By Saleh Fareed
JEDDAH — Ten prominent Saudi female designers have banded together to create a new committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) that will enable them to establish a new fashion academy here in Jeddah.
The young female designers made their appeal to Prince Mishaal Bin Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, Emir of Makkah, at the 3rd Productive Families Exhibition which ended on Tuesday.
“We have presented our agenda to the Emir of Makkah and he promised us to study our proposal. Our demand is simply to create a committee where all fashion designers can exchange experiences, ease difficulties and start new projects in this sector,” said Omaymah Azzouz, head of the Saudi Team for fashion design.
She stated that the new committee is under process to be part of JCCI’s various committees. “We really need the support to train young people, build factories and operate institutes for young Saudi fashion designers. All this will come if we have an umbrella to help us,” she said.
She praised the role of JCCI in supporting her team to avoid much obstacles.
Meanwhile, sales of the 3rd National Productive Families forum and exhibition has exceeded more than SR5 million with the attendance of 10,000 visitors, according to officials.
Adel Abdul Shakoor, president of AX, organizer of the event, pointed out that the exhibition provided an opportunity to market items made by productive families across the region and opened the floor to discuss various issues through workshops, training courses as well as scientific and trade sessions.
“The exhibition witnessed a significant turnout from citizens and residents of all age groups who enjoyed the various products sold directly to consumers at reduced and preferential rates, compared to similar products sold at the local markets,” he said.
The three-day event titled “Made in Saudi Arabia” was inaugurated by the Emir of Makkah and witnessed the participation of more than 600 families.
For his part, Faisal Batweel, director of “we are all productive“ program at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) said the exhibition provided Saudi families with the opportunity to participate in exhibitions to market their products and identify marketing opportunities at the countrywide level through the Jeddah Chamber’s initiative.
“It was a great opportunity for those families to showcase their creativity and find the appropriate opportunity to market the diverse and high quality traditional products they made from their home, including handicrafts, clothes, perfume, incense, sweets and fabric painting, etc,” he said.
He added: “Through our program “We are all Productive”, we intended this year, beside creating the opportunity for these families to show their products, to add workshops and training sessions to make them more productive and improve the quality of their products.”
He noted that the program aims, through the exhibition, to motivate Saudi families to seek self-employment, teach them how to manage home-based small ventures, market their products and gain the necessary experience. “The program also aims to guarantee families’ participation in the various product exhibitions held throughout the year across the region and provide great opportunities for productive families to market their items and create new innovative and distinguished products,” he added.
“The exhibition is a significant opportunity for productive enterprises to acquaint a wide range of consumers with their products and enter the market. This would reflect positively on enterprises’ performances and viability and on enterprise owners’ income, to enable them to improve their living standard,” Batweel said.
He emphasized that the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s keenness to provide the necessary support and facilities to allow productive families to market their products and encourage them to create further high quality and competitive items.
For their part, participating families from the various parts of Makkah region indicated that the exhibitions and events are a significant opportunity to allow families or women to provide high quality homemade products to meet consumers’ requirements at affordable prices.