Recent News

Sidi Mansour – Restaurant Review

WSB Admin 01/11/2017 0


You will, no doubt, have noticed the local, business marketing strategy peculiar to Saudi – group all similar businesses together in one district, and leave the customers to opt for the best one. Need furniture? Take a ride to Exit 16. For electrical light fittings, catch an Uber to the Dhahran Road. Fancy shawarma? Send your man, of course, to the middle of Tahlia.

Fondly known as such, the street is officially named Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Street, but no-one ever calls it that. These cool evenings see Tahlia’s pavement lined with customers sitting outside the shawarma takeaways. But how does our one shawarma shop, with so many reclining customers outside, set itself apart from the others? Firstly, by enigmatically repeating the Tahlia model: being known for one thing (great Turkish kebabs, AKA shawarma) whilst officially being named as another – the Tunisian, Sidi Mansour. Secondly, all the dishes are prepared in-house with fresh chicken and meat from Forsan. Trimmed and marinated on site, giving a unique and delicious flavour. For a final stroke of genius, Sidi Mansour even lets you order a whole, party shawarma stand, where you can have it cooked and sliced in your own home.

Offering a range of tasty kebab-style sandwich and plate options, the menu also provides other delicious Turkish dishes including a variety of pies, and endless, delicious variations on a shawarma-y theme. Vibrant, colourful, fresh juices and fruit cocktails are found in the drinks section.


Now, let’s turn our minds back to those balmy-evening-shawarma-indulging customers lining Tahlia’s pavement cafés. We find that, for the time being, they are predominantly men, and family sections are not usual in this part of town…..yet. But take heart, as you await delivery of your order, your driver can report back on how the pretty, colourful, zesty interior of Sidi Mansour reveals the feminine touch of its female owner. Think on too how this happy fact, combined with living in a Kingdom undergoing momentous change, may mean that not only might you soon drive along Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Road and pull up outside Sidi Mansour in your own car to recline at the pavement tables, but you may also see that colourful, zesty interior for yourself …. and even order your own shawarma.

Sidi Mansour

4184 Prince Muhammad Bin Abdulaziz Road Sulmaniya Riyadh

+966 50 914 6176

Hours: 12pm-2am

A. Leyla wa Leyla

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WSB Feedback Survey

WSB Admin 31/10/2017 1

Would you like a chance to win a free body wrap gift voucher at Riyadh’s premier Luthan Hotel and Spa? Simply fill out this very brief WSB Feedback Form for your chance to win. It won’t take more than 5 minutes. Let us know how we can serve you better!

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FOMO- A Modern Day Phenomenon 2017

WSB Admin 31/10/2017 0


By Sairah Zubair Khan

What do I mean by FOMO, you may ask? It is an occurrence that I have observed almost daily, since our school holidays began for half term last week. It’s more commonly known as ‘Fear of Missing Out’.

Not posting the latest video, checking a vital text message, are the ticks ‘blue or not’, checking bonus points on a game. “If I don’t check my message, reply, tweet…”. Thankfully we are all still here and intact, the world is saved!

I recently read a very interesting post on Pinterest. It was posted by a fellow observer and I would like to share it with you;


The phone/device does not go to school with you, unless requested by the teacher. Have a conversation with the people you text in person. It’s a life skill!

Don’t take a million photos and videos. There is no need to document everything. Live your experiences.

Leave your phone/device at home sometimes. Feel secure in that decision. It is not alive or an extension of you. Learn to live without it. Be bigger than FOMO-fear of missing out.

Play a game with words, puzzles or brain teasers. Play with each other! Keep your eyes up. See the world happening around you.


Any google search will provide a list of things to do before you are 10, 12 and so on. The National Trust in the UK and Nature Play Australia provide wonderful resources for a sunny and rainy day, both indoors and outdoors.

Climb a tree, make a mud pie, build a den, hold a scary beast to name but a few.

Join in the 50 things summer fun | National Trust…/summer-50-things-activities-for-adventurous-familie…

51 Things to do Before You’re 12 – Nature Play WA

You may be wondering, that’s all well and good but we live in the middle of the desert! No lakes and streams here?!

No matter, we can adapt the lists to the terrain we have here. If you look hard enough, there are fields of wildflowers, date farms, Wadi’s that hold water and wonderful Oasis to spend an afternoon exploring.

Not to mention the Cultural Villages that we have, providing endless hours of fun for young minds.


By now, it’s day four of the holidays. You have been creative, gone through the list and they are still complaining of boredom. They are feeling the after effects of being weaned off their device, heart palpitations, sweating, more sleep, a clear mind…

What to do? Well most of us live in a compound set up. Some compounds provide a social club, sports facilities, have outdoor play grounds, host themed events at Eid, Christmas, Halloween etc.


Why then do we isolate ourselves, whilst living here? We attend the parties, school events, istraha days (picnics). It seems only when they involve ‘people like us’.

We need to teach and promote our kids to be culturally sensitive and tolerant. Make friends with those living around you. They are not so different to yourself, tv programmes, music, sport, video games transcend all languages and cultures.

By now any child can sing, dance or hum ‘despacito’ regardless of age, language, colour or nationality. We must be aware and practice social inclusion rather than exclusion. A friendly football match for all participants, art competitions, bake a cake for the neighbourhood!


At Eid and Ramadan, we have made lifelong friends by sending a dish familiar and loved by our family to our neighbours. In return we receive an amazing surprise each night, it could be a South American starter, Chinese main course and a delicious Palestinian dessert.

My children cook and love to show off their skills by providing food. In turn they are remembered for their kindness.

At the end of the day, we want our children to feel socially accepted, be happy and healthy, with a ‘Need to Join In’!

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COMO Maalifushi Maldives “Offers 40% Discount”

WSB Admin 31/10/2017 0


COMO Maalifushi – one of the latest 5* resorts to open in the Maldives offers 40% discount on its premium villas for stays through 15 March 2018. Members of Womens Skills Bureau will also enjoy 50% off seaplane transfers and complimentary half board. With non-stop flights from Riyadh, the Maldives Islands are the perfect getaway for a long, relaxing weekend with your partner or family.          


COMO Maalifushi is the first and only resort to open on the unspoilt Thaa Atoll in the Maldives, surrounded by calm and clear lagoons, long expansive flats, uninhabited islands and pristine reefs. It is reached by a 60-minute seaplane flight from Male, whisking you south towards the equator across four atolls. To COMO Maalifushi’s natural beauty, the resort has added overwater suites and villas, built off wooden walkways that stand just above the shallow lagoon. Cuisine is so fresh, they serve the daily-caught seafood as sushi and sashimi, with organic and local produce rendered in healthy menus at their two restaurants. Guests can enjoy yoga and holistic Asian therapies at the COMO Shambhala Retreat, with their entire stay at COMO Maalifushi defined by their exacting, passionate service.


At COMO Maalifushi, the five premium villas are the ultimate in luxury accommodation – each with two or more bedrooms and expansive views over the cobalt ocean. The overwater villas have private terraces from which you can slip straight into the sea, while the COMO Residence and Maalifushi Beach Villa sit at the edge of the sand. Large families will find room for silence, with living and dining areas, oversized sundecks, private pools and outdoor dining facilities. COMO Maalifushi’s premium villas – full of air and light – are the ideal place to find respite in this away-from- it-all destination.


‘Play by Como’ is the resort’s very own kids club and will definitely keep the children busy all day if Mum and Dad want some well-earned rest. Also, as a family-friendly resort, there are plenty of activities for all the family. Guests can try a sunset cruise with a twist. Once in the open water children seven years and older can hop onto the dhoni’s splash net and experience the thrill of being towed safely through the ocean while searching of dolphins migrating through the Atoll. There are also resident Marine Biologists who provide informative and entertaining twice-weekly talks to discuss many areas of marine life, environments and ecosystems. All the family will learn to accurately identify fish, plants and other aquatic life. Another popular activity is sushi-making, where kids are taught by the chef from the award-winning Japanese restaurant.


Beautiful over-sized villas, great food, a variety of watersports and the most stunning beaches make COMO Maalifushi the ideal getaway this winter. To request an e-brochure or to book, contact

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“This is you!” -Confidence & Creativity Inspired by The Riyadh International Quilt Guild

WSB Admin 31/10/2017 0


By Leigh-Jane Obermayer

You’d be wrong to think that the quilting guild here in Riyadh is only about sewing. This organisation has been around since the early 1980’s and is still going strong. What’s their secret?

I took a peek into one of the best-kept secrets of Riyadh and the Quilting World one Saturday morning. Whilst driving to the meeting, images of a small circle of ladies sitting in a room looking over headmistress style glasses with needles thrashing through colourful patches of fabric, I was certainly in for a surprise. The room was filled with ladies and being a little timid around crowds, they soon made me feel very welcome.

The art of Quilting, some believe dates back more than

5,000 years ago, with the oldest still in existence “The Tristan Quilt” exhibited in the V & A Museum, London. Quilting (derived from the Latin word ‘culcita’ meaning stuffed stack) is essentially stitching which holds three layers of the quilt ‘sandwich’ together while forming a decorative design.

According to its members, there’s no “typical” meeting, each brings new insights, techniques, tips and challenges, still, there is a set program for each month. During my visit, I was fortunate to take in a reflective and inspiring message from a long-standing member’s “Tips & Tricks” presentation: “Finished is better than Perfect”

This presentation struck a cord, how many projects have I started with all good intentions of making it a

‘Master Piece’ and ending with not having the time to complete it?

The message to her fellow quilters: Do not compare

Technology can be a friend or a foe

Don’t point out your own mistakes (we are our own worst critic).

Other activities during a meeting include, door prize draws, fabric (or quilting tool ) swaps and the Block of the month, (BOM) which is a monthly program whereby members are working towards their own annual quilt. This year the ladies are “Quilting a Rainbow” where a colour is selected for each month and members are creating a block (piece of a quilt) in this Colour.

Coincidently, November’s colour is Purple, an excellent choice for WSB Newsletter readers.

In addition, the ladies have a “Show and Tell” where members share their work, inspirations and experiences while creating their Quilt.

After the meeting, delicious refreshments can be enjoyed which are brought in by the members, before some of them settle down for an interesting afternoon workshop, where new techniques can be learnt.

There is an impressive library which members can borrow and an online book reference.

Meetings are held every third Saturday of the month from September to May at an easily accessible location in Riyadh. Membership costs 150sr per year or guest members can join for 30sr per visit.

The Riyadh Quilt Guild welcome, inspire, teach and explore and assure whilst accomplishing beautiful creations and giving back to the community. Every member is an inspirational woman, this is you!

If you would like to know more about membership or interested in their trips, charity involvements and special events please visit their

website: or email:

Next Guild Meeting: Saturday 18th November 2017

For Quilting services outside of Riyadh Quilt Guild membership, please contact the following for supplies and classes:

Evelyn’s Quilting Room –


The Crafts Hub –

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Book Review – The Spy

WSB Admin 31/10/2017 0


Review by Saima Bukhtiar

The Spy is written by the worldwide bestselling author; Paulo Coelho. The book is a story of a strong willed woman, Mata Hari, at the time of World War 1. Paulo Coelho writes from a woman’s perspective, narrating from a letter Mata Hari writes to her lawyer.

Mata Hari belonged to a middle class family. She suffered abuse at a young age and to escape that situation, she decides to get married. Unfortunately, her husband turns out to be abusive as well. Eventually, she gathers the courage to free herself from him and becomes an entertainer and a courtesan. She has high ranking men from the WW1 era as her clients. Mata Hari becomes a pioneer of provocative dance, which is appreciated as art, by the audience of Paris. She starts enjoying a luxurious life style that her admirers provide for her. She believes “when we don’t know where life is taking us, we are never lost.” With this confidence, Mata Hari takes up different roles to please her clients, and starts lying to the point that eventually even she is confused about who she is.

“Be who I am? How could I be true to myself if I didn’t know exactly who I was? The dancer who took Europe by storm? The housewife who humiliated herself in the Dutch East Indies? The lover of powerful men? The woman the press called a “vulgar artist,” despite, just a short time before, admiring and idolizing her”?

Ultimately, Mata Hari gets arrested. She is accused of espionage and gets sentenced to death. Despite the lack of evidence, Mata Hari loses her life. All in an effort to take the focus away from the thousands of young men getting killed on the battlefield. She paid a high price for following her dreams and breaking the conventions for her time.

Paulo Coelho grasps his reader’s interest right from the beginning. Mata Hari’s persona is very captivating. Her courage to walk out of an abusive marriage is admirable. She builds herself up as a strong and independent woman by breaking the norms of that era. Though her early life is full of tragedy, she picks herself back up and starts a new life by making history in the style of her dancing that is publicly acceptable for the first time in the name of art.

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Saudi National Day

WSB Admin 01/10/2017 0

Intercontinental Hotel hosts a remarkable pool side National Day Dinner




To mark the 87th National Day, Al Faisaliah Hotel illuminates the property with a display of lights representing Saudi Arabia’s flag colours to showcase their pride and patriotism for the birth of the Kingdom.



Al Faisaliah Hotel invited guests to indulge in a celebratory cake cutting ceremony in celebration of National Day


Burj Rafal Kempinski Hotel, Saudi National Day in Aroma Restaurant


Burj Rafal Kempinski “Ruz Al Azeema” dish prepared by Saudi Chef Ward Tamim


Four Seasons Hotel Planning Committee members with Executive Chef Ahmad Fawzy and Saudi Chef Yousef Al Ali


Kingdom Tower with fireworks show and light projection


Al Nakhla Residential Resorts celebration of Saudi National Day




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Taste of Dilli Restaurant – Review

WSB Admin 30/09/2017 0

Final Logo

Taste of Dilli Restaurant, Olaya, Riyadh.

Spoilt for choice. This is our overall impression of Dilli’s new, authentic North Indian menu. What a refreshing change too, to find almost every item on the menu to be a new, authentic dish that we had not tried before. It was difficult not to order a little something from every section of the menu. Unsurprisingly, the size of our take-home bag was testament to our somewhat unsuccessful resistance.


On arrival, our charming host thoughtfully refreshed us with a lovely watermelon and curiously-pleasing basil seed juice. Every course to follow provides you with something novel, beginning with sweet, papaya chutney with the driest, crispiest pappadoms. Sample more than one starter – savoury flakes of Papdi Chat topped with curried potato, tamarind chutney and yoghurt, Jhinga Dilli fat, crispy, spiced shrimps, plus Gosht Ke Galouti – finest, traditional, spiced lamb kebabs with saffron-infused rotis.


You will find selecting your main course something of a challenge as there are so many interesting and unusual dishes. Don’t neglect to try the fish masala biryani, which is sealed with a thin, crusty layer of bread, exposing at your table the still-steaming, finely separated, long grains of fragrant, basmati rice. There are various chicken options including Kasturi Murgh Tikka, deliciously prepared with fenugreek and cheese. The mixed bread basket includes buttery rotis and fluffy naans, which combine wonderfully with the Palak Paneer – an extremely generous helping of creamed spinach paste hiding soft, plump pieces of Indian cheese. Kachumber salad with zesty lemon and coriander adds a refreshing dimension, complementing the meat dishes.


The restaurant staff are delightful, gentle and informative. They will tell you some of the mysteries of their chef’s exotic dishes and serve you in a most gentile manner. They will persuade you to try Gulab Jamun for dessert, served warm with a cold scoop of vanilla ice cream. Do so. Resistance is futile.

A Leyla wa Leyla.

Taste of Dilli Restaurant


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Forte Village – Island of Sardinia

WSB Admin 30/09/2017 0


Forte Village – a unique destination resort on the beautiful island of Sardinia. Experience an effective wellness retreat this Autumn with accommodation rates from only Euro 240 per person per night, including breakfast and dinner daily.


Nestled among 47 hectares of beautiful gardens along a white sand beach on the sunny south coast of Sardinia, Forte Village offers guests a choice of 5 five star hotels and 3 four star hotels plus 9 luxury villas. There is a choice of gourmet and buffet restaurants, up to 21 in high season; numerous swimming pools and a charming piazza with fashion boutiques and evening entertainment under the stars. Infants, children and teenagers all have so much to do and there is an unparalleled range of sports facilities and academies. Best of all, there is always space to relax and this Autumn, members of the Women’s Skills Bureau can take time out to enjoy the unique treatments and pure luxury of the world-class Acquaforte Thalasso Spa.

Surrounded by a beautiful tropical garden the spa is a place where a deep and holistic wellness culture promotes research. The experienced therapists and professional medical consultants work together to offer programs tailored to each patient’s individual needs. All treatments start with a consultation, followed by clinical testing and a full medical history review. Packages on offer include: Thalasso Detox – ideal for sleep issues, anxiety, depression and muscle pains. Anti-Aging – ideal for tissue regeneration, prevention of premature aging, decreased libido and coping with the menopause. Stay Healthy – ideal for muscle disorders, cardiovascular issues, immune system support and increasing self-esteem. Weight loss: – ideal for slimming, obesity, diabetes and hypertension.


4-day packages start at Euro 1,395 per person, including all treatments. In addition to the package costs, guests will add the cost of their chosen accommodation, which starts at Euro 240 per person per night, including breakfast and dinner daily.

Whether you travel as a family, couple or with friends, Forte Village offer something for everyone. For more information or to book, contact

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WSB Admin 30/09/2017 0

The Kingdoms First and Premier Exploration of Local and International design returns for its fourth year

October 5-8, 2017

APEX Convention Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


– October 5-8, 2017, Saudi Design Week will be at KAPSARC’s Apex Convention Center, Riyadh

– Promises to deliver unique opportunities to learn about design through curated exhibitions, design forum, fair and various activities.

– Talks and workshops from leading creative leaders and designers aimed to engage, educate and inspire audience and emerging practitioners.

From October 5-8, 2017, Saudi Design Week returns to transform Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh into a dynamic and interactive design platform.

Oasis Magazine and the Saudi Design Week team are launching their fourth annual design event devoted to exhibiting innovative product design, and supporting national and international designers. It brings the masters in the creative industries together with emerging talents, giving them a communal space to share in their common passion as one community.


This year’s theme explores the concept of “Design in Motion”. Designers will study that sense of motion figuratively by showcasing the stories behind their products as they move from sketch to shelf, or seek a more literal understanding by exploring the intersection of design and sports, and even motion in design through multiple dimensions such as time.

Special Projects:

Black Diamond is a design installation by BIA design studio seeking to unify the event’s identity with that of the venue’s (KAPSARC) as well as its architect’s, the late Zaha Hadid. The piece will use shades of black and be scattered in space to represent the fragments of a gem, all of which is intended to evoke petroleum and its impact on the region.

DESIGNxUS by Shepherd Design Studio is considered a response to local architecture by presenting spatial configurations that synthesize local polychrome frescos and dynamism of space. The goal is to develop a space that engenders design in-transit and makes it a creative nexus that encourages collaboration.

Alongside site-specific installations, Saudi Design Week 2017 brings together over 50 unique designers both local and international with a special focus on promoting the talents within Saudi Arabia and creating a dynamic platform for exchange across the designers encouraging and following the direction and vision of Saudi 2030. Sponsors are also taking an active role in this year’s theme and creating special exhibitions for the audience to enjoy.

“An ardent supporter of the arts, Van Cleef & Arpels is proud to partner with Saudi Design Week, a unique design initiative supporting local and international talent.” says Alessandro Maffi, Van Cleef & Arpels Managing Director Middle East and India. “To mark this occasion, the Maison invites jewelry admirers to Couture & Movement, an exhibition and interpretation of Design in Motion, highlighting the play of volume and style within its High Jewelry creations.”




Haute Couture and High Jewelry are kindred spirits. They inhabit a universe governed by the same values: a respect for tradition, the transmission of specialized skills, and the constant pursuit of perfection. Van Cleef & Arpels’ High Jewelry collection Couture is a tribute to these shared values. The grace and refinement of Haute Couture are reinterpreted through the eyes of a master-jeweler. Thematically, the Roaring Twenties have exerted a strong influence: much of the jewelry recalls the freedom, extravagance, and modernism which so marked that period. Sumptuous textiles are evoked by creations that imitate the fabric of fine garments. Ornaments like buttons, zips, pompoms, and ribbons are transformed into a glittering interplay of metal and precious stones.

Considered to be Saudi Arabia’s first design festival, Saudi Design Week features curated exhibitions, workshops, dedicated design forum and market and related activities, making this the place to be to discuss, debate and delight in great design.

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