Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) has set up a new fitness company focused on supporting women’s well-being in the kingdom as part of a push to grow its non-oil economy, leverage the private sector and improve the quality of life.
Princess Reema bint Bandar, who is also Saudi Arabia's ambassador in Washington and the first female diplomatic envoy in the history of the kingdom, will head the board of the new tech-driven company Kayanee, the PIF said in a statement on Monday.
“Kayanee will serve to expand Saudi Arabia’s 16 billion [Saudi[ riyal [$4.3 billion] fitness and well-being industry," said Raid Ismail, head of Mena direct investments at the PIF.
"It is a very exciting time for PIF to venture into women’s fitness, wellness and well-being, and Kayanee is well-positioned to enable the industry through its integrated offering, which will see the company partner with the growing private sector."
The move comes a day after the PIF set up an investment company aimed at supporting the growth of the sports sector in the kingdom and across the Middle East and North Africa region. SRJ Sports Investments will invest in acquiring and creating new sports events' intellectual property rights, commercial rights of popular sports competitions and hosting major global sporting events in the country.
One of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, the PIF is a key part of the government’s push to diversify from oil and it is investing heavily in sectors from tourism to electric-vehicle and sport in the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is introducing social reforms alongside the economic agenda to help modernise the kingdom, including supporting sport. In June, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation announced a funding drive and a support system for women's football.
Kayanee will focus on women’s health and lifestyle through offerings including fitness, apparel, personal care and treatments, nutrition and diagnostics, healthy eating and learning, the PIF said.
The company – which will prioritise mental, physical and social health – aims to reach more than one million consumers, the sovereign wealth fund said.
"The establishment of Kayanee is part of PIF’s strategy to unlock the capabilities of promising sectors, localise technology, enable the private sector, drive the diversification of the local economy and contribute to enhancing the quality of life," the PIF said.
Since 2017, the PIF has established 84 companies in 13 sectors.