Sri Lanka foreign minister to visit Kingdom

Sri Lankan Ambassador Azmi Thassim, second right, is seen with community members on the 69th Independence Day of Sri Lanka in Riyadh on Saturday. (AN photo)
Updated 08 February 2017
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Sri Lanka foreign minister to visit Kingdom

RIYADH: Sri Lankan Ambassador Azmi Thassim on Saturday said he was making extensive arrangements for the forthcoming visit to Saudi Arabia of his country’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera.
“It’s going to be a remarkable visit, since the foreign minister’s talks will focus on how best the two countries can cooperate with each other in working toward achieving the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020,” Thassim said at the 69th anniversary of his country’s Independence Day celebrations at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh.
Sri Lanka looks forward to further strengthening bilateral relations, especially in the fields of employment, trade, investment and tourism, he added.
“Appreciating the long-standing relationship with Saudi Arabia, our country wholeheartedly supports Vision 2030 under the wise leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, and NTP 2020 initiated by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, second deputy premier and defense minister.
“Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, trade and tourism have increased tremendously to the benefit of the people of the two countries," he said, adding that nearly 38,000 Saudis holidayed in Sri Lanka last year.


Unique Riyadh car race brings in enthusiasts from all around

Costumized Hot Rods outside the Alloy Army garage area. (Supplied)
Updated 20 October 2018
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Unique Riyadh car race brings in enthusiasts from all around

  • FJR racing team owner Falah Al-Jarba, who is participating for the first time with his 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, said he was impressed with the first round turnout and noted that the short notice of this event did not affect participation

RIYADH: The first round of the Saudi Time Attack race kicked off on the Reem race circuit yesterday. The 16-category race is unique in its participation since anyone can turn up and join in. Whether you are an everyday driver, enthusiast or would-be racer the Time Attack Race has a category for you.
“We target different types of drivers, usually people with a sports car or regular stock car who want to race their car to the max in a safe environment with other drivers,” said Prince Khalid bin Sultan Abdullah Al-Faisal, chairman of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF). He added that the target participants for this race are not necessarily professionals but rather enthusiasts, semi pros, amateurs, and beginners.
FJR racing team owner Falah Al-Jarba, who is participating for the first time with his 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, said he was impressed with the first round turnout and noted that the short notice of this event did not affect participation.
“It is not hard to get anyone on to the track — the hardest thing is to get them back again. Anyone who enters the race track three times of his own free will has the makings of a driver,” he said.

Passion
Prince Mohammed bin Saud bin Fahad bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, participating racer and owner of the MS7 racing team, said it is passion that attracts everyone to the race. “It is not a head-to-head race but it is competitive and it is fun. There is no pressure — everyone is here to have fun. I am happy that I participated,” he explained. This also marks a first for Saudi women racing as four women competed for the first time in a car race.
“For the first time we have a ladies category. These opportunities will be better reflected in two to three years’ time but if anyone would ask where did it start, it started here in this 2018 season,” said the “Camaro King” Falah Al-Jarba.
Prince Mohammed is very welcoming of any new competitor to the racing industry.
“At the end of the day if you have two hands, two legs and can drive that’s what it comes down to regardless of your gender, your weight, your height or your size, it is all about how well you can perform under pressure,” he said.
Prince Khalid expects a better turnout for female participants in the next round of the race scheduled for Nov. 16. He added that there has been a great interest in joining the race and wanted to clarify that anyone who wants to take part in the race does not need to have a race car.