30 anti-obesity gyms to open soon

Updated 30 December 2014
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30 anti-obesity gyms to open soon

A local businessman plans to open 30 gyms across the Kingdom to help fight the country’s obesity epidemic.
Makarem Sobhi Batterjee, previous coach of the Kingdom’s youth team, who heads Shababco Lifestyle Co., said that the government should also assist in setting up gyms to counter this growing trend.
He said that America and Germany are the two countries on their continents that have the greatest levels of obesity. The Kingdom is the main Arab country afflicted with this problem, mostly affecting women, which could create a great deal of problems for individuals and society as a whole.
Batterjee said more children are suffering from obesity than ever before, and urged parents to educate their offspring about proper eating and exercising.
“This problem is mainly caused by fast food and the high amounts of fat, soda drinks and chips that are consumed. In addition people are not involved in sports.” He is also considering opening up gyms for children.
According to reports, 68 percent of Saudi men and women are overweight. Around 18.3 percent of Saudis suffer from diabetes, which is mainly caused by obesity and genetic factors. These rates are more alarming in a young society where 75 percent of citizens are under 21 years of age. Studies found that 18 percent of the Kingdom’s children suffer from obesity, 24 percent of men and 37 percent of women.
Around 67.7 percent of Saudis do not move enough to burn their daily intake of calories. Obesity is the main cause of high blood pressure, affecting 21.3 percent of Saudi citizens.


Women ready for top jobs in SCTH, says Saudi Arabia’s first female tour guide

Saudi women are keen to shoulder responsibilities in high-profile jobs. AFP
Updated 26 May 2018
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Women ready for top jobs in SCTH, says Saudi Arabia’s first female tour guide

  • Saudi Arabia’s first female tour guide, Maryam Al-Harbi, who was named as the best tour guide for 2017 by SCTH
  • There was still a need to have more departments at Saudi universities where female students could study archaeology

JEDDAH: A prominent female tour guide has called on the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) to grant women leadership positions as they are now “qualified to shoulder high-profile jobs” within SCTH.
Saudi Arabia’s first female tour guide, Maryam Al-Harbi, who was named as the best tour guide for 2017 by SCTH, told Arab News that Saudi women are capable of being appointed to leadership positions.
Al-Harbi was one of two speakers at a workshop held on Thursday night.
The panel discussion was part of the Makkah Economic Forum 2018 activities. The other speaker was Maria Mahdaly, a Saudi entrepreneur.
“It is true that any successful work needs the full collaboration of both genders, but women in Saudi Arabia have shown great interest in learning and developing themselves in the field of archaeology,” said Al-Harbi, who recently obtained an MA degree from King Saud University’s college of tourism and archaeology.
Besides speaking Arabic and English, Al-Harbi also speaks Turkish and is working on improving her Chinese language skills.
She guides visitors to Madinah, including private delegations, school students and university groups, as well as Umrah and Hajj visitors, and helps delegations visiting the provinces of Al-Oula, Madain Saleh, Khaibar, and Badr.
Al-Harbi said that there was still a need to have more departments at Saudi universities where female students could study archaeology.
“We only have one college for archaeology studies at King Saud University. This department offers only MA and Ph.D. degrees,” she said.
She added that students in many universities had not found jobs in the tourism sector so they opted to join other sectors such as education.

Language skills
The workshop discussed the importance of languages for tour guides. Abeer Abu Suleiman, first Saudi woman tour guide and moderator of the gathering, said that a tour guide needed to be acquainted with as many languages as possible, but English was a must as it is so widely spoken.
The gathering discussed Saudi Arabia’s rich traditions and tourism sites and highlighted the country's competence to host hundreds of thousands of visitors. They gave the Hajj season as an example of the Kingdom's ability to host gatherings of people from different cultural backgrounds.