Startup of the Week: SPiN: Cycling one’s way to better health and lifestyle

Updated 03 December 2019

Startup of the Week: SPiN: Cycling one’s way to better health and lifestyle

  • SPiN was established in early 2019 by a 25-year-old Saudi business consultant Manie Al-Khaldi

SPiN is a startup company that offers public services through a rental bicycle shop. It aims to make cycling accessible and available. 

SPiN was established in early 2019 by a 25-year-old Saudi business consultant Manie Al-Khaldi. 

During his studies in San Francisco in 2013, he bought his first US-made hybrid bicycle, and since then his passion for cycling has only grown. 

Upon his return to the Kingdom, Al-Khaldi found likeminded people up for new adventures. “I found a lot of them. However, it was an individual effort, and it needed a form of institutional work.

“The initiative of getting people engaged in such an activity for a better and healthier lifestyle came to my mind, by offering bikes at all times to the community,” he told Arab News 

The Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh was chosen as SPiN’s prime location, based on two main factors: Safety and population. 

 “Because safety always comes first, we studied multiple locations in the city of Riyadh, such as Hanifa Valley, Riyadh Front, Ammariyah, and the Diplomatic Quarter. We found the latter to be the best in terms of the infrastructure, attractive parks and landscape, fabulous views and, most importantly, relatively low car speeds,” Al-Khaldi said.

SPiN is creating a strategic partnership, as they are still in discussions with governmental entities such as the General Sport Authority (GSA) and General Entertainment Authority.

It is a people-based initiative and has surveyed hundreds of people from different genders and backgrounds regarding bicycles.

 “Our survey includes multiple-choice questions, including the subject’s desired cycling destinations. About 49 percent chose the Diplomatic Quarter as a prime location due to its high security and great safety standards,” Al-Khaldi explained.

 “We believe that the area will be the gateway for living the Saudi dream. We will make it a benchmark for other cities,” he added

SPiN’s objectives are aligned with Saudi Vision 2030 and its pillars. “We are looking forward to being one of the contributors to realizing it. Our objectives at SPiN are to promote a healthier lifestyle, diversify sports, and increase social engagement.”

As well as this, SPiN also aims to build on the twin pillars of economic solvency and national prestige. “We are projected to break even in the first 6 months of our launch. An ambitious nation is the third pillar (of Saudi Vision 2030), and we will contribute to it by hiring a local talented team,” Al-Khaldi said.

Quoting the president of the GSA, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, he added: “The most practiced sports in the Kingdom are walking, jogging, and cycling. At SPiN, we hope to provide the best service for one of the most practiced sports.”

 SPiN is working to launch its first location before the end of 2019, or by the start of 2020. It launched an Instagram account (@SPiN.sa) as an initial move to engage more with the Kingdom’s cycling community.

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Updated 09 August 2020

Walid bin Abdullah Bukhari, Saudi ambassador to Lebanon

Saudi Arabia has stepped up its relief efforts in Lebanon following the deadly explosions in Beirut.

Saudi Ambassador Walid bin Abdullah Bukhari said the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center began organizing emergency aid immediately after the incident.

Bukhari has been the Saudi envoy to Lebanon since December 2018. He previously served as charge d’affaires at the embassy from March 2018 until his current appointment.

Bukhari obtained a bachelor’s degree in political science with distinction at the King Abdul Aziz University in 1995.

He obtained a higher diploma in diplomatic studies at the Institute of Diplomatic Studies in Riyadh in 2000, and a master’s in international politics from California State University, Fullerton.

He joined the Saudi diplomatic corps in 1996. In 1999, he was appointed deputy head of the mission of the Kingdom’s embassy in Niger.

Bukhari served as the consul general in Los Angeles from 2002 to 2006. In 2007, he was appointed to the office of the undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He became director of total quality management in 2009.

In 2013, he was assigned a role at the Saudi Embassy in Berlin. He was appointed assistant director general of planning and development at the ministry in 2016. He also served as the director general of diplomatic affairs and protocol and deputy undersecretary for protocol affairs in 2017.