Danube and F1 champion spread the word on healthy diet

Danube and F1 champion spread the word on healthy diet
Two-time F1 champion Mika Häkkinen is bringing his own ‘INZDR’ app to racing fans across the Kingdom.
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Updated 28 November 2021

Danube and F1 champion spread the word on healthy diet

Danube and F1 champion spread the word on healthy diet

The Danube supermarket and hypermarket chain in Saudi Arabia has joined forces with two-time F1 champion Mika Häkkinen in a drive to create awareness about the importance of maintaining a healthy diet. As part of the initiative, Danube Online will launch the “Racing Kitchen” on the Danube App during the upcoming F1 season. The feature will host an array of healthy recipes that could be part of a healthy diet and help in reaching an optimized lifestyle. Racing enthusiasts will also have the chance to enter a competition on Danube Online to meet the legendary driver Häkkinen in Jeddah.

Häkkinen is also bringing his own “INZDR” app to racing fans across the Kingdom. The app aims to redefine the fan experience and provide exclusive content from their favorite driving stars, including high-quality content such as the type of diets and exercise programs maintained by an elite athlete like an F1 driver.

Ahmad A.R. BinDawood, CEO of BinDawood Holding, the owner and operator of Danube, said: “We are thrilled to partner with such a legendary champion and athlete to help create awareness on the importance of maintaining a healthy and high-quality diet in order to support an optimized lifestyle. Our Danube stores stock a huge range of organic fresh produce and high-quality products that our customers can avail of to help them maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. We encourage our customers to try out the recipes in the Danube Kitchen section of our Danube App and of course, enter the draw to win a chance to meet Mika Hakkinen.”

The names of the winners will be announced on Danube’s social media handles.

BinDawood Holding is one of the leading grocery retail operators of hypermarkets and supermarkets in Saudi Arabia. The company has a total of 76 stores, of which 52 are hypermarkets and 24 are supermarkets, each located strategically across the Kingdom, and operating under two complementary brands: BinDawood and Danube.


Saudis take a trip back to their childhood days at Jeddah Season’s Rasha Rizk concert

Rasha Rizk performed to celebrate the grand opening of Anime Village, one of the zones in this year’s Jeddah Season. (Supplied)
Rasha Rizk performed to celebrate the grand opening of Anime Village, one of the zones in this year’s Jeddah Season. (Supplied)
Updated 24 May 2022

Saudis take a trip back to their childhood days at Jeddah Season’s Rasha Rizk concert

Rasha Rizk performed to celebrate the grand opening of Anime Village, one of the zones in this year’s Jeddah Season. (Supplied)
  • Rasha Rizk is voice of childhood dreams that lives in memories of three generations

JEDDAH: Rasha Rizk, the voice of childhood innocence, hopes, and dreams that lives in the memories of three generations, performed in Jeddah to celebrate the grand opening of Anime Village, one of the zones in this year’s Jeddah Season.

Syrian chanteuse Rizk is best known for performing Arabic versions of anime and cartoon theme songs and is credited with over 100 tracks, including “Doraemon,” “Gundam,” “Detective Conan,” “Captain Tsubasa,” “One Piece,” “Offside,” and “D.I.C.E.”

After three nights of filling the air of Anime Village at City Walk, Rizk held a meet-and-greet event at the SuperDome area on Sunday.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Rasha Rizk started the event with the Arabic version of the ‘Hunter X Hunter’ theme song.

• The singer ended the hour-long session with snippets from two of her widely loved songs: ‘Remi’s Anti Al-Aman’ and ‘Anastasia’s Ah lo fo Alahlam.’

• Most of those attending grew up in the 1980s, 1990s, and noughties. Now adults, they brought their children along to meet their anime-singing idol.

Before coming on stage, a variety of anime theme songs performed by her rang through the venue, awakening the inner child in every adult and re-igniting the flame of happy and innocent days from times past.

“Rasha is (one of) my unforgettable childhood memories. She taught me all about hope, strength, and happiness,” said 23-year-old Asma Alsaggaf. “I will introduce her to the coming generations, including my children, their children, and their children.”

“She (Rizk) is my entire childhood as all the childhood songs that I grew up listening to are mostly sung by her,” said 29-year-old Fatma Abdurahman. “I feel like I’m above the clouds after meeting her because I’ve been dreaming about this moment forever.”

Rizk started the event with the Arabic version of the “Hunter X Hunter” theme song. She then began welcoming and talking to fans of all ages.

“Honestly, I first listened to Rasha during my teenage years and immediately fell in love with her voice,” said 22-year-old Read Sindhi. “I’m thrilled with the fact that I met her.”

The singer ended the hour-long session with snippets from two of her widely loved songs: “Remi’s Anti Al-Aman” and “Anastasia’s Ah lo fo Alahlam.”

Most of those attending grew up in the 1980s, 1990s, and noughties. Now adults, they brought their children along to meet their anime-singing idol.

“I will allow the new generations to get to know Rasha to know how kind she is and listen to her songs because every track has a moral lesson,” said 24-year-old Raigah Zain.

Rizk told Arab News that she was thrilled and delighted to meet the people who had grown up listening to her and giving back the love she had received through the years.

“Meeting people and receiving this much love,” was what Rizk said she would remember most about the Jeddah events. “Seeing the audience singing every word and letter along with me is the best thing I could ask for. It feels like seeing my own children growing before my eyes.”

Rizk said she hoped to see more local anime works representing different Arab cultures and traditions go global. “I support every cultural project that sends a beautiful image to the world about Arabs.”

Besides singing anime and cartoon theme tracks, Rizk has released three albums, performed at opera houses and concerts around the world, played roles in musicals and movies, and was the voice of Anastasia in the animation movie.

She works with the cartoon channel “Spacetoon,” which shows dubbed animation and cartoons. She lent her voice to the Saudi animated movie “The Journey,” which was released in theaters last year.

 


Elaf Group to launch new hospitality brand Joudyan next month

Elaf is a leading hospitality player.
Elaf is a leading hospitality player.
Updated 15 min 15 sec ago

Elaf Group to launch new hospitality brand Joudyan next month

Elaf is a leading hospitality player.
  • The company currently has nine hotels and plans to double this number in the next three to five years and triple the number in the next 10 years

RIYADH: Elaf Group, one of the leading hospitality players in the region, plans to launch a new hotel brand called Joudyan.
“We will be launching Joudyan, our first outside Makkah and Madinah,” Adel Ezzat, CEO of Elaf Group, told Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Hospitality Forum in Riyadh.
He added that the new brand would be launched in Riyadh, Dammam and other tourism hotspots such as Jeddah and AlUla.

FASTFACTS

• The company currently has nine hotels and plans to double this number in the next three to five years and triple the number in the next 10 years.

• Elaf hotels are a mix of five- and four-star hotels that offer a unique experience of the local feel of the Kingdom to the visitors.

The company currently has nine hotels and plans to double this number in the next three to five years and triple the number in the next 10 years.
Elaf hotels are a mix of five- and four-star hotels that offer a unique experience of the local feel of the Kingdom to the visitors.
“We are a local brand, yet we have maintained international standards with local concepts, which is bringing to the visitors the real meaning of Saudi hospitality,” said Ezzat.
The company is also planning to expand across the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Middle East regions while setting its eyes on the European market.


UN warns Sudan’s future hangs in balance as political stalemate persists

UN warns Sudan’s future hangs in balance as political stalemate persists
Updated 49 min ago

UN warns Sudan’s future hangs in balance as political stalemate persists

UN warns Sudan’s future hangs in balance as political stalemate persists
  • The organization’s special representative for Sudan stressed the need for dialogue between civilians and the military authorities
  • Volker Perthes also warned of ‘spoilers’ who do not want a peaceful transition to democracy and refuse efforts to find a negotiated solution

NEW YORK: The UN on Tuesday urged the ruling authorities in Sudan to reassure the public that they support dialogue as the only way to reach a political solution to the unrest in the country.

Volker Perthes, the special representative of the UN secretary-general for Sudan, said that to get the political transition in the country back on track, the authorities first need to release remaining detainees, halt arbitrary arrests, and lift the state of emergency.

Time is running out for a political solution that can chart a path out of the current situation, he added, which remains precarious and with much at stake, including the country’s political, social and economic stability.

Perthes was speaking during a meeting of the Security Council to discuss the latest developments in the African country, a few days after another peaceful protester was killed by the authorities. The number of demonstrators killed since the military coup on Oct. 25 last year now stands at 96.

“If the authorities want to build trust, it is essential that those responsible for violence against protesters be held to account,” Perthes said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s latest report on Sudan stated that the lack of political agreement and of a “fully credible” government is affecting the security situation.

The Security Council meeting also came in the wake of armed clashes between Arab and Masalit communities in Kereneik, West Darfur, in April during which, initial reports suggested, 150 people were killed, many more injured, thousands displaced, and homes, a police station, a hospital and a market were burned down.

Perthes welcomed the decision by armed groups and regular forces to accept the Permanent Ceasefire Committee, chaired by the UN mission in the country, as a joint institution to help bring the conflict under control but warned that despite this, “the risk of a new outbreak of violence remains high.”

Although he welcomed the recent release of 86 detainees as an important step toward creating conditions conducive to rebuilding trust, he stressed that at least 111 people are still being held in Khartoum, Port Sudan and other cities.

Peaceful protests continue in Sudan amid public demands for change and the restoration of the democratic transitional process, even as several political parties and coalitions form new alliances and put forward proposals for talks with rivals.

“As Sudan continues to confront further uncertainty, the shared sense of urgency, combined with their vision for a better future, is driving many parties to seek common ground and increasing openness to dialogue,” Perthes told the members of the Security Council.

“There is also a growing recognition of the need for civilian-military dialogue.”

However, he added that some key stakeholders continue to reject calls for face-to-face talks with their counterparts and prefer to participate indirectly. For that reason, on May 12 the UN launched indirect talks to address a number of core issues, including “the term and composition of key constitutional organs, the future relationship between the military and civilian components, and the mechanism and criteria for the selection of a prime minister.”

Once an understanding is reached on such issues, Perthes said a trilateral mechanism that includes the UN, the African Union, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an eight-country African trade bloc, will convene for negotiations.

He warned, however, of “‘spoilers,’ who do not want a peaceful transition to democracy or refuse a solution through dialogue. The Sudanese parties should not allow such spoilers to undermine the opportunity of finding a negotiated exit to the crisis.”

The envoy also stressed that the protection of civilians requires the root causes of the conflict to be addressed, including decades of marginalization, land issues, and the return of internally displaced persons and refugees.

The political stalemate, combined with an economic crisis, poor harvests and global supply shocks, continues to exact a heavy socioeconomic toll on Sudan, where humanitarian needs are incessantly growing amid a 250 percent increase in food prices. According to the UN, the number of people in the country facing acute hunger is projected to double to about 18 million by September this year.

Perthes lamented the fact that the 2022 humanitarian response plan for Sudan has only received “an abysmal” 13 percent of funding, with international donors and financial institutions balking at providing assistance that goes through state systems in the absence of a political agreement to restore constitutional legitimacy.

“While the primary responsibility for these changes lies with the Sudanese stakeholders themselves, I am concerned about the long-term consequences as we watch the further erosion of Sudan’s already fragile state capacity and human capital,” he said.

He also warned that some of the critical assistance from the World Bank Group’s International Development Association 19 that is allocated to Sudan will go to other countries by the end of June if a political agreement cannot be reached in the country by then.

“If a solution to the current impasse is not found, the consequences will be felt beyond Sudan’s borders and for a generation,” Perthes said.


Aleph Hospitality eyes travel, tourism opportunities in KSA

Bani Haddad. (Supplied)
Bani Haddad. (Supplied)
Updated 14 min 37 sec ago

Aleph Hospitality eyes travel, tourism opportunities in KSA

Bani Haddad. (Supplied)
  • Haddad said that the internal market is quite strong from a demand standpoint

RIYADH: Aleph Hospitality, a leading Dubai-based independent hotel management company, is planning to open offices in Jeddah,
Makkah and Madinah to tap Saudi Arabia’s growing travel and tourism industry.
“Saudi Arabia represents about 30 million domestic travelers.
Our expectations from the Kingdom are quite high,” Bani Haddad, the founder and managing director of Aleph Hospitality, told Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia represents about 30 million domestic travelers. Our expectations from the Kingdom are quite high.

Bani Haddad

Haddad said that the internal market is quite strong from a demand standpoint. The situation is highly encouraging if one includes religious tourism, open visa policies, development in the region’s secondary cities, and expansion of the airlines and airlifts.
“So, the fundamentals are becoming more and more solid for the hospitality sector to flourish,” he added.
Because Aleph Hospitality is an independent operator, Haddad said the company services properties ranging from two- to five-stars in city centers and small to large resorts.
He explained that the company’s flexibility allows them to service investors in that sector.

 


Hospitality business trained to deal with pandemics: Azadea official

Mert Askin
Mert Askin
Updated 14 min 8 sec ago

Hospitality business trained to deal with pandemics: Azadea official

Mert Askin
  • Lebanon-based retail chain Azadea Group sells fashion, sports, home furnishings and food and drink

RIYADH: The hospitality industry has steeled itself for another pandemic after suffering the effects of the last health crisis, said Mert Askin, Azadea Group’s president of food and beverage.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh, Askin said that the industry is yet to recover from the pandemic because certain restrictions remain in place, such as some regulated air travel.
Askin added: “We are recovering. We are growing. And I’m optimistic about the future because this pandemic taught us a lot of things. This is not going to be the last pandemic, there may be more to come. But we are now trained to manage this kind of difficult situation.”
Lebanon-based retail chain Azadea Group sells fashion, sports, home furnishings and food and drink. Its food brands include Paul, Columbus Cafe & Co. and Eataly. The group, founded in 1978, employs over 10,000 staff across more than 550 stores in 13 countries including Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar and the UAE.

I’m optimistic about the future because this pandemic taught us a lot of things.

Mert Askin

The group’s food and drinks head pointed out that the firm’s core business had not changed despite the pandemic.
Askin said: “Our core is people — our team. As well as the customer, and how we operate together. That core will not change. But we definitely have a lot more technology tools at our disposal.”
He added that the group’s revenues are climbing and are close to pre-pandemic levels.
Saudi Arabia is Azadea Group’s second-largest market, and Askin added that the business wants to change with the Kingdom as it opens up and transforms its hospitality sector.
Askin said: “Saudi (Arabia) is changing, and we want to change with Saudi (Arabia). We believe in Vision 2030. We are committed to it, and we want to be a part of the program by growing with the country as it opens up. There is a lot of investment flooding into the industry. And we want to benefit from that tailwind and grow our business.”
Saudi nationals currently make up around a quarter of the staff the group employs.
Askin added: “Today, approximately 20 to 25 percent of our team members are Saudis. And one thing that we use to attract more Saudis is recognizing and sharing their success stories, as well as providing growth opportunities.”