Foodex 2023 in Riyadh hosting European pavilion

Foodex 2023 in Riyadh hosting European pavilion
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The EU Pavilion at Foodex Saudi Expo will present a dazzling variety of products from across the 27 EU Member States. (Supplied)
Foodex 2023 in Riyadh hosting European pavilion
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The EU Pavilion at Foodex Saudi Expo will present a dazzling variety of products from across the 27 EU Member States. (Supplied)
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Updated 11 September 2023
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Foodex 2023 in Riyadh hosting European pavilion

Foodex 2023 in Riyadh hosting European pavilion
  • ‘We are delighted to showcase Europe’s rich culinary heritage,’ says new EU ambassador

RIYADH: Foodex Saudi, Saudi Arabia’s leading international food and beverage trade exhibition, is hosting a European pavilion during this year’s event at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center from Sept. 17-20.

The EU delegation office told Arab News on Monday: “The EU is thrilled to announce its participation in Foodex 2023, an exhibition that celebrates the art of food. Under the banner “More than Food,” the EU pavilion is set to captivate attendees with a remarkable array of culinary delights from across the bloc of 27 EU member states.”

Europe’s unique culinary traditions feature a huge variety of foods that reflect the continent’s diversity. The EU pavilion at the 10th Foodex Saudi exhibition aims to introduce visitors to high-quality produce from the continent.

The EU pavilion will showcase a selection of food and beverage that embodies Europe’s rich agricultural heritage.

“These products will highlight the EU’s unwavering commitment to quality, safety, authenticity and sustainability,” the delegation office said.

The Foodex exhibition provides an ideal opportunity to inform Saudi buyers, retailers and distributors, and inspire them to engage with the EU, while offering them a unique chance to explore the wide variety of European flavors, it added.

“We are delighted to be part of Foodex 2023, which will showcase Europe’s rich culinary heritage and commitment to quality, safety and sustainability. In 2022, GCC countries taken together were the EU’s fifth biggest export market for agri-food products,” said Christophe Farnaud, newly appointed EU ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

“The EU pavilion at the event will give Saudi buyers, retailers, and distributors a unique chance to experience in one place the excellence of EU food and beverage produce, and to explore how to translate this excellence into profitable business opportunities,” he added.

Beyond offering food and beverage from the continent, the EU pavilion will also underscore the the bloc’s commitment to supporting farmers and producers.

It will include interactive experiences, product tastings, workshops and live cooking demonstrations led by renowned European and Saudi chefs Pierluigi Saffioti and Ammar Al-Barakati.

The pair will cook both classic European recipes and innovative fusion dishes, combining EU ingredients with Saudi flavors.

Industry experts will guide visitors through informative sessions dedicated to olive oil, cereals, dairy and other European goods.

The pavilion will allow Saudi businesspeople to gain valuable insights into effectively marketing EU products to consumers in the Kingdom through networking opportunities with European delegates and industry leaders.


Women’s empowerment is vital to success, says UNWTO executive director

Women’s empowerment is vital to success, says UNWTO executive director
Updated 6 sec ago
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Women’s empowerment is vital to success, says UNWTO executive director

Women’s empowerment is vital to success, says UNWTO executive director
  • UNWTO announces winners of Women in Tech Startup Competition: Middle East
  • The competition saw 143 applicants from across Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, and Syria

RIYADH: The UN World Tourism Organization on Wednesday, World Tourism Day, announced the winners of its Women in Tech Startup Competition: Middle East, being held in Riyadh.
Launched in March to celebrate International Women’s Day, the competition sought women-led startups with innovative approaches to provide services and solutions with a positive social impact.
The competition saw 143 applicants from across Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, and Syria.
The winner of the Social Impact Category was Saudi national Nouf Al-Hazmi, CEO of Plastus Biotech, which specializes in making PHA biodegradable bioplastic by re-purposing organic waste.
Al-Hazmi said: “They’ve only selected four from all over the world … It’s huge. It means a lot to us, for young Saudi women and women around the world.”
Plastus Biotech’s concept falls in line with the Kingdom’s circular carbon economy goal for 2030 and the carbon neutrality agreement of 2060.
She said: “There are many opportunities. We can replace so many products that are fossil-based with more sustainable products that are actually carbon negative, and everyone will benefit.”
The winner of the Tourism and Travel Experience category was Kirti Chandel, chief product officer at SparkleHaze, for creating an enterprise-based, artificial intelligence assistant speaker named Woo-Hoo, as an in-room voice assistant for hospitality.
Chandel says Woo-Hoo creates a personalized experience for guests while remaining sustainable and easy to use.
She said: “We are boosting green hospitality. We are moving away from all the different devices that are used in hotels that are more cluttered. So, we combine them into one single form factor and also, we are digitizing your compendium menu. So, all the paper that is there within the room is gone.”
The winner of the Future Tech Category was Serbian national Zeljana Babic, CEO of Xenios Academy, an AI-powered training program with the mission to help hospitality businesses boost revenue by investing in employee training.
She said: “I feel extremely empowered. I feel very humbled. I am still shocked. To be honest. This might be one of the happiest moments of my professional career …
“We cannot invest in hospitality without investing in people and without investing in their education. And only once we do that, they will be able to provide services to their guests.”
The winner of the Events and Community category was Menna Ayad, CEO of Fosha, an AI-powered app for booking personalized experiences in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Executive Director of UNWTO Natalia Bayona said that Saudi Arabia is “booming when it comes to tourism.”
Bayona is a frequent visitor to the Kingdom and has collaborated with the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Education to boost the tourism industry.
She said: “I have to say that … (Saudi Arabia) has those values — the values of investment in people through education, investment in the planet through a better futuristic city for the next generations, and of course, investing in prosperity, in youth, and in technology and innovation.
“I have been working a lot with the ministry to foster education to create together a strategy of human capacity development and to strengthen the power of partnerships again with the private sector for innovation and technology and investments.”
Bayona said that the Financial Times’ joint report with the UNWTO reported that Saudi Arabia has been growing its foreign direct investment by 80 percent. “That’s crucial and that’s really strong because that means that the country is really into investment and diversifying the economy through tourism.”
With tourism being the top employer of women and youth, Bayona says staying committed and being part of a positive community makes all the difference.
“The most important thing is that I have to be thankful to my bosses,” she said, crediting her employers for empowering and trusting her. “And at the end of the day, that’s what matters. Because of course you can be talented, and you can have a very bright curriculum, but if you are not empowered, you are not (going) anywhere.”
 


Saudi development program restores sports facilities in Yemen

Saudi development program restores sports facilities in Yemen
Updated 38 min 23 sec ago
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Saudi development program restores sports facilities in Yemen

Saudi development program restores sports facilities in Yemen
  • Projects aim to support sport activities and strengthen social integration in Yemen

RIYADH: The Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen has launched four projects to restore and upgrade sports club facilities in Aden governorate, Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The launch ceremony was attended by Nayef Al-Bakri, Yemen’s minister of youth and sports, as well as Aden Gov. Ahmed Lamlas and other officials.

The projects aim to support sport activities and strengthen social integration in Yemen.

Previously, the program renovated Martyr Ali Asaad Muthanna Sports Hall in Aden, as well as 31 basketball and volleyball courts in other governorates. It also organized a celebration after the Yemeni national junior football team won the West Asia Confederation championship in 2021.

So far, the program has funded 229 development projects and initiatives in Yemen.
 


Saudi delegation attends international public prosecutors conference in London

Saudi delegation attends international public prosecutors conference in London
Updated 43 min 32 sec ago
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Saudi delegation attends international public prosecutors conference in London

Saudi delegation attends international public prosecutors conference in London
  • Event in London examined strategies for countering transnational crimes

RIYADH: A Saudi delegation led by Attorney General Sheikh Saud bin Abdullah Al-Mua’jab participated in the 28th Annual Conference and General Meeting of the International Association of Prosecutors, which took place in London from Sept. 24-27.

The four-day event, which gathered public prosecution delegations from around the world, was themed “The Changing Nature of Crime in the 21st Century: Challenges and Responses.”

It examined strategies for countering transnational crimes, including terrorism and human trafficking, mutual legal aid procedures, and criminal extradition requests.

Al-Mua’jab met with his British counterpart Victoria Prentis, and Max Hill, director of public prosecutions, to discuss judicial cooperation, Saudi Press Agency reported. He also held bilateral meetings with a number of public representatives to propose ways to collaborate to improve judicial work mechanisms, emphasizing the Kingdom's expertise in digitizing criminal justice procedures.

Al-Mua’jab also met with UK Minister of State for the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the UN Lord Tariq Ahmad to review relations between the two countries.
 


Saudi Arabia announces inaugural Riyadh School for Tourism and Hospitality

Saudi Arabia announces inaugural Riyadh School for Tourism and Hospitality
Updated 50 min 10 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia announces inaugural Riyadh School for Tourism and Hospitality

Saudi Arabia announces inaugural Riyadh School for Tourism and Hospitality
  • The facilities will then move to a larger campus in Qiddiyah scaled at 5 million square meters (50 million square feet) in 2027
  • The project will cost over USD1 billion to build

RIYADH: The Saudi Arabian Minister of Tourism, Ahmed Al-Khateeb, announced the inauguration of the Riyadh School for Tourism and Hospitality At the 2023 United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) World Tourism Day celebrations in Riyadh.
“Yesterday I was so touched with the Secretary General (of UNWTO Zurab Pololikashvili) to visit the schools and meet with the students… This school is a gift from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the world because it will be open to everyone to enjoy the best training in tourism and hospitality,” Al-Khateeb said during the announcement.
The facilities will then move to a larger campus in Qiddiyah scaled at 5 million square meters (50 million square feet) in 2027. The project will cost over USD1 billion to build.
The school initiative hopes to shape the future of industry education by attracting the brightest minds and employing cutting-edge technologies in an innovative facility.
It will offer a lead vocational and academic study program that places students at the heart of its curriculum, and provide a rich, diverse, and global learning experience through real-world practice.
Last year, the Ministry revealed alongside Pololikashvili, that they will be sending 100,000 Saudi talent every year for training across the globe throughout a five-year period, equipping them with the skills to work in the tourism and sustainability sector. “We will extend it to the next 10 years,” Al-Khateeb said.
“We are committing USD100 million every year to train them…Those who come back will work in the private sector and I’m encouraging them and other groups of investors to also join the government in investing in talent,” Al-Khateeb said.
While the Saudi industry lost over 60 million jobs due to the pandemic, the Kingdom is investing over USD800 billion in the sector and working to create 1 million jobs across the next 10 years, and is expecting international arrivals to double by 2032.
Al-Kateeb said: “It’s easy to put policies and procedures and systems (into place), but the most difficult thing that you need to have is the people…We need to have enough young people to join our industry today and I believe we need to double them in the future.
“We’re trying to make our sector, work in travel and tourism, as attractive and we need to make it a career for life for people to come and stay, and progress, and prosper throughout their life.”
The Kingdom continues its ambitious journey to become a global tourism hub by 2030 by investing in human capital, and the school is one of its latest initiatives to achieve the goal.
The 2023 WTD, held from Sept. 27-28, will explore potential avenues of collaboration between world tourism leaders by placing people, sustainability, and prosperity at the forefront of its discussions under the theme “Tourism and Green Investments.”
 


Riyadh’s tea expo showcases a world of flavors

Riyadh’s tea expo showcases a world of flavors
Updated 27 September 2023
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Riyadh’s tea expo showcases a world of flavors

Riyadh’s tea expo showcases a world of flavors

RIYADH: Tea lovers will be able to indulge in their favorite beverage at the Tea Colors International Exhibition at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center until Sept. 28.

In Saudi Arabia, tea is a traditional drink served as a gesture of hospitality, alongside coffee and dates.

The four-day exhibition, with the theme “A Story from the World,” welcomes visitors from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

International tea brands taking part in the exhibition include Almunayes from Kuwait and Mumtaz Tea from Oman, alongside local tea brands such as Khadeer and Mathaaq.

Organizers have provided tasting booths and planned activities, such as tasting competitions and business tea sessions. Daily workshops on tea entrepreneurship are also available for those interested in import and export.

A mini-museum provides insights into the history of tea dating back more than 2,500 years.

“There are rare antiques that are up to 100 years old, 150 years old, and 300 years old, whether from China, Asia, or even from the Gulf countries,” said Yazeed Al-Sarhani, a media spokesman for Creativity Integration company and organizer of the exhibition.

The event also showcases Ghamdan tea, Arabic coffee, as well as oud and perfume companies.

“In every home, you find coffee and tea. When we enter the house, we usually spray perfumes and offer oud in gatherings also. This is an essential thing here,” said Louay Mohammed, owner and founder of Shaza Al-Doha, a Saudi-Qatari perfume and incense company based in Saudi Arabia.