Lifestyle provider launches loyalty rewards program in Saudi Arabia

Special Lifestyle provider launches loyalty rewards program in Saudi Arabia
Mohammed Al-Hashemi, country head, Majid Al-Futtaim’s Leisure, Entertainment and Cinemas speaking at the launch event. (Supplied)
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Updated 02 August 2022

Lifestyle provider launches loyalty rewards program in Saudi Arabia

Lifestyle provider launches loyalty rewards program in Saudi Arabia
  • Retail, leisure, and entertainment company Majid Al Futtaim’s SHARE initiative will allow participating members to earn and spend points throughout the Kingdom
  • The scheme will also enable its Saudi-based members to collect points from more than 3,500 shopping outlets in the UAE

RIYADH: A leading Middle East and Africa lifestyle provider on Tuesday launched an entertainment loyalty rewards program for Saudi Arabia.

Retail, leisure, and entertainment company Majid Al Futtaim’s SHARE initiative will allow participating members to earn and spend points throughout the Kingdom, and at thousands of locations in the UAE.

Speaking during the launch at Riyadh’s VOX Cinema in The Espalande plaza, Saudi country head for Majid Al Futtaim Leisure, Entertainment, Cinemas, and Lifestyle, Mohamed Al-Hashemi, said: “SHARE is the first-of-its-kind entertainment rewards program in the Kingdom and offers an effortless and instant way to earn and redeem points across a portfolio of brands as well as member-exclusive benefits.

“Our guests are at the center of everything we do. The launch of SHARE in Saudi Arabia is fueled by our obsession with customer experience.”

Customers can register for membership by visiting the Magic Planet website or VOX app. Once on board, they can earn redeemable points from each transaction carried out in Majid Al Futtaim’s VOX Cinemas, Magic Planet, and Yalla! Bowling locations.

The scheme will also enable its Saudi-based members to collect points from more than 3,500 shopping outlets in the UAE, with 10 points earned amounting to one Saudi riyal. Exclusive benefits, such as discounts and special offers on movie premieres, will apply too, along with gifts and personalized offers on birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasions.

“Over the coming months, we will be expanding the offering beyond entertainment into additional experiences and categories as well as adding further features so that guests have even more opportunities to enjoy instant rewards as part of our continuous improvement strategy,” Al-Hashemi added.

Prior to its successful launch in the UAE in 2019, the program went through a trial period.

“More than 30,000 members from Saudi Arabia signed up for SHARE and 11,000 transactions were made during the program’s trial phase in early July of this year,” Al-Hashemi said.

Majid Al Futtaim Group currently operates 29 shopping malls which include the Mall of the Emirates, Mall of Egypt, Mall of Oman, and 13 hotels.

The group is also the exclusive franchisee for retail company Carrefour throughout the Middle East, Asia, and Africa in more than 30 markets.


Suspect in murder of Saudi student set for Feb. 13 court hearing in Philadelphia

Nicole Marie Rodgers, who is originally from Columbus, Georgia, allegedly stabbed Algheraibi in the neck. (Philadelphia Police)
Nicole Marie Rodgers, who is originally from Columbus, Georgia, allegedly stabbed Algheraibi in the neck. (Philadelphia Police)
Updated 29 January 2023

Suspect in murder of Saudi student set for Feb. 13 court hearing in Philadelphia

Nicole Marie Rodgers, who is originally from Columbus, Georgia, allegedly stabbed Algheraibi in the neck. (Philadelphia Police)
  • Alwaleed Algheraibi, 25, stabbed in the neck
  • Bail denied for accused Nicole Marie Rodgers, 19

CHICAGO: A Pennsylvania judge has denied bail for Nicole Marie Rodgers, 19, who is accused of the Jan. 23 murder of Saudi student Alwaleed Algheraibi, 25, with a court appearance set for next month.

Rodgers, who is originally from Columbus, Georgia, allegedly stabbed Algheraibi in the neck. She was arraigned on Thursday and will be held in police custody until her first public court appearance on Monday, Feb. 13, court records provided to Arab News show.

Rodgers was taken into custody on Thursday, Jan. 26, following a three-day Philadelphia police investigation.

Rodgers faces charges including murder, robbery, burglary and theft. Investigating officers told local press that the victim’s phone and other valuables were taken.

Police said that witnesses had heard a person screaming from an apartment building located at the 300 block of Hansberry Street in Philadelphia at approximately 11:50 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 23.

When police arrived with paramedics, they found Algheraibi in the bathroom of a third-floor apartment with a fatal stab wound to his neck.

Algheraibi, described as a college student, was pronounced dead by the Philadelphia Fire Department Medical Unit personnel five minutes after his body was found on the bathroom floor.

Algheraibi was nearing the end of his studies and was due to return to Saudi Arabia.

The victim’s uncle told local Saudi media that his nephew’s suspected killer was a neighbor who lived in the apartment opposite.


Bollywood singers to fire up Jeddah with live performances

Bollywood singers to fire up Jeddah with live performances
Updated 29 January 2023

Bollywood singers to fire up Jeddah with live performances

Bollywood singers to fire up Jeddah with live performances
  • Two-day music festival Indian Cultural Night to be held on Thursday

JEDDAH: Indian melody king Kumar Sanu, playback singer M.G. Sreekumar, actor Dileep, and many more are set to take the stage in Jeddah for live music shows as part of the Indian Cultural Night.

This was announced recently by Junaise Babu, chairman of Good Hope Events, at a press conference with the attendance of various media representatives from Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The two-day music festival will be held from Feb. 2-3 at the Equestrian Club located on Asfan Road, in the Al-Frosyah district in Jeddah. It is expected to draw more than 35,000 music fans from all Asian communities.

Babu told Arab News that Saudi Arabia has been hosting massive entertainment and cultural events and is becoming the Gulf region’s premier entertainment hub.

He said: “We are planning to introduce the same standard of events for our Asian community.

“We are working with the relevant authorities and ensuring all safety measures are put in place as we organize a live music performance for thousands of expats in Jeddah, mainly from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.”

On Feb. 2, the South Indian night will feature Malayalam cinema’s favorite actor Dileep, singer Sreekumar, Nadirshah, Kottayam Naseer, Ranjini Jose, Amrutha Suresh, Fazilah Banu and Mahesh Kunjumon, among others.

On Feb. 3, the Bollywood night music festival will be led by famous musicians such as Sanu and Rachana Chopra and various other artistic performers from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Tickets are already on sale, with four categories starting from SR500 ($133) for VVIP seats, diamond tickets for SR300, gold for SR150 and silver for SR90.

Bollywood music events are a recurring theme on local event calendars. On Friday, the Makan Music Center in Jeddah organized an Indian-themed music night to support local artists and bands.

Fans of Indian music were treated to well-known Bollywood tunes and other genres of Indian music. The themed night was part of Makan’s cultural events calendar, during which local bands showcased genres including Arabic and Latin music.


Formula E for entertainment for fans in Diriyah

Formula E for entertainment for fans in Diriyah
Updated 29 January 2023

Formula E for entertainment for fans in Diriyah

Formula E for entertainment for fans in Diriyah

RIYADH:  From live gaming racing experiences, musical performances, food trucks, and face painting, this year’s Formula E Allianz Fan Village pulled out all the stops to create memorable fun for visitors in Diriyah.

“It’s truly wonderful. I brought my kids and wife. It has been loads of fun,” Michael Brintley, a business strategist living in Riyadh, told Arab News.

“We played the racing game in the Jahez tent, and my daughter got her face painted.

“It’s a nice experience to have on top of the races going on. We are still new to Saudi, so this was our first Diriyah Formula E, but it was great.”

The fan village welcomed locals, expats, families, and friends to watch the races and enjoy downtime in between rounds on Friday and Saturday.

It boasted many tents and booths, giving interactive experiences and offering activities such as a miniature remote-controlled racing game around Diriyah hosted in the Saudia airline booth pop-up.

The live gaming arena gave guests the full racing experience through multiple simulators and several different levels.

The fan village also had a main stage with multiple screens which displayed a live broadcast of the races.

Live performances, from marching bands to magicians, took place on a smaller stage to entertain families, while other tents featured live music and autograph sessions from competing drivers.

Formula E merchandise and memorabilia could also be bought, and near to the store was a padel court for visitors seeking some exercise.

Yusra Al-Humaidan, 22, attended the event with friends to share the experience.

She said: “I decided to come to Formula E with some of my friends at the last minute. We did not attend the first day but, after seeing all of the videos and pictures on Snapchat, we decided to come and see it.”

The party toured the fan village before returning to the Emotion Club, Formula E’s premium hospitality club.

She added: “The games in the [fan] village were so much fun. We saw this man dressed like a trophy who was dancing, and we played some of the car racing games before we ate dinner.”

The event ended with concerts by French Montana and John Legend on the podium stage.

The two-day Diriyah E-Prix, which ended on Saturday, took place during the ninth season of the FIA Formula E World Championship.

Some 11 teams and 22 drivers took to the race grid for the fifth time in the Kingdom since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the event in December 2018.


Saudi Arabia condemns ‘provocative’ Qur’an burning in Denmark

Saudi Arabia condemns ‘provocative’ Qur’an burning in Denmark
Updated 29 January 2023

Saudi Arabia condemns ‘provocative’ Qur’an burning in Denmark

Saudi Arabia condemns ‘provocative’ Qur’an burning in Denmark

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Saturday strongly condemned the burning of copies of the Qur’an by extremists in the Danish capital, Copenhagen, “in a new provocative step to the sentiment of millions of Muslims around the world.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated the Kingdom’s position, which “strongly rejects all these blatant acts that have unfortunately been repeated in several European capitals recently, under the pretext of freedom of expression, without a clear reaction toward stopping these practices.”

The Kingdom called on all European governments in which these extremist violations occurred, to urgently address all these practices that contribute to fueling hatred and conflict between followers of religions, the ministry said in a statement.

Rasmus Paludan, a far-right activist who holds both Danish and Swedish citizenship, already infuriated the Muslim world by staging a Qur’an-burning protest in Sweden on January 21. On Friday, Paludan replicated the stunt in front of a mosque as well as the Turkish Embassy in Copenhagen and vowed to continue every Friday until Sweden is admitted into NATO.

Several regional and international organizations, including the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Muslim World League, Arab Parliament and Gulf Cooperation Council, also issued statements strongly denouncing the incident, along with Pakistan, Jordan, Turkiye and Oman.


Saudi Arabia, France discuss peaceful atomic energy cooperation

Saudi Arabia, France discuss peaceful atomic energy cooperation
Updated 29 January 2023

Saudi Arabia, France discuss peaceful atomic energy cooperation

Saudi Arabia, France discuss peaceful atomic energy cooperation
  • They also discussed opportunities in renewable energy, clean hydrogen, and electrical interconnection

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman held a meeting on Saturday with French Minister of Economy, Finance, and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty Bruno Le Maire in the capital, Riyadh, the state-run SPA news agency reported.

The two ministers praised the relations between their two countries and discussed prospects for cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy.

They also discussed future opportunities in various energy fields, including areas of cooperation in renewable energy, clean hydrogen, and electrical interconnection.