AboutHer.com lists top 50 Saudi female athletes

Updated 28 November 2018
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AboutHer.com lists top 50 Saudi female athletes

Last year, as part of Saudi Arabia’s drive to encourage more female participation in sports and develop a more inclusive sports environment in the country, the Kingdom appointed Princess Reema bint Bandar to head the Saudi Federation for Community Sports (SFCS), making her the first woman in the Kingdom to take on such an important role. Since then, Saudi Arabia has been witnessing the rise of the female athlete in all areas, from football to motorcar racing, kickboxing to scuba diving. To mark this transformative period in Saudi Arabia’s history, particularly in the field of sports, lifestyle portal AboutHer.com has put together a list of top Saudi female athletes from across the Kingdom. 

The top 50 list, which celebrates the Kingdom’s most inspiring female sports figures, has been compiled by a panel of experts in the field. It comprises a wide range of Saudi female role models such as: Norah Almarri, the first taekwondo athlete to represent Saudi Arabia in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta; Kariman Abuljadayel, a sprinter who became the first Saudi woman to compete in the 100-meter race at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Mariam Fardous, the first Arab woman and third woman in the world to dive at the North Pole.

The decision — and consequent initiatives being taken — to actively integrate Saudi women into sports has been credited to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his push to realize the objectives set under Vision 2030, an ambitious plan that aims to transform the Kingdom, a key part of which involves reforms targeted toward improving the lives of women. 

Following the crown prince’s ascension to power last year, Saudi Arabia has assigned women to top leadership positions, reformed different facets of its legal structure to give women more rights, created opportunities across various sectors for women, and is transforming its public sphere to be more accommodating to women. In 2017, Saudi Arabia allowed female fans to attend sports event in public stadiums for the first time, underscoring the country’s wider efforts to grant women more public visibility. 


MCIT, Huawei launch Kingdom’s first IoT Lab

Updated 10 December 2018
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MCIT, Huawei launch Kingdom’s first IoT Lab

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and Huawei have announced the launch of the Kingdom’s first Internet of Things (IoT) lab and a fund of $1 million to support Saudi entrepreneurs. The announcement was made during the Huawei Day 2018 event held at The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh.

The event was attended by Dr. Sulaiman Mirdad, minister adviser for IT industry development; Dennis Zhang, CEO of Huawei Saudi Arabia; and other representatives, including senior government officials, IT leaders and professionals.

The new lab will be located at Huawei’s innovation center in Riyadh and aims to provide entrepreneurs with a platform to innovate IoT applications, which will directly target the most important vertical sectors to the Kingdom.

This joint initiative between MCIT and Huawei is expected to boost the development of products and applications and promote an open and participatory IoT ecosystem. The new IoT lab is the first such innovation and development joint lab in Saudi Arabia. 

Under this cooperation, Huawei has also made available $1 million of funding to developers to accelerate the adoption of IoT in the Kingdom.

IoT development and innovation have transformed traditional industries and daily life. As hundreds of millions of IoT devices will be used for innovative services, the technology has a key role to play in digitalization across industries. Yet currently there is not much IoT adoption in Saudi Arabia, and there is a shortage in local skills and funding necessary to drive the sector forward. The lab is intended to bridge this gap, and ultimately to drive forward the Kingdom’s digital transformation forward and assist the leadership in achieving their vision of building a knowledge economy, in line with Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Plan 2020.

Dr. Ahmed Altheneyan, deputy minister for technology and digital capacities at MCIT, said: “We are proud to launch the Kingdom’s first IoT lab and fund with our partner Huawei, believing as we do that this initiative will help to promote ICT innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, accelerate the adoption of emerging technology within the Kingdom, and support in developing the skillset and technology necessary to enable our vision and national transformation plan.”

Huawei Saudi Arabia CEO Zhang said: “Saudi Vision 2030 calls for the development of the Kingdom into an innovative and globally competitive economy through digital transformation, and our aim at Huawei is to support the success of this vision. 

We are committed to open innovation and collaboration to promote the IoT sector here in Saudi Arabia and we see the launch of this lab as another milestone in our strategic partnership with MCIT.”