UNESCO Recognition of Arabic Calligraphy is Celebrated at KSA Pavilion

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KSA Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai collaborates with Saudi-based artists to educate and entertain visitors about the ancient practice through workshops, performances, and technology.


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is shedding light on the art of Arabic calligraphy after the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) recent decision to add it to its ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.

The Saudi-led campaign saw the Kingdom join forces with 15 other Muslim-majority countries in presenting the nomination to UNESCO. The ancient practice of handwriting played a key role in the spread of Islam and is a cornerstone of pan-Arab identity. While the art form is not necessarily fully understood by the rest of the world, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Pavilion set out to change this through a series of programs designed to spark visitors’ interest.

There were a number of standout performances from Saudi creatives. Contemporary artist Hind Al Ghamdi took Expo visitors on an exciting journey exploring the beauty of Arabic calligraphy through workshops held in the Open Square. This included a basic introduction to understanding the Arabic alphabet, distinctive shapes, and calligraphy tools. Activities also allowed visitors to learn how to write their own names using Arabic calligraphy.

The Open Square also hosted a unique show with celebrated Jeddah-based artist Shaker Kashgari, known for his unusual use of photography to showcase calligraphy through light, whose performance took audiences on an uplifting journey.

Another highlight was from Mohammed Alrabea, a calligraphy artist based in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Region who created a unique virtual exhibit showcasing the history of Arabic calligraphy using VR technology.

Hussain Hanbazazah, the Commissioner-General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Pavilion, said: “It has been extremely rewarding to share the rich tradition of Arabic calligraphy with visitors to the KSA Pavilion. These special activities build on Saudi Arabia’s Year of Calligraphy and offer people the chance to discover the past, present, and future of an ancient but evolving practice, which remains relevant in the 21st century.”

The Kingdom is investing heavily in its cultural sectors, which form an important part of Saudi Arabia’s national transformation plan, Vision 2030, to diversify its economy, generating growth and creating opportunities, particularly for young Saudis. With over 34 million inhabitants, Saudi Arabia has 13 regions each with unique dialects, traditions, and heritage.

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Saudi Arabia Opens Its Award-Winning, Record-Breaking Expo Pavilion, a Window to the Kingdom’s Transformation

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The Saudi Pavilion has one of the most sustainable, LEED-Platinum-certified designs in the world and holds three Guinness World Records.


Pavilion visitors will get to see firsthand the Kingdom’s transformation under Vision 2030

 DUBAI, U.A.E: 01 October 2021 – Saudi Arabia inaugurated its state-of-the-art pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai on Friday, kicking off a six-month World Expo experience that will take visitors from across the world on a journey through the Kingdom’s rich past, vibrant present, and promising future.dh1_4278

The idea of “seeing is believing” is at the heart of the experiences the Saudi Pavilion offers visitors. The journey showcases a future-forward Saudi Arabia: welcoming, young, diverse, and vibrant. The Pavilion represents the Saudi people, ambitious and talented individuals across different sectors, powering the Kingdom’s transformation under Vision 2030. Across business opportunity and tourism, culture and nature, Saudi Arabia has much to offer throughout its 13 unique regions – including five UNESCO World Heritage Sites – and the Pavilion enables visitors to get a first glimpse of a fascinating destination that has yet to be discovered.

The Pavilion’s inauguration was attended by the H.E. Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri, Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Committee for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai; Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, H.E. Turki Aldakhil; Hussain Hanbazazah, the Commissioner-General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Pavilion; and GCC countries’ ambassadors, and officials and cultural figures from around the world.

Traditional Saudi Ardah dancers, wielding ceremonial swords, delivered a dazzling and energetic performance to the beat of folkloric drums and spoken poetry.

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Commenting on the official opening, H.E. Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri, Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Committee for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Pavilion, said: “The pavilion reflects the Kingdom’s growth and prosperity during the reign of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Our country is at this global forum with its young, renewed spirit and aspiration towards a prosperous future for the region and the world. Our Pavilion showcases the many ambitious projects under Saudi Vision 2030, formulated by His Highness, the Crown Prince, may God protect him, and embodies our journey to new horizons of development.”

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Hussain Hanbazazah, the Commissioner-General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Pavilion, said: Saudi Arabia’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai stems from the Kingdom’s cultural values, and its capabilities and ambitions. The Pavilion invites visitors to experience the transformation underway in the Kingdom under Vision 2030 – powered by our welcoming, diverse people and the energy and optimism of the next generation. The journey also enables the business community to identify, seize and create opportunities in the Kingdom, contributing to economic diversification and national development.dh1_4376-copy

“The pavilion offers rich and varied content, activities and programs covering the economy, development and culture, targeting all segments from children and families to businessmen and investors. All visitors will see Saudi Arabia as it really is: an exciting fusion of old and new – an ancient and evolving tourist destination for adventurers, explorers, and luxury travelers and a destination unlike any other. Our Pavilion is a bridge that will connect the people of Saudi Arabia to the world and will help deepen regional and global ties.”dh1_4599

The delegation was briefed on Saudi Arabia’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, anchored by four key pillars: People, Opportunity, Heritage, and Nature. The delegation also had the chance to see how the state-of-the-art building fuses architecture with digital technology, expressing their admiration for its unique design which symbolizes the Kingdom’s limitless ambition. The pavilion’s content was designed under the supervision of an official national committee headed by H.H. Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud, the Saudi Minister of Culture.sa7_5134-copy

The dignitaries were among the first to experience the Pavilion’s 14 cultural landmarks along a stunning escalator ride, including acclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as At-Turaif District in Ad-Diriyah, Hegra Archaeological Site in AlUla, and Historic Jeddah. The briefing featured an introduction to the audiovisual guide, through which guests can explore 23 destinations such as world-leading giga-projects that are rewriting the possibilities of sustainable development. The visit concluded with a peek of a trail through Saudi Arabia’s stunning nature.sa7_5101-copy

The Saudi pavilion, the second largest after the UAE’s, is one of the most sustainable structures at Expo 2020 Dubai. It has been awarded LEED version 4 Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the highest internationally recognized sustainability rating in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The Pavilion has earned three Guinness World Records for the largest interactive lighting floor, the longest interactive water feature, and the largest LED interactive digital mirror screen.dh1_4997

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Landmark Arabia to Support Saudi Food Bank Et’aam’s Humanitarian Mission During Ramadan

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Customers can choose to donate by adding the amount to their receipt when making a purchase in-store across the country or with online purchases.


Donations will provide meals to families in need.

Riyadh-Saudi Arabia: 15 April 2021 – Landmark Arabia, the Middle East’s leading retail and hospitality conglomerate, today announced that its home-grown brands will partner with Et’aam, the Saudi Food Bank, once again to support the most vulnerable segments in Saudi Arabia during the Holy Month of Ramadan. The partnership with Et’aam is a step towards supporting the worthwhile objective of Saudi Vision 2030 to ensure inclusive access to clean food and drinking water.

Landmark Arabia’s brands including CentrepointBabyshopSplashSHOEMARTLifestyleMaxShoexpressHome Centre, and Home Box will collaborate with Et’aam for the second year in a row to undertake a donation drive in-store and online, with all proceeds being allocated to ensure free food supplies reach the most vulnerable communities in need. Customers making purchases can add SAR5, SAR10, SAR 20, or SAR50 to their receipts and contribute to the Et’aam food bank.

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Hands holding rice

Speaking on the initiative, Nisha Jagtiani, Group Director, Landmark Group, said: “We are partnering with Saudi Arabia’s largest food bank, Et’aam for the second consecutive year to support its noble cause in ensuring availability, access, and consumption of nutritionally adequate food for those who need it the most. Our brands have been in the region for many years. Now more than ever, we need to collectively leverage our capabilities in support of our communities to make a meaningful impact. We thank our customers for joining hands with us to play our part in providing essential relief to people across this nation, during the Holy Month of Ramadan.”

Faisal Al Shoushan, CEO of Et’aam, said: “We commend Landmark Arabia for joining forces with us once again to fulfill our mandate of supporting the needy and advancing the efforts of our leadership to shape a cohesive society. Our sustainable social alliance brought great relief and positively impacted the community last year during the pandemic.”

The Landmark Group has partnered with humanitarian organizations across the region to roll out GCC-wide fund-raising initiatives as part of the Group’s CSR objective to support the least privileged segments of our society.

In the UAE, Landmark Group is partnering with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to contribute to its Ramadan campaign ‘#EverySecondCounts. UNHCR has been working on the protection of refugees for 70 years, in 135 countries around the world. Today, 79.5 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced, with COVID-19 further exacerbating the situation. Every year, UNHCR appeals to the public during the month of giving and generosity to help raise funds for refugees and internally displaced families in need.

In Bahrain, Landmark Group is partnering with Child’s Wish Society, officially launched in 2012 as an association under Bahrain’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development. Run with a mission to shape a cohesive society and instill a culture of generosity, giving, and social responsibility through financial and moral support for children in need, the Society has fulfilled the basic wishes of many orphans through its Ramadan, Eid, and Back-to-School campaigns.

In Oman, the Group will collaborate with Al Rahma Association for Motherhood and Childhood, a non-profit established in 2005 and supported by the societal development committee at Wilayat Alseeb, to deliver food packets and financial support as well as essentials to some of the thousands of low-income families registered with the Association.

In Qatar, Landmark Group is partnering with Qatar Charity, an international charity organization established in 1992 for the development and sustainability of needy communities across the globe. The Group has joined hands with the humanitarian organization to help support the families and children of blue-collar workers in the country.

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First KIKO Milano Store Opened at Nakheel Mall

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Leading Saudi franchisee operator Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair & Co. opens flagship location for italian cosmetics brand KIKO Milano in Nakheel Mall.


First KIKO Milano store opened at Nakheel Mall yesterday, marking the Italian brand’s flagship location in Saudi Arabia.

Leading Saudi franchise retailer Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair & Co. (Tadawul 4240), has opened its first of six KIKO Milano locations at Nakheel Mall. The store is the flagship location for the Italian cosmetics brand KIKO Milano to the Kingdom and will continue to open at Arabian Centres malls across the country.

In the coming 12 months, five more stores will open at leading locations in Jeddah, Riyadh, Dhahran and Makkah among others as part of a plan for the popular international brand to open branches at almost every Arabian Centres current 21 lifestyle destinations that are spread Kingdom-wide.kiko_opens-copy

The arrival of KIKO Milano in Saudi Arabia builds on an international presence for the cosmetics company that already has more than 900 stores in 21 countries with its products available online in 35 nations.

The franchise deal with KIKO Milano is the latest step in Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair & Co.’s continued commitment to expanding its portfolio of lifestyle brands and attracting premium cosmetics brands to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Commenting on the opening Marwan Moukarzel, CEO of Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair & Co. says, “We are excited to be introducing another quality international brand to Saudi Arabia that provides diversity and new choices to the increasingly sophisticated expectations of Saudi shoppers.”

‘The arrival of KIKO Milano will be a valuable addition and we look forward to open five more stores in the coming 12 months in Arabian Centres malls and expand into their Kingdom-wide network of destinations in the years ahead.”

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3rd Edition of Qimam Fellowship Program

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Applications Open for 3rd Edition of Qimam Fellowship Program in Saudi Arabia.


  • Students completing university or graduate studies in KSA or abroad can apply to the program.
  • Application period will last 1 month between 28 January – 27 February
  • 50 successful candidates to be notified by 31 March, training to begin in June
  • Saudi’s most prominent industry leaders to offer unique one-to-one mentorship opportunities to fellows

Riyadh-Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 29 January 2020 – The Qimam Fellowship program announced today that applications are now open for the third edition of the highly selective leadership development program. Students from across the Kingdom participating in bachelor’s and master’s programs in Saudi Arabia or abroad are eligible to apply.

The application period will last from 28 January to 27 February. 50 successful applicants will be notified by 31 March and the two-week intensive program will take place from 2 June and conclude on 13 June.

The Qimam Fellowship program was founded by McKinsey & Company and Dr. Annas Abedin, a McKinsey Alumnus and entrepreneur, on the premise that Saudi is rich with untapped local talent with great potential to contribute to the Kingdom’s ambitious transformation.

Qimam was launched to identify, equip and empower the most promising university students in the country with advanced skillsets needed to lead in today’s ever complex world.

The program has seen tremendous growth since its inception in 2018, beginning with 13,000 applicants in the first year and growing to 18,000 applicants in 2019. Last year, 50% of the 50 candidates selected were women. Students with a wide variety of scholastic interests and experience apply from all over the Kingdom.

The program provides fellows with one-on-one mentorship from senior public and private sector leaders, leadership training by industry experts and professionals, and visits to the Saudi Arabian offices of top national and international companies. Selected candidates also gain exclusive membership in the Qimam Alumni Network as well as award for their distinctiveness upon completion of the program during a widely attended, high-profile ceremony.

Abdullah Saidan, Associate Partner at McKinsey Middle East said, “Given the vast pool of intellectually-curious, emerging talent in Saudi Arabia, the country’s youth has immense potential to have a direct impact on the transformations underway. Strategic initiatives like the Qimam Fellowship have highlighted the many reasons the nation should be optimistic for its future, as the Program has gone from strength to strength. Nurturing young talent in the Kingdom is an obligation we take to heart. And it’s why it makes me proud to be able to contribute and give back in a way that matters so much to the future of our country.’’

Dr. Annas Abedin, co-founder of Qimam, said: “Qimam offers high-potential university students access to some of the Kingdom’s most prominent industry leaders. The one-to-one mentorship, counsel and professional advice they receive will give them unique perspectives and opportunities to achieve on their tremendous potential.’’

The program targets bachelor’s and master’s students at any Saudi university, as well as Saudi nationals studying for a bachelor’s or master’s degree at universities abroad. Fellows will be selected based on their academic achievements, their level of initiative-taking outside of the classroom, and their efforts or ideas related to social responsibility.

The application form and more details about the Qimam Fellowship can be found on www.qimam.com

In its 2020 edition, Qimam is proud to partner with 30 local and international companies who are working together with Qimam to empower promising university graduates and student leaders in Saudi Arabia. These partners are: Aberkyn, Al Arabiya News Channel, Al-Khaleejiah Advertising & Public Relations Company, Arabnet, Bab Rizq Jameel, Banque Saudi Fransi, Bupa Arabia, Careem, Cisco, Elm, General Electric, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSH&RC), Korn Ferry, Saudi Arabian Mining Company “Ma’aden”, Majid Al Futtaim, McKinsey & Company, Microsoft, Noon Academy, The Olayan Group, Oqal, Pearson, Qiddiya, Rocket Internet, SAP, Seera Group Holding, Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries & Medical Appliances Corporation (SPIMACO), Saudi Telecom Company (STC), STV, Udacity and Unilever.qimam-infographic-english-copy

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