Top luxury retailer offers Saudi youth careers in fashion

The Fashion Commission has announced a range of new initiatives to provide increased support for the Kingdom’s designers and greater opportunities to promote their work to a global audience. (AN Photo/Abdulrahman Shalhoub)
The Fashion Commission has announced a range of new initiatives to provide increased support for the Kingdom’s designers and greater opportunities to promote their work to a global audience. (AN Photo/Abdulrahman Shalhoub)
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Updated 21 November 2022

Top luxury retailer offers Saudi youth careers in fashion

Top luxury retailer offers Saudi youth careers in fashion
  • #MYBOLDFUTURE is brainchild of Chalhoub Group
  • Plan to hire over 3,000 people within 5 years

RIYADH: A leading luxury retailer has launched a local campaign #MYBOLDFUTURE that seeks to help young Saudis carve a future in the Kingdom’s retail sector.

Chalhoub Group’s aim is to meet the growing demand for high-end fashion and support the industry in the region.

At Fashion Futures on Oct. 11, a keystone event held annually by Saudi Arabia’s Fashion Commission, the group unveiled the digital media campaign and showcased how Chalhoub has helped launched the careers of several people.

Lynn Al-Khatib, group head of communication at Chalhoub Group, told Arab News: “Our objective is really luxury retail. A lot of people talk about the brands and the designers and the fashion, and we believe that the brand consultants in the stores are at the moment of truth; they are their relationship with the customer. They’re the ones really representing the brands.

“We wanted to really demystify the job, attract young Saudi youth towards it, and at the same time, create awareness about Chalhoub Group and the brands that we operate.”

In line with their bold initiative, the group’s President Patrick Chalhoub told Arab News in an exclusive interview earlier this year that the company plans to almost double its staff in the Kingdom to up to 6,000 people over the next five years.

Part of the company’s goals, through the campaign, is to demonstrate how their retail workers have added value and become entrepreneurs in the industry.

“They come from different backgrounds. Some of them were pharmacists, or schoolteachers, or just high school graduates, and they really managed to build a career in retail. So we have true stories.

“I think the truth will only inspire the young generation. They’re not looking for just advertising; they’re really looking to create impact. They look for jobs where they want to be part of something bigger, where they feel they want to learn,” Al-Khatib said.

Mirroring the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic development focus, the company is committed to Saudization, youth employment and career training.

Chalhoub Group’s Retail Academy was recently officially recognized as an accredited training center by the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation in the Kingdom.

Through the institution, retail frontliners can gain access to state-of-the-art and experiential training programs.

Reem Al-Maiman, a store manager at Jimmy Choo in Jeddah, who has been working for the Chalhoub Group for a year, said the flexibility of her position has allowed her to grow a retail career while working toward her other dreams.

“I’m also a national basketball player. I’m trying to manage (the time) between my job in retail and being an athlete and representing my country. I found this balance while working in Chalhoub Group … I found the freedom of working remotely and delegating tasks, and also managing the team. I got the support from them to be able to do both,” Al-Maiman told Arab News.

She had previously worked for another company that had not given her the time to pursue her sports dream.

“There is support for us as Saudi women or Saudi youth … They keep creating opportunities for us to learn and to be bigger in these industries. This transformation would result (over the coming) years of great women and role models and (pave) the way for younger generations to come,” Al-Maiman said.


Lights, camera, action: Movie production safety tops agenda at 1st Saudi film industry leaders’ meeting

Lights, camera, action: Movie production safety tops agenda at 1st Saudi film industry leaders’ meeting
Updated 08 December 2022

Lights, camera, action: Movie production safety tops agenda at 1st Saudi film industry leaders’ meeting

Lights, camera, action: Movie production safety tops agenda at 1st Saudi film industry leaders’ meeting
  • The training and accountability of film crews and field producers for safety were considered a priority matter
  • Studio Production Training announced at the meeting plans to launch e-learning training videos in Arabic to highlight on-set safety

JEDDAH: Leading figures from Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning film industry recently met in Jeddah to discuss key issues related to movie production.
The session, organized by Studio Production Training, was the first of a series of roundtable meetings planned for the Kingdom’s producers, filmmakers, senior executives, production and rental house representatives, and art production staff under the title “Together We Grow, Safety on Set.”
Topping the agenda at the gathering, held at the Angelina restaurant in Jeddah, was talks on ways to improve on-set safety and best practices throughout the sector.
The training and accountability of film crews and field producers for safety were considered a priority matter.
Saudi executive producer and chief executive officer of Studio Production Training, Hajjar Alnaim, said: “Our main aim is to support the growth and development of below-the-line production talent in Saudi Arabia in line with Vision 2030.
“A unified local production industry is the key to a strong future for our talent, crews, and producers. Hence, our discussions not only revolved around safety issues but also looked at ways in which all entities could coordinate with each other in developing a unified standard for safety.”
With the region’s fledgling film industry often forced to operate on low budgets, safety could sometimes be compromised. But the roundtable sessions are aimed at making improvements in working conditions for production teams.
“We want to create guidelines and best practices that fit our industry in Saudi Arabia by redrafting and developing with local partners such as Netflix to reach the best rules.
“The outcome of the first session’s discussions was to share safety guidelines on production workflows designed not to affect crews financially and logistically, and then take feedback. Based on the feedback, we will sign agreements to ensure rules can be applied on set,” Alnaim added.
Studio Production Training announced at the meeting plans to launch e-learning training videos in Arabic to highlight on-set safety. Crew members passing an online test on the subject would receive an industry-recognized certificate of awareness.
The session ended with Studio Production Training signing consultation and skills training agreements with Riyadh audiovisual equipment rental firm EQEW, film rental house CineCrew, and Saudi movie production companies Nebras Films, and Millimeter.
Ahmed Baageel, production designer and CEO of Riyadh video production service Makzn7, said: “We are trying our best to bring the change ourselves in terms of industry safety issues, instead of waiting for a governmental change or for rules to come from above.
“This workshop helped us to discuss the awareness of safety issues and encouraged the industry leaders to take responsibility in adopting a unified safety standard.”


Saudi crown prince, UAE president led mediation in US basketball star Griner, Russia’s Viktor Bout prisoner swap

Saudi crown prince, UAE president led mediation in US basketball star Griner, Russia’s Viktor Bout prisoner swap
Updated 08 December 2022

Saudi crown prince, UAE president led mediation in US basketball star Griner, Russia’s Viktor Bout prisoner swap

Saudi crown prince, UAE president led mediation in US basketball star Griner, Russia’s Viktor Bout prisoner swap
  • Brittney Griner arrived in Abu Dhabi by private plane from Moscow after her release by Russian authorities
  • Bout came on another private plane from Washington after being released by US authorities

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed led mediation efforts that secured the release of two prisoners between the US and Russia, a joint statement issued by both countries’ foreign ministries said on Thursday.
“The ministries said the success of the mediation efforts was a reflection of the mutual and solid friendship between their two countries and the United States and Russia,” the statement said.
“They also highlighted the important role played by the leaderships of the two brotherly countries in promoting dialogue between all parties,” it added.
US basketball star Brittney Griner arrived in Abu Dhabi by private plane from Moscow on Thursday after she was released by Russian authorities, the statement confirmed, while Russian citizen Viktor Bout came in a separate private plane from Washington after he was released by US authorities, in the presence of specialists from the Kingdom and the UAE.
“The UAE and Saudi Arabian foreign ministries expressed the thanks of their respective governments to the governments of the US and Russia for their cooperation and response, and for the joint mediation efforts made by the leaderships of the two countries,” the statement also said.


Saudi leaders, Chinese President Xi sign several deals in Riyadh

Saudi leaders, Chinese President Xi sign several deals in Riyadh
Updated 08 December 2022

Saudi leaders, Chinese President Xi sign several deals in Riyadh

Saudi leaders, Chinese President Xi sign several deals in Riyadh

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received Thursday China’s President Xi Jinping in Riyadh during his official visit to the Kingdom, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The king welcomed the Chinese leader and his accompanying delegation to his country, while Xi expressed his happiness at visiting the Kingdom.
During the meeting, which was held at Al-Yamama Palace in the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, they reviewed “the historical friendship” between Riyadh and Beijing, and ways to enhance them in various fields, SPA said.
King Salman and Xi then signed a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement.
The Chinese president arrived in the Kingdom on Wednesday for a three-day visit where he will attend Saudi, Arab and Gulf summits aimed at bolstering relations and investment with China.
The crown prince also welcomed Xi in a separate meeting where the two sides held official talks to review aspects of the partnership between the Kingdom and China, and joint coordination efforts to enhance cooperation between their two countries in various fields and in line with their vision.
They also discussed opportunities to invest in the available resources in both countries, regional and international developments, and issues of common interests.
Prince Mohammed and Xi then witnessed the signing of several memoranda of understanding, including in hydrogen energy, and to encourage direct investment between them.
The Kingdom also signed an agreement with China’s Huawei Technologies on cloud computing and building high-tech complexes in Saudi cities, as well as an agreement to coordinate between the Saudi Vision 2030 and Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative.
The Chinese president was awarded an honorary doctorate in administration from King Saud University as a tribute to his achievements and great efforts in management and leadership, and in gratitude for the thriving relationship and continuous cooperation between the two countries.


A joint Saudi-Chinese initiative aims to harness the power of entertainment to cement ties

A joint Saudi-Chinese initiative aims to harness the power of entertainment to cement ties
Updated 08 December 2022

A joint Saudi-Chinese initiative aims to harness the power of entertainment to cement ties

A joint Saudi-Chinese initiative aims to harness the power of entertainment to cement ties
  • Announcement by Saudi Ministry of Media and China Media Group coincides with President Xi Jinping’s state visit
  • Among the projects is a television series to be produced by Saudi Broadcasting Authority and China Media Group

RIYADH: For centuries, cultural expressions through the arts and various forms of media have served as a means of spreading ideas and educating people about civilizations beyond their borders. With time, these became the tools of diplomacy to help bind friendly nations and encourage cooperation.

In a similar spirit of cooperation and fraternity, the Saudi Ministry of Media and the China Media Group announced this week the launch of a joint initiative to promote relations between the Arab world and the Asian giant, coinciding with the state visit to the Kingdom by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

One of the three projects, unveiled at Monday’s Arab-Chinese Media Cooperation Forum, is a plan for a joint television series between the Saudi Broadcasting Authority and the China Media Group titled “Heart-to-Heart and Hand-in-Hand.” 

Consisting of several episodes, the series will tell the stories of citizens of Saudi Arabia and China, sharing their successes and challenges with the focus on cultural and social integration.

The forum also announced an initiative to broadcast mutual visual works in the Arab world and China, to promote the exchange of cultural, artistic and social content. 

Another initiative announced at the forum to “strengthen cooperation between the Arab and Chinese media,” includes the exchange of technical expertise, focusing on disseminating credible news, and exchanging visits between prominent professionals. 

“Saudi-Chinese relations are old and well-established and strong, and they are witnessing prosperity and expansion,” Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi, president of the Arab States Broadcasting Union and CEO of the Saudi Broadcasting Authority, told the forum. 

Also speaking during the forum, Majid Al-Qasabi, Saudi Arabia’s minister of commerce and acting minister of media, said Arab countries see China as a reliable partner and look forward to strengthening cultural exchanges. 

The influence of soft power has been widely recognized in recent years to assist in improving international relations, conceived in practice through state investment in news and entertainment media, and education initiatives. 

Efforts have been underway for several years to promote cross-cultural understanding between China and the Arab world. During Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s 2019 visit to China, he agreed to include the Chinese language as part of the curriculum in the Kingdom’s schools and universities. 

Today, some 20,000 Arab students are studying in China, and several schools in Saudi Arabia teach the Chinese language and promote the nation’s culture. 

In November, China Mobile International signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Broadcasting Authority, the Saudi Cloud Computing Company, and Whale Cloud to form a strategic partnership in developing the digital media ecosystem. 

According to China Global TV Network, all parties would collaborate to provide smart digital media solutions and cloud services to the Saudi Broadcasting Authority. 

This marks another chapter in the ever-changing media landscape in the Kingdom. In the first decades after the launch of radio and television in Saudi Arabia, the majority of broadcast entertainment was acquired from abroad, mainly from Egypt and Syria. 

Over time, programming began to vary, ranging from Mexican “Telenovela” soap operas to the Japanese game show “Takeshi’s Castle.” 

Later, this expanded to Turkish and South Korean shows dubbed into Arabic, broadcast in the Kingdom and across the wider Middle East and North Africa region. 

In the age of Netflix, Amazon Prime and other online streaming services, the choice of international content on offer is wider than ever before. 

The Kingdom has joined the fray and is making its mark. Saudi Arabia’s own burgeoning film and television industry is exporting the Arab world’s distinctive culture to movie, TV and mobile screens all the way from Europe to the Far East — including China, one of the world’s largest and growing markets.


Arab leaders arrive for Riyadh Arab-China Summit

Arab leaders arrive for Riyadh Arab-China Summit
Updated 08 December 2022

Arab leaders arrive for Riyadh Arab-China Summit

Arab leaders arrive for Riyadh Arab-China Summit
  • Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomes China’s President Xi Jinping at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh

RIYADH: Arab delegations started arriving in Riyadh on Thursday to participate in the Riyadh Arab-China Summit for Cooperation and Development, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and his delegation were among the first to arrive. They were welcomed at King Khalid International Airport by Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Governor of Riyadh; Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the Arab League, and other senior officials.

Kuwait’s Crown Prince Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah also touched down in Riyadh to participate in the Arab and Gulf-Chinese summits to be held during his visit. 

Meanwhile, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman welcomed China’s President Xi Jinping at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh, where an official ceremony was held.

Xi arrived in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday as part of a three-day visit to the Kingdom.

He was invited by King Salman to attend a Saudi-Chinese summit in the Kingdom, which will run until Dec. 9.

 

 

He will also attend two more conferences, the Riyadh Gulf-China Summit for Cooperation and Development and the Riyadh Arab-China Summit for Cooperation and Development during his visit.

Aboul Gheit said, in an SPA report, the Riyadh Arab-China Summit adds “momentum to the relations and reflects the political will of the Arab and Chinese sides, expressing hope for such summits to be held periodically to preserve momentum of these ties.”

The establishment of the China–Arab States Cooperation Forum contributed to making a real breakthrough in the Arab-Chinese cooperation, where the two sides now have more than 20 cooperation mechanisms in various political, economic, cultural, media and development fields, he added.
The secretary general noted that economic relations between the two sides were steadily increasing, adding that the volume of trade exchange between China and Arab countries has risen to about $330 billion in 2021 from about $36 billion at the time of the forum’s establishment.

He also reviewed cooperation aspects between the Arab side and China during the COVID-19 pandemic and their efforts in facing this pandemic, saying: “All of us know that crises test the true friendship among peoples and countries.”

“During the pandemic, I think China and the Arab states have succeeded, especially that we have witnessed a clear exchange of support between the two sides in confronting the COVID-19 pandemic.”

– with SPA