Diriyah Company brings Saudi heritage to Harrods in London with $63bn development showcase

The Diriyah Company is hosting a pop up within Harrods in London from July 1-26. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 02 July 2024
Follow

Diriyah Company brings Saudi heritage to Harrods in London with $63bn development showcase

  • Exhibition spotlights 350 luxury residences that are part of the project
  • Immersive experience aims to attract the attention of the 450,000 people expected to visit Harrods this month

LONDON: Diriyah Company is bringing a taste of Saudi culture and heritage to upmarket London department store Harrods this month, in the form of an exclusive pop-up exhibition highlighting the $63 billion mega-development project underway in Diriyah, the historic birthplace of the Kingdom.

The immersive experience, which opened on Monday and continues until July 26, aims to attract the attention of the 450,000 people expected to visit Harrods this month. The centerpiece of the event is a display featuring the master plan for the ambitious urban development project, which when complete will be six-and-a-half times the size of Monaco. It will feature hotels, four metro stations, and extensive retail and commercial office spaces.




The centerpiece of the event is a display featuring the master plan for the ambitious urban development project. (Supplied)

Diriyah Company has worked with the Harrods team to transform the space into an exhibition that tells the story of Saudi heritage and architecture, incorporating elements of the traditional Najdi architectural style in a warm color palette of yellows, oranges and browns. A highlight of the event is a showcase of 350 residences developed by luxury brands Ritz Carlton, Baccarat and Corinthia.

“These are the best of the best to collaborate with,” Diriyah Company’s chief marketing officer, Kiran Jay Haslam, told Arab News, adding that each brand brings something unique to the project.

The Baccarat residences will be notable for their sophisticated fusion of modern luxury and classic French elegance, incorporating opulent materials and Baccarat crystal accents, he said, while Corinthia will offer a more family-focused, homely feel, and the Ritz Carlton units will put an emphasis on the high levels of services available to residents. Representatives of Diriyah Company are on hand to explain the differences between the brands and highlight their unique selling points, he added, to help visitors understand what each has to offer.

In 2021, Saudi authorities issued a directive allowing non-Saudis who are legal residents of the country to buy single properties in the Kingdom, subject to approval by licensing authorities.

“In addition to that, the conversations that we know are taking place right now to open up real estate to foreign investment are really exciting for us,” Haslam said. “We’re looking very closely into when that will come to play.

“I think a lot of the projects in the kingdom will take on a new lease of life because of the ability for global interaction in these budgets. And … I think we’re really going to start to attract some significant talent to the kingdom.”

Six units are available for purchase at the Corinthia development and eight at the Baccarat. Haslam said sales at the Ritz Carlton development have moved more quickly than the company anticipated, and only 16 of the 106 residences are still available.




Visitors passing by Harrods take a look at Diriyah masterplan on display at the pop-up. (Supplied)

The pop-up event at Harrods follows Diriyah Company’s immersive exhibition at Outernet, an entertainment, arts and culture district in London. The showcases are part of a broader Saudi strategy to promote Diriyah on the global stage, with upcoming events planned in Los Angeles, New York, Sydney and Paris.

Haslam said the exhibition at Harrods has already received a positive response from early visitors, particularly those for whom the celebration of Arab culture hit close to home.

“We’re a very emotional project,” he said. “We’re a project that’s delivering some kind of unique quality in essence and pride of the Kingdom. And so it’s really great to be here and to have this interaction.”
 


Review: Curva Pilates in Alkhobar

Updated 5 sec ago
Follow

Review: Curva Pilates in Alkhobar

There’s a new way to stay fit in Alkhobar this summer with the recent opening of Curva Pilates earlier this month.

The women-only studio is situated on the second floor of an indiscreet building, marked with the letter A on the outside. It is an ideal place to spend an hour using the reformer Pilates machine, either in a solo session or with a group class. There is limited parking directly outside of the studio space.

Pilates, which is a form of exercise developed by the German Joseph Pilates in the 20th century, helps combat health issues and increases flexibility. It was originally designed to help soldiers gain strength by attaching springs to hospital beds to create resistance. If you have ever done yoga or ballet or gymnastics, you might enjoy this process — but it is its own thing.

You may opt to message their account on Instagram, where you will be asked to provide your name and phone number, after which you will receive a welcome message on WhatsApp, with the class details and some ground rules. “For your safety and to keep up our hygiene standards, you should always make sure to wear Pilates socks when taking a class,” it says.

Once entering the serene space, decorated with fresh flowers and the refreshing scent of lemon detox water, which is free for all customers, you will be given an electronic key to a locker where you can securely place your handbag. You can keep the key with you and return it at the end of your visit. There are hooks to hang your abayas and a shoe cubby.

If you do not have Pilates socks you may use regular ones. And, in case you forget to push your hair back, there are hair clips available in the mirror area to use, and wet wipes at the ready, should you wish to freshen-up before or after your session.

You may take a session with Coach Lubna, who is fair and balanced. For first-timers, she asks whether they have any body ailments they need to be aware of — do they have any existing body aches or injuries, any surgeries or issues with their back, shoulders, arms or legs.

Lubna explains every step briefly, and makes the experience enjoyable. The reformer machine is not hard to use and is ideal for any fitness level.

She makes sure to ask for feedback and listens to all comments and concerns. Lubna believes that consistency is what matters most — no matter what level you are on — and recommends visitors try the reformer three times per week.

Reformer classes at Curva can be purchased either per session for SR175 ($46) each, or in a package for a slightly better rate. Five sessions go for SR850, 10 sessions for SR1,650 and two other package options are available — for 15 sessions and 20.

There is a 10 percent discount for college students and a 10 percent discount for Aramco staff.

While it has become a global trend, this enduring form of exercise that emphasizes core strength, flexibility and overall body awareness is not yet widely practiced in the Eastern Province. Curva is there to change that.

Find them at CurvaPilates.com or on their Instagram, @CurvaPilates.


KSrelief runs medical projects in Sudan, Yemen

Updated 18 min 17 sec ago
Follow

KSrelief runs medical projects in Sudan, Yemen

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s aid agency KSrelief continues to provide healthcare for vulnerable people in Sudan and Yemen, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The project in Port Sudan for urology surgery, from July 13 to 20, involves 11 volunteers with training in various specialities.
The team members have already completed six surgeries.
A similar project is currently being implemented for orthopedic surgery in the Seiyun district of Yemen’s Hadhramaut governorate, with seven operations already completed.
Recently, the agency started a training program for people supervising orphans in Hadramout in coordination with the country’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor.


Saudi Red Crescent in Makkah region puts in almost 80,000 volunteer hours during second quarter

Updated 26 min 37 sec ago
Follow

Saudi Red Crescent in Makkah region puts in almost 80,000 volunteer hours during second quarter

JEDDAH: The Saudi Red Crescent Authority in the Makkah region revealed its volunteer statistics for the second quarter of 2024, with the number of volunteer hours reaching 79,128.

It said the volunteer opportunities ranged from providing first-aid services to worshippers in the courtyards of the Holy Mosque in Makkah to national occasions, international days, events, humanitarian aid, and sports events.

Additionally, several first-aid courses were held to train male and female volunteers.

The authority indicated that Makkah has the largest number of volunteer initiatives with 273 opportunities, followed by the Jeddah governorate with 207 and the Taif governorate third with 104 opportunities.

The volunteer medical staff included several specialties, most notably consultants, general practitioners, and emergency medicine doctors. The authority emphasized its commitment to developing its volunteers by organizing specialized courses and training them in line with the authority’s mission and work.


Training program for trainers at Princess Nourah University

Updated 31 min 39 sec ago
Follow

Training program for trainers at Princess Nourah University

RIYADH: Staff at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University recently had the chance to take part in a series of training programs to help them develop their own training and development skills, and prepare more effective training resources.

A six-day “Training of Trainers” program, provided by the university’s Deanship of Quality and Development, included topics such as theories of learning and their effects on training; the needs of the trainer; development of the communication model and communication skills; and the design of training materials.

It also covered management of the training process and the evaluation of performance, along with development of the skills required for managing workshops and conducting training sessions, and how to research information in support of training.

The deanship also provided a three-day “Preparation of Training Packages” program. This addressed the practical aspects of preparing a training program that effectively familiarize trainees with the required principles and standards of quality. It included topics such as development of a curriculum, setting objectives, training methods, and the types and organization of programs.

Officials said the initiative forms part of the deanship’s efforts to help achieve the university’s Strategic Plan 2025, the aim of which is to achieve excellence in teaching and learning through professional support, career guidance, and improved knowledge and skills.


Bahrain king receives speaker of Saudi Shoura Council

King Hamad receives Saudi Shoura Council Speaker Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh at Al-Safriya Palace.
Updated 43 min 41 sec ago
Follow

Bahrain king receives speaker of Saudi Shoura Council

  • King Hamad expressed appreciation for King Salman’s efforts to strengthen the historical ties between their kingdoms

RIYADH: Bahrain’s King Hamad received Saudi Shoura Council Speaker Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh at Al-Safriya Palace in Manama on Thursday.

The king praised the deep-rooted relations between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and the high level of close cooperation and mutual coordination achieved on all fronts to fulfil the interests and aspirations of the two countries, Saudi Press Agency reported.

He also expressed appreciation for King Salman’s efforts to strengthen the historical ties between the two kingdoms.

The king commended the instrumental role of Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council and Bahrain’s Council of Representatives and Shoura Council in bolstering relations and supporting development in the two countries.

The king also welcomed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Bahraini Council of Representatives and the Saudi Shoura Council, which aims to expand and strengthen cooperation frameworks, exchange expertise and experiences at the legislative and parliamentary levels, and coordinate positions taken at various regional and international parliamentary forums.