Arts & Music, Movie Review, News, Offbeat

Viu Presents a New Saudi Thriller Original titled Doon


Saudi stand-up comedian Bader Saleh makes his debut in Saudi drama with Viu, starring alongside other talented actors including Azzam Al Namry who plays the lead role.

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, January 20, 2018 – Viu, a leading OTT service, today revealed the details of its latest Saudi Original “Doon”, the first crime-action thriller show in the Kingdom. The well-known Saudi social celebrity, Bader Saleh, makes his debut in Saudi drama with the new Viu Original playing the role of Adham, a loyal childhood friend and accomplice of the protagonist Ahmed played by young Saudi actor Azzam Al Namry.

The first episode of Doon was unveiled at an exclusive event in Jeddah, attended by prominent members, performers and creators from the industry.

The story of Doon takes viewers on an enthralling journey of a poor young man who resorts to crime with the aim of saving his half-brother who is faced with a death penalty after being framed for murder. Taking justice into his own hands, he works with a talented team to prove his brother’s innocence and bring the truth to light.doon-poster-2

The show, a first of its kind in the Kingdom and available on Viu, required a creative powerhouse to bring the story to life at the high standard of storytelling that Viu Originals demand. In order to do so, Viu partnered with Millimeter Productions and Qubba Media for the series while also enlisting the help of script doctors to ensure compelling and engaging content for Viu’s core target audience, millennials and Gen-Z. Both companies along with the Viu team embarked on a six-month journey to work seamlessly in producing a format unique from other traditional Arabic shows resulting in ten 35-minute episodes packed with action, suspense, drama as well as comical instances.

The latest Original by Viu, will see a fresh young cast comprising of Azzam Al Namry in the lead and Naif Al-Thofairy who plays his half-brother. Bader Saleh, rap singer Ahmed Sadam AKA Al Young, actors Sara Al-Yafei, and Moayed Al-Thagafi, make up the dream team of friends and accomplices while Faisal Al-Dukhi plays the role of the antagonist.

Speaking at the event and about Doon, actor Azzam Al Namry said: “It is very exciting to be a part of a project that is packed with suspense, conspiracy, and drama. Video on demand has opened up new opportunities for the abundant youth talent in the region. It is truly a privilege to have worked with the team at Viu, the cast and crew, to bring this fascinating character to the screen.” 

“We are extremely excited to introduce our audiences to yet another Saudi Original, Doon. With every Original in the Kingdom, we are trying to break the norm of traditional Saudi TV shows by commissioning shows that resonate with the younger Arab audience. We know there is high demand for Arabic out-of-the-box Originals that reflect the everyday lives of Arab society. The unique script of this show falls into our overall global strategy of producing distinctive Originals in every region we operate in as well as providing opportunities for local talent to thrive,” said Wesam Kattan, Vice President Content & Brand Marketing , Vuclip MENA.

Viu content can be streamed on and the Viu App. And for regular updates and show announcements, you can follow Viu on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Viu is a leading OTT Video service by PCCW Media and Vuclip available in 16 markets including Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar and Middle East countries of UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar. Viu’s unique value proposition of fresh and localized regional and local premium TV shows, movies and originals entertains millions of consumers every day. Viu Originals bring to light compelling stories with world class production quality, also providing the opportunity for local talent to showcase their skills on a world stage. The service can be accessed via the Viu app available for free on the App Store and Google Play, on connected devices such as smartphones and tablets, as well as on the web at


Vuclip is a leading global technology-driven media company delivering on demand entertainment to emerging markets including India, Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East. As a PCCW Media Company, Vuclip properties include Viu, Vuclip Videos, Viu Life and Vuclip Games. Vuclip’s market success in on demand entertainment is built on its leadership at the intersection of technology, consumer insights and media. Run by a world class team, Vuclip, Inc. and affiliate companies are headquartered in Silicon Valley in the US and have a presence in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Dubai and Jakarta.


Offbeat, Style & Shopping, Travel News, Travel Trends

FUNtivities At The 24th Dubai Shopping Festival


The 24th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is successfully underway with visitors and residents enjoying a wide array of offers and experiences across the city.

Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of Dubai Tourism, shares the top experiences taking place around the city all the way to February:


Reflections of Dubai, a cutting-edge installation inspired by the book of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is a thrilling new centerpiece that is lighting up and interacting with people in City Walk 2. The luminous art, bridging the gap between humanity and technology through interactivity, was unveiled at the stroke of midnight on 31 December and continues through to 2 February for visitors and residents to experience.mercato-mall-1


Light Art DXB is a breathtaking installation combining the elements of movement and light that will be on display until 13 February at the Burj Park Plaza. Creating a dynamic environment from strategically placed, giant mirrors; Light Art DXB will bathe Downtown Dubai’s in a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of light for visitors to enjoy.


Asian Football Confederation (AFC) fans can catch the Asian Cup sporting action at 3pm on 11 January at Rashid Stadium, where Palestine will compete against Australia to win the prestigious AFC Asian Cup title. From 11 January to 1 February, the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019TM promises to take the competition to new


Told through the spectacular effects of laser, light and projection, A Pirate’s Tale details the story of the emerald ring in an epic battle between pirates and the loyal Dubai pearl diver. The fictional piece will ensure watchers are dazzled by the enormous ships, cannonball effects, mermaids and pirates, entertaining the whole family for free at Dubai Festival City Mall.


The Dubai Mall will be hosting celebrity-favorite cosmetic brand, Charlotte Tilbury, which will be making its first DSF

debut with the exciting launch of ‘Pillow Talk’, a collection which includes an eye palette and a blusher. Beauty fans can flock to Dubai’s biggest mall and explore the world of Charlotte Tilbury through the mogul’s Pillow Talk Playground set and purchase the exclusive new Pillow Talk range until 18 January.fireworks


Every Thursday and Friday throughout DSF, The Beach, Al Seef and La Mer, will light up the sky with magnificent fireworks shows starting from 8pm. As well as spectacular pyrotechnic displays, this year the audience will also be able to enjoy a host of exclusive offers, special promotions, themed entertainment and big prizes. At the Meraas destinations where fireworks take place, shoppers who spend more than AED 200 can double their chances to win gift cards worth AED 1 million every weekend during the Festival.


DFRE will partner with exclusive malls to offer ‘Shop the Night Away’ evenings each week throughout DSF. Starting from 6pm each Wednesday, deal-hunters can enjoy promotion bundles at their favourite shops in the mall, as well promotions on food courts and restaurants. The ‘Shop the Night Away’ experiences will also feature exclusive workshops, styling sessions and VIP gift bags. Starting on 9 January, the first ‘Shop the Night Away’ event will take place at malls around the city, full schedule to be released next week.

Market Outside the Box (MOTB)

The popular MOTB pop-up market will return to Burj Park from 24 January to 2 February, offering visitors the chance to shop unique homegrown brands and local designers. Families can enjoy roaming entertainment, kids’ play areas as well a variety of tasty dishes from street-style food vendors.




Global Shapers Event


The Greenzie an environmental initiative and Global Shapers Community organized an event in Jeddah to spread more awareness about some of the environmental issues in the community and to educate people on how to be an effective citizen and help in keeping the city clean and green.

This event marks the end of this year. Through this event Greenzie aimed to shed light on some remarkable local achievements by some environmental initiatives.  A New Year’s resolution is commonly defined as “a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year”.  Therefore, Greenzie wanted to mark the end of 2018 with something good for the planet and the environment. As a new year’s resolution, let us keep the city green and clean.img_1043

The event gathered six Saudi experts who have initiated projects aimed at improving the environment in the coastal city. They delivered speeches about their projects and experiences.

Three of the speakers focused on investing in the agricultural sector. The event shed light on local achievements by environmental initiatives.

THE SPEAKERS [Highlights]:

Zakiya Bondoqji, who has 16 years’ experience in the environmental field and is the founder of Friends of Jeddah Parks, joined the event and screened a documentary about Friends of Jeddah Parks to showcase the improvements it has made to Nazeeh and Wartan Park, Faisal Zahid Sports Park and Amira Tarabulsi Public Park.img_1080

Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari, vice president for environment affairs at the General Presidency of Meteorology and Environment Protection (PME), shared the authority’s current initiatives and activities. The GAMEP is working on 13 projects to renovate areas that have been environmentally damaged.

Essam Jawa, a pilot who is an environmental advocator and the founder of a cleaning initiative.

Many other speakers: Instagram @Jeddahhubimg_1099


Greenzie is a local initiative that aims to bring together scientific and humans understandings of the environment in a way that can be widely communicated and lead to effective actions.img_1109

Greenzie aims to both inform and challenge, to develop understanding of the environment and the way in which human society interacts with it, and to stimulate action in pursuit of environmental protection and sustainable development – including action by decision makers and leaders. Greenzie is committed to provide a continuance awareness system through the following:

  1. Projects
  2. Publications
  3. Partnerships



RowadBlossom Empowers Saudi Female Entrepreneurs!


RowadBlossom enables five female led businesses to multiply in profit and traction, taking female empowerment to new heights!

Rowad Riyali which is one of Saudi Arabia’s largest financial literacy platforms for startups and Blossom, Saudi Arabia’s first female focused accelerator partnered together to accelerate and catalyze local talent and startups this November and December 2018.

Saudi Arabia’s entrepreneurship ecosystem is drastically changing with more opportunities than ever before for startups and founders. This is particularly true with a new program launched by Blossom and Rowad Riyali where they accepted 10 startups to participate in an intensive four-week program to equip them with the necessary tools, network, and resources to climb and compete with the global market.img_7392

The startups accepted were diverse in sectors from fashion to athletics to e-commerce businesses but all with one common staple; all were businesses either led by women or tailoring to a majority female clientele and all businesses had already launched with revenue and visible monthly growth rates. The women leading these companies all meant business in this program and wanted to take their startups to new heights.

Startups committed weekends where the program taught the theory and practice of constructing a business plan, marketing plan, digital marketing skills ranging from SEO to Google Ad words and Facebook Ads, learning how to evaluate their company, and learning the fundamentals of how to best legitimize their business according to the laws of Saudi Arabia. However, the intensity of the program did not stop there as startups were expected to keep working on their businesses, applying the learned principles, and schedule one on one sessions with experts to better tackle the obstacles each startup was facing. img_7141

The program also offered pitching events, co-working space, media exposure, and a range of network benefits at no cost at all. The program’s only ask was that founders and startups come with a hungry appetite for knowledge, conviction to succeed, and a mission beyond their wildest dreams.

Reportedly half of the startups grew in profit and traction, 100% recommended the program to others, 100% reported a highly lucrative network, and 100% reported a massive increase in motivation. img_0060

The program proved not only to help startups make larger profit margins but also increase and better startups mental state of mind.

One startup said “As a university student, I benefited more from this 1-month program more than I  have in class for the past year and a half  in college” while another “Blossom really helped me define and legitimize my business. I made thousands more in profit after enrolling in the program.”img_0011

Emon Shakoor, the CEO & Founder of Blossom said “It is wonderful to see startups that already have active revenue looking for programs like ours to grow and accelerate even further. It’s just telling to the demand of our market and what Saudi women are truly capable of and this is just the beginning.”

Blossom’s next program will commence this coming February 10th 2019 and this time it will be spanning 8 weeks long as Blossom is now officially accredited by the Global Accelerator Network where they are excited to be able to offer their startups international and world-renowned network and resources. The deadline to apply to their upcoming cohort is January 10th, 2019. To learn more and to apply today visit their website:



Virgin Megastore Celebrates the Opening of its 5th Branch in Jeddah


Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. December 2018. Virgin Megastore celebrated the opening of its latest branch in Mall of Arabia, marking their 5th store in Jeddah city, and 11th across the kingdom.

Virgin Megastore was honored to host a massive crowd of VIPs, media, bloggers and social media influencers; amongst them was Dr. Musallam Bin Musallam, the Chairman & CEO of Ayan, and the majority shareholder at Virgin, Mr. Ahmed Bin Zagr, a contributing partner, and Mr. Saifudin Usher، the Saudi Consulate General of Britain. For the occasion of the opening, guests were offered to join the festival, a lively carnival themed activity that spreads cheer and festivity by offering all mall guests various games, eye-catching street performers, a live musical band, gifts and prizes,exclusive promotions, discounts, and many gifts.

Since the opening of its first store in KSA, Virgin Megastore has proven to be the place to go for diverse product categories. Driven by its goal to provide a wide range of products that cater to changing trends and a variety of needs; 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 been working around-the-clock to achieve several successes this year, and make sure our stores are expanding across the kingdom. This counts as our third store opening during the 2nd half of 2018, with two more highly anticipated openings before the end of the year in Riyadh, and to have a celebrated new year, our team has high aspirations this year with the intent of opening the biggest virgin megastore in the world by 2019.” Commented Mr. Mohammed Ramdan – Virgin Megastore CEO.


News, Offbeat

Panasonic launches region-centric ‘Abaya Wash’ washing machines


The Japanese manufacturer rolls out 5 fully automatic front loaders and 2 top loaders offering gentle wash for Abayas.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Panasonic, renewing its strong commitment to the Middle East, has announced a range of washing machines designed to wash the traditional attire ‘Abaya’, targeting Arab women.  The Japanese manufacturer has rolled out seven models of washing machines – five fully automatic front loaders, and two top loaders – with its unique ‘gentle wash’ for the exquisite and delicate Abaya.

Since its founding 100 years ago, Panasonic ethos in contributing to the society has led to the continuous development of local-fit products that has the stamp of the much-valued Japanese craftsmanship and Quality.

‘Our strong legacy to improve the lives of the people through our innovative products and solutions has been instrumental to our company’s success. We will continue to provide local-fit products with our much renowned Japan quality and craftsmanship that is expected from a brand like us.’ said Hiroki Soejima, Managing Director, Panasonic Marketing Middle East & Africa FZEabayawash_panasonic2

Marketed under the banner “Protects What You Express”, the ‘Abaya Wash’ campaign acknowledges that Abaya is possibly one of the most important garment in an Arab woman’s wardrobe as it is her platform for self-expression. Panasonic understands that each abaya is unique and that every thread that makes up the garment – from the delicate fabric to the fine embroidery extending to the beads – is an expression of the woman’s identity.

The washing machine range through its unique design provides gentle and delicate wash for the Abaya, much akin or gentler than a hand-wash to protect the intricate details including the delicate fabric.

“The ‘Abaya Wash’ feature is a strong testament of Panasonic’s commitment when developing new products and solutions.  Keeping in mind the delicate and intricate design on the Abayas including the fine fabric, our unique ‘Abaya Wash’ range will definitely help our customers to wash Abayas and other such delicate fabrics in the comfort of their home” commented Keisuke Nakagawa, Director – Consumer Marketing, Panasonic Marketing Middle East & Africa

Ideal for all type of garments, the range of washing machines will be an asset to any home as they have a host of features, depending on the model, which includes ‘SAZANAMI’ or ‘wave shaped’ drum, Dual Pulsator, ‘Pause and Add’ for intelligent stopping and adding clothes without interrupting the wash cycle and industry leading 5-star energy rating in UAE.

In GCC, depending on the country, the washing machine comes with a minimum of 10-year warranty on motor for added peace of mind for the end-users.

Panasonic’s range of washing machines with ‘Abaya Wash’ are now available in the UAE and across the GCC at select

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and solutions for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, and B2B businesses. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2018, the company has expanded globally and now operates 591 subsidiaries and 88 associated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of US$71.91 billion for the year ended March 31, 2018. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company uses its technologies to create a better life and a better world for its customers. To learn more about Panasonic:

About Panasonic Marketing Middle East and Africa FZE (PMMAF)

Panasonic Marketing Middle East and Africa FZE (PMMAF) is the regional Headquarters, all functions related to Sales and Marketing, Supply chain and Customer service solutions, and Advertising functions under the brand name Panasonic is handled by PMMAF. The vision at PMMAF is to be the No 1 Customer-centric Company and No 1 Customer-preferred brand in the Middle East and Africa region. PMMAF website:

Additional Information:

The new models are:

  • NA-S178 Front loader, with 17kg washing capacity and 8kg drying capacity
  • NA-S128 Front loader, with 12kg washing capacity and 8kg drying capacity
  • NA-S107 Front loader, with 10kg washing capacity and 7kg drying capacity
  • NA-S085 Front loader, with 8kg washing capacity and 4kg drying capacity
  • NA-127MB2 Front loader, with 7kg washing capacity
  • NA-F130/150 Top loader, with 13/15kg washing capacity

Depending on the models, there is a built-in Gentle Hand Wash Net foam and a water pass through which water flows on to the clothes through a Dual Pulsator.  Clothes are cleaned without directly touching the pulsator, thus preventing wear and tear from friction.

Other innovative features include, Panasonic’s ingenious Active Foam system, where the detergent soap is turned into high-density ultrafine foam and sprayed onto clothes from the top of the drum before the start of the wash cycle.  The foam surrounds dirt and penetrates deep into the fibre, thoroughly removing it by powerful washing.  With the detergent attaching to garments as a foam, it rinses out easily, leaving no residue.

The ‘SAZANAMI’ or ‘wave shaped’ drum used in the front loaders is another premium innovation of these washing machines that help deliver outstanding care to delicate fabrics.  It effectively helps in ‘massaging and soaking’ of clothes with 2,196 holes of 2.4mm diameter each. The creative drum design also creates the perfect environment for gentle and effective washing of clothes by generating more foam into the drum and remove stains even at the edges of the clothes.  There is also the S-Shape Lifting Rib designed to tackle stubborn stains.  With 138 sprinkling holes, the drum ribs produce strong and gentle penetration flow of water and foam with constant change of the washing speed.

The Pause & Add feature enables intelligent washing as it allows the user to quickly add any extra clothes during the wash time, eliminating any need for another wash.  The washing machines also boast industry-leading energy saving capability with a five-star rating.

Complementing these game-changing innovations are other standout features.  Among them, versatile program selections for tailored washing, modern LED digital display that makes it easy for you to manage your wash, high performance Inverter Motor for extra reliability, supremely quiet operation and excellent durability.

Panasonic also offers a minimum of 10-year warranty (period depending on the country) on the washing machine motor for added peace of mind for our customers.


News, Offbeat, TECH

World’s Smallest Travel High Zoom Cameras by Sony


Here’s one for photography lovers and travel buffs in Saudi Arabia: Sony boosted its Cyber-shot® line-up of travel high zoom cameras with the launch of the DSC-HX99 and DSC-WX800 for photography lovers in the Kingdom this month.

Designed for users who want an unobtrusive camera that can be carried at all times, the new models are packaged in the world’s smallest body, and offer a truly versatile zoom range from 24mm at the wide end up to 720mm super-telephoto, making these cameras the best travel companions to take along on journeys.

The huge zoom range offered by the HX99 and WX800 means that they are ideally suited to the varied demands of travel photography and capturing daily life. Image stabilization is controlled with Optical SteadyShot™ which effectively negates the camera shake blur that often occurs during handheld and telephoto shooting. The models are also equipped with a Zoom Assist function to zoom out temporarily, and displays a wider area when shooting a subject at the telephoto end.wx800-4-e1539769157440

Processing Power

The HX99 and WX800 can capture 4K video footage with full pixel readout and no pixel binning, meaning fine details are beautifully rendered and ‘moiré’ and ‘jaggies’ are significantly reduced. The new models can shoot fast-moving subjects with high-frame rate HD recording at up to 100fps to produce impressive slow-motion sequences during editing.

As the perfect picture often occurs unexpectedly, photographers need to be able to trust their camera to react quickly. With a Fast Intelligent AF speed of just 0.09 seconds and an upgraded BIONZ X processor and front-end LSI, the HX99 and WX800 are a perfect fit, delivering high speed continuous shooting at up to 10fps for up to 155 images. For beautifully focused portraits, the new models inherit the much praised Eye AF technology from their α™ siblings, and for photographers who prefer to enhance their photos with image editing software.cxvcx

Intuitive and Comfortable

Embracing feedback from users of the HX90 series, Sony has implemented Touch Focus and Touch Shutter functionality on the HX99 and WX800 so that the photographer can directly select their shooting subject. Both the HX99 and WX800 offer My Menu personalization for instant recall of up to 30 items and the ability to create custom menus.dsfsd

A 180-degree tiltable LCD screen allows for easy framing of selfies and group shots. Location data acquisition via Bluetooth® can collect and record location data from a mobile device (Location Information Link) and small size proxy recording allows transfers to smartphones or uploading to websites for quick sharing.

The new HX99 and WX800 are priced at SAR 1,999 and SAR 1,799 respectively and is available in Saudi Arabia from December 2018 onwards.


Food, Food News, News, Offbeat

Nando’s Fires Up Saudi Arabia With First Opening In Jeddah


Red Sea Mall prepares to welcome Nando’s fans to the Kingdom’s newest Casa.

Nando’s, home of the legendary Afro-Portuguese flame-grilled PERi-PERi chicken, has spread its wings in Saudi Arabia and will be opening the doors of its newest Casa on Saturday, December 8.

The launch, at Jeddah’s Red Sea Mall, has been highly-anticipated particularly within the coastal city’s emerging youth culture scene. In recent weeks, social media chatter has been heating up as it emerged Nando’s would be injecting its unique personality – and of course its world-famous flame-grilled PERi-PERi chicken – into the vibrant community.supergrainsalad

Carlo Aoun, Territory Head of Landmark Hospitality said: “We’re extremely excited to be opening in Jeddah and we look forward to bringing our PERi-PERi flavour to a whole new community of fans.“Jeddah is a unique place in Saudi Arabia and we share the passions of so many of the young people in terms of art, music and comedy. Like Jeddah, Nando’s is unique and the opening of our newest Casa will bring another game-changing movement to a place that’s already filled with creativity.”

To coincide with the Casa opening, Nando’s will launch a search for people who are breaking the mould in their own way – through music, arts, design, tech or culture. Tapping into the existing +JeddahGhair (unique Jeddah) movement, the +NandosGhair campaign will recognize individuals who are adding to the rich and diverse culture of Jeddah.jeddah-2

Foodmark COO Richard Barclay added: “We want to celebrate people who capture the spirit of Nando’s and recognize their achievements, so through our social media channels and in the Casa we want to hear about people who are truly Nando’s Ghair Game Changers.”

Walking into the Jeddah casa, customers will enjoy a relaxed atmosphere while surrounded by an interior design to evoke the brands heritage. The new restaurant features a bespoke design that is unique to Nando’s Jeddah casa, following the Nando’s ethos that no two Nando’s restaurants are ever the same. It will also bring its mix of trademark bright colours and earthy textures to Jeddah that perfectly reflects the international company’s Afro-Portuguese heritage loved by people worldwide. As well as great food, a welcoming atmosphere and friendly staff, Nando’s customers can also view a host of original artworks by Southern African artists.jeddah-1

About Nando’s

The first Nando’s restaurant opened its doors in 1987 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Since then, the Nando’s flame has spread to 1,200 restaurants in 23 countries on five continents. Nando’s is known worldwide for its succulent flame-grilled PERi-PERi chicken, marinated for 24 hours, flame-grilled to perfection, and basted to the customer’s preferred flavor and spice. It’s equally renowned for its spicy PERi-PERi, made with the unique African Bird’s Eye Chilli – grown under the African sun and shared with the world.


Offbeat, TECH

Introducing the Nokia 7.1 to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


The first smartphone to launch PureDisplay screen technology for a superior viewing experience, and advanced imaging with ZEISS Optics.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2018 – HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, announced the Nokia 7.1 –  the first smartphone to come with PureDisplay screen technology, which will take your viewing experience to the next level due to its high contrast ratio, greater clarity and enhanced colours across all of your content.

The Nokia 7.1’s stunning HDR display lies within a masterfully crafted, gorgeous design and offers an advanced imaging experience powered by a dual rear depth sensing camera with 2PD and ZEISS Optics to ensure you never miss a moment.   hmd-global-nokia-7-1-midnight-blue-front

Sanmeet Singh Kochhar, General Manager – Middle East, HMD Global, said:

“In this day and age, we are all connected to our devices and we consume video content on the go. In fact, video consumption through mobile has seen a significant increase in the MENA region, with a 90% year-on year growth in mobile video consumption. That’s why we are introducing our PureDisplay screen technology to our fans in the Kingdom with the Nokia 7.1. This device combines a unique display experience with a stunning, compact design and premium build quality you expect from a Nokia smartphone, while also offering a high-quality imaging experience allowing our consumers to capture their own incredible HDR photography.”hmd-global-nokia-7-1-live-broadcast-to-social-1

Introducing PureDisplay

The Nokia 7.1 is the first smartphone to come with PureDisplay screen technology for stunning HDR10 cinematic quality entertainment inside and out. With YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime now supporting HDR content, take your viewing experience to another level with higher contrast (1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio) and great clarity, revealing the detail in both light and dark areas with stunning vibrant colours.

Whether outdoors in bright sunlight or in a dimly lit room, playing games or watching videos, the crisp, bright Full HD+ 5.84” and 19:9 screen ratio display will automatically adjust brightness and contrast to ambient lighting conditions – ensuring content is still visible and vibrant in bright sunshine. Live through this enhanced display experience across all your videos, including non-HDR content, which is up-scaled in real-time using a dedicated 16bit engine, processing millions of pixels per second to provide the best possible display quality in all conditions.

The Nokia 7.1 is powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 636 Mobile Platform, which supports a major leap in enhanced performance making it great for streaming HDR content with ease. This platform is optimised for content consumption with first-class graphics performance and battery efficiency enhancements so you can enjoy your audio and video for even longer. The USB type-C fast charging port delivers up to 50% of your battery back in 30 mins, to get you back up and running quickly and easily.hmd-global-nokia-7-1-pro-camera-mode-ui-1

Premium design

The Nokia 7.1 is where design meets engineering excellence, offering the overall product quality, premium materials and finish you expect from a Nokia smartphone. Applying design techniques found in jewellery and high-end timepieces, the Nokia 7.1 exhibits aesthetically pleasing contrasts between different metal finishes that come seamlessly together and capture small, controlled bright highlights. Possessing a unique interplay on colour by using glass’ unique properties of refraction, the Nokia 7.1 achieves deep, rich and neutral colours that capture both light and depth. The Nokia 7.1 exudes master craftsmanship with final touches like the dual-anodised aluminium diamond cut coloured edges.

The Nokia 7.1 delivers a bigger experience without a bigger handset to offer you a stunning smartphone that fits as easily into your pocket as it does in your hand. A feeling of solidity runs all the way through the smartphone, thanks to the 6000 series aluminium CNC machined frame and die cast metal centre.

Tell your story with advanced imaging

The Nokia 7.1 highly sensitive ZEISS Optics 12MP/5MP dual cameras with 2PD enable fast, accurate autofocus giving great shots in both bright and low light conditions. Achieve the perfect picture with HDR photography, giving you crisper and sharper images – ideal for capturing and sharing your photos with friends or followers. Capture professional studio style shots with the rear depth camera supported ‘bokeh’ mode as well as effortless front portrait shots. You can also reduce the effects of unstable hands while filming with Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS) technology and relive your memories as if you were still there with high fidelity 360° Nokia spatial audio.

The new camera UI gives you ultimate control of white balance, ISO, focus and shutter speed using the Pro Camera Mode. The Nokia 7.1 AI enhanced front facing camera introduces facial recognition to deploy animated 3D personas/masks and filters. One touch live stream your #bothies with the use of fun filters in real time to Facebook and YouTube direct from your camera app. Google Lens and Motion Photos can also be accessed directly from the app quickly and easily.hmd-global-nokia-7-1-dual-sight-panda-mask-photo-1

Pure, secure and up-to-date, reinforced with Android One

The Nokia 7.1 joins the comprehensive line-up of Nokia smartphones in the Android One family, delivering a high-quality software experience endorsed by Google. Nokia smartphones with Android One offer great storage and battery life right out of the box and come pre-loaded with the very latest in AI-powered innovations developed by Google.

The Nokia 7.1 will receive three years of monthly security patches and two years of OS updates, as guaranteed in the Android One programme. In addition, Google Play protect scans all the apps on the store and on your phone to keep it safe from malware. This helps to rank the Nokia 7.1 among the most secure and cutting-edge phones out there, as this device will always be up-to-date thanks to the latest Google innovations including, Google Assistant and Google Photos with free unlimited high-quality photo storage.

The Nokia 7.1 is built ready for the Android 9 software update, which includes AI powered features that make your device smarter, faster and adapts as you use it. The Adaptive Battery feature limits battery usage from apps you don’t use often, and App Actions predicts what you’re about to do so you can get to your next action quickly. These features further streamline your device’s functionality and your Android experience.hmd-global-nokia-7-1-square-capture

Companion products

Complementing the premium viewing experience sees the arrival of two new audio accessories: Nokia True Wireless Earbuds and the Nokia Pro Wireless Earphones.

Weighing a slight 5 grams per earbud, the Nokia True Wireless Earbuds provide clear audio playback and voice calls with up to 3.5 hours play time and give fans the freedom to charge on the move with a pocketable charging case holding three charges (giving you a total of up to 16 hours of quality audio entertainment including the charging case power).

The Nokia Pro Wireless Earphones are perfect for our active on-the-move fans. Connected to a neckband that nestles comfortably around your neck, this accessory is ideal for commuting with up to 10 hours of playback time from a single charge. A built-in vibration function alerts user of incoming calls, and with the smart magnetic earbuds, users can simply separate them from each other to answer calls or play music without having to take the smartphone out of their pocket.


The Nokia 7.1 comes in Gloss Midnight Blue and Gloss Steel and is available in the Kingdom from 31 October with 4GB/64GB RAM/ROM. The starting price for the Nokia 7.1 in the Kingdom will be SAR 1099.


Arts & Music, Offbeat

Lina Mohammed for Destination


Lina Mohammed is a photographer based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Her work has been a staple feature in Destination magazines since 2017, from event coverage to portrait shots and front covers.

How did you become a photographer? Tell us about your journey.

I’ve loved photography since I was a child. I used to get mad when my parents wouldn’t let me take photos (instead of them) at our family events and travels. When I got older, I started photography as a hobby in 2008 with a combat camera, and then with a DSLR in 2010. But I started my journey as a professional photographer in 2016.

Photography has been a great way for me to express myself. I consider every picture I take to be a part of me, so it’s a bit hard sometimes for me to share my photos on social media! I love the artistic aspect of photography, like when a photographer sees something and translates it differently with their own style and technique.2018-11-29-09-43-34-2

How do you make sure you get the best shot?

It’s so important for me to plan the whole process step by step. I also like to imagine the outcome before I start.

In the beginning, I would shoot randomly, taking photos of anything I see. I eventually started to focus on composition techniques, doing a lot of reading and research on it and also learning from my photographer friends.

I also like to try different types of photography, especially new techniques I’m unfamiliar with, and I like to get creative and come up with new ways to shoot.

What photos do you like to take the most? Tell us about your favorite shots?

I prefer shooting objects over portraits, maybe because it’s easier to control things more than people? I really enjoy food, street fashion, and product photography.

What’s your favorite Destination photo?

I loved my photo shoot with the band Most of Us, which was done to accompany an article and then as a front cover for the March 2018 issue of Destination Jeddah. I’m a big fan of rock and roll music, and the band’s story as one of the oldest Saudi rock bands was really inspiring. They performed a few songs for us during the shoot, and told us about their journey, so the entire team really had fun. I wanted to present them to the readers in a way that would show who they were, their passion for music, and their unique identity.

Follow Lina Mohammed on Instagram: linamo