Saudi entrepreneurs aim to boost quality of life

The event gave the startups a chance to introduce themselves and the services they offer to potential customers before they launch. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 12 January 2019
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Saudi entrepreneurs aim to boost quality of life

  • 17 Saudi startups showcased in Makkah event

MAKKAH: Seventeen startup businesses, the development of which was supported by Saudi investment company Wadi Makkah’s Nomo incubator, were introduced to the public this week during a showcase titled Rabi’ Al-Wadi (The Valley’s Spring).
Each startup organized various activities during the event, which took place on Jan. 9 and 10, reflecting the services they offer, many of which are aimed at families and improving social responsibility. These included workshops, competitions, consultations, lectures and bazaars.
One of the workshops, titled “Be Your Own Beauty Consultant,” offered women between the ages of 18 and 50 advice on choosing the right outfit to achieve the perfect look and introduced them to techniques for successful shopping and closet arrangement. “The Little Robot” workshop, meanwhile, introduced children between the ages of 5 and 14 to robotics. They were shown how to assemble a robot and then given the chance to compete in a robot building contest.
Other activities included support and advice sessions for mothers about raising children, and an introduction to the mechanisms and benefits of the “Economy of Communion,” an international initiative that aims to tackle social problems by creating businesses designed to become integral parts of their communities.
Dr. Talal Al-Maghribi, the acting CEO of Wadi Makkah, said that the event is designed to help startups incubated by Nomo begin to make a lasting contribution to society and, through the workshops and activities presented by qualified professionals, educate people about ways in which they can improve their lifestyles.
“Seventeen of the startups of Wadi Makkah’s incubator have not yet entered the market and will stay in the incubator for 10 more days,” said Al-Maghribi. “The work of some of these startups is focused on community leadership, while others provide Hajj and Umrah services, in addition to consulting firms for workshops, and auto parts.”
He added that the event gave the startups a chance to introduce themselves and the services they offer to potential customers before they launch.
Wadi Makkah begins an incubator program every six months to develop new businesses, Al-Maghribi said, not all of which make it to the market. Of those that do, some have enjoyed remarkable growth, he added.
The successfully launched businesses include one that provides social media analysis services to ministries, and another that analyzes congestion at Saudi airports. Some have also attracted investment from international companies.


Jeddah to host first global village in Saudi Arabia

The marketing plan of the village has been put in place to target private and international schools to ensure high attendance. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 January 2019
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Jeddah to host first global village in Saudi Arabia

  • “Participants from some 50 countries have so far confirmed their interest in taking part in the festival, which will be held on an area of more than 45,000 square meters,” Suzan Eskander said

JEDDAH: For the first time in Saudi Arabia, Jeddah will host a multicultural festival that takes visitors on a virtual tour of 50 countries.
The global village will be set up inside Atallah Happy Land Park along the city’s famous waterfront every day from 5 p.m. to midnight between Feb. 28 and March 29.
The event is one of many aiming to enhance tourism, as well as the local economy.
Suzan Eskander, director-general of International Image, the organizing company, told Arab News that the village is expected to attract 1 million visitors.
“Participants from some 50 countries have so far confirmed their interest in taking part in the festival, which will be held on an area of more than 45,000 square meters,” she said.
“There will be pavilions for participants from five Gulf Cooperation Council states, 10 Arab countries, 18 African countries, 10 European countries and four countries from the Americas.”
She added that folkloric dances would be performed by bands from each country.
“Performers will be dressed in traditional costumes,” she said. “Visitors can also enjoy dishes and traditional products from different countries.”
Eskander also said paintings portraying heritage and culture in the different countries would be on display.
“In addition, we are hopeful that the children’s zone will wow young visitors,” she said. “Little guests can develop their skills in drawing and games, as well as play zones.”
Eskander said the village was timed to coincide with the city’s good weather season, adding that a marketing plan has been put in place to target private and international schools to ensure high attendance. Eskander expressed her gratitude to the General Entertainment Authority for their continued support and cooperation.
“They have not only provided us instructions for obtaining the festival’s license, but are still following up to ensure that everything is going smoothly,” she said.