Saudi Arabia: Women showcase business talent at Bisat Al-Reeh

JEDDAH: RIMA AL-MUKHTAR & FOUZIA KHAN
Friday 19 July 2013

This year’s Bisat Al-Reeh festival has been successful because it helped showcase the talent and innovation of Saudi businesswomen.’

This was the assessment made by Princess Adela bint Abdullah, president of the National Home Health Care Foundation, at a press conference here on Wednesday night.

The event this year was attended by 165 business exhibitors, eight welfare societies from inside and outside the Kingdom and more than 10,000 visitors and clients. Princess Adela said the festival successfully helped in the promotion of local businesses and supported the foundation. She said the festival gathered the businesses of many Saudi women “under one roof to give them the opportunity to socialize, learn from each other’s experience and make profits.”

The princess told Arab News that the final day of the festival was important because it was open for families, not only women. “Many businessmen attended the last day of the festival, which gives women with start-up and home businesses an opportunity to showcase their work,” she said.

“This also gives businessmen the opportunity to invest in small businesses. We are very proud to be the bridge that connects both sides and to witness the success of Saudi women,” she said.

Princess Adela said the main objective of the festival was to find a good source of income for patients and to provide medical facilities and care. “In September we plan to open a home health care facility with the cooperation of the Ministry of Health in Asir. This facility will serve a lot of needy patients. In November, we will organize a conference on health care physicians, exhibit the facilities for patients and discuss how to remove obstacles they face,” she said.
Saudi businesswoman Ola Rajab said her catering business called Al-Beit Al-Hijazi, Arabic for Hijazi Home, was inspired by her father. “My father was the one person in the family who made sure we ate traditional Hijazi food regularly and that’s how I came up with the idea of my home-based catering business.”

“I started with one set menu and now have three, from appetizers to desserts,” she said. “I also offer different services from décor to renting traditional clothing to clients. My goal is to preserve the traditions and culture of the western region because I am very proud of it,” she added.

Rajab said many consulates hire her company for functions and she always makes an effort to introduce them to the traditions, food, clothing and costumes of the Hijazi people.

Seba Nazir, who produces crochet and cross-stitch handmade products, said that she and her friends wanted to showcase their work. She said all the money from stalls and the rentals of booths would go toward helping cancer patients.

Many visitors said they enjoyed the exhibition. “It’s beautiful and looks fancy. We are proud that many Saudi women brought their traditional and homemade products to the exhibition.

SOURCE: http://arabnews.com/news/458428

Ola Rajab, founder of Al-Beit Al-Hijazi catering firm, wearing a traditional Madinah costume. (AN photo)

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