Rare watch exhibition in Riyadh start of ‘long-term relationship’ with Saudi collectors

Rare watch exhibition in Riyadh start of ‘long-term relationship’ with Saudi collectors
Paul Boutros, Head of Watches, Americas for Phillips, talking with Arab News about a special George Daniels pocketwatch from 1971. (AN Photo/Saad Aldossari)
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Updated 16 November 2021

Rare watch exhibition in Riyadh start of ‘long-term relationship’ with Saudi collectors

Rare watch exhibition in Riyadh start of ‘long-term relationship’ with Saudi collectors
  • Timepieces will be auctioned in New York next month
  • Brands at the Riyadh exhibition included Rolex, F.P. Journe, Richard Mille, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet

RIYADH: An exhibition of rare watches in Riyadh that brought together 165 timepieces from prestigious brands is the start of a “long-term relationship” with the Kingdom’s watch collector community, according to the UK auction house, Phillips.

Collectors and enthusiasts visited the gallery, organized by Saudi Arabia's Fashion Commission, at Tuwaiq Palace.




Tuwaiq Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia hosts government functions, state receptions, and cultural festivals that introduce Saudi arts and customs to the international community, built in 1985 by OHO Joint Venture. (AN Photo/Saad Aldossari)

The event, which started last Thursday and ran for three days, is one leg in an international tour for Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo, the watches department of the British auction house.

Paul Boutros, Head of Watches, Americas for Phillips, said: “The Fashion Commission invited Phillips to collaborate on this event for the first time and we were absolutely thrilled. We hope this is the start of a long-term relationship where we can show the Saudi Arabia watch collector community the watches we have.”




Lot 110: Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700/1 from 1978, estimate: $100,000 - 200,000. (AN Photo/Zaid Khashogji)

The watches will be auctioned in New York next month. Brands at the Riyadh exhibition included Rolex, F.P. Journe, Richard Mille, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet.

One of the highlights showcased at Tuwaiq Palace was a George Daniels pocket watch.

Daniels, an English horologist famed for creating a watch mechanism called the coaxial escapement, is known in the watch collector community as the father of independent brands, Boutros explained. 

This modern escapement mechanism, hand-manufactured by Daniels, has been used by Swiss watchmaker Omega in most of its collections since 1999 and is considered the first innovation in escapements in 250 years.

Daniels only ever made 28 watches in his lifetime, which speaks to the rarity of the timepiece on offer.




Lot 102: George Daniels pocketwatch, handmade by Edward Hornby in 1971 with an estimate of $600,000 - 1,200,000. (AN Photo/Saad Aldossari)

The one on display was the fourth he made. “A one-minute tourbillon fitted with a chronometer escapement that makes it a really great precision timekeeper,” Boutros said. 

It is being offered for auction with an estimate of $600,000 to $1.2 million.

Boutros shared his passion for watch collecting with Arab News, as well as sharing insights into what made the watches on display in Riyadh so special.

He discovered his love for watches aged 10, when he and his father were walking back from a coin show and happened upon a watch boutique on Fifth Avenue in New York.




Paul Boutros, Head of Watches, Americas for Phillips. (AN Photo/Saad Aldossari)

“A sales lady invited us to come inside, she brought a pocket watch and opened up the caseback to show me the movement inside. Under the halogen lights in this warm, inviting atmosphere it was love at first sight,” he said. “As I saw the balance wheel ticking, the jewels of the movement, the gold bridges shining under the light, I had to learn as much as I can from that moment. 

“Our mission is to open as many people's eyes to the greatness of collectors’ watches. We have received so much joy and happiness in our lives from timepieces and we love to share that joy with others.”

This month Phillips held the Geneva Watch Auction XIV sale, showing 250 lots. Even with the pandemic, a world record for the highest auction result in history was shattered when 250 watches sold for a total of nearly $75 million, almost doubling the previous record set at a previous auction.

“We are all crazy about watches. We're passionate for them. Most of us were of different professions and chased our passion, quitting our careers to join this world of watches because we love them so much.”




Paul Boutros, Head of Watches, Americas for Phillips, talking with local clientele about some of the watches on display for the upcoming auction in New York. (AN Photo/Saad Aldossari)

Boutros said Phillips’ ethos in selecting watches was centered around their team of passionate watch collectors, who only chose watches for auction that they themselves would buy.

“It's not about the transaction, it's about making people happy with timepieces, we have a very, very high selection criteria in what we choose. So we reject 80 to 90 percent of the watches proposed to us because they don't meet our quality thresholds.”

He called this a “collector mentality” that ensured people were happy with the timepieces offered.  

“We do things very differently, we follow our own path, we don't look at what our competitors are doing. We do what we feel is right for the collector community, for our clients. And, as I mentioned, we are very passionate for watches.”




Paul Newman's Rolex Daytona gifted to him by his wife around 1968 and sold for $17.8 million in a Phillips auction in 2017. (File/Getty Images)

Their inaugural watch auction, “Winning Icons” in 2017, saw the world-record sale at the time of $17.8 million for a vintage Rolex Daytona worn by actor and race car driver Paul Newman. It was gifted to him by his wife Joanne Woodward, around 1968, as he was falling in love with motorsports. 

“That really started it all,” Boutros said. “As we know Riyadh has a large percentage of collectors who are passionate for watches, but perhaps they haven't been exposed to the types of watches we offer at auction. The enthusiasm, the passion, the number of serious collectors we encountered, makes us really eager to do more here.

"With the help of the Fashion Commission and with the help of the collector community here, we definitely look forward to continuing the collaborations and doing more events here for the foreseeable future.”


Saudi deputy defense minister meets US national security adviser

Saudi deputy defense minister meets US national security adviser
Updated 13 sec ago

Saudi deputy defense minister meets US national security adviser

Saudi deputy defense minister meets US national security adviser
  • The deputy defense minister and his accompanying delegation arrived this morning in the US capital on an official visit

RIYADH: Prince Khalid bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s deputy minister of defense, on Tuesday met with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in Washington to review bilateral ties.

Prince Khalid said in a Tweet that the meeting was upon the directive of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“I met with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to review the enduring and historic Saudi-US partnership, and discuss solidifying US-Saudi coordination,” he said.

The deputy defense minister and his accompanying delegation arrived this morning in the US capital on an official visit, during which he will meet a number of officials to discuss bilateral relations and issues of common interest at the regional and international levels, the Saudi Press Agency reported.


Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud receives honorary doctorate from Marymount University

Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud received an honorary doctorate from Marymount University in Virginia. (Supplied)
Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud received an honorary doctorate from Marymount University in Virginia. (Supplied)
Updated 17 May 2022

Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud receives honorary doctorate from Marymount University

Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud received an honorary doctorate from Marymount University in Virginia. (Supplied)
  • The princess thanks Marymount University for hosting Saudi students throughout the years

RIYADH: Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US, received an honorary doctorate from Marymount University in Virginia last Friday in honor of her work empowering women across sectors in the Kingdom and globally.

The president of Marymount University, Dr. Irma Becerra, presented Princess Reema with the honorary degree — her first — at the commencement ceremony.

The Saudi ambassador gave the commencement address for the College of Health and Education graduates at the university.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Princess Reema gave the commencement address for the College of Health and Education graduates at the university.

• She congratulated the graduates and thanked the university for hosting Saudi students throughout the years.

In her address, she congratulated the graduates and thanked the university for hosting Saudi students throughout the years.

Princess Reema, who graduated from George Washington University with a degree in museum studies, has an extensive career working towards the empowerment of women in both the private and public sectors.

From 2007 to 2015, she was CEO of Alfa International Co. Ltd. — Harvey Nichols Riyadh, a multi-brand luxury retail company. During her time in this position, she commissioned the study “Obstacles for Women in the Workplace.” The study set the tone for female inclusion in retail and resulted in the opening of the first workplace nursery.

In 2013, she founded Alf Khair, a social enterprise aimed at elevating the professional capital of Saudi women through a curriculum developed to enable financial self-sufficiency.

In 2016, Princess Reema left the private sector to begin a career in public service as vice president of women’s affairs at the Saudi General Sports Authority, where she developed policies and programs that benefited women and children throughout Saudi Arabia.

In 2018, she was also appointed president of the Mass Participation Federation, making her the first woman to lead a multi-sports federation in the Kingdom, a role she occupied until her appointment as Saudi ambassador to the US.


Lights, cameras, action… and more besides, at the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo

Lights, cameras, action… and more besides, at the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo
Updated 17 May 2022

Lights, cameras, action… and more besides, at the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo

Lights, cameras, action… and more besides, at the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo
  • Developers and manufacturers in the entertainment sector are showcasing innovative, cutting-edge products and services during the event in Riyadh
  • It is taking place alongside the Saudi Light and Sound Expo, the first dedicated event in the Kingdom for professional lighting and audio equipment

RIYADH: The Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo and Summit began in Riyadh on Monday, alongside the Saudi Light and Sound Expo, the first dedicated event in the Kingdom for professional lighting and audio equipment.

The three-day dual event at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center showcases thousands of cutting-edge products and solutions for the entertainment sector, and offers professionals in the leisure and entertainment sector the chance to discover new products, learn about the most exciting innovations in the sector, network and do business with vendors.

The international exhibitors are presenting a wide range of products and services, including thrill rides, playground equipment, arcade machines, food and beverage equipment, professional lighting rigs, sound systems, event technology, security tools, and marketing solutions.

Attendees can experience a variety of fun events and activities while engaging with local, regional and global entertainment communities at the Amusement Services International pavilion during the expo, where the line-up includes virtual reality experiences, the latest video and arcade games, and carnival attractions, to name but a few.

Among the technology on show is the 3Motion simulator, which uses hydraulic actuators with precise control to deliver the same dynamic feedback you would get when driving a real racing car. Meanwhile SODIKART, a leader in the karting industry, presents its latest products and services, including a kart simulator.

Matt Wells, the CEO of Frontgrid, which owns ParadropVR, a virtual reality flying experience, told Arab News: “I am very happy to be here having a great time at the SEA summit and looking forward to working with the people here.”

In March, Frontgrid announced an exclusive distribution partnership with ASI to support the continued growth and success of ParadropVR. ASI is now Frontgrid’s distributor across the Middle East, including in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE, and in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco.

Marloes Knippenberg, the CEO of lifestyle operator Kerten Hospitality is appearing as a panelist at the summit.

“The world has really changed; consumer behavior has changed a lot,” he told Arab News. “More than 60 percent of the Saudi population is under 35 and the expectations from them as consumers has really changed.

“When you look at this conference, at the perfect timing, I think never was there so much conversation like today, with a lot more opportunity for the hospitality sector in the entertainment segment. There are a lot more expectations and I am looking forward to it.”

The SEA and SLS expos were expected to attract more than 10,000 visitors. In addition to the exhibitors showcasing business opportunities, entertainment options, innovations, and technology, there are also sessions to discuss trends and future visions within the industry, and networking events.

The inaugural SLS Expo, meanwhile, offers businesses and developers the chance to show off their products and services through specially staged laser, light and sound shows.

RS Research and Strategy will share insights from its Voice of The Market research, conducted on behalf of the expo, to offer a deeper understanding of the factors that can help generate opportunities, or create challenges, for those considering entering the light and sound or entertainment markets.

Saudi Arabia has embarked in recent years on a rapid transformation that is not only economic in nature but also cultural, by identifying travel, tourism and entertainment as priority sectors as part of the nation’s Vision 2030 economic diversification initiative.

The General Entertainment Authority was founded in 2016 to organize, develop and lead the entertainment sector in the country, triggering a transformation and the introduction of a wide range of exciting entertainment options. Since then, the sector has grown exponentially in the Kingdom, helping to improve the quality of life of residents and contributing to economic development by creating investment opportunities and thousands of jobs.

The SEA expo, which was launched four years ago, is the only trade show in the country dedicated to the flourishing leisure and entertainment sectors.

“Saudi Arabia is leading the way in encouraging collaboration and action by thinking big,” said Sarkis Kahwajian, SEA Expo’s event director. “This will lead to a strong and sustainable future for the entertainment and amusement industry.

“Saudi Arabia is developing its tourism destinations, which represent great opportunities, especially since the Kingdom’s wealth of spectacular landscapes and cultural heritage is still unknown to the international traveler.”

Yael Coifman, a senior partner at Leisure Development Partners and the president of the Europe and Middle East division of the Themed Entertainment Association, said: “The goals proposed as part of the entertainment strategy for KSA are inspiring and visionary.

“We think there is real potential in this market and although some of the members are already involved in the planning, there are opportunities for many others to influence and help shape the future of the entertainment industry in the Middle East, bringing global knowledge to the region.”

One example of the ways in which the entertainment sector in Saudi Arabia is evolving was the decision by the government in 2018 to end a 30-year ban on cinemas. By the end of 2021, 45 movie theaters had opened in the country and screened more than 1,000 films. In addition, the Red Sea International Film Festival was launched in 2019 and the inaugural event took place in December last year.

It is expected that by 2030 there will be 350 cinemas and 2,500 movie screens in Saudi Arabia, and the industry will be worth about $1 billion.

The development and expansion of the entertainment sector in the Kingdom has spawned an ambitious construction pipeline of movie theaters, theme parks and sports-related infrastructure, along with the hosting of live mega events.

In addition, the great success of Saudi Seasons — an annual series of festivals across the country featuring concerts, motor racing, pop-up restaurants, auto shows and other forms of entertainment — have shown the huge demand in the sector.

The GEA has pledged to invest up to $64 billion by 2028 to develop the Kingdom’s domestic entertainment sector.

In terms of tourism, Saudi authorities plan to welcome more than 100 million visitors each year by 2030, and to this end have implemented numerous related initiatives, including an electronic visa system for citizens of 49 countries.


Saudi ministry creates ‘skill development’ strategy to enhance Saudization

Abdullah Abuthnain speaking at the opening session of the conference. (HRDF)
Abdullah Abuthnain speaking at the opening session of the conference. (HRDF)
Updated 17 May 2022

Saudi ministry creates ‘skill development’ strategy to enhance Saudization

Abdullah Abuthnain speaking at the opening session of the conference. (HRDF)
  • The ministry has established a “forecasting of supply and demand” unit within the human capacity development program, which will provide researchers with data, information and insights into labor market trends

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development is focusing on a skills strategy to improve professional standards for workers and those entering the labor market, according to Abdullah Abuthnain, the vice minister.

Abuthnain said that the strategy will benefit more than 200 professions, with skills councils establishing employment standards, as well as on-the-job training programs, in important economic sectors.

FASTFACT

The strategy will benefit more than 200 professions, with skills councils establishing employment standards, as well as on-the-job training programs, in important economic sectors.

The vice minister made his comments during the inaugural Scientific Conference for Labor Market Research, Studies and Indicators, organized by the National Labor Observatory, an affiliate of the Human Resources Development Fund, in collaboration with Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University.

Academics and professionals gathered in Riyadh on Tuesday for the First Scientific Conference for Labor Market Research, Studies, and Indicators organized by Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University.  (Supplied/HRDF)

During the opening session of the two-day conference in Riyadh on Tuesday, Abuthnain said that Saudi Arabia’s labor market is presently in “a phase of big reforms,” including eight strategic labor market themes and 25 development initiatives.

The ministry has established a “forecasting of supply and demand” unit within the human capacity development program, which will provide researchers with data, information and insights into labor market trends.

The unit identifies opportunities and challenges facing the labor market by issuing specialized reports showing future trends, he said, adding that the unit will primarily assist educational institutions in designing educational and training programs.

Abuthnain expressed optimism about the Kingdom’s labor market, which has seen “positive developments in its indicators and gains,” noting that more than 2 million Saudis now work in the private sector, “the highest figure historically speaking.”

Mohammad Aalmughaiseb, Director of Research and Studies Department at the National Labor Observatory (NLO), Dr. Abdullah Abuthnain, Vice Minister of Human Resources and Social Development for Labor, Dr. Ahmed Al-Ameri, President of Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University, Dr. Lilac Al-Safadi, President of Saudi Electronic University and Dr. Enas Al-Issa, Director of Noura University. (Supplied/ HRDF)

Economic participation has reached 51 percent, while economic participation of Saudi women has also reached 35 percent, “the highest figure historically.”

Turki Al-Jawini, director-general of HRDF, said that the fund had redesigned support programs with a focus on the impact assessment and analysis of big data; their relevance to the needs of beneficiaries; the possibility of measuring their reach, impact and efficiency; and the application of a governance model that enables the fund to adjust the design of the program to suit changing market needs.

“We at HRDF will work to develop and implement labor market policies by creating a sustainable national workforce, developing human cadres’ skills, providing them with knowledge and qualifications, and aligning them with labor market and job needs,” he said.

“We will use a strategy that prioritizes the beneficiary in the design and delivery of works and services and modernizes the human resources system by utilizing visions and sketching future labor market directions.”

Al-Jawini said that the HRDF strategy focused on three main objectives: Reducing the gap between education outcomes and labor market needs, increasing the efficiency of matching supply and demand, and enabling sustainable employment for groups facing labor market challenges.

Among the most significant problems for graduates is understanding labor market needs, linking labor market requirements with their skills, having the necessary experience, and possessing the most in-demand soft skills.

Direct coaching and mentoring for leaders comes within the framework of programs that support and empower women in the labor market, he said.

About 1,000 female leaders benefited from the programs, which helped find jobs for more than 65,000 women in private sector companies. Around 3,500 Saudi mothers benefited from Qurrah, a program that supports child care.

Al-Jawini said that about 51,000 Saudi women employees benefited from Wusool, a program that supports transport for female workers. About 7,000 job-seekers were employed in 2021, thanks to the Tamheer program, which offers female workers on-the-job training.

Mishaal Aledwani, professor of administration and educational planning at Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University, said that Saudi universities are undergoing substantial change as a result of external developments, as well as advances in technology and knowledge development.

The Saudi labor market needs skilled graduates who can work efficiently. Saudi universities face challenges maintaining their status and excellence, both locally and internationally, through the use of innovative learning methods and the provision of training programs for students, Aledwani said.

According to the former dean of the faculty of social sciences, Saudi universities’ performance in adapting graduates to the needs of the labor market is “average.”

Aledwani said that his research had revealed that one of the most significant challenges facing universities is inadequate training and qualification of students before they enter the labor market.

This includes poor coordination between universities and employers to determine the skills graduates need.

Zaid Al-Khumishi, educational supervisor at the Saudi Ministry of Education, discussed the application of artificial intelligence in human resource professional development to suit the needs of the Saudi labor market.

Al-Khumishi has worked in the education industry for almost two decades, recruiting specialists in electronic technology to build training programs employing artificial intelligence.

He suggested designing artificial intelligence-based training programs that meet the needs of the Saudi labor market and workers “by conducting a comprehensive survey of those needs and setting priorities for them to build training programs that meet those needs.”


Deal to provide healthcare services in Diriyah signed

The agreement was signed by Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of the authority, and Abdullah bin Khathlan, CEO of Riyadh Third Health Cluster
The agreement was signed by Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of the authority, and Abdullah bin Khathlan, CEO of Riyadh Third Health Cluster
Updated 17 May 2022

Deal to provide healthcare services in Diriyah signed

The agreement was signed by Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of the authority, and Abdullah bin Khathlan, CEO of Riyadh Third Health Cluster
  • Inzerillo added that both parties will work together to support the local community’s participation in international healthcare days using events and social media

RIYADH: The Diriyah Gate Development Authority has signed an agreement with the Riyadh Third Health Cluster to collaborate on the provision of healthcare and community services for residents of Diriyah.
The agreement was signed by Jerry Inzerillo, chief executive officer of the authority, and Abdullah bin Khathlan, CEO of Riyadh Third Health Cluster.
Inzerillo highlighted the importance of cooperation in joint initiatives and programs for community development in Diriyah and the necessity of collaboration to increase health awareness and the healthcare services offered in the city.
He added that both parties will work together to support the local community’s participation in international healthcare days using events and social media.
Bin Khathlan said the agreement will boost efforts to spread the culture of healthcare volunteering, adding that the Riyadh Third Health Cluster is committed to providing the best possible healthcare “in a comprehensive, sustainable way.”
The Diriyah Gate Development Authority aims to improve the quality of life within the entire Diriyah district by introducing regulations and guidelines which are designed to preserve the area unique cultural status within the Kingdom, while maintaining Saudi heritage.