Saudia launches ‘ProtecTasbih, the first innovative rosary to sterilize hands
Posted on 2024 Feb,09

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Every year, millions of pilgrims from around the world head to Makkah for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages. These are the world’s largest annual human gatherings. Saudia, Saudi Arabia’s national airline and the world’s most popular airline for religious travel to Makkah, came up with a new innovative product for all its guests to have a healthier and sanitary pilgrimage journey.

Conceptualized and developed by Saudia’s creative agency partners, Leo Burnett KSA and Saatchi & Saatchi Dubai, ProtecTasbih became the first rosary that sanitizes hands.

During the development of the formulation, the team came up with several challenges. They could not use anything using any alcohol owing to religious reasons. Alcohol is what’s commonly used for antibacterial and sanitizing products. So, they had to look at natural potential solutions. Further research brought them to tea tree oil found to be effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria. Once tea tree oil was chosen as the sanitizing element, they had to integrate it into a semi-solid compound. And then, they developed a way of creating a solid bead, covered in this softer compound. They did that by developing a molding technique.

For the product to be successful, it had to seamlessly integrated into the user’s practices. That meant the team had to match the aesthetics to existing prayer beads on the market.

The team also looked at the different environments that the beads would come under. So, several tests ensured the beads could withstand all climates and be used in varying temperatures.

Additionally, once the beads’ compound shell is completely used up after the duration of the pilgrimage that it is designed to last for, there is a core-shell underneath that allows the product to continue to be used as prayer beads, leading to zero waste.

What was intended at start to be used as a corporate gift became a much-desired item that pilgrims and non-pilgrims wanted to get their hands on.





Lead Agency 1: Leo Burnett Saudi Arabia

Lead Agency 2: Saatchi & Saatchi Dubai


Chief Executive Officer: Bassel Kakish

Chief Strategy Officer: Tahaab Rais

Business Lead: Samir Antoun

Creative: Kelly Tomes Bristow

Chief Creative Officer: Sebastien Boutebel

Head of Production: Shereen Mostafa

Business Director: Makram El-Khatib

Senior Creative Director: Rita Harbie

Hagall Muniz: Creative Director

Senior Manager: Julia Masri

Creative Director: Yasmin Sindi

Copywriter: Khalid Maina

Copywriter: Sheikha AlOtaibi

Producer: Joumana J. Haddad

Producer: Omar Gamal

Senior Producer: Aly El Esseily


Product development: D&F Labs, Aetha Product Design, and Dejavu

Tahaab Rais - Product Consultancy

Manasvi Gosalia - Founder and Executive Producer

Shamsher Walia - Founder

Tom Parsons - Founder and Creative Director

Michael O’Driscoll - Senior Product Designer


Production company: Liwa Content.Driven

Sagar Rege – Found and Executive Producer

Shweta Sandeep – Senior Producer

Jessica Pereira - Producer


Influencer marketing agency: MKVDigital

Managing Director: Asiya Ali

Director - PR, Comms & Influencers: Shafaq Tariq

Director - Accounts & Client Service: Waqas B