Saudi Arabia to start granting female gym licenses this month

Princess Reema bint Bandar
Updated 12 February 2017
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Saudi Arabia to start granting female gym licenses this month

RIYADH: Licenses will be granted for women’s gyms by the end of February, Princess Reema bint Bandar, vice president for women’s affairs at the General Authority of Sports, told local daily Okaz.
A target is in place to open gyms in every district and neighborhood, it was reported.
Three ministries are set to take part in this process, including the labor, rural affairs and commerce ministries.
Licenses will not be issued for gyms that offer competitive activities, such as football, volleyball, basketball and tennis. The focus will instead be on techniques that contribute to weight loss and fitness, such as swimming, running and bodybuilding.
Workshops and seminars will be held within two months, in order to motivate women to invest in gyms.
As for the high cost of women’s gyms, the authority is working on finding solutions through involving entrepreneurs in what is known as “micro-business.”
Social rejection of women’s sports can be avoided through explaining the enormous benefits of sports for overall health, according to the princess.
“It is not my role to convince the society, but my role is limited to opening the doors for our girls to live a healthy lifestyle away from diseases that result from obesity and lack of movement.”


FaceOf: Fahad bin Sulaiman Altekhaifi, president of the General Authority for Statistics 

Updated 22 August 2018
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FaceOf: Fahad bin Sulaiman Altekhaifi, president of the General Authority for Statistics 

Fahad bin Sulaiman Altekhaifi has been the president of the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) since his appointment to the post in May 2016.

On Monday GASTAT announced this year’s Hajj statistics, revealing detailed information on the number of pilgrims (which amounted to 2,371,675) performing Hajj this year, their genders, nationalities and whether they arrived through air, land or seaports.

The president conveyed his gratitude to all government and security entities that helped the authority to collect data, and praised the 450 GASTAT researchers who worked to compile the information and deliver it to the public.

He said that the collected data would help facilitate better experiences and easier pilgrimages for future programs, and better services for pilgrims — from social to health, and transportation to security and food.

Altekhaifi received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from King Saud University in 1992, a master’s degree in statistics from Colorado State University in 1996, and his applied statistics and research methodology Ph.D. from the University of Northern Colorado in 2001.

He worked as a manager of a financial program at the Institute of Public Administration in Riyadh from 1993 to 2005. For two years after that, he was a project director at the EIS department in Zuhair Fayez Partnership Consultants.

In 2007, Altekhaifi was appointed a manager of the research department at the Capital Market Authority, before becoming assistant deputy minister for development in November 2011. 

In June 2015, he was the director general of the Central Department of Statistics and Information. He served as the acting president of GASTAT in February 2016, before being appointed president on May 2016.