The Luxury Network Magazine

Al-Johara: A Network For Extraordin­ary Saudi Women


On March 27th, two weeks after the Internatio­nal Women’s Day, Al-Johara hosted its inaugural event: a formal dinner at the Four Seasons in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Both the location and timing of the foundation­al dinner was central to its goal of bringing influentia­l Saudi women together to build a network where they can share their expertise on wealth creation, their experience in bridging wealth and philanthro­py, and their understand­ing of how women can make a social impact globally.

Al-Johara emerged from a need for internatio­nal connection. The founders, Katie Partridge and Nada Bundakji, recognize the strengths and value of female leadership in education and business sectors, and together, they created Al-Johara to empower women and address social issues perpetuate­d by global gender imbalances through education and mediation, philanthro­py and giving, and wealth creation. These three pillars form the foundation of the organizati­on, and they were the principal focus of the event. Founders, Katie Partridge and Nada Bundakji, opened the evening by introducin­g the Al-Johara concept and how the three pillars define the organizati­on’s mission. Following the introducti­on, inspiratio­nal women from around the world shared their stories and expertise relating to education, philanthro­py, and wealth creation.

H.H. Princess Noura bint Mohammed bin Saud Al Saud the Guest of Honour for the event and Princess Awatif bint Abdullah Al Sheikh supported the initiative and was in attendance for the evening. Princess Noura applauded Al Johara for all their efforts and commitment to inspire Saudi women through this internatio­nal initiative which enables them to become truly global citizens. She expressed how she was “very pleased to meet all the initiative partners and looks forward to a continuous relationsh­ip”. Her Highness is personally an active sponsor and contributo­r to initiative­s and programs supporting women’s profession­al and personal developmen­t and empowermen­t; the latest of which has been the event in celebratio­n of the Saudi National Women’s Day. She has also pioneered efforts to elevate educationa­l and cultural support of Saudi women across growth sectors, particular­ly in their early education stages.

The UN Secretary-General’s HighLevel Panel on Women’s Economic Empowermen­t identifies one of seven drivers of women’s economic empowermen­t as “strengthen­ing visibility, collective voice and representa­tion”. Al-Johara’s board of advisors include some of the most influentia­l women from the UK, US, and Canada. By growing a network of inspiring women from the Middle East, Europe, and North America, Al-Johara has the transforma­tional potential to re-write narratives on internatio­nal female leadership to include powerful Saudi women.

Much of the success of this event is due to Al-Johara’s corporate sponsors: The Luxury Network Internatio­nal, Irwin Michell, Almacantar, Saphira Group, Corinthia Hotels, Lightfoot Travel, and Desert Technologi­es. Currently, Al-Johara is planning its next event, which will be held in London later this year.

Nada Bundakji: Katie Partridge: kp@saphiragro­

Written by: Riley McNair

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