Mobile devices replace watching TV among Kingdom’s families

Updated 13 November 2012
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Mobile devices replace watching TV among Kingdom’s families

JEDDAH: Television is one of the major pass-times in all homes, but this trend is changing slowly as the younger generation spends more time on smart phones, or iPads, in the Kingdom.
Smart phones with Internet access are penetrating youngster’s lives and this impacts the way youth in Saudi Arabia spends their leisure time.
Arab News interviews revealed that Saudi Arabia is leading in choosing smart phones, over television, for entertainment purposes. Smart phones, iPads and other mobile devices are changing the way we watch television, as users can now, through the Internet watch anything at anytime.
“Watching television is still the major leisure activity for the youth, taking up close to three hours every day. But it is losing ground to mobile devices,” said Professor Adnan, a university researcher.
Although calling, texting and e-mailing are standard activities on any mobile device, users in Saudi Arabia are ready to do more. The age group between 12 and 34 years is the largest segment to use the smart phones in the country.
Saud Al-Rub said, “Along with my children I have come across many youngsters, who would rather give up the TV than their mobile phones.”
Mobile ownership is catching on at an early age in Saudi Arabia. Children as young as 12 years old can be seen with an iPhone, BlackBerry or tablet. These teenagers are highly addicted to smart phones. Social networking, listening to music, downloading programs from application stores, finding information on where to hang out with friends and playing online games are among their top activities. Young people still watch the same TV shows, but they are streaming them on mobile devices to a greater degree.
Saher, a university graduate from King Abdulaziz University said “TV channels simply don’t allow me to watch shows when they are first on air. I watch the shows I like on YouTube or via the official channel website on my phone or iPad while doing other things. I hardly know anyone who sits down only to watch TV; the young generation is good at multi tasking.” Ahmed, CEO of a perfume retailing company said, “We choose to advertise the company’s products online through social networking channels. As most of the youngsters access the web daily through their mobile, they prefer to visit Facebook and social media pages of companies rather than the website for information on the company and its products.”
Echoing to this issue, it is noticed that there has been a dip in overall youth viewership. They are considered as the group to be doing and trying other things like using their easy available smart phones to keep themselves update. Most companies are getting digitalized to attract the young consumers.
Majority of them have adopted more digital and online video in their advertising plans, considering it as a place to reconnect with the young audience that is leaving television.
Mahek Khan, a teacher said, “My son of 12 years old turns on an iPad to watch cartoons in his free time which he missed while studying.”


Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

The end of the driving ban is expected to help bring an economic windfall for Saudi women. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 June 2018
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Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

  • The historic move is a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Saudi Arabia, says businesswoman
  • A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market

The end of the driving ban will boost women’s financial power and allow them to play a bigger role in economic and social diversification in line with Vision 2030, prominent businesswomen said on Friday.

Hind Khalid Al-Zahid was the first Saudi woman designated as an executive director — for Dammam Airport Company — and also heads the Businesswomen Center at the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

She sees the historic move as a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Kingdom.

“Women being allowed to drive is very important; of course this will help a lot in sustainable development as the lifting of the ban on women driving came as a wonderful opportunity to increase women’s participation in the workforce,” she told Arab News on Friday, ahead of the end of the ban on Sunday.

She added that women in the job market are under-represented; they make up to 22 percent of the national workforce of about six million according to official estimates. Lifting the ban will help to take women’s representation in the workforce to 30 percent by 2030, she said.

“This is not just the right thing to do for women’s emancipation, but also an essential step in economic and social development as part of the reforms,” she said.

She said that there were different obstacles in increasing women’s participation in the workforce and other productive activities, and the driving ban was one of them. It was a strategic issue that needed to be addressed on a priority basis. With the issue resolved, it would help immensely in giving Saudi women better representation as they would help to diversify the Saudi economy and society.

She said that women could contribute hugely to the workforce and labor market as half of Saudi human resources were female, and unless allowed to excel in different sectors it would not be possible to do better, mainly because of restricted mobility.

A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market.

Nouf Ibrahim, a businesswoman in Riyadh, said: “It will surely boost female economic participation and help increase women’s representation in the workforce immensely. It will also help to reduce the overall national unemployment rate as most of the unemployed are women and many of them are eligible as university graduates.”

She echoed the opinion that the move would help to bring an economic windfall for Saudi women, making it easier for them to work and do business, and thus play a bigger and better role that would help economic and social diversification in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

“Being able to drive from Sunday onwards after the ban is lifted will be a wonderful experience. Earlier we were dependent on a male family member and house driver to take us to workplace, to the shopping center, school or other required places for some work, now we can drive and that will allow active participation in productive work,” Sulafa Hakami, a Saudi woman working as the digital communication manager with an American MNC in Riyadh, told Arab News.

“Saudi women can now share effectively the bigger and better responsibilities,” she said.