Kingdom chairs GCC talks on tobacco control mechanism

Updated 08 March 2016

Kingdom chairs GCC talks on tobacco control mechanism

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia presided over the GCC annual regional meeting on the implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in Bahrain recently.
The two-day meeting discussed the mechanism of dealing with tobacco control within the non-communicable diseases, Ali Al-Wadi’i, secretary-general of the National Commission in Tobacco Control, said.
The discussions were held according to WHO and the executive body of the Council of Health Ministers of the GCC, he said.
Wadi’i, who is also the general supervisor of the anti-smoking program at the Saudi Health Ministry, cited the Kingdom’s initiative to activate the new media and the latest means of social communication in the field of tobacco control through cooperation of committee members.
This will be undertaken by broadcasting periodically awareness messages on the ill-effects of tobacco.
It will also be a visual presentation about the Health Ministry’s experience in providing free services and therapeutic awareness on tobacco cessation through 90 fixed and mobile clinics in various areas.
Al-Wadi’i stressed the need for a commissioned working group to develop a mechanism to monitor the sale of shisha electronic cigarette through various social networking sites.

The man who leads 10 million chefs from his kitchen in Saudi Arabia

Thomas Gugler (left) is based in Saudi Arabia. (Photo supplied)
Updated 15 July 2018

The man who leads 10 million chefs from his kitchen in Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: As far as a career in food goes, Thomas Gugler seems to have done it all — from working with five-star hotels and gourmet restaurants to hospitals, airlines, mass catering and teaching in universities. Having worked in 13 different countries across the spectrum of the food and beverage industry, Gugler moved to Saudi Arabia in 2002 to join Saudi Arabian Airlines as their executive master chef. In 2009, he co-founded the Saudi Arabian Chefs Association.

“I knew I wanted to become a chef since I was two,” Gugler told Arab News. “My mother and grandmother were both fantastic cooks and that’s how I fell in love with this profession.”

He’s come a long way since he was two in his 35-year-long career, 17 of which he has spent in Saudi Arabia.

Now, as president of the World Association of Chefs Societies, he is tasked with the significant responsibility of leading more than 10 million members from across 110 countries.

“We organize worldwide cooking competitions and educational programs, as well as look into issues such as sustainability and cultural cooking. Our role is to build bridges between the commercial part and the consumers.”

With the head of such a prestigious global organization being based in Saudi Arabia, the local industry should be poised for growth, but, according to Gugler, there is plenty of room for improvement.

“Generally, the cooking and food standards here are not the best but with time and effort all this will be developed more and more,” he said.

Socio-political changes and the boost to the Saudi tourism sector will go a long way in developing the food and beverage industry, he believes.

“This will motivate and benefit the entire hospitality industry and raise the level, which is necessary. Stricter rules, regulations and food safety practices will encourage young and talented people in the industry to become better. It’s a golden opportunity,” Gugler said

His personal preference in food veers toward the local. “I like Arabic cuisine. The best kind is the cultural ethnic cuisine, the heritage of which can be traced back centuries. The local Hijazi cuisine is something no one should miss,” he said.