Cultural week brings the spirit of Saudi Arabia to Moscow

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As part of Saudi Cultural Week, various events were organized in Moscow showcasing the rich heritage of Saudi Arabia. (AN photo by Konstantin Shnurov, AFP)
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Updated 06 October 2017
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Cultural week brings the spirit of Saudi Arabia to Moscow

MOSCOW: The Saudi Cultural Week takes place in Moscow on Oct. 2-8, bringing the Kingdom’s warm spirit to a cold and rainy autumn in Russia’s capital.
The cultural week aims to inform the Russian public about Saudi Arabia’s rich cultural heritage, and to engage in cultural dialogue between the two countries.
Though it started on Monday, the official opening took place on Thursday, after King Salman and his delegation arrived in Moscow.
Russian guests were excited to see Saudis in traditional dress, and journalists were eager to interview officials. Both countries’ culture ministers gave speeches during the opening ceremony.
Saudi Minister of Culture and Information Awwad Al-Awwad said the king’s visit is historic, and both countries are interested in cooperation.
Russia and Saudi Arabia have much to do together in the cultural field, Al-Awwad added, expressing hope that the visit will upgrade bilateral relations. Events such as the cultural week enable bridges to be built between the two nations, he said.

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Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky called Saudi Arabia a cradle of Arab civilization, and a spiritual and cultural center of the Arab world. He lamented that Russians only know about the Kingdom’s history, not its modern life.
Medinsky praised the cultural week for enabling Russians to see Saudi Arabia through the eyes of its artists. He also declared that both countries’ culture ministries signed an agreement on cooperation.
Medinsky used virtual reality devices, which are offered to visitors of the cultural week, to see Saudi landmarks, and expressed his willingness to see them first-hand.
The cultural week presents a wide range of works by modern Saudi artists — painters, photographers, sculptors and film directors.
Entry is free, and every 30 minutes a guide makes a tour for anyone who wants to learn more about the works.
The official opening concluded with a performance of Saudi music and traditional dance with swords and drums. The guests also enjoyed traditional Saudi cuisine.


Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. (Supplied)
Updated 25 min 39 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

  • The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021
  • SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is fast catching up with the world’s ever-growing energy and technology scene ahead of 2030. In fact, the King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) may soon prove a global destination for energy industry investors.

The new energy city mega-project is being developed by Saudi Aramco, which received authoritization to embark on the initiative in the summer, and is operated, managed and maintained in partnership with the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON). 

With projections that the megacity will create more than 100,000 jobs, it is considered one of the most up-and-coming energy parks in the world.

SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower.

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. 

The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021, while the final phase of the project is set for completion in 2035. With all this on track, the 50-square-kilometer project is poised to be a magnet for foreign and domestic investment. 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday. (SPA)

What’s more, Aramco’s espousal of SPARK will also help businesses indulge in technological development, manufacturing and exports channels and build a world-class energy supply chain. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Energy Minister and Aramco Chairman Khalid Al-Falih declared SPARK a special economic zone (SEZ) in which businesses can enjoy exclusive benefits. 

“We are looking forward to collaborating with our first anchor partners at SPARK,” said Saudi Aramco President and CEO, Amin Nasser.

SPARK has already attracted investment from foreign and local companies to produce and manufacture goods and services. The first phase of the project is expected to cost about $1.6 billion. 

The park is set to attract industrial investors in the water, power, petrochemical and wastewater sectors, among others. 

Facilities at SPARK will also help investors bridge gaps in local production back home, increasing competition in the long run. 

“This energy city is exciting because it brings together a multitude of businesses,” Mark McCollum, president and CEO of Weatherford Corp, told SPARK.

“We firmly believe that collaboration and cooperation among service companies and individual providers to the energy sector is vital in breaking new ground.”

The King Salman Energy Park is also set to promote small and medium-sized enterprises. With focus on energy production, it also provides opportunities for investment in residential and commercial real estate projects.

Nasser said that the “King Salman Energy Park will spur a new era of growth for one of the Kingdom’s already thriving sectors. What’s more, it will serve as a central gateway to the region’s economies since Aramco is at the heart of the global oil and gas industry.”