Khaled rambles technology, tea/coffee, consumer rights and other interest from Saudi Arabia

March 21, 2011

Hopefully Good News for Gitex Saudi Arabia 2011

Filed under: Events — Tags: , , , , , — Khaled A. @ 1:48 pm

When was the last time I talked about Gitex Saudi Arabia? Probably back when I posted that Gitex Riyadh isn’t recognized by GITEX.

So what’s special about this year’s Gitex Saudi Arabia? For starters it won’t be in April but on 16 – 19 May 2011, right after my birthday… It’s still an “all in one” event combining:

These 3 events will be held at the “new” Riyadh Expo Center (gowalla link). Let’s just hope it rains because the new building is well made and can handle a few rain drops.

Oh. Guess not. From the last day of Riyadh Book Fair.

Anyway back to the “good news”.

I got my hands on the floor plan for Gitex Saudi Arabia 2011 and I was shocked at what I found… or did not find. Here’s Gitex Riyadh 2010 floor plan:

Dominated by STC and Mobily, the biggest telecom companies in Saudi Arabia.

Now compare it to Gitex Saudi Arabia 2011 floor plan:

Just what is going on? Has STC and Mobily finally started to think that it’s better to spend money on improving infrastructure and services than marketing and wasting valuable floor space?!

I am actually looking forward to visit Gitex Riyadh this year!

December 13, 2010

Riyadh Sandstorm [December 13th 2010]

Filed under: News — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 1:58 pm

Here’s a photo taken minutes ago by Faisal for a sandstorm over the city of Riyadh.

Probably not as bad as the March 2009 Riyadh sandstorm.

By the way, make sure to follow @RiyadhWeather for important updates regarding Riyadh Weather.

June 18, 2010

Mobily network is down again – Update: Fire in Mobily HQ caused it

Filed under: News — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 7:43 pm

Update: according to AlArabiya a fire in Mobily’s headquarters caused the network to be down.

Started at about 4 pm Saudi time. Right now 3G data is not working in most parts of Riyadh.

We hope that Mobily fix this soon.

June 12, 2010

Riyadh Family-only Coffeeshop Says NO To Families

Filed under: Coffee Shops in Riyadh — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 4:12 pm

I talked about CaZa Cafe before, we were in a quick Mac user group meeting and there was a football game on the screen. We didn’t watch the game but we were charged %30 “tax” for something we never agreed to. Apparently that activity is illegal but no one cares.

CaZa Cafe switched their target market to “Families” from “Singles” over a year ago. I thought they will fail just like Joffrey’s Coffee who closed their Tahliah St branch months after a switch to families.

A few weeks ago CaZa Cafe decided to ban families. So they hanged these posters, sign said “Dear customers, we are now only accepting singles now”. They also hanged some world cup posters.

So the management of CaZa Cafe decided that they will have better profits by charging people “%30 world cup tax” for merely staying there during a World Cup game.

Please remember that this is legally questionable. If a coffee shop suddenly asks you to pay extra and they never disclose it then I urge you to refuse to pay them that extra amount!

May 3, 2010

Riyadh Rain news on Twitter with #RiyadhRain (Update)

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 6:54 pm

It’s raining heavily in Riyadh at the moment and everyone twitter has agreed to use the following twitter hashtag #RiyadhRain. Since the old media has failed covering this.

ArabCrunch is the first to report about this. Keep an eye on RiyadhRain for updates as well.

I also made @RiyadhRain and curating some of the tweets as best as I can.

Update: Ahmed made this post with an updated set of videos.

Update: Jihad Alammar have made this page with auto refresh as well as this form to request help. Here’s a list of these help requests for volunteers.

April 25, 2010

Is Gitex Riyadh 2010 even recognized by GITEX? (Updated, answer is: NO)

Filed under: Events — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 10:27 am

Update: Thanks to Haitham Ghazal for inquiring about it. He contacted GITEX in Dubai and their answer was: “Gitex Saudi is not associated with the same GITEX Technology WEEK in Dubai. The event is franchised in name only and is not organised or sold in any way by the Dubai World Trade Centre”. That proves it, Gitex Saudi is a useless show.

I have to ask this, the official Gitex homepage DOES NOT MENTION GITEX Saudi Arabia 2010 in Riyadh. So is Gitex Riyadh 2010 or should I say “Computer Bazaar/Haraj Riyadh 2010” is considered an actual trade exhibition or just a marketplace?

At least this year they have a list of participating companies, a horribly made list. No major companies like Microsoft attending.

Here’s the full show booklet. Notice how big Mobily and STC booths are …

April 21, 2010

Gitex Saudi Arabia 2010 in Riyadh

Filed under: Events — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 1:22 pm

The next Gitex Saudi Arabia in Riyadh will be from 25 to 29 Apr 2010.

Gitex Riyadh 2010 will be held for the second year at the new Riyadh Exhibitions Company. Gowalla location here.

Don’t expect it to be good. I am sure it will be a STC vs Mobily expo as usual.

March 20, 2010

Reckless Drifting videos

Filed under: Videos — Tags: , , , , , — Khaled A. @ 3:15 pm

Nothing is more annoying and dangerous than this “reckless drifting” (aka Tafheet تفحيط) craze in Saudi Arabia. As if bad driving wasn’t enough we add recklessness to the unstable mix.

Look at the following image: a BMW 745 parked sideways in the middle of King Abdullah road and most likely it was “drifting” recklessly. Notice the huge dent in the front.

I posted some videos I found that were taken in the same are of Riyadh: King Abdullah Road, in front of KSU entrance and near Raka’a Center (Here’s a Gowalla link)


March 3, 2010

Riyadh International Book Fair 2010, let’s try this again

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , , — Khaled A. @ 11:04 pm

Apparently I was still used to 2009 I didn’t notice it on the old Riyadh Bookfair web site! They have finally update the page with a new design, tolerable design and actual content.

Riyadh Bookfair Schedule & location

It will be held at the new REC building (Gowalla location).

As for the schedule, the fair will be open from 10am to 10pm except Friday which opens at 4pm:

  • Wednesday 3/3/2010 For All
  • Thursday 4/3/2010 For All
  • Friday 5/3/2010 From 4pm to 10pm For Men
  • Saturday 6/3/2010 For All
  • Sunday For All but from 4pm to 10pm For Men
  • Monday For All
  • Tuesday For All but from 4pm to 10pm for Men
  • Wednesday For All
  • Thursday For All
  • Friday 12/3/2010 From 4pm to 10pm for Men

“For All” means “family” “men & woman”, ya know. And yes, no women only days.

Technical books?

There is no list of registered publishers online.

Issues with the website

Can I rant? I wanna rant!

I will visit it soon, I hope they have some good computer books.

March 1, 2010

Riyadh International (but not technical) Book Fair 2010

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , — Khaled A. @ 10:50 pm

Update: Forget everything mentioned here, the fair site was from last year’s. Making a new post about this year’s one.

Riyadh Book Fair always have a new domain every year, before it was but they LOST THE DOMAIN?! seriously? How hard it is to renew a domain name? It’s not hard!

The new domain is but the website is horrible and hard to navigate and.

Please, visit the English site and have a laugh.

What I find disappointing is the lack of technical publications, the only publication company listed (list is in Arabic only, nothing on English site) with a technical name is “ثري دي كمبيوتر سنتر ” no need to translate, it is pronounced “3D Computer Center”!

I was expecting more technical books so this is a major disappointment (yet again). The US publishers listed are “school zone publishing” (kids books) “INTERNATIONAL TRADE LINKS” (I couldn’t even find a website for them) and “مركز مصادر المعلومات” wait wha?

Riyadh Book Fair starts tomorrow, I could go if I have any time to waste … if you spot some tech books (computers mainly, but if you find something interesting please post a comment).

Here’s the Riyadh International Book Fair 2010 Schedule listed here (apparently only men with Afros are allowed, and no women only days):

  • Tuesday 6/3/1430 3/3/2009 Inauguration ceremony
  • Wed 7/3/1430 4/3/2009 for all
  • Thurs 8/3/1430 5/3/2009 for all
  • Fri. 9/3/1430 6/3/2009 from 16:00 to 22:00 fro men
  • Sat. 10/3/1430 7/3/2009 for all
  • Sun. 11/3/1430 8/3/2009 for all, From 16:00 to 22:00 fro men
  • Mon. 12/3/1430 9/3/2009 for all
  • Tues. 13/3/1430 10/3/2009 for all, from 16:00 to 22:00 fro men
  • Wed 14/3/1430 11/3/2009 for all
  • Thurs 15/3/1430 12/3/2009 for all
  • Fri 16/3/1430 13/3/2009 From 16:00 to 22:00 fro men

And here is the exhibition location on Gowalla: Riyadh Exhibitions Company.

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