Saudi Entertainment sector helps boost economy, social cohesion: Report

Saudis gather inside the "convention hall" at Princess Noura bint Abdulrahman University in the Saudi capital Riyadh on October 6, 2016, ahead of a performance by US dance group iLuminate. (AFP)
Updated 09 May 2017
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Saudi Entertainment sector helps boost economy, social cohesion: Report

RIYADH: The entertainment sector supported by the General Authority for Entertainment (GAE) generates SR2.02 for every riyal spent on the organization of an event, according to a report by the GAE.
Some 106 events organized in 21 Saudi cities in a period of less than one year were responsible for millions of riyals spent in the Kingdom, instead of being spent abroad, said the report.
Since its inception, on May 7, 2016, the GAE has adopted a clear-cut approach that focuses on empowering private sector institutions to organize and provide valuable programs using the latest developments in this industry and in line with long-standing values of the Kingdom, based on the teachings of Islam, the report said.
The entertainment sector, the report also said, is among the top job-generating and skill-supporting sector. It has also played a role in instilling the concept of volunteering, and in linking job seekers to businessmen, thus contributing to helping realize the Saudi Vision 2030, the report said.
GAE will go continue its programs and further boost the entertainment industry, and will seek to partner with the private sector, thus becoming a key job provider for Saudi youths, the report said.
GAE has so far provided some 20,000 jobs in this sector since its inception and supported some 106 events with visitors exceeding 2.3 million, the report said. 
GAE plans to lend its support to more than 3,000 events that fall under seven categories, in cooperation with other government agencies, the report said.
The report said that GAE will play an important part in the realization of the Vision 2030 as it will support the efforts of private and non-profit sectors from different regions and provinces to organized entertaining events and functions, as well as help use government funds to establish and develop entertainment centers where citizens and residents can put to good use their capacities and talents.
GAE will also encourage local and foreign investors, partner with global entertainment companies to establish cultural and entertainment projects, such as libraries and museums, as well as support talented citizens, be they writers or producers, and encourage cultural and entertainment activities that cater to the taste of all categories of people, the report said.
GAE will strive to generate more jobs and support the economy through the sale of tickets and food, through transportation or indirectly through spending on goods and services linked directly to certain events, such as production and marketing services, the report added.
Detailing the social objectives, the report said GAE will provide different entertainment options in order to meet the requirements of different categories of population, will contribute to cementing social cohesion and tolerance, and improve the Kingdom’s image in the world.
According to the report, the number of visitors to GAE-sponsored events in 21 cities Kingdom-wide increased steadily from 34,000 in October 2016 to more than 2.3 million by the end of April 2017.


Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

Updated 26 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

  • Total relief provided by the Kingdom since the war began now stands at about $1billion
  • Latest package announced by Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir at conference in Brussels

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The announcement of the latest aid package was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir on April 25 at an international conference on the future of Syria and the region, held in the Belgian capital Brussels. He pointed out that the meeting comes after the suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma, in eastern Ghouta, which killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.

“The world is facing a regime allied with terrorist militias who believe that spreading atrocities and committing crimes will bring victory to it, and that war crimes are bearing fruit,” said Al-Jubeir. “In addition to bombing civilians with explosive barrels, the policies of starvation and siege, ethnic and sectarian cleansing, and the demographic change of Syrian cities and towns, its use of chemical weapons have shocked the entire world.”

He said that the only acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis is a peaceful political resolution, and that Saudi Arabia has been working to achieve this since the crisis began, while also working with others to end the continuing human tragedy in the war-torn country.

The Kingdom has played a role in unifying the ranks of the Syrian opposition and encouraging them to speak with one voice, he added. After the Riyadh 1 Conference in 2015, Saudi Arabia hosted the Riyadh 2 conference for the Syrian opposition in November 2017, which succeeded in unifying the factions and establishing a negotiating body to take part in the rounds of talks held since then, earning praise from the United Nations.

The foreign minister also reiterated his country’s support for the efforts of the UN secretary-general’s envoy, Stephan de Mistura, to resume negotiations between all sides of the conflict.

“The Kingdom hopes that the agreements endorsed by the international resolutions on the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to its beneficiaries will be implemented throughout Syria, regardless of their ethnic, religious, sectarian or political affiliations, and calls for the speedy release of detainees and abductees and clarifying the situation of those absent,” said Al-Jubeir. “It also renews its demand to punish individuals and institutions for war crimes and to prevent their impunity.”

He added that the worsening humanitarian crisis affecting refugees inside and outside of Syria should add to the urgency of finding a political solution and resuming the negotiating process as soon as possible.

Since the war began, the Kingdom has taken in about two and a half million Syrians and treats them like its own citizens, Al-Jubeir said, providing them with free health care, work and education. Saudi universities and schools have more than 140,000 Syrian students. He added that Saudi Arabia is also supporting and helping to care for of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, in coordination with the governments of those countries. The humanitarian assistance provided so far totals about $1 billion.