Fitness awareness growing among Saudis: Experts

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


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of the Qiddiya Project

Updated 24 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of the Qiddiya Project

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize on Wednesday the launch of the “Qiddiya” Project which is the new entertainment, sports and cultural destination in the Kingdom.
The project will be built in Al-Giddiya area, some 40 km west of the capital, Riyadh.
The foundation stone ceremony of will be attended by a host of local and international officials, as well as a number of decision-makers, major investors and representatives of the regional and international companies, marking the launch of the project’s formal infrastructure. The first phase will be completed by 2022.
In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Dr. Fahd bin Abdullah Tounsi, Secretary General of the Foundation Council of the Qiddiya Project of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) said that the inauguration of this vital project is a real translation of the aspirations of the Kingdom’s wise leadership and its relentless efforts to develop mega projects that would contribute effectively to achieve many direct and indirect economic returns, and to advance sustainable development for the benefit of the homeland and the citizen, in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
“About two-thirds of the Kingdom’s population is under the age of 35. There is a great need for Qiddiya Project to provide them with entertainment. The project will save about $30 billion, which will be used to develop the domestic economy and create new job opportunities for Saudi youths,” he added.
For his part, Michael Reininger, Chief Executive of Qiddiya, said, “we are delighted to be a key contributor to boost the Kingdom’s economic development and investment, not only for the entertainment industry but also to projects that will develop the capabilities the young Saudi people.”