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.


Sharqiah Season: What to expect this weekend?

Updated 21 March 2019
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Sharqiah Season: What to expect this weekend?

RIYADH: A bumper program of entertainment is being lined up in the Eastern Province for the biggest weekend yet of Sharqiah Season.

Concerts, a film festival, and a spectacular air race are just some of the events due to take place in the region as part of attractions for both Saudis and visitors to the Kingdom.

The action gets underway with the fifth annual Saudi Film Festival taking place from March 21 to 26 at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran.

Organized by the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts (SASCA) in Dammam, in partnership with Ithra, the movie fest will honor Saudi and Gulf cinema figures and include 10 training workshops and 10 seminars.

The festival aims to promote opportunities for Saudi talent in the film industry and flicks from the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman will be included among screenings.

All participating films will be shown during the event, and there will be a Golden Palm award for best documentary about a Saudi city and best poster (based on audience voting). A winners’ presentation will take place at the closing ceremony, after which the films will be screened at the Ithra center.

Tickets can be purchased via Ithra’s website, with options for single-day, four-day, and VIP passes.

Meanwhile, the long-awaited Red Bull Air Race demo comes to Dammam from March 21 to 23. The event, organized along with the General Sports Authority, will provide spectators with a warm-up taster for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship 2019 season finale, to be held in Saudi Arabia in November.

The air-racing competition, developed in 2003 and accredited by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), is billed as “the most advanced aerial challenge in existence.”

Using the fastest, most agile, high-performance race planes, pilots fly just meters from the ground and against the clock to complete an obstacle course full of twists and turns. The air spectacular takes off at Dammam Corniche between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Saturday will also see the highly anticipated Color Run come to the South Alkhobar Corniche. The 5-km dash involves participants being doused with colored powder at the end of every kilometer. Runners start dressed all in white and emerge at the end of the run covered in the colors of the General Entertainment Authority’s logo.

The untimed run takes place between 5 a.m. and noon and rest areas offering refreshments and entertainment will be available between stops.

For concert fans the Asharqiah Music Festival will feature performances by major names at Dammam’s Life Park. US rapper Pitbull and Canadian DJ Deadmau5 will take to the stage on March 21, and March 22 will witness performances by Egyptian vocalist Amr Diab, US-Moroccan rapper French Montana, and American singer Akon.

Lovers of regional music are not left out, with appearances by Assala Nasri and Mutrif Al-Mutrif on March 22, and Nabil Shuail and Hatem Al-Iraqi on March 23, all at the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Center in Al-Qatif.

Sharqiah Season, the first of 11 Saudi seasons of entertainment planned for 2019, will run until the end of the month with more than 83 different events scheduled across nine cities in the region.