Who’s Who: Abdulrahman Abaalkhail, CEO of Dan Co.

Abdulrahman Abaalkhail
Abdulrahman Abaalkhail
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Updated 23 April 2024
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Who’s Who: Abdulrahman Abaalkhail, CEO of Dan Co.

Abdulrahman Abaalkhail

Abdulrahman Abaalkhail is the CEO of Dan Co., a Public Investment Fund company dedicated to promoting agritourism, ecotourism, and adventure tourism in Saudi Arabia.

As CEO, he uses his expertise in strategic planning, business model design, investment and business development, operations management, and project delivery to guide the company's growth and achieve its strategic objectives.

Under his leadership, the company offers top-notch agritourism, ecotourism, and adventure tourism experiences, fostering the development of a robust local tourism industry that drives positive change and contributes to the growth of the Kingdom's hospitality sector.

In addition to his role with Dan Co., Abdulrahman Abaalkhail currently serves as chairman of the board at Al-Fadhili Housing Co. (a joint venture between Masic Logistics and Saudi Aramco), chairman of the board at Mumtalakat (a joint venture between Al Akaria, PECSA, and POSCO Korea), vice chairman at Alrajhi Ekhwan, and as an investment committee member at Maharah Human Resources and Awj Holding Co.

Throughout his career, he has held board and committee member positions at several organizations, including Abdullah Al-Othaim Investment Co., Almutlaq Real Estate Investment Company, and Sand Saudi Arabia.

Abaalkhail was CEO of MASIC Logistics from 2020 to 2022 and of Almutlaq Real Estate Investment Co. between 2013 and 2020.

Previously, he served as group head of business development at Al-Faisaliah Group Holding for four years.

Abaalkhail began his career at Ernst & Young, where he honed his skills in audit, tax, and consulting before moving into corporate finance consulting, focusing on the real estate industry during his nine-year journey with the company.  

He holds an MBA in finance from the University of Wales and a bachelor’s degree in finance from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.

He has also completed several executive education courses and diploma courses from IMD and INSEAD on topics including strategic management and board governance.

 


The Saudi artist’s gallery celebrates unbounded imagination

Saudi artist Mohammed Abubshait. (AN photo by Loai El-Kelawy)
Saudi artist Mohammed Abubshait. (AN photo by Loai El-Kelawy)
Updated 21 June 2024
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The Saudi artist’s gallery celebrates unbounded imagination

Saudi artist Mohammed Abubshait. (AN photo by Loai El-Kelawy)
  • Mohammed Abubshait’s ‘Living in Wonderland’ is a treasure trove of imaginative expression

RIYADH: Saudi artist Mohammed Abubshait has created a haven for other artists in Riyadh. His gallery, Living in Wonderland, is a treasure trove of imaginative artistic expression.

“Art has always been in my blood, and I believe it is in everyone’s blood. I used to mess around with my clothes, accessories, goods, cars, and whatever else. I don’t like the way things are,” Abubshait told Arab News.

After 10 years as an employee at an oil company, he chose to switch gears and pursue his passion for creating art out of various materials including metal, wood, and resin.  

“When COVID-19 hit, I decided work on my art and I ended up with 150 pieces … I decided to open a gallery in Riyadh to showcase them,” he explained. “It was kind of risky at the time because, as you see, this is not a typical art gallery. It’s different — a lot of pop art, street art and things that are a bit outside-of-the-box.”

The Living in Wonderland gallery is bursting with delightful and amazing things. Guests are immersed in a world of imagination where they can appreciate artistic expression and discover new perspectives. (AN photo by Loai El-Kelawy)

Abubshait opened Living in Wonderland in 2020. “Many of us have seen and grew up with ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ It’s an escape to another world — unrealistic, creative, no boundaries,” he said. “So, I thought it would fit the creative idea and concept that we’re looking for. (The gallery) takes you down the rabbit hole to another world.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• The gallery supports many local artists, work created in a variety of mediums, with a particular focus on modern and pop art.

• It also currently includes work by artists from Mali, Italy, the UK and the US. Prices range from SR2 (50 cents), to more than SR20,000.

The gallery supports — and sells the work of — many local artists, work created in a variety of mediums, with a particular focus on modern and pop art. It also currently includes work by artists from Mali, Italy, the UK and the US. Prices range from SR2 (50 cents), to more than SR20,000.

The Living in Wonderland gallery is bursting with delightful and amazing things. Guests are immersed in a world of imagination where they can appreciate artistic expression and discover new perspectives. (AN photo by Loai El-Kelawy)

“We’ve got something for everyone,” Abubshait said. “I believe we introduced something unique and different to the market.”

From paintings and sculptures to installations and interactive displays, the gallery features an eclectic mix of work that pushes boundaries, giving visitors an intriguing and thought-provoking experience.

The Living in Wonderland gallery is bursting with delightful and amazing things. Guests are immersed in a world of imagination where they can appreciate artistic expression and discover new perspectives. (AN photo by Loai El-Kelawy)

Abubshait is also known for incorporating currency — both real and virtual — into his work.

“The majority of my art features money in the background, whether Saudi riyals or American dollars,” he said. “And the cryptocurrency Bitcoin is one of my signature backgrounds. People ask me why I use money and I’m, like, ‘Well, we use money in our everyday lives.’ Everyone can manifest money.”

The Living in Wonderland gallery is bursting with delightful and amazing things. Guests are immersed in a world of imagination where they can appreciate artistic expression and discover new perspectives. (AN photo by Loai El-Kelawy)

The gallery also offers a variety of workshops including resin, rug tufting, and painting.

“If you haven’t been to Living in Wonderland yet, even if you’re not an art fan, you should come and socialize. People (often come here) to work. If you’re looking for a distinct feel, a different ambience, and something exciting, then you must visit,” Abubshait said.

 

 


Harnessing agricultural terraces for blackberry cultivation in Al-Baha

The blackberry cultivation initiative in Al-Baha has thrived, with more than 30,000 bushes planted to date. (SPA)
The blackberry cultivation initiative in Al-Baha has thrived, with more than 30,000 bushes planted to date. (SPA)
Updated 54 min 1 sec ago
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Harnessing agricultural terraces for blackberry cultivation in Al-Baha

The blackberry cultivation initiative in Al-Baha has thrived, with more than 30,000 bushes planted to date. (SPA)
  • The ministry aims to increase the number of blackberry trees in Al-Baha to 3 million within the next three years, supported by various programs and collaboration with farmers and agricultural associations

AL-BAHA: Al-Baha is proving to be an ideal region for the cultivation of blackberries.

Utilizing advanced plant tissue culture techniques, this initiative has shown great potential, benefiting both farmers and beekeepers due to the plant’s rapid growth, high yield, and superior quality blossoms.

The blackberry cultivation initiative in Al-Baha has thrived, with more than 30,000 bushes planted to date. According to the Saudi Press Agency, this endeavor promises significant economic and investment returns for the region, leveraging its natural agricultural assets, fertile soil, and ample groundwater.

The blackberry cultivation initiative in Al-Baha has thrived, with more than 30,000 bushes planted to date. (SPA)

Fahd Al-Zahrani, director of the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture in the region, highlighted the crop’s potential. He stated that over 30,000 blackberry seedlings have been planted in open fields, achieving nearly 100 percent success. The seedlings began producing high-quality fruit in the spring of 2024, underscoring the experiment’s success.

The ministry aims to increase the number of blackberry trees in Al-Baha to 3 million within the next three years, supported by various programs and collaboration with farmers and agricultural associations. Numerous field workshops have been conducted to train farmers in propagation techniques, facilitating the expansion of blackberry cultivation.

The blackberry cultivation initiative in Al-Baha has thrived, with more than 30,000 bushes planted to date. (SPA)

Hassan Saeed Al-Shantir, owner of Al-Shantir Farm, emphasized the region’s favorable agricultural conditions, including fertile soil and groundwater. He started preparing the agricultural terraces and planting blackberries at the end of 2022, supported by the regional branch of the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture, and the Agricultural Arabian Shield initiative, planting around 100 blackberry seedlings.

Al-Shantir reported that his farm now boasts over 750 seedlings, with notable production increases. The farm has opened sales points in Al-Baha and begun exporting to Jeddah, with plans to expand to other major cities. He noted the rapid growth, abundant blossoms, high-quality fruit, and economic benefits of blackberries, which also resist various climatic conditions.

SPEEDREAD

The ministry aims to increase the number of blackberry trees in Al-Baha to 3 million within the next three years, supported by various programs and collaboration with farmers and agricultural associations.

He plans to utilize the attractive, sweet blackberries, rich in nutrients and antioxidants, in various products such as desserts and food decorations, capitalizing on their low-calorie content.

He also benefited from workshops organized by the ministry, which focused on crop composition plans, propagation techniques using tissue culture, suitable irrigation methods for blackberry cultivation, and seedling production through tissue culture.

Dr. Fatima Al-Omari, an advisor at the agriculture under-secretariat, explained that blackberry is a perennial plant or small shrub with curved, thorny branches. It blooms from late spring to early summer, with typically white flowers and black fruit. This fruit offers high health and nutritional benefits due to its vitamins, minerals, and fiber, with relatively low sugar content.

She added that the current condition of the farms is good, with high-quality blooms and fruit observed in several farms within a year of planting the seedlings. These farms are regularly monitored by a committee headed by Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Aref, the initiative supervisor and advisor at the Agriculture Agency, in cooperation with the Agricultural Cooperative Society in Baljurashi and the Ministry’s regional branch.

Al-Baha region, known for its unique agricultural identity, boasts distinct terraces that align with the mountainous terrain, slopes, and elevations retaining soil and rainwater. The region also offers a variety of fruits year-round.

 


Over 160k visitors attend Eid events in Hail

Over 160k visitors attend Eid events in Hail
Updated 21 June 2024
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Over 160k visitors attend Eid events in Hail

Over 160k visitors attend Eid events in Hail
  • Recreational and cultural activities, theatrical performances, and Saudi ardah and samri dances were staged as part of the celebrations

HAIL: More than 160,000 citizens, residents, tourists and visitors attended this year’s Eid Al-Adha celebrations at Al-Bahja Garden and Prince Saud bin Abdul Mohsen Park in Hail city.

Municipality spokesperson Saud Al-Ali said the celebrations showcased the region’s high quality of life and many advantages.

The result was a delightful experience for different ages and nationalities, he added.

Recreational and cultural activities, theatrical performances, and Saudi ardah and samri dances were staged as part of the celebrations.

Children’s areas, motorcycle shows, a photography booth, circus shows, and interactive entertainment games proved popular with visitors.

 


Saudi municipal authorities foil attempted smuggling of rotten carcasses

Jeddah Municipality headquarters. (SPA)
Jeddah Municipality headquarters. (SPA)
Updated 21 June 2024
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Saudi municipal authorities foil attempted smuggling of rotten carcasses

Jeddah Municipality headquarters. (SPA)
  • The municipality closed 409 illegal barns and 527 slaughterhouses and moved 1,594 vehicles that were selling sheep at unauthorized sites

JEDDAH: An attempt to smuggle 1,243 rotten carcasses was foiled by the Jeddah Municipality thanks to five checkpoints set up at entrances to the area during Eid Al-Adha. Also seized were 109 vehicles being used to transport the rotten meat.

The municipality said surveillance teams in municipalities to the south, along with slaughterhouse management and the public benefit markets, were supported by security services in confiscating the carcasses, which were unfit for human consumption.

Some 1,225 carcasses were subsequently destroyed.
The municipality also closed 409 illegal barns and 527 slaughterhouses and moved 1,594 vehicles that were selling sheep at unauthorized sites.

 

 


Saudi Arabia welcomes Armenia’s decision to recognize state of Palestine

Saudi Arabia welcomes Armenia’s decision to recognize state of Palestine
Updated 21 June 2024
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Saudi Arabia welcomes Armenia’s decision to recognize state of Palestine

Saudi Arabia welcomes Armenia’s decision to recognize state of Palestine

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Friday welcomed a decision by Armenia’s government to recognize the state of Palestine, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

It stressed that this “decision is an important step that supports the path of establishing an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Earlier on Friday, Armenia announced that it was recognizing the state of Palestine becoming the latest nation to do so during the war in Gaza, saying it was “genuinely interested in establishing long-term peace and stability in the Middle East.”

Three-quarters of the 193 UN member nations have recognized the state of Palestine, with Spain, Ireland and Norway taking the decision last month, stating that they saw the move as a step toward peace in the region.

The ministry renewed the Kingdom’s call to the international community, especially the permanent members of the UN Security Council that have not recognized the state of Palestine, to move forward toward recognition “in a way that supports the two-state solution and strengthens the foundations of international peace and security,” it said.

Palestinians believe that the recognitions confer international legitimacy on their struggle, especially as Israel’s war against Hamas, now in its ninth month, faces growing international criticism over the campaign of systematic destruction in Gaza and a huge cost in civilian lives.

(With AFP and AP)