‘Party with Pepsi’: Pepsi unveils closing show for ROSHN Saudi League

Karim El-Fiqi, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at PepsiCo AMESA
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Updated 22 May 2024
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‘Party with Pepsi’: Pepsi unveils closing show for ROSHN Saudi League

  • Pepsi Becomes First Ever Brand to Take Center Stage at a Major Football Event in Saudi Arabia
  • Mystery DJs from MDLBEAST to perform at the closing ceremony.

Pepsi will host the “Party With Pepsi” show, featuring a lineup of DJs, on May 24 at a major football closing ceremony in Saudi Arabia. This groundbreaking event marks the first time a brand will take center stage at a football event in the Kingdom. The unprecedented spectacle of light, sound, and celebration, in partnership with the ROSHN Saudi League, will not only showcase Pepsi’s bold new identity but also cement its position as a cultural vanguard, resonating with multiple generations through an electrifying musical journey from past to present.

The event will take place at the heart of Saudi cultural life, intertwining the excitement of football with the universal language of music, creating a platform where athletic passions and musical creativity collide. Through this event, Pepsi embodies a relentless quest for innovation and engagement, offering audiences not just a show but an experience that leaves them craving more. The motto “Thirsty for More” drives the event’s narrative, from the suspenseful reveal of mystery DJs blending iconic musical eras to a special closing ceremony, the event promises continued innovation and excitement.

Pepsi has long stood as the sound of every generation, and “Thirsty for More” is more than just a brand slogan; it is a declaration of Pepsi’s commitment to pushing boundaries and pursuing excellence. By featuring a diverse lineup of artists who bridge the gap between generations, Pepsi demonstrates its unique ability to resonate with audiences both old and new. The show’s musical journey, meticulously curated by MDLBEAST, will transition from classic hits to contemporary anthems, illustrating Pepsi’s evolution while staying true to its roots.

Speaking about the campaign, Karim El-Fiqi, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at PepsiCo AMESA, said: “Recently, we launched our new identity and promised to keep delivering immersive and engaging experiences for our consumers. As part of the same, Pepsi will be the first brand to partner to create a never seen like before show at Roshn Saudi League. This event is a strategic move to solidify Pepsi’s standing as the premier brand that evolves with and supports the dynamic culture in Saudi Arabia. By aligning with the country’s burgeoning entertainment industry and rapidly expanding sports sector, Pepsi not only taps into the national zeitgeist but also sets the stage for future cultural engagements. This event is part of a broader strategy to embed the brand deeply into the cultural fabric of the markets it serves, making Pepsi synonymous with youthful energy and innovative experiences.”

Speaking about the collaboration, Ramadan Alharatani, chief executive of MDLBEAST, said: “This collaboration represents a powerful fusion of sports and music, igniting the passion of football enthusiasts through the universal language of music. With our meticulous curation of the musical journey, we aim to create an electrifying experience that resonates with multiple generations. Together with Pepsi, we are pushing boundaries, delivering innovation, and offering audiences an unforgettable experience that leaves them thirsty for more.”

Pepsi remains dedicated to supporting the growth and popularity of football in Saudi Arabia. Pepsi will not only deliver a spectacular closing ceremony but will also set a new standard for brand involvement in cultural events. This show will be a testament to Pepsi’s vision of staying at the forefront of cultural trends, delivering unmatched experiences that resonate across generations, and continuously inspiring audiences to remain “thirsty for more.”

Stay tuned as Pepsi continues to innovate and inspire. Follow @pepsi_Saudi for exclusive behind-the-scenes content and upcoming surprises. Join the conversation using #ThirstyForMore and share how Pepsi inspires you.


Saudi Arabia embraces fitness: GymNation sees record sign-ups

Updated 16 June 2024
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Saudi Arabia embraces fitness: GymNation sees record sign-ups

GymNation, a homegrown GCC fitness brand, has announced record-breaking demand from Saudi residents, ahead of the official opening of its first six gym locations in the Kingdom in August.

More than 120,000 people initially registered their interest in the four Jeddah and two Alkhobar locations, with the first phase of 12,000 memberships selling out in under 72 hours, breaking all previous pre-opening sales records for a gym brand in the Middle East.

Already the UAE’s largest gym brand, GymNation’s launch into Saudi Arabia aligns directly with the ambitions of Vision 2030 and building a strong, happy, and fulfilling society as the foundation for economic prosperity. With physical, psychological, and social well-being at the heart, Vision 2030 aims to promote a society where everyone enjoys a high quality of life, a healthy lifestyle and an attractive living environment.

Loren Holland, founder and CEO, GymNation, said: “The unprecedented number of memberships we have sold in just three days shows the huge demand and interest from citizens and residents in improving their physical and mental health across the Kingdom. At GymNation, we want to provide a far better gym experience at a much more affordable price point than is currently available from the existing operators. We are an inclusive brand that provides a welcoming environment for everyone regardless of ability, shape or size.”

“Our pipeline of new locations across Saudi Arabia is incredibly strong and with the support of our investment partners Tricap Investments and Ruya Partners, we are looking forward to an exciting period of growth and having a similar positive and disruptive impact on the Saudi Arabia fitness scene by breaking down affordability and accessibility barriers, like we did in the UAE.”

The Saudi Sports for All Federation recently launched its 2024 summer campaign, “Move Your World,” to help people engage in physical activities. GymNation’s launch supports the federation’s aims to raise awareness about the benefits of physical activity and help people overcome barriers to healthy living habits.

As the region’s “movement partner,” GymNation will play a leading role in improving the health and well-being for everyone in Saudi Arabia, by making going to the gym less intimidating, more affordable, more accessible and fun for everyone.


Coworking spaces shift from real estate investment to entrepreneurial enabler

Updated 16 June 2024
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Coworking spaces shift from real estate investment to entrepreneurial enabler

Coworking spaces first emerged as alternative workplaces that reduced fixed costs like rent and utilities. Now, they are undergoing a major evolution to become strategic hubs that foster entrepreneurship and development in communities.

That is a critical development for SMEs, which came under unprecedented pressure during and after COVID-19. The pandemic did not just challenge traditional office-based work models and exacerbate economic uncertainties; it left numerous small and emerging businesses vulnerable, with about 50 percent of SMEs shutting down within five years of starting operations.

Now, the sector is increasingly finding support and the ability to reinvent itself through supportive co-working spaces. One example of this is the Social Development Bank’s Jada30 project, a coworking initiative that is aligned with Saudi Vision 2030. Unlike traditional coworking spaces, which are driven by a real estate investment imperative, Jada30 is an out-and-out enabler of entrepreneurship.

As such, it offers a suite of comprehensive services, including professional advisory services, training, and access to both financial and non-financial products to support the lifecycle of emerging projects. The result of this initiative is a vibrant business community that is both supportive and conducive to sustainable business growth.

Today, Jada30 has expanded to include 11 branches across the Kingdom, with plans to add six more. It currently supports 245 enterprises, providing services to 60,000 beneficiaries. The addition of new branches in Al-Jouf, Makkah, and Dammam earlier this year highlights the initiative’s commitment to fostering an entrepreneurial ecosystem that is both resilient and expansive, enabling people to achieve their full potential and ambition.

Ultimately, the value of Jada30 is that it is not just a coworking space, but a dynamic environment that empowers local entrepreneurs to thrive and succeed. By changing our mindset from viewing coworking spaces as simple real estate investments to platforms of entrepreneurial empowerment, we are significantly contributing to the very economic fabric of the nation.

For our economy to reach its full potential, it is vital that we create the optimal conditions for new businesses to flourish and achieve their aspirations. Through Jada30, we are offering a vibrant alternative model for the Kingdom’s entrepreneurial development. This is an approach we can all get behind.

The writer is chief executive of the Social Development Bank.


SADAFCO’s sustainability report highlights progress toward Vision 2030

Updated 15 June 2024
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SADAFCO’s sustainability report highlights progress toward Vision 2030

Saudia Dairy and Foodstuff Company has unveiled its latest sustainability report for the year 2023, showcasing its steadfast commitment to sustainability, innovation, and alignment with the ambitious goals of Saudi Vision 2030. Developed under the esteemed Global Reporting Initiative’s Universal Standards and as per Tadawul stock exchange guidelines, this report highlights SADAFCO’s leading role in integrating sustainable practices across its operations, setting a benchmark for the industry.

SADAFCO is dedicated to environmental stewardship, aiming to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060. Through initiatives like replacing steam boilers with energy-efficient models, the company anticipates saving up to 2.1 million kg/ year in CO2 emissions. Additionally, SADAFCO plans to offset 40 percent of its electricity consumption with solar power by the end of 2024, while enhancing operational efficiency through its Digital Factory Program.

Working toward a zero-emissions fleet by 2045, SADAFCO is transitioning to zero-emission vehicles and collaborating with NTSC to install EV charging stations. The recent acquisition of the first frozen electric vehicle in the Middle East underscores the company’s dedication to pioneering sustainable transportation solutions.

“We aim to embed sustainability across all facets of our operations. Our alignment with Saudi Vision 2030 is evident in our strategic priorities, which focus on operational efficiency, value chain enhancement, and regional growth,” said Patrick O. Stillhart, CEO of SADAFCO. He added: “Despite a shorter financial year, we have made remarkable progress in fleet decarbonization, digital transformation, and supplier engagement, resulting in significant improvements in our factory operations.”

SADAFCO’s sustainability strategy is centered on product innovation, focusing on crafting healthier options by introducing new non-dairy alternatives and reducing sugar and salt content. The recent launch of the Mezete brand by Saudia range products exemplifies this commitment, offering natural and preservative-free alternatives to consumers. This dedication to providing healthier choices is rooted in SADAFCO’s philosophy of prioritizing consumer delight and ensuring the delivery of innovative, high-quality, and safe products while empowering consumers through transparent communication and responsible marketing practices.

In tandem with its sustainability efforts, SADAFCO actively engages in social responsibility initiatives such as the Saudia Falcons program, aimed at nurturing and empowering youth. Additionally, the company’s consumer education campaigns play a pivotal role in promoting healthy food choices and fostering informed decision-making among consumers.


AMUOBA Jeddah Chapter elects new team

Updated 15 June 2024
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AMUOBA Jeddah Chapter elects new team

The Jeddah Chapter of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys Association held its installation ceremony recently at a local restaurant. More than 150 Aligarians gathered to celebrate the newly elected committee for the 2024-2026 term.

The election process began with a general body meeting on May 24 and concluded on May 31. The entire process, from nominations to results, was overseen by senior members Dr. Syed Hamed and Mahfooz Hussain, both of whom were appointed election commissioners.

The newly elected committee is led by Aqeel Jamil as president, with Asim Zeeshan Ali Khan as vice president, Prince Mufti Ziaul Hasan as general secretary, Mohammed Shahnawaz Alam as joint secretary, and Rabnawaz Khan as treasurer. Elected Cabinet members include Mohammed Sirajuddin, Athar Rasool, Mohammed Omais Ansari, Mohammed Danish Khan, Fahad Ayub Zinjani, Abid Hussain Aftab, Sardar Masood Khan, Abrar Ahmed, and Fahad Afridi. Outgoing President Ateeq Siddiqui, whose term saw immense social and cultural activity, will serve as an adviser.

Jamil introduced his team, and the induction process was completed by pinning AMU badges on the sherwanis of the executive committee members. The pinning was carried out by former Presidents Farzan Rizvi, Azizurrab, Nooruddin Khan and Siddiqui. Senior advisers honored the election commissioners and the outgoing president by presenting them with mementos.

In his inaugural speech, Jamil pledged to focus, with his team, on youth empowerment through training in public speaking and leadership, career guidance, and financial support for students via the “each one teach one” program. 

The new president emphasized the role of the Aligarh community within the broader Indian community.

Founded in the 1980s, the association’s Jeddah Chapter serves the educational, social, literary, and cultural needs of AMU alumni in Jeddah and surrounding areas. The chapter always seeks to promote the vision and educational ideals of AMU and its founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.


‘Saudi100 Brands’ returns to Paris for Men’s Fashion Week

Updated 15 June 2024
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‘Saudi100 Brands’ returns to Paris for Men’s Fashion Week

The distinguished Saudi100 Brands program, a flagship initiative by the Saudi Fashion Commission, is returning to Paris for the third time, spotlighting fresh talent at the SS25 Men’s Paris Fashion Week.

This year, 11 standout menswear brands, which have been carefully selected to represent the best of ready-to-wear and streetwear from Saudi Arabia, will be showcased: KML, Hindamme, Noble and Fresh, Noura Sulaiman, Not Boring, RBA New York, Uscita, 1886, Awaken, House of Cenmar.

On June 19, a spectacular fashion show will feature these designers, accompanied by exclusive visuals from acclaimed Saudi artist Rex Chouk and music by the leading Saudi DJ duo DishDash.

The festivities continue on June 20 with a cocktail party to mark the opening of the Parisian showroom. Key fashion figures, including editors, influencers, and buyers, are invited to mingle and engage with the designers, fostering valuable connections.

From June 20 to 22, the 11 brands will present their latest collections in a dedicated three-day showroom. Each brand will have its own space, welcoming buyers and press for an in-depth look at their innovative designs.

“Paris Men’s Fashion Week offers a unique opportunity to witness how Saudi heritage seamlessly translates into modern silhouettes and styles,” said Burak Cakmak, CEO of the Saudi Fashion Commission. “Fashion holds significant cultural importance in Saudi Arabia, and the local brands’ participation highlights the dynamic evolution of our streetwear culture. This event will spotlight emerging talents, showcasing the innovative spirit and creative energy that define Saudi fashion today.”