New Saudi initiative for giant entertainment and sports city welcomed

Updated 09 April 2017
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New Saudi initiative for giant entertainment and sports city welcomed

RIYADH: An ambitious plan to build a giant 334-square kilometer sports and entertainment city near Riyadh, the first of its kind in the world, has been wholeheartedly welcomed by a cross-section of Saudi public, especially those working in the entertainment industry. The mega project announced by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, minister of defense, includes a Six Flags theme park inside the city.
“The proposed mega city, announced by the Deputy Crown Prince, is a major step within the framework of the Saudi Vision 2030,” said Jamal Hasan Al-Mukhalafi of the Ministry of Culture & Information, here Saturday. Al-Mukhalafi said that “the project reflects the keen desire of the Saudi government to fulfil the needs of Saudi society and to cope with the global developments in all areas.”
“No doubt, the mega city is envisioned to become a major facility to host sports tournaments besides possibly giving us the ability to bid for major regional and national sports events,” said Talal Al-Arify, a director who owns a licensed production house in the Saudi capital. He expressed hopes that the mega city will have “facility for film-making, shooting documentaries, and in-house production.”
“In fact, this initiative of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will help youngsters to work and pursue their career in the entertainment and leisure sector locally,” said Al-Arify. He said that a large number of young Saudi boys and girls, who are either working in the entertainment sector or enrolled in TV/Film academies in different countries, will eventually return back, if such facilities are created in the Kingdom.
“The establishment of the cultural and entertainment city will also help to promote understanding and brotherhood,” said Dr Ibrahim Al-Qayid, founding member of the Riyadh-based National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), here Saturday. He said that “the proximity to Riyadh makes this a great location for a sports and entertainment complex.”
“The mega city will also draw millions of visitors annually besides providing ... billions of dollars in commercial opportunities,” said Al-Qayid optimistically. This new sports and entertainment city, in fact, will have four geographical segments — an entertainment area, a car sports area, a general sports area and a housing and hospitality area.
Asked about his views on the plan to establish the giant entertainment city, Ghaffar Ahmed, a Pakistani actor, who co-starred in the famous “Ja Jawazat” song, said that “the mega entertainment complex will change the cultural landscape of the Kingdom.” “The city is definitely going to be one of the biggest development projects around,” added Ahmed, who is working on a few documentary projects at the moment.
Aside from gaming, culture and arts facilities, the project also involves developing residential units, world famous restaurants as well as international hotel brands. The city will be developed by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is headed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed. The project comes to support the Saudi Vision 2030 by creating opportunities in different sectors for investments. The foundation stone of the project will be laid in 2018, while its first stage will be opened in 2022.


Jeddah airport decorated with Saudi flag to celebrate national day

Updated 15 min 55 sec ago
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Jeddah airport decorated with Saudi flag to celebrate national day

  • Director-General of King Abdul Aziz International Airport Essam bin Fouad Noor inaugurated the event in hall number one on Saturday evening.
  • Noor said that the celebration of this important national event showed the magnitude of love for the country.

JEDDAH: King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah marked the 88th National Day by decorating its entrances with the national flag, balloons and green lights. Airport employees also wore special scarves to highlight the occasion.
Director-General of King Abdul Aziz International Airport Essam bin Fouad Noor inaugurated the event in hall number one on Saturday evening, in the presence of government and operational sectors’ leaders and the airport’s department managers.
Noor said that the celebration of this important national event showed the magnitude of love for the country, and the airport’s management was keen on making early preparations to organize a celebration worthy of the occasion. The airport halls were decorated with the national flag and the color green, and gifts were presented to travelers, in addition to many events taking place in the halls, he added.
The event will continue for several days, Noor said, and the occasion would witness the participation of many airport operating agencies.
Noor congratulated King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, his deputy, the ruling family and the Saudi people on the occasion of the Kingdom’s 88th National Day, and prayed for the safety of the country and other Muslim countries.
The event included giving arriving and departing travelers roses and chocolate, distributing the Saudi flag and souvenirs dedicated for the occasion, and allocating a booth for a “national footprint” and “national selfie.”
The UN office for arts also participated, with the “thank you country” section presented by a number of children and people, in addition to shows and gifts carrying the colors of the Saudi flag.
The airport’s management organized the event under the supervision of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) with the participation of the following sponsors: Saudi Arabian Airlines, Saudi Ground Services, Ports Projects Management and Development Company (PPDMC) and Airport Services and Air Transport Support Company (SAAS).