Saudi podcaster Hatem Alakeel has signed a partnership with luxury department store Harrods to create eight branded episodes of his show Gems of Arabia.
The audio and video podcast, which launched in 2021 based on his successful column of the same name, aims to highlight hidden talents from the Middle East, with a special focus on music, culture, and heritage. The branded episodes were recorded directly from the department store in Knightsbridge and highlight the Saudi luxury market.
"We will be collaborating with authentic inspiring personalities that change perceptions, elevate the narrative, break the cliches and reiterate the important bridge that Harrods is creating with authenticity in Saudi Arabia," said Alakeel to The National. "It’s an honour to be considered as one of the Harrods Game Changers. I am grateful to Harrods for recognising Gems of Arabia as a key platform to bridge the West with Saudi Arabia.”
In the past, Alakeel has featured a number of Saudi royal guests on the podcast including princess Nourah Al Faisal as well as local artists like designer Nadine Kanso. Alakeel revealed in an Instagram post that one of the upcoming episodes from the partnership will focus on progressive music featuring an interview with artists Aziz and Viva Musica.
"Harrods has a long-standing and close relationship with the Middle East," said Harrods’ international business development and communications director Sarah Myler. "Our clients have been travelling to London for a long time and we know the brand holds a close place in their heart.”
According to Myler, the aim of this partnership is for the luxury department store to create closer ties with the Saudi region following disruptions to travel that were caused by the pandemic, stating that the Middle East is considered a “second home” for Harrods.
“To us, these partners are ‘game changers’ — they are brands and individuals with whom Harrods can launch exciting and exclusive partnerships that showcase the future of luxury in the Middle East,” she added. “Our ambition is to support these game changers through our global perspective and reach, through our stage and wide network of contacts."