Security chief: 9,000 Saudi officers to protect Hajj metro

Maj. Gen. Saad Al-Jabbari speaks to media in Jeddah on Saturday. (AN photo)
Updated 13 August 2017
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Security chief: 9,000 Saudi officers to protect Hajj metro

JEDDAH: As many as 9,000 officers and soldiers will be assigned to protect the “Hajj metro” train service and passengers, a security chief said.
The Al-Mashaaer Al-Mugaddassah Metro, as the transport service is known, operates for one week a year during the main pilgrimage season.
The commander of the Facilities Security Forces, Maj. Gen. Saad Al-Jabari, said that his forces are ready to maintain the security of the train service this year.
Al-Jabari, in an exclusive interview with Arab News, said new military vehicles would be deployed for the first time this season to confront any possible terrorist threat.
Preparations and training of his forces are complete and will help in the smooth running of the train line, Al-Jabari said.
Facilities Security Forces are responsible for protecting public facilities, such as oil, electrical and other vital facilities, Al-Jabari said. The forces are about to take over the administration and protection of new posts, such as the Civil Affairs agency, health centers, Saudi Railway Company train stations, and the security forces’ hospitals in Makkah, Riyadh and the Eastern Province.
New command centers will also be opened for the forces in many regions.
Al-Jabari said that there are currently intensive overseas courses being conducted for 45 officers and 200 soldiers in different countries, and that they will be appointed as trainers upon their return to the Kingdom.
Facilities Security Forces, with direct support from the interior minister, recently received a number of armored vehicles and tactical weapons, which will be used to protect vital facilities in the Kingdom, Al-Jabari added.


Lights, camera, action: Gala heralds rebirth of Saudi cinema

Updated 19 April 2018
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Lights, camera, action: Gala heralds rebirth of Saudi cinema

  • Saudi Arabia plans to open nearly 350 cinemas, with more than 2,500 screens, by 2030
  • Movie theaters are expected to contribute more than $24 billion to the Saudi economy and create more than 30,000 jobs by 2030

RIYADH: It was a night to remember: Cinema returned to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday with the first major movie screening in 35 years in a spectacular new theater in King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh.
The gala screening of the Hollywood blockbuster Black Panther was attended by hundreds of invited guests in the sleek and chic complex — described by AMC cinema chain bosses as “the most beautiful movie theater in the world.”
As the guests took their seats, Princess Reema bint Bandar told Arab News: “It’s a privilege to be here. I hope everyone gets to enjoy the experience I’m having this evening.”
In an official opening ceremony before the movie began, AMC bosses joined Saudi government officials on the stage. Each placed their hand each on a large handprint, triggering a shower of glittering, colorful confetti on the audience. It was a magical moment — just like the movies, in fact.
Paul Hill, the general manager of AMC, told Arab News: “It’s an absolute honor and privilege to be part of the opening It’s a historic achievement. This really will be the place to go.”
The opening was overseen by the Development and Investment Entertainment Company, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and a partner with AMC in the new cinema complex.
Dr. Awwad Alawwad, the Saudi Minister of Culture and Information, and Adam Aron, chief executive and president of AMC Entertainment, joined diplomats and industry experts to watch Black Panther in the first in a series of invitation-only screenings during April.
“I know for sure that Saudis are very eager to be able to watch their favorite films here in their own country, as now made possible by Vision 2030,” Dr. Alawwad said before the screening.
“This is a landmark moment in the transformation of Saudi Arabia into a more vibrant economy and society. None of this would be possible without the visionary leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”
The cinema will open to the public on Friday. “There are some surprises and secrets on how we are promoting it. The tickets will be sold online and there will be more information in 24 hours,” said AMC Vice President Jason Cole.
Three more screens will be added to the cinema complex by September. Saudi Arabia plans to open nearly 350 cinemas, with more than 2,500 screens, by 2030.