Entertainment authority fires up 45 events for mid-year holiday in Saudi Arabia

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Jeddah Food Festival
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Al-Jouf Olive Festival
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Buraidah Spring Festival
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Honey Festival in Asir
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King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival
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Cultural Park Festival in Makkah
Updated 13 January 2018
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Entertainment authority fires up 45 events for mid-year holiday in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The General Entertainment Authority (GEA) has launched a campaign for the mid-year school holiday under the theme “Don’t think of traveling,” providing 45 diverse events in 18 cities across the Kingdom running from Jan.11 to 20.
“Do not miss the international and local events and shows we have prepared for you and for your whole family,” the GEA wrote on its official Twitter account. “To find out more, just visit the entertainment calendar site and discover the amazing events coming to your city.”
In a press conference at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Jan. 9, the secretary-general of the chamber, Hassan bin Ibrahim Dahlan, said: “Today there is no reason for residents to travel abroad during the vacation as the GEA (is offering) a complete entertainment program.”
One of the GEA’s main aims is to provide more recreational options for the Kingdom’s residents, especially during seasonal holidays, in order to help build Saudi’s entertainment and tourism industries.
Events on the entertainment calendar for the mid-year holiday include plays, edutainment events and concerts, particularly in major cities including Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.
Jeddah’s new Waterfront Corniche will host “Entertainment Avenue” between Jan. 11 and 20 while the international color-and-light show, “Luminarium,” known as the World of Glowing Colors — the first of its kind in the Kingdom — was launched on Jan. 10 and will continue until Jan. 20 in Raibal Events Land.
“Sharqeya Dot Fest” will be held in Khobar from Jan. 11 to 17 and will feature interactive entertainment and challenging competitions, hosted by experienced performers.
The international circus, “Cirkopolis,” is coming to Dhahran Mall between Jan. 11 and 13, while the comedy-horror play “The Haunted House”, starring Kuwaiti actor Abdul Aziz Al-Musallam, will be staged at the King Abdullah Cultural Center in Jubail Industrial City on the same days.
Kid-friendly events include “Balloons Talk,” at the King Fahd Cultural Center from Jan. 11 to 14; a “Care Bears” show at Al-Rashed Mall in Ahsa from Jan. 11-17; and a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” show at Salma Mall in Hail running from Jan. 11-16. The Eastern Provinces will also host “Fun Days Carnival” next to the Al Gosaibi Hotel in Khobar for a week, starting Jan. 13.
In Jazan, the 10th Winter Festival starts at King Faisal Sports City tomorrow with an operetta.
The calendar also includes a concert by the acclaimed Saudi singer Mohammed Abdo, and another a collaborative performance from Abadi Al-Jawhar — known as ‘The Octopus of the Oud’ — and singer and oud player Rabeh Saqr.


Meet Cherine Magrabi, a talented businesswoman and inspiration to young designers

Updated 18 July 2018
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Meet Cherine Magrabi, a talented businesswoman and inspiration to young designers

  • Born and brought up in Saudi Arabia, Cherine Magrabi is also the curator and founder of House of Today in Beirut, a non-profit organization that helps to launch Lebanese designers onto the global scene
  • She says she is "happy to witness my country taking real steps toward long-overdue social reform"

JEDDAH: Cherine Magrabi began as a store manager and worked her way up to become creative and communications director at Magrabi Optical, a well-known family brand in the Middle East.

Born and brought up in Saudi Arabia, Magrabi is also the curator and founder of House of Today in Beirut, a non-profit organization that helps to launch Lebanese designers onto the global scene.

“I was born in Jeddah and moved at the age of 16 to Switzerland for schooling with four of my best friends. I keep having fine memories related to my life in Jeddah ... my father used to take me fishing in the Red Sea.”

She said: “Moving to Switzerland was a good preparation for life.” While there, she felt it was important to reflect a good image as a Saudi, while adjusting to her new environment and learning to do things by herself for the first time.

“It was also a good preparation for college, and I don’t think I would’ve done it any other way,” she added.

Magrabi went to study at Chelsea College of Art in London, where she met her future husband. After they married they moved to Beirut in 2002 and she started working for Magrabi Optical.

“We were just opening our first store in the Lebanese market and my brother asked me to help set it up and manage it.”

She worked as a store manager, which helped her to understand the family business and learn about their customers’ needs. “It gave me the opportunity to learn from the store level, understanding our weaknesses and opportunities directly from the market,” she said. “Today, as creative and communications director at Magrabi, I relate to what’s really happening on the ground.” 

She made a significant stamp on the firm when it came to rebranding the company, changing its logo, and reworking the display and merchandising. The rebranding stressed how the company’s products marry fashion and medical expertise. The company’s marketing campaign focuses on empowering women, a move which was led by her vision.

The eyewear business inspired her to found House of Today in 2012. She said: “I was always in the search for great designers in Beirut and faced difficulties in reaching out to them. I saw great potential in Lebanon, but there was no supporting system to introduce them to the world. It happened quite organically that I decided to showcase their work as an active member of the art scene.” 

She works closely with designers. House of Today identifies, nurtures, mentors, curates and showcases local Lebanese designers and to help them raise their profile. It also gives promising young designers — between the ages of 17 and 34 — a chance to study product design at a university in Lebanon or abroad under its scholarship program.

She said: “We are helping designers to develop their own business plan, connecting them to galleries and in creating sustainable images for themselves while supporting the next generation of designers through our scholarship program.” 

Every two years, HoT curates an exhibition showcasing the collaboration between experts and emerging designers. So far four exhibitions have been organized, including at Athr Gallery, the Jeddah art gallery, in 2015. Exhibitions aim to present a stellar collection highlighting the best work of young Lebanese designers. 

Commenting on the reform in Saudi Arabia, she said: “I’m happy to witness my country taking real steps toward long-overdue social reform. I think there would be a grace period with people waiting to see the true results of the ongoing changes.”