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Shed the light on the rich Saudi culture and the Kingdom’s ambitious nation To promote mutual understanding of various aspects of cultures by utilizing communication channels; to exchange and mediate cultural differences between Saudis and the world
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TITLE Saudi Arabia steps up tourism push with new visas BODY RIYADH: Tourists will be offered special “event” visas to visit Saudi Arabia as part of plans by the Kingdom to become a major global entertainment destination. The new one-off visas will allow foreign visitors to choose from the growing number of sporting, entertainment and business attractions available in the country. Announcing the new visa category on Thursday, the Saudi Cabinet said embassies and consulates will be able to issue the visas within 24 hours of receiving a request. Under the visa upgrade, the Kingdom’s General Investment Authority, General Sports Authority and General Entertainment Authority will provide the Foreign Affairs Ministry and state security with details of events at least two months beforehand. The details will then be included in the visa system. Saudi Arabia is investing billions of dollars in sports and entertainment as it seeks to reform and diversify its economy, part of a wide-ranging Vision 2030 program introduced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Kingdom is hoping to increase the number of foreign visitors, as well as encourage domestic tourism and create jobs for young Saudis. Formula E motor racing, WWE wrestling and world title boxing events have also been added to the country’s sporting calendar in the past 12 months. Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority, said earlier this year that infrastructure investments in the next decade would reach SR240 billion ($64 billion) and would contribute SR18 billion to the country’s economy and generate 224,000 new jobs by 2030. http://www.arabnews.com/node/1460041/saudi-arabia N2.jpg 1/1/2019 12:00:00 AM Edit | Details | Delete
TITLE Saudi Arabia ranks 9 on list of world’s most powerful countries BODY Saudi Arabia has landed a spot on the list of world’s most powerful countries and has been ranked number 9 in the US News and World Report rankings. The ranking examines a country’s political and financial influence as well as its international alliances, military strength and how it acts an international leader. This is an opinion-based ranking, conducted in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania, that asked 20,000 people about their opinions of 80 countries. "Saudi Arabia is a large and wealthy country, with US News describing it as the giant of the Middle East.", the report said. "The Kingdom also the home of Mecca, to which millions of Muslims travel every year, and has vast oil reserves which it exports around the world.", the report added The US has retained its spot as the most powerful country in the world in 2019 according to an annual ranking, followed closely by some of its closet allies and traditional adversaries. The top five countries are the US, Russia, China, Germany and the UK. http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/560301/SAUDI-ARABIA/Saudi-Arabia-ranks-9-on-list-of-worlds-most-powerful-countries N3.jpg 1/1/2019 12:00:00 AM Edit | Details | Delete
TITLE ThePlace: Al-Muftaha village in KSA’s Abha region BODY The historical village of Al-Muftaha in the center of Abha has become one of the most significant historical and tourist attractions in the city, especially after the rehabilitation of its beautiful heritage buildings, theater and tourism services. Al-Muftaha, in the center of the city, dates back 260 years. It incorporates adjoining houses along the internal and external passageways built according to the Asir region’s traditional construction style. It is distinguished by the small openings and thick walls that can protect the mud walls against rain and provide shade to the buildings. http://www.arabnews.com/node/1460021/saudi-arabia N4.jpg 1/1/2019 12:00:00 AM Edit | Details | Delete
TITLE Princess Reema to head Saudi Special Olympics Federation BODY RIYADH – Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the board of directors of the General Sports Authority (GSA) and president of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, has issued an order to establish the Saudi Special Olympics Federation. Princess Reema Bint Bandar Bin Sultan was appointed as head of the new federation. The announcement coincides with the Kingdom’s decision to participate in the Abu Dhabi 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games, scheduled to be held from March 14 to 21. Princess Reema was appointed on Feb. 23 as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, becoming the first female envoy in the Kingdom’s history. -- SG/SPA http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/560297/SAUDI-ARABIA/Princess-Reema-to-head-Saudi-Special-Olympics-Federation N5.jpg 1/1/2019 12:00:00 AM Edit | Details | Delete
TITLE German Embassy hosts contemporary Saudi art exhibition in Riyadh V RIYADH: German Ambassador in Riyadh Jorg Ranau and his wife Heike Ranau hosted the opening reception of a contemporary Saudi art exhibition at their residence in the Diplomatic Quarter on Monday. The exhibition showcased the works of seven Saudi artists — sculptors Talal Al-Tokhais, Mohammed Al-Thaqafi and Ali Al-Tokhais, as well as painters Najla Al-Saleem, Fahad Al-Naima, Shuruq Al-Safran and Talal Al-Zeid. The German Embassy said that the event brought together 80 dignitaries, business people, academics and artists as well as members of the German community and Saudi civil society to celebrate the rich artistic scene in the Kingdom. The three-day event previewed on Monday. Opportunities for the public to see the artworks were provided by two visitor’s days on Tuesday and Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. In his opening remarks, Ranau referred to the rich cultural traditions of Saudi Arabia, which have influenced the contemporary art works displayed at the exhibition. He also commended the artists for their success in reaching out to international audiences as many of them have already exhibited their works in the US, Europe and the Gulf region. The ambassador unveiled, together with the artist Talal Al-Zeid, a work called Buddy Bear. The bear, which is a symbol of Berlin, can be found in many places in the city and abroad. While the shape of the bears is identical, their design is usually made by a local artist, showing the connections between the two countries. Over the past weeks, Talal Al-Zeid worked on the bear, which now features a street-art-design inspired by Saudi motifs. It is the first Buddy Bear in Saudi Arabia. The German Embassy is aiming to display the bear at a location accessible to the public. http://www.arabnews.com/node/1459181/saudi-arabia N6.jpg 1/1/2019 12:00:00 AM Edit | Details | Delete
TITLE KSA’s King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival attracts visitors from around the world BODY JEDDAH: The third King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival, in the southern Sayahdah district of Al-Dahnaa southeast of Riyadh, has attracted camel lovers and camel racing enthusiasts from Gulf and Arab countries. The bleachers of the festival and the Saudi Camel Village were crowded with participants and visitors enjoying the event. The Omani Royal Camel Corps performed four shows in the festival’s open-air theater while playing their own music amid considerable interaction from the audience. The show began with the band riding on camels and presenting different formations in a circular shape, with seven camels moving in a circular motion and running fast, led by one man who controlled them with long ropes in a simulation of circus horses. There was also a show of Al-Azi art, which is attributed to the skill of praise and pride, in addition to a final show that gathered the camels in one place and had a camel with a banner that said “Thank you,” while another camel raised a bouquet of roses with its mouth to signal the end of the shows. Mohammed bin Khalifah, an Emirati who has been attending the festival since it began on Feb. 5, praised the event: “After having attended the previous King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival, I have come to this year’s festival with my friends and noticed that it has significantly changed.” He said that he attended several camel beauty contests but had never seen camels that were as beautiful as the ones at the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival. “The beauty contest is made unique by the exciting competition between camel owners to the point that we are following all the results on the Camel Club’s Twitter account,” he said. Egypt participated in the camel races at the festival with 29 camels. The head of the competitions committee at the Egyptian Camel Federation, Salama Abu El-Nada, said that camel corps have come from all Egyptian governorates. Abu El-Nada said that the participation of the Egyptian camel corps will be at the end of the festival from March 11 to 20. He expressed his pride that the Egyptian camel corps will be participating in one of the most important camel racing events in the world. On the sidelines of the festival, the Camel Museum exhibits the history of camels in Islam and Arab countries and how they evolved throughout history. The museum aims to identify and review the history of camels and the stages of their evolution through murals decorating the museum. The museum also features a mummified statuette of Khuzama, one of the camels participating in past editions of the festival. It represents the beauty of camels and the use of the latest means of mummification. The Camel Museum included an overview of camel models, types, and benefits, as well as paintings and drawings made of camel hair, showing the beauty and detail of its craftsmanship. http://www.arabnews.com/node/1458596/saudi-arabia N7.jpg 1/1/2019 12:00:00 AM Edit | Details | Delete
TITLE More than 100 hikers take part in Tuwaiq Mountains Challenge dfasdf RIYADH: The Qiddiya Investment Co. (QIC) partnered with the Saudi Climbing and Hiking Federation and the Masarat Adventure Club to organize the Tuwaiq Mountains Challenge. The trek, which started at 7 a.m. on Saturday and ended at 4 p.m., was the first in a series of events organized by the federation. The challenge, which included more than 100 hikers, involved a 25-km trek through the majestic Tuwaiq mountain range. The federation’s chairman, Prince Bandar bin Khaled, expressed his excitement in partnering with the QIC and the Masarat Adventure Club to organize the hike. “Our ancestors traveled through the Tuwaiq Mountains for trade and to hunt, and that inspired us to organize the challenge,” he said. Promoting the importance of physical fitness as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan is one of the objectives of the federation, he added. The experienced hikers were followed closely by drone cameras and an in-car camera team that captured the adventure. Ten QIC staff members took part in the trek, led by Almamoun Alshingiti, the company’s executive director for sports development, who expressed his pleasure at its continued expansion of partnerships with local agencies. “One of the priorities of the QIC is to cultivate productive and meaningful relationships with the local community,” he said. “We are committed to collaborating with organizations like Masarat and the Saudi Climbing and Hiking Federation to give adventurers access to Qiddiya’s impressive site,” he added. “We look forward to many more events with these groups … as we seek to expand the entertainment, recreation and leisure opportunities available in the Kingdom.” Qiddiya is one of three Saudi giga-projects, on top of Neom and the Red Sea project, launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The project targets local, regional and international tourists and will be Saudi Arabia’s pre-eminent entertainment, sports and cultural destination that embodies the Saudi identity. It is expected to be the world’s largest entertainment city by 2030, with a total area of 334 square kilometers, surpassing Walt Disney World in Florida, which is only 110 sq. km. Qiddiya is 40km away from the center of Riyadh city. It bears the name of the area, and it has spectacular views of mountains, valleys and desert views. The presence of this tourist destination near the largest Saudi city in terms of population will allow it to target eight million visitors from around Riyadh and about 45 million visitors from the Arabian Gulf region. The youth demographic will be the main contributor to Qiddiya’s success since two-thirds of the Saudi population is under the age of 35. Therefore, the project aims to satisfy the recreational, social and cultural needs of the country’s current and future generations. http://www.arabnews.com/node/1457466/saudi-arabia N8.jpg 1/1/2019 12:00:00 AM Edit | Details | Delete