Luna Reef brings unique cuisines from around the world to Jeddah’s dining table

Square Pizza that is served at the Emmy's Squared Pizza. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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Square Pizza that is served at the Emmy's Squared Pizza. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
Tomahawk steak at Le Comptoir De Nicole which is also one of their most famous items. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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Tomahawk steak at Le Comptoir De Nicole which is also one of their most famous items. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
Le Comptoir De Nicole's famous Burrata. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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Le Comptoir De Nicole's famous Burrata. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
A loaded Pepperoni pizza that was specially made to fit the taste of Saudis who prefer their pizzas loaded. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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A loaded Pepperoni pizza that was specially made to fit the taste of Saudis who prefer their pizzas loaded. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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Updated 29 June 2022

Luna Reef brings unique cuisines from around the world to Jeddah’s dining table

Luna Reef brings unique cuisines from around the world to Jeddah’s dining table
  • The chefs from each restaurant are working hard to move their locales to a more permanent spot
  • Hoping to be part of already growing collection of superb restaurants in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Luna Reef Restaurants, located inside the Jeddah Yacht Club, has brought together five restaurants, each boasting authenticity and class and offering the best view of the sea in town: Italian restaurants Madeo and Le Vesuvio, French fine-dining restaurant Le Comptoir De Nicole, Sri Lankan eatery Hoppers, and pizza place Emmy Squared Pizza.

The chefs from each restaurant are working hard to move their locales to a more permanent spot so they can be a part of the already growing collection of superb restaurants in the Kingdom.

Daniel Lewis, the executive branch chef for Emmy Squared Pizza, said that they are always open to trying new things. The pizza parlor recently came up with the “Loaded Ronni” pizza, given the Saudi predilection for pepperoni pizza.

The pizzeria is a must-try for those who enjoy comfort food. The pizzas are baked in a square tin tray that is coated with brown butter. The spongy dough pairs sublimely with the mozzarella cheese, baked to golden perfection.

FASTFACT

French restaurant Le Comptoir De Nicole gets its name from old French; the word “comptoir” today is used to describe a casual, relaxed dining setting.

“In America, they call this kind of pizza a pie, and if you speak to an Italian chef, they are going to tell you it is not a pizza. However, the quality of the ingredients that we use is what matters the most. We get ourselves the best ingredients that we can globally, so that is what sets us apart from the run-of-the-mill pizza,” Lewis said.

Some of the ingredients used in the pizza are shipped here from Italy to ensure they are the best in the market. The chef said that they were still working to put a Saudi twist on things.

“I have some Middle Eastern experience, but this year I am going to dive much deeper into the culture and try to adapt some of our recipes and offerings to the people here. While doing that, we still want to maintain the award-winning standard that we have set.”

When asked about his favorite aspect of the restaurant, he said it is a perfect setting for groups: “It is all about sharing. It is very relaxed.”

Madeo, for its part, does not just represent Italian food but the legacy of an Italian family. It is owned and run by Alfio Vietina and his wife Elvira Buffoni. For over 35 years, they have been creating recipes and plan to hand them down to the coming generations.

For Madeo, the main idea is not to put a twist on Italian food but to remain consistent and deliver the same food in Jeddah as is served in their branch in Los Angeles.

FASTFACT

The square pizza trend caught on with mechanics in Detroit, as they would keep screws and other smaller components in similar tin boxes; later, they would take them home and bake pizzas in them.

“We must follow the recipe, and every day we try and make the best version of it. We are very excited to give our guests an Italian fine-dining experience,” said Davide Figliolini, executive chef of Madeo.

The restaurant has kept its food simple yet delicious, so it appeals to all palates.

Customers of French eatery Le Comptoir De Nicole, meanwhile, say it is the “perfect place to fall in love” with its beautiful view of the nightly fireworks. It presents the signature dishes of Nicole Rubi, who has managed to capture the spirit of Nice, located on the French Riviera, in her culinary creations. Their burrata fraiche and Wagyu beef tagliata are among the restaurant’s best sellers.

Head Chef Joginder Dham said: “The coast of Jeddah is the perfect setting for the bright and cheerful Comptoir de Nicole. I am happy to bring Mediterranean classics to the Red Sea.”


PNU’s Apple Developer Academy celebrates first graduation

PNU’s Apple Developer Academy celebrates first graduation
Updated 08 August 2022

PNU’s Apple Developer Academy celebrates first graduation

PNU’s Apple Developer Academy celebrates first graduation
  • ‘The women graduating today from the Apple Developer Academy are creators, designers, coders and entrepreneurs’

RIYADH: The first group of students have graduated from Riyadh’s Apple Developer Academy, established last year in collaboration with Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Tuwaiq Academy and the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones.

The all-women program brought together graduates on Sunday night to celebrate the study of the expanding iOS app economy.

Esther Hare, senior director of worldwide developer marketing at Apple, said: “The women graduating today from the Apple Developer Academy are creators, designers, coders and entrepreneurs. They have bright futures ahead, and we can’t wait to see how they will use their skills and experience to leave their mark on the region and the world.”

She added: “Already, many of our graduates here have lined up wonderful jobs as they launch their careers as iOS developers, UX designers, project managers and more. As we expand the program, we expect to eventually reach over 600 women each year with these world-class learning opportunities.”

The Academy helps women entrepreneurs and developers to begin careers in the app economy.

More than 100 students gained coding, design, marketing and professional skills over the course of nine months, and they now graduate with the full set of abilities required to take part in the iOS app economy, and even launch their own businesses.

“Our mission this year was to fully support our learners’ education ambitions, wherever they are and at whatever level, regardless of age, technical knowledge or background,” said Ohood Al-Nayel, director of the Riyadh Apple Developer Academy.

“We were very mindful from the beginning in equipping each and every Apple Developer Academy learner today with relevant real-world knowledge and skills, to ensure the region’s app development environment of tomorrow is an exceptional one,” added Al-Nayel.

The Academy began offering in-person classroom instruction in February. The facility is housed at PNU, which has the largest women’s university campus in the world, offering students access to top-class amenities including dorms, athletics facilities and quick links to Riyadh.

“Following my time at the Academy, I am proud to witness my own change and evolution,” said Academy student Samah Bamumin.

In order to connect with businesses for career and funding opportunities, students took part in a job fair before the graduation ceremony.

“It was an absolute honor to witness how the Apple Developer Academy delivered skilled developers, designers and entrepreneurs to the Saudi market,” said Ahmed Dulli, executive manager of mobile development at Elm Company, one of the Kingdom’s largest development houses that offers custom-made solutions for the government and private sector.

“There is a dire need for iOS developers in the Kingdom, especially with iOS being the most used mobile platform in the country. Therefore, we truly appreciate Apple’s efforts for supporting that.”

To help aspiring business owners, developers and designers find and create jobs in the booming iOS app economy, Apple has established more than a dozen Apple Developer Academy locations around the world.

Academy graduates go on to launch their own companies, develop and market apps on the App Store, and volunteer in their communities.

Applications are now open to all women across the region. Students do not need to have a connection to PNU, nor do they need a university degree or any coding experience.

Commenting on why the Apple Developer Academy is offered at no cost, Hare said: “We believe apps for everyone should be designed by everyone and we want to ensure that passionate learners have the opportunity to be part of this program, regardless of financial ability. Across the world, we offer this program at no cost so that we can increase equity, access and opportunity.”

Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih said that within weeks, Apple will launch a special logistics zone at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh to manufacture and export devices to markets in the region.


Saudi Arabia automatically extends visitor IDs for Yemeni residents

Saudi Arabia automatically extends visitor IDs for Yemeni residents
Updated 08 August 2022

Saudi Arabia automatically extends visitor IDs for Yemeni residents

Saudi Arabia automatically extends visitor IDs for Yemeni residents

RIYADH: Yemenis living in Saudi Arabia will have their visitor IDs automatically extended for six months, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

In an SPA statement, the General Directorate of Passports said eligible residents can apply for the six-month extension until Dec. 7.

The extension applies to Yemeni residents who regularly renew their visitor IDs, the authority said.

Beneficiaries would be required to pay the fees in a service available until Aug. 23.

“The extension will be done automatically without the need to visit the passport departments,” the authority said.

The new ID will be delivered to the resident via the Saudi Post, the statement read.


Saudi artist with a disability blows minds with his paintings

Ahmed Hakeem’s paintings were displayed at Markaz Al-Oun Bazaar. (Supplied)
Ahmed Hakeem’s paintings were displayed at Markaz Al-Oun Bazaar. (Supplied)
Updated 08 August 2022

Saudi artist with a disability blows minds with his paintings

Ahmed Hakeem’s paintings were displayed at Markaz Al-Oun Bazaar. (Supplied)
  • Ahmed Hakeem’s love of creativity helps him to forget the difficulties he faces to draw some amazing art pieces
  • Hakeem has not let his disability be an impediment to what he likes doing, which is painting

RIYADH: With joy, Ahmed Hakeem holds his brush, starts picking vibrant colors, and then he paints cubic and abstract shapes on an empty canvas.

Hakeem is a 34-year-old Saudi artist who has a mild intellectual disability. Individuals with mild ID are slower in all areas of conceptual development and social and daily living skills.

But Hakeem’s love of art helps him to forget the difficulties he faces as a person with a disability to draw some amazing art pieces. He has not let his disability be an impediment to what he likes doing, which is painting.

Not only that he is good at painting, but he is also an athlete. He is a good swimmer, he plays basketball, he loves running, he has won bronze, silver and gold medals in sports.

He is also good at ping pong, padel, hiking, and loves animals.

During the pandemic, Hakeem unleashed his creative side and started to learn to paint. He enrolled in classes, and he started drawing abstract and cubic art.

FASTFACTS

• Hakeem is a 34-year-old Saudi artist who has a mild intellectual disability. Individuals with mild ID are slower in all areas of conceptual development and social and daily living skills.

• He has not let his disability be an impediment to what he likes doing, which is painting.

• He is also an athlete. He is a good swimmer, he plays basketball, he loves running, he has won bronze and silver medals in sports.

His paintings were displayed at Markaz Al-Oun Bazaar, which is a help center and non-profit organization that helps people with intellectual disabilities, and he wants to have his own gallery in the future.

Hakeem, who works at Juffali Heavy Equipment as an assistant, also talked about how hard it is for people with disabilities to find a good job.

“You need to know about the challenges that I am having with the community in general. Most people with disabilities are usually unemployed and don’t have access to powerful governmental aid, but their families have to enroll them in special clubs, and this can be financially stressful to the parents, so there is a lack of community and activities for us,” Hakeem told Arab News.

Noura Hakeem, his sister, said: “Because Hakeem looks normal and is not in a wheelchair, many places we go, they see him as a normal person, and every time we go out, I have to have proof that he is mentally challenged, which is very hard.”

“Even though the plane’s tickets are more expensive than the economy ticket and the discount they give us isn’t that much, so basically we book him a normal economy ticket but hopefully with time this is going to change soon because there is more attention by the authorities on people with disabilities,” she said.

According to APD, the official association of people with disabilities, the percentage of people with disabilities in the Kingdom is 7.1 percent, or 1,445,723 people out of a population 32.94 million. The association is set to organize its efforts and build an integrated institutional system to remove barriers to people with disabilities and empower them to live in society without discrimination.


King Fahd National Library exhibits rare Qur’ans

King Fahd National Library exhibits rare Qur’ans. (SPA)
King Fahd National Library exhibits rare Qur’ans. (SPA)
Updated 07 August 2022

King Fahd National Library exhibits rare Qur’ans

King Fahd National Library exhibits rare Qur’ans. (SPA)
  • The King Fahd National Library recently added to its collection Chinese books donated by the National Library of China

RIYADH: The King Fahd National Library has opened an exhibition of rare Arabic manuscripts, including medieval copies of the Qur’an, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The library’s Secretary-General Dr. Mansour bin Abdullah Al-Zamil launched the opening, which includes books printed prior to the Kingdom’s unification during the reign of King Abdulaziz.
Saleh Al-Aboudi, director of the library’s Anecdotes and Collections Department, gave a presentation explaining the exhibition’s contents, which boasts Qur’ans dating back to the third century AH as well as local manuscripts, miniatures, antiquities, inscriptions, and other Arab and Saudi publications.
The King Fahd National Library recently added to its collection Chinese books donated by the National Library of China.
The books — covering subjects including history, economy, tourism and culture — are distributed in Arabic and English. They include literature related to China, including books on the Chinese language and children’s books, which serve as an opportunity for Saudis to get to know the country and its culture.

 


Makkah governor receives US consul general in Jeddah

Makkah governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal receives US Consul General Faris Asad in Jeddah. (Supplied)
Makkah governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal receives US Consul General Faris Asad in Jeddah. (Supplied)
Updated 07 August 2022

Makkah governor receives US consul general in Jeddah

Makkah governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal receives US Consul General Faris Asad in Jeddah. (Supplied)
  • Faris’ other past assignments include assistant information officer in Amman, Jordan, and public diplomacy officer with a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Mosul, Iraq

MAKKAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal received US Consul General Faris Asad in Jeddah on Sunday.
They discussed topics of common interest. Asad also concurrently serves as the US representative to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, headquartered in Jeddah. He joined the US Department of State in 2004 as a foreign service officer.
Most recently, Faris served as political chief at the US Embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan from 2018-2020.
Faris’ other past assignments include assistant information officer in Amman, Jordan, and public diplomacy officer with a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Mosul, Iraq.