Algeria celebrates National Day

Updated 19 November 2013

Algeria celebrates National Day

The Consulate General of Algeria in Jeddah celebrated the 59th anniversary of the Algerian national sovereignty on Sunday here.
“Today, we will remember the glorious sacrifice made by the Algerian people to gain freedom and independence in order to live in freedom, dignity and glory. We as Algerians and all other Arab brothers shall remember that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was one of the first supporters to the revolution of one million and half martyrs,” said Salah Attia, consul general of Algeria.
He said this anniversary was celebrated amid the process of the comprehensive reforms launched by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. On the economic level, Algeria was able to eliminate its foreign debts, and supply the State Reserve Fund with $200 billion (SR 750 billion). Algeria has allocated $300 billion (SR 1,125 billion) to finance developmental projects from 2009 to 2014.
“The bilateral relations between Algeria and Saudi Arabia represent a clear evidence of the mutual understanding and appreciation between the leaderships of the two countries. The cooperation has continuously improved under the wise leadership of President Bouteflika and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah,” he said.
By the end of 2012, Saudi investments in Algeria reached SR3.5 billion in pharmacological, cement, mineral, paper and chemical fields.
A team monitored upgrading the investments between the two countries and addition to preparing a study regarding the possibility of establishing investment partnership in the master farms, to activate bilateral commerce and marine transport.
“We are looking forward to enhancing the bilateral relations to reflect the high level of brotherly relation between the leaderships of the two countries and to achieve the expectations of our people,” Attia added.
Nabil Bukhari, representative of the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Makkah province, members of the consular corps, dignitaries, officials from international and regional organizations, businessmen, journalists and other public figures attended the celebrations.

Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

There was an explosion of joy at the podium when Antonio Felix da Costa lifted the winner’s trophy at the conclusion of the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix on Saturday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 16 December 2018

Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

  • Three-day event at Ad Diriyah reaches spectacular climax in an unprecedented spirit of openness

The driver with the winner’s trophy was Antonio Felix da Costa — but the real winners were Saudi Arabia itself, and more than 1,000 tourists visiting the country for the first time.

Da Costa, the Andretti Motorsport driver, won the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix in front of thousands of race fans at a custom-built track in the historic district on the outskirts of Riyadh.

But in truth, the event was about much more than high-tech electric cars hurtling round a race track — thrilling though that was. The three-day festival of motorsport, culture and entertainment was Saudi Arabia’s chance to prove that it can put on a show to rival anything in the world, and which only two years ago would have been unthinkable.

The event was also the first to be linked to the Sharek electronic visa system, allowing foreigners other than pilgrims or business visitors to come to Saudi Arabia.

Jason, from the US, is spending a week in the country with his German wife, riding quad bikes in the desert and visiting heritage sites. “I’ve always wanted to come for many, many years ... I’m so happy to be here and that they’re letting us be here,” he said.

Aaron, 40, a software engineer, traveled from New York for two days. “Saudi Arabia has always been an exotic place ... and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to come here,” he said.

About 1,000 visitors used the Sharek visa, a fraction of what Saudi Arabia aims eventually to attract. 

“Hopefully we will learn from this and see what we need to do for the future, but I can tell you from now that there is a lot of demand,” said Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, vice chairman of the General Sports Authority.

His optimism was backed by Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund and a visitor to Ad Diriyah. “Such events will attract tourists and are a true celebration for young Saudis who desire a bright future,” he said.

“The vision of moderate Islam, promoted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is important both for the region and the entire world, and its realization needs to be appreciated, respected and supported.”

The event ended on Saturday night with a spectacular show by US band OneRepublic and the superstar DJ David Guetta. “Just when you think things can’t get better, they suddenly do,” said concertgoer Saleh Saud. “This is the new Saudi Arabia, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.”