‘Shopping one of top three favorite activities’ for Saudi visitors to UK

The UK is home to some of the world’s most innovative designers. (AN photos by Bashear Saleh)
Updated 28 November 2018
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‘Shopping one of top three favorite activities’ for Saudi visitors to UK

  • British designers showcase latest winter collections in Riyadh
  • We hope that UK brands and partnerships can continue to grow in the retail market in Saudi Arabia, says UK envoy

RIYADH: There is great demand for shopping among Saudi tourists in the UK, Simon Collis, the British ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said at an event in Riyadh on Tuesday. 

“We know that shopping in the UK is one of the top three favorite activities for Saudis when they visit the country,” Collis said. “Many of these brands are also available in Saudi Arabia and we hope that UK brands and partnerships can continue to grow in the retail market in Saudi Arabia.”

The UK Department for International Trade contributed to the event by showcasing the autumn/winter collections of British fashion brands Karen Millen, Austin Reed, Cath Kidston, Dune London and Sleek Makeup.

Collis said that the UK fashion industry was one of the most vibrant and creative business sectors with a universal appeal.

“London Fashion Week, which featured over 80 designers and 100 brands, is a testament to the fact that the UK is home to some of the world’s most innovative designers,” he said.

During the event in the ambassador’s residence garden, Sameerah Rawaha, from Karen Millen, talked about the brand in Saudi Arabia. “Karen Millen has been in Saudi Arabia for almost 18 years, and it was considered the first international premium brand in Saudi,” she said. 

Rawaha presented the latest autumn/winter collection from Karen Millen during the event, including the evening wear collection.

The Austin Reed and Cath Kidston brands were also represented. Austin Reed was established in the UK in 1900 and the brand was launched in Saudi Arabia in 2014.

“Since then the journey has been very long and challenging, but what I have seen is that there is no difference between fashion in the UK and in Saudi Arabia,” a representative for the brand said. 

Kim Steel, from Sleek Makeup, said: “It is a UK brand which has been around since 1985 and over time the brand has developed and evolved. The brand (has) catered for darker color skins; it has really helped in catering to Middle Eastern skin shades. We are all about liveliness and creativity, there are no boundaries to makeup.”


Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

Updated 52 min 56 sec ago
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Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

  • 40 works by Edvard Munch go on display for first time in Middle East

DHAHRAN: A dynamic Saudi cultural center is to showcase the works of one of the world’s most famous painters in an exhibition-first for the Middle East.

Forty pieces by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, best known for his iconic “The Scream” painting, will go on public display at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).

The special exhibition, titled “Landscapes of the Soul,” is the latest in a series of high-profile cultural events to be staged at the showpiece exhibition in Dhahran.

Developed by Saudi Aramco with the aim of stimulating knowledge, creativity and cross-cultural engagement, Ithra’s theater, museum, exhibition hall and art gallery complex forms a key part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan to promote culture and entertainment.

The Munch exhibition, which runs until Sept. 3, portrays the artist’s personal life experiences of misery, love, despair, loneliness and reflections of the soul, through his distinctive works.

“It is such an honor to host and introduce to Saudi Arabia, and indeed, the Middle East, the work of the world-renowned artist Edvard Munch,” Rania Biltagi, Ithra’s head of communications and partnership, told Arab News.

Munch’s (1863-1944) original exhibition has been located in Oslo, Norway since 1963, and the Saudi display is being staged in Ithra’s Great Hall in partnership with the Munch Museum in Norway.

As well as a lithograph version of his most famous painting “The Scream,” other works on show will include “Summer Night. The Voice,” 1894, “Self-Portrait,” 1895, and “The Sick Child,” 1896.

“A moment that stood out from the opening was when speaking to a couple visiting the exhibit, they mentioned that they were Norwegian and working in Saudi,” Biltagi said. “They explained that they had never had the chance to visit the Munch Museum in their homeland and what an unexpected pleasure it was to be able to see Munch’s work in Saudi.”

Biltagi added that the event epitomized the aim of Ithra in providing a platform to bring together cultures as well as people.

The center, featured in Time magazine’s list of the world’s top 100 places to visit, is a pioneer on the Kingdom’s culture and arts scene, organizing a variety of events, performances, programs and experiences to suit all ages and backgrounds. Previous exhibitions have included a focus on Saudi contemporary art, Leonardo da Vinci, and installations symbolizing creativity and innovation.