Albaik’s ‘Please Park It Right’ plan wins international awards

Prince Sultan bin Salman, President o f the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, with some members of the “Please Park It Right’ campaign group, during one of the visits.

Prince Sultan bin Salman, President o f the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, with some members of the “Please Park It Right’ campaign group, during one of the visits.

ALBAIK’s innovative community awareness program “Please Park It Right” has won two highly prestigious Stevie International Business Awards for 2014 in the categories Communications Program of the Year and Community Relations and Communications Program of the Year in Public Service.

The awards presentation ceremony will be held in Paris in October when the coveted Stevies will be distributed to all winning entries on a global level.

Please Park it Right is a community initiative that aims to foster responsibility and encourage proper parking habits in order to ease traffic congestion for the benefit of the community as a whole. A collaboration that brings together the public and private sectors, Please Park It Right is a first of its kind program in partnership with the Jeddah Traffic Police, the Universal Accessibility Program of the Prince Salman Center for Disability Research, and Albaik.

Launched in May 2013 Please Park it Right was developed with the help of a group of young men who went beyond their physical disability to create awareness on the importance of respecting traffic regulations and parking, especially for disabled parking spots.

Today the Please Park It Right campaign has been turned into a lucrative business venture ‘Mawagif’ headed by Safar Haqabani, a young man who didn’t allow his physical disability to stop him from achieving his dreams of being an athlete. Safar is a member of the Saudi National Basketball Team for the Disabled and is an avid supporter and activist for the rights of the disabled. Bringing together the challenge of easing traffic congestion, particularly in commercial areas, and highlighting the need of respecting parking for all, especially the disabled, the team worked alongside the program partners within the Universal Accessibility program of the Prince Salman Center for Disability Research to address and provide solutions for the cause.

Today Safar Al Haqabani takes the initiative to another level with the launch of Mawagif a social entrepreneurial venture that started with 4 team members and currently boasts a team of more than 12. Currently Mawagif handles the parking requirements of five Albaik restaurants in Jeddah and Makkah with plans to expand in the coming year. Mawagif is also working with other businesses and governmental entities to provide traffic congestions solutions in Jeddah.

“The first Albaik restaurant we asked Mawagif team to handle was our Arabaeen Street restaurant where we witnessed heavy traffic congestion and issues in the parking within the entire area,” said Eng. Rami Abu-Ghazaleh, CEO at Albaik Food System Co. Ltd. “The challenge we gave to Safar and the Mawagif team was to reduce the parking issues and congestion by at least 50% and we are proud to say that within the first 6 weeks the parking issue went down 85%. Today the ease of movement even at the busiest period on weekends has been dramatically improved.

“The campaign and its development into an entrepreneurial social initiative highlights its sustainability and great achievement – we don’t tick the box; we work hand in hand with all our stakeholders to assess the challenge and open avenues for cooperation for long term development.
We are proud of Mawagif and everyone involved in the program and the award win is recognition of the combined efforts and great accomplishments of all entities involved.”

The process of implementation used to assess each venue and its handling process is based on the Universal Accessibility Code launched by the Prince Salman Center for Disability Research. Albaik had previously signed an agreement with the Prince Salman Center for Disability Research to implement the Universal Accessibility Code, ensuring all its new outlets are easily accessible and conforming with the set standards.

 
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