Startup of the Week: SPiN: Cycling one’s way to better health and lifestyle

Updated 03 December 2019

Startup of the Week: SPiN: Cycling one’s way to better health and lifestyle

  • SPiN was established in early 2019 by a 25-year-old Saudi business consultant Manie Al-Khaldi

SPiN is a startup company that offers public services through a rental bicycle shop. It aims to make cycling accessible and available. 

SPiN was established in early 2019 by a 25-year-old Saudi business consultant Manie Al-Khaldi. 

During his studies in San Francisco in 2013, he bought his first US-made hybrid bicycle, and since then his passion for cycling has only grown. 

Upon his return to the Kingdom, Al-Khaldi found likeminded people up for new adventures. “I found a lot of them. However, it was an individual effort, and it needed a form of institutional work.

“The initiative of getting people engaged in such an activity for a better and healthier lifestyle came to my mind, by offering bikes at all times to the community,” he told Arab News 

The Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh was chosen as SPiN’s prime location, based on two main factors: Safety and population. 

 “Because safety always comes first, we studied multiple locations in the city of Riyadh, such as Hanifa Valley, Riyadh Front, Ammariyah, and the Diplomatic Quarter. We found the latter to be the best in terms of the infrastructure, attractive parks and landscape, fabulous views and, most importantly, relatively low car speeds,” Al-Khaldi said.

SPiN is creating a strategic partnership, as they are still in discussions with governmental entities such as the General Sport Authority (GSA) and General Entertainment Authority.

It is a people-based initiative and has surveyed hundreds of people from different genders and backgrounds regarding bicycles.

 “Our survey includes multiple-choice questions, including the subject’s desired cycling destinations. About 49 percent chose the Diplomatic Quarter as a prime location due to its high security and great safety standards,” Al-Khaldi explained.

 “We believe that the area will be the gateway for living the Saudi dream. We will make it a benchmark for other cities,” he added

SPiN’s objectives are aligned with Saudi Vision 2030 and its pillars. “We are looking forward to being one of the contributors to realizing it. Our objectives at SPiN are to promote a healthier lifestyle, diversify sports, and increase social engagement.”

As well as this, SPiN also aims to build on the twin pillars of economic solvency and national prestige. “We are projected to break even in the first 6 months of our launch. An ambitious nation is the third pillar (of Saudi Vision 2030), and we will contribute to it by hiring a local talented team,” Al-Khaldi said.

Quoting the president of the GSA, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, he added: “The most practiced sports in the Kingdom are walking, jogging, and cycling. At SPiN, we hope to provide the best service for one of the most practiced sports.”

 SPiN is working to launch its first location before the end of 2019, or by the start of 2020. It launched an Instagram account (@SPiN.sa) as an initial move to engage more with the Kingdom’s cycling community.


Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

Updated 06 June 2020

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

MADINAH: Hundreds of thousands of worshippers attended the first Friday prayers to be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah since the gatherings were suspended to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

The green light for the resumption of the prayer meetings came as part of a plan to gradually reopen the Kingdom’s mosques while ensuring worshippers and visitors adhered to preventive measures.

A ban on access to the Rawdah remained in place and only groups of worshippers numbering up to a maximum of 40 percent of the mosque’s capacity were being allowed entry.

Precautionary measures also included the allocation of specific doors for the entry of worshippers, the installation of thermal cameras, removal of all carpets so that prayers could be performed on the marble, sanitization of the mosque’s floors and courtyards, periodic opening of domes and canopies to ventilate the mosque, and the removal of Zamzam water containers.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be closed after evening prayers and reopened one hour before dawn prayers. Parking lots will operate at 50 percent capacity and a media awareness campaign has been launched to highlight safety procedures at the holy site.

Medical teams have also been stationed at the main entrances to the mosque in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere in the Kingdom, worshippers also flocked to perform Friday prayers at mosques amid strict health measures.

On May 31, Saudi authorities reopened all mosques for prayers, except in Makkah, as part of the Kingdom’s plan for a gradual return to normal life.

Last week the minister of Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance said that the country’s mosques were ready to welcome back worshippers, following his field trips to check that necessary preparations had been made.

All worshippers must still maintain a distance of 2 meters between rows, wear masks to enter a mosque, and Friday sermons and prayers have been limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.