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Kingdom Holding leads post-Eid Tadawul trading surge

Time: 18 May 2021

Tadawul closed for the Eid Al-Fitr holiday on May 10, with trading resuming a week later on May 17. (Reuters)

This is despite the fact the company in March reported a net loss after Zakat

RIYADH: A total of 56 companies listed on the Saudi Exchange (Tadawul) were trading above their three-month averages on Tuesday, as the bourse reopened this week following the Eid Al-Fitr holiday.

Leading the pack was Kingdom Holding, the company controlled by Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

According to data compiled by financial website Argaam, Kingdom Holding was trading 418 percent higher than its three-month trading average.

This is despite the fact the company in March reported a net loss after Zakat and tax of SR1.46 billion ($390 million) for 2020, compared with a profit of SR420.2 million the year before, a swing of 449.1 percent.

Second on the list was Etihad Atheeb Telecommunication Company, which was trading at 259 percent above its three-month average.

The telco in February reported a net profit after Zakat and tax of SR102.6 million for the nine months ending on Dec. 31 last year, compared with a loss of SR62.49 million for the same period in 2019, a swing of 264 percent.

Etihad Atheeb resumed trading on Tadawul on Feb. 14 after it was previously suspended in July 2018 for not disclosing financial results.

In total, 17 companies saw a triple digit percentage trading surge. Ranked third was Saudi Printing, up 215 percent, followed by the Al Abdullatif Industrial Investment Co (up 205 percent) and the Saudi Arabian Mining Company – Maaden (up 190 percent).

Tadawul closed for the Eid Al-Fitr holiday on May 10, with trading resuming a week later on May 17.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Alwaleed Philanthropies & Princess Lamia launch brand to support female artisans

Time: 05 May 2021


Alwaleed Philanthropies, founded by His Royal Highness Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, has launched a new homegrown brand in support of Saudi female artisans.

The project entitled Mizwada is also being spearheaded by Alwaleed Philanthropies’ Secretary-General, Her Royal Highness Princess Lamia bint Majed Al Saud.

While being known for her role as a philanthropist in society, Princess Lamia has previously shared her desire to change the world, and the newly launched brand, Mizwada aims to work with female artisans in order to promote the concept of locally resources materials, which reflect the Kingdom’s heritage.

From creating purposeful goods to handcrafted lifestyle pieces, Mizwada stands as an ode to revive Saudi Arabia’s ancestral past by using products such as leather goods, woodwork, and ceramics, to reflect the main cultural symbolism.

Discussing the launch of Mizwada, Princess Lamia explained that there were key challenges that need to be addressed.

“Two key challenges are clear among this sector, unemployment, and the lack of adequate skills training,” she said. “We must work together to overcome these through programs that place women and girls at the heart of their initiatives.

“Our artisans produce products of a high quality and standard, with each product going through a lengthy process of quality control, resulting in products with the best quality and perfect finishing. They are modern objects, but do, however, translate our history and heritage.”

The brand was born with the purpose to preserve its traditional heritage, making it the perfect partnership between Alwaleed Philanthropies and Teeb, as they are a pioneer in supporting women in the region by providing them with economic opportunities by reaching more than 1 billion beneficiaries globally.

By collaborating with the local app in Saudi Arabia – PIK, the products can be purchased and delivered to customers in Riyadh city along with the Teeb online platform.

This article was first published in Emirates Woman

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Alwaleed Philanthropies and the Ministry of Health Launch Anti-Smoking Campaign across the Kingdom

Time: 31 May 2021

Your right to breathe – حقّك تتنفس


Alwaleed Philanthropies

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, May 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Alwaleed Philanthropies, chaired by HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud, and the Ministry of Health announced today they have joined forces to launch a two-year anti-smoking campaign, targeting smokers and non-smokers across the country. The partnership has come to fruition to address the prevalence and dangers of tobacco use as one of the major public health concerns in Saudi Arabia. The campaign is part of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious strategic tobacco control plan of reducing smoking rates from 19.8% to 8% and enhancing the quality of preventive and therapeutic health care services as a part of its Vision 2030.

Commenting on the partnership, HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud, Chairman of Alwaleed Philanthropies said, “We are determined to enhance the quality of lives of citizens and residents across the Kingdom and are pleased to be partnering with the Ministry of Health to reduce the prevalence of smoking and raise awareness of its dangers in Saudi Arabia. This partnership is very much in line with our commitment to making sustainable philanthropic investments to empower people, near and far.”

The first phase of the awareness campaign will target non-smokers, while the second phase will focus on smokers. Moreover, in an effort to identify violators of government anti-smoking regulations, Alwaleed Philanthropies and the Ministry of Health will be directing people to a mobile application to report and monitor violations of anti-smoking regulations, including smoking in public places, selling tobacco to minors and advertising cigarette or shisha smoking on television channels.

According to the World Health Organisation, the tobacco use epidemic is one of the major global public health challenges, causing over 7 million deaths due to smoking-related diseases each year, 70,000 of which are Saudi citizens[1]. A previous Saudi Health Information Survey revealed Saudi Arabia had a total of 5.5 million smokers, equating to 23% of the Kingdom’s population.

For four decades, Alwaleed Philanthropies has supported and spent more than 4 billion dollars on social welfare and initiated more than 1000 projects in over +189 countries, managed by 10 Saudi female members, reaching more than 1 billion beneficiaries around the world, regardless of gender, race, or religion. Alwaleed Philanthropies collaborates with a range of philanthropic, governmental, and educational organizations to combat poverty, empower women and youth, develop communities, provide disaster relief, and create cultural understanding through education. It seeks to build bridges for a more compassionate, tolerant, and accepting world.

[1] WHO EMRO | Combating tobacco use in Saudi Arabia: a review of recent initiatives | Volume 26 issue 7 | EMHJ volume 26 2020.

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This article was first published in PR Newswire

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Revealed: Top 5 most powerful Arabs in Saudi Arabia

Time: 12 April 2021

The highest ranked Arabs originating from Saudi Arabia in Gulf Business’ annual Arab power list


Saudi nationals once again stood out as the second largest group in Gulf Business‘ annual Arab Power list for 2021, with the number of entries tallying 20 this year.

Leading from the front is the chair of the state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco, while its CEO Amin Naseer also sat among the top five most powerful Arabs from the kingdom.

Lubna Suliman Olayan, chairperson of Saudi British Bank and a trailblazer in her own right, made it into the top five ranking.

Those on the list from the kingdom span across industries – from finance and energy to telecom.

1. Yasir Al-Rumayyan
Chairman, Aramco/Governor, PIF

Sector: Diversified
Overall rank: 1
2020 rank: 1

In what has been an incredibly tough year, one person who has been keenly investigating opportunities – backed by a massive pool of resources – is Yasir Al- Rumayyan, the governor and board member of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF). The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund – among the world’s largest with roughly $400bn in assets – has been frequently making headlines as it snaps up investments in diverse sectors including video games and fintech.

Al-Rumayyan has also pledged that the fund will invest $40bn annually in the kingdom to boost the economy. Also chairman of the world’s biggest oil producer Saudi Aramco, Al-Rumayyan confirmed last month that the company still intends to sell more shares following its historic IPO in 2019, when it sold less than 2 per cent of its shares and raised $29.4bn. A close aide of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Al-Rumayyan also serves on the boards of Soft-Bank Group and Uber and chairs Sanabil Investments.

As Saudi Arabia embarks further on its ambitious Vision 2030 agenda, Al-Rumayyan will play a significant role in making that vision a reality.

2. Amin Nasser
President and CEO, Aramco

Sector: Energy
Overall rank: 7
2020 rank: 10

Calling the pandemic the “biggest crisis in a century” for the oil industry at a recent conference, Amin Nasser, CEO of the world’s biggest oil producer, however stressed that he was optimistic about demand recovering this year. He is also leading Saudi Aramco’s diversification into hydrogen and ammonia – it made the world’s first blue ammonia shipment from Saudi Arabia to Japan for use in power generation in 2020. In April last year, Aramco also achieved the highest single day crude oil production in its history, reaching up to 12.1 million barrels per day.

3. HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Chairman, Kingdom Holding Company

Sector: Finance
Overall rank: 10
2020 rank: 9

While the Saudi businessman’s Kingdom Holding has not been much in the news, the humanitarian organisation he chairs, Alwaleed Philanthropies has taken several initiatives in the past year including the allocation of up to $30m on various projects to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. It has also taken up educational and housing projects in Yemen.

Meanwhile his independent record label, Rotana Music, also announced in February that it had received an undisclosed amount of investment from Warner Music Group (WMG). The deal will see Rotana’s music released outside the region to a global audience.

4. Yousef Abdullah Al Benyan
Vice chairman and CEO, SABIC

Sector: Industry
Overall rank: 1
2020 rank: 1

Serving as the chair of the Business Twenty (B20) Saudi Arabia, Yousef Al Benyan led the two-day talks in the kingdom in October as global business leaders discussed and made policy recommendations to the G20 to reinvigorate the global economy and ensure inclusive growth. Meanwhile he also led petrochemicals heavyweight SABIC to post a profit in 2020, beating analyst expectations of a loss.

SABIC is “cautiously optimistic” for a gradual recovery in the year ahead, he said. Al Benyan also chairs Yansab, Nusaned and the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA).

5. Lubna Suliman Olayan
Chairperson, Saudi British Bank

Sector: Finance
Overall rank: 16
2020 rank: 11

Lubna Olayan, one of the region’s most influential businesswomen and the chairperson of Saudi British Bank (SABB) led the bank’s successful integration with Alawwal Bank, following their merger in 2018. Olayan became the first woman to chair a Saudi-listed company when she took on the role in 2018 and was reappointed for a three-year term in January 2020. A strong propagator for women empowerment in the kingdom, Olayan served as CEO of Olayan Financing Company for over 35 years, and presently chairs its executive committee and the Olayan Saudi Holding Company.

She also serves as a board member of Schlumberger.

This article was first published in Gulf Business

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INTERVIEW: Abeer Al-Fouti sees Alwaleed delivering global response to COVID-19 pandemic


Abeer Al-Fouti runs the global side of Alwaleed Philanthropies and is convinced that only a global approach will work in the face of COVID-19, the biggest health challenge for nearly a century. (Illustration: Luis Grañena)

Abeer Al-Fouti explains how the philanthropic world has come together in the COVID-19 era
DUBAI: Charity begins at home, they say, but in the era of the world pandemic such a domestic-focused approach is neither desirable nor effective.

That is why several global philanthropic organisations, and big name donors, have come to the fore in the course of the COVID-19 crisis to offer financial, practical and logistics support to those people in the world whose governments do not have the means to extend assistance to their entire population.

Perhaps the best known is Bill Gates, the American entrepreneur who has pledged to give away his entire multi-billion dollar fortune to beat the virus. Other eminent entrepreneurs have also given billions in the attempt to find an elusive vaccine or effective treatment.

But Saudi Arabia has its own famous philanthropist in the shape of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the Kingdom Holding magnate, who has for many years been dispensing charity via his organization Alwaleed Philanthropies.

Abeer Al-Fouti runs the global side of that enterprise and is convinced that only a global approach will work in the face of the biggest health challenge for nearly a century.

“The simple message is that actually COVID-19, despite all the challenges, whether economic, or emotional or health or luck, has one important lesson that we have all learned, or should learn: That we are one world, we are one.

“If you think selfishly, it is going to come back and haunt you anyway. So this is the time when we all need to come together and think we are one. Otherwise, we are all going to go down together,” she told Arab News.

As one of the ambitious young women coming to prominence as part of the Vision 2030 strategy of female empowerment, she obviously takes great pride in her work.

“This year we’re celebrating 40 years of our existence. If I can summarize it in numbers, we’ve been working for four decades in six continents, serving 200 countries with 355 global partners. We’ve finished 1,000 projects and spent over $4 billion, and we reached one billion beneficiaries across the world. That’s our latest update. And it’s all run by 10 Saudi females from Riyadh,” she said.

Alwaleed Philanthropies plays a major role in charitable giving within the Kingdom, supporting organizations and individuals across the spectrum of community development, health, education and empowerment. But Al-Fouti’s responsibilities are more global.

“I believe philanthropy pays a major role in filling the gap, with a regional platform bringing the government and private sector together, and focusing on those who maybe the system does not serve or does not cover. This is why His Royal Highness called us together, to do our research and then to explain who we think we should support,” she said.

“We decided to focus on those that were most vulnerable in the Arab world, in the Middle East and Africa,” she said.

Fighting the pandemic has been the main focus for the organization since the virus broke on the world earlier this year. In April, Alwaleed Philanthropies gave an extra $20 million to provide medical and economic help to poorer countries during the pandemic, bringing its total COVID-19 support to $30 million, on top of its usual budget.

“In these times of unprecedented crisis it is more important now than ever that we pull our resources together in the battle against COVID-19. With many developed nations struggling to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, we must spare a thought for the developing countries of Africa and the less fortunate countries in the Middle East,” Prince Alwaleed said then.

“I’m sure you know it’s in the DNA of our culture and our religion — giving and charity. Everyone is required to give as part of the culture,’ Al-Fouti added. Alwaleed’s work runs alongside an equally generous program of charitable initiatives funded by the government of Saudi Arabia for projects both within the Kingdom itself and the rest of the world.

Maintaining the international partnerships that have been cultivated over the decades is a vital part of her work. The Gates Foundation, Gavi, the vaccination organisation, the World Health Organization and the United Nations are important allies in the global sphere.

“We have criteria for selection, and mainly we want to work with partners that are credible and share common values, and those which have long-term impact, in addition to other criteria. We have a detailed list of criteria and we tick those which have compatibility, reliability and credibility. We have to ensure that the money we give will reach those in need,” she said.

Another important ally is the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, ISESCO, which has partnered with Alwaleed on many regional projects.

“We support initiatives in 200 countries, regardless of gender, race or religion — as long as they have shared values,” she explained.



Born: Alkhobar, Saudi Arabia

Education: Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in health and hospital administration, King Saud University

Career: Various roles in government and private sector in human development, management and public relations

– CEO Al-Khair

– Partner, RVCC property development

– Co-founder, Smile Productions

– Executive manager, Global initiatives, Alwaleed Philanthropies


Those initiatives fall into four main categories. Community development involves work on essential infrastructure — housing projects, employment initiatives and educational opportunities to help achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals.

Second comes empowerment initiatives for women and young people. In partnership with international institutions such as the UN, Alwaleed works to enhance opportunities for underprivileged women across the Middle East and Africa and to advance the interests of the big youthful demographic in the region. “We want people to become self-sufficient and empowered, Al-Fouti said.

For example, Alwaleed was a leading partner in the Turquoise Mountain project in Afghanistan, which sought to revive traditional craft industries in the war-ravaged country, providing employment for thousands of women and young people and helping to restore traditional buildings for use as medical and educational facilities.

Next comes disaster relief, again often in conjunction with UN organizations. Alwaleed played an active role in helping Albania to recover from the recent earthquake there, for example.

Finally, there is what Al-Fouti regards as her “favourite” work — the initiatives to “bridge cultures” through educational and cultural activities in several countries. Alwaleed is involved in projects in the Louvre in Paris and with Berlin Museum to explain Islamic culture to Europeans.

“We believe the best way for people to understand each other is through art and culture. We’re planning to work this year with all our educational centres, and with the Louvre and Berlin, to see how we can revisit this strategy and see how we can have more impactful projects in terms of bringing people together,” she said.


READ MORE: Alwaleed Philanthropies, ICESCO MoU to help 10 African countries

Prince Alwaleed pledges $30m to fight pandemic

How Louvre-Saudi Islamic cultural ties are promoting peace and tolerance


But the reaction to the pandemic has understandably taken up a lot of the organization’s time this year.

“We decide to get in and minimize or control the spread of the virus by strengthening local capabilities, for example through or work with ISESCO. In Africa they asked us to provide them with masks and with alcohol cleaning products. We decided that we were also going to go in and create or scale up factories, get jobs going and make the initiative available and sustainable, and this is what we are doing,” Al-Fouti said.

Through the collaboration with Gavi, Alwaleed has been able to bring medical relief to remote areas in the region. One of the repercussions of the pandemic has been that other essential medical projects, such as polio vaccination or routine immunization for children, have been scaled back drastically, partly because of travel restrictions but also because of the pressure on funds.

“In some places when people were being asked to stay at home, some didn’t have a home to go to. They were asked to wash their hands and they didn’t have water. That’s why we invested in areas where we thought there is a gap,” Al-Fouti explained.

So, those 10 women in Riyadh have the support and back-up of hundreds of partners around the world, with a global perspective in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

“We have partners and embedded collaborative relationships that we consider to be an extension of our team. So we are not alone. There is a saying ‘work smart, not hard.’ But we work hard as well. In fact, we really do work hard,” she said.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Prince Alwaleed pledges $30m to fight pandemic

Time: 29 April, 2020

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal at the Elysee palace in Paris. (Reuters)
  • Prince Alwaleed bin Talal: With many developed nations struggling to cope with COVID-19, we must spare a thought for the developing countries of Africa and the less fortunate countries in the Middle East
  • The $30 million comes after the prince pledged the use of his hotels, schools and other businesses in Saudi Arabia to support the government’s measures against the pandemic

DUBAI: Alwaleed Philanthropies, the charitable organization founded by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has given an extra $20.6 million to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

The donation, in partnership with some of the world’s leading philanthropies, comes on top of the organization’s existing funding of $9.4 million, which has been reallocated to fight the pandemic. This brings the prince’s total commitment to medical and economic help to $30 million.

“In these times of unprecedented crisis it is more important now than ever that we pull our resources together in the battle against COVID-19,” he said.

“With many developed nations struggling to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, we must spare a thought for the developing countries of Africa and the less fortunate countries in the Middle East.”

The $30 million comes after he pledged the use of his hotels, schools and other businesses in Saudi Arabia to support the government’s measures against the pandemic, and support for Lebanese students studying in virus-ravaged Europe to return home.

The funds will be spent on a variety of initiatives, including those led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the GAVI vaccination projects, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

“The series of impact-driven initiatives will seek to tackle the health and economic implications of the pandemic, such as manufacturing rapid diagnostic tests for developing countries and reducing the long-term impact of the potential economic fallout of COVID-19,” Alwaleed Philanthropies said.

“Continuing to support the Middle East and North Africa, the fund includes a significant allocation towards initiatives including allocation to UN-Habitat to improve water, sanitation and hygiene in the most vulnerable communities, and to establish shelter and rehabilitate damaged housings in order to address overcrowding and enable social / physical distancing in disadvantaged neighborhoods.”

Alwaleed Philanthropies is also working with the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) to mitigate the economic fallout of the crisis in Africa while promoting hygiene in developing countries.

The amount allocated to ICESCO will strengthen local manufacturing capabilities to produce hygiene products and protective equipment, while empowering women and young entrepreneurs in the informal and local sector.

Many of the initiatives will support vital work to support communities and curb the spread of COVID-19.

Alwaleed Philanthropies will be working with Gates Philanthropy Partners to fund health projects to accelerate the development of therapeutics and delivery of diagnostics to protect vulnerable populations across Africa.

This includes an allocation to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, which will allow for additional diagnostic laboratories and testing capabilities throughout the continent.

Additionally, Alwaleed Philanthropies is building upon its existing relationship with Splash to provide clean water and promote hand washing in rural and urban areas in South Asia and Africa.

Supporting scientific research to reduce future outbreaks, Alwaleed Philanthropies has built on its four-year relationship with GAVI, with a further amount allocated to provide accessibility and innovative solutions to reach remote areas, and an allocation to support the WHO in strengthening its existing procurement capacity to rapidly secure needed emergency products and build a global stockpile.

Separately, GAVI — backed by Saudi Arabia — on Monday made $40 million available to the UN Children’s Fund to secure personal protective equipment, diagnostic tests and other vital supplies on behalf of 58 low-income countries in response to the pandemic, bringing its total support so far in the crisis to $200 million.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi girl scouts attend 24th US jamboree


The scouts will participate in activities aligned with the World Scouting’s flagship ‘Scouts for SDGs’ initiative.

Alwaleed Philanthropies, a global foundation that invests in programs to support cross-cultural understanding, is participating in the 2019 World Scout Jamboree by supporting the first five Saudi girl scouts to attend the event.

The scouts will participate in activities aligned with the World Scouting’s flagship “Scouts for SDGs” initiative, which has pledged to make the world’s largest coordinated youth contribution to the SDGs by 2030.

More than 45,000 scouts and scouting leaders from over 150 countries have come together in West Virginia to “Unlock a New World” — the theme of the 24th jamboree.

The aim is to inspire scouts to become active citizens and create a more sustainable world by learning about global issues such as climate change and gender inequality.

Through activities that range from zip-lining and hiking to public speaking and leadership workshops, young people will develop skills to help them thrive in and contribute to a rapidly changing world.

Princess Lamia bint Majed Saud Al-Saud, secretary-general of Alwaleed Philanthropies, said: “We are proud to support the first young female Saudi Scouts to attend the jamboree as part of our six-year commitment to World Scouting to increase the participation of girls and boys in community service in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East. Their involvement in the jamboree’s ‘Scouts for SDGs’ program will help empower girls and young women to drive social, environmental and economic progress in the Kingdom and contribute to Saudi Vision 2030.”

The jamboree, jointly hosted by the US, Canada, and Mexico, is the largest outdoor educational event organized by the World Organization of the Scout Movement, gathering scouts aged 14 to 17 and leaders every four years.

A staff of 10,500 volunteers will deliver a life changing experience for scouts from around the world at the campsite, the 10,000-acre Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia, for the July 22-Aug. 2 event.

Almost 100 scouts will travel from Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE and Qatar.

“The jamboree is an extraordinary opportunity for young people to connect and learn from each other, while celebrating the diversity and unity of our global movement of over 50 million strong,” said Ahmad Alhendawi, secretary-general of the World Organization of the Scout Movement.

“We are pleased to see contingents from Saudi Arabia, the GCC, and around the world participating in the jamboree, and for the support of Alwaleed Philanthropies to engage young people in education for peace and sustainable development. Together we are enabling young people to become active global citizens who are creating positive change in communities around the world.”

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi Prince Advocates Healthier Living With Region-Wide Vegan Restaurant

Prince Khaled Bin Alwaleed Alsaud, son of billionaire Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal, has announced plans to open at least 10 vegan restaurants across the region by 2020. The Prince, who was recently named president of the Saudi CrossFit Federation and is known as a true health buff, made this announcement on his Facebook profile:

“Our region occupies parts of the top ten most obese counties in the world. This is crazy and frankly a joke we have reached this level. I’m not saying opening 10 restaurants will solve this issue, but you better believe it’s a step in the right direction.”

In a bid to help tackle the region’s obesity epidemic and give people the option of healthier food options, Prince Khaled will be opening at least 10 restaurants in the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Jordan.

Outside his role as founder and chairman of KBW Investments, a private equity firm and venture capital firm, the Prince is an avowed vegan and an avid campaigner against cruelty to animals.

According to Arab News, Prince Khaled “was named among the world’s top influencers toward veganism in 2017 for his investments in Matthew Kenney’s vegan lifestyle company. He took the brand international by opening the first vegan restaurant in the Middle East with Bahrain’s new Plant Cafe.”

In 2016, he spoke to Arabian Business on his food conscious decisions, saying, “I want to be successful and to be a better person than I was yesterday, and hopefully to leave this planet in a better state than it was when I arrived.”

In the same interview, he was also asked it was that he considered his greatest fear. The Prince answered: “I think about my daughters[…] What kind of world am I leaving them? And what did I do to make their life better? What did I instil in them to make them a better human? […] At the end of the day, we’re here temporarily. I’m not taking my money with me, or my shoes or my watches. People are just going to remember me for what I did. If I’m gone, and my daughters can say he really did everything he could for us, I can’t ask for anything more.”

This article was first published in  About Her

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Alwaleed’s Kingdom and partners to sell New York Plaza for $600m

May 5, 2018

The deal for the hotel which opened in 1907 is set to be completed on June 25

New York’s iconic Plaza Hotel is about to change hands.

Its buyers are Shahal Khan, founder of Dubai-based family office White City Ventures, and Kamran Hakim, of New York landlord Hakim Organization. They agreed to pay $600 million (Dh2.2 billion) for the hotel, at the southeast corner of Central Park, in a deal that is set to be completed on June 25.

“We worked for three and a half years to get to this stage and can’t wait until it’s closed,” said Mr Khan, who confirmed the purchase but declined to speak further. Mr Hakim didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The agreement was first reported on Thursday by the Real Deal.

Mumbai-born British billionaires David and Simon Reuben are providing a loan of roughly $415m, or almost 70 per cent of the transaction’s value, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. A spokesman for the Reubens, who owned debt on the property, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The Plaza, which opened 111 years ago, is known as the fictional home of children’s book character Eloise and has been featured in films such as “Home Alone 2” and “North by Northwest.” Among its prior owners is President Donald Trump, who was forced to sell it more than two decades ago as part of a bankruptcy. He also married his second wife, Marla Maples, there.

A previous owner, Elad Group, controlled by Israeli billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva, converted part of the Plaza to condominiums. The hotel portion is managed by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, a unit of France’s Accor SA.

Its current owners include Sahara India Pariwar, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holdings and Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. Sahara has been trying to sell its stake, in part because its chairman, Subrata Roy, is under pressure from the Indian government, which has ordered him to return billions of dollars to investors.

Representatives for Sahara, Kingdom and Ashkenazy didn’t respond to requests for comment.

This article was first published in  The National

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