How to eat healthy and stay fit during Ramadan

Updated 21 May 2019

How to eat healthy and stay fit during Ramadan

Ramadan in the Arab countries is associated with a number of customs and traditions. Food is an essential part of the holy month; however, many Ramadan foods and beverages are considered unhealthy and are said to be the cause of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. 

The following is a list of the most popular Ramadan foods, the number of calories they have, and the time required to burn them: 


• Luqaimat: 62 calories per piece burned by 11 minutes of walking

• Beef sambosa: 130 calories per piece burned by 24 minutes of walking.

• Tamees: 210 calories per quarter portion burned by 17 minutes of running.

• Three stuffed dates: 90 calories burned by 17 minutes of walking

• Small pizza: 320 calories per piece burned by 58 minutes of walking.

Health care specialists of Bupa Arabia’s Tebtom program highlighted the importance of reducing the negative impact of Ramadan foods on public health and the need to follow tips that help in eating different types of foods without feeling deprived and in a healthy manner. Here are their tips:


• Calculate calories and daily needs, and select foods and quantities accordingly.

• Replace fried foods with roasting or cooking in an electric kettle.

• Replace the sweeteners with honey. Fruit syrup can also be used as a sweetener.

• Replace soft drinks with natural juices.

• Add natural fruits to your diet instead of other sweets.


Ascott spearheads Saudi recruitment drive

Updated 18 June 2019

Ascott spearheads Saudi recruitment drive

The Ascott Limited is developing its training program across the group’s properties in Jeddah, whereby high-achieving Saudi nationals are trained in the array of skills needed to succeed in top managerial positions within the Kingdom’s burgeoning hospitality sector. 

To be eligible to join Ascott’s Saudi Graduate Program, Saudi graduates must have at least a bachelor’s degree with honors and be willing to learn and develop their career within an international group. The program comprises theory and practical training across all departments and is followed by overseas training in one of Ascott’s properties.

“We’re in the midst of an exciting period of growth in Saudi Arabia,” said Vincent Miccolis, Ascott’s regional GM for the Middle East, Africa, Turkey and India. “The Kingdom’s tourism industry is growing at an exponential rate and is creating many new jobs within the hospitality sector. We launched Ascott’s Saudi Graduate Program in line with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage to promote, nurture and develop this valuable homegrown pool of young talent and offer successful individuals a dynamic career path within the Ascott group.

“In just a short amount of time the program has made a significant impact. Our turnover ratio of Saudi colleagues has fallen from 58 percent in 2016 to less than 15 percent to date in 2019; staff loyalty has been positively affected and guest satisfaction levels have increased. What’s more, Ascott Sari Jeddah was recently named as Saudi Arabia’s Leading Serviced Apartments 2019 for the second consecutive year in the annual World Travel Awards.

“We are also proud to announce that one of our current trainees who will shortly take on the running of a property, is female. A key element of Saudi Vision 2030 is job diversification and women’s access to the employment market, and at Ascott we are committed to playing an active role in making this a reality,” added Miccolis.

From on-the-job training in housekeeping, handling reservations, checking-in and checking-out procedures and managing VIP guests, Ascott’s graduates must master the day-to-day facets of how to run an international-standard serviced residence, in addition to behind-the-scenes essentials such as HR, sales and marketing, finance and procurement. 

While the Saudi Graduate Program is currently available only within Ascott’s Jeddah cluster of properties, plans are in the pipeline to roll out the scheme to all of the group’s residences in the Kingdom, including Riyadh, Alkhobar and Abha.

Ascott’s Jeddah properties include Ascott Tahlia Jeddah, Ascott Sari Jeddah, Citadines Al-Salamah Jeddah and Spectrums Residence Jeddah.

The Ascott Limited is a Singapore company that has grown to be one of the leading international lodging owner-operators. It has more than 58,000 operating units in key cities of the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as over 42,000 units, which are under development, making a total of more than 100,000 units in over 660 properties.