Business, Events & Happenings

Swiss Hospitality Company Signs a Strategic Partnership Agreement with EHL


Swiss Hospitality Company signed a strategic partnership with EHL Advisory Services to join forces and leverage on their expertise to support the development of Saudi Arabia’s tourism gigantic projects according to 2030 Vision.

The strategic partnership agreement was signed by Mr. Salman Gasim, CEO at Swiss Hospitality Company –Based in Jeddah, and Mr. Olivier Verschelde, Senior Consultant at EHL Advisory Services – Based in Lausanne. A consulting and executive training company in hospitality, active in more than 30 countries, which supports the development of the hospitality industry and a subsidiary of EHL Group which includes the World’s No. 1 hospitality management school Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne an ambassador for traditional Swiss hospitality and has been a pioneer in hospitality education since 1893 with over 25,000 alumni worldwide.

The signing ceremony coincided with the visit of the delegation of the Saudi-Swiss Business Council to Switzerland, where the strategic agreement was signed at the Permanent Mission of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations, in the presence of His Excellency Ambassador Abdulaziz Al-Wasl, the Consul General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Salah Al-Qahtani, Chairman  of the Saudi-Swiss Business Council, his deputy Mr. Fahd Al-Shathri, Mr. Abdullah Al-Masoud, the Commercial Attaché in Geneva, and the Advisor Mr. Abdulsalam Al-Kuwaity.

“From the leading position of the Swiss Hospitality Company and its active role in the development and advancement of the tourism and hospitality industry in Saudi Arabia, we are keen to engage in strategic partnerships and cooperation with leading international organizations that share the same vision and values,” said Mr. Gasim. “EHL has been recognized as the best university in the field of hospitality and tourism for the second year in a row, we believe their long years of expertise will be of an added value to the kingdom’s ambitious projects such as NEOM, Amaala Project, and the Development of Al-Ula.”

“We are delighted to sign this agreement with the Swiss Hospitality Company as it is the real engine for the development and renaissance of the tourism industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We are delighted to share our experiences with them and benefit from the knowledge and expertise of its members that are led by Mr. Salman Gasim. We will seek to harness the University’s over 100 years of experience in the field of hospitality and tourism to contribute to the role of the Swiss Hospitality Company in the development of the tourism sector and to help it achieve its strategic objectives.”

Mr. Saleh Al Qahtani, Chairman of the Saudi-Swiss Business Council, added: “The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 has enhanced the tourism and leisure sector that would diversify the kingdom’s income sources and encourage private sector investment through the development of world-class tourism sites. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced a number of large projects in the tourism and entertainment sector to position the kingdom among the top destinations for tourist to visit and compete with neighboring countries.”


Events & Happenings

Destination #TGIT: What’s Going On, ? Riyadh


If you are in Riyadh this season and wondering how to spend your days? We’ve got you covered.

Thanks to the air-conditioned arenas, malls, cafes and event spaces that make it easy for us to get a dose of entertainment and fun during summers in Riyadh.

Here’s a list of Destination picked events, restaurants, people, places to visit, weekend activities and more. 

Event of the Week


Cosmos is a 4-day event held at the Seven Moons Land offering many activities for the entire family. The event is bound to give its guests an unforgettable experience by utilizing each of the seven moons. The activities include The Big Challenge, Pet Zoo, VR Moon, Online Gaming Moon, Horror Escape Room and much more.

Date: ongoing until 29 June

Time: 3 PM to 12 AM

Venue: Seven Moons  (See link)

Circo Americano

Photo Credits: passion_exp

Photo Credits: passion_exp

Marvel the spectacle of acrobats swinging or at the tricks and performances by the Circo Americano. 

Date: 26 June to 6 July

Tickets: circo-americano-tickets

Venue: Granada Square facing Granada Mall (See link)

Must See Movie at the Cinema


If you’re up for a trip to the cinema, Toy Story 4 is our recommendationSimultaneously funny and heartwarming, this nostalgic animated movie is not just for children- it’s a good one to watch with both family and friends of all ages. Find the times that work best for you here: 

Vox | AMC

Restaurant to try this weekend

Photo Credits: Meesh Aldosh and Maged1h1

Photo Credits: Meesh Aldosh and Maged1h1

Eggsactly offers you exactly what you need for breakfast – all day long!

Breakfast is a happy affair at Eggsactly where the egg lovers have access to all-day breakfast, coffee, and good vibes. Eggsactly is currently in its soft-opening but is getting quite the happy and satisfied reviews from Riyadhis. 


Location: 4036 Sabfa Ibn Saidah, An Nakheel (See link)

Where to Go


Unleash your free spirits with Bounce!

Beat the heat, but keep that fire at Bounce with two hours access for just SAR 100. This indoor adrenaline pumping venue, packed with activities for females and children (boys under the age of 10 and is the perfect answer to the summer boredom. The venue is packed with interconnected trampolines, a dodge ball arena, slam dunk, super tramp, cliff jump, and huge inflatable airbags. Bounce Rawdah features a café for those looking for a more chilled experience and it can also cater for special occasions like birthday parties, with 3 private rooms and party packages available.

The two hours super pass is available to purchase online at or call 92000 6744 to book.

Location: 13212 Khurais Branch Rd (See map)

Instagram: bouncemiddleeast

Campaign of the season


The Shawarmer restaurant chain marked its 20th anniversary in March by launching the “Shawarmer for Social Responsibility Save It!” campaign to raise national awareness for tackling the growing food waste issue.

The Save It initiative kicked off with a competition among Saudi university students, with teams competing to take part in an intensive three-day marketing challenge. 

More than 150 Saudi students submitted ideas to participate in the competition to earn the opportunity to participate in an intensive boot camp that ended with the teams facing off to select the ultimate winner.

At the end of the event, it was the senior marketing students of Alfaisal University team, who stood out for both their creative approach as well as an empowering central thematic, earning them the unique opportunity to lead a national food waste awareness campaign funded by Shawarmer.

Read more about the campaign here: Shawarmer’s Save It Campaign



Events & Happenings

Destination #TGIT: What’s Going On, Jeddah?


By Deena Dakhiel

Spending the summer in Jeddah but not sure what to do? Destination’s got you covered!

This summer, Jeddah has had the privilege of hosting Jeddah Season! So much has been going on in the city that it’s almost difficult to keep up. Along with the season activities, the locals are keeping busy with so much more the city has to offer this summer.

Event of the Week

Blue Man Group


Along with the many Jeddah Season activities, the internationally recognized Blue Man Group will be coming to Jeddah starting this week on the 1st of July! The show contains elements of comedy while addressing themes such as science and technology, information overload and self-consciousness. 

Show time: 9 PM – 11 PM

Dates: 1 July – 18 July

Tickets: On Jeddah Season Website 

Venue: Exhibition Arena – King Abdullah Sport City

Must See Movie


Up for some cinematic relief? We highly recommend Men in Black: International 

This year’s Men In Black has mastered a mix of action, science fiction, and comedy. The movie is somewhat nostalgic but is also able to introduce new characters while keeping the audience engaged and on their toes. A perfect movie to enjoy with friends and family while you chow down on a bucket of popcorn. Check out the website to find available timings here at Vox.

Restaurant of the week

Shababik Pop Up


Shababik is already known across Jeddah for its delicious Lebanese food. Now they have opened up a pop up location for Jeddah Season right on the waterfront. There you can enjoy shisha, good food and the sound of the waves accompanied by a warm sea breeze. 

Instagram: shababikksa 

Phone: +966544249480

Location: Ash Shati, Jeddah 

Where to Go

Boho Cafe 


Boho Cafe is a small and intimate coffee shop who call themselves the liquid art house. They have made it their mission to promote artists in the community by providing a platform in which new artists can showcase their talents. The music scene is constantly growing in Jeddah with local artists coming forth and showcasing their talents. The cafe showcases new artists every Saturday night and anyone is welcome to join.

Instagram: @bohocafeofficial 

Date: Every Saturday Night

Time: 9 PM

Location: Prince Sultan Rd, Al Mohammadiyyah 

Unleash your free spirits with Bounce!


Beat the heat, but keep that fire at Bounce with two hours access for just SAR 100. This indoor adrenaline pumping venue, packed with activities for the entire family. The venue is packed with interconnected trampolines, a dodge ball arena, slam dunk, super tramp, cliff jump, and huge inflatable airbags.

The two hours super pass is available to purchase online at or call 92000 6744 to book.

Location: 13212 Khurais Branch Rd

Instagram: bouncemiddleeast




Alfaisal University Students Win Shawarmer “Save It!” Food Waste Marketing Competition


Promoting “Personal Responsibility” the Inspiration Behind Creative Campaign to  Tackle Saudi’s SR 12 Billion Food Waste Issue.

We all share both a responsibility and opportunity to help eat into the massive problem that costs Saudi more than SR 12 billion in wasted food going into trash bins every year. That’s the central message of the new national awareness campaign created and led by Ryanah Alsaif, Afnan Alhabib, Reem Shaibah, and Shaden Aldayel, Alfaisal University students and winners of the Shawarmer “Save It!” competition.

The objective of the “Save It!” challenge is to harness the creativity and energy of Saudi’s best young marketing minds to raise awareness of a serious social and economic issue challenging the nation’s limited food and water resources. More than 150 Saudi students submitted ideas to participate in the competition to earn the opportunity to participate in a three-day intensive boot camp that ended with the teams facing off to select the ultimate winner. 

At the end of the three-day event, it was the Alfaisal University team, led by senior marketing students, that stood out for both its creative approach as well as an empowering central thematic, earning them the unique opportunity to lead a national food waste awareness campaign funded by Shawarmer. While there are multiple media and social media components to the integrated national market education program, the centerpiece is a moving film that brings to life how simple everyday decisions and actions can make a difference.

“You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution, and we believe young people across Saudi want to be part of the solution,” the Alfaisal University team said. “That’s why we chose film as our primary platform to reach and inspire young people. We wanted to create a dystopian alternative universe focused on creating a sense of personal liability we have through simple everyday decisions and actions that contribute to the greater food waste problem. And to send a message we can change our individual behaviors to make a real difference.”


 “Working closely with the Shawarmer team, we were encouraged to bring forward our most outrageous and creative ideas that have the power to inspire action while matching the youthful tone of the Shawarmer brand,” added the university marketing students. “They helped us take our core idea and channel the boot camp experience as well as what we learned in our university marketing courses to develop a campaign we feel is creative and engaging while using a wide range of tools, media, and vehicles to reach our target audience and encourage people to change their behavior.”  

In recognition of its 20th-anniversary celebration, Shawarmer, one of the fastest growing and largest Saudi owned and operated restaurant groups, launched “Save It!” in March as the first of a series of initiatives to champion reducing food waste across the Kingdom. Saudi ranks number one in the world in total food wasted. Statistics released in a new survey by the Saudi Grain Organization estimates that 33% of all food in the country ends up in garbage bins. That’s more than 4 million tons annually with a value of SR 12 billion.

The “Shawarmer for Social Responsibility Save It!” campaign is a year-long initiative designed to draw attention to and provide actionable solutions to Saudi’s food waste issue. The program will engage youth, families, the restaurant industry and stakeholders across the entire “farm to table to landfill” ecosystem to take responsibility for helping tackle a serious issue that has a far-reaching impact on Saudi society.


Events & Happenings, Explore Your City, Historic Saudi

Rediscover the treasures of Jeddah at Historic Jeddah Season


The Historic Jeddah Season continues to celebrate Jeddah’s rich history, art, and cultural heritage over a six-week period. 

The Historic Jeddah Season, which is one of the main destinations of Jeddah Seasons initiative by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), is located in the Al Balad district of Jeddah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The district currently houses a number of installations, sculptures, and artwork created by local artists that illustrate the growth and development of Jeddah.

The first week sees performances from Building Walkers, an international troupe specializing in acrobatics and adventure climbing – in a city environment. Other activities taking place during the course of the season include workshops and exhibitions by Zawia 97 Historical Retail Space, Art Jameel, and Al Ozwa Street Theatre.

The Zawia 97 Historical Retail Space will allow visitors a memorable walk-through, a lane engaging their senses with aromatic spices and herbs of Jeddah. The main location for this project is Al Shargi House which lays on an angled lane. It also happens to be in the direction to Makkah which is around 97 degrees off North. The project has been aptly named “Zawia 97” for this reason. Visitors will have the opportunity to visit various workshop spaces and different spice and herb shops, traditionally called “Etarah”. They can avail products that are related to the craft of “Al-Etarah” and experience the unique way their ancestors in Jeddah lived.

Art Jameel, in collaboration with The Jameel House of Traditional Arts, will give visitors the unique opportunity to relive and engage with the traditional arts and rich heritage of Al Balad – one of Jeddah’s historic districts. Various workshops that include geometry, ceramic and Nabati designs will be offered to families, children, first-timers and experienced artists. These workshops will use traditional crafts and waste materials to teach the beauty of craft making. Art Jameel supports artists and creative communities, where some of their initiatives include fostering the importance of arts in building open and connected communities, offering a diverse range of arts and educational programs for all ages, along with running heritage institutions and restoration programs.

For the comedy enthusiasts, a social comedy play by the Al Ozwa Street Theatre will keep them entertained during the Historic Jeddah Season. One of the street theatre performances is set 100 years ago, taking the audience on a historical journey through time. The story follows a young man named Omar who is preparing for his engagement ceremony when he encounters a dilemma, not related to his engagement. The play unfolds his story on how he tries to escape from trouble and finally emerge victoriously.

The Cultural Track of Historic Jeddah Season includes heritage structures and mosques within Jeddah including the Al-Shafei Mosque located in the Al-Mazloum neighborhood. It is said to have been built in the 7th century AH, corresponding to the thirteenth century AD and bears a unique architecture. The mosque is going through restoration, but where prayer is held until the present day. Also included within the cultural track are the Abo Onoba Mosque Maymar Mosque, whose origins date back several centuries. The Jeddah Gate projections can be witnessed at Albaiaa Roundabout and Bab Jadid neighborhood.

The Historic Jeddah Season is also housing some of the newest and most popular food and beverage joints from around the world that have made Jeddah their home for the coming weeks. This includes Catch, the famous New York seafood restaurant that is whipping up their popular fares with a Saudi twist. The Catch franchise was started by Tilman Fertitta, Mark Birnbaum and Eugene Remm in 2011, and has since pioneered globally-influenced seafood from a standalone NYC flagship restaurant into an international phenomenon with successful locations in Los Angeles, Playa del Carmen and Las Vegas at the ARIA Resort.

Come live your imagination at Historic Jeddah Season to have an unforgettable summer experience whilst discovering the hidden treasures of Al Balad. The festival will run until July 18, 2019. More details about the festival can be found at and @LiveHJSeason on social media platforms.


Events & Happenings, Explore Your City, Historic Saudi

Athr Gallery: Building the Contemporary Art Scene


The Athr Gallery was founded in 2009 by Hamza Serafi and Mohammed Hafiz in Jeddah, Athr Gallery plays a pivotal role in building the Contemporary art scene in Saudi.

At the Historic Jeddah Season, Athr Gallery brings us an art exhibition, coffee, hand puppet performance in a collaboration with artist Salem Bajnaid of Medd Cafe. One of the many exhibits is an installation piece which tells the story of the origin of the discovery of coffee by Imam Al Shathli, created by Sarah Al Abdali in collaboration with artist Salem Bajnaid.

Representing international as well as Middle Eastern artists, Athr provides a space for creative experimentation with an aim to sustain and encourage engagement with local audiences. It is an initiative with an aim to establish a sustainable art scene with an international presence, representing Middle Eastern artists as well as international artists.

The Athr Gallery is located in the Garden Baraha and is open until the end of the season between 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.

More details on the Season can be found at 



PepsiCo Boosts Women Empowerment in Saudi With The Launch of Tamakani


Tamakani focuses on women in the workforce, women empowerment, women of the future and engaging men as advocates.

PepsiCo, the global food and beverage company, launched Tamakani, a dedicated platform that aims to support and inspire generations of women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The platform will help create opportunities and guidance for women with promising capabilities, provide support to realize aspirations, scale up innovative initiatives, and mentor Saudi women to realize their full potential.

To launch Tamakani, PepsiCo partnered with Eggdancer Productions, the first production company in Saudi Arabia owned and managed by Saudi women – Dania Nassief and Danya Alhamrani, for a red-carpet screening of ‘RISE – The Journey of Women in Saudi Arabia’ at VOX Cinemas in Jeddah.

The documentary chronicles the changing social landscape of Saudi Arabia through remarkable stories of the most influential women in the past 50 years in the field of media, education, politics, and sports.

Drawing strength from their own culture and religion, the women featured in the documentary describe diverse ways in which they strive towards their unique potential. Some of the influencers who took part in the documentary are Muna AbuSulayman, Thuraya Obaid, Raha Moharrak, Dr. Fatima Nassief, Dr. Suad Juffali, Khairyah Abu Laban, Bayan Zahran, Somayya Jabarti, Dr. Samira Islam, and Dr. Lama Al-Sulaiman, to name a few.

Speaking on the launch of Tamakani, Tamer Mosalam, GCC-Levant Foods Vice President and Business Unit General Manager, PepsiCo, said: “Empowering women and providing them with opportunities to thrive is a core component of PepsiCo’s Winning with Purpose strategy. With the launch of Tamakani, we further our commitment to provide equal opportunities for empowerment and enablement for every member of the society to realize their full potential in the workforce and in society. By doing so, they contribute to the efforts made to support the ambitions of Saudi Vision 2030 and realizing the core pillars of the Kingdom’s vision to achieve a thriving economy.” 

Following the screening, Tamer Mosalam participated in a panel discussion on the role of women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia along with Lina Al Maeena, Dr. Thuraya Obaid and Khairiah Abulaban, the co-founders of Eggdancer Productions who are also key Saudi influencers. The discussion revolved around how women contribute to the economy, and the importance of empowering women to hold a stronger position in society, engaging men as advocates and the role of women in realizing Saudi Vision 2030.

‘We are proud to partner with PepsiCo and be part of Tamakani launch. Female empowerment is one of the key priorities for the Saudi government and through RISE we are fortunate to bring to life inspiring stories of influential women in the Kingdom,” said Dania Nassief, Co-founder of Eggdancer Productions.

The Tamakani platform will focus on a number of key areas – women in the workforce that will shed light on work-life balance, career growth, overcoming challenges; female empowerment to support and mentor younger generation of Saudi women to push boundaries and women of the future which will highlight women with influence that are shaping the future of the Kingdom. The initiative will also focus on engaging men as advocates who support women as co-workers and family members.

PepsiCo hires women across all functions as managers, engineers and on the frontlines, where they work on a specifically developed ladies-only packaging line, called the ‘Pink Line’ in the plants, with many more working throughout PepsiCo’s offices, warehouses and facilities in the Kingdom. In addition, the company launched the region’s first Million Women Mentors® chapter in Riyadh, a global movement designed to support the engagement of millions of STEM mentors, both male and female, in order to increase the interest and confidence of girls and women to persist and succeed in STEM programs and careers.

Twitter | Instagram | Youtube


Events & Happenings, Explore Your City, Historic Saudi

Hafez Gallery Space at Historic Jeddah Season


The Historic Jeddah Season is hosting a variety of entertaining shows, art workshops, and galleries that showcase the traditional Hijazi arts and crafts.

Founded in 2014 in the city of Jeddah, the Hafez Gallery exhibits art from Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries. The art exhibition will discuss the inhabitant of the world today and how the human race roams in a state of continuous exile. It aims to investigate the inner and outer tensions which translate into an individual’s endless search for that particular place that they can call home. Directed by curator and photographer Marianne Catzaras, the collective exhibition is an initiative by the Department of Cooperation and Cultural Action Service (SCAC) of the French Embassy in Saudi Arabia and the Department of Cooperation and Cultural Action Service of the French Consulate General in Jeddah and in partnership with Hafez Gallery, Jeddah.

The exhibition runs until July 18 from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m at the Aramco House, Al Balad.

More details on the Season can be found at



Building Walkers at Historic Jeddah Season


The Historic Jeddah Season a celebration of art, culture, heritage, and entertainment was successfully launched on the 8th of June.

The Al Balad district of Jeddah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, now serves as a gateway to Saudi Arabia. Daily events and shows aim to keep the visitors enthralled, engaged and entertained. One such amazing event at Historic Jeddah Season is the Building Walkers, where world-class performers will deliver breathtaking acrobatic moves on the vertical walls of buildings. A perfect show of strength, precision, skillful artistic display and fluidity, visitors will be mesmerized by the sheer grit and act of the performers.

Don’t miss this spectacular performance where extreme meets beauty, a show unlike any other. Catch the Building Walkers show at the Historic Jeddah Season located at the Yard beside BaEshin daily, with two shows at 7:30 and 9:30 PM, each show running for five minutes duration.

More details on the Season can be found at



Events & Happenings

Virgin Megastore’s 5th Branch in Riyadh


Virgin Megastore started 2019 with the celebration of the opening of its new branch in Riyadh Park, marking their 5th store in Riyadh city, and 12th across the kingdom. In an igniting creative theme, the event hosted a massive crowd of VIPs, media, bloggers and social media influencers; amongst them was the CEO of  Virgin Megastore Mohammed Ramadan. For the occasion of the opening, guests were offered exclusive promotions and discounts, and they were also entertained with live jazz music performance and fine Saudi hospitality.

Virgin Megastore has evolved to become the one-stop-shop where everything creative, entertaining, and artistic can be found, offering a wide variety of products to every individual’s lifestyle, covering diverse age groups. From computers and accessories, electronics and multimedia, gaming, books, gadgets, gifts, music and movies, house gadgets, and event tickets, Virgin Megastore has proven to be one of the leading figures in retail entertainment on a global level as it aims to offer a blend of pop-culture and local traditions.

 “We have successfully achieved our objectives for the past year, making sure we are taking the right steps towards vision 2030. We have ended 2018 with the conversion of our company from a foreign investment company to a Saudi-owned company. In addition, we have expanded our stores across the kingdom to make sure we are closer to our customers, increased Saudization rate to reach 80%  across all stores, and launched our e-commerce services. Starting 2019, we wanted to mark it with a success to set the tone of our market presence throughout the year, as not only do we open today’s store, but we are expecting  more branches within the year, the opening of the biggest Virgin Megastore in the world, and finally having our stores in the airports of the three major cities of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam.” Commented Mr. Mohammed Ramadan.