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.”


TheFace: Deena Al-Faris, founder of Qamrah fashion brand

Deena Al-Faris (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 19 July 2018
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TheFace: Deena Al-Faris, founder of Qamrah fashion brand

  • My story began with a loving and inspirational entrepreneur father who believed in me, and nourished my ambitions through the provision of education and unique experiences

Being a co-founder of the first Saudi caviar farm was not enough. I launched my Qamrah fashion brand to reach out to women and help them rise up with self-confidence.

My story began with a loving and inspirational entrepreneur father who believed in me, and nourished my ambitions through the provision of education and unique experiences.

Like most ambitious women, I wanted to be everything at the same time. I studied business and went on to earn a master’s degree in international law, majoring in women’s rights. I am now married to a supportive, loving husband and blessed with two sons.

At a young age, I co-founded the Al-Faris sturgeon fish farm and Caviar Court factory. I proved that women can break the glass ceiling in a male-dominated field, and earned a chief executive position during a time when that was not as acceptable as it is now.

One of the most significant challenges I faced was to cross the trading borders and export Saudi caviar to Russia. Overcoming international bureaucracies and coming up with a persuasive strategy is a unique experience that I shall never forget. It has certainly put us on the map.

A few years ago, I realized I needed to move out of my comfort zone and do more with my true passion, focusing on elevating the aspirations and executive presence of women. So, I created a platform and fashion brand through Qamrah World to empower women to find their purpose and pursue their dreams.

I remind myself and all women to own our aspirations, believe in our power to live up to our potential with confidence, and enjoy the purposeful world. We are ready to embrace ambition.