Transformation of women’s role is key to driving Saudi economy

Ahmad AR BinDawood, CEO of Danube Co. Ltd, BinDawood Group.
Updated 25 March 2018

Transformation of women’s role is key to driving Saudi economy

The month of March has seen two major celebrations honoring women and their role in society across the Kingdom — International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day. With the current reform drive in the Kingdom that aims to see women play a more active role in society this year, these celebrations seem more profound than ever before.
International Women’s Day was marked in Saudi Arabia in a way we have never seen before. For example, we saw women joining together in a celebratory jog across Jeddah, and the BinDawood group honored the occasion by releasing data that supports the trend that Saudi female millennials are driving the growth of e-commerce in the Kingdom (they are the largest customer group of Danube’s e-commerce platform and app).
As a young leader of the group that has pioneered the development of the retail industry in Saudi Arabia and as a business leader, it’s been wonderful to see how fast the transformation of the role of women is occurring across the Kingdom. This transformation underpins Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030 goals and the role women will play in driving Saudi Arabia’s economy.
As a business, BinDawood has a long legacy of championing and supporting women. For example, this week for Mother’s Day, we launched multiple video campaigns that praise and commend Saudi working mothers and honor them as the person with most responsibility in the family. Across all our Danube stores, our female customers were presented with roses and cards as a gesture of acknowledgment of the female contribution to Saudi society.
These sentiments in our marketing efforts are also backed up by our business practices where we actively seek to hire Saudi women across our teams and business units. Currently, women make up approximately 20 percent of the Saudi workforce. As a group, we employ over 10,000 people across our business entities and part of our vision is to become the retail sector’s preferred employer. That vision includes hiring more women.
There remain many barriers including organizational, attitudinal and societal, to the advancement of Saudi women in paid employment. However, as the leading retail group in Saudi Arabia, we understand that an inclusive workforce is a crucial factor to our success.


Work progresses as planned on Makkah’s Masar project

Updated 08 July 2020

Work progresses as planned on Makkah’s Masar project

Umm Alqura for Development and Construction (UAQ) — the owner and developer of the Masar destination in Makkah — has confirmed that work is underway to complete the remainder of the infrastructure phase for the project.

It features King Abdul Aziz Road as its core component and is being brought to life under the slogan “Dedicated to Makkah.”

The company began the infrastructure work after completing the preliminary stage, which included the inventory and demolition of properties in the six unplanned neighborhoods of Al-Hafayer, Al-Hindawiyyah, Al-Tandabawy, Mansour Street, Jabal Ghurab, Al-Raseefa, and Al-Zahareen.

Before the work began, property treatment procedures were finalized with the owners of around 4,000 residences in these neighborhoods.

Yasser Abuateek, CEO of UAQ, noted that Masar would be a vital and distinguished addition to Makkah, as it aims to become a modern landmark and an advanced cultural destination.

“We are looking forward to cooperating with investors and companies in the destination, which will set new standards by establishing an integrated development structure and providing investment opportunities.

“Masar will play an active role in diversifying economic activity and promoting Makkah’s position as a modern developed city. In addition, it will contribute to fulfilling the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 by increasing the number of pilgrims to 30 million by the year 2030.”

The infrastructure phase of Masar comprises several key elements, including pedestrian underpasses and service tunnels 3,650 meters long and 320 meters wide over an area of 1.25 million square meters.

This will be complemented by a rapid transit bus network and the  Makkah Metro as well as car parks and bridges, connecting the destination to the western entrance of Makkah. Seventy-one percent of the bridge work has been completed with construction progressing as planned.

Meanwhile, the pouring and building of concrete blocks for the Makkah Metro Tunnel is 99.8 percent completed. The construction of Makkah Metro Station A has been 96.99 percent completed, which includes lines A and B as well as the Abdullah Areef Road Tunnel.

The infrastructure work for Makkah Metro Line B near the King Abdullah Mosque has reached 85 percent, including construction on the Mansour Road Tunnel.

Abuateek stressed that the infrastructure features an underground utility gallery dedicated to electricity, communication, sewage, district cooling, and solid waste management system services. This is to ensure that the area is prepared for development.

UAQ has devoted attention to safety, sustainability, and the preservation of Makkah’s natural environment. The company has handled the destination’s environmental elements with professionalism, particularly groundwater.