World’s biggest camel fest kicks off in Rumah

Celebrating the culture and way of life of Saudi Arabia and Bedouin traditions, the festival attracts about 300,000 camels and their owners.
Updated 20 March 2017
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World’s biggest camel fest kicks off in Rumah

RIYADH: The world’s biggest camel festival, held under the patronage of King Salman, begun on Sunday in Rumah, 120 kilometers northeast of Riyadh.
The 28-day King Abdulaziz Camel Festival will feature a camel beauty contest, with prizes amounting to a staggering SR114 million ($30 million).
The competition, having been founded in 1999 by a group of local Bedouin people, went on to receive support from the Saudi royal family. Due to its rising popularity it turned into a heritage festival, attracting people from across the GCC to travel to showcase their finest camels.
Celebrating the culture and way of life of Saudi Arabia and Bedouin traditions, today the festival attracts about 300,000 camels and their owners.
“The festival will offer a lot to the Saudis and foreigners in terms of history, heritage and entertainment,” said Dr. Talal bin Khalid Al-Tarify, spokesman of the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, here Sunday. A major award ceremony will be organized during the course of the festival.
Al-Tarify said that an exhibition has been staged on the sidelines of the festival. The “Sanam Exhibition” will shed light on the history of the camel’s role as “the ship of the desert.”
A “Camel Carnival” has also been organized in which festival visitors can learn how to ride a camel.
“Not only will the festival include initiatives to raise awareness and celebrate core regional cultural and heritage practices, but will also utilize the latest in technologies and creative concepts to offer a one-of-a-kind memorable, and fun filled festival,” Al-Tarify said.
Reflecting the uniting role the camel has played for the Kingdom throughout history, Al-Tarify said that “economically, politically, socially and within culture, camels are not only referred to throughout ancient religious texts and poetry but are a source of food, drink, transport, a trading pillar, as well as source of pride and loyal friend to man.”

Al-Tarify pointed out that camel auctioning will take place daily using pioneering equipment set within a luxurious area especially set aside for trading.
The festival will also host a mix of competitions and partnerships relating to and building awareness for the arts including a poetry competition.
“A collaboration with National Geographic will be hosting a competition for the best festival image captured,” Al-Tarify noted.


Italy pledges electronic warfare support to Saudi Arabia

Updated 20 April 2018
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Italy pledges electronic warfare support to Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi-Italian collaboration to develop electronic defense solutions pushed in workshop organized by the Italian Embassy, KACST and Elettronica SpA
  • Italy's Elettronica specializes in the designing and manufacturing electronic warfare equipment

RIYADH: Italy has pledged to support the Kingdom with electronic warfare and defense electronics, offering a range of state-of-the-art solutions to counter threats. 

The call for Saudi-Italian collaboration was made on Thursday at a workshop organized jointly by the Italian Embassy, the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Italian-based Elettronica SpA, a world leader in electronic warfare.

Italian Ambassador to the Kingdom Luca Ferrari welcomed the workshop initiative, and said: “We are working to develop a strategic partnership between our two countries, building on decades of excellent political and economic collaboration.

“Such initiatives increase mutual understanding and knowledge between Italian and Saudi counterparts and foster further opportunities for collaboration.” 

Ferrari added that the workshop is a proof of Italian industries’ and institutes’ willingness to strengthen the relationship between the two countries through working with local high-tech university centers and industries in Saudi Arabia.

He added: “The move on the part of the Italian government and our companies comes within the framework of Saudi Vision 2030, which calls for foreign partnerships to diversify the economy, cut reliance on oil and build a robust Saudi defense sector.”

The workshop, entitled “The Digital Revolution: Impacts on defense electronics, security and life,” looked at electronic warfare, cyber intelligence, the future of autonomous vehicles and implications of the digital revolution for the defense industry. 

Enzo Benigni, Elettronica’s chairman and chief executive officer, said: “Italian institutes and companies are keen to embrace the Saudi Vision 2030, and to support the growth of the defense industry and overall defense sector of the Kingdom. 

“We work in Saudi Arabia to create high-value cooperation with the Saudi armed forces and local partners with an aim to build a world-class defense sector of the Kingdom.”

Benigni said Elettronica specializes in the designing and manufacturing electronic warfare, from single stand-alone equipment to complete integrated systems, for naval, airborne and ground applications as well as for space and homeland security.