Recent News

Fun Activities for Families in Riyadh

WSB Admin 02/01/2017 0

Take advantage of the popular Saudi pastime of desert camping. With many camps just 15 minutes north of the airport, its only a short drive for a total change of pace. Relax while the kids run free and enjoy a barbeque with friends and family. Camps can be rented by the hour or day and range in facilities.

Mall Play Areas
Many shopping malls offer play areas for kids to run around and let out their boundless energy! There is a soft play near the food court in Panorama Mall with it’s own special area for babies and toddlers (50 SAR for a day of unlimited play). The play area in Baroue Toy Store in Hayat Mall has a trampoline and huge sand box (incase living in one isn’t enough for you). If you are looking to beat the crowds, be sure to go to in the morning or early afternoon.

Picnic in the Park
Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter is the perfect place to go for a picnic with the family. With over 10 parks to explore, you are sure to find the perfect spot to enjoy a few hours in nature. If security is a barrier to entering the DQ, you may have to simultaneously make a visit to your embassy, mention a friend residing in the DQ, or possibly make an appointment at one of the salons within the DQ.

Visit a New Compound
Why not make a trip off the compound, even if it’s to visit another one! Many of Riyadh’s compounds cater to families and are complete with restaurants, cafes, and playgrounds. Various expatriate focused organizations and children’s playgroups meet at different compounds around Riyadh. If you don’t belong to a group or have friends residing on a compound, there are other ways to visit. You could always call a compound and request a tour or make a booking at one of the compound facilities. For example, Mashreq Spa on the luxurious Al Nakhla Resort accepts appointments from western non-residents.

Friday Brunch
Visit the weekend brunch at Al Faisaliah Resort or The Four Seasons Hotel to find fabulous food and fun for the whole family. Al Faisaliah’s famous restaurant La Cucina offers face painting and pizza making for kids during brunch.

Desert Camp Daily Rental call 0555558760
Unaware of the various children’s playgroups around town? Feel free to email for more information.

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Home Based Businesses Spotlight: Kelly Downing, Realtor

WSB Admin 01/01/2017 0


Our homes, no matter where they may be in the world, are our sanctuaries. They are places where memories are made and peace is found. As most of you know, deciding where to make our home is not always an easy decision. The guidance of an expert can help us find and secure our ideal home, especially in an unfamiliar city.

For women with an interest in real estate, passion for helping others, and desire for work flexibility, embarking on a career as a Realtor can be a fulfilling path. WSB had the pleasure to learn about what it really takes to break into the real estate field with local real estate expert and licensed realtor Kelly Downing. We hope this interview will inspire you to follow your own passions and craft the career of your dreams!

Can you tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to Riyadh?
I am originally from the Washington, DC area but have lived in Chapel Hill, NC (for university) and Chicago (for work). I first arrived in Riyadh in 2012 after I married my Saudi husband. We now have a toddler son.

What inspired you to embark on a career in real estate?
A lot of things came together that encouraged my real estate career. First, I’ve had an interest in the industry for as long as I can remember. I used to bring home the advertisement magazines and chart out my own subdivisions for fun. Second, I have degrees in economics and business, so have always intended to use these skills for myself. Finally, many of my connections here in KSA were asking for advice on purchasing property in the U.S. That, combined with my own experience in the Riyadh real estate market, showed me that there was really a need for my professional services. This past summer, I fulfilled the licensing requirements and affiliated as a Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Rockville, MD. Now, not only am I continuing to work in the U.S. market from my Riyadh base, I am representing property owners in KSA who require personal service and dedicated service. I am also in the process of establishing my own agency here in Riyadh.

As a mother to a small child, how do you make time for your career?
I am fortunate that I genuinely am energized when I’m juggling different projects that I enjoy. That thrill really keeps me going. But, that isn’t enough to push through every circumstance. I have to manage the unexpected with moderation: I fill my time equally between the various areas of my life (work, baby, husband, socializing, me time, housekeeping). I make sure that they are all getting their fair share of attention. If one area is particularly neglected or demanding, I make sure to plan the following week’s schedule to put it back into balance. I think it’s very important to always be aware of both my priorities and limits. Additionally, I have help around the home which is a luxury we are able to enjoy as part of the lifestyle here.

Do you have tips or recommendations for families considering renting a home in Riyadh outside the compounds?
As cliché as it sounds, the most important thing to look for is location, location, location – and this preference is very personal. Envision where your family will spend the day-to-day but also where you will socialize. Riyadh traffic is pretty dense, so a short commute for all members of the family & their various activities makes a big difference in quality of life. Beyond that, you really can find exactly what you want and need in Riyadh real estate. It just takes more searching and determination than you may be used to. Which is why it really helps to have a true professional looking out for you. I always advise people to identify their 3 must-haves in a property. As long as those needs are met, you can be creative in meeting the others. For example, if your property lacks a driver’s room, you can consider finding one in the neighborhood and calculate that against your budget. If the layout or finishes aren’t just perfect, repurposing and remodeling can be done fairly easily and inexpensively in Riyadh, which is not true in many other markets.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of working in the real estate field?
The biggest benefit to me for working in real estate is that it’s something I truly enjoy. I can’t say it doesn’t feel like work (as the saying goes) but it is fulfilling. To be more general, though, the benefits of a real estate career include the flexibility of setting your own schedule, the ability to work remotely a majority of the time, the potential to earn limitlessly, the excitement of always meeting new people and constantly learning more in order to serve them. The drawbacks would be that there are many upfront costs and even more so if you are licensed in the U.S. Also, the earnings are less consistent and reliable. Additionally, as expats in Riyadh, you have to overcome cultural and language barriers in order to engage with others in the industry and you have to be willing to go out and explore. These may be better described as challenges rather than drawbacks!

What advice would you give to women looking to pursue a career in real estate?
I would welcome you to contact me! I’d be happy to help in any way I can. Additionally, although licensing courses aren’t required in KSA, I would strongly encourage anyone who wants to start a real estate career from scratch to take online courses to learn terminology and become familiar with the different scenarios you will need to navigate as a real estate agent.

Thank you Kelly for giving us insight into a career in the world of real estate!

Follow Kelly on …
Facebook: @KellyDowningRealEstate

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Chopped KSA

Marcom 01/01/2017 0

Where Gourmet Begins

Review by Maria Cometti

This past weekend we barbequed with friends, and my husband was responsible to bring the meat for grilling. I was expecting the standard quality local beef and packs of marinated chicken from the grocery. To my most pleasant surprise, the meat he served was like nothing I had tasted before in Saudi Arabia. The beef was “melt in your mouth” tender and the chicken and beef sausages were deliciously seasoned. He even grilled stuffed mushrooms and twice baked potato’s that seemed to have been prepared for a fine dining restaurant. I had to find out where my husband bought this delicious fare so I could spread the word!


If you haven’t been to Chopped butchery, consider this a personal invitation to Check It Out! You are sure to feel welcomed by their friendly and knowledgeable English speaking staff. Anyone who appreciates high quality, grass-fed meats and organic chicken will surly fall in love with this Riyadh Butchery. Their daily pre-packed and marinated options are perfect for the barbeque or times you are too busy to cook. Just light up the grill and voila!


WSB had the pleasure to catch up with Mr. Zeid AlAhmad, Chopped’s Managing Director, to learn more about Chopped KSA and their exciting developments here in Riyadh.

What inspired the creation of Chopped KSA?

Pure passion to the products especially high quality beef!! We are all foodies and wanted to share this love with everyone else.

You have only been open one year. What has been the response to Chopped in the local market?

Response has been overwhelming positive. I believe that the support, kind words, and positive feedback we got from Chopped clients this year has built an unbreakable bond between us and our clients. I feel we are more loyal towards them than they are to us and hence keep on pushing us to offer them better quality and service.

What sets Chopped apart from the other butcheries in Riyadh?

Mainly the quality of all products we carry. We pride ourselves in the high quality products we get, and also the highly knowledgeable and experienced staff. We try to create a positive response to every Chopped client not just another ‘quick run to the grocery store’.



What is your most popular meat?

Chopped burger has been our best-selling every month since the day we have opened. We only use the highest quality beef and the best cuts to make the burger.

There is growing concern about meat quality and ensuring animals are humanely raised. Is the care of animals reflected in the taste of meat?

Of course it is, we deal with only the best farms around the world that ensures that the animals are humanely raised. Most of our beef is hormone and antibiotic free. The feed that the cattle eat is of high quality grains or grass which is reflected in the quality. Moreover the cattle stress levels are also monitored by the farms as it reflects on the tenderness of the beef, so they make sure that all cattle is comfortable, and stress free.

You have a new location opening soon, can you tell us about it?

We have upgraded the concept a bit, the focus will always be the butchery but we have added more variety and options for our clients to make their experience more comfortable and easy – one stop shop for all their needs. We have added a deli and filled it with beautiful French, Italian, and local cheeses. It will also have some mouthwatering dried beef and cold cuts. We will have more sauces, more breads, some frozen sea food, and many more surprises that will hopefully meet the standards and expectations of all Chopped clients.

Thank you Mr. Zeid for answering our questions and for bringing Chopped KSA to Riyadh!

Fore more information:
+966 11 415 2168
King Abdul Aziz Rd, Salah Ad Din, Riyadh 12434
HOURS 9am- 10pm

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Cake & Crumbles

WSB Admin 30/11/2016 1

Starting a home-based business can be a great way for women to harness their talent and generate an income. Especially for moms with young children, the flexibility of self-employment can be a major benefit. Social media has created an amazing opportunity for individuals to market their home-based businesses. From showcasing a product or service offering to connecting with potential customers, social media makes it all possible. If you have a talent and some entrepreneurial spirit, a home-based business may be the right move for you.

WSB had the pleasure to learn more about Emma Foster’s popular home based bakery,
Cake & Crumbles.

Can you tell WSB readers about yourself and your home-bakery Cake & Crumbles?
Cake & Crumbles makes bespoke decorated cakes and cupcakes as well as small treats like brownies, biscotti and biscuits.

I grew up in the coastal town of Durban in South Africa. After finishing school I enrolled in the Christina Martin School of Food and Wine and after 1 year of intense study, I qualified as a professional chef. It was during this course that my love of baking and cake decorating was born. My first job as a chef was working at the Victoria & Alfred hotel in Cape Town where I gained valuable experience. I then switched careers and studied and worked as an interior designer for a number of years. In 2003 I moved to London and worked in the interior design industry starting in residential and ending up in restaurant design which I loved as it incorporated my love for food.

It was during this time in London that I met and married my husband who works for the British Army. We have done various postings around the UK and thought an overseas posting would be a good experience for us which is how we ended up in Saudi Arabia.

Having experimented with various flavors and combinations, I would have to say my favorite signature cake is my lime and pistachio, with lime curd filling and lime buttercream. However, my most popular cake is the chocolate fudge cake – who doesn’t love chocolate?

What made you decide to start a home bakery?
As an Army wife I quickly had to get used moving around and it was also around this time that we started a family. As a result, I took a break from Interior Design and decided to combine my creativity and culinary experience and started Cake and Crumbles. So far, it has been a huge success and I am constantly amazed at the high demand for bespoke cakes.

How do you find customers?
Most of my customers come to me through referrals from other customers – never underestimate the power of ‘word of mouth’. Apart from that, customers find me through my Facebook page.

What’s the best part of your work?
The best part of my work is seeing the finished product after hours of work. Many people don’t realize the amount of time and effort it takes to make a cake. Receiving positive feedback from clients is the second best part of my work. Although I love making visually appealing cakes, taste and flavor is very important to me and having clients tell me they loved eating my cakes makes it all worthwhile.

What advice would you give to other women considering starting a home-based business?
If you want to start up your own business I’d say go for it. Have a clear idea of what you want to do. Accept that there will be ups and down but you will always learn from the downs which will make your business stronger. You need self-drive and determination and most of all, love what you do.

Follow Emma and Cake & Crumbles on social media:
Facebook page:
Instagram: cakeandcrumbles2016

For inquiries and submissions to WSB moms corner, email

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Organic Foods in Riyadh

WSB Admin 30/11/2016 0

Over the past 5 years, Organic foods in Riyadh have been increasingly occupying their place in the market. The demand has been heard and many companies are ready to meet the need for healthy wholesome food.

When I first moved to Riyadh 9 years ago, there were only 3 stores that carried organic foods, the two on Oruba that carry imported, packaged, and processed foods, Organic Food Center and Nutrition Organic.

Watania carries fresh local food and there are10 locations in Riyadh so you are bound to have one near you.

The pink Tarha have a fantastic article on Nutrition Organic with pictures of all their products that can be found here They can also be found in your local grocery stores, LuLu, Carrefour, Danube and Tamimi and also in many specialty shops ready to jump on this new business opportunity. Specialty stores like Natureland carry only organic food and specialty items including cleaning supplies, and offers online ordering and free delivery for orders over 500 SAR.

Organic restaurants are also hitting the Riyadh scene with trendy new cafes and even pizzeria’s making their mark. Wellness kitchen offers delivery and home service with specific diet plans to help you lose weight with nutritious organic foods. Some calorie generous organic yums can be found at Oregano Pizzeria, Dukan burgers, and Elevation Burger.

One company that resembles the Wholefoods theme in the states, Abazeer with two stores in Jeddah and one in Khobar, will soon open there doors in Riyadh. The health conscious will definitely find their fix in Abazeer with the vast selection of organic grains, pastas, fruits, vegetables, gluten free products and more, all in one place.

This store is connecting all the channels from operating organic farms and delivery to the marketplace. They are also the sole distributor for many of your favorite organic brands. Keep your eyes and ears open for their Grand Opening, it will definitely be worth the wait.

The biggest challenge I have is finding organic, anti-biotic free, grass fed meat, but hopefully this will be a niche in the market that will be filled soon.

For skincare products you might try Basharacare, an online store here in Riyadh that offers delivery.

The Saturday Market is also a nice option with local meat, fruits and vegetables. Not all of the food is organic, but it is local, leaving less of a carbon footprint on the planet. There are a couple of delivery services for farm fresh fruits and vegetables. Nidal Farms offers farm fresh vegetables and some packaged goods for delivery every Friday. You can contact them for further details at 0539411187.

For the food to be labeled Organic it must be grown in clean soil and have no genetic modifications. Synthetic pesticides, petroleum-based or sewage sludge-based fertilizers cannot be used on the plants or on the food the animals eat. Organic livestock must be given organic feed and have access to the outdoors. They may not be given antibiotics to prevent illness, growth hormones, or animal byproducts. It is important to be able to actually visit the farm to see the circumstances in which the food is grown or where the animals are actually being kept to ensure that the care and handling of the food and/or animal is actually organic and the meat processing hygienic.

According to the Saudi Department of Agriculture (DOA) government site, as of 2012, the DOA has certified 78 organic farms with 280 farmers in the application process. Animal husbandry has still not set it’s stage yet in the marketplace due to the limited availability of organic fodder, thus it’s currently restricted to a small number of farms and animals.

The four certified farms as of 2012 in Riyadh include:

Al Fawaz Farm, producing tomatoes, carrots, eggplants,
Al Shahwan for Organic Farming, producing tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, eggplants, dates, additional variety of 36 vegetables, Sheep
Al Sheha, producing dates, vegetables, fruits, alfalfa, goats
Al Janadriyha, producing dates, vegetables (e.g. jews mallow, red radish, pumpkin, beans, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower)

Most of the fresh organic food in Riyadh is sold from the farm gate or directly to your compound or home directly like Dr. Al Shahwan for Organic Farming and Nidal Farms. The processing side of organic business is still in the early stages. Watania, Al Khaldediah, and Abazeer are the three local companies that are starting to tackle this aspect of organic farming to combine production, processing and trade. From 2012, there were four international certification organizations operating in Saudi Arabia: two from Germany (BCS and CERES), one from France (ECOCERT), and one from Egypt (COAE). The companies who have entered the certification market most recently are TAWTHIQ and OneCert. TAWTHIQ is the first Saudi organic certification body.

For those interested in learning more about certified organic foods within Saudi Arabia and the progress and development that has taken place since the initiation of the Organic Farming project in 2005, please check out their PDF at


Useful links:

Home – Elevation Burger

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Why Not?

Marcom 29/11/2016 0

Insight and Wisdom from Evelyne Fallows

Interview and write up by: Maria Cometti

Have you been thinking about pursuing a hobby, finally teaching the skills you have mastered, or going on an adventure to the historical sites in Saudi Arabia? “Why not?” asks inspiring woman Evelyne Fallows. Why Not has been Evelyne’s motto throughout her journey in Saudi Arabia. This motto led her to do everything from organizing a monthly lunch club, to traveling around the country and running two semi-marathons.

I had the pleasure and honor to sit down with Evelyne who is a well-known fitness trainer, third time expatriate in Saudi Arabia, and former WSB board member. Evelyne truly has the mindset and ambition to overcome any challenges that could possibly stand in her way.

In this interview, I ask Evelyne about her journey to becoming a fitness trainer in Saudi Arabia and how other women can maximize their expatriate experience. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did.

M: This is your third expatriate experience in Saudi Arabia. What brought you to Saudi the first two times?
E: I originally came to KSA in 1990 and 1992 to work for a princess as a French language tutor. In 2009, I returned to the kingdom with my husband and son and spent the first 2 years working at the French school, teaching English as a foreign language.

M: You are a sought-after fitness trainer. Have you always been interested in health and fitness?
E: I was involved in competitive track and field from the age of 10 and always stayed active in various sports and fitness activities. Throughout my expatriate journey in Asia I took up Muai Thai, Spinning, Tennis, Yoga, and Pilates, among many others.

In 2006 I was diagnosed with a brain tumor in Hong Kong. In my efforts to recover from the surgery, I met with a phenomenal trainer, Wicky, a Kung Fu specialist, who trained me on core strength and stability. I regained strength and confidence and a few months after the surgery, I went on a hiking trip to Nepal. The whole experience was transformational and inspired me to share my passion for fitness with other women. In 2009, I obtained my certification with the National Academy of Sports Medicine and began my journey of personal training. I also studied nutrition and became a certified massage therapist. I am now looking into specializing in post op recovery.

M: How did you launch your fitness training career in Riyadh?
E: I was introduced to Sally Kennedy, the founder of WSB. When she learned of my training and career ambitions, she started connecting me with Saudi women looking for a personal trainer. Word started to spread and soon I built a solid client base.

M: How did you become involved with WSB?
E: WSB Board Member Florence Hughes encouraged me to write for the WSB newsletter. After contributing to the newsletter and attending a WSB event, I was so impressed with the organization that I wanted to become more involved with the Board. I expressed my interest in getting more involved with the then director Betsy, and was offered a position on the Board.

M: What advice do you have for women here who want to become more active or lose weight?
E: Don’t let the challenge of life in Riyadh discourage you. Come to the DQ, it is empty on Fridays making it perfect to bike, walk or run (without an abaya!). The whole DQ wadi track is about 16k. Don’t become too dependent on the car, walk when you can. Try something new and find an activity you enjoy. Many compounds offer classes and new gyms are popping up in town. Food is a big part of the local culture, so make wise and healthy choices.

M: What advice do you have for newcomers to Riyadh?
E: Come with an open mind. Do some research before you get here. Be patient, flexible, and tolerant. Respect the rules and make the best of what’s available. Take initiatives, get involved. Learn Arabic, volunteer, or start a group with likeminded individuals.

M: Do you have a motto or mantra?
E: I like to learn, discover, and better myself. My experience in KSA has been amazing and I have done things I would have never done at home. I always ask myself, “Why not?” Being an expatriate in Riyadh is a great opportunity to try new things. For example, I started a lunch group that would meet up at a new restaurant every month. A Breakfast and Books group. I was on stage for the first time ever. I even trained for my first semi marathon in Riyadh! And ran my second here. I wrote a book. I was on TV. I volunteered as goodwill ambassador for an association of disabled young adults. I met amazing people, Saudis and expats.

M: How can an expat women find a job or create opportunities for herself in Riyadh?
E: There are many opportunities here for those who give Saudi a chance. Start a home business or discover self-employment through a blog or tutoring for example. I would encourage women with a skill or training to work as a self-employed consultant or tutor. There are also many opportunities to work as embassy staff. It’s important to overcome your fear to take the first step.

M: What are your favorite places in Riyadh?


The Acoustic Tea Lounge (read my review here, try their rose latte!
Bateel café and restaurant, I’ve been so many times and have never been disappointed
Nozomi for outstanding Japanese food
Tamimi for healthy, gluten-free food, Lulu for exotic products, I love Thai food!
The DQ for walking my dog, running and biking
Luthan for my haircut and the beautiful spa

M: How can we learn more about your life journey and experience in Saudi Arabia?
E: I’m working on my second book that is pure fiction (in French) but the first one is partly about Saudi Arabia and partly my own story, in English, it will be edited and published next year I hope.

M: Thank you Evelyne for the opportunity to learn about your journey in KSA and for the helpful tips and advice. Thank you also for all your work and contributions to WSB! We are looking forward to the release of your book and to hearing about your next journey in NYC!

Follow Evelyne on Instagram evfallows

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Seafood Night at Flavours, Rosh Rayhaan by Rotana

WSB Admin 29/11/2016 0

Even the hottest, driest of places has its sheltered, welcoming haven. So it is in Riyadh – hidden in the heart of the Kingdom, about as far as you can get from the coast – Rosh Rayhaan for Rotana nourishes and refreshes with its sumptuous seafood buffet.

True to Arab hospitality, guests are welcomed from the bustle of popular Olaya Street with a refreshing thyme and lime sherbet. This is a moment to rest, observe your fellow diners, and prepare for the lavish feast ahead.  Expect to find yourself amongst Saudi dignitaries sampling the bouillabaisse gregarious groups of young women taking selfies of themselves and their food, and business partners ruminating over the deals of the day.


Start with a meze of orange blossom-infused moutabel, pomegranate-bejewelled hummus and generous portions of delicately-smoked, meaty, creamy salmon. No campfire ashes here.

Now, as for that lobster bouillabaisse – unless my trawling skills were woefully lacking, all the best bits seemed to have been plundered, leaving tomato-flavoured seawater. Either they were not there in the first place or previous guests’ trawling was inspired by the benefits of lubricating the wheels of business.

Thankfully, every other imaginable seafood is also available and displayed artfully at the live cooking station, from where the chef prepares the fish of your choice on the spot. Perfectly accompany your red snapper or meaty hammour with his mellow, liquorice-scented roasted fennel.

However, available is not necessarily accessible. Without a fish knife, crab mallet or lobster cracker, you have to wrestle with a traveller’s dilemma of how to eat cleanly and elegantly– go native using your primal instincts to extricate the delicious, succulent meat from the nooks and crannies, or criminally leave many of the tasty, (but tantalisingly unreachable) morsels untouched and unappreciated. Happily, the appearance of the genuinely warm and smiley Sri Lankan waiting staff offering to make a personalised fresh juice helps (have you ever seen a grumpy Sri Lankan?) – frothy, creamy, orange with mint sweetened only with pineapple – this juice not only aids digestion but also soothes any irritation at not being able to fully do justice to the chef’s superb skills.


Desert dessert, of course, offers endless, inevitably sweet variations with dates, cream or chocolate. But really, there is no merit in looking any further than the comforting, familiar arms of Umm Ali. Liberally sprinkled with crunchy purpley-green pistachios this soothing dish, steels you for the return journey home and the onslaught of Riyadh’s roads. Gaze up at the iconic Kingdom Centre as you leave replenished, appreciate its colored glow, muse on its rather curious accolade of being the world’s third tallest building with a hole, and be amazed that excellent seafood can indeed be found in the heart of the desert.

Olaya St, Al Olaya, Riyadh 12241. 011 447 9888.

Seafood buffet every Wednesday, 7pm to 10:30pm. SAR 249 including water, juice, tea and coffee.

By: A Layla Wa Layla

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Moving Women with Purpose

WSB Admin 31/10/2016 0
Women Skills Bureau Riyadh launches a volunteer program for expat ladies

VolunteerWSB is a project, from Women Skills Bureau Riyadh that connects skilled professional women from different nationalities and backgrounds with volunteer opportunities in the Riyadh community. VolunteerWSB aims to contribute to those local organizations and communities in need of professional support.



VolunteerWSB believes that every expat living in Riyadh has a lot to offer to the local community and should be able to contribute to the community with their professional skills. At VolunteerWSB we help connect good causes with the expat community.

mov-1Volunteering can take many different forms, from spending time with kids with disabilities, to helping out at cats shelters. From teaching art to kids with Down syndrome to teaching how to cook healthy food…Every single skill is more than welcome.




In order to create the best connections between volunteers and nonprofits, we have an online platform with specific tools that help to match the non-profits needs with the volunteer’s skills.

We encourage all expat women to visit our web page and join us and keep an eye on all the news regarding the nonprofit organizations that matches with their needs.


mov-2At Women Skills Bureau (WSB) we know that the action of volunteering has surprising benefits for the volunteer, for the nonprofit and for the community. And thinking about how you want to benefit from volunteering is a good start to finding an opportunity that’s right for you.

  • Gain confidence:  VolunteerWSB can help you gain confidence by giving you the chance to try something new and build a real sense of achievement.
  • Make a difference: Volunteering can have a real and valuable positive effect on people, communities and society in general.
  • Meet people: Volunteering can help you meet different kinds of people and make new friends.
  • Be part of a community: Volunteering can help you feel part of the local community.
  • Learn new skills: Volunteering can help you learn new skills, gain experience and sometimes even gain qualifications.
  • Take on a challenge: Through volunteering you can challenge yourself to try something different, achieve personal goals, practice using your skills and discover hidden talents.
  • Have fun!Most volunteers have a great time, regardless of why they do it.



WSB Riyadh, inspires and empowers women of all nationalities living in Riyadh by providing them with the tools, resources and career guidance to allow them to thrive in all aspects of their lives. By creating a community that connects experience, knowledge and skills with individuals, the WSB supports women and enables them to realize their potential both now and in the future.

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The Power of Intention – Advice and insight from entrepreneur Princess Dena Bint Nahar Al-Saud

WSB Admin 31/10/2016 0

Advice and Insight from Entrepreneur Princess Dena bint Nahar Al-Saud

Interview and write-up by: Maria Cometti

Have you ever been unsure whether to move forward with an idea? Have you let fear of failure keep you from pursuing your dreams? If so, Riyadh based entrepreneur Princess Dena Bint Nahar Al-Saud has some advice for you! Princess Dena is the co-founder of both the Empowerment Hub and the boutique consultancy firm Neat, and founder of Yummy Tummy Bakery.
I had the pleasure and honor to meet Princess Dena at her Neat office. Have you ever met someone who both inspired and informed you, while at the same time made you feel right at home? That was how I felt during our interview. Princess Dena is someone I wish for all women to meet at some point in their lives. Until that time comes, I hope this interview leaves you feeling empowered and inspired to get out there and make your mark in the world!

M: Have you always known that you are an entrepreneur? What inspired you to go into business?
D: I haven’t always known. I feel that what inspired me was making the right decision at the right time. It is all about trusting your gut & good timing. I love to bake and Yummy Tummy started as a home business. Friends of friends started coming to me with orders and soon it was too much to manage out of my home so I expanded into a retail location.

M: What is the most import lesson you have learned about starting or running a successful business?
D: Trust your gut always and do everything with love and good faith. Look at failure as a learning milestone and nothing else, if anything, you will learn more out of your failures than appraisals. Your intention is what is most important.

M: How did the Empowerment Hub come into existence?
D: It came to life when 5 like-minded Saudi females were approached by one of the co-founders to bring to life the concept of mass fitness events intertwined with giving back to the local community.

M: What are your goals/plans for Empowerment Hub?
D: Our main goal is to revolutionize what women feed their minds and bodies. We aim to strengthen women’s health and fitness awareness in the Kingdom by creating active, social, and educational events. More importantly, we want to give back to the community. All proceeds will go to different non-profit organizations and charities in the Saudi…Fitness4aCause!

M: Tell us about your recent acceptance and plans for study with THNK School of creative leadership?
D: I am still overwhelmed, being one of the youngest they have ever accepted. I believe in design thinking method, and apparently the THNK method expands on that way of thought and help leaders develop and strengthen their skills in an innovative way. I look forward to implementing my learnings to my current business and my country.

M: What is your primary role in your bespoke consultancy firm Neat?
D: I am the co-founder, and I usually take care of everything involved with creativity and thinking outside the box. From brainstorming new business ideas, to conceptualization and to ideation, to fulfill yearly high-level marketing strategies.

M: What motivates you to do what you do?
D: I have a love for learning, and my main motivation is mainly that! I like exploring new ideas, concepts, places, cultures and cuisines mainly to learn. I also have a huge heart and an open mind.

M: What work are you most proud of?
D: Summiting Kilimanjaro, I know it’s not “work” per say but it is what I am most proud of. The experience changed my life in making me realize that everything is overrated. When climbing the mountain, you are stripped of everything and left to rely on yourself and the people around you. It was a profound experience.

M: Do you have a motto or saying that you live and work by?
D: “To Each His Own”
Intention is most important

M: Do you have any advice to women coming to live in Riyadh for the first time?
D: Come with an open mind, a huge smile and an empty stomach. It is just like anywhere in the sense that once you have a good group and know your way around you will be fine.

M: What are your biggest goals or aspirations for the future?
D: To be part of the positive change in my country, to launch my business successfully, and to travel the world.

M: Do you have any ideas on how Saudi and expatriate women can collaborate for the greater good of society?
D: There are many charities they can volunteer with at any time or specific projects or just your usual “random acts of kindness”

M: Can you recommend any of your favorite shops, restaurants, or places to visit in Riyadh?
D: Acoustic lounge – breakfast
Tao bistro – brunch/lunch
Nozomi or Entrecote – dinner
Maison BO-M
Draft in Centria mall
I also love going around Diriyah & Wadi Haneefa

M: Thank you Princess Dena for this lovely interview and best of luck with all your goals and Dreams!

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Working with difficult personalities

WSB Admin 31/10/2016 0

By: Amee J. VanNorman

Often times we spend more time with work colleagues than we do with loved ones. Personalities and attitudes can make a workplace fun and exciting, or it can make going to work a miserable experience. I am sure most people had a terrible boss/colleague story to share at some point in their careers (and if you don’t, I am seriously jealous). My terrible boss story involves a supervisor from early in my career. Her frustrated sighs, or worse – her yelled questions that highlighted how inept you were, would echo across the office when someone did not complete a task to her liking, in spite of the fact that she was incapable (or uninterested) in clearly explaining her expectations from the start.

In hindsight, her continual derogatory attitude to my work really affected my professional      self-esteem. It was only after I had left that position, and worked with a supportive and amazing supervisor, that I was able to realize that her negative attitude and inept management had negatively impacted my professional development. In an article for Psychology Today “Ten Keys to Handling Unreasonable & Difficult People” Preston Ni lists strategies for dealing with people with difficult personalities. Among his ten great suggestions he notes that you need to “Fly Like and Eagle”. No matter what other approaches you take in interacting with a difficult personality, remember to not let their issues bring you down. Step away, limit interaction, and try to never let someone else’s poor interpersonal skills, or worse – abusive workplace behavior, lessen your self-confidence.

Another coping mechanism I would add is to seek out a mentor or a confidant. Try to find someone who you can work with to develop coping mechanisms, or just privately vent. While it is not beneficial to dwell on the negativity, it does help to occasionally talk about issues. A good listener may even have some input that will help you navigate an upsetting situation. It is important in this situation to know your value, to have confidence in your abilities, and to make sure you do not let a difficult personality bring you down.


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