News, Offbeat

Uber launches “Women Preferred View” feature for women drivers in Saudi Arabia

uber-woman-driving-copy

The feature, exclusive to Saudi, falls under ‘Masaruky’ and is designed to give women driver-partners in Saudi Arabia the choice to select a preference of women riders.


A global first for Uber, the feature aims to provide greater access to economic opportunities for Saudi women, whilst being mindful of the cultural context.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 16 April 2019 – Uber announced the launch of a new “Women Preferred View” feature for women drivers in Saudi Arabia, which provides them with a choice in selecting a preference to be connected to women riders. A global first for Uber, the Women Preferred feature underwent a pilot run last year and thanks to its popularity has now been incorporated as a full-fledged feature exclusive to women drivers in Saudi Arabia.

The launch of this unique feature comes on the back of Uber’s Masaruky initiative that aims to increase women’s participation in the workforce through access to affordable transportation, in addition to increasing women’s access to flexible, part time economic opportunities through the use of Uber technology.

The newly introduced feature is designed to meet growing interest from Saudi women seeking to benefit from the flexible economic opportunity that Uber provides, and Uber’s ongoing efforts to be mindful of the cultural landscape in Saudi Arabia.

Commenting on the announcement, Tino Waked, General Manager of Uber Middle East and North Africa, said: “Last year we announced the launch of Masaruky, an initiative aimed towards empowering women with economic opportunities by providing accessible  transport solutions. We have seen an incredible response in the Kingdom thus far. As part of this initiative, this newly introduced feature will open new doors and opportunities for women as Uber driver-partners, while being conscientious of local cultural norms”

He further added “We launched this feature in response to the feedback we received from women drivers in Saudi Arabia and we are committed to always being thoughtful of how we can always improve their experience driving on the app. This is just the start, and we will continue working with experts to leverage our external research as we move forward to ensure that this is in the best interest of women driver-partners in the Kingdom”

The new feature was introduced after months of research to understand the perspectives of Saudi women on transport and driving, followed by a pilot run last year. Uber’s research, carried out in collaboration with Ipsos, in February 2018 found almost 31% of those surveyed indicated that they were interested in driving as an earnings opportunity. In a more recent study, the company also found that 74% of prospective women drivers interviewed would only be interested in driving women riders.

Since its pilot run last year Women Preferred View has connected female driver-partners with female riders at the push of a button across the Kingdom. To learn more about Uber’s initiatives for women in the Kingdom, please visit the new registration portal at www.uber.com.

About Uber

Uber’s mission is to create opportunity through movement. We started in 2010 to solve a simple problem: how do you get access to a ride at the touch of a button? More than 10 billion trips later, we’re building products to get people closer to where they want to be. By changing how people, food, and things move through cities, Uber is a platform that opens up the world to new possibilities.

For Media Inquiries, please contact:

Press@uber.com
UberMENA@webershandwick.com

Read More...

Fashion Trends, Offbeat, Style & Shopping

patronages Fashion Design Department Students show at Lexus Showroom

dsc_7561-copy

Dar Al-Hekma University’s Fashion Design Department held in collaboration with Abdrul Latif Jameel Company a women-only fashion design event showcasing the works of Fashion Design Department students under the theme “Cultural Variety”.


The event, which took place on Friday 12 April 2019, was followed by an exhibition open for the public at Lexus Abdulatif Jameel Showroom on Madinah Road, Jeddah.

The designs of the graduates participating in the event were inspired from different global cultures without compromising the Islamic values and customs or the culture of Saudi fashion. Princess Noura Faisal Al-Saud presided over the panel of judges, comprising renowned Saudi fashion designers, to assess the graduated students’ fashion design works.

In line with Dar Al-Hekma University’s traditions for honoring outstanding graduates, the designs on display were assessed based on accurate professional standards. The three winners were given incentive awards.

Commenting on the event, Dr. Suhair Al-Qurashi, President of Dar Al-Hekma University said the university is proud of its partnership with Lexus Abdulatif Jameel, which represents a unique partnership in the Kingdom with the participation of creative students from the Fashion Design Departmentdsc_7389-copy.

She noted, “This year’s event represents the university’s message and goals and highlights its keenness to equip its students with high-caliber skills that meet the evolving requirements and needs of the labor market and keep up with the requirements of the 21st century. The exhibition falls in line with our social and Islamic values and reflects the university’s constant efforts to hold partnerships with different educational and professional institutions. We are proud of our fashion designers who will leave a positive and lasting imprint locally and globally.”

Dr. Sanaa Abbasi, chairwoman of Fashion Design Department, said the Fashion Design Program falls in line with the objectives of Vision 2030 as it prepares young talented and ambitious women to compete on local and international levels, thanks to the fashion design program courses, which equipped them with the know-how and professional skills. This event is a proof that Dar Al-Hekma Fashion Design Department’s students possess the knowledge and capabilities that make them compete globally in this market.

Dr. Sanaa Abbasi thanked Abdul Latif Jameel Company for its continued support and for hosting this event.

.

Read More...

News, Offbeat

Blossom Sponsors Two Entrepreneurs to Meet With Facebook, Uber, & Google 

dsc01140-copy

Blossom’s startups competed for the chance to win a sponsored trip to Silicon Valley, to have access to global markets, meet with the headquarters of Facebook, Uber, and Google, and be a panelist at Blossom’s annual event on June 26th2019, previously opened by HRH Reema Bint Bandar in San Francisco, California. 


Blossom; Saudis first female focused accelerator just wrapped up their 3rd demo day after 4 months of screening over 100 applicants they carefully selected 5 startups to participate in this year’s accelerator cohort. This year adding on a twist where they sponsored a winning startup to meet with Facebook, Uber, and Google and be a panelist at their upcoming event on June 26th,2019 bringing the best of Saudi Arabia and Silicon Valley together, increasing knowledge sharing, exporting the talent of Saudi Arabia abroad, and increasing foreign investment in KSA.  untitled-2-copy

The Founder & CEO of Blossom, Emon Shakoor added “startups were exposed to daily mentoring sessions, workshops, pitching sessions and were taught an array of topics ranging from customers personas, lean principles, digital marketing, business modeling, feasibility studies, and learning how to pitch and present in front of investors.”untitled-8-copy

The following five startups were accepted into Blossom’s GAN accredited accelerator this year:
1.   Ghalia a plant food alternative providing non-dairy products.
2.   Homegrown Market, a concept store housing over 135 brands.
3.   Swish, Saudi’s leading basketball Academy committed to improving the skills in basketball and beyond.
4.   Sticky, an iOS mobile application and photo printing service that allows you to print it and stick photos at ease
5.   Jeddah Ballet Academy & Motion Boutique; a performing Arts School with degree-certified instructors.

dfd-copyThe judging panel consisted of Eng. Khalid Suleimani, Chairman of the Board at Wadi Makkah Ventures, Waleed Mutter CEO of STC Specialized, Hesham Rowaihy, Partner at  Pure Consulting, and Louwla Bakr, Senior partner of Chrome Advisory.untitled-3-copy

Two startups tied for 1st place, and both will be heading to Silicon Valley this summer. Swish Basketball Academy and Sticky Mobile Application. Fellow sponsors were Pure Sports, Ijaza.com, and Alkhabeer Capital.untitled-5-copy

Founder of Swish explained “It was an amazing feeling being awarded from Blossom. Our plan is to expand and be able to reach more communities in order to raise awareness of sports for both male and female in all ages and to show how important it is not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well.” Co-Founder of Sticky App, Albatool Misky also added “In the future, we plan to introduce new sizes and expand to the rest of the Middle East and North Africa. Also, we plan to keep innovating and introducing new smart, simple and contemporary photography products. Our goal at Sticky is to help people elevate their space with their beautiful memories.”untitled-7-copy

Blossom is paving the way for Saudi entrepreneurs and female founders to scale new heights and gain global recognition.dsc01086-copy

Read More...

Food, Food News, Offbeat

Uber Eats Launches in Dammam

ubereatsheader_-copy

Uber Eats Launches in Dammam to Bring More Delicious Meals to Foodies Across the Kingdom.


  • Dammam becomes the third city in the Kingdom where Uber Eats is available
  • To celebrate the launch; Uber Eats offers new customers 50% off their first two orders, and a SAR 1 delivery charge for a limited time during the launch.

The dynamic food scene in Dammam has just gotten better with the launch of Uber Eats, the globally popular food delivery service. Launching in the third city in the Kingdom after a successful launch in Riyadh and Jeddah, this is the next step in Uber Eats expansion across the region. Food lovers across Dammam can now order their favourite meals at the push of a button by either downloading the Uber Eats app or visiting ubereats.com.

Damien Drap, General Manager of Uber Eats in the GCC said: “Food culture in Saudi is changing by the day. People want to be able to choose from a wide variety of cuisines, and have their favorite meals delivered quickly and conveniently to their door. Today, people are using technology and mobile applications to move around their cities, shop, and even navigate, so Uber Eats is a natural fit with the very technology-savvy Saudi population”

“Saudi is an important market for Uber Eats, and we are delighted to be launching our third city in a year. Uber Eats is powered by the same technology that has globally revolutionized transportation and is now changing the way people eat across the world. This launch adds Dammam to the list of more than 350 cities  where Uber Eats is available, to meet people’s needs and deliver their favorite meals through a reliable and convenient experience on the app”gdfg-copy

At the push of a button, Uber Eats offers foodies a huge variety of dishes spanning cuisines from across the world. Launching in Dammam with more than 120 of the best loved restaurants in the city (and more added everyday) including Bombay Ryani, The Cuts Urban Kitchen and McDonald’s, customers can now order their favorite meals straight to their door, in approximately 30 minutes or less, seven days a week, from 10:00 am – 12:00 am.

To ensure quality of service and freshness of the food delivered, Uber Eats will initially be available in select neighborhoods within Dammam including Al Faisaliyah, Ibn Khaldun, Al Badiyah, Ash Shuaybah, Al Adamah, Al Mubarakiyah to be followed by a wider rollout across the city. And to give Uber Eats users in Dammam an even bigger reason to celebrate the launch, Uber Eats is offering lucky new customers 50% off their first two orders! All they have to do is download the app, log in using their existing Uber account details, and enter the promo code DAMMAMEATS. In addition, Uber Eats will be charging a delivery fee of only SAR 1 for a limited time only, to celebrate the launch in Dammam.

Anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection can simply download the Uber Eats app and easily access a wide selection of restaurants and meals to suit their preferences and lifestyle. At a competitive flat delivery rate of SAR 1 during the launch period, no minimum order amount, the ability to customize orders, not to mention fast delivery times, Uber Eats makes food delivery more convenient than ever before.

Check out how Uber Eats works below:

How to order:

  1. Download the app or go to ubereats.com
  2. Sign in – use your existing Uber account or create one on the app
  3. Enter your delivery location – add your home, work, or any other address you’d like.
  4. Browse local restaurants – Search for your favorite restaurant or alternatively, sort by cuisine, price, delivery time, or dietary restrictions.
  5. Check out with a tap – pay with cash or your card on file and remember to enter promo code DAMMAMEATS for  50%  off your first two orders, up to SAR 25 off.*
  6. Track your order – watch as your order gets picked up and delivered right to your door in around 30 minutes*

*Promo code DAMMAMEATS valid for a limited time only. Uber Eats customers can redeem this code to receive 50% off their first two orders, up to SAR 25 off each order. Promotional code valid in Dammam only for new Uber Eats users. Terms and conditions apply.

Read More...

Events & Happenings, News, Offbeat, Parenting

Pirates – The British International (BISJ) Upper Primary Show

picture1-copy

BISJ’s Primary School Show was all about raising awareness of the world wide problem and growing issue of the plastic pollution in our seas.


Living right next to the Red Sea gave an ideal opportunity for the writers and Producer, Miss Jo Rogers, Mrs. Jay Walker and Mrs. Sonja Sutcliffe respectfully, the backdrop to create a show with a hard hitting message. The slogan ‘Resolve to Reduce’ became the catch phrase and audiences amounting to over 1000 people were asked, what plastic will you resolve to reduce in your life?picture3-copy

The cast of 93 children performed a swashbuckling musical full of colour and pirate action over the course of four performances. The singing and acting was outstanding, especially when you considered that the youngest actor was only 7 years old and the oldest, only 11 years old. The set was created by Mr. Steve Wise and was built entirely of recycled past sets and collected rubbish from the school community. The boat on stage had tremendous impact, covered entirely with plastic bottles.picture5-copy

BISJ Primary has quite the reputation of creating high quality shows where the action and entertainment is not only limited to inside the performance hall, but extends to the outside areas as well. This year was no exception and the audiences, on arrival to the school, were transported to the age of the Pirates and were greeted by live Parrots, from Rio Team, a full size ship built entirely from cardboard boxes, thanks to Julian Barnsley, real live pirate teachers and several stalls in the make-shift ‘port’ area. picture13-copy

Through the assistant Producer Mrs. Jumanah Nassief, the school connected with many local environmentalists and plastic reduction warriors such as The Hejaz Ploggers, and Mr. Khalid Al Dahlawi and several other collaborators helped spread the important message. Nissan took a small group of the Cast and a member of the Hejaz Ploggers into the desert and they spent a few hours cleaning up a beach. picture14-copy

It was overwhelming how much plastic and other rubbish they collected in such a short space of time and only covering a relatively small area of the beach. Other collaborators who demonstrated how to recycle their plastics were On the Go salads and NAI and of course LUSH who are far ahead in the ‘Resolve to Reduce’ drive give us samples of beautiful soaps and bath bombs, which of course immediately reduces the need to buy shower gels in plastic bottles!picture16-copy

By 2050 research tells us that there will be more plastic than fish in the Oceans. 8 million metric tons of plastic enters the ocean from the land every year. You only need to keep your eyes on the landscape when you drive around Jeddah and look and see how many plastic bags you see floating in the air or stuck to the land, these inevitably end up in the Red Sea. Plastic creates $13 Billion of damage to marine ecosystems annually. BISJ Pirates called for Jeddah to get serious about recycling plastic or better still reducing its use in the first place, and to have more laws on controlling the littering of the streets.picture17-copy

BISJ Primary Cast and Production Crew were passionate and serious in delivering the message of ‘Resolve to Reduce’ and we sincerely hope that we can all join in this drive and make changes sooner rather than later to save not only the Red Sea, but our Oceans and seas worldwide. Every little helps!

Read More...

Events & Happenings, Reviews, Shopping, Style & Shopping

Salon des Grandes Complications 2019

1-sdgc_jeddah-opening_hrh-princess-latifa-bint-saad-bin-abdulaziz-al-saud-copy

HRH Princess Latifa Bint Saad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud opens Salon des Grandes Complications watchmaking exhibition in Jeddah.


HRH Princess Latifa Bint Saad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud inaugurated Salon des Grandes Complications in Jeddah during an official ceremony on 8th April 2019. This year sees the hugely successful fine watchmaking exhibition return to Jeddah for the third time, taking place once again alongside Saudi Arabia’s esteemed Jewellery Salon.greubel-forsey_art-craft_2226_original-copy

The event, which is open to the public over four days until 11th April 2019 evening, sees striking timepieces from some of the most celebrated watchmakers in the world showcased at the Hilton Hotel.faberge_edz5976cmyk-copy

Present with their newest collections, innovative custom-made timepieces and much appreciated classics for watch lovers to explore are Blancpain, Breguet, Fabergé, Girard-Perregaux, Greubel Forsey, Harry Winston and Montblanc, with the support of retailers Alfardan Jewellery and Al Hussaini Trading company.girard-perregaux_43846-copy

Salon des Grandes Complications has captured the attention of watchmaking enthusiasts from across the Kingdom for several years now, acting as an authentic platform to facilitate dialogue between collectors and brands.breguet-marine-equation-marchante-5887pt_close-up-hands-copy

On wrapping up in Jeddah, the event will move to Riyadh’s Al Faisaliah Hotel from 15th-18th April.

Both events are held in partnership with Bentley Motors and with the support of the Embassy of Switzerland in Saudi Arabia.blancpain_blp015_villeret_12_jours_v11_s1-copy

Read More...

Business, Business Talks, Interview, Offbeat

Shorfaa Was Launched To Be The First Platform In Saudi Arabia

img_2006-copy

Is it possible to learn art and creativity using open online digital platforms? Nowadays, the internet helped in transforming our the living room (specifically our comfy couches) to be our classrooms.


Discovering and Exploring new fields, new hobbies, and new interest has never been easier and more accessible than today. People now can grew their careers or shift to entirely new ones from the comfort of their houses. img_1840-copy

Most of the online platforms was providing free classes in the fields of engineering, math and management. Due to high demand on these online platforms, some of them became paid platforms which led to increasing the percentage of finishing the courses from 10% to 70% according to some statistics. The statistics has shown that paying a small amount of money was a motivation for participants to attend and submit any required work. Shifting from free classes to paid ones guaranteed a higher chance for this platforms to achieve it goals and missions. img_1842-copy

But why to learn art and creativity through these platforms? Is it possible to replace the physical presence of the art educator with a screen and video? How can we provide the students with the gift of instant platform and the power of peer feedback in a normal Art class in a community center? Would people be willing to give up being in the same space with their favorite art teacher correcting and guiding them step by step? img_1859-copy

To overcome all these challenges, many solutions have evolved and appeared such as a one to one feedback using a screen sharing software, arranging live Q and A, forming virtual communities using Facebook groups and other social media apps, and enabling peers and educators to comments and discuss through a comment section in these platform, such as the trainer sharing the screen while explaining the steps which helps trainee in picking the steps of the creative process. img_1968-copy

We believe that making art and design education accessible for everyone could help them recognize themselves as creative beings, encourage them to approach the challenges they face innovatively, and empower them to change and contribute in the world around them. img_2000-copy

Shorfaa platform was launched to be the first platform in Saudi Arabia to specialize in providing online courses in art, creativity, and design fields in Arabic. Shorfaa aims to help individual in the Arab world to fulfil their creative potential and share their gifts with the world. img_2066-copy

Shorfaa was established to be a safe place and space to motivate people to explore the creative wealth that they have to develop it and share it with people surrounding them.

Shorfaa platform divided into three sections: Explore, develop, share. img_2081-copy

Explore “Ektashif” section provides an introductory courses for beginners in various creative fields such as painting principles, coloring, jewelry and fashion design, photography, interior design, gardening and other topics..etc.

Develop “Tawer” it provides courses at advanced levels that help individuals to take their skills to another level in different creative fields.

Share “Sharek” provides courses that help transform creative work into a business or creative literary production. img_2084-copy

Shorfaa platform is pursuing to encourage self-learning on the internet and make it accessible to everyone. Shorfaa platform believes that all humans are creative and artists, as we also believe that societies have a main role in exploring the creative side of the person. We encourage you to visit our platform www.shorfaa.com

Instagram: Shorfaa

Read More...

Food, Food News, Offbeat

The Golden Whisk Finale

dsc_4690-copy

The Golden Whisk finale was hosted on Sunday March 17th by Mariam Alhaddad, founder of Bakery M and Crate, a concept store with the vision to support home-based startups.


dsc_4733-copy

Rayan Fadul, CEO and co-founder of Crate

The finale was a result of a week long competition where over 120 home bakers showcased their talent through applications and then were filtered to the top twenty who proceeded to showcase physical samples in Crate.

dsc_4543-copy

Mariam Alhaddad, founder of Bakery M

Customers, family and friends would all sample and vote for their favourite and the top ten were invited to present their creations to three prestigious judges, Mariam herself, Basma Alkhereji, Founder of the Social Group and Raneen Joudah, renowned food blogger. dsc_4586-copy

Held on the 25th floor of the Headquarters Business Park in Qaff Lounge, the finale was also hosted by esteemed sponsors: Bakers Choice and Chef & Chef as well as media sponsors Jeddah Attractions and Destination itself and last but not least, LOUD design studio. dsc_4480-copy

Abdulrahman Baaghil, co-founder of Jeddah Attractions was the lively host of the event which last three hours with plenty of good food as well as good company. dsc_4429-copy

Whilst everyone walked away from The Golden Whisk with something, the lucky winner after much deliberation was Reem Khashogji, @remonsa_delights whose delectable petit fours were a favourite amongst the judges as well as the audience.

dsc_4668-copyMs Khashogji will be selling her dessert alongside Mariam Alhaddad for a month in Crate starting April 1st as well as receiving complimentary branding services from LOUD design studio and and extra three months of shelf space in Crate – the full package for anyone who is interested in growing their home business. dsc_4682-copy

In addition to this, the winner received a gift voucher from Chef & Chef worth 1500SR and a large supply of omega 3 butter from Bakers Choice and the other finalist also walked away with goody bags from the sponsors.dsc_4693-copy

“We definitely intend to make The Golden Whisk a recurring thing,” said Rayan Fadul, CEO and co-founder of Crate. “It’s been a great success and falls in line with our vision of growing local startups.”

Read More...

Uncategorized

Whisk Your Kids Away to Azerbaijan This Spring Break

boulevard-copy

The to-do list you don’t want to miss.


Already palpitating at the thought of a brood of energetic toddlers at home during spring break? Hit pause on the daily routine and sweep them away for a holiday of a lifetime at a destination that can be a treat for you and an unforgettable experience for them.

Azerbaijan is nestled between Europe and Asia and rich in culture, attractions, delicious food and music. With a budget-friendly flight thanks to Flynas, you’ll be in Baku in under 4 hours.

One can easily spend 10 days across the nation from experiencing the amalgamation of the old and new in Baku to the natural untouched greenery of the Western region. With temperatures reaching 26-33 °C, the spring season in Azerbaijan is sunny and bright with a cool breeze; the perfect weather to partake in exhilarating activities for the little ones.

Here are the top ten Instagram-worthy excursions and sights we recommend across Azerbaijan:

Fly into Baku to:boulevard-copy

1. See Baku Boulevard – a haven for kid’s activities

Breathe in the salty fresh air of the Caspian ocean while you stroll the pleasant town of Baku Boulevard. Within it, you will find a small Venetian dream made up of a myriad of islands with gondolas sailing through the canals and restaurants dotted across the shore.

Beyond that, Baku Boulevard is the centre of entertainment: from offering eye-catching Instagram story photo opportunities near ancient trains to panoramic views of the city upon its hypnotic Baku Ferris Wheel (Baku Eye), there is so much to see before the day ends. Don’t forget to check out the Yarat Modern Art Space that offers world-class master classes and phenomenal performances for whole family. End the day by the Mirvari ship that has its own restaurant to truly relish the Caspian seaside experience.

See Baku Boulevard at its best with a half-marathon taking place on 5th May starting from the Boulevard until the Baku Olympic Stadium.

maiden-tower-6-copy

2. Soak in the history of the city at Icherisheher

The walls of Icherisheher whisper the ancient mysteries of the city. Known as old town or inner city, it is located in the heart of Baku and is a maze of narrow roads spotted with limestone buildings. A sight that’s difficult to miss is the Shirvanshahs’ Palace and Maiden Tower, both listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites List.

The Palace itself is known as the Pearl of Azerbaijani architecture as it is made up of several different structures built throughout the ages with each adding a beautiful amalgamation of medieval, Asian and Islamic influences.

Another mystery is the Maiden Tower. This cylindrical stark tower has baffled historians and to date has theories aplenty about its origins and the exact date of construction. Despite that, it is one of the most iconic structures in the city housing a museum covering the history of Baku and marked around it are beautiful scriptures that hint at the possible roots of this historical feat. It is also home to the International Festival of Arts and regularly showcasing work from innovative artists against its mystic backdrop.

Besides that, Icheri Sheher offers some of the most eccentric and outstanding feats. The Museum of Miniature Books, a Guinness Book record-holder, open to all for free, houses the largest number of miniature books at 5,600 and don’t forget to spot your national flag to find books from your home country. Another place to stop by is the Ali Shamsi Studio, a wonderland of paintings that transport you to another dimension of reality and mind-boggling installations. You will often find the artist and philosopher Ali Shamsi there who can talk you through the burgeoning art scene in the city.

flame-towers-view-from-icheri-sheher-5-copy

3. View the fiery temple of Ateshgah and the Burning mountain at Yanar Dag

The Eternal Fire Temple amazes visitors with its enrapturing flames and features 16 inscriptions that harbour centuries-old secrets.  This Zoroastrian-Hindu temple in Surakhani dates to the 19th century and is a melting pot of the Western and Eastern cultures. This mystic temple is sure to leave you and the kids in awe.

Still got time before you head back to the city? A short 45-minute drive away in Mehemmedi is the scorching gas-rich mountain – Yanar Dag that is known as the burning mountain. This will definitely keep the children gawking in delight.

Surakhani and Mehemmedi are both a 35-minute drive from Baku

baku-ferris-wheel-6-copy

4. Gaze through the galaxy at Tusi-Bohm Planetarium and double down on entertainment at the Megafun centre

Journey through the planets and across the galaxy with Tusi-Bohm’s state of the art planetarium in the heart of Baku. Powered by a phenomenal 4K projector, the Planetarium offers scores of movies, cartoons, enlightening documentaries and special exhibits – it is a stargazer’s dream.

After that go visit Europe’s largest indoor entertainment centre housing over 200 games, a gigantic ice skating rink, mind-blowing rollercoasters, largest bowling centre and 5D and 6D cinemas. Megafun will delight the whole family with its massive number of activities for all ages.

The Tusi-Bohm Planetarium is at 1 Neftchilar avenue, “Park Bulvar” Shopping Centre, 4th floor, Baku

A 30-minute walk or 3-minute drive away from the planetarium is the Megafun Entertainment Centre

5. Indulge in iconic work at the Heydar Aliyev Centre

Designed by the illustrious architect, Zaha Hadid, it is notably one of the most iconic landmarks in the city of Baku. Besides the building’s magnificent architecture, it houses some of the best art curations in the city and right in the front of the centre you cannot miss the plethora of free masterclasses from tango, chess to capoeira reaffirming that the Heydar Aliyev Centre is the place to be. There are four massive floors dedicated to modern and classic art and culture including a colossal collection of vintage cars, several salivating and decedent fashion exhibits alongside a full-fledged museum to add to the mix.

1 Heydar Aliyev prospekti, Baku

mud-volcanoes-2-copy

6. Check out the primitive petroglyphs of Gobustan and the Mud Volcanoes

Rising out of the semi-desert Gobustan is a UNESCO Cultural Landscape of more than 6,000 rock engravings, which go back 40,000 years. You can also see graffiti by a Roman legionary – the furthest east it has ever been found.  The Petroglyphs of Gobustan are artistic chronicles of the past. They bear great importance both for the study of the pre-history of humanity and for the study of lots of spheres of primitive art. Gobustan’s monuments cover a period of approximately 20 thousand years beginning from the end of Upper Palaeolith till the beginning of our era.

Besides that, did you know that about 350 out of the 800 mud volcanoes known in the World are located in Azerbaijan? Most of them are situated in the Gobustan region. Some of the volcanoes are considered natural monuments and natural national resources of Azerbaijan.

A 1-hour drive from Baku

goygol-copy

7. Get pampered at a wellness haven in Gabala

If you are fed up of the concrete jungle, Gabala is the perfect getaway. Surrounded by the silence and tranquillity of the magical pine woods, and overlooking the peaceful Nohur lake, Gabala is a peaceful sanctuary. With its magnificent forests and cooling mountain waterfalls, you can spend a day (or 2) taking part in outdoor activities from quad biking to horse riding.

It is also a haven for wellness resorts to help detox and refresh your mind. You can find some of the most luxurious spa treatments alongside advanced medical aesthetic treatments including cryo and altitude chambers.

  • The new Chenot Palace Hotel in Gabala represents a new class of health and wellness retreats in the heart of a breath-taking forest.
  • Nohurgishlag village, Gabala 3600, Azerbaijan
  • Gabala is a 3.5-hour drive from Baku
gabala-_-waterfall-copy

8. An adrenaline rush and extraordinary elevations await at Gabala

For a spine chilling and thrilling experience, there is no better amusement park that Gabaland. This “Azerbaijani Disneyland” is located in one of the most picturesque regions of Azerbaijan and is equipped with 6D attractions, roller coasts and a 1000 sqm Laser Maxx playground. Surrounded by world-class restaurants and the marvellous landscapes of Gabala it is a fun-filled adventure for all.

While Gabala is known as a skier’s paradise in the winter, in the spring, the bird-eye view of the mountains you get from the Tufandag cable cars are unparalleled. Working year round, the cable car can take you for a round trip or you can stop off close to the peak of the Caucasus mountains is visit the quaint lodges sprinkled between the forests.

Gabala is a 3.5-hour drive from Baku and Gabaland and the Tunfandag cable car is a five-minute drive from Gabala’s city centre

Fly over to the Western region of Azerbaijan to experience…

9. The idyllic Goygol District

From the rubbles of an earthquake in the Caucasus mountains the 1100s came out some of the most stunning natural feats including Goygol and Maralgol – the country’s best-loved mountain lakes. Both lakes set beneath the dramatic rocky peak of Mount Kepez and ringed by thick green forests that turn vibrant and green in spring. Celebrated in Azerbaijani poetry, paintings and songs, it is the perfect spot to stop and enjoy a picnic at the meadow.

A 1-hour drive from Goygol city

10. Shamkir’s astonishing city park

Shamkir today is not only a city with its great history; it is also a new town that opens up the whole range of opportunities to its visitors. Shamkir’s City Park has more than 150 breath-taking amusement rides and Shamkir’s “Zaka” Intellectual Youth Centre’s Library is connected to Follett International, the world’s largest educational library network to spend the day with the family.

A 2-hour drive from Goygol

About the Azerbaijan Tourism Board (ATB)

The Azerbaijan Tourism Board (ATB) is a national promotion body established under the State Tourism Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Its main objectives are to support the growth of Azerbaijan’s tourism industry and encourage visitors to explore the country’s rich cultural offering and experience its ancient heritage. For more information, visit azerbaijan.travel and follow us on social media at:

Facebook: ExperienceAZE
Twitter: ExperienceAZE
Instagram: experienceazerbaijan

Read More...

News, Offbeat

AccorHotels opens a modern lifestyle hotel in the heart of Jeddah

swimming-pool

Mövenpick Hotel Tahlia Jeddah features the city’s first restaurant managed by a Michelin star chef as well as the first premium hotel in Jeddah to offer three interconnecting rooms for families and long stay guests.


Mӧvenpick Hotels & Resorts, a premium brand within the AccorHotels portfolio, has opened the doors to its fourth property in the dynamic city of Jeddah.

Mӧvenpick Hotel Tahlia Jeddah, owned by Hadia Abdul Latif Jameel Food Products Trading Co. is a stylish and sophisticated lifestyle property with a prime location on Hail Street, just 30 minutes from King Abdulaziz International Airport and within walking distance from both the thriving Jameel Square commercial building and the famous Al Thalia shopping street.

With a leading-edge noise cancelling system built into the structure, the hotel’s 161 spacious rooms and suites, equipped with expansive living areas, are a haven for business and leisure travellers in the heart of the city. Moreover, images of majestic Saudi Arabian landscapes, shot by local professional photographers adorn the modern interior and create a true sense of place.

It is also the only premium hotel in Jeddah offering three interconnecting rooms. Ideal for families and long-term stays, special rooms are equipped with a full kitchenette, while children can be kept entertained at The Little Birds Club, featuring a range of entertaining and educational activities.the-lobby-lounge

The property is also set to become one of the city’s most sought-after dining destinations, with Jeddah’s first restaurant managed by Michelin star chef and restauranteur Vineet Bhatia whose culinary creations are brought to life at ‘Rasoi by Vineet’. Opening in March, this delectable dining venue will serve world-class Indian fusion cuisine that promises authenticity and innovation.

“This contemporary property, with many exceptional features, is a distinctive addition to our fast-growing portfolio in Saudi Arabia where we currently operate 12 properties and have four more pipelined. Mӧvenpick Hotel Tahlia Jeddah, through its design, unique dining options and spacious rooms and suites, will add to Jeddah’s upscale offering as the city continues to attract a greater number of visitors through Saudi Vision 2030’s economic and social reforms.” said Sami Nasser – Chief Operating Officer Middle East & Africa, AccorHotels.

“Adding a fourth property in Jeddah bolsters our cluster strategy in the Kingdom, consolidating Movenpick’s reputation for innovation, culinary excellence and authenticity, reinforcing its we make moments brand promise. We hope to extend this distinct upscale offering to business and leisure guests in Jeddah.”lobby

Guests can also embark on a gourmet journey at international all-day dining venue, Le Bistro Restaurant, featuring indoor and terrace seating available in a garden-inspired environment. Alternatively, the Lobby Lounge overlooks the pool, serves hot and cold drinks, pastries, snacks and delicious Mӧvenpick-branded Swiss ice cream. A fourth al fresco venue, the Roof Garden, is planned to open soon.

As a preferred lifestyle destination for guests and residents, the property houses a health club with cardio equipment, weights, a multi-purpose sports court, outdoor pool, steam room and sauna, complemented by a spa with two treatment rooms.

The hotel features seven state-of-the-art meeting rooms that offer flexible sets ups and seating, catering to a range of purposes, from intimate board meetings to larger corporate events. All venues feature the latest technology.

“Mӧvenpick Hotel Tahlia Jeddah is a glamourous addition to the city’s hotel scene and perfectly encapsulates the energy of this modern metropolis,” said General Manager Muhieddine Zok.

“With Jeddah’s first of it’s kind, world-class restaurant, residential-style rooms and suites, stunning artwork that tells the Kingdom’s fascinating story, and a compelling range of facilities and concepts that appeal to today’s business, leisure and family travellers, we are excited to finally welcome guests to this outstanding property.”

In addition to its four existing hotels in Jeddah, Mӧvenpick Hotels & Resorts also operates hotels in Al Khobar, Makkah, Madinah, Riyadh, Qassim and Yanbu. In development is one more Jeddah property – Mövenpick Hotel Heraa Jeddah – as well as Mövenpick Residences Al Khobar, Mövenpick Hotel Financial District Riyadh, and Mövenpick Hotel Wa’ad Al Shamal, all of which are scheduled to open by 2023.

Read More...