Saudi start-ups build a platform for innovation

Updated 09 March 2018
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Saudi start-ups build a platform for innovation

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is brimming with talent, creativity and the drive for innovation. Vision 2030, led by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, further corroborates the Kingdom’s support for aspiring youth and local businesses to thrive. These are six Saudi start-ups to look out for:

YOUPOSITIVE
YouPositive is an electronic platform founded by Zahra Al-Mohanna that connects users with their appropriate life-coach or counselor and offers affordable sessions online.
YouPositive helps those who wish to maintain anonymity.
Walaa Moathen, the CEO assistant, told Arab News: “It also helps counselors and life-coaches as without portals like us to introduce them, people rarely find out about the help they’re certified to offer.”
Sessions are an hour long, and prices differ depending on the sort of treatment the client requires and the life-coach; they cover career & income, parenting & children, relationships and self.

VIBES
Vibes offices is a fully equipped co-working space that aims to alter people’s perception of the workplace.
Creating an active community, Vibes has an activities calendar made to cater to those in its premises. It continuously works on events, workshops and training courses to help members connect with the right people.
Vibes has four plans to cater to freelancers, start-ups, designers, programmers, and those in need of a meeting space, with month-to-month rental agreements that give users a 24/7 space access.

THREE POINT ONE FOUR
Mohammed Al-Hashimi and Omar Abduljawad formed Pi, threepointonefour or 3.14, a team of passionate architects who work in a collaborative environment to provide users with smart spaces and experiences.
The team behind Pi celebrate visionary diversity by collaborating with others.
Pi Architects aims at improving the built environment in the region, by bringing together a variety of different thinkers and creators.

DOKKAN AFKAR
This Saudi-based e-commerce platform offers innovative gadgets and products in a flourishing market as it targets GCC online shoppers. It aims to provide local and international designers in all fields a program in which to display their products and creativity.
Ammar Wagnah, Abdullah Bajri and Mohammed Nasrallah started Dokkan Afkar to unite customers with quirky inspirational gizmos, from home and office appliances and accessories to the perfect gifts and brands for loved ones.
Dokkan Afkar want to bring in unique designers and collaborators to meet their customers’ expectations.

CURA
Wael Kabli and Mohammad Zekrallah created the first health care application in the Middle East that enables users to get in touch directly with certified, qualified doctors about medical cases. The user can use photos, videos and audio recordings to report their condition with their doctor of choice.
The Cura app creates a portal between patients and doctors through secure conversations and follow-up consultations, or, in dire cases, can direct them to see doctors in person.
Kabli told Arab News: “The idea for Cura formed around 2015 when my daughter needed to see a doctor around dusk for her ears. Of course, you can’t find any doctors around that time, and the nearest appointment would be during working hours. I decided to find a solution that makes doctors more accessible.”

PAYTABS
PayTabs offers clients a secure and convenient online B2B payment method. It enables businesses to accept online payments through the right technology for the current market.
It caters to corporations, growing SMEs and the e-commerce market. PayTabs’ clients can also share online invoices, create API plugins to integrate with their website and create an online store. The technology systems on offer help to prevent fraud.
PayTabs was founded by Abdulaziz Al-Jouf to offer users an opportunity to conduct and grow smart businesses on a local and international scale.


Sharqiah Season: What to expect this weekend?

Updated 43 min 17 sec ago
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Sharqiah Season: What to expect this weekend?

RIYADH: A bumper program of entertainment is being lined up in the Eastern Province for the biggest weekend yet of Sharqiah Season.

Concerts, a film festival, and a spectacular air race are just some of the events due to take place in the region as part of attractions for both Saudis and visitors to the Kingdom.

The action gets underway with the fifth annual Saudi Film Festival taking place from March 21 to 26 at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran.

Organized by the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts (SASCA) in Dammam, in partnership with Ithra, the movie fest will honor Saudi and Gulf cinema figures and include 10 training workshops and 10 seminars.

The festival aims to promote opportunities for Saudi talent in the film industry and flicks from the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman will be included among screenings.

All participating films will be shown during the event, and there will be a Golden Palm award for best documentary about a Saudi city and best poster (based on audience voting). A winners’ presentation will take place at the closing ceremony, after which the films will be screened at the Ithra center.

Tickets can be purchased via Ithra’s website, with options for single-day, four-day, and VIP passes.

Meanwhile, the long-awaited Red Bull Air Race demo comes to Dammam from March 21 to 23. The event, organized along with the General Sports Authority, will provide spectators with a warm-up taster for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship 2019 season finale, to be held in Saudi Arabia in November.

The air-racing competition, developed in 2003 and accredited by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), is billed as “the most advanced aerial challenge in existence.”

Using the fastest, most agile, high-performance race planes, pilots fly just meters from the ground and against the clock to complete an obstacle course full of twists and turns. The air spectacular takes off at Dammam Corniche between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Saturday will also see the highly anticipated Color Run come to the South Alkhobar Corniche. The 5-km dash involves participants being doused with colored powder at the end of every kilometer. Runners start dressed all in white and emerge at the end of the run covered in the colors of the General Entertainment Authority’s logo.

The untimed run takes place between 5 a.m. and noon and rest areas offering refreshments and entertainment will be available between stops.

For concert fans the Asharqiah Music Festival will feature performances by major names at Dammam’s Life Park. US rapper Pitbull and Canadian DJ Deadmau5 will take to the stage on March 21, and March 22 will witness performances by Egyptian vocalist Amr Diab, US-Moroccan rapper French Montana, and American singer Akon.

Lovers of regional music are not left out, with appearances by Assala Nasri and Mutrif Al-Mutrif on March 22, and Nabil Shuail and Hatem Al-Iraqi on March 23, all at the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Center in Al-Qatif.

Sharqiah Season, the first of 11 Saudi seasons of entertainment planned for 2019, will run until the end of the month with more than 83 different events scheduled across nine cities in the region.