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.


Clinical trials to accelerate adoption of new drug treatments in Saudi Arabia

Updated 27 May 2020

Clinical trials to accelerate adoption of new drug treatments in Saudi Arabia

  • Trials are being led locally as an essential means to verify the safety and effectiveness of a new drug
  • Eli Lilly has a major role to play during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic

RIYADH: Clinical trials in Saudi Arabia could speed up the adoption of new drugs locally, a pharmaceutical executive has told Arab News.

“Clinical trials have two very big benefits for the Kingdom. Firstly, they provide data in the long run with respect to safety and efficacy, catered specifically to the Saudi population. Secondly, they impact local investment and build healthcare capabilities,” Managing Director of Eli Lilly Dimitri Livadas said..

Lividas further explained that the clinical trial phase of any new treatment is crucial as it represents the stage between the adoption or rejection of a drug. Working with the Ministry of Health and with a presence in the Kingdom for 42 years, the pharmaceutical company began research trials in the country in 2016, consisting of five pre-marketing activities and three monitoring studies for post-marketing.

Lividas added that the trials are being led locally as an essential means to verify the safety and effectiveness of a new drug before it is put to the market and introduced to patients. The majority of these are focused on diabetes, oncology, immunology, and osteoporosis.

“We genuinely believe that our future is here in Saudi Arabia. We continue to make great progress in having a commercial organization in the Kingdom that is fully staffed by Saudi nationals,” said Lividas.

As a biopharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly has a major role to play during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. It recently announced partnership with AbCellera to develop a treatment for the virus and aims to enter into clinical trials this year.

“I salute the Saudi authorities for their strong measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. I think it is an example to the world on how to do this. I would like to also express my gratitude toward all healthcare professionals who are currently on the frontlines, risking their own health to help others," Lividas said.