For the average healthy Joe, it seems a little bit difficult to find snacks that are healthy around town and when we do, they don’t taste that great which is why people have the notion that healthy = bland. Um no! Amateur cooking = bland maybe but healthy (def)= yummy.


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So, we researched around Instagram for healthy snacks that will pretty much satisfy your sweet tooth, give you alternatives for gatherings and be a filler for that busy day.

This is a perfect list for you if your new year’s resolution was to jump on the clean wagon and turn over a new leaf.

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1. Health Couture
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Founded by a clinical dietician to produce natural gourmet products and promote healthy eating. You can find some original products at The Health Couture such as Coconut chips, their granola line, Chia cookie squares, Sea salted dark chocolate brownies and their selection of unique spreads. Their ingredients are carefully selected and most of the items are sugar and gluten free.

Top Recommendation: Chia cookie squares

Instagram: @healthcouture

2. Oats & more oats for the soul

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This account gives you many options from cookies, energy bars, nut butters, breakfast granolas and even chocohaze; a healthy version of Nutella, yep you heard right. They are using by far the cleanest (if that’s what you’re looking for) ingredients we could find around, perfect for those of you who are eating clean foods. Pass by their account and indulge in the many healthy options they offer.

Top Recommendation: Granolas & Chocolate Crunch

Instagram: @oats_n_oats

3. Guilt free treats

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As the name suggests, this account has many guilt free options, they focus on healthy treats made with low fat, sugar free and high protein. Some of their delicious options are protein parfait, protein brownies, “skinny” Nutella, quinoa bites and their signature pistachio and rose spread. You can order from their account and also find them in Biotica.

Top Recommendation: “Skinny Nutella”

Instagram: @guiltfree_sa

4. Chef Maha’s menu

Chef Maha is a chef offering many different variety of foods and most of her options are perfect for a healthy lifestyle. You can find a range of healthy snack bars, salads, whole wheat pizzas, healthy nachos and guacamole and even business lunch packages all delivered to your doorstep. Check out her Instagram account or her website to order for your next guilt-free event.

Top Recommendation: Chocolate natural Peanut butter oats bars

Instagram: @chefmaha

Website: chefmaha.com

5. Eats and yummy treats for your craving

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Popular for their range of healthy granolas and cookies, will satisfy that cookie monster in you that’s on a weightloss program. Their cookies come in many flavors ranging from coffee, dates and cinnamon, chunky peanut butter, orange cranberry and more yummyness. Check out their account for some treats.

Top Recommendation: Why cookies,  ofcourse

Instagram: @eatsandtreats_ksa

6. Scrumptious 

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Scrumptious, as the name suggests offer some scrumptious delights with some delicious healthy options. Their raspberry white chocolate cookies are to die for but we would advise to take it easy on them to avoid over indulgence. Their healthier options include raspberry granola bars, vegan chocolate fudge brownies and honey nut granola bars. You could find their stock at NUYU or at Kore.

Top Recommendation: Dark Chocolate Fudge brownies

Instagram: @scrumptious_ksa

7. The Natural Kitchen 

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If you’re thinking, you want some different options to choose from, you should definitely check out this account. They offer fresh and natural ingredients for their products that range from Energy balls, Nut milks, Vegetable Broth, Kimchi, Fruit Chia, Coconut yogurt and so much more. This kitchen is more than what meets the tummy and we are amazed.

Top Recommendation: Nut Milks

Instagram: @thenaturalkitchenriyadh

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Healthy Living, Online Magazine, Wellness

Once it Turns Black, It Never Goes Back

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Or does it?


Just when things seem to be going really well with your plant, you come back from a weeklong holiday to a plant that has given up on life. As depressing as those black stems and leaves may be, don’t give up just yet. There are a few ways to determine if your plant has a living chance.P08_1609_Gardenia_Deficiency_0

Signs: Yellowing and softening leaves.
Problem: You’re feeding the plant too much water.
Solution: To find out how often to water the plant, check the soil– if it’s still damp or wet, you don’t have to water yet. If it’s dry, it needs to be watered. Also make sure the pot has proper drainage holes in the bottom, sometimes what the pot provides isn’t enough.

Autumn-Leaves-3Signs: Brown, crispy leaves. Leaves that are falling off.
Problem: You’re not watering the plant enough.
Solution: Again, get a feel of the water in the soil. Remember every plant has a different requirement, and you need to get a feel of yours.

poets_laurel_leaves_aspidiotusSigns: Fine webbing on the plant and tiny insects.
Problem: You’ve got pests.
Solution: Pests that generally invade houseplants are mites, scales and whiteflies. These teeny insects can spread from infected plants to healthy ones, so make sure to separate a sick one as soon as you notice the infection.

Dead_LeafSigns: Worn-out leaves and decreasing soil levels.
Problem: Malnutrition
Solution: Potted plants live in limited amount of soil, and the nutrients in that soil fade in time. Some dirt gets washed out of the pot each time you water the plant. The simplest solution is to add new potting soil by lifting the plant and the root completely and adding a little soil to the bottom, or by simply adding a thin layer to the top of the soil.

yellow_and_green_leaf_by_tash11_stockSigns: Burnt, yellowing leaves.
Problem: Too much sunlight.
Solution: You are going to need to change the amount of light your plant is getting. Especially if you just trimmed the stems, you have to give it around half of the suggested light for that plant type until it shows new growth. You can also test out different windows around the house to find the perfect spot to make your plant happy.

Help! My plant is in a coma!

The extra mile…

Humidity: Remember that most plants like humidity. And we just don’t have that here in Riyadh. Have no fear! You can instead place a pan filled with gravel underneath your plant. Add a little water to the pan (make sure the water doesn’t go above the gravel). As the water evaporates, it will increase the humidity around your plant.

Nutrients: Plants, like people, need proper nutrition to stay healthy. To give your plant a boost, add used teabags in your potting soil or empty the tea leaves directly into the pot. You can also add a 1/2-inch layer of used coffee grounds in the soil.

When All Else Fails

Step 1: Pinch a small part of the dying plant and look for a green and slightly moist tip. If you find any, then breathe, there is hope.

Step 2: If you find a dry colorless stem, it’s time to prepare a memorial service for your late plant.

Step 3: Visit Sultan Gardens to buy a new indoor plant which can survive Riyadh’s harsh weather. Just ask the shopkeeper for some advice and he will most probably give you what suits you best.

And… you can always just get a plastic one that would last forever.

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Fitness, Food, Healthy Living, Ramadan

Post Ramadan Nutritional Habits That You Need To Know

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In Ramadan, the time that we spent to rejuvenate ourselves with food was quite limited. The whole day we would go through without any fuel and when it came to iftar we indulged in the worst kinds of foods because we were craving everything created on earth.


Lets not continue the bad habits from the previous month and instead try and fix what we might have done. Hold on to that self-discipline and awareness Ramadan brought with it, and carry on your efforts to both satisfy your body and your soul in the correct way so that you may take something with you through the rest of the year.

With all the family gatherings and invites, it DOES become very difficult to be able to manage what you’re eating and when, so we put together a few tips and tricks for those continuing to fast in Shawwal to help you stay healthy during this month.

suhoor article

Don’t forget to continue waking up for Suhoor, just because Ramadan, ended doesn’t mean we neglect the sunnah of suhoor before our fast. Suhoor needs to be wholesome to provide enough energy to last during the long hours of fasting. NEVER EVER EVER skip suhoor. Your body needs as many meals as possible to stay healthy.

  • Fruits and vegetables: That are rich in fiber are essentials during fasting as they increase the feeling of fullness and help prevent constipation. They also contain vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that are vital for good health.
  • Complex carbs: High-fiber carbohydrate foods like brown rice bread take longer to digest, helping to sustain energy levels longer.
  • Protein: Chicken, fish and dairy products are a great source of protein while limiting your fat intake. Furthermore, they help repair and build body tissue, and build up your immune system.
  • Dairy products: Consuming high-calcium dairy products also helps maintain  strong bones. Some dairy products like cottage cheese are high in Casein which slows down the digestion of food through out the day, providing you with a constant source of energy keeping you full longer.

 

iftar article

Iftar is the time you replenish energy levels so every effort should be made to consume foods from all major food groups:

  • Fruit and vegetables: Besides being an excellent source of energy, dates are also rich in potassium – helping muscles and nerves to function well. Filling up on fruits and vegetables with good water content will help re-hydrate and re-energize you.
  • Complex carbs: Whole meal bread, brown rice or wholegrain noodles are complex carbohydrates that provide the body with energy, fiber and minerals providing more stable and sustainable energy levels.
  • Protein: Incorporate protein rich sources such as meat, chicken, fish, eggs, legumes and dairy products.

**The most commonly consumed foods by Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) were milk, dates, lamb/mutton and oats. Healthy foods mentioned in the Holy Qur’an are fruit and vegetables, such as olives, onions, cucumber, figs, dates, grapes as well as pulses such as lentils. **

Tips:

  • Bake your samboosas instead of frying or invest in an air fryer
  • Have dates, fruits, milkshakes and smoothies instead of all that sugary food
  • Make healthier alternatives to unhealthy food by substituting artificial sugars and flour.
  • For this summer make ‘nice-cream’ and top it with fresh fruits.
  • Make fruit popsicles with fruit juice and chopped fruits to give you a cooling hydration.

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The month of spirituality, self-control and will-power is finally here. Although, every year we promise ourselves, that this Ramadan is going to be different and that we aren’t going to reach for those fried samboosas this time… who are we really kidding?

But this year we have to put a little more effort into that said “will-power” and reduce what’s bad for us (in turn making fasting actually difficult) and increasing what will really nourish our bodies. We don’t believe in cutting something out cold turkey, its about bringing balance into our lives again. So take advantage of this Ramadan really practice self control and discipline, which is so readily available in this holy month, so that it may reflect upon the way we also practice or faith and help us through our nights of worship.

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1. Plan ahead of time

Planning ahead of time will make it much easier to follow through with a healthy diet. Put together a day to day meal plan along with a grocery list so that you’re fully prepared and you don’t face any reasons to call quits on staying healthy. Avoid the fried foods, processed foods, simple carbs. These are foods we should be avoiding through out the year, but especially in Ramadan we have to steer away from them, since most of our Ramadan dishes are loaded with these kinds of foods. Fried, processed foods, simple carbs, and sugary drinks or foods will make you sluggish and lazy which will most probably be the reason why you can’t go pray Taraweeh, as well as give you an upset stomach. So opt for complex carbs, vegetables, proteins and baked or grilled foods to nourish your body.


2. Avoid the fried foods, processed foods, simple carbs

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These are foods we should be avoiding through out the year, but especially in Ramadan we have to steer away from them, since most of our Ramadan dishes are loaded with these kinds of foods. Fried, processed foods, simple carbs, and sugary drinks or foods will make you sluggish and lazy which will most probably be the reason why you can’t go pray Taraweeh, as well as give you an upset stomach. So opt for complex carbs, vegetables, proteins and baked or grilled foods to nourish your body.


3. Have foods that are hydrating

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As always, Drink Drink Drink!! Reach out for the water jug instead of that vimto. Make sure to add foods that have high water content like vegetables and fruits. You can also add some color and glamour to your table by make your self some infused water or make yourself some fruit smoothie popsicles the night before and indulge in that sweet, delicious cool refreshment to your soul. YES!


4. Have slow digesting foods to keep you full longer

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Complex carbs, healthy fats and proteins are your go to foods in Ramadan, as the body takes a longer time to break them down, which gives you a slow release of energy through out the night and day instead of a a sudden spike of energy followed by a fast crash leaving you extremely hungry and exhausted all over again. Choose foods like Brown rice, oats, vegetables, meats, nuts, chicken, fish, cottage cheese and etc.


5. Avoid foods that make you thirsty

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Try to reduce extremely protein filled meals, sugars, and stay away from SALT. Especially during Suhoor try and keep your meals cleaner for the sake of your own state during the day. These foods will make you extremely dehydrated than you already are (considering it’s a hot weather).


6. Don’t skip Suhoor

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Due to the hours of fasting and the summer heat, you are more likely to feel dehydrated and tired during the day so make sure you’re waking up for suhoor and you’re eating slow digesting foods to keep you full for longer. Moreover, skipping Suhoor also encourages overeating during Iftar, which can cause unhealthy weight gain. Although its tough to wake up in the middle of the night, its worth interrupting your sleep for.


7. Don’t overeat during Iftar, Listen to your body

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Iftar should be a well-balanced, nutritious meal and not a feast! Overeating may result in indigestion, weight gain and unproductivity. Eat a well balanced meal for iftar, make sure not to ignore the signs your body gives you and don’t overstuff yourself. I know being deprived during the day makes you want to eat all sorts of food come Maghreb, that’s why you should be meal planning so that you can divide up all your favorites foods through out each day of Ramadan.


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Here are some of your favorite recipes simplified while giving you that Ramadan flavor at the same time.


Ravioli

361A9399(for a quick fix buy a pack from the frozen section)

Ingredients

  • Ravioli dough

  • Minced meat

  • Turmeric

  • Salt and pepper

  • Onion, garlic

  • ½ tsp. tomato paste

  • Italian spices

Sauce

  • Yogurt

  • Garlic

  • Mint

  • Salt and pepper

  • Parmesan cheese

Preparation

  1. Mix the stuffing ingredients together (except for dough).

  2. Stuff the ravioli dough and keep in fridge for 15 minutes.

  3. Bring the ravioli to boil in a pot and add salt and oil to it.

  4. Mix the sauce ingredients together.

  5. Pour the yogurt mix onto the cooked ravioli and sprinkle parmesan cheese to your liking.

Falafel Salad 361A9398

Ingredients

  • 2 falafel sliced into four

  • ½ pomegranate

  • Green leaves

  • Chicken breast

  • Peanuts

Seasoning

  • Olive oil

  • Red pepper

  • Black pepper

  • Lemon

  • Garlic powder

  • Salt

Preparation

  1. Chop up the greens.

  2. Add the pomegranate and peanuts.

  3. Grill slices of chicken breast and add on top of salad.

  4. Add the falafel on top.

  5. Mix the seasoning ingredients and drizzle on top of salad.

Luqaimat du Chocolat361A9405

Dough

  • 1 cup flour

  • 1 tbsp. corn flour or rice flour

  • 1 tbsp. yoghurt

  • 1 tbsp. yeast

  • A pinch of sugar

  • Less than a cup of warm water

Sugar Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 1/4 cup water

  • Cardamon pods

  • Vanilla essence

Chocolate sauce

  • Galaxy chocolate

  • Milk

Preparation

  1. Mix all the dough ingredients (except the water).

  2. Add the water gradually until it gets muddy.

  3. Cover the bowl, and keep on the side.

  4. Put all the ingredients for the sugar syrup in a saucepan and let it boil on medium fire until it starts becoming thick. Then let it cool.

  5. Deep fry the dough in medium sized ball like shapes. Leave to cool.

  6. Put the fried doughs in the sugar syrup and let it absorb the syrup.

  7. On the side, melt the galaxy chocolate in warm milk by microwaving for 20 seconds and mixing it (repeat until the consistency is right).

Before serving drizzle the chocolate sauce over the luqaimat.

Cheeseburger Rollscheseburgerrolls

By Rayan Alhammad

Ingredients

  • 1/4 kilo ground beef (try to find high quality meat. DR recommends Chopped.)

  • Half tsp. salt

  • Half tsp. black pepper

  • Quarter tsp. onion powder

  • Quarter tsp. garlic powder

  • 200gms cheese (mixture of mozarella and cheddar)

  • spring roll dough

Preparation

  1. Put oil in sauce pan and add  ground beef when hot.

  2. 1-2 minutes sprinkle salt and pepper and add onion and garlic powder.

  3. Mix until caramelized or grilled to taste.

  4. Cool down meat and add cheese Wrap and fry.

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Community, Exhibitions, Ramadan, Style & Shopping

Elite Expo Features This Year’s Ramadan Edition

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“Elite expo” featured luxury brands from some of the biggest companies at Ritz Carlton Hotel this year from May 21 – 23.

The three-day event provided a perfect ground for companies and customers to interact  with each other as well as display their finest new products and services. In preparation for the Holy month of Ramadan, Elite expo displayed a variety of jalabiyas, abayas, perfumery and bukhoor stalls, delicious food options, paintings, prayer beads, home accessories etc.

The exhibition had a huge media coverage done by MBC group and radio amongst others and attracted 5,000+ visitors. The event mainly targets all the social classes especially the elite class with the exhibition of companies like Curves, The balm, Luthan, Lil palm, Asrar, Princes House watches and jewelry, Food trucks, Black Rose, Natural Touch, My Gym, Arab Dalla, Israa Road, Lace, Artista, Unique Design as well as Volkswagen being one of the main sponsor for the event.

The exhibition continues till today, May 23 from 4:00pm – 11:00pm in the evening.

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Travel News, Travel Trends

Riyadh Travel Fair 2016

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This year’s travel fair recorded as the largest ever.


Saudi Arabia’s leading travel industry showcase opened its doors for the eighth consecutive year at the Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh from April 12-15. The four-day event was the focus of business networking prospects, seminar sessions, executive discussions and the recognition of 12 months of the tourism industry’s achievements.

Riyadh Travel Fair is looking at an amazing growth since 2015 with over 20,000 visitors attending their inauguration.

Statistics of the Tourist Information and Research Center estimated that the Saudis spending on external tourism exceeded SR 29 billion last year, paid by more than four million Saudi travelers during the summer vacations. Government estimations expect that the Saudi internal tourism expenditures may reach up to SR 100 billion by 2020.

20160413_184447“With Saudi nationals increasingly traveling both domestically and overseas, the opportunities that the Riyadh Travel Fair provides for domestic and overseas destinations, hospitality service providers and other tourism related businesses to directly meet with the Kingdom’s leading travel professionals and travelers has never been more significant,” said Bander Al Gryni.

While an attraction for travel and tourism professionals; the fair was also open to the general public and was the optimal platform for destinations to introduce their tourist products, attractions, services and investments opportunities to the Saudi market.

20160413_184404Visitors were able to interact directly with various tourism authorities, hotels, airlines and travel agents from around the world. The Arabian Gulf region had a strong presence at the fair including pavilions sponsored by Government of Sharjah (Commerce & Tourism Development Authority), Qatar Tourism Authority, Oman Tourism, and Ministry of Industry & Commerce in Kingdom of Bahrain.

National pavilions who attended include Austria, Hungary, Jordan, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Morocco, Tunisia, Korea and Turkey, to name just a few. Pavilions from Turkey seemed to dominate the floor with over 40 Turkish tourism companies, noting that 450,000 Saudis visited Turkey in 2015.

20160413_184351Exhibitors from Asia, Oceania, Europe and North Africa were also present, along with hotels, airlines, travel agencies such as Al Bander Resorts, Etihad Airways, Munich Airport, Qatar International Adventures, Sri Lankan Airlines and Flyin.

Other international exhibitors included American Airlines, Lufthansa Group, Aznur Travel, Danubius hotels from Hungary, GoEjaza.com from Egypt, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Korean Airlines, Kyoto from Japan, Seychelles Tourism Board, Maldives Tourism Board and many more.

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Food, Healthy Living, Online Magazine

Why the Fancy Water?

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A cheap, healthy and yummy way to stay hydrated.

By Seyma Saricimen

  • It’s a great substitute for sodas and other beverages.
  • Flushes toxins from your system.
  • Naturally helps your body release fat cells for water weight loss.
  • Keeps your organs healthy while you’re sweating.
  • Reduces muscle fatigue while working out.
  • Keeps you from feeling groggy in the afternoon.

Detox Therapy: Cucumber + Lemon + Mint + Ginger
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Ginger is an infamous immune system booster, Cucumbers and lemons help aid in flushing your system.

Spartans Choice: Strawberry + Raspberry + Mint
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Strawberries are packed with anti-oxidants and raspberries have anti-inflammatory properties. Mint supports the digestive system by activating salivary glands and digestive enzymes

Energizer Bunny: Orange + Lemon
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Oranges support a healthy blood circulation and lemons help aid digestion.

 

All you really need to do is slice these ingredients up and throw it in a pitcher and let it infuse for 10 minutes or so. If you don’t like the peels or herbs getting into your drink, you can invest in a water infuser, which you can pretty much buy anywhere, but our top picks are:

  1. Virgin Megastore
  2. Tamimi Supermarket
  3. Danube Supermarket

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Food, Food News, Foodie Corner, Restaurants

Creams of Europe Introduces French Cream in Riyadh and Jeddah

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CNIEL and the European Union have together embarked on a 3 year global campaign to raise awareness of French dairy cream. Following the campaign launch and workshops held in Dubai (UAE), two exclusive masterclasses dedicated to pastry professionals took place in Saudi Arabia. The first workshop took place on the 25th of January at Spazio77 in Riyadh followed by a second one in Jeddah on January 27 at Le Concheur.


The workshops were very successful and were attended by top Saudi food bloggers, top chefs and press.

Chef Louis Durand created this traditional French pastry in 1910, and today the Paris-Brest is one of the most famous traditional French desserts. It continues to provide inspiration to the best pastry chefs who constantly seek to reinvent it! Chef Ludovic demonstrated the many roles played by dairy cream – in improving taste, texture, binding and even presentation – that make it an essential ingredient in every sophisticated pastry!

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Exhibitions, Online Magazine, Reviews

ArabNet Riyadh 2015 Technology Trends

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The largest and most exclusive digital gathering in KSA.

ArabNet Riyadh 2015 is the largest and most exclusive digital gathering in the Kingdom, which holds unique discussions and talks around digital business, technology and entrepreneurship.

This year’s conference covered many interesting topics in the digital world and gave brilliant minds a chance to be recognized and meet other like minds.

Some of the Areas Covered

eBusiness
Strategic Online Positioning Through Luxury Commerce Management, Digital Mobile Banking, The True Power of eRetail, Islamic Digital Economy, solutions and apps serving Islamic-conscious users.

Technology:
Machine-to-Machine and Internet of Things, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Gaming at the Forefront.

Design+Code:
A day of workshops for entrepreneurs, developers and designers focused on building great digital products/services.

Competitions:
ArabNet ran three competitions at the event highlighting rising talents in the region, who pitched their startups, ideas and creative games during the Forum Days.

In 2015’s three-day event, the hottest trends common amongst all categories were apps; gaming apps, marketing and research apps, banking apps, business development apps, apps in the food industry and e-commerce apps. As the app industry was burning the floor, gaming apps took the forum to a whole new level, presenting six game developers from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, who showcased their apps at the Battle of the Games. The ultimate winner out of all the amazing games presented was Popcorn Chef by a developer from Jordan.

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