LuLu food festival brings global cuisines to Saudi Arabia

LuLu food festival brings global cuisines to Saudi Arabia
The festival features a unique gastronomic experience for shoppers.
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Updated 24 October 2020

LuLu food festival brings global cuisines to Saudi Arabia

LuLu food festival brings global cuisines to Saudi Arabia

LuLu Hypermarkets, the region’s largest hypermarket chain, is hosting its annual food festival, “World Food,” across its stores in the Kingdom. The two-week event, running from Oct. 21 to Nov. 3, is a celebration of flavors and cultures, bringing together foodies and shoppers in a gastronomic experience comprising global cuisines from more than 25 countries. The festival also includes the Kingdom’s first virtual food art competition — “Pancake Challenge,” in addition to a range of in-store product offers, and the participation of Saudi celebrity chef Abdulrahman bin Kasem.

Some of the themes of the World Food 2020 include: Biryani Mela — authentic savory rice favorites; Asian Food — Filipino, Thai, Japanese and Far Eastern delicacies; BBQ Festival, bringing the taste of outdoors to every plate; Malabar Thakkaaram — the taste of Kerala; Arabian Delights — Middle East cuisines; Dhaba Wala — the best of North Indian cuisine; Bakes and Sweets — cakes, bakes and desserts; and Continental Cuisines — flavors from Europe.

Shehim Mohammed, director of LuLu Hypermarkets in Saudi Arabia, said: “We have been organizing our food festival for more than 11 years now, but this is our biggest celebration yet. Despite the current pandemic limitations for hosting physical events, we have received extensive support from different embassies, trade promotion councils, various community organizations, the hotel and tourism sector, celebrity chefs and social media influencers. Our aim is to showcase the wide range of global flavors that we offer, which truly makes us ‘where the world comes to shop.’”

The Pancake Challenge will gather food enthusiasts to showcase their knack for food plating and recipe video editing for TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. The videos will be posted with the hashtag #LuLuWorldFoodKSA.

The first and second prize winners will receive SR3,000 ($800) and SR2,000, respectively. Moreover, LuLu will give away 1,000 free trolleys every hour. The festival also spotlights food trucks and local ice cream carts.

With 193 stores operating worldwide, LuLu aims to provide and sustain the supply of global products at the best rates.


Zahid Group, Total join forces to develop solar energy

Zahid Group, Total  join forces to develop solar energy
Updated 04 March 2021

Zahid Group, Total join forces to develop solar energy

Zahid Group, Total  join forces to develop solar energy

In line with the renewable energy goals of Vision 2030, the Jeddah-headquartered Zahid Group and French energy company Total have announced the establishment of a joint venture named Saudi French for Energy Efficiency and Renewables (SAFEER).

Zahid Group is represented by Altaaqa Alternative Solutions while Total is represented by Total Solar Distributed Generation.

SAFEER’s mission is to bring affordable and reliable solar energy solutions to commercial and industrial customers across Saudi Arabia. The company aims to lead the way in the creation of an ecosystem for distributed generation through state-of-the-art solutions, and the development of local content and talent while maintaining a second-to-none commitment to safety and quality. 

Specializing in commercial and industrial solar installations on rooftops and carports, the joint venture will leverage Total’s expertise across the entire solar value chain and Altaaqa’s 18 years of leadership in delivering independent power and water utility solutions in the Kingdom.

Both the Zahid Group and Total have a track record of successful investments in the Kingdom’s oil and gas and energy sectors, creating numerous career opportunities while also being catalysts in the elevation of industry standards and best practices. 

The establishment of SAFEER comes as a natural response to the Ministry of Energy’s directive to promote renewable distributed generation in the Kingdom, the companies said. 

Julien Pouget, senior vice president, renewables at Total, said: “In line with our 2050 carbon neutrality ambition and our growth strategy in renewables, we are committed to bringing Total’s world-class expertise in on-site solar power generation solutions to provide clean, affordable and reliable energy to industrial and commercial customers in the Kingdom. We are delighted to expand our partnership with Zahid Group to this new field opened by the Ministry of Energy, which comes within the framework of Vision 2030.”

Majid T. Zahid, group president, energy at Zahid Group, added: “Zahid Group is built on long-standing partnerships and associations with globally renowned brands and its adherence to the highest levels of professionalism and operating standards.

“Across our 11 sectors of operation, Zahid Group has illustrated its commitment to our Kingdom’s future — whether it is through the establishment of companies and joint ventures, the development of local talent, the empowerment of women, or the investment in new factories, facilities and technologies. We take great pride in the Kingdom’s ambitious plan to become a diversified investment powerhouse and are committed to playing our role in the realization of Vision 2030.” 

SAFEER aims to be a home for the development of the careers of future generations of Saudis, a case study in partnerships between international leaders and local champions, a driving force in the diversification of the Kingdom’s economy and a leader in delivering on the Kingdom’s ambitious plans for renewable energy.


Sayidaty special edition celebrates 40 years of success

Sayidaty special edition celebrates 40 years of success
Updated 04 March 2021

Sayidaty special edition celebrates 40 years of success

Sayidaty special edition celebrates 40 years of success

Sayidaty magazine, a sister publication of Arab News, has launched a special edition to celebrate the 40th year of its existence. Reflecting the aspirations of the magazine and addressing the modern Arab woman and family, the new issue offers a variety of content ranging from arts, culture, fashion and beauty to society.

A number of Arab celebrities and known personalities have written on the occasion, congratulating Sayidaty for achieving the latest milestone. 

The magazine also features interviews with six prominent and inspiring Gulf figures in the “Khaleejona Wahed” (Our Gulf is One) section.

The anniversary edition also includes a photo session with Saudi businesswoman Dana Alami, from the heart of Qiddiya, and the Lebanese-American model Rima Fakih, a former Miss America, and her family at their home on the shores of Florida. 

In addition, people will read about four up-and-coming Saudi female DJs, who have an unmatched potential in the world of music.

Sayidaty Editor in Chief Lama Al-Shathry said: “We celebrate with you, our dear readers and loyal followers, the 40th year of Sayidaty, through a special issue with a new look and unique content. Over four decades, Sayidaty has always excelled in the Arab world with its special topics and exclusivity, its popularity crossing borders to reach the rest of the region.

“Sayidaty in its 40th year is characterized by a renewed spirit and a modern vision — one that keeps pace with the great changes we are living through on a daily basis. We promise you and our team that we will continue working and putting in all effort to offer the best in both our printed and online magazines, which ranks No. 1 among all lifestyle websites in the region.”

Over the years, Sayidaty has also addressed the youth, offering a wide space for them to keep up with their interests and hobbies, along with informative articles on education, university and other topics relevant to Generation Z.

Sayidaty’s female readers are satiated with the latest in the world of fashion, beauty, jewelry and others. The magazine also provides a platform for female writers to share their ideas and thoughts.


Indian Embassy to host online festival celebrating Urdu literature and poetry

Indian Embassy to host online festival celebrating Urdu literature and poetry
Updated 03 March 2021

Indian Embassy to host online festival celebrating Urdu literature and poetry

Indian Embassy to host online festival celebrating Urdu literature and poetry

A two-day “Urdu Festival Saudi Arabia,” including both a literary session and an international poetry session (mushaira), has been organized by the Embassy of India in Riyadh and will be held online via Zoom on Friday and Saturday (March 5-6).

The first day of the online literary feast will offer a prose session while the international poetry session will be held on the second day.

The two-day program will be led by India’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr. Ausaf Sayeed. Prominent scholars, writers and poets from India, Saudi Arabia, and other countries will participate, according to a press release issued by Mohammed Saifuddin, a member of the organizing committee.

The two-day festival will open on Friday at 3 p.m. with a prose session. The ambassador will deliver the welcome address. The session will be chaired by Prof. Baig Ehsas, an eminent fiction writer from Hyderabad. The chief guest will be Aqeel Ahmed Sheikh, director of the New Delhi-based National Council for the Promotion of Urdu Language.

Prominent writer Safdar Imam Qadri will present an essay titled “Storytelling Past and Present.” Famous storyteller Javed Danish from Canada will present his story. Riyadh-based journalist and calligrapher Ghouse Arsalan will present a paper on the art of sketch writing. Journalist and columnist K.N. Wasif will present a sketch on Dr. Ausaf Sayeed. Prominent Hyderabad-based journalist Fazil Hussain Pervez, will introduce a number of Indian writers based in Saudi Arabia. Well-known writer and prominent poet Mahtab Qadr will be the master of ceremonies. Asim Anwar, second secretary at the Embassy of India, will offer a vote of thanks.

The second session will be held on Saturday. In addition to participants from India and Saudi Arabia, prominent poets from other countries will also present their works. Well-known poet Irfan Jafari will preside over the mushaira. Aslam Afghani, president of Urdu Toastmasters Club, will conduct the proceedings. Poets participating in the session include Tariq Ghazi (Canada), Mahtab Qadr (Jeddah), Altaf Shehryar (Jeddah), Dr. Rauf Khair (Hyderabad), Qaiser Khalid (Mumbai), Shiraz Mehdi Zia (Jubail), Baqar Naqvi (Dammam), Abu Tahir Bilal (Riyadh), Nasir Burney (Yanbu), Afsar Barabankvi (Jeddah), Rafia Nausheen (Hyderabad), Sadiqa Nawab (Maharashtra), Sharafat Chandpuri (Taif), Rizwan Mahzabi (Taif), Masood Hassas (Kuwait), Khurshidul Hassan Nayyar (Riyadh), Ahmed Ashfaq (Qatar), Tasneem Johar (Hyderabad), Agha Sarosh (Hyderabad) and Munir Uzzaman Munir (Chicago).


ENGIE, SIDF training program to develop local talent

ENGIE, SIDF training  program to develop local talent
Updated 03 March 2021

ENGIE, SIDF training program to develop local talent

ENGIE, SIDF training  program to develop local talent

ENGIE, the France-headquartered energy and services conglomerate, and the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) have welcomed the first batch of trainees for the 2021 ENGIE Saudi Knowledge Sharing Training Program. 

The program will focus on the cultivation of skills within the areas of business development, commercial activity and project delivery for a period of six months. The program will enable SIDF employees to work alongside ENGIE professionals, followed by nomination toward an internship program where trainees will have the opportunity to work at ENGIE headquarters in Paris, or any of the 70 countries where ENGIE operates.

In November 2019, ENGIE and SIDF entered a memorandum of understanding to develop local talent and enhance the career development of Saudi employees. A key area of ENGIE’s expansion in the Kingdom lies in creating highly skilled employment opportunities for local talent through dedicated and continuous training programs, which pave the way forward for value-added services to be deployed locally by international companies. 

ENGIE’s partnership with SIDF provides practical and vocational training to enable knowledge transfer from international professionals to local staff, ensuring that Saudi Arabia’s workforce can meet the long-term demand of the labor market.

Turki Al-Shehri, chief executive of ENGIE in Saudi Arabia, said: “Human capacity building is a major stepping stone to enabling the Kingdom’s future development. ENGIE aims to put its full support behind the development of local talent to ensure we can meet the huge demand of this growing economy. In partnership with SIDF, we are able to develop the skill base of trainees and guarantee they have the necessary capabilities to advance their careers and collaborations with international professions from across the world. I am confident that the selected trainees will take full advantage of the opportunity and make the best use of ENGIE’s resources to catalyze their career development.”

ENGIE is steadfast in its ambition to develop local projects, bring foreign direct investment to the Kingdom, and enhance the efficiency of human capital while transferring knowledge to the local workforce in line with the group’s strategy for growth and the objectives of Vision 2030. The SIDF training program marks one of many opportunities ENGIE will pursue to give back to the Kingdom and ensure continuous knowledge transfer opportunities are available to the local workforce.

ENGIE, which has been present in the region for close to 30 years, operates in the Kingdom in partnership with Saudi actors in energy production, seawater desalination, district cooling, energy efficiency services and high value-added facilities management. The group has 2,000 employees and more than $7.9 billion of capital investment in Saudi Arabia. ENGIE generates 7,600 MW of power, equivalent to 10 percent of the installed capacity of the Kingdom and produces 176 MIGD of desalinated water per day, equivalent to 11 percent of market production.


LuLu launches weeklong ‘Safe Shopping Hours’ campaign

LuLu launches weeklong ‘Safe Shopping Hours’ campaign
Updated 03 March 2021

LuLu launches weeklong ‘Safe Shopping Hours’ campaign

LuLu launches weeklong ‘Safe Shopping Hours’ campaign

In an effort to support the Kingdom in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, regional retailer LuLu has rolled out a new campaign that prioritizes customer safety over everything else.

The “Safe Shopping Hours” initiative will kick off on March 3 and run until March 9. Every day during the weeklong campaign, specific health and safety protocols will kick in from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.

“The campaign is focused on providing a safe shopping experience for customers during the pandemic. There will be some exclusive offers, mostly on home essentials and groceries during these hours to save shoppers from the post-work rush hours during the evenings. LuLu has always been a key promoter of customer experience and this has been a part of our brand ethos,” a statement said. 

LuLu’s management has requested all visitors to register on the Tawakkalna app for the safety of all those at the hypermarket. Further, the management has assured that strict COVID-19 measures are being followed while conducting offers and promotions, and that enhanced sanitization programs and physical distancing norms are being adhered to as per industry protocols.

In the midst of the pandemic, LuLu has played a crucial role in ensuring an uninterrupted supply of food and nonfood products, while maintaining the highest standards of hygiene, health and safety of both its customers and employees.

Garnering more than 1,600,000 shopping patrons every day, LuLu is the fastest-growing retail chain across 10 countries that include the GCC, India, Egypt, Indonesia and Malaysia. Founded in the early 1990s, it has successfully expanded to different parts of the world and currently operates 199 stores with a workforce of more than 55,000.