Arab customs union by 2015 commended

Updated 29 January 2013
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Arab customs union by 2015 commended

Saleh Al Khaliwi, director general of the Saudi Arabian Department of Customs (SADC), expressed his confidence in the outputs of the third Arab Economic and Social Development Summit, especially the recommendations issued regarding the establishment of an Arab Customs Union by 2015.
In an open talk with a local newspaper, Al Khaliwi explained the intricate nature of the Riyadh summit, including the challenges of forming a unified customs union. He reassured that the Arab leaders were keen on successfully implementing the Arab Customs Union on its planned date, pointing out that a special committee will regularly follow up.
On the other hand, Al Khaliwi denied the entry of contaminated Chinese chairs into the Kingdom, indicating that the Saudi Customs did not record the entry of any radioactive goods. “There are modern devices available at all key customs ports that detect radioactive materials,” Al Khaliwi reassured.
Regarding the entry of counterfeit goods, he explained that the Saudi Customs is cooperating with consulting firms and specialized laboratories to detect fake products imported into the Kingdom. He also confirmed that the Batha border between the UAE and Saudi Arabia is not suffering from a congestion of trucks, because the Saudi Customs took the necessary measures and established a new customs yard. Despite the notable increase in customs’ activity in the Batha border, as the number of import containers reached 4,000 trucks, work is running smoothly. According to Al Khaliwi this a testament to the great efforts and modern procedures be used to enable the borders to withstand such an enormous capacity of trucks on a daily basis.
The Saudi Customs have created a solid infrastructure and established an orderly system, which includes a specialized courtyard for the imported shipments coming into the Kingdom and a separate courtyard for transit shipments.
Regarding the most important achievements of the SADC last year, Al Khaliwi said they have reached a record revenue, exceeding SR 22 billion in 2012, in addition to the great achievements in combating counterfeit goods and seizing illegal goods.
With regards to the third Arab customs forum, which will be launched in Mar. 3, Al Khaliwi said that preparations are underway, highlighting that the second forum was a success on the local and regional levels.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Customs celebrated International Customs Day (ICD) at its headquarters in the capital, under the slogan “Innovation for Customs Progress”, which the World Customs Organization (WCO) coined to encourage novelty in the field.
Commenting on the ICD celebration, Al Khaliwi said that slogan chosen for this year resonates deeply with the Saudi Customs, because it encourages customs officers to develop a sense of innovation.
“The WCO slogan invites us as management to work on innovation and sends the right message to customs officers to participate in this integral process as well,” he added.
During the ICD celebration, the winners of the Certificate of Merit in the public and private sectors were announced, which is issued jointly by the WCO and the Saudi Customs. In addition, selected Saudi Customs employees were honored for excellence.


Sharqiah Season: What to expect this weekend?

Updated 21 March 2019
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Sharqiah Season: What to expect this weekend?

RIYADH: A bumper program of entertainment is being lined up in the Eastern Province for the biggest weekend yet of Sharqiah Season.

Concerts, a film festival, and a spectacular air race are just some of the events due to take place in the region as part of attractions for both Saudis and visitors to the Kingdom.

The action gets underway with the fifth annual Saudi Film Festival taking place from March 21 to 26 at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran.

Organized by the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts (SASCA) in Dammam, in partnership with Ithra, the movie fest will honor Saudi and Gulf cinema figures and include 10 training workshops and 10 seminars.

The festival aims to promote opportunities for Saudi talent in the film industry and flicks from the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman will be included among screenings.

All participating films will be shown during the event, and there will be a Golden Palm award for best documentary about a Saudi city and best poster (based on audience voting). A winners’ presentation will take place at the closing ceremony, after which the films will be screened at the Ithra center.

Tickets can be purchased via Ithra’s website, with options for single-day, four-day, and VIP passes.

Meanwhile, the long-awaited Red Bull Air Race demo comes to Dammam from March 21 to 23. The event, organized along with the General Sports Authority, will provide spectators with a warm-up taster for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship 2019 season finale, to be held in Saudi Arabia in November.

The air-racing competition, developed in 2003 and accredited by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), is billed as “the most advanced aerial challenge in existence.”

Using the fastest, most agile, high-performance race planes, pilots fly just meters from the ground and against the clock to complete an obstacle course full of twists and turns. The air spectacular takes off at Dammam Corniche between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Saturday will also see the highly anticipated Color Run come to the South Alkhobar Corniche. The 5-km dash involves participants being doused with colored powder at the end of every kilometer. Runners start dressed all in white and emerge at the end of the run covered in the colors of the General Entertainment Authority’s logo.

The untimed run takes place between 5 a.m. and noon and rest areas offering refreshments and entertainment will be available between stops.

For concert fans the Asharqiah Music Festival will feature performances by major names at Dammam’s Life Park. US rapper Pitbull and Canadian DJ Deadmau5 will take to the stage on March 21, and March 22 will witness performances by Egyptian vocalist Amr Diab, US-Moroccan rapper French Montana, and American singer Akon.

Lovers of regional music are not left out, with appearances by Assala Nasri and Mutrif Al-Mutrif on March 22, and Nabil Shuail and Hatem Al-Iraqi on March 23, all at the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Center in Al-Qatif.

Sharqiah Season, the first of 11 Saudi seasons of entertainment planned for 2019, will run until the end of the month with more than 83 different events scheduled across nine cities in the region.