Business, Business Talks, Online Magazine

Self-Made Saudis


Stories of Saudis with humble beginnings.

Here are Saudi’s top legendary self-made billionaires and business leaders who successfully established their own enterprise through extraordinary grit and perseverance.saleh-abdullah-kamel_2-copy

Saleh Abdullah Kamel, Dallah AlBarakah

Saleh Abdullah Kamel, born in Taif, had started building on his business idea fresh from college – he borrowed money to buy a photocopier to offer photocopying services to his classmates. At a time when photocopying services were expensive, Saleh’s reasonable offerings made it a successful service. He then started other profitable ventures and today, he is the founder and chairman of the most powerful conglomerate in the country, Dallah Albaraka.

Along with being the most famous businessman in the Kingdom, Saleh is also the president of the Saudi Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as a member of several bodies and commissions.336386-2-copy

Al Rajhi Brothers, Al Rajhi Bank and SAAR Foundation

Born in AlBukairiyah, a city in the Qassim region, Saleh Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi and Sulaiman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi grew up in poverty and difficult living conditions.

Always passionate about work, their determination in earning a living was strong. The Al Rajhi brothers started out young by working as porters for caravans traveling to Makkah and Madinah and exchanging coins for their service. They then worked in several professions before they founded Al Rajhi Bank, the largest Islamic banking institution.sulaiman-abdul-aziz-al-rajhi-copy

Mohammad Ali Al Abdullatif, Al Ghazali Trading Company

Nicknamed Ghazali by his mother, Mohammad Ali Al Abdullatif was a diligent boy who lost his father at a very young age. As the story goes, he used to buy watches from the local market in Batha in Riyadh and used to travel to sell it to the pilgrims. Being the only child to his parents, Mohammad had no support from his relatives and was in fact criticized for his menial venture. With support of his mother, he grew up to be a real pioneer in the watch business in Saudi Arabia.mohammad-ali-al-abdullatif-copy

Abdulrahman Nasser Al Agil, Jarir Bookstore

Jarir Bookstore, a go-to haven for books and all things stationery and gadgets, was founded by the late Abdulrahman Nasser Al Agil, who set about by opening a small shop selling used books and artworks in Riyadh. Now listed as the 7th most valuable retail brand in Saudi, it’s developed to be the market leader in the Middle East for books, stationery supplies, and consumer electronics.abdulaziz-al-mousa1-copy

Abdulaziz Al Mousa, Al Mousa Company

Born and brought up in the village of Al-Mehmal area called Al Bir, things weren’t always easy for Abdulaziz Al Mousa. As a young boy who was trying to make ends meet, Al Mousa worked in farming and plowing, and at 13, he moved to Riyadh with his brother working in masonry, building mud houses and earning only half a riyal per day. Al Mousa’s honesty, commitment, and hard work won over the trust of many investors who wanted to partner up; bringing him a huge capital. After Al Mousa set off to invest in a number of real estate projects that brought him success, he opened his own real estate company — little knowing he would later be a titan in the country’s real estate scene. His work and honesty have been praised by King Salman and the former kings as well.



One Flip at A Time the Rise of Saudi Parkour


Parkour is an urban, acrobatic sport that involves running, leaping, vaulting, jumping and climbing. It’s not just a visually stunning activity, it is also a natural, training discipline using movement that is applied to every aspect of your movement through life.

As this sport is becoming increasingly popular, more facilities are popping up around the Kingdom. We take you a little bit (or jump!) closer to the current parkour scene in Saudi and speak to Jon Dean, a parkour and free-running guru who studied physical education gymnastics. Inspired by online parkour videos, Jon would stay back in the gym after school and practice maneuvers and tricks.

Committed to bringing parkour to Saudi, he formed what is being deemed Saudi’s first and largest youth parkour academy, called Flite Freerun. Located in Rawdah district in Jeddah, the academy features an indoor parkour-specific training zone with a combination of rooms designed to mimic an outdoor urban atmosphere along with a soft indoor environment. The gym is open to children from four years old and adults. img_8673-copy

The gym also offers one-on-one coaching sessions for Autistic children and soon, a segment for the elderly to help them develop better strength and balance. Parkour can improve mental strength as you apply more skills by running, jumping, rolling, and much more. Parkour is a safe sport mainly when coached in a safe environment and so Jon recommends people to first train with professional coaches before practicing the sport outside on the streets.

Jon has approached the Ministry of Education to adopt parkour as part of the curriculum. So far, Flite Freerun is running training programs in Jeddah at Bounce, Koora Arena, Nun Academy, and American International School. “We are ready to expand to Riyadh and help the capital city teach quality parkour,” says Jon.

This year, Jon created a new brand specifically for the parkour academy that will help put Saudi Parkour on the world map. To join them in this venture, Ed Scott, one of the world’s best parkour athletes, will work closely with the coaches to raise the standards and fine-tune the curriculum. Jon’s goal this year is to up their game and launch more competitions and take the team abroad to compete, with the corporation and help of the General Sports Authority and Ministry of Education.


Safety is huge! So before you start rollin’, here are the other places you can practice parkour in:

Parkour KSA (Jeddah)
Instagram:  parkour_ksa

Bounce KSA (Jeddah, Riyadh)
Instagram:  bouncemideast


Food, Online Magazine, Showdown

Keep Warm & Toasty With These Comfort Foods


When the days get colder, all we want to do is wrap up warm and tuck into all that comfort food. We bring you the seasonal favorites in the Kingdom, from local home-cooked goodness to restaurant must-trys.


This traditional Middle Eastern dish, also a street-food favorite, is a thick porridge made with wheat, rice, and your choice of meat, and topped with kishna (caramelized onions). If you’re in need of a hearty bowl to warm your soul, this one will serve you well.

Available at:
Najd Village (Riyadh) and Jareesh Cuisine (Jeddah).
Instagram: jareeshcuisine



Saleeg (Jeddah)

A Hejazi favorite during winters, this is a creamy rice dish cooked with broth and served with meat and duggus, a spicy, tomato salsa.

Available at:
Bait Al Saleeg
Instagram: Bait_alsaleeg

des-food1337-copyHinaini (Riyadh)

A classic dessert favored by Najdis, Hinaini is doughy goodness traditionally made from mixing wheat bread with dates and butter. This winter delicacy was originally made on the open fire out in the desert.

Available at:
1. food-truck Hinaini
Instagram: hanini95

2. Najd Village
Location: Takhassusi Street, Al Olaya Dist.
Instagram: najdvillagesa


Faqa is a desert truffle, sold by local vendors on roadsides during winters. Usually black in color and roughly round in shape. It’s a well-known delicacy throughout the Kingdom during the cold weather, typically boiled or sauteed and used as a meat substitute in dishes.

Harees (Sharqiyah)

Harees is also a thick porridge originally made with boiled, cracked, or coarsely-grounded wheat along with meat and spices.Hearty and full of flavor, Harees makes a great meal, especially on a cold, winter’s day.

Available at:
Eydaam Restaurant
Location: Takhassusi Street, Al Olaya Dist.
Instagram: eydaamksa

Sizzling Date Pudding

At this time of the year, there’s nothing more decadent and indulgent than a steaming hot, sticky pudding. We are particularly in love with the date sizzling dessert – warm cake, hugged by vanilla ice cream and doused with ooey-gooey luscious sauce.

Available at:
1. Over Jar
Location: Riyadh Park, Gate 2, 1st floor.
Instagram: overjarksa

2. Café Bateel
Jeddah: Le Prestige Mall, Assila Tower, and Red Sea Mall
Sharqiya: AlShaikh Avenue, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Street
Instagram: bateelgourmet


Art, Arts & Music, Galleries, Online Magazine

Local Artventures Abroad



Discovering Saudi artists while traveling around the world.

The Saudi artists have always held a mesmeric power in their ability to shine a spotlight all over the globe. In a world where indulging in our passion has become second nature, Jeddah’s Athr Gallery has played a significant role in building the contemporary art scene in Saudi. By valuing exploration of new ideas; Athr Gallery is promoting the artists’ role in the creative process and the impact they can have on local communities.

Here are 5 Saudi artists that you can discover while galavanting around the world:



Reem Al Nasser

Walking Through Walls, Gropius-Bau, Berlin

Reem was born in 1987 in Jeddah and currently lives and works in Jizan. She received her BA from Jazan University and completed her residency at Delfina Foundation, London, 2017.

Reem Al Nasser’s work is enlightened by personal experiences and close observations of movement, mobility and cultural change within her surroundings. Reem’s aphoristic and undeviating sensory installations capture and cast back the tension of unsettling complexities within the themes she explores.

She focuses on practical social sciences as well as metaphysical ideas about time, space, and history.

Instagram: reemalnasser33



Muhannad Shono

The Caliph Seeks Asylum, Galleria Civica d’Arte
Moderna (GAM) Sculpture Garden, Torino

Saudi artist Muhannad Shono’s work challenges old beliefs through the narration of new stories using ink, paper, sculpture, music, and film. He draws from myths, historical and religious narratives in order to reevaluate the past and its impact on our present.Muhannad Shono was born in 1977 in Riyadh and graduated from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals with a degree in Architecture.

Muhannad’s work has been acquired by The British Museum in 2017, Art Jameel Foundation, and AlMansouria Foundation in 2018.

Instagram:  muhannad.shono



Nasser Al Salem

Amma Baad, Casa Arabe, Spain

Nasser studied calligraphy at the Holy Mosque in Makkah and achieved an Ijaza certificate; the highest form of recognition and authorization to transmit the art of calligraphy. He is the co-founder of Al-Hangar,
an artist collective based in Jeddah, as well as a member of the National Guild of Calligraphers and an active fellow of Saudi Arabia’s Arts and Culture Group.

Instagram: studionasseralsalem



Ahaad Alamoudi

Colour Bar at Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah

Born in 1991 and raised between England and Saudi Arabia, Ahaad lives and works in Jeddah. She graduated from Dar AlHekma University in Jeddah with a BA in Visual Communication in 2014 and graduated with an MA in Print from the Royal College of Art in 2017.

In her research about Saudi’s reforming ethnography, Ahaad’s photography, video, and print installations aim at altering the historical rendition of Saudi Arabia.

Instagram: ahaadalamoudi




Absolem, Alserkal Venue, Dubai

Established in 2015 by Jeddah-based architects Turki and Abdulrahman Gazzaz, Bricklab is dedicated to the analysis of the design discipline as it connects with the social, political, economic, and cultural networks that implicitly form our environment.
Bricklab Studio has been commissioned by Alserkal Avenue to create an intervention to coincide with the Dubai Design Week. Located at the entrance of Alserkal Avenue (Street 6A), the design transforms how the public interacts with the physical environment through a synthetic intervention that funnels visitors through.

Bricklab was announced recently the winner of Hayy:Cinema competition by Art Jameel. Hayy:Cinema is the first non-commercial picture house screening local, regional and international films.



The competition was launched back in February 2019, and assessment criteria looked for innovative and creative design, sustainable solutions, and technological excellence. More than 100 architects and designers from around the world entered the competition to design a new kind of cinema for Saudi. A renowned international jury evaluated participants’ proposals via a rigorous, ‘blind’ process.

The winning design gave modern day cinemas a revolutionized definition. Inspired by the history of cinema in the gulf, and interviews with Saudi and regional actors, directors and producers, the winning design easily wowed the jury. Besides a 200-seater main screen, Bricklab’s design incorporates an additional community screening room, audiovisual library, archive viewing rooms and educational space.

Instagram:  _bricklab


Food, Food News, Online Magazine

Brighten up Your Day!


Intrigued by the crisp aesthetic and lush greenery behind the glass windows, we decided to try Black Cardamom’s new vegan plates.

Serving up a variety of unique blends, well mastered pancake assortments, and garden-fresh salads, this is the health-conscious person’s dream come true. Their breakfast menu is also divine – we recommend their pancakes, any egg dish really, and their lavender latte. You won’t be disappointed.

Location: Al Andalus Dist., Jeddah


Food, Online Magazine

Real Power Boost


Want to grab a quick coffee before work or hang out with friends after work? Do both at All in 7 Cafe.

Whether you’re in the mood for iced or hot coffee, try their specialty, the N7 latte. For a splash of refreshment, have some of their fruity, colorful cocktails like the Universo Cocktail and enjoy a variety of filled doughnuts, tiramisu, and a snickers cake.

Location: Villagio, 2540 King Saud Rd., Al Andalus Dist., Khobar


Food, Foodie Corner, Online Magazine

Savor Mealtime Moments


Sandwiches followed up by soft-serve ice cream, because who’s counting calories?

This brand new cafe, Auburn, is a must-visit when you’re in Sharqiya. You would enjoy eating the entire selections on the menu, but we recommend trying the Philly cheese steak and chicken pesto sandwiches, or their hot dog. To end your delicious experience, try the caramel or chocolate party soft serve.

Location: Salam Tower, Olaya Dist., Khobar
Instagram: auburn_sa



All-day Food Hub


One for the Instagrammers and novelty-seekers, Sors is a vibrant contemporary concept inspired by food markets, serving irresistible treats.

From sweet to savory, it features four different food counters under one roof. A neighborhood café serving coffee, sweet and savory baked goodies, a chef-led concept that offers dine-in, grab-and-go poke bowls and artisanal sandwiches, Sors really scores with its refreshing soft-serves at the Frozen Bar counter.

Location: Welfare Center, Hittin, Riyadh


Food, Food News, Online Magazine

Cravings Satisfied!


With a Breakfast at Tiffany’s vibe, Lute has recently opened in Dammam and it is a perfect spot to have that morning breakfast before heading to work, or the perfect brunch experience on weekends.

If you have a sweet tooth, the lemon and saffron cakes will definitely satisfy your cravings. Let’s not forget their latest coffee addition, the Ugandan’s espresso Manansi, with a rich flavor, and a hint of dark chocolate and nuts.

Location: Omar Ibn Alkhattab St., Dammam
Instagram: lute.ksa


Food, Food News, Healthy Living, Online Magazine, Wellness

Fresh Food Done Right


Zed offers a menu full of delicious seasonal ingredients.

If you live on healthy food, this is the right place for you, and if you prefer to feast on some incredibly juicy burgers, then you have also found your spot here. The chicken and beef burgers are super scrumptious, along with the healthy salad choices.

Location: An Naim Dist., Jeddah