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Saudi Sports for All Federation partners with Arabian Centers Co. to turn malls into walking destinations

RIYADH: The Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Arabian Centers Co. to turn their malls into walking destinations for visitors in their latest initiative to promote a healthier lifestyle in the Kingdom.

The signing ceremony took place at Al-Nakheel Mall in Riyadh and was attended by SFA President Prince Khaled bin Al-Waleed bin Talal Al-Saud and SFA Managing Director Shaima Saleh Al-Husseini, alongside Arabian Centers CEO Faisal Abdullah Al-Jedaie and the working teams of both entities.

The agreement will see the SFA host a program of walking events and campaigns at Arabian Centers malls across Saudi Arabia, helping turn the shopping venues into hubs of health and wellbeing for the 109 million annual visitors the malls attract every year.

“Partnering with Arabian Centers to turn their malls into walking destinations is an important move forward for wellness in Saudi Arabia,” said Prince Khaled. “This partnership allows for the SFA to bring physical activity to the places where people will already be, rather than expecting them to always have the time and opportunity to go exercise at dedicated venues. It also demonstrates how easy it can be to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, whatever your personal circumstances.

“This collaboration is also a fine example of the private sector partnering up for the benefit of the nation, helping to build a healthy and active community through on-ground engaging initiatives,” he added.

A walking track has been installed at Al-Nakheel Mall as part of the initiative, making it easy for people to take part in and enjoy the events, while the SFA app will feature a dedicated challenge for users who visit the mall.

“Arabian Centers’ strategy is based on transforming its shopping venues into fully integrated destinations that meet all the needs and aspirations of society,” said Al-Jedaie. “Our partnership with the SFA is a positive and effective step in promoting a healthier lifestyle. We at Arabian Centers aspire to become an effective contributor to building a healthier and more vibrant society.”

The SFA app makes it easier for Saudi Arabia’s active community to stay fit and healthy by allowing users to explore, join, create and manage fitness challenges, as well as track their progress by syncing up to devices including Apple Watch, Google Fit and Fitbit.

The aim of the walking initiative is to promote an active lifestyle among residents no matter their age, ability, background or gender, helping them build healthy habits that they can integrate into their daily lives.

The initiative will also provide people with a way to stay active during the summer, with outdoor opportunities limited due to high temperatures.

In addition to launching popular programs and events such as Step Together, Move to Game, the National Cricket Championship and more, the federation has entered partnerships with the likes of Nike; the Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing; the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence; and the World Health Organization. All of these have helped more than 350,000 people take part in SFA virtual and in-person initiatives in 2020 alone.

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