Image via Faces of Saudi / Arab News
In 2018, Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority announced that it had already beat its interim Vision 2030 target of getting 20 percent of Saudis over 15 years old exercising by 2020. Indeed, the Kingdom has been working diligently on getting its citizens to adopt a lifestyle centered on health and wellness over the past few years, through efforts by government entities, as well as private endeavors. On the private sector front, one program – today described as the Middle East’s most comprehensive wellness program – has been working to bring about this change, and that is My Saudi Wellness by Samar Alhashim.
Physical activity plays a significant role in strengthening social ties in communities across the globe. Today, we honor the @UN's International Day of Sport for #Development and #Peace. pic.twitter.com/C1M0FF1iBi— HRC International (@HRCSaudi_EN) April 6, 2021
Alhashim embarked on her journey into the world of wellness from a place you would not have imagined. As a university student, she chose to study English literature degree, graduating from Saudi Arabia’s Eastern province. She then moved to the United States after getting married, and there she took on another bachelor’s degree, this time in business administration with a minor in economics. After that, she pursued another degree, this time graduating with an MBA in International Business & Economics, from Philadelphia University.
Returning to Saudi Arabia, Alhashim founded Acoustic Tea Lounge & Art Gallery in Al Khobar in 2007. The space became so popular that the budding entrepreneur decided to expand her business to the nation’s capital, Riyadh. From there, she opened her second venture in 2017, My Saudi Wellness, running both businesses till today.
My Saudi Wellness is described on its official website as a program that empowers people to develop healthy living habits in order to remain well and vibrant in both their professional and personal life. When it comes to helping people embrace wellness at work, the program specifically focuses on: increasing employee productivity and reduce sick leave days; enhancing recruitment, retention, and employee satisfaction; and decrease work related