AS IT HAPPENED: Future Investment Initiative - Day One

The Future Investment Initiative (FII), an international platform for debate between global leaders, investors and innovators, kicks off in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. (AFP)
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The Future Investment Initiative (FII), an international platform for debate between global leaders, investors and innovators, kicks off in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. (AFP)
The Future Investment Initiative (FII), an international platform for debate between global leaders, investors and innovators, kicks off in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. (AN Photo)
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The Future Investment Initiative (FII), an international platform for debate between global leaders, investors and innovators, kicks off in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. (AN Photo)
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Updated 28 January 2021

AS IT HAPPENED: Future Investment Initiative - Day One

The Future Investment Initiative (FII), an international platform for debate between global leaders, investors and innovators, kicks off in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. (AFP)
  • A host of high-profile experts coming together under the theme “The Neo-Renaissance
  • Jamaican eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt among speakers

RIYADH/LONDON: The Future Investment Initiative (FII), an international platform for debate between global leaders, investors and innovators, kicked off in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday with a host of high-profile speakers brought together under the theme “The Neo-Renaissance.”

Opening remarks at the King Abdul Aziz International Conference Center (KAICC) came from Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) and FII Institute Chairman.

Other speakers include Jamaican eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt, Matteo Renzi, former prime minister of Italy and Kevin Rudd, former Australian prime minister.

Follow the coverage below (all times GMT):

18:40 - FII CEO Richard Attias brings day one to a close, and that ends our first day coverage here at Arab News. Remember to come back to for coverage of the second day's discussions.

18:30 - ICYMI: Saudi Arabia has revamped over half of the 400 foreign direct investment (FDI) regulations, as foreign investment rose in 2020 compared to 2019, said Minister of Investment Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih.

“We have performed better than most, and ultimately, investors trust a government that provides security to them and the population. Saudi Arabia handled it better than most, as investors want to trust governments that look after them. Saudi Arabia, through our leadership, has shown that,” he stated. READ MORE HERE.

18:20 - The value of mergers and acquisitions declined globally by 5% year-on-year to $3.6 trillion in 2020, the lowest level since 2017, according to studies. But two sectors where there was still significant activity were technology and pharma.

Sarah Al-Suhaimi, chairwoman at Tadawul and CEO of NCB Capital in Saudi Arabia joins the panel to discuss a blueprint for financial leaders assessing future market opportunities and public-private partnerships needed to ensure sustainable growth.

18:15 - ICYMI: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the restructuring of the global health care system, with an accelerated shift in focus away from hospitals to providing more facilities to homes, speakers told delegates at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference place in Riyadh.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, India’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare, said another health care trend was a closer collaboration between the government and citizens, where all elements of society must work together to ensure the safety and wellness of the whole country. READ MORE HERE.

18:05 - We've reached the penultimate panel of day one of the FII, which looks at the "new pathways" to global growth, after the pandemic resulted in a steep rise in unemployment and sharp contraction in specific segments of the economy, with input from CEO of Bahrain's Mumtalakat Holding Company Khalid Al-Rumaihi and Senegal's economy minister Amadou Hott.

17:55 - Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, said that Saudi Arabia is working with so many countries on green hydrogen and blue hydrogen.

“Easily and simply, I could say, that we will be pioneering more of that blue hydrogen and green hydrogen,” Prince Abdulaziz said. READ MORE HERE.

17:40 - Saudi Arabian finance minister Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan joins his Bahraini counterpart Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa to discuss how the Gulf nations are adapting to the challenges of economic diversification posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.



17:35 - ICYMI: Saudi Arabia is cultivating the trust of global investing institutions as it seeks to attract foreign funds into the Kingdom’s ambitious development plans, Khalid Al-Falih, the Minister of Investment, told the Future Investment Initiative (FII) summit. READ MORE HERE.

17:20 - Amin Nasser, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco and Abdullah Amer Al-Swaha, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Communications and IT join Dr. Thomas A. Kennedy, Executive Chairman, Board of Directors, Raytheon Technologies to discuss the future of global technology policy.

17:05 - As we look ahead into 2021 and beyond, where will the greatest opportunities be to invest in assets with high conformity to environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles? Our next panel, which include a NEOM investor and the CEOs of Nasdaq and London Stock Exchange, are discussing their predictions.

16:45 - Our next panel is Playing to Win: How will global investment drive the future of the sports industry? And the panelists are discussing how Saudi Arabia was able to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to continue hosting world-class sporting events — such as the Dakar Rally, FIA Formula E and golf's Saudi International. 

Alejandro Agag, CEO of ExtremeE (Pictured, R), said the reason this can happen in the Kingdom is because “everything works in Saudi Arabia... nothing is impossible here.”

Moderator: Richard Attias, CEO, FII Institute

• Bader Alkadi, Advisor to the Minister of Sport, Saudi Arabia 

• Dr. Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage of the Republic of Kenya

• Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO, Extreme E, UK

Usain Bolt, Eight-Time Olympic Gold Medalist, Jamaica

• Jean Todt, President, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, France

The panel also included a brief appearance from eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt who spoke about athletes having to compete in the COVID-19 era without spectators.



16:00 - Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy, first has a discussion with Palki Sharma Upadhyay, the executive editor at WION, which precedes a panel discussion on how the energy sector can be part of and power the post-COVID-19 crisis recovery.

15:50 - ICYMI: Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), is concerned about the different valuation of financial and other assets that has been a feature of markets affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. READ MORE HERE.

15:40 - Next up, Peggy Johnson, CEO of Magic Leap, is in discussion with Turqi Al-Nowaiser of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund about the expected investment ($72.8 billion by 2024) in AR/VR and how it will revolutionize the sector.

15:30 - ICYMI: Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), said that the sovereign wealth fund is looking to invest not only in large companies but in the entire spectrum of technology. READ MORE HERE.

15:15 - Next up, our panelists will discuss how work will change in the post-COVID era, and how the pandemic and its aftermath will influence the way CEOs reshape their companies to provide stability and hope to a workforce living in a new social, political, and economic reality.

Moderator: Edie Lush, Executive Editor, Hub Culture, UK

Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan, Vice Chairman and CEO, SABIC, Saudi Arabia (pictured)

• Patrice Caine, Chairman & CEO, Thales Group, France

• Todd Gibbons, CEO, BNY Mellon, USA

• Daniel S. Loeb, Founder and CEO, Third Point LLC, USA

• Andrew N. Liveris, Special Advisor, Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia

15:05 - Next is a brief discussion between Lameen Abdul-Malik, Nobel Peace Prize 2005 and Head of THINK and Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group in India.



14:45 - The health of nations: A CEO’s guide to investing in the next decade of global health is our third panel. 

Some context for you: The global healthcare market is expected to surpass $11 trillion by 2022, while Deloitte data shows funding for health technology innovators surpassed $7.4 billion in 2019 and continues to rise.

So how can business and government expand access to healthcare, train healthcare workers, remove regulatory barriers, and encourage investment in advanced health technologies?

Moderator: Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Founder and Executive Chairman, XPRIZE Foundation, Board of Trustees Member, FII Institute, USA

• Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, India

• Dr. Bernd Montag, CEO, Siemens Healthineers, Germany

• Dr. Ali Parsadoust, Founder and CEO, Babylon Health, UK

14:30 - Kirill Dmitriev of the Russian Direct Investment Fund speaks briefly about the fund's achievements last year - including the Sputnik V vaccine - and how looking ahead to 2021, it wants to work closer with Saudi Arabia on transforming the Kingdom into a leading investment destination and continue to work on oil price regulation.

14:00 - Our second panel discussion looks at how, with lower oil prices and costs of the pandemic taking their toll, global business leaders and policymakers will strengthen investment and trade partnerships in the midst of new geopolitical realities and economic possibilities.

Moderator: Fatima Daoui, Anchor Business News, Al Arabiya 

H.E. Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, Minister of Investment, Saudi Arabia

• H.E. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Egypt 

• H.E. Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World, UAE 

• Lord Grimstone of Boscobel, Kt, Minister for Investment, Department for International Trade and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, UK 

• Eric I. Cantor, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Moelis & Company, USA

13:45 - PHOTOS: 200 seats have been allocated for FII guests in the plenary hall, as well as for the media in the event's media center.

13:20 - ICYMI: The fifth edition of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) will take place from Oct. 25th to 28th, Richard Attias, CEO of organizing body the FII Institute, confirmed on Wednesday. READ MORE HERE.

13:10 - The first panel discussion of the day asks how the global investment community can leverage the economic downturn brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to build a stronger, more sustainable future for all. Panelists for this talk are: 

Moderator: David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman, The Carlyle Group, USA

• H.E. Yasir Al Rumayyan, Chairman, FII Institute and Governor and Board Member, Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia

• Ray Dalio, Co-Chairman and CIO, Bridgewater Associates, USA

• Laurence D. Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock, USA

• Dr. Thomas P. Gottstein, CEO, Credit Suisse Group, Switzerland

• David M. Solomon, Chairman and CEO, The Goldman Sachs Group, USA

13:00 - The opening remarks from Yasir Al Rumayyan, Chairman of the FII Institute and governor and board member of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, will get us started on day one.

12:45 - Follow Arab News' special coverage of this year’s FII, at our dedicated online section

12:30 - Jamaican eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt is one of the star speakers lined up to take part in the event, you can hear him at 7 p.m. KSA (4 p.m. GMT)...

12:15 - Hello, and welcome to the first day of coverage of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) - guests and media participants attending the two-day event have limited access due to the exceptional circumstances of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Global markets rebound as rate hike worries fade

Global markets rebound as rate hike worries fade
Updated 02 March 2021

Global markets rebound as rate hike worries fade

Global markets rebound as rate hike worries fade
  • Wall Street stocks snapped higher at the open and kept pushing up further

LONDON: World stock markets shot higher on Monday, bouncing back from last week’s heavy selloff as worries about early interest rate hikes faded and US Treasury yields dropped, dealers said.

Wall Street stocks snapped higher at the open and kept pushing up further, recovering much of the ground they lost at the end of last week.

The blue-chip Dow was up 2.1 percent in late morning trading, with the broader S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite also gaining more than 2 percent.

In Europe, London, Frankfurt and Paris all closed the day 1.6 percent higher.

Asian stocks rose strongly on bargain-buying as the passage of President Joe Biden’s $1.9-trillion Covid relief stimulus through the US House of Representatives provided additional cheer.

While many Democrats are disappointed a $15 minimum wage can’t be included in the package in the US Senate, “it does have the short term benefit of making the path to passing the American Rescue Plan that bit easier,” noted Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.

Oil prices climbed before this week’s output meeting of the OPEC group of oil producers and their allies, while the dollar advanced versus the euro and yen.

“Equity markets have shaken off the negative sentiment that was doing the rounds last week as the pullback in government bond yields has seen buyers step into the fold,” said analyst David Madden at online trading firm CMC Markets UK.

Stocks took a beating last week as government bond yields spiked higher, with investors worried that too much stimulus will spark inflation and push central banks into raising interest rates earlier than expected.

In a bid to calm markets, several central banks — including in Japan, South Korea and the European Union — sought over the weekend to reiterate their pledges to maintain their ultra-loose monetary policies for as long as needed.

Australia’s led the way by ramping up its asset purchases to keep rates low.

“Traders feel more confident about snapping up relatively cheap stocks as they are less fearful that central banks will look to tighten their policy anytime soon,” said Madden.

News that Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine had been given the green light by US regulators — paving the way for a quicker rollout of vaccinations — added to the positive sentiment on Monday.

“Now that the US has three highly effective Covid vaccines, expectations for herd immunity at some point in the summer should release a lot of pent up buying power from the US consumer,” said Oanda analyst Edward Moya.

He said this is renewing interest in stocks in smaller companies with investors betting that an early drop in restrictions will boost their fortunes.

Oil prices also rebounded with focus on the key meeting of the OPEC+ group of major producers on Thursday, when they will discuss the huge output cuts that have provided much-needed support to prices.

Russia is said to be keen to turn on the taps again but Saudi Arabia prefers to keep the status quo.

ENGIE ramps up KSA expansion as energy embraces private sector

ENGIE ramps up KSA expansion as energy embraces private sector
Updated 02 March 2021

ENGIE ramps up KSA expansion as energy embraces private sector

ENGIE ramps up KSA expansion as energy embraces private sector
  • French conglomerate aims to more than double its workforce in the Kingdom to 5,000 by 2025

JEDDAH: ENGIE, the France-headquartered energy and services conglomerate, revealed earlier this year its plans to invest a further $6.34 billion in Saudi Arabia by 2025, adding to its existing assets and projects in the Kingdom valued at over $8 billion.

The new investments will cover a wide range of services, but the bulk of the $6.34 billion will be in new public-private partnerships (PPPs) focused on utility and social infrastructure projects, Turki Al-Shehri, ENGIE’s CEO in Saudi Arabia, explained to Arab News.

The firm aims to get involved in PPPs to establish new hospitals, universities, schools and railroads, while its focus on energy services will include renewable energy, energy efficiency, research and development (R&D), as well as advisory services.

The Saudi Ministry of Health recently released Al-Ansar Hospital in Madinah for private investment, as part of its Private Sector Participation Program (PSP). Al-Shehri noted that it is a project worth $300 million, with around 240 beds, and ENGIE is already bidding to build, operate, maintain, and provide medical equipment to the hospital for a period of 20 to 30 years.

Moreover, ENGIE was awarded the Yanbu-4 independent water producer desalination plant by the Saudi Water Partnership Company last year, projected to supply 450,000 cubic meters of desalinated seawater per day using clean energy. According to Al-Shehri, this project alone is valued at around $850 million.

“This is ENGIE’s second water project. The first was Marafiq power and water project,” said Al-Shehri. “We work with water desalination projects around the world, with Saudi being a major target for us.

“The Saudi Water Partnership company recently released a seven-year plan which will require three to four seawater desalination projects per year; bidding on such projects is part of our strategy,”
he added.

After operating in Saudi Arabia for 20 years, the conglomerate expanded its presence in the Kingdom in 2019 by establishing its holding company to bring all the group’s Saudi assets under one umbrella holding company.

Al-Shehri noted that the decision to establish the holding company was encouraged by the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. Announced in 2016, the 2030 plan focuses on increasing the private sector’s long-term contribution to the economy by opening up new opportunities and removing obstacles that are preventing the sector from playing a larger role in development.

“ENGIE’s bread and butter are PPP projects,” he said. “In the past, they were very selective, mainly within Saudi Aramco, Saudi Electricity Company, and Saudi water company … it was segregated and not a countrywide strategy. However, Vision 2030 has completely changed ENGIE’s objectives toward Saudi Arabia.”

There has been a continuous increase in awarding of PPP projects in utility infrastructure projects between 2017 and 2020, while social infrastructure projects have just recently been introduced,
he explained.

Al-Shehri said the holding company was a requirement to consolidate the exerted efforts and utilize existing resources with global know-how. The French company currently has 16 Saudi subsidiaries “and the number is growing” he said.

Restrictions as a result of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic did not have too much impact, he added, and plans for ENGIE’s PPP projects have been moving smoothly.

“Since ENGIE operates in 70 countries globally, we were able to learn from countries that were infected prior to Saudi Arabia, and we were able to take measures ahead of time,” he said.

Instead, ENGIE has directly hired 62 additional employees and acquired Allied Maintenance Company (AMC) in 2020, which added another 1,300 employees to its workforce, bringing the total number of staff in the Kingdom to around 2,000.

The firm plans to expand its workforce in Saudi Arabia to reach over 5,000 employees by 2025 and Al-Shehri said ENGIE has a strong local focus.

“When it comes to local content, we are focusing on two aspects: Manpower as well as local supplies,” he said. “ENGIE wants to be, and will be, a leader when it comes to international companies ensuring that there is local content being used and proper knowledge transferred, and local partners.”

He noted that the company spends $130 million a year on local supplies for all its assets, which equates to 85 to 90 percent of supplies being sourced locally.

Renewable energy is a core sector for ENGIE and Saudi Arabia provides big opportunities. During the Future Investment Initiative forum in January, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman said that the Kingdom aims to produce 50 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2030. “When the government took on this initiative, the private sector immediately started to follow suit,” Al-Shehri said.

According to a news report by research firm Frost and Sullivan, the region is expected to expand its renewables capacity from solar and wind by 18 times by 2025. “This is a very fresh market and the opportunity for growth is tremendous,” he said.

“It is the largest market in the region … It will continue to grow, and I think we will continue to see changes in policy as a result of prices continuing to decrease and opportunities being open to the private sector and regulations being relaxed,” he added.

Bitcoin is at a ‘tipping point,’ Citi says

Bitcoin is at a ‘tipping point,’ Citi says
Updated 02 March 2021

Bitcoin is at a ‘tipping point,’ Citi says

Bitcoin is at a ‘tipping point,’ Citi says
  • With the recent embrace of the likes of Tesla Inc. and Mastercard Inc., Bitcoin could be at the start of a ‘massive transformation’ into the mainstream, Citi says

LONDON: Bitcoin rose nearly 6 percent on Monday as risk assets rallied after last week’s bond rout cooled, and Citi said the most popular cryptocurrency was at a “tipping point” and could become the preferred currency for international trade.

With the recent embrace of the likes of Tesla Inc. and Mastercard Inc., Bitcoin could be at the start of a “massive transformation” into the mainstream, Citi added.

Bitcoin, which has risen to $47,000 from $4,700 last March, could in the future become the preferred currency for international trade or face a “speculative implosion,” the investment bank said. It was up 5.7 percent at $47,834 on the Bitstamp exchange. Smaller rival ether rallied 7.5 percent to $1,525.

Bitcoin’s recent performance has come with the growing involvement of institutional investors in recent years, contrasting with its heavy retail investor focus for most of the past decade, Citi added.

If businesses and individuals gain access via digital wallets to planned central bank digital cash and so-called stablecoins, bitcoin’s global reach, traceability and potential for quick payments would see it “optimally positioned” to become the preferred currency for international trade, Citi said.

Bitcoin, designed as a payment tool, is little used for commerce in major economies, hampered by high volatility and relatively costly transactions. 

Still, it has over the past year gained traction in some emerging markets such as Nigeria.

Such a dramatic transformation for bitcoin to the de facto currency of world trade — a status currently held by the dollar — would depend on changes to its market to allow wider institutional participation and closer oversight by financial regulators, Citi said.

Still, shifts in the macro-economic environment may also make the demand for bitcoin less pressing, it added.

DIFC Courts sees 41% rise in cases during 2020

DIFC Courts sees 41% rise in cases during 2020
Updated 01 March 2021

DIFC Courts sees 41% rise in cases during 2020

DIFC Courts sees 41% rise in cases during 2020
  • The DIFC Courts’ Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) saw cases increase 47 percent to 466 cases in 2020

DUBAI: The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) Courts saw a 41 percent rise in the number of cases it handled last year, with its technology and construction sector recording a 233 percent surge in disputes, it was announced on Monday.

Established in 2004 and based on the English-language common law system, the courts’ jurisdiction was expanded in 2011 to include all businesses from all GCC countries and beyond.

The number of cases at the main Court of First Instance rose last year by 41 percent, while the total value of claims increased 72 percent to AED9.95 billion ($2.71 billion), with the average claim across cases amounting to AED86.3 million. The cases covered a wide range of sectors, including banking and finance, construction, and real estate.

The courts also reported a 50 percent increase in the number of opt-in cases last year, meaning claims where the contracts do not specify the DIFC Courts as the location for disputes but both parties have elected to use it in order to find a resolution.

Zaki Azmi, chief justice of the DIFC Courts, said: “Undoubtedly, 2020 was a year that tested the resilience of every government service, private-sector business, and individual. It was a year that forced everyone to re-shift focus; to reprioritize, and, to adapt to rapid changes.

“Given the extraordinary circumstances that have emerged, all core services of the DIFC Courts have been fully maintained, whilst remaining true to our core values and dedication of public service.”

The DIFC Courts’ Small Claims Tribunal (SCT) saw cases increase 47 percent to 466 cases in 2020. The majority (51 percent) of cases were related to breach of contract, followed by employment (25 percent), property and tenancy (16 percent), and banking and finance (8 percent). The total value of claims related to SCT cases amounted to AED55 million.

Earlier this year, the DIFC Courts launched a new court which will rule on commercial space-related disputes, it was revealed on Monday.

The Courts of Space initiative, in partnership with the Dubai Future Foundation, will see an international working group of public and private-sector experts tasked with exploring space-related legal issues linked to such disputes, and brainstorming possible outcomes.

Start-up of the Week: Dokkan Joze W Loze

Start-up of the Week: Dokkan Joze W Loze
Updated 01 March 2021

Start-up of the Week: Dokkan Joze W Loze

Start-up of the Week: Dokkan Joze W Loze
  • Joze W Loze offers two kinds of talbeenah; the regular, traditional recipe, or the “golden” talbeenah, flavored with turmeric

RIYADH: A new Jeddah-based start-up has customers going nutty for its candied goods.

Dokkan Joze W Loze, which translates as “The Walnut and Almond Shop,” has the perfect products for those looking for a sweet treat to snack on without the guilt of overindulgence.

Owner Wid Sami Fayez began selling her candied nut creations to friends and family about two years ago. As her products gained popularity, she decided to set up shop officially and begin selling to the public.

“Since most of my products are made with walnuts and almonds, I decided to name my shop after the two ingredients I use the most,” she told Arab News. “To imbue the name with the spirit of traditionalism, I added the word Dokkan.”

Fayez started out with her most popular product, candied pecans made with cinnamon. To this day it remains the shop’s best-seller, with candied almonds coming in a close second.

“We also started adding new products recently. For example, for those who don’t have a sweet tooth we offer savory almonds with rosemary, an ideal snack for those on a diet or trying to eat keto,” she said.

Fayez also offers seasonal treats and gift boxes during Ramadan, perfect as gifts for the holiday or to pass around to guests visiting during the holy month. Some of the shop’s seasonal products include dates, stuffed with her signature candied nuts, a pecan cake, and one of the most popular products, a traditional drink called “talbeenah.”

“A year ago, we started offering talbeenah in our shop to celebrate the Prophet’s sunnah. It is a porridge made from barley flour, formed by adding milk and honey to dried barley powder. We then add cinnamon and cardamom to it for extra flavor,” Fayez said.

“The Mother of the Believers, the Prophet’s wife Aisha, narrated that the Prophet recommended talbeenah as “a companion to the heart of the sick,” and noted that it has a variety of health benefits,” she said.

Joze W Loze offers two kinds of talbeenah; the regular, traditional recipe, or the “golden” talbeenah, flavored with turmeric and a delicate blend of other spices such as ginger, cloves, nutmeg and fennel.

“The health benefits of talbeenah are almost endless,” Fayez says of the drink. “In line with the words of the Prophet, it relieves depression and grief, is very good for the heart and the liver, is a natural diuretic, helps with high blood pressure, helps with a cough, contains anti-oxidants, and so much more.”

For customers outside of Jeddah, Fayez also sells talbeenah as a dry mix, to which customers can add their own milk and combine at home.

The shop’s products can be purchased from Instagram by messaging them directly at @dokkanjozewloze, as well as from Jeddah’s community retail space Amkana, @amkanaksa on Instagram.