,000,000,000,000 bytes. Actual user storage less.

[1] https://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/9590/western-digital-sn550-500gb-2-nvme-ssd/index.html

[2] https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2019/2/25/18239433/1tb-microsd-card-sandisk-micron-price-release

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Bank Alfalah Launches E-ticketing (powered by Bookme) on 120+ Cash Deposit Machines

Friday, October 2, 2020

In an endeavor to further digitize payments in Pakistan, Bank Alfalah has announced that they have launched e-ticketing services across its 120+ Cash Deposit Machines (CDMs) deployed in Pakistan. This partnership aims to create a convenient and accessible e-ticketing experience for anyone accessing these CDMs.

The Cash Deposit Machine is a self-service terminal that enables instant deposits and payment transactions. Each confirmed transaction is instantly approved and a printed slip issued to the users. In order to access these CDMs, the users are required to enter their valid CNIC number, and a thumbprint scan for biometric verification.

With the help of this integration, walk-in users can purchase discounted tickets from the largest portfolio of buses, airlines, cinemas, and events available by following a few simple steps. The process is very convenient. It starts off by the selection of the e-ticketing category on the CDM, followed by entering the required information, scanning for biometric verification, selection of an e-ticket, and eventually depositing the cash to complete the transaction. The payment confirmation is done in real time and an e-ticket is issued to the user immediately followed by an SMS & email confirmation.

“We are constantly striving to provide our customers with the most user-friendly and secure digital payment solutions. By collaborating with BookMe.pk, we have the opportunity to offer our customers a quick and hassle-free service to purchase tickets. We attach great importance to leveraging the potential of new technologies to continue simplifying the transaction processes for our users, and this partnership is yet another example of it.” stated Yahya Khan, Group Head – Digital Banking, Bank Alfalah.

“We are very excited to build on our partnership with Bank Alfalah to develop seamless digital ticketing solutions that add value and convenience to customers. As a customer-centric platform, we are trying to create a seamless digital experience for users at every touch point across all of the channels. We are thrilled to further our partnership with one of the most innovative banks in Pakistan which shares our objective of disrupting the e-ticketing ecosystem across the country.” said Faizan Aslam, CEO – Bookme.

Bank Alfalah, as one of the largest private Banks of Pakistan with a network of over 699 branches in more than 200 cities, thrives at building and enhancing its presence in digital mediums. In continuation to these efforts, it plans to increase the number of its Cash Deposit Machines to 300 by the end of the year 2021. This partnership will help the Bank in achieving its goal and it will certainly provide the users with a greater level of convenience that the Bank aims for.

Bookme.pk is among the largest e-commerce players in the country in terms of digital transactions. It has a vast portfolio of over 50 bus companies and more than 200 airlines integrated to its platform. It processes are completely cashless and it has already integrated with major payment platforms in Pakistan as well as multiple banks to ensure a seamless checkout experience for the end-users.

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Facebook Introduces New Messaging Features to Instagram from Messenger

Friday, October 2, 2020

Pakistan: Facebook introduces a new messaging feature which ties-up Instagram and Messenger in Pakistan. Users will have an upgrade to Messenger and experience new messaging features, including cross-app communication between two people at a time. People already using Messenger, as well as new joiners will automatically get the new messaging experience.

This upgrade was rolled out in August, with the testing beginning from Algeria, Argentina, Chile and Malaysia, and is now available across Canada, Pakistan, Peru and Taiwan. The feature is currently being tested, and feedback is being gathered from users to further improve the overall messaging experience. Simultaneously, the company is also developing enhanced privacy controls and safety measures.

“No matter which app you use, we want to ensure that messaging is fast, reliable, and fun. With that in mind, we’re excited to announce a richer messaging experience for Messenger and Instagram, powered by Messenger. With this update, you can connect with your contacts across Instagram and Messenger, all without downloading a new app.” stated a Facebook spokesperson in an official statement.

Messaging has come a long way since the early days of texting. These days, we’re using video calls to stay connected instead of hanging out in person, using memes and GIFs to say what we really think (but can’t always say), and sending funny photos, videos and voice notes to our close friends.  Private messaging is one of the fastest growing forms of online communication, with more than 100 billion messages sent on Facebook’s services every day. Everyone on Instagram and Messenger will be discoverable across apps even if they do not upgrade. Messenger will be undergoing a brand refresh through a new logo at the same time.

“We believe that messaging should be about people, not networks. People are often communicating with the same people across multiple apps and sharing content cross-platform. Our goal is to help people feel connected and present, even if they can’t be together, and we know that private conversations are a big way that people share and connect on our apps.” the company’s spokesperson shared further.

This update includes more than 10 new features to make users’ conversations more fun, such as Watch Together where you can share a trending post or catch up on your favorite TV show; Selfie Stickers, a unique hybrid of Boomerang, emojis, and selfies – to react to conversations, and Vanish Mode, where messages automatically disappear after they’re seen. Users will also have more control over who can message them directly, and who can’t message them at all. On Instagram, you will now have proactive safety notifications to help you spot suspicious activity and take action to block or ignore someone when something doesn’t feel right.

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Emirates expands its network in Europe to 31 destinations with restart of flights to Budapest, Bologna, Lyon, Dusseldorf and Hamburg

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Emirates has announced it will resume flights to Budapest (from 21 October), Bologna (1st November), Dusseldorf (1st November), Hamburg (1st November) and Lyon (4th November), expanding its European network to 31 destinations, and offering customers around the world convenient connections via Dubai.

The addition of these five destinations takes Emirates’ global network to 99 destinations, as the airline continues to gradually meet travel demand, while always prioritising the health and safety of its customers, crew and communities.

Flights to/from Budapest and Lyon will operate twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays while flights to/from Bologna, Dusseldorf and Hamburg will operate twice a week on Fridays and Sundays.

All flights to the five cities will be operated by the Boeing 777- 300ER, providing robust cargo capacity on each flight. Tickets can be booked on emirates.com, the Emirates App, Emirates sales offices, via travel agents as well as online travel agents.

Customers can stop over or travel to Dubai as the city has re-opened for international business and leisure visitors.

Destination Dubai: From sun-soaked beaches and heritage activities to world class hospitality and leisure facilities, Dubai is one of the most popular global destinations. In 2019, the city welcomed 16.7 million visitors and hosted over hundreds of global meetings and exhibitions, as well as sports and entertainment events. Dubai was one of the world’s first cities to obtain Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) – which endorses Dubai’s comprehensive and effective measures to ensure guest health and safety.

Flexibility and assurance: Emirates’ booking policies offer customers flexibility and confidence to plan their travel. Customers who purchase an Emirates ticket for travel on or before 31 March 2021, can enjoy generous rebooking terms and options, if they have to change their travel plans. Customers have options to change their travel dates, extend their ticket validity for 2 years, or convert their ticket into a travel voucher to use against any future flight-related purchase for themselves or their family and friends. More information here.

COVID-19 PCR testing: Emirates customers who require a COVID-19 PCR test certificate prior to departure from Dubai, can avail of special rates at the American Hospital and their satellite clinics across Dubai by simply presenting their ticket or boarding pass. Home or office testing is also available, with results in 48 hours. More information on www.emirates.com/flytoDubai

Free, global cover for COVID-19 related costs: Customers can now travel with confidence, as Emirates has committed to cover COVID-19 related medical expenses, free of cost, should they be diagnosed with COVID-19 during their travel while they are away from home. This cover is immediately effective for customers flying on Emirates until 31 December 2020, and is valid for 31 days from the moment they fly the first sector of their journey. This means Emirates customers can continue to benefit from the added assurance of this cover, even if they travel onwards to another city after arriving at their Emirates destination. For more details: www.emirates.com/COVID19assistance

Health and safety: Emirates has implemented a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the customer journey to ensure the safety of its customers and employees on the ground and in the air, including the distribution of complimentary hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes to all customers. For more information on these measures and the services available on each flight, visit: www.emirates.com/yoursafety.

Tourist entry requirements: For more information on entry requirements for international visitors to Dubai visit: www.emirates.com/flytoDubai.

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Emirates celebrates 35 years of connecting Pakistan to the world

Sunday, October 25, 2020

  • Since its first flight in 1985, Emirates has carried more than 28 million passengers to and from Pakistan.
  • The airline currently serves the country with 53 weekly flights to/from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Sialkot – connecting customers to Dubai and more than 95 destinations via Dubai.

The first Emirates flight took off on 25 October 1985 from Dubai to Karachi, marking the birth of a global airline and the establishment of an air transport link between the UAE and Pakistan that has grown from strength to strength, contributing to tourism and trade flows between both countries.

Today, Emirates currently serves customers in Pakistan with 53 weekly flights. Since its launch, Emirates has operated more than 116,500 roundtrip flights between Pakistan and Dubai, carrying more than 28 million passengers to Pakistan, from Pakistan to Dubai and destinations beyond.

Following its Karachi operations, Emirates launched flights to Peshawar in 1998; Islamabad and Lahore in 1999; and Sialkot in 2013, progressively growing its presence in Pakistan in line with customer demand for high quality air services both inbound and outbound. The airline continues to play a vital role in serving communities across Pakistan, providing global connectivity for business and leisure travellers alike. Emirates currently operates flights to Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Sialkot – utilising its wide-body Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, and connecting customers to Dubai, and to more than 95 destinations worldwide, via Dubai.

Emirates SkyCargo, the airline’s freight division, also plays an instrumental role in driving economic activity and helping support the country’s local exporters and businesses to connect to more than 120 cargo destinations. Over the past 10 years, Emirates SkyCargo has helped transport over 750,000 tonnes of cargo into and out of Pakistan – including main exports of fish, meat and vegetables and main imports of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.

Today, more than 555,000 Pakistani nationals and residents are enrolled in Emirates Skywards, the award-winning loyalty programme of Emirates and flydubai – allowing members to redeem fantastic benefits and rewards on flights, hotel stays as well as retail and lifestyle experiences supported by the airline.

Emirates is one of the world’s largest international airlines with a global footprint across six continents. Pakistani customers can fly safer and better on Emirates as the airline has implemented a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the customer journey to ensure the safety of its customers and employees on the ground and in the air. Since its inception, the airline has been recognised by more than 500 international awards for operational excellence, innovative services and industry leading products – making Emirates one of the world’s most recognized airline brands.

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Sarsabz Fertilizer hosts 400 farmers from Swabi and Mardan areas to discuss ways of increasing wheat production during Rabi season

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Sarsabz Fertilizer recently hosted one of the largest advisory sessions in Swabi in the province of Khyber PakhtunKhuwa (KPK), inviting up to 400 progressive farmers from the areas of Swabi and Mardan, to learn about technical advisory information on how to maximize crop yield of wheat during the upcoming Rabi season. This event was part of Sarsabz’s Salam Kissan, Sarsabz Pakistan initiative under the wheat campaign 2020, aimed at supporting the Pakistani farmers towards progress and prosperity.

The event was graced by high profile dignitaries and officials from federal and provincial government including Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan, Mr. Asad Qaiser, Special Assistant for Industries to Chief Minister KPK, Mr. Abdul Karim Khan, Director General Agriculture Extension KPK, Mr. Abid Kamal, Director General Agriculture Research KPK, Dr. Masood Jan, Chief National Fertilizer Development Center Islamabad, Mr. Abdul Jalil Marwat, as well as other notable opinion makers from the agriculture sector.

During the event, Mr. Asad Qaiser, Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan said, “The rapid population growth and the recent shortfalls in the supply of wheat call for timely measures to address them. In this regard a parliamentary committee has been formed which will focus on the much-needed agricultural research, devise mechanisms to increase the crop productivity of farmers, formulate ways to disburse subsidy and extend loans on easy terms to the farmers to ensure their prosperity”. He also appreciated Sarsabz Fertilizer for playing a consistent role in enhancing the Country’s wheat production capability to increase national food security.

Speaking about the event, Mr. Khurram Javed Maqbool, Director Marketing at Fatima Group said, “The Pakistani soil is deficient in plant nutrients, calcareous and alkaline in nature, but with smart agri-practices, these challenges can be overcome efficiently and crop yield from limited lands can be effectively increased. For this purpose, successful field trials have been carried out at University of Agriculture in Faisalabad in the past, and it is now a proven fact that a combination of Sarsabz Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN) and Nitrophos (NP) is the most effective approach to increasing crop yield of wheat by up to 10 percent.”

The event concluded on a positive note with all the participants agreeing to play a vital role in working towards the prosperity of farmers and maximising Pakistan’s annual wheat production during the upcoming Rabi season. Sarsabz fertilizer intends to host similar events across the country to enhance wheat production and increase food security at a national level.

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Preparations underway for the smooth launch of Orange Line Metro Rail

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Commercial operations expected to start soon.

The Orange Line Metro Rail under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) started trial operations under the management of a Joint Venture (Norinco International Cooperation-Guangzhou Metro Group (GMG)-Daewoo Pakistan Express) led by Norinco International. While progressing smoothly, the preparatory work has entered the final stage with commercial operation expected to start soon after.

In February 2020, Norinco International, as the leading Company, joined hands with Guangzhou Metro Group (GMG) and Pakistan Daewoo Company to form a joint venture team, which successfully won the contract for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of Orange Line for the next eight years.

After the O&M contract was signed, the joint operation and maintenance team carried out various forms of recruitment and skill trainings. The Chinese mentors imparted professional rail transit knowledge to the local students, and both sides have established a deep friendship between the teachers and trainees. So far, the joint team has completed recruitment, skills training, joint survey, and re-test, and is well prepared for the opening.

With the launch of Orange Line, it is estimated that nearly 250,000 passengers will be facilitated with this service every day and the commuting time through the northern and southern urban areas of the city will be significantly reduced from 2.5 hours to 45 minutes. Concurrently, the Orange Line subway had created  more than 7000 local jobs during its construction period and now generated nearly 2000 jobs during the O&M period for the residents of Lahore, greatly upgrading the employment scenario of the city. The Orange Line will not only be prominently improving the travel efficiency of citizens and promoting the socio-economic development level in Lahore but will also be introducing a new momentum into the development of urban modernization. In compliance with the laws of urban green development in Lahore and Pakistan’s National Development Strategy, Pakistan will officially enter the subway era with the launch of Orange Line Metro Rail Transit System.

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Orange Line project concludes its handover after completion

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

CR-NORINCO successfully concluded handing over the project after its completion to Punjab Mass Transit Authority (PMA). Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project is the first officially launched urban mass transit project under the CPEC framework for the “One Belt And One Road” initiative, and also the first metro transit project of Pakistan. The agreement for this project was signed in April 2015 in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping, marking its great significance for both China and Pakistan.

CR-NORINCO as a joint venture between China State Railway Group Co. Ltd. (CR) and China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) undertook the OLMT project and assumed responsibility for its specific implementation. The conceptual and detailed Engineering and Mechanical (E&M) work design of the OLMT project are completed by China Railway Design Corporation, whereas the soft loan was provided by the EXIM Bank of China.

The main line stretches over 25.58km, including an elevated track of 23.80km and an elevated transition track of 0.71km, while a track of 1.07km has been built underground to protect Lahore’s historical sites. The route is served by 26 stations with 24 elevated and 2 underground ones, with a stabling yard at its southern end at Ali Town and a rolling-stock depot at northern end adjacent to Dera Gujran Station.

Compared to other projects of similar nature in other countries, OLMT has a higher cost-performance efficiency and it fully implements the most advanced Chinese standards, technology and equipment. The perfect blend of Chinese criterions as per Pakistan’s setting is also a representation of the former’s advanced design and equipment manufacturing capabilities.

With the combined efforts of project teams from both the countries, CR-NORINCO has smoothly and successfully completed the project, and in the interim employed and trained 2,000 Pakistani staff members. Through this project, CR-NORINCO did not only play its role in spurring local employment and economic growth effectively, but also actively fulfilled its social responsibilities by making significant donations to a local primary school, and in the fight against COVID-19, CR-NORINCO organized all the Chinese members of the project to donate masks to the Mayo hospital. This ironclad friendship between China and Pakistan was further expressed through a song as both the countries move hand in hand towards a brighter future.

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