Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Arifi appointed as CEO of Shareek

Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Arifi appointed as CEO of Shareek
Al-Arifi has been appointed as CEO of the Private Sector Partnership Reinforcement Program (Shareek). (Supplied)
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Updated 22 September 2022

Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Arifi appointed as CEO of Shareek

Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Arifi appointed as CEO of Shareek
  • The program, launched by crown prince in 2021, aims to strengthen partnerships with private sector

RIYADH: The Large Corporate Investments Committee, chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has appointed Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Arifi as CEO of the Private Sector Partnership Reinforcement Program, known as Shareek, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Al-Arifi, a Stanford graduate, currently works as an advisor at the Council of Ministers’ General Secretariat. 

He has also worked as the Saudi transport minister’s assistant, as the CEO of Jadwa Investment, and as the treasury director of Bahri, formerly known as the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia. 

The Shareek program aims to strengthen partnerships with the private sector and increase national companies’ contributions to the country’s economic sustainability. 

The crown prince launched the program in March 2021 as part of his efforts to build the private sector in line with Vision 2030’s economic and development goals. 

The program aims to assist local businesses in achieving a local investment volume of up to SR 5 trillion ($1.3 trillion) by 2030. 

The program also intends to increase the Saudi economy’s flexibility and provide more jobs for Saudis in all sectors across the Kingdom.

 


Iranian artists call for global boycott of arts organizations tied to Tehran regime

Iranian artists call for global boycott of arts organizations tied to Tehran regime
Updated 10 min 58 sec ago

Iranian artists call for global boycott of arts organizations tied to Tehran regime

Iranian artists call for global boycott of arts organizations tied to Tehran regime
  • 6,000 creatives sign statement urging support for art students persecuted for protests
  • Signatories slam ‘increasingly brutal, violent and deadly state crackdown’

LONDON: A group of Iranian creatives has issued a statement to the international community asking it to stop working with cultural groups and institutions with links to the regime in Tehran.

The statement — signed by over 6,000 artists, academics, writers and film directors, based in Iran and abroad — was issued following the mass arrest and incarceration of students across the country for their roles in anti-regime protests following the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in September at the hands of the morality police.

The statement calls for the international community to “boycott governmental institutions of the Islamic state of Iran and their covert affiliates, and prevent them from having any presence in international arenas of arts, culture and education” over the regime’s “increasingly brutal, violent and deadly state crackdown” that has left at least 300 people dead and around 14,000 in detention.

One of the signatories, London-based curator Vali Mahlouji has also called for direct action by protesters against arts organizations that receive money from Iran.

Mahlouji told The Guardian: “We know that some private Iranian galleries are connected to the money systems of the Iranian state, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Council. They need to be boycotted.”

Since the beginning of the protests, art has been used by demonstrators to signal anger at the regime, including red dye being poured into fountains and red nooses hung from trees.

“This is a society saying: We are terrorized,” Mahlouji said. “There is a big performative response: People tying themselves up; red ink being poured on pictures of the founder of the Islamic Republic; red paint being thrown at buildings; even urinating outside art galleries which have kept themselves open when artists demanded that they close down.”

Canada-based artist Jinoos Taghizadeh told The Guardian that some art galleries “have been the money-laundering arm of the government” and have “tried to depoliticize (Iranian) artists.”

She added that art students in Iran who defy the regime “were constantly threatened by the police and university security,” but “have been very brave and creative despite all the repressions, arrests, kidnappings,” and that “the performance of their music and protest songs and their publication on social media both encouraged the protesters and brought the voice of protest to other cities and outside Iran.”

Art has also been used as a form of protest against the regime overseas: In October, a group called the Anonymous Artist Collective for Iran set up a display of 12 red banners with images of Amini and the slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom” at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

In London’s Piccadilly Circus, exiled Iranian artist Shirin Neshat displayed a digital protest piece of the same slogan, also showing it at Pendry West Hollywood in Los Angeles.

Neshat said: “We are not just a bunch of oppressed artists trying to get the Western culture to feel sorry for us. We’re teaching them that it is time to wake up and understand that culture plays a big part in the political fabric of our world.

“We see these young people who are completely fearless facing tyranny. You really question your own state of mind as an Iranian who has never been able to live without fear for so many years. It’s extremely hopeful to have these young people who are saying no more fear.”


ROSHN’s landmark development SEDRA welcomes first residents

ROSHN’s landmark development SEDRA welcomes first residents
Updated 5 min 55 sec ago

ROSHN’s landmark development SEDRA welcomes first residents

ROSHN’s landmark development SEDRA welcomes first residents
  • The national real estate developer passes a historic milestone as it hands customers the keys to their new homes ahead of schedule — becoming the first Saudi giga-project to deliver

ROSHN, the national real estate developer bringing new, sustainable modes of living to the Kingdom, has started the handover process at SEDRA, its landmark development in northern Riyadh, ahead of scheduled time. New homeowners are receiving the keys and title deeds to villas and townhouses located in SEDRA’s Phase 1, making them the first customers to take possession of properties in a ROSHN community.

“The handover of the first ROSHN home is a momentous occasion not just for ROSHN but for the Kingdom at large. While this marks another step on our journey to provide high-quality homes to the Saudi people, we are also driving change, creating a new concept of living, and adding to the quality of life of our citizens and residents. SEDRA will be the first project that sees our vision for the future become a reality on the ground and I am excited for our first residents to experience the ROSHN way of life,” said Group CEO David Grover.

ROSHN is facilitating the moving process for its customers by providing them with dedicated advisers that act as a single point of contact before, during and after the handover. New residents also have access to the ROSHN Contact Center, which can answer customer queries on a wide range of issues, from visitor access to how to take advantage of special offers provided by ROSHN’s partners.

SEDRA is ROSHN’s first project in the Kingdom and is being developed over eight phases in Riyadh’s vibrant northern corridor. The start of the handover process at its first phase makes it the first Saudi giga-project to deliver to customers. When completed, it will add more than 30,000 residential units to the capital’s housing stock and provide 20 million square meters of integrated neighborhoods supported by education and healthcare infrastructure, retail outlets, restaurants, parks, shaded footpaths, cycle tracks and carefully tended green spaces.

ROSHN is also bringing its vision to the Kingdom’s western region: ALAROUS, announced in May this year, will add more than 18,000 new homes to northern Jeddah’s housing stock. It features the same winning formula of amenities as SEDRA, including its “open living” design principle built around public spaces, green areas, communal facilities such as local majlis, and “living” streets characterized by curb-less roads and homes without perimeter walls.


Bella Hadid shares behind-the-scenes shots from Swarovski shoot

Bella Hadid shares behind-the-scenes shots from Swarovski shoot
Updated 53 min 34 sec ago

Bella Hadid shares behind-the-scenes shots from Swarovski shoot

Bella Hadid shares behind-the-scenes shots from Swarovski shoot

DUBAI: US Palestinian Dutch supermodel Bella Hadid has given fans a behind-the-scenes look at her latest campaign for Austrian jewelry label Swarovski.

Hadid, who was announced as the label’s brand ambassador in May, took to Instagram to share photographs from the set of her latest shoot. In the snaps, the model is dressed as a bedazzled fairy, complete with a set of delicate wings.

The 26-year-old catwalk star took to Instagram earlier this year to share the news of her brand ambassadorship with her 56.4 million followers, writing: “Extremely honored and excited to be the new face of the iconic Swarovski.”

“Bella Hadid sums up the individualistic and transformative attitude of a new global generation,” said Engelbert in a statement at the time. “She is a multifaceted character who evades the boxes of rules and conformity. She goes from sporty to glamorous while remaining the same girl — the same Bella — with confidence and authority.

“Today, crystals are a dynamic part of our everyday wardrobe: A way of accentuating your individual style in a way that can be as casual as it can be elaborate. Bella is the poster girl for this state of mind,” added Engelbert.

The model shared behind-the-scenes shots from her latest shoot for Swarovski. (Instagram)

Meanwhile, Hadid said she was “very familiar” with the “timeless and iconic brand” before the partnership.

“I love the new collections and what the brand has been doing, especially these past two years under the creative vision of Giovanna, and I really see Swarovski as the contemporary jewelry brand of the future,” she said- in a released statement. “Jewelry is about expression and celebrating individuality — Swarovski celebrates all people and the idea of modern glamour, and I love that.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by SWAROVSKI (@swarovski)

 

Hadid was recently named British GQ magazine’s “most stylish person on the planet” for 2023 in a statement that mirrored Swarovski’s sentiments regarding the model’s ability to traverse various fashion styles and pull them off with aplomb.

The magazine commended Hadid for her  “ability to make menswear, womenswear, smartwear and even wavywear work.

“Hadid does menswear better than most men — and she can still wear everything and anything else. Tailoring. Prada loafers. Big denim jackets. There was even a tie at one point. It’s wavy, classic and uncomplicated all at once,” the magazine added.


The Bicester Collection launches MENA edition of Unlock Her Future entrepreneurship prize

The Bicester Collection launches MENA edition of Unlock Her Future entrepreneurship prize
Desiree Bollier in the Chair and Global Chief Merchant of The Bicester Collection. (Getty Images)
Updated 28 November 2022

The Bicester Collection launches MENA edition of Unlock Her Future entrepreneurship prize

The Bicester Collection launches MENA edition of Unlock Her Future entrepreneurship prize

DUBAI: An international retail firm has launched the MENA edition of a prize for first-time women entrepreneurs that would allow them to set up or develop their startup businesses.

The Middle East and North Africa edition of The Bicester Collection’s “Unlock her Future Prize” was announced for enterprises that drive positive environmental, social and economic change, according to the company.

The Bicester Collection is a group of 11 open-air shopping destinations across Europe and China, which includes the Bicester Village outlet mall in Oxfordshire, UK. They launched the initiative in 2021 as part of their DO GOOD platform and have now expanded to the Middle East. 

“We’re delighted that in its inaugural year, the Unlock Her Future Prize will launch in MENA with the support of our partner Ashoka Arab World,” Chantal Khoueiry, chief culture officer for The Bicester Village, told Arab News.

“As an Arab woman, I believe I can speak for all when I say how committed we are to driving women’s empowerment and cultural progress. We recognize that if you have diverse voices, you can transcend anything. This is the essence of what we hope the Unlock Her Future Prize MENA edition 2023 will provide on behalf of Arab Women — the voice and support to build a progressive and sustainable future for people and the planet.”

Khoueiry added that applicants with an innovative idea, and those who have been operating for under five years, are invited to apply between Dec. 5 and Jan. 31, 2023.

An international committee of experts will review the applications and shortlist eight finalists who will be invited to pitch their ideas in Bicester Village, UK, to a panel of judges from the MENA region. Three winners will be announced on International Women’s Day next year.

“The winners will each receive a financial grant of up to $100,000 plus human capital support from a fantastic assembly of global experts.” They will also have access to an education and knowledge program with the prize’s regional academic partner, New York University Abu Dhabi, said Khoueiry.

  


Netherlands on cusp of advancing at World Cup

Netherlands on cusp of advancing at World Cup
Updated 28 November 2022

Netherlands on cusp of advancing at World Cup

Netherlands on cusp of advancing at World Cup
  • If the Dutch advance it will put more focus on 71-year-old coach Louis van Gaal
  • Van Gaal stepped out of retirement just over a year ago to take over the national team

DOHA: The Netherlands is on the verge of reaching the knockout stage at the World Cup and an overwhelming favorite in its final Group A match on Tuesday against host nation Qatar.
If the Dutch advance it will put more focus on 71-year-old coach Louis van Gaal, who stepped out of retirement just over a year ago to take over the national team while being treated for aggressive prostate cancer.
Host nation Qatar has lost its first two matches and already missed its chance to move on from the group stage.
For the Netherlands a draw will suffice to advance and put the Netherlands into contention again in a World Cup after failing to qualify four years ago. The Dutch could even get through with a loss if Ecuador beats Senegal in the other Group A match.
In the round of 16, the Netherlands would face one of the top two teams from Group B, where England is the favorite with Iran, Wales, and the United States scrambling for a spot.
Van Gaal said before the World Cup that the Netherlands can win it all, although few see this as one of the country’s best teams.
No powerful soccer nation has come up short at the World Cup as often as the Dutch, who have been the runners-up three times: in 1974 against West Germany, in 1978 facing Argentina, and in 2010 vs. Spain.
The Dutch also finished third in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after losing a shootout against Argentina in the semifinals.
After being out of the game for several years, Van Gaal came out of retirement and replaced Frank de Boer in August of 2021. He said he did it out of duty.
“Because, simply, no one else was available at that time,” Van Gaal said.
Van Gaal’s matter-of-fact courage has to be a motivator for the Dutch. But he might also stir up Qatar.
Earlier this year the outspoken Van Gaal said it was “ridiculous” holding the World Cup in Qatar, a tiny country of 3 million. Qatar’s vast wealth is fueled by natural gas and oil.
“It’s ridiculous that we’re going to play in a country to — what does FIFA say? — — to develop football there,” Van Gaal said, adding that Qatar is too small and lacks a soccer culture.
“But it doesn’t matter. It’s about money, commercial interests. That’s what matters to FIFA,” Van Gaal added.