Fitness awareness growing among Saudis: Experts

Bassma Mukhtar says most people are now aware about the benefits of a workout.
Updated 07 April 2018

Fitness awareness growing among Saudis: Experts

JEDDAH: Saudis are much more conscious about their health than they used to be, and are taking life-changing steps in that regard, according to fitness experts in the Kingdom.
“The fitness industry has expanded a lot in Saudi Arabia, where most people now are aware about the benefits of a workout on their health,” Bassma Mukhtar, 22, who is certified with the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) as a personal trainer, told Arab News.
“More females are rejecting the myth that sports are bad for women, and are joining gyms to get in shape,” she added.
“Saudis are now exposed to fitness through events, campaigns, social media and many more outlets.”
Fitness is not always about having to stick to a strict diet, or working out all week with no rest days, Mukhtar said.
“Fitness is about finding what helps you lose the weight of a stressful day, or challenging yourself to new limits.”
Mukhtar sees it as her mission to help women in the Kingdom turn their lives around. Sometimes people need a push to discover what they are capable of, “and when they do, it becomes a habit for them,” she said.
Reham Kamal, 31, an athlete and founder of the RK Fit workout studio in Jeddah, also sees a rise in fitness awareness among Saudis.
“I’m so proud of that because two years ago, many ladies I trained focused only on their body shape, but now it’s more about how they see it as their lifestyle,” Kamal told Arab News.
She advises people to try various sports, saying: “You’ll find one that you’ll enjoy for the rest of your life.”
Kamal stressed the importance of being health-conscious, adding: “Prevention is better than cure.”

UAE celebrates Saudi National Day

Updated 17 min 39 sec ago

UAE celebrates Saudi National Day

DUBAI: The celebratory mood to mark Saudi Arabia’s 88th National Day has reached as far as New York, with Nasdaq displaying images of the Kingdom’s rulers at its tower on Times Square in New York while Dubai carrier Emirates is pulling out all the stops to join in the festivities.

The Dubai airline operated a special one-off A380 service, known as EK 813 and EK 814, on Sunday to the capital city of Riyadh, touching down at King Khalid International Airport at 3:30pm. The return flight was scheduled to depart at 6:50pm.

A YouTube video from Emirates also showed crew handing out scarves embroidered with the countries’ flags, as well as white roses, to passengers while boarding the A380 aircraft.


Nasdaq Dubai, the UAE-based operations of the New York equities exchange, posted: “Best wishes from #NasdaqDubai to #SaudiArabia on the occasion of the 88th National day” in its Twitter account, along with photos containing images of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed being projected on a huge electronic billboard. A separate tweet also showed an 11-second video with the merged UAE and Saudi Arabian flags fluttering on the billboard.



Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, will be illuminated in the national flag of Saudi Arabia, in a display of friendship between the UAE and its Gulf neighbor.

In the UAE’s capital, the General Command of Abu Dhabi Police decorated 88 of their cars – one for every year being celebrated – with the flags of Saudi Arabia and the UAE and the words “Together Forever.”

Meanwhile, Etihad Airways’ Wesam Sameer Al-Najjar, the only Saudi National A380 pilot in the world, together with Captain Ahmed Almalood from the UAE, flew the A380 Year of Zayed aircraft to Jeddah for a special one-off service to mark the event.