Roka: A Well-Balanced Act and Gastronomic Delight

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When it was announced that the London famed Roka was creating its largest outpost in Riyadh, people were abuzz.


The restaurant easily became one of the most popular restaurants in Dubai a year ago, and the anticipation of its arrival in Saudi Arabia was palpable. So the moment we set foot on its industrial-chic address and took our first bite of their culinary oeuvre, we knew that we were in for a dining experience that would hit all the right notes. And it did.

Focusing on the harmony of flavors and elements was a consistent feature we saw at play in Roka Riyadh.  We recommend starting your gastronomic adventure with the crowd-favorite Kampachi salad – yellowtail sashimi with yuzu truffle dressing. The tartar collection is not to be missed with its rice cracker pairing, our editor favoring the yellowtail, and salmon varieties, especially when made part of their fresh sashimi platter (their fatty tuna is divine).

For those craving a good crunch on the side, the in-house creation, iceberg salad with pickled onions is excellent to have on the table (throughout the meal, we’d say).

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Anything from their Robata grill is bound to titillate your tastebuds, to be honest, but what truly had us craving (to the point of scheduling a return soon after) is the grilled Octopus bathe in wagyu drippings. The succulence of their meats is not to be missed, whether you’re opting for a seafood treat (the cod and sea bream here are the freshest, tastiest mouthful we’ve had in a while) or indulging your inner carnivore with their Korean lamb chops or chicken wings. And before we forget… you can’t go wrong with the Roka baked potato as a trusted main companion.

The plates that will hit your table show grace and confidence, well balanced and prepared with meticulous attention to detail. At the helm of this culinary brigade is Chef Libor, whose passion runs through the veins of the kitchen alongside his commitment to quality ingredients, and clever use of them is translated on the menu.

What completes the Roka experience and sets it apart is its wonderful energy and ambiance. The recommendations of their gents and ladies are always spot on, their service consistently enthusiastic yet warm and simply impeccable.

As a fan of daytime dining, lunch at Roka has become a mainstay on my calendar, and when reservations at times become elusive, I welcome opting to walk in and take my place at the counter. It honestly is one of the best spots to watch the kitchen in action while you sip one of their signature mocktails (yes to the green Yoda and yes to that spiced citrusy concoction you’d have to ask about).

Overall, Roka is a formidable addition to Riyadh’s ever-growing contemporary dining scene and one which we see will be turning strangers to patrons one well-balanced plate at a time.

Instagram: rokariyadhofficial

 

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Awesome Twosome: Oasis Magazine & Saudi Design Week

Left: Noura Bouzo
Right: Basma Bouzo

Find out how these family units rock the business world A strong family relationship provides a building block for a home. Imagine what that can do in a business?


Relation: Sisters
Names: Basma & Noura Bouzo
Business: Oasis Magazine & Saudi Design Week

In 2007, the sisters’ mother Munira Al Ajlani came up with the idea of creating Oasis magazine, a publication that highlights the accomplishments of Saudi locals. “Her idea was not only to connect like-minded individuals, and celebrate their successes through this printed and online medium, but also to bridge the gap between the East and the West by distributing the magazine internationally,” the sisters indicated.

After Noura and Basma were drawn to the idea and finally launched their magazine, the sisters wanted to expand on the notion and turn the project into a full-on publishing house geared towards creatives and entrepreneurs. They also wanted to create a platform for events that highlight the work of creatives.

Noura explained the evolution of the business, where she shared, “Through Oasis Company, we started creating different events that supported artists and designers in all fields, and this led us to create and launch Saudi Design Week in 2014. Today, our business includes Oasis Publishing House, Saudi Design Week, and Bouqu, which is an events, branding, and corporate gifts company, as well as House of Misque, where we launch cultural products in partnership with artists and designers.”

Despite the unity of their work together, Noura and Basma come from a completely different educational background. Basma comes from a purely scientific background, whereas Noura comes from a Fine Arts and Art History education. So what might seem like a challenge is actually a plus-side, because working together, they process things differently and teach each other more than they know.

Basma elaborated further on their work, “Other than our company, we also create art installations in collaboration with one another. Our work The Water Machine represented Saudi Arabia at the inaugural London Design Biennale. When collaborating on artworks, Noura forms the sketch then I build on that by thinking of the technical aspect, then we bounce ideas off of each other until we have a strong art piece.” The key pillar to their success goes back to their constant appreciation for each other’s opinions and perspectives.

“Our goal is always to support local creatives and create a strong company that is about giving back to the community and creating a maker culture,” the sisters said.

Email: info@saudidesignweek.com
Web: houseofmisque.com
Instagram: oasismagazine
Instagram: saudidesignweek

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Diriyah Riyadh’s Cultural and Entertainment Oasis

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Land of kings, heroes and modern-day champions.


Nestled in the northwestern part of Riyadh, Diriyah has stood as a testament to the Kingdom’s rich history and independence. Its significance lies in being the first capital and settlement of the Saudi State.

Its place in history, which is also manifested in the mud brick architecture and burrows, makes it a true UNESCO world heritage site— with its At Turaif district being the focus of renovations and preservation activities. While its authenticity being held intact, it is in the process of being transformed into an open museum and a heritage destination.

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Sourced Photo

However, in recent years and with the creation of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority, Diriyah as we know it is getting pegged to be one of the biggest cultural and entertainment hubs of the Kingdom. Beyond its historic value, we’ve seen the 7km giga project play host to the most spectacular events in the city.

Last months of 2019 saw the inauguration of Diriyah Gate, and in the whole of December, we witnessed major sporting events and tournaments play out in the area. The ancient arabian streets once again turned into the track for the Diriyah E-Prix Championship.

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Sourced Photo

As part of Diriyah Season, the Clash of Dunes also brought thousands to flock at the historical site for the first ever international boxing championship in Saudi Arabia. It saw history made again with Anthony Joshua claiming the heavyweight title from Andy Ruiz Junior.

Perhaps one of our favorite events this year, the Diriyah Equestrian Festival, laid witness to the first mixed Saudi athletic team in the Kingdom. It also served as a qualifier for individuals wanting to be part of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

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Sourced Photo

The first Diriyah Tennis Cup was also held last December, with 8 of the best players in the world competing for $3M. Victory was clinched by Daniil Medvedev.

Less we forget, Diriyah also played host to a number of concerts that kept our winters on fire. From Usher, Chris Brown, Imagine Dragons, and more. The larger than life events showed the versatility of Diriyah to capture the past, present, and future of the Kingdom.

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Sourced Photo

The Bujairy district, will remain open this first quarter of the year, giving guests an amazing food, dining, and retail experience. While the entire project is set to fully meet its goals for 2020— one can rest assured that there’s something to be had from now.

Things to Do in Diriyah:
Missed out on the season? Worry not, you can still catch the cool breeze and have fun at this historical district:

1. Visit the Historical area of Turaif and discover local merchants, craftsmen, old mud houses and museums.
2. Go cycling or running around Diriyah and all the way to Wadi Hanifah.
3. Check out Najdi Cuisine at Bujairy District.
4. Have a Picnic in the select spots and parks.
5. Go on an Artventure! Diriyah is a perfect area for photo walks and propping up your easel for some inspiration.

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Saudi DXN, FTW

The SIKKA Collection by Dahr Design Studio

These local designers and brands are turning the world into a Pinterest board, while shifting Saudi’s aesthetic and functional consciousness.


As creatives descended in Riyadh for Saudi Design Week, we saw breakthrough talents and design practitioners rise to the occasion with showcases that marry contemporary design with a unique play on local identity.

The SIKKA Collection by Dahr Design Studio

Dahr Design Studio has been making a name for itself not just in Saudi Arabia but in the region. Speaking to its creative director, AlBara Saimaldahar, we can see the appeal. Their latest collection, SIKKA, breathes new life to forgotten materials—wood and items from the Hejazi railways, no less. Dahr has turned them into contemporary pieces that can definitely spark a conversation.dksa8_creatives_saudidxn_dahrstudio_sourced1-copy

“Sikka takes our passion for sourcing local materials, designing and transforming them into meaningful experiences of unique and well thought products. In 1951, King Abdulaziz had established the country’s first railway line to transport crude oil with the assistance of ARAMCO. The wood railways served under the heat of the Arabian sun for decades before it got replaced by concrete. 70 years later, we now find ourselves seduced by the impressions and character left on the wood surfaces by its history. And that’s what you see here, each product is delicately designed and manufactured, it’s comfortable, it’s more than a piece of wood, it’ll stand the test of time—as it had in the past.”

Web: dahrdesign.com
Instagram: dahr___

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Sourced photos

Torba Studio

Torba Studio is a fashion brand based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Designing womenswear, menswear and accessory collections. The name of the brand ‘Torba’ is an Arabic word that means sand.

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Sourced photos

Torba Studio takes its inspiration from the mystery and philosophy of the unknown, spirit and the afterlife. And that’s where the brand’s slogan, ‘See beyond what you can touch’ comes from. They create pieces that play on the brand’s love of thought-provoking ideas and graphics. Torba Studio’s goal is to develop the fashion industry in the region, to reach global markets and to provide jobs in the design field because passion is a way of happiness.

Instagram: torbastudio

dksa8_creatives_saudidxn_maalbkoun-abdulmajeedalrodan2-copyMaalb.Koun by Akwan

Inspired by a personal experience with her son’s relationship to Arabic language, Saudi design Lujain Abulfaraj together with Emirati designer Sara Al Arif, co-created Akwan. A project that brings the Arabic language closer to children through play.

Maalb.Koun, is one of the project’s playgrounds, which debuted at Saudi Design Week. A few thousand miles away, Maalb.Dhad, its sibling showcased at Dubai Design Week. The “fun”ctional installation has brought in quite the attention, with Maalb.Koun receiving support from the Delegation of the European Union in Saudi Arabia.

Interestingly enough, the playground’s purpose has evolved, it has become a movement and a way of raising awareness in our contemporary relationship with the language. Likewise, the design also promotes engagement between adults, creating a sphere to discuss, congregate, and activate the playground as a social space.

Instagram: akwan.me

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Sourced photos

Lebeed by Muse Rawan x Moath AlOfi

Lebeed is an interesting example of how multidisciplinary practitioners can come together to create something authentic and original. This jewelry collection is inpired by unique rock formations, inscriptions, and heritage in Saudi Arabia.

Moath Alofi is a Madinah-based artist, researcher, and explorer. Currently, he is the Head of Cultural Programs at the Madinah Development Authority, manager of the Madinah Arts Center, founder of Al-Mthba studio, and the co-founder of Erth Team, a production group for safari trips, aerial and travel photography.

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Sourced photos

Rawan is a Saudi designer, product developer, and 3D jewelry program trainer. She is the founder of Muse Rawan, a jewelry house adapted from Islamic architecture, civilizations, and monuments. Rawan is especially interested in supporting graduates from the design sector either in collaboration or instruction.

Instagram: muserawan

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The Birth of MDL Beast

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An origin story.


It’s been a couple of weeks post-MDL Beast, but its effect throughout the city of Riyadh and the Kingdom continues to reverberate. MDL Beast ushered in changes that propelled us to new dimensions—shifting lives, perceptions, and popular culture in one unforgettable weekend. As the dust settles in Banban, we decided to get closer to the eye of the ‘soundstorm’ and find out what it took to bring MDL Beast to life.

Destination had a chat with Baloo, also known as Ahmad Al Ammary, a partner and brand strategist at 9SS Creative, the Saudi agency that developed the MDL Beast brand. Baloo, Anmar, and Ibz also happen to be DJs. Baloo found himself in the middle of a dream project he never saw coming.

“It came to us just 5 months ago, we couldn’t believe it but at the same time, being DJs and designers/creatives for years, we knew exactly what we needed to do. My partners and I, we’ve had the brand name parked in the back of our heads for years. But it needed to be a big brand with big attitude. When this festival came up— we all looked at each other and said, this is it. This is MDL BEAST,” said Baloo.

Organizing an event, regardless of where you are in the world is no easy feat. Add to that challenge only having two months to build an unprecedented three-day festival in the middle of the desert. It took multiple talents and professionals, both Saudi and foreign all coming together, sharing many sleepless nights to bring the Beast to life.

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Sourced photos

A day before opening, Baloo found himself standing in the middle of an empty audience space, staring up at the towering stage, engulfed by the sound of the speakers. “Before MDL Beast, I didn’t expect anything like this to happen, then it came and We were engulfed in every detail, even beyond its brand identity, like no project before. Seeing it all come together, being a part of MDL Beast opened my eyes to so much, so many possibilities, so much potential.”

At that moment the universe aligned, Baloo’s passions entwined, and in those few seconds that would last him a lifetime— he was home. He knew he belonged.

“The experience was both exhausting and exhilarating, but on those three days, we were running all over the place, fueled by the positive energy people radiated. They had so much fun. It was infectious and very humbling.” Baloo, who also performed on the Saudi Beast and UG Beast stages shared, “I’ve been doing this (DJing) for 23 years, but to do it in my hometown, on an unprecedented regional platform that we helped create, in front of all our people, was overwhelming, and you try to hang on to that moment because you know nothing’s ever going to be the same after it.”

What we found monumental during the festival is the bond among artists and a sense of community the local talents exhibited. Urban legends playing the underground scene surfacing, breakthrough DJs sharing the spotlight, with musicians who up until that day, only had their closest friends and family as audiences.

“I was giving a tour to some of our guests before the event and came across a dear friend and fellow dj. We looked at each other, and there was a clear acknowledgment combined with shock of what was happening right then and there. He walked up to me and held my hand tightly and said nothing, but also everything the way he looked at me, that really got to me— and I saw why we needed to make all this happen.”

There is no doubt that MDL Beast is now part of our modern history. MDL Beast’s army of passionate, hardworking, and driven people all contributed to building a new legacy, armed with a rhythm that brought a nation together.

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Sorry, You do What Again?

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These local designers and brands are turning the world into a Pinterest board, while shifting Saudi’s aesthetic and functional consciousness.


As creatives descended in Riyadh for Saudi Design Week, we saw breakthrough talents and design practitioners rise to the occasion with showcases that marry contemporary design with a unique play on local identity.

The SIKKA Collection by Dahr Design Studio

Dahr Design Studio has been making a name for itself not just in Saudi Arabia but in the region. Speaking to its creative director, AlBara Saimaldahar, we can see the appeal. Their latest collection, SIKKA, breathes new life to forgotten materials—wood and items from the Hejazi railways, no less. Dahr has turned them into contemporary pieces that can definitely spark a conversation.

“Sikka takes our passion for sourcing local materials, designing and transforming them into meaningful experiences of unique and well thought products. In 1951, King Abdulaziz had established the country’s first railway line to transport crude oil with the assistance of ARAMCO. The wood railways served under the heat of the Arabian sun for decades before it got replaced by concrete. 70 years later, we now find ourselves seduced by the impressions and character left on the wood surfaces by its history. And that’s what you see here, each product is delicately designed and manufactured, it’s comfortable, it’s more than a piece of wood, it’ll stand the test of time—as it had in the past.”

Web: dahrdesign.com
Instagram: dahr___

Torba Studio

Torba Studio is a fashion brand based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Designing womenswear, menswear and accessory collections. The name of the brand ‘Torba’ is an Arabic word that means sand. Torba Studio takes its inspiration from the mystery and philosophy of the unknown, spirit and the afterlife. And that’s where the brand’s slogan, ‘See beyond what you can touch’ comes from. They create pieces that play on the brand’s love of thought-provoking ideas and graphics. Torba Studio’s goal is to develop the fashion industry in the region, to reach global markets and to provide jobs in the design field because passion is a way of happiness.

Instagram: torbastudio

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1.9M Followers
//  The Influencer

There is a lack of consensus as to what the exact definition of a social media influencer is. However, it lies somewhere along the lines of being a figure who has gained credibility in a certain topic and has the power to affect followers’ purchase decisions. It’s not merely about the number of followers or popularity, but the trust relationship and engagement between the two parties.  Celebrities, industry experts, thought leaders, and bloggers are various types of influencers. Game-changing influencers share certain characteristics. They are particularly knowledgeable about a certain subject and understand their audience well. Effective communication, persuasion, unique charisma, and the ability to get people to engage with their content is also another important attribute.

Courses on Becoming an Influencer and Strategy:

Web: udemy.com
Web: coursera.org

Wardrobe Wages
// The Personal Shopper

If you have a knack for fashion, are a people person and patience is a virtue of yours, you have negotiation and persuasion skills, and find great satisfaction in helping others look good and hence feel good, this job may be for you. Personal shoppers help one create flattering looks by shopping with you or for you. Working with different body types and clients with varying budgets is their bread and butter. They know their way around the maze and multitude of different shops, and are aware of all the ins and outs of getting great items for competitive prices. Boutiques and department stores aren’t the only places who hire. Nowadays, personal shoppers are needed to put together looks for photoshoots, ads, and TV show hosts as well.

Saudi Personal Shoppers:

Instagram: Styling_diva
Instagram: Hala_alharithy

We’re Live
// The Podcaster

Podcast producers make sure that everything is put together and ready for execution. They recruit guests, write scripts, schedule interviews and session recording times, and  edit, mix, upload, and distribute podcasts. The job is very dynamic and requires time management skills, a love for the audio, audio editing and production skills, and the ability to create great content. Did you know that the first podcast feed was announced back in 2003 before Apple added podcasting to its iTunes in 2005? The Mstdfr Network is Saudi’s first podcast network that has been growing and supporting local talents.

Saudi Podcast Platform & Consultant:

Web: mstdfr.com
Web: khayrab.com

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Have A Lux Ramadan Night

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At Crowne Plaza Riyadh, the RDC Hotel and Convention Center gets inspired by traditional Arabic hospitality. The luxurious Ramadan decoration set up in the Mosaique restaurant is specially designed to treat you and your loved ones to a culinary voyage of discovery across the region; with live cooking stations, authentic dishes, and traditional flavours emblematic to the Holy Month.


Children between 6 to 12 years can enjoy 50% discount and below 6 years can dine for free. In addition to this, there will be an event called (Fawanees Ramadan) featuring kids activities like children’s cinema, oil painting, daily prizes, pottery art, puppet theatre, entertainment shows, and more. By dining in the restaurant, your kids will have special discounts to enjoy the experience. More discounts available on group bookings! Book your private Iftar or Suhoor for your group and enjoy an unforgettable evening filled with refined Arabic cuisine, hospitality, and service. Dine with us during Ramadan and enter in a daily raffle in addition to a chance to win our Grand prize a brand new Ford car 2019 model. At Crowne Plaza RDC hotel and convention, you aspire for it, we bring it to life.

Web: crowneplazardc/ramadan
Crowne Plaza Riyadh – RDC Hotel & convention center
Tel: +966 11 813 1313
Instagram: crowneplazardc

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Enjoy Ramadan at The New Marriott Riyadh Hotel

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Your monthly guide to eating and feasting around Saudi Arabia.


Enjoy a Wadi Haneefa-inspired ambiance at Goji Restaurant. We recommend their Konafa and their organic ice cream! For groups, Alwadi Ballroom can cater to 200 plus customers. You can also dine privately around the outdoor pool.

Location: Courtyard by Marriott Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter Abdullah Al-Sahmi St., Al-Hada Dist. Riyadh
Tel: +966-11-2817300

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In Conversation with Ryan Gliha: US Consul General, Jeddah

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Ryan Gliha is no stranger to Saudi Arabia; he started his diplomatic career on the very shores of Jeddah. Upon his return last September 2018, he assumed the role of Consul General (CG). We sat down with him to better understand the part of consulates, deepening the bilateral relations between the US and KSA, cultural exchange, and our shared love for Al-Baik.


The Consulate General in Jeddah represents and protects the US interest in the entire western region. Under its jurisdiction are all the governorates from Tabuk, Madina, Makkah, to Asir Al Baha, Jizan and Najran. Ryan Gliha as consul general is the representative of the US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

The Consulate General in Jeddah has a unique history because as many people know, Jeddah used to be the capital of Saudi Arabia. CG Gliha shared gave us its history, “the consulate started as an Embassy back in the 1940’s right after the first meeting between the head of state of our two countries, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz Al Saud. They met on a ship on the Red Sea back in 1947, and after that, we opened an office, which became an embassy.”

When Riyadh became the actual capital of the country, the embassy moved, and we became the Consulate General. Consulates are like little embassies. They do everything that an embassy does except having the ambassador. This changes during the summer. When the Saudi government or  King moves down to Jeddah, so does the US ambassador, so for the few months until December the consulate acts as an embassy.

While processing visa applications is the first thing that comes to mind when the US Embassy is mentioned, it’s just one of many services they provide as a diplomatic mission. Through the office of public affairs, for example, the US consulate runs various programs that directly engage with the local community and the Saudi public at large.

On Education
JP: The United States is one of the popular choices when Saudi students plan on studying abroad. Does the consulate provide any assistance in helping them make informed decisions?

CG: As the consulate, we have an Educational office that has full-time staff and an advisor who would assist the students to decide on what university and program they wanted to take. Even if you haven’t chosen, we will give you a whole menu of options to help you decide. We can accommodate you through online booking too and on the road. We help them choose to make the right choice. It’s important to note that our advisory is not limited to this, we also create opportunities to prepare Saudi students for life in the US.

JP: How are you able to reach students who aren’t necessarily based in the major cities?

CG: We sometimes bring our services and programs on the road. I make some trips on different provinces with some of our staff and look for institutions who might be interested to hear about our educational services and exchange programs.

We also offer much younger programs such as Saudi Youth Leadership Exchange program. We send out dozens of Saudis to the US to exchange experience with their American counterparts as well as Leadership and Personal Development. Our goal for the exchange programs is to capture the diversity of Saudi Arabia. The most important part is to interact with people not just within the major cities but also to different parts of the country.

On Commerce
JP: Apart from the consulate’s educational services, what other interests and opportunities do the US take care of?

CG: We also have a commercial office. American businesses that want to do business here and Saudi Businesses that want to do business in the US. We help them make the right connections. We also have a political office, which covers and tries to report what’s happening politically in the country and they help me in my dealings with all the different officials in the Western side of Saudi Arabia.

JP: With the recent changes in the Kingdom, what industries are American investors interested in?

CG: Energy, Aviation, Transportation, Durable goods, Automobile, a little bit of the Agriculture. However, the growth is with healthcare, services, fitness.

JP: How do you go about making the connection between these brands and companies?

CG: There are two types of mechanisms, through a trade show to invite Saudi Business leaders to visit the US and meet with US companies in specific industries. We’ve put together a trade delegation to learn about opportunities. Reverse trade delegation is the other mechanism where we bring US companies, American business leaders to Saudi Arabia to meet their counterparts and look for opportunities here. Throughout the year we’re running this regularly so it won’t stagnate.

JP: How do you see the Saudi relationship evolving in the next few years?

CG: The relationship between our two countries is based on shared values and interests in the last few decades. What is different now is that there are a lot more opportunities. So if you look at what’s happening in terms of entertainment, movie theaters, these are all opportunities where we can complement. We usually play a coordinating role; it’s good to have to have a light touch by the US government and leave it to the experts.

JP: Lastly, what are you looking forward to now that you’re back?

CG: If I’m going to be honest with you, I immediately looked for AlBaik the moment I got back. My first time in Jeddah,
I was a bachelor, and we’d spend our Fridays going out for shrimp and chicken. I have explored the different regions before, and each one has its charm; this time around I’m looking forward to experiencing Saudi Arabia with my wife and two kids. It would be great to
see what family adventures we can go on together.

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A Brave New Saudi: Reema Al Juffali

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Imagine lights flashing, with a thousand motions happening at once, the sound of revving engines and screeching tires, the smell of burnt rubber filling the air. In the middle of it all is where you’ll find Reema Al Juffali. Saudi woman. Professional race car driver.


What is it about motorsports that got you interested to do professionally? When did your passion for cars begin?

As long as I can remember I have been passionate about cars whether it was naming all the cars I knew at 7 years old, playing with remote control cars or collecting model cars. It has always been a part of my life. I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel, I remember begging to drive around the block every chance I got, barely able to reach the pedals.

COURTESY PHOTOS

COURTESY PHOTOS

The racing dream came later in life for me. I didn’t grow up around a racing culture and I struggled to imagine even driving a car in Saudi Arabia, let alone representing my country as a female racing driver. I used to think that racing was something you had to grow into from a young age, but after watching my first Le Mans race I realized that some of the drivers were much older than me. That’s when I thought why not? It’s not too late. When I was at university, I joined different track days and that’s when I caught the racing bug.

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COURTESY PHOTOS

What’s the kind of racing you do?

The type of racing I do is called single-seater racing, specifically Formula 4. This season I raced at the F4 British Championship with the Double R Racing team.

What were the challenges you encountered in trying to get into the sport?

In the beginning, it was always about timing. In between my studies and work I could never find the time to race. I also I didn’t know where to start. There are so many different routes you can take and I had a lot of questions, so getting to know people in the industry helped me make these decisions and take the first step. It’s all very new, so most things I didn’t anticipate. I’m consistently in new situations, whether it’s learning a new track, adjusting to the car or weather conditions… it’s constantly changing, and you must adapt. Staying positive and trusting in my ability has helped me overcome this.

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COURTESY PHOTOS

How’s an average day like for you at “work”?

Test days differ to race  days. The day starts off early, I’m at the track by 8am. On a test day, I meet with my team and discuss the plan for the day. For the rest of the day, if I’m not in the car, I’m sitting with my engineer analyzing my laps and figuring out where I can improve. On a race day there are a lot more distractions plus my time on track is limited, you have an hour instead of a full day. It’s important to stay focused and make the most out of the time you have.

It’s only the beginning so I’m learning something new every day, which is a great feeling. I love the feeling and rush I get when I’m behind the wheel, that’s where I’m happiest, but more than that it’s the challenge that keeps me going. In motorsport there are a lot of ups and downs, things don’t always go your way and sometimes they are out of your control. Someone can hit you or something can go mechanically wrong taking you out of the race. At the end of the day, all these things just make winning even sweeter.

“Trust your instincts, don’t be afraid to take risks and go after what you love. Take the first step; it’s always the most difficult.” Reema Al Juffali

Email: info@rj-racing.com
Web: rj-racing.com
Instagram: reemajuffali

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