Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah is a project rooted in humanity, culture and interaction, DGDA chief marketing officer tells Mayman Show

Special Kiran Haslam, DGDA’s chief marketing officer, spoke to the Arab News podcast “The Mayman Show.” (AN Photo)
Kiran Haslam, DGDA’s chief marketing officer, spoke to the Arab News podcast “The Mayman Show.” (AN Photo)
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Updated 11 August 2022

Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah is a project rooted in humanity, culture and interaction, DGDA chief marketing officer tells Mayman Show

Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah is a project rooted in humanity, culture and interaction, DGDA chief marketing officer tells Mayman Show
  • Diriyah Gate Development Authority’s 5th anniversary is an amazing milestone, says chief marketing officer Kiran Haslam
  • Haslam says DGDA made Saudi Arabia’s “Great Place To Work” list because it offers a “unique working environment”

RIYADH: The fifth anniversary of the launch of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority was an amazing milestone, Kiran Haslam, the organization’s chief marketing officer, told the Arab News podcast “The Mayman Show.”

In the podcast, which features actors, comedians, models, athletes, and more, he said: “It’s a milestone that we want to shout about to each other in the office, more so than outside the office.”

Haslam pointed out that the DGDA’s “unique working environment and mandate” was recently recognized as being one of the best places to work in the Kingdom, adding that this was “incredible, but sort of not a surprise.”




The Diriyah Gate Development Authority made Saudi Arabia’s “Great Place To Work” list because it offers a “unique working environment,” its CMO Kiran Haslam told The MaymanShow on the DGDA 5th anniversary. (AN Photo)

He said that as an organization each member of the authority cooperated and interacted with each other in a refreshing, dynamic, and energetic manner.

“Sometimes there’s a lot of excitement. Not wanting to name brands, I will say that I have visited the offices of Google. It has a reputation for very open, exciting, and dynamic workplaces where people enjoy themselves,” Haslam added.

“The crossover point between where it is work and where it is just how we want to live, has blurred. The DGDA is just like Google in that regard, with a lot less beanbags around the office. Google of course is famous for having beanbags everywhere. Our spines are all straight because we’re sitting on good chairs, and we’re still able to interact in that kind of positive manner.”

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Haslam, the author of two children’s books, joined the DGDA with the mindset of an anthropologist. He is also a musician and a composer with a master’s degree in guitar, as well as a professional with experience in the yachting and automotive industries.

He noted that what was magnificent about the authority were the kind of assets it was creating for a city within Riyadh. “At Diriyah, we are creating mixed-use assets,” he said.

“Historically, people have talked about it almost from a development perspective only, which is the five-star hotels, the academies and university concepts, and all of the stuff that create a way to live inside a city within the capital city, which is Riyadh.”




Diriyah Gate Development Authority’s 5th anniversary “is an amazing milestone,” Kiran Haslam told The Mayman Show. (AN Photo)

Highlighting examples of the authority’s attention to detail during the development of Diriyah, he said: “It’s sort of the humanity which is linking all the projects, all of those assets, all of those locales and initiatives. And the entire project in itself is human scale.

“So, it’s all in reference to Najdi architecture and it’s all adobe construction. We have created 180 million mud bricks thus far to build the first phase of Diriyah.”

At-Turaif was built with adobe mud and other natural materials in the 1700s and features courtyards, alleyways, and towers that showcase quintessential Najdi architecture and tell the story of a traditional Saudi way of life. In 2010, almost three centuries later, the ruins of At-Turaif were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.




At-Turaif was built with adobe mud and other natural materials in the 1700s and features courtyards, alleyways, and towers that showcase quintessential Najdi architecture. (Supplied)

Haslam pointed out that the mud bricks would be used to replicate the feel of At-Turaif, maintain its ambience, and amplify its spirit and meaning.

“To give you a little idea, 180 million mud bricks, if you stack them end to end, is 3.7 times longer than the Great Wall of China.

“So, it’s a big project, it’s a complex project, but it’s one which is always rooted in humanity, culture, and interaction. That’s what really sets the project apart,” he added.

“The Mayman Show” episode featuring Kiran Haslam will launch on Aug. 5 at 6 p.m. Riyadh time.

 

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Saudi FM pays condolences to slain Abe Shinzo in meeting with Japan FM

Saudi FM pays condolences to slain Abe Shinzo in meeting with Japan FM
Updated 23 sec ago

Saudi FM pays condolences to slain Abe Shinzo in meeting with Japan FM

Saudi FM pays condolences to slain Abe Shinzo in meeting with Japan FM
  • During the two officials’ meeting, Japanese FM Hayashi Yoshimasa expressed his appreciation for Saudi’s presence at the ceremony

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud paid his heartfelt condolences over the passing of former Prime Minister ABE Shinzo during his meeting with Japan Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa on Tuesday.

Prince Faisal is in Japan to attend Abe’s state funeral, which took place earlier this morning. During the two officials’ meeting, Yoshimasa expressed his appreciation for Saudi’s presence at the ceremony.

He also expressed his intention to “firmly develop the diplomatic legacy inherited from former Prime Minister Abe and strengthen the strategic partnership between Japan and Saudi Arabia,” according to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Kingdom’s FM reaffirmed his hopes for further strengthening the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

They also exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine and the international oil market. Yoshimasa thanked Prince Faisal for supply of oil from Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi FM said the Kingdom is committed to assuring a stable supply of oil to Japan.

The two ministers also agreed to further promote cooperation in moving towards the realization of carbon-neutrality through the utilization and promotion of clean energy.

Originally published in Arab News Japan


KSRelief launches humanitarian campaigns in Yemen, Lebanon and Pakistan

KSRelief launches humanitarian campaigns in Yemen, Lebanon and Pakistan
Updated 27 September 2022

KSRelief launches humanitarian campaigns in Yemen, Lebanon and Pakistan

KSRelief launches humanitarian campaigns in Yemen, Lebanon and Pakistan
  • KSRelief’s Project Masam has so far dismantled 359,626 mines since its inception
  • As many as 1,520 food baskets were distributed in Pakistan, benefiting 10,640 people

DUBAI: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) launched on Saturday a campaign to combat malaria in Yemen.
KSRelief’s aid efforts were carried out by its implementing partner, the World Health Organization, according to a report by state agency SPA.
The relief organization also dismantled 763 mines across Yemen in one week. These included 93 anti-personnel mines, 335 anti-tank mines, 333 unexploded ordnance and 2 explosive devices.
KSRelief’s Project Masam has so far dismantled 359,626 mines since its inception.
The humanitarian center also extended its relief efforts to Lebanon by distributing 300 food baskets to refugees and host communities in the country.
This came within KSRelief’s project to provide food security for Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
Meanwhile, the relief center’s teams have worked tirelessly to support people affected by the floods in Pakistan.
On Saturday, as many as 1,520 food baskets were distributed in the Sindh and Punjab provinces, benefiting 10,640 people, reported SPA.


Popstar Jason Derulo lauds AlUla’s unique ‘blend of worlds’

Popstar Jason Derulo lauds AlUla’s unique ‘blend of worlds’
Updated 27 September 2022

Popstar Jason Derulo lauds AlUla’s unique ‘blend of worlds’

Popstar Jason Derulo lauds AlUla’s unique ‘blend of worlds’
  • Singer says Saudi Arabia becoming world’s most attractive destination

ALULA: In the historical epicenter for cross-cultural exchange, between the majestic mountains of AlUla, popstar Jason Derulo took the stage to deliver a performance unlike any other at the second edition of the Azimuth music festival on Saudi National Day last weekend.

The American artist entranced the crowd with some of his most recent hits, including “Swalla” and “Jelebi Baby,” as well as some of his older fan favorites such as “Solo” and “In My Head.”

The concert took place in the same valley that hosted the contemporary art exhibition Desert X earlier this year, ensuring a special music experience for nationals and visitors alike in celebration of the Kingdom’s 92nd National Day.

American Popstar Jason Derulo performing to a Saudi audience in celebration of the 92nd National Day at the Azimuth festival in AlUla, which took place from Sept. 22-24. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

“Any time you can come to a place and have an experience … it makes the show so much better because it’s something that’s completely different that you can’t get anywhere else,” Derulo told Arab News in an exclusive interview.

Historically known as a strategic crossroads for trade and pilgrimage routes, the settlement conceals hidden gems such as the narrow valley oasis and the unique Elephant Rock. As part of the Madinah province, AlUla is a symbol of the cultural richness found throughout the eastern region of Saudi Arabia and beyond.

Any time that I can spread the word about how incredible this place is, I jump at the opportunity, and this is another one of those opportunities.

Jason Derulo

“Coming through the rock and all the sand, it’s almost like it’s a hideaway from everything, and to bring all of this luxury to the middle of the desert is unlike any other experience,” he said.

“Here you get to really see all the stars, you get to see all the rock, the mountains, you get a piece of that world. Then you bring the highest level of luxury to it and it’s just a blend of worlds that you can’t get anywhere else,” Derulo added.

American Popstar Jason Derulo performing to a Saudi audience in celebration of the 92nd National Day at the Azimuth festival in AlUla, which took place from Sept. 22-24. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

Derulo has performed throughout the region, headlining in Saudi for the first time in 2018 at the Saudia Diriyah E-Prix alongside Enrique Iglesias, The Black Eyed Peas, and Egypt’s Amr Diab.

“I’ve been performing for a very long time and I can say that this experience was unique, unlike any experience I’ve ever had. I’ve performed all over the world and even coming here today, I pulled out my phone — I was like, ‘this is amazing,’” he said.

The three-day Azimuth festival is one of several initiatives, forming part of Vision 2030, to position the Kingdom as a tourism hub.

FASTFACTS

• The American artist entranced the crowd with some of his most recent hits, including ‘Swalla’ and ‘Jelebi Baby,’ as well as some of his older fan favorites such as ‘Solo’ and ‘In My Head.’

• The concert took place in the same valley that hosted the contemporary art exhibition Desert X earlier this year, ensuring a special music experience for nationals and visitors alike in celebration of the Kingdom’s 92nd National Day.

• Jason Derulo commended the efforts made to globalize local talent and create new avenues for entertainment, recalling his performance during the professional LIV Golf tour, financed by the Public Investment Fund.

“I was actually one of the first performers, if not the first performer, that performed with an integrated crowd between men and women here, and I feel honored and blessed to be a small piece of history.”

“Any time that I can spread the word about how incredible this place is, I jump at the opportunity, and this is another one of those opportunities,” Derulo said.

“I love that people from across the world have come here and made this home because it really is a special place. They have a sense of pride, a small piece of ownership even, you would think that they were from here and they know so much about the history,” he added.

The artist believes that Saudi Arabia is on the verge of becoming one of the “biggest” attractions in the world.

“This is something that’s just starting, though people are just now starting to see it, I’m sure this has been in the works for such a long time. There’s still so much room for growth, but it’s already incredible,” he said.

Bringing in a diverse lineup of both local and international artists was a key goal for the event, collaborated by entertainment festival MDLBEAST and the Royal Commission for AlUla.

Ahmed Alammary, the Saudi DJ and chief creative at MDLBEAST, told Arab News that this celebration was a chance to create cultural exchange opportunities with international artists while also catering to a local audience.

Derulo commended the efforts made to globalize local talent and create new avenues for entertainment, recalling his performance during the professional LIV Golf tour, financed by the Public Investment Fund.

“This is becoming a melting pot, and it’s beautiful to see … I think Saudi is really pushing the envelope in terms of tourism and technology. When you think of arts when you think of entertainment, Saudi has become really high up on the list because they really took a stand and really took a giant leap in that world,” Derulo said.

 


Who’s Who: Mishaal Ashemimry, vice president of the International Astronautical Federation

Mishaal Ashemimry
Mishaal Ashemimry
Updated 26 September 2022

Who’s Who: Mishaal Ashemimry, vice president of the International Astronautical Federation

Mishaal Ashemimry

Saudi engineer Mishaal Ashemimry is the newly elected vice president of the International Astronautical Federation, becoming the first Saudi woman to hold the position after receiving 14 majority votes from international representatives.

Her role as one of the federation’s 12 vice presidents enables her to further the development of the space sector globally and consolidate the direction of the IAF.

As a Saudi woman and the first aerospace engineer in the Gulf Cooperation Council, her position strategically places the Kingdom at the forefront of the industry and highlights the country as a global leader in the field.

Since September 2021, Ashemimry has served as special advisor to the CEO of the Saudi Space Commission Mohammed Al-Tamimi, a position in which she consults on developing a national space strategy, creates and leads space programs, and advises leadership on direction and execution.

Ashemimry was previously a space nuclear technology consultant at the aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman. She also conducted research funded by the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center during her time as a research assistant at the Florida Institute of Technology

At 26 years old, the engineer was also president and CEO of her own aerospace company, MISHAAL Aerospace, established in 2010. The company developed space rockets, designed and launched its own line of cost-effective rockets titled the “M-rocket” series, completed static tests for hybrid rocket propulsion systems and provided global consultation.

In 2015, Ashemimry won the Inspirational Woman of the Year Award at the Arab Women Awards and in 2018 was awarded for her scientific achievements by King Salman.

She received her bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and aerospace engineering in 2006 and her master’s degree in aerospace engineering in 2007, both from the Florida Institute of technology.

She is a certified Nitrox, rescue and open water diver, a commercial pilot and is trained in real space flight conditions of zero-gravity.

Ashemimry is an expert in aerodynamics, missile and rocket stage separation analysis, vehicle design, wind tunnel testing, simulations and analysis, and computational tool development.

 


Volunteers clear litter from hiking routes near Jeddah

Volunteers collected over 4,000 plastic bottles, 1,000 cans, and glass shards collected from hiking trails in Asfan. (Supplied)
Volunteers collected over 4,000 plastic bottles, 1,000 cans, and glass shards collected from hiking trails in Asfan. (Supplied)
Updated 26 September 2022

Volunteers clear litter from hiking routes near Jeddah

Volunteers collected over 4,000 plastic bottles, 1,000 cans, and glass shards collected from hiking trails in Asfan. (Supplied)
  • Over 4,000 plastic bottles, 1,000 cans, glass shards collected
  • Earth Trails focuses on environmentally friendly life, says GM

JEDDAH: Volunteers from a local tourism group recently cleared heaps of garbage from hiking trails in Asfan as part of their social responsibility commitments, and to ensure a pristine environment for outdoor enthusiasts.

Asfan is a small city surrounded by hiking trails running through its unique terrain and striking rock formations, making it a favorite destination for people living in Jeddah.

The cleanup was undertaken by Earth Trails, a company licensed by the Saudi Tourism Ministry, that specializes in hiking tours and trips around the Kingdom.

Dr. Shadi Badawood, the general manager of Earth Trails, said: “Natural trails in Saudi Arabia need more attention by all nature enthusiasts and the public.” This initiative would hopefully inspire people to keep the country’s natural spaces clean, he said.

FASTFACT

Dr. Shadi Badawood, the general manager of Earth Trails, said plastic takes 450 years to decompose, aluminum 80 years, and glass one million years.

Earth Trails’ members collected more than 4,000 plastic bottles, over 1,000 aluminum cans, and a significant number of glass shards. Badawood said plastic takes 450 years to decompose, aluminum 80 years, and glass one million years.

“It is part of our responsibility to take the initiative to clean up these trails, and encourage other individuals to follow in our steps,” Badawood said. Many people do not realize how much they are harming the environment by littering, he said.

Around 25 volunteers participated in the initiative. Badawood said he was pleased with the turnout and hopes the next event will attract more participants.

“We do have a number of volunteering members who really love nature and we admire their actions (to) take care of the environment, and we encourage them to learn new ways to sustain the ecosystem around us,” said Sarah Fida, volunteer coordinator at Earth Trails.

Muath Al-Ahmadi, a volunteer, said: “I’m a nature enthusiast and I believe that one of the most significant points about the cleanup initiatives is awareness. The participation in such programs with hiking groups is a big step towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly life.” Seeing the amount of waste on the trails should make people “rethink” their consumption, Al-Ahmadi added.

Another volunteer, Yousef Albouq, said: “When I joined … I felt excited and happy. I think events like this will contribute to reducing waste, and I hope such initiatives of Earth Trails will … raise people’s awareness of putting trash in the right place.”

He said those who willingly contributed their time showed how committed they are to protecting the environment.