Spooky City… A New Face of Entertainment in Saudi Arabia

In line with Saudi Vision 2030 and the efforts exerted by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) to develop the entertainment sector and the content provided to the community, Spooky City is designated to be a unique destination for entertainment added to the distinctive destinations of leisure in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where Riyadh, the capital of KSA, witnesses the opening ceremony of “Spooky City” at Riyadh Park, in the presence of a large number of public figures, businessmen, businesswomen, and all those interested in the industry of entertainment in KSA.
Spooky City is the home of people who are different from us. Are you ready to meet them?
Spooky City is an integrated fantasy entertainment city, designated to allow visitors to explore the most unusual, horrifying, exciting, and suspenseful world in order to live the real meaning of entrainment from a new prospective. Spooky City is a special world with special features and mood. It brings together all unique and unusual combinations of events, places, costumes, accessories, and decorations in one place.
Spooky City gathers major entertainment locations such as the City Theatre which offers interesting and glamorous theatrical shows reflecting the joyful atmosphere in the city. Visitors also can enjoy the latest games in the “Cinema play-role” Area, the first of its kind in KSA, which allows visitors t live an exceptional cinematic adventure where a visitors and his friends can play starring roles in their own cinematic adventure. The City also includes the “Restricted Area” where visitors will meet all villains of the City and live an exciting adventure for 45 minutes, full of horror, suspense, excitement, and fun.
Spooky City offers visitors a quality family time where visitors and their kids will enjoy the very innovative games and activities, which spread joy and happiness among all of them. Spooky City has so many other locations that are full of diversified and special entertainment events and activities for all family members in Saudi Arabia, such as Down Town Area, restaurants

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H.E. Mothanna Gharaibeh inaugurates BIGO Technology’s Amman office, opening doors to AI and more employment opportunities

• Office inaugurated by H.E. Mothanna Gharaibeh, Minister for Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship
• Singaporean Internet company looks to drive Artificial Intelligence skills and adoption in Jordan
• The company aims to hire 50 AI experts to be based in Jordan and serve the region
Amman-Jordan: 17 November 2019: BIGO Technology (BIGO), a Singapore-based Internet technology company powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), has opened a new office in Amman, Jordan. The office was inaugurated by His Excellency Mothanna Gharaibeh, Jordan’s Minister for Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship. BIGO executives in attendance included Mr. Mike Ong, Vice President for Government Relations, and Mr. Jackson Liu, General Manager of Middle East, North Africa and Europe.
BIGO’s first office in Jordan will serve as an additional regional hub to interact and engage with users and stakeholders, ensure a high-tech corporate presence in Jordan, and advance AI skills among Jordanian youth. It will improve products, and increase employment opportunities for technology professionals within the country.
His Excellency Mothanna Gharaibeh, said: “BIGO has made the first step in fulfilling their commitment to Jordan, and we look forward to their future investment in the upskilling and hiring of technology and AI professionals in Jordan. This investment aligns well with initiatives in Jordan such as the ‘One Million Jordanian Coders’ programme, which will bring Jordanians free three-month training sessions and online courses in coding and internationally-recognised certification. As Jordan advances towards our digital future, we are enthusiastic about the role that visionary technology companies such as BIGO will play.”
BIGO currently has over 69 technical patents and over 414 patents are under the process of application. As a fast-growing Singapore company, BIGO now has five R&D centres around the globe, and employs over 250 people in the MENA region alone. Worldwide, BIGO has more than 400 million monthly active users across its applications and services, a significant percentage of whom are in the MENA region.
The Jordanian government has been a keen supporter of BIGO for its plan and presence both in the Hashemite Kingdom and across the wider region. In fact, earlier this year BIGO hosted His Excellency Mothanna Gharaibeh at its headquarters in Singapore, where discussions centred around the expansion possibilities in Jordan, and upskilling of youth in preparation for the fourth digital revolution.
Mr. Mike Ong of BIGO said: “At BIGO, we strongly believe that it is our responsibility to invest in the future wherever we operate. Jordan is on a quest to become the digital hotspot in the region. Our expertise in AI will help support Jordan’s vision and assist in developing an environment that nurtures and enhances digital skills and capabilities to build a better future.”
For BIGO, the Middle East region is ripe with opportunity for the consumption and development of its applications. It will also assist in developing the skills and talent of Arab youths and empower them to conceptualize and build a more productive future.
Mr. Jackson Liu of BIGO said: “We believe that establishing the BIGO office in Jordan is a strategic move due to the diversity on offer, in relation to language skills, cultural similarities to that of the region and an IMF classification of ‘Highly Developed’. We are committed to investing and developing human capital, and we have developed a comprehensive recruitment plan. Our objective is to focus more on hiring technology professionals so we can contribute to the vision of Jordan.”
The office in Jordan is the second BIGO office in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region after Egypt. The company has earlier announced plans of hiring 50 AI experts to be based in Jordan and serve the region.


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First Club for Businessmen and Businesswomen, Individuals and Corporates in Saudi Arabia

The Library House: First Exclusive Club for Businessmen and Businesswomen Opens Up in Riyadh
In fulfillment of the need of the business community and senior executives in Riyadh for high-end facilities that meet their expectations and addresses their need for exclusive luxury services that extend boundless opportunities for networking, relaxation and benefit, The Library House opened its doors in December 1st, 2019 as the first exclusive club for businessmen and businesswomen and senior executives on a three-story, state-of-the-art premises with a total area of 2400 m featuring sublime taste, fine arts and exquisite service.

Mr. Naif Alghaith, CEO of L’Acces Int., which owns the project, stated that The Library House is the first of its kind in Riyadh, and that it is proud to satisfy the needs of the business community in the Kingdom’s capital, especially that it is situated in in King Abdulaziz Road, not far from King Abdullah Financial District, which makes it easily accessible.
Director General, Mr. Mshari Khalid Almubaireek said that The Library House is the creative product of market leading interior design companies in the region, offering numerous facilities such as the Gathering, a deluxe office, a luxury executive room, a multi-purpose meetings room, the Gallery which is designed to host exhibitions from inside and outside the Kingdom and for individuals and specialized companies in the fields of fashion, jewelry and luxury items, Tulgahan corner, C-Square, the Golden Valley, the N Garden and the C Spot Restaurant.
Almubaireek added that The Library House sets itself apart by the high level of efficiency and quality of service it offers to its members that exceed comfort and luxury to providing concierge services, travel and reservations, event planning and execution, reception of members’ VIP guests and organizing private and formal events. He added that the club also boasts a monthly arts and cultural events tailored to suit the taste and needs of the members, which will make The Library House the meeting place of creative artists, thought leaders and arts and culture celebrities from inside and outside the Kingdom.
Mr. Naif Alghaith, CEO of L’Acces Int., expressed his happiness and pride in The Library House saying that it is an addition to the landmarks of Riyadh that can be added to the outstanding achievements of the unprecedented economic, social and cultural renaissance created by the national transformation programs and Vision 2030 of a vibrant society that best express the true essence and spirit of Saudi culture and its aspiration and as a living example of quality of life programs recently activated.
Alghaith said the name of the project was inspired by the ancient history of Arab and Muslim tradesmen who traveled the world and came in contact with the worlds’ civilizations, teaching and learning. Thus, The Library House seeks to distinguish itself, not just as luxury club, but as a meeting place for creative minds that elevate thought and taste and spread the civilizational message of the Kingdom.
Mr. Thafer Althafer, Managing Director, said that the club aims to attract elite business leaders and VIPs from the Saudi, GCC and international societies, and to be a landmark whose reputation transcends the geographic boundaries or Riyadh. He added that this project is the first step and will be followed by similar projects over the next few years spanning the kingdom and providing highest levels of hospitality

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Sony Middle East and Africa launches the new king of full frame mirrorless cameras – Alpha 7R IV

World’s first 61.0 MP Back-illuminated Full-frame Image Sensor Sony A7RIV combines highest resolution with high-speed performance, in a lightweight compact body

  • World’s first 35mm full-frame 61.0 MP back-illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS image sensor with latest-generation BIONZ X™ image processor
  • 15-stop dynamic range at low sensitivities, resulting in smooth natural gradations ranging from deep shadows to highlights

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 27th November 2019 – Sony Middle East and Africa unveiled the latest addition to its acclaimed Alpha™ 7R series full-frame mirrorless camera line-up; the extremely versatile, powerful Alpha 7R IV (model ILCE-7RM4) at an event in Marriott Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 

Sony’s highest resolution full-frame camera ever, the new Alpha 7R IV delivers stunning image quality with high resolution and wide dynamic range while maintaining outstanding focusing performance, high-speed continuous shooting and much, much more.

“We are continuing to drive innovation, break boundaries and redefine the expectations of digital camera performance,” said Murat Gebeceli, Head of Digital Imaging, Sony Middle East & Africa. “The new Alpha 7R IV combines medium format level image quality with high-speed shooting, extremely fast focusing and a long list of upgrades to design, connectivity and usability. This will allow professional photographers, videographers and all other types of creators in the Middle East to capture content in ways that were simply not possible before.”

Alpha 7R IV with SEL2470GM

A New Level of Image Quality

The new Alpha 7R IV features a newly developed 35mm full-frame back illuminated CMOS image sensor with a resolution of 61.0 MP2, the world’s first1 of its kind. The new sensor’s back-illuminated structure and effective noise reduction techniques combine to deliver extremely low-noise, high sensitivity performance ensuring the absolute maximum image quality.  The camera also boasts an impressive 15-stop3 dynamic range at low sensitivities, resulting in smooth natural gradations ranging from deep shadows to highlights, and utilises algorithms from many of the latest Alpha™ cameras to maintain outstanding colour reproduction.  

This new full-frame model is equipped with an innovative 5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation system that has been fine-tuned to support its high-resolution shooting capacity, resulting in a shutter speed advantage of 5.5-steps. Additionally, the shutter unit assembly has been carefully re-designed to reduce even the slightest movement that may cause blur.  

The Alpha 7R IV also includes Sony’s highest resolution viewfinder in any camera, a 5.76 million dot UXGA OLED Tru-finder EVF. About 1.6x the resolution of the EVF in the Alpha 7R III, this new viewfinder provides an extremely accurate, true-to-life depiction of the scene being framed. The display quality can be set to ‘Standard’ or ‘High’ mode, and to either 60 fps or 120 fps refresh rate to best match the subject and shooting conditions.  

Additionally, the new camera features an evolved Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode that composites up to 16 full-resolution images. In this mode, the camera precisely shifts the sensor in 1 or 0.5-pixel increments to capture 16 separate pixel-shifted images containing a total of 963.2 million pixels worth of data then composited into a 240.8 million pixels (19008 x 12672 pixels) image using the “Imaging Edge™” desktop application. Ideal for photographing architecture, art or any other still life photography subject, this enhanced mode produces photographs with a level of detail and colour accuracy that is simply stunning.  

Shooting and Focusing Speed

The innovative new Alpha 7R IV full-frame mirrorless camera can shoot full resolution images at up to 10 fps4 with continuous, accurate AF/AE tracking for up to approximately 7 seconds5 in full-frame, full-resolution mode (JPEG / RAW), and approx. 3x seconds in APS-C crop mode delivering 26.2MP2 images.  These high-speed options ensure that fast moving subjects can be captured with extreme accuracy and incredible image detail.  

The upgraded focusing system of the Alpha 7R IV is comprised of 567 focal-plane phase-detection AF points that cover approximately 74% of the image area.  There are also 425 contrast AF points that add extra precision and reliability for low light and other situations that are best served by contrast AF. The higher AF sensor density and refined tracking algorithms of the new camera produce a notable improvement in tracking performance, allowing complex subject motion and sudden subject movements to be reliably tracked with greater precision than ever.  

The Alpha 7R IV also supports Real-time Eye AF, which employs artificial intelligence to detect and process eye location data in real-time, stay locked onto the subject’s eye with extreme precision. This is available for both animal and human subjects, with an option to select either animal or human Eye AF mode depending on the shooting situation. Additionally, the Real-time Tracking7 feature is available which utilises a newly developed subject recognition algorithm to ensure the ultimate subject tracking and persistence of the focusing system.  There is also an anti-flicker shooting mode, which automatically detects the presence of fluorescent or artificial lighting in a shooting environment to minimise any impact on the final image.  

Enhanced Connectivity for Professional Workflow

Sony’s new Alpha 7R IV full-frame camera is equipped with a variety of advanced connectivity features designed to enhance professional workflow.  The new model includes wireless LAN functionality to support the conventional 2.4 GHz band as well as a high-speed 5 GHz band for faster, more stable data transfer.  Wireless PC remote connectivity (wireless tethering shooting)8 is also available on the new Alpha 7R IV, a first for Sony cameras.  Requested by many working professionals, this will allow for much more freedom in studio and location shoots, where the photographer can move around freely without restriction.

In addition to high-speed Wi-Fi® and wireless PC connectivity8, the new full-frame camera is equipped with a SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.2 Gen 1) USB Type-C™ connector that supports extremely fast wired data transmission, with almost doubled data transfer speed achieved in combination with Imaging Edge software compared to the Alpha 7R III. It also supports FTP data transfer with background transfer capability, allowing photographers to send images to a specified FTP remote server while they are still shooting or reviewing images.  

To support an efficient, high-speed connected professional workflow, Sony has announced version 2.0 of “Imaging Edge” desktop applications (‘Remote’/’Viewer’/’Edit’)12. The ’Remote’ application allows users to control cameras and monitor live shooting on their PC screen; the ‘Viewer‘ application is used to quickly preview, rate and select photos from large libraries and the ’Edit‘ application can develop RAW data into high-quality photos for delivery. 

To maximise convenience in image transfer, when utilising the latest version of Sony’s Imaging Edge Mobile™ application, the camera can now transfer images to a connected smartphone even if the power is set to OFF.   

High-resolution 4K and Professional Filmmaking Features

In addition to its impressive still image capabilities, the new Alpha 7R IV performs exceptionally well as a serious filmmaking tool, offering 4K (3840×2160 pixels) video recording and full pixel readout without pixel binning in Super 35mm mode9. This ensures high-quality 4K footage with exceptional detail and depth. S-Log 2 and S-Log 3 are also available to maximize colour grading flexibility, with S-Log 3 offering a total of 14-stops of dynamic range. HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) is also available on the Alpha 7R IV to support an Instant HDR workflow.

For video autofocus, the versatile new full-frame camera utilises a refined Fast Hybrid AF system that achieves faster, smoother, more stable autofocus during video shooting – even if an object temporarily moves in front of the intended subject. The camera also includes Touch Tracking functionality during movie shooting, allowing the user to simply touch the screen on their intended subject for instant acquisition. 

The new Alpha 7R IV debuts Real-time Eye AF for movie shooting6, a first in any of Sony’s cameras. When activated, the eye of a subject is automatically tracked with high precision and reliability, allowing the shooter to focus on the content itself as opposed to what is in focus or not in focus. The Touch Tracking functionality will also automatically initiate Eye AF when a human subject is selected.  

Another notable video feature is the addition of a digital audio interface to the camera’s Multi Interface Shoe™ (MI Shoe), allowing direct connection of the new ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone or XLR-K3M XLR Adaptor Kit for clear, low-noise and high-quality audio recording.  Interval shooting for creating time-lapse videos is available, as well as full HD recording at up to 120 fps, Slow and Quick Motion functions and much more.  

Enhanced Build, Design and Customisability 

The new Alpha 7R IV has several upgrades to its design and usability, with many adjustments being implemented directly based of the voice of Sony’s professional community.  

To maximise durability, the new Alpha 7R IV features upgraded dust and moisture resistance, with additional sealing provided at all body seams, the battery compartment cover and media slots. The camera is built with an extremely lightweight and durable magnesium alloy, and has an upgraded six screw, extra-firm mount. 

Additional enhancements to the body design include an improved grip for greater comfort and a surer hold within the hand; an increase in the diameter and feedback for the ‘AF-ON’ button; a new multi-selector joystick design for improvised control; an exposure compensation dial lock button and a redesigned shape and new position for the rear dial.  A strong request from many professional users, the new camera also includes two UHS-II compatible media slots, allowing for higher overall capacity and faster read/write speeds.

For added convenience, camera setting registration is expanded. Now, almost all camera settings can be saved to and read from an inserted memory card. Up to 10 combinations can be saved to any individual card and loaded into any camera body of the same type.  

Despite its 1.5x pixel count, the battery life has also been improved – with a CIPA measurement of up to 670 still images per charge using LCD monitor, or 530 images with EVF). For even more uninterrupted operating time, the new optional VG-C4EM Vertical Grip holds two NP-FZ100 batteries, and the optional Multi Battery Adaptor (NPA-MQZ1K) can hold up to four Z batteries.  The body can also be powered via the USB connector

New Accessories

Sony has released a variety of new accessories to compliment the new Alpha 7R IV camera, including:


VG-C4EM Vertical Grip – provides same operation, handling and design as the Alpha 7R IV camera, including upgraded dust and moisture resistance19, doubles battery life and allows USB battery-charging via the camera body. 


ECM-B1M Shotgun Microphone – Eight high-performance mic capsules and advanced digital signal processing provide three selectable directivity patterns in one compact microphone of approx. 99.3mm (4 inches) in length with Super-directional pick up; when connected to the Alpha 7R IV via its Multi Interface Shoe with digital audio interface support, audio is directly transferred to the camera in digital form so that the highest possible quality is achieved without noise or degradation. 


XLR-K3M XLR Adaptor Kit – Two XLR/TRS combo connectors and one 3.5mm stereo mini jack for microphone and line input, with extensive control that helps facilitate the post processing workflow; connected to the Alpha 7R IV via its Multi Interface Shoe with digital audio interface support, audio is directly transferred to the camera in digital form so that the highest possible audio quality is achieved without noise or degradation;  supplied extension cable for Audio provides extra flexibility for camera attachment with rig, cage or bracket.

SF-M series TOUGH 

Ultra-Tough UHS-II SD card with ultra-fast speed up to 277MB/s (read) is ideal for shooting in extreme conditions and streamlines the post-shooting workflow; supplied with file recovery software (supports both macOS and Windows).


Fast USB for PC hub with UHS-II SD/microSD reader, supporting USB 3.1 Gen 2 and 100W USB Power Delivery (USB PD), contributes to efficient workflow by ultra-fast, stable backup to PC or SSD.  


The new Alpha 7R IV Full-frame Interchangeable Lens Camera is available in Saudi Arabia at a price of SAR 14,999/-.

For full product details, please visit: https://www.sony.com/en-sa/electronics/interchangeable-lens-cameras/ilce-7rm4

A product video on the new Alpha 7R IV can be viewed here

A product video on the new ECM-B1M can be viewed here.

About Sony Middle East and Africa:

Sony Middle East and Africa FZE is a 100% subsidiary of Sony Corporation and is the regional headquarters for the Middle East and Africa regions. The company is engaged in the business of Sony Consumer Electronics, Car Audio and Computer Entertainment (PlayStation) products in more than 40 countries in the region.

Apart from stock operations in the Jebel Ali Free Zone Establishment in Dubai, Sony Middle East and Africa leads execution of various logistics, sales, marketing, advertising and customer services activities through its business partners. 262 accredited third party service centres reinforce Sony’s presence in key markets in the region.


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Time to Say ‘Yalla Biryani’ at Zafran Indian Bistro

Be it its great aroma, mouth-watering taste or colourful appearance, a perfect biryani is truly a complete meal.  No matter where you are from, the blended fragrance of exotic spices in a pot conjures up nostalgic images of India and tastes delicious when enjoyed with friends and family

The latest limited menu at Zafran Indian Bistro celebrates this rich, flavorful, wholesome dish.

Conceptualized by one of the region’s Indian cuisine gurus, Chef Sajeev Chelattu, Brand Chef at the award-winning contemporary Indian restaurant, Yalla Biryani elevates this popular dish to a culinary experience that is truly unforgettable. 

From a traditional Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani to the more complex Awadhi Gosht Dum Biryani (lamb) and Murgh Sufiyani Biryani (chicken), the limited menu’s wide range captures the true flavors, spices and textures that have stood the test of time. For seafood lovers, Chef Chellatu recommends the Jinghe Dum Nisha Biryani, which includes prawns cooked in rich seafood stock, fragrant basmati rice flavored with cumin, carom seeds, coriander & saffron.

All these biryanis are served with Raita and a Traditional Mirch Baigan Ka Salan, a perfect accompaniment made of eggplant and green chillies cooked in a peanut, sesame, coconut and tamarind gravy with a hint of jaggery. 

“Using age-old techniques and recipes from regions as diverse as Awadh and Malabar and combining them with the finest spice blends, Yalla Biryani is a must-do for any food connoisseur this festive season. So whether you’re celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights, or just looking to expand your culinary horizons, visit us at Zafran for a meal to remember,” added Chef Gaurav Singh, Business Manager, Zafran

Zafran’s Yalla Biryani menu is also available for delivery and comes in a beautiful earthen pot, ideal for a small Diwali get-together or just a catch up with loved ones. 

Prices start at a reasonable SAR 72 for a pot of Biryani that can comfortably serve two people. The Yalla Biryani menu will be available from today until the end of December at Zafran in Rubeen Plaza, Levels Mall and Turki Square.  The restaurants are open to guests for lunch as well as dinner from 11 am – 11 pm on weekdays and 11am – 12 am on weekends (12 pm to 12 am 7 days a week at Levels Mall). To make a reservation please call: +966 11 562 2229 (Rubeen Plaza) or +966 50 900 9052 (Levels Mall) or +966 50 3399181 (Turki Square). For added convenience Zafran offers a take-out and delivery service as well and is on Jahez, Uber Eats, Hunger Station, Talabat and Carriage.

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Digitalisation of the workplace is a key success factor for Saudi Arabian organisations More than 72% of respondents said that their employer should focus on equipping the workforce with the best digital tools, according to a study by VMware

Organisations in Saudi Arabia must pay close attention to the digital experience of their employees in order to find more success in terms of growth, the establishment of a healthy and progressive work environment, and the attraction and retention of top talent, according to new research from VMware.

Covering 12 countries within the EMEA region, the annual report included 200 respondents from Saudi Arabia and explored the impact of digital workspace technologies on organisations.

The digitalisation of the workplace is a particularly important factor for prospective employees in Saudi Arabia, where more than three-quarters (84 percent) of respondents said that the flexibility of digital tools usage would positively influence their decision to join an organisation.

Furthermore, 72.5 percent of respondents agreed that their current employer should focus their efforts on equipping the workforce with the best digital tools, while only 26.5 percent believe that current efforts were enough.

Part of the study also focused on the biggest challenges that hindered the delivery of optimal digital experience in the workplace. The top three issues selected by respondents in Saudi Arabia were the time needed to implement (40.11 percent), the lack of technical skills within the organisation (39.55 percent), and limited funding to deploy new digital technologies (37.85 percent).

Possibly the biggest disparity is between how employees feel they contribute their organisation’s digitisation efforts and the viewpoint of decision makers. More than half (61.33 percent) Saudi Arabian employees surveyed don’t believe they have a voice when it comes to what digital technologies are used in the office, while 92 percent of ITDMs believe they give their employees a voice within this arena.

The findings of the survey are especially relevant given the aspirations outlined in Saudi Vision 2030, to develop and diversify the country’s economy and promote private enterprise; the Kingdom aims to increase SME contribution to GDP from 20% to 35% and has also stressed the need to attract and retain international talent. At home, Saudi Arabia’s growing young population also expects a ‘digital first’ experience at work.

“The importance of this study shows that digitising the workplace not only sparks a positive experience for existing employees and promotes growth, but it also makes a business attractive for prospective talent. In Saudi Arabia especially, nationals want to be part of a progressive organisation that is dynamic, on the cusp, and more importantly, boasting tremendous growth potential,” said Saif Mashat, country manager, Saudi Arabia, VMware.

“Companies would also do well to better engage their employees, garnering feedback on how digital tools are applied to the day-to-day activities. This may open the door to new avenues for investment on other digital technologies that in turn will take the business to new heights,” he added.

About the research

In March and April 2019, 3,600 EMEA employees (1,800), IT decision makers (900) and HR decision makers (900) who use computer/smart devices for work purposes were interviewed. The number of respondents from each EMEA country were: UK (600), Germany (600), France (600), Italy (200), Netherlands (200), Russia (200), Poland (200), Norway (200), Sweden (200), Spain (200), UAE (200) and Saudi Arabia (200). They were from organizations in a range of public and private sectors and their organization had to have an employee size of 500 employees or more.



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German National Day Reception at the German Embassy on 3 October 2019

The joyful and festive event, which was attended by HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz as guest of honour, brought together more than 800 dignitaries, businesspeople, academics, artists as well as members of the German community and the Saudi civil society to celebrate another year of vibrant Saudi-German Relations.

Following the arrival of the guest of honour, the governor of Riyadh, HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, and a short private meeting between the Ambassador and the Prince, the two dignitaries officially opened the reception.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Ranau reminded the audience of the historical events which took place 30 years ago in autumn 1989 and lead to the fall of the Berlin wall in November 1989 and ultimately to the reunification of Germany on 3 October 1990. He said, “This peaceful reunification of our country in the middle of a united Europe is what we celebrate today.”

He then referred to Germany’s condemnation in the strongest terms of the attacks on oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais, adding “Efforts towards regional stability and security become all the more important – it is time for dialogue and a way forward for diplomacy.”

He then congratulated the Kingdom on opening its doors to tourists from all over the world. “I am confident that Germans will soon be coming to Saudi Arabia in large numbers. Being a nation of keen travellers, we are eager to explore away from the well-trodden paths and to be among the first to see the unique landscapes and cultural heritage Saudi Arabia has to offer”, he explained.

Finally, Ambassador Ranau outlined upcoming activities to strengthen bilateral ties. In November, the German Embassy in Riyadh and the German Consulate General in Jeddah are planning to organize German Cultural Days in Riyadh and Jeddah to put a spotlight on the thriving cultural relations. And at the end of the year, the planned meeting of the Joint Economic Commission in Berlin seeks to give additional momentum to Saudi-German economic and business ties.

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German National Tourist Office woos Saudi travel market with German partners ahead of winter season German National Tourist Office to conduct three B2B roadshow events in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

As part of its continued efforts to boost Saudi tourists to Germany, the German National Tourist Office – Gulf countries (GNTO) will be embarking its annual roadshow to take place in three Saudi cities in partnership with premium airline partner, Lufthansa German Airlines.

The B2B roadshow will kick off in Jeddah on 21 October, followed by Riyadh (22 October) and Al Khobar (23 October) with the aim of introducing Saudi travel trade professionals, key opinion leaders and media to the latest tourism attractions of the all-year-round travel destination of Germany. 

Highlighting the importance of Saudi market, Nicole Zaspel, Sales & Marketing Manager for the Gulf countries at German National Tourist Office (GNTO), an affiliate of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB), commented: “The Gulf region is Germany’s third-largest non-European source market after China and the USA. With this roadshow in the Kingdom, we are looking forward to strengthen relationships with the Saudi travel industry and connect them with leading German tourism partners to inspire Saudi visitors to travel to our beautiful country.” 

The three city promotional roadshow will have participation from leading German partners at this year’s GCC roadshow, hosted in partnership with premium airline partner, Lufthansa German Airlines:

  • Breuninger Department Store         
  • Cologne Tourist Board  
  • DMC & MICE Germany
  • Excelsior Hotel Ernst     
  • Ingolstadt & Wertheim Village  
  • Sana Hospital Group     
  • Schoen Clinic    
  • Studiosus Incoming Munich      

After conducting the roadshow in Saudi Arabia, GNTO will head to Bahrain on 24 October, to promote the destination of Germany to the Bahraini travel trade professionals and media for one day only. 

21 October 2019 – Jeddah

22 October 2019 – Riyadh 

23 October 2019 – Al Khobar

24 October 2019 – Manama, Bahrain

For those interested in attending, please email Nicole Zaspel: (nicole.zaspel@germany.travel).

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Shaza Riyadh Hotel Announces Opening of the Afiya Spa Wellness Centre for Men 50 percent off membership fee offered on Saudi National Day September 23

Shaza Riyadh, winner of the World Travel Award for Saudi Arabia’s Leading Hotel Residences 2019, has announced that its Afiya Spa Wellness Centre for Men will open on September 18 and to celebrate Saudi National Day 50% off the membership fee will be offered on September 23. 

“We are delighted to offer guests the ultimate experience in soothing relaxation, recuperation and well-being,” said Mahmood Aldawod, General Manager of Shaza Riyadh. “Shaza Afiya Wellness Centre takes travellers on an all-encompassing wellness journey to detoxify the body and enhance the overall state of mind in an ambiance inspired by a traditional Moroccan Hammam.”

Dedicated exclusively for men, the journey comprises three components: Recuperate, Rejuvenate and Repower. Each journey is personalised and tailored to every traveller’s unique needs. 

The Shaza Riyadh Hotel Residences is the capital’s newest hospitality destination where guests escape from the hustle and bustle of the world outside and retreat into a welcoming ambience of tranquility, cocooned in luxurious comfort with their every need impeccably attended to. 

The unique appeal of Shaza Riyadh comes from the enchanting  Andalusian décor that reflects the culture of the legendary caravanserais   stationed along the fabled Silk Route of times gone by – a concept that is shared by all Shaza hotels in the region. Designed to take guests into a world of exquisite beauty and refinement, Shaza Riyadh is oasis of serenity far away from the cares and pressure of modern life.   

Located at the heart of the Middle East’s new financial hub, in the vicinity of the iconic Al Rajhi Mosque, Shaza Riyadh consists of 205 superbly appointed residences that have been designed for the needs of long term guests The lavishly spacious rooms are complete with walk-in wardrobes and a fully equipped kitchenette, making them ideal for singles and small or large families and perfect for staycationers from the city itself or surrounding cities like Qasim and Kharj,  who want a break without travelling too far afield. 

Shaza is a member of Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, bringing together more than 30 brands with over 550 hotels in 75 countries

GHA’s award-winning loyalty programme, DISCOVERY, provides 15 million members exclusive opportunities to immerse themselves in local culture wherever they travel.


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Opening Mexican Gastronomic Festival at InterContinental Hotel. This time, led by renowned chef Aldo Servin

September has come again with a new iteration of the Mexican Gastronomic Festival at InterContinental Hotel. This time, led by renowned chef Aldo Servin, Executive Chef at “Traspatio Restaurant” in Los Cabos, Mexico.  

Mr. Tariq Dowidar, Area General Manager for IHG Government Hotels, said he was happy to be able to bring to the Kingdom this cultural experience once more. He added that the festival will take place in Al-Bustan Restaurant of the InterContinental Riyadh from 7:00 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. daily from September 16 to 22.

The Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Mexico in Saudi Arabia, Min. Eduardo Hector Moguel Flores addressed the attendees of the opening ceremony: Saudi officials, Ambassadors, special guests and members of the media alike. He reminded the guests of the deep cultural heritage that exists in Mexico. Starting with its millenary history, combined with its cuisine and Mariachi music. These last two attained the UNESCO’s ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ status.  

For the second time in a row, the Embassy of Mexico and the Intercontiental Riyadh have partnered to bring along the Mariachi band “Mariachi Semblanza” to perform live and entertain those who attend the food festival. 

“Just two days ago, in Oud Square, the Mariachi gave a flash-mob performance, captivating the attention of around 100 people, mainly Saudi youth”, said the Mexican diplomat. “It is tangible the interest of the Saudi population on other countries’ cultural expressions”, he added. 


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