Will Sharqiya Get Bored of Burgers? DS Finds Out!


It had to be addressed. Local burger-men talk about the trend.

WHERE: MAZIN’S BURGERSMazinsBurger_Khobar_2016_AA-2

What do you think of the burger trend in Sharqiya?

It’s a bit too much. What’s more is that they are all focused on fast food; there aren’t enough gourmet burgers. Each new chain is trying to copy Shake Shack, but there’s no quality and no personality.

Do you think the people of Sharqiya will get bored of burgers?

Yes because there’s no consistency. While it’s difficult to get consistency in meat, it’s the most important thing.

Would you advise anyone interested in opening a restaurant to go for a burger joint?

Just promise me it’s a gourmet burger restaurant with fresh local ingredients straight from a local farm.MazinsBurger_Khobar_2016_AA-6

What makes your burger different?

The quality and size. Our meat comes straight from Australia. We use simple spices and the best quality of cheese. Our patties average 130 grams – almost three times bigger than most restaurants.

Essential burger ingredient?

The beef. It’s all about the beef.

Most popular patty from Mazin’s?

The Juicy Lucy

Instagram: mazins_burgers

WHERE: BURGERS AND FRIESMajed_burgernFries_Khobar_2016_AA-4

What do you think of the burger trend in Sharqiya?

It’s too much, but the demand is high. People think it’s so easy and open restaurants for the profit without the right research.

Do you think the people of Sharqiya will get bored of burgers?

No. Burgers are great for any meal of the day.

Would you advise anyone interested in opening a restaurant to go for a burger joint?

Don’t think about the profit alone; think about everything from the tiny details to the bigger aspects. Don’t just Google “how to make a burger”.soruce_brugerandFries-1

What makes your burger different?

We use 100 percent fresh ingredients, from the bun to the patty, in an open kitchen where customers can see the beef being grinded and the buns being baked.

Most popular burger from Burgers and Fries?

The Smoky Burger. Each ingredient is measured just right – no ingredient overpowers the other.

Instagram: burgers_and_fries_ksa

WHERE: I WISH GRILL AND CAFÉIwishCafe_Khobar_2016_AA-2

What do you think of the burger trend in Sharqiya?

There is a big appetite for burgers shops in Sharqiya, so I expect this momentum will continue to grow.

Do you think the people of Sharqiya will get bored of burgers?

Absolutely not. Everybody loves burgers and the strong competition popping up has created an environment of creativity, innovation and diversity in the burger scene.

Would you advise anyone interested in opening a restaurant to go for a burger joint?

I would say don’t do anything you’re not passionate about. Also, consider the market well and know how to count your break-even point; there are a lot of hidden costs.2

How should I prepare to fight the stiff competition already out there?

Work on your marketing and earn the loyalty of your customers by serving consistently high-quality food and service.

What makes your burger different?

We choose the best ingredients in the market and have our own special way of preparing the burgers that keeps them consistent each and every time.

Instagram: i_wish_cafe

WHERE: GRILL SHACKGrillShake_Khobar_2016_AA-1

What do you think of the burger trend in Sharqiya?

In the last five years, the burger trend in Sharqiya has shifted from fast-food style towards a gourmet-style which offers customers more options in term of cooking and combination of ingredients.

Do you think the people of Sharqiya will get bored of burgers?

Not at all. Burgers have been and always will be one of the most popular food choices.

Would you advice anyone interested in opening a restaurant to go for a burger joint?

As long as they offer something different and have what it takes to run a restaurant.GrillShack_Khobar_2016_AA-3

What makes your burger different?

What makes us stand out is our recipe, quality, consistency, freshness and choice of ingredients. We spent a couple of months just developing the recipe, testing different types of beef with buns, sauces and vegetables until we reached the perfect combination.

Essential burger ingredient?

It’s hard to choose just one, but we feel it’s essential to have the right combination with just the right ratios.

Instagram: grillshacksa


Profile of Sharqawi Food Critic: Hesham Baeshen


Technician by day but trusted food critic by night, meet Hesham Baeshen.

Hesham Saleh Baeshen came into the food industry purely by chance. A Sharqawi, born and bred, Baeshen works as a supply technician, but he started posting his recipes online about two years ago and the overwhelming response has led him to becoming one of Sharqiya’s most trusted food bloggers, critics and consultants.

Baeshen has been cooking since he was 9 years old – he started with sandwiches and steaks along with simple breakfast dishes and very recently moved on to cooking everything from burgers to traditional dishes.

Baeshen’s favorite food to eat and cook is shawerma, followed by fried chicken and burgers. He even hopes to one day open a restaurant that sells fried chicken. “It’s all about the marinade,” he said. “You don’t need a secret recipe. Just marinate it so that it becomes juicy inside, takes less time to become well done and looks amazing on the outside.” We asked for his opinion on the recent booming burger trend as well and he laughed, “You know, we are Arabs. We like bread and meat – this kind of food goes well with us!”

Baeshen currently provides restaurants with consultation on everything from the quality and doneness of their food to their presentation. He also critiques restaurants on his Instagram account, marking them on their service, atmosphere and food quality.HeshamBaeshen_Khobar_2016_AA-5

Here’s the type of advice he gives that applies to even home cooking: Spend the extra riyals on good quality cheese to give your dish that special kick. Also, a burger needs at least 30 percent fat – it may not be as healthy but a burger with only 10 percent fat is NOT tasty at all.

Baeshen doesn’t just present images of his dishes to his followers, he dives deep into their history and cultural relevance. Also, there’s no such thing as “no” in his kitchen. He experiments and tastes everything and that’s what makes him credible as both a cook and a critic.

Favorite Ingredients: Worcestershire sauce, garlic and Parmesan cheese.

Inspiring Chefs: Osama Al Sayed and Samar Ayyub

Instagram: accountname8


Sharqiya Cheap Eats: Bawan Land

bawanland Collage

Chicken Lick‘en!

Once in a blue moon, your soul craves some good ol’ fried, crispy on the outside, extremely tender on the inside and juicy all over chicken. How would you like it if that mouth-watering delight were super spicy as well? We know what you’re thinking, the three magic words: comfort food heaven. Well, all you need to do is head to Bawan Land, order your super spicy chicken and dig right in. Thank us later!

Instagram: @bawanland

Location: 5th Street, Khobar Al Shumaliya, Khobar

Tel: +966-13-8910212


Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet

green deen 1437-10-15 at 10

By Manal Al Dabbagh

Green Deen is the first book I come across that sheds a light on the environment from an Islamic perspective. The author highlights that protecting the environment is an essential part of our Islamic faith. The book is not an analysis of Quran or hadiths, it is a collection of the author’s thoughts, stories and practical tips.

The book is organized into four sections, each deals with one of the environmental problems that we face today, presenting ideas and solutions to be true stewards of the Earth and take care of this amana that Allah gave us.

The examples presented as solutions to these issues are inspiring. I encourage you to read the book and find your own solutions to the issues we are facing here in Saudi Arabia.

Green Mosque. In Ramadan of 2009, a group of Muslims instituted a “green iftar” policy in their mosque Lighthouse Mosque. They eliminated the use of Styrofoam and bottled water and replaced disposable plastics with stainless steel ones.
The author talks about energy from hell (oil and coal) and energy from heaven (wind and sun). We still don’t have alternative to oil in Saudi, but we can still do our part to conserve energy. A simple act of turning lights off when not in use can make a lot of difference.
Water quality and shortage are major issues facing the world today. Taking shorter showers, using less water during wudu and reducing bottled water use are practical tips anyone can take to preserve the precious water we have.
Yasir Syeed is the founder of Green Zabiha, an innovative company that provide meat to Muslim and non-Muslim consumers. The animals are raised cage free in their natural environment and slaughtered according to the proper Islamic tradition. It is an alternative from factory farming that is in conflict with Islamic principles regarding animal slaughter.


Tolerance in Islam

Tolerance in Islam (1)

By Eman Bukhari

All around the world people,  practice different religions and cultures; they have different histories and speak different languages.

The fastest growing religion with currently 1.6 billion followers is Islam. Even though the Quran is in Arabic, this has not stopped its message spreading all over the world. It has been translated into 47 languages and specific versus into 114 languages. The religion speaks to everyone and everything in life, the hereafter and before the dawn of man. Its message is universal. It speaks of peace, harmony, respect, justice, acceptance, freedom and tolerance between individuals, faiths and cultures.

The mosaic of diversity is Allah’s will, and therefore Islam supports it. As the Quran says:

“We have appointed a law and a practice for every one of you. Had God willed, He would have made you a single community, but He wanted to test you regarding what has come to you. So compete with each other in doing good. Every one of you will return to God and He will inform you regarding the things about which you differed” (5: 48).

And, “You shall have your religion and I shall have my religion” (109:106).

To speak ill of any other faith or people is un-Islamic,

“And do not insult those who call on other than Allah, lest they insult Allah out of ignorance. And We have similarly adorned for every nation their works; then to their Lord is their return and He will inform them of what they had done” (6:108).

Human life is precious and valuable in Islam and is to be respected no matter whose life it is. We were all created to worship Allah and do good while being just, and intolerance to those who are different is neither.

SourcesTolerance in Islam


Aiming High – Planning Sharqiya’s Best Events

Aiming high Collage

Aim High is an event planning institution based in Sharqiya. Founded by Lamia Alajaji and Nada Aladel, Aim High is currently run by Arwa Alkhayyal and Danah Garwan.

Aim High is known for their beautifully executed events all over Sharqiya, their events are mostly focused on fashion but with a splash of art and lifestyle. Aim High is committed to raising the standards of exhibitions. To them, quality is the most important thing.

So far, they have organized three successful exhibitions in Sharqiya and marketed two.

1. 2020 Expo

2020 aiming high

2. Layali Al Hejaz


3. Derwaza


4. Purple Expo (marketing)


5. Drzah (marketing)



5 Indoor Play Areas for Kids in Sharqiya KSA

1. Gymboree 


You do need a membership to utilize the soft play area at Gymboree and to take advantage of their awesome classes, but it is totally worth it.

Web: gymboreeclasses-ksa

Instagram: @gymboreekhobar

2. Billy Beez 


One of the largest soft play areas in the city, Billy Beez is way too much fun. You can even book it for birthday parties.

Location: Mall of Dhahran

Instagram: @billybeez_sa

3. Chuck E. Cheese 


The Dhahran branch is pretty small and cozy, with fun rides for the younger kids and arcade games for the older ones. Also, their pizza is yum. Check them out for birthday party bookings.

Location: Amwaj Mall

Instagram: @chuckecheeses

4. Toy Town

Credit: toytown.com.sa Credit: toytown.com.sa[/caption]

This is even smaller, just right for the very little kids.

Location: Fouad Center

Instagram: @toytownksa

5. Stationary Fantasies 


One of our personal favorites, Stationary Fantasies is so much fun for all ages.

Location: Amwaj Mall


Al Gosaibi Gift of Giving


Seventy-six years of giving back to community and still going strong.

Established in 1940, A.H. Al Gosaibi and Bros is one of the oldest and most powerful businesses in and from Sharqiya. Their list of achievements is long, from construction and manufacturing to travel and tourism, but for this month’s issue we spoke to Sahar Al Gosaibi, Head of CSR, Property and Insurance, on their community service and social responsibility programs.

The company’s CSR department has been in place since 1940, donating locally and internationally, contributing to the beautification of the province and had even founded Fatat El Khaleej, a social welfare society.966BoxPark_Khobar_2016_AA-54

Recently Al Gosaibi and her team decided to focus on sustainable programs that help the community and encourage the growth of small businesses. “The more you involve yourself in bettering people’s lives,” says Al Gosaibi, “the better you will feel about yourself.” She shared with us a few of the initiatives they’ve been working on.

PopUp_Khobar_2016_AA-18One of those programs is Pop-Up Al Gosaibi, a short-lease store space located in Al Gosaibi Village, Khobar. The pop-up shop offers local entrepreneurs a space to test consumer demand and evaluate the market before committing to a long-term lease elsewhere. They collaborated with Desert Designs to fully furnish the store for each tenant.

PopUp_Khobar_2016_AA-13Another recent initiative is 966 Box Park, which was a project Al Gosaibi believed in wholeheartedly. An art enthusiast at heart, she loved the proposed concept of the graffiti-themed event. She then offered the organizers the old Pepsi warehouse which was the perfect size at a prime location. They supported the event with full force, from subsidizing the rent to providing materials and maintenance.

A.H. Al Gosaibi has sponsored various other initiatives since the beginning of 2016 including the Eastern Province Society for the Disabled, Tamkiin Orphans Association, Eshraq Organization, Wud Charity and Albir Charity. This is but a fraction of the company’s reach as they are committed to giving back to the community in every way possible.

966BoxPark_Khobar_2016_AA-9A.H. Al Gosaibi also has an internal CSR program where employees are encouraged to volunteer in the community and fun events are organized to strengthen the ties between employers and employees. The Al Gosaibi tag line has always been: “Our people are our family.”

Al Gosaibi’s advice to businesses looking to get involved in the community is simple: “Look at what the community needs and work accordingly. You can’t do everything so pick your objectives and focus and expand on them. A company can’t survive without the community.”

Web: ahalgosaibigroup.com
Email: csr@ahalgosaibi.com


Passionate Productions


Meet the creative mind behind Vizyon Creative Media.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is AbdulRahman Hasan Sandokji and I am originally from Madinah. I studied Industrial Engineering at King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) and then decided to pursue my passion in filmmaking. I’m the founder, creative director and executive producer of Vizyon Creative Media. I like making films that have noble, refined messages but are still entertaining.IMG_0268

Can you tell us about some of your projects?

One of our first projects was Wamahyaya, a show that aired on MBC in Ramadan right before Khawater. It was presented by Dr. Waleed Fitaihi, CEO of the International Medical Center in Jeddah, talking about health concepts and facts presented in an interesting way and linked to religion.

Our most successful project was a documentary called Phosphene, about a toxic substance used in farms and illegally in houses to kill rodents. The documentary was very tragic and investigative, similar to director Michael Moore’s style.IMG_0287

Alzheimer’s was a similarly-styled movie about the prevalence of the disease in the Kingdom, showing real cases in Madinah, Jeddah and Riyadh and exposing their reality to Saudi viewers. We hoped to reach Saudi households dealing with this issue and help them make better decisions for their family members suffering from the disease.

How did you get into filmmaking?

My first attempt was back in 2008 during my college days: Cashcool, a YouTube vlog about my life and beliefs, shot using a Nokia mobile phone.

After that I met with Badr Al Hamud, one of the best directors in Sharqiya, who taught me how to use film equipment and got me involved in the industry. Projects started coming by and, before I knew it, I was earning money making short films and ads.آل-زهايمر---مهرجان-أفلام-السعودية.mp4.Still002

How would you describe the Saudi film industry?

The Saudi film industry was only established a short while ago but with hardly any support. Now, with the 2030 vision, it’s clear that the government is caring more about creative media and content. Film festivals are being held, Saudi films have been nominated for international festivals and students are getting scholarships to study film abroad. These are all positive signs.

What is your advice for people who want to get involved in the creative industry?

Be patient because only passionate people can survive in this industry.

Try out several styles and work on any project that comes to you because you have to practice constantly in order learn about the industry, learn from your mistakes and learn about yourself.
Be sure to attend any production process you hear about, even if it means just carrying equipment around. Watch and learn!

Most importantly: be around creative people always.


Annual Ramadan Traditions – Iftar for Cabs


On June 21, Starwood Hotels & Resorts celebrated Iftar with taxi drivers across Saudi Arabia – as a part of its seventh annual ‘Iftar for Cabs’ and its ongoing commitment to the Holy Month of Ramadan. In this year’s initiative, 48 hotels across the region, including Le Meridien Al Khobar, effectively participated for the worthy cause.

Individually packed Iftar packs prepared by hotels, which included a selection of food and beverage items.  The Iftar packs were then distributed to cab drivers at the main entrance of each hotel with the help of various members across the different departments of the properties, in celebration of the spirit of the Holy month of Ramadan.

Launched in 2010, the ‘Iftar for Cabs’ initiative has turned into an annual tradition for many cab drivers throughout the region. The initiative has also been widely appreciated by hotel owners, local communities and transport authorities.