Prince Mishal bin Abdulaziz passes away at 90

Prince Mishal bin Abdulaziz
Updated 04 May 2017

Prince Mishal bin Abdulaziz passes away at 90

JEDDAH: Prince Mishal bin Abdulaziz, chairman of the Allegiance Council died Wednesday, the royal court announced, adding that funeral prayer will be performed after Isha prayer at the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Thursday, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Prince Mishal was 90.
Prince Mishal was born on Sept. 5, 1926, and was the 14th son of King Abdulaziz. He was in charge of the Allegiance Council by a directive from late King Abdullah in 2007.
King Abdulaziz appointed Prince Mishal as deputy defense minister in 1945 and then defense minister in 1955 to succeed his brother, Prince Mansour, who was then serving as defense minister and had died.
After the death of his father, he was appointed information deputy minister and has worked with Prince Fahd bin Abdulaziz until Prince Fahd had left his post.
In 1962, he was re-appointed as the minister of defense and aviation and stayed there for a short while. He was then appointed Makkah governor.
King Fahd bin Abdulaziz had appointed him as his adviser and Prince Mishal stayed in this position until 2009 when he decided to leave politics and focus on his personal life and business. He owned several projects in the Kingdom, most importantly Al-Shula Holding Group. He was also the head of the board of directors of Pioneers Holding for financial investments.

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 58 min 4 sec ago

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

AD DIRIYAH: 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.”