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.


Aloka Wellness to bring world’s leading healers to Kingdom

Updated 12 July 2020

Aloka Wellness to bring world’s leading healers to Kingdom

Aloka  Wellness, which offers a digital platform for engaging with some of the world’s leading health, fitness and wellness practitioners, is exploring organizing wellness retreats in Jeddah, Al-Ula and Taif.

“The dynamic and multicultural makeup of Saudi Arabia and the Aloka  Family is aligned with global trends and sustainable development goals. With the transition to affording its citizens increased access to wellness and fitness remedies, Aloka  Wellness is primed to partner with the Saudi government through educational and civic systems and agencies to help facilitate related Vision 2030 objectives,” a statement said. 

With tourism being a key driver in the Kingdom’s strategic planning, Aloka recognizes that wellness tourism is a fast-emerging sub-sector. 

“Given the uncertainties related to COVID-19 and safety concerns for in-person gatherings, virtual retreats like the GLOW Live Retreat taking place between July 1 and 15 on Aloka’s Instagram page, provides a viable alternative, while promoting Saudi Arabia’s brand and highlighting its ongoing positive transformation,” it said.

Aloka’s founders — Asta Barry and Hélène Bégusseau — have been residing and working in Saudi Arabia and France. Working in these modern states has exposed the team to the unique opportunity to align their passion with the Saudi government’s Vision 2030 program to create an even healthier population and drive sustainable development initiatives to enhance overall quality of life in the Kingdom.

Customarily, researching and accessing a curated network of trained professionals relied on individual searches and subjective recommendations. Aloka  Wellness individually engages and partners with health professionals globally to create a family network focused on providing ethical and experience-based curated sessions and information. 

Every facet of human holistic well-being is catered to via a user-friendly website. Its services range from yoga, meditation, naturopathy, food and nutrition, health coaching, bodywork and fitness, martial arts, psychological and emotional therapy, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and other specialty practices to help attain overall work-life balance. 

With nearly 100 wellness practitioners already partnered with, Aloka said it is focused on working with only the most respected and experienced industry professionals. Their mission is to create a global network of healers to provide universal access to sustainable well-being practices.