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.


Experts eye Red Sea as top tourist destination in KSA

People stand on the corniche in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia March 8, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 18 September 2018
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Experts eye Red Sea as top tourist destination in KSA

  • The project’s environmental standards will define the number of hotel rooms and housing units that will be built
  • The project’s first phase is due for completion by late 2022

JEDDAH: The Red Sea Development Co., owned by the Public Investment Fund and responsible for executing the Red Sea Project, has announced the formation of its advisory board, which includes 12 international experts in business, tourism, sustainability and environmental conservation.
The advisory board will help to develop the agenda and plan for the Red Sea Project, to develop and implement updated international criteria in environmental protection and the restoration of natural characteristics, sustainable development, innovation and luxury tourism, in the project situated on Saudi Arabia’s Western coast at a crossroad that links the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa.
The project targets establishing an ultra-luxury tourist destination for nature, adventure, health and recreation and culture and it is considered one of the key components of Saudi Vision 2030.
John Pagano, CEO of the Red Sea Development Co., said: “Seeking these consultants to guide the company is considered an important factor to execute the project on an international level, and these experts’ experience will help us exceed the ambitious plans of Saudi Vision 2030 for the tourism sector. The advisory board members will occupy multifunctional positions while working with the board of directors of the Red Sea Development Company and its executive team, and they will advise the company’s board of directors headed by Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
“They will use their broad expertise to suggest the best practices in a number of areas and specializations, present to potential investors and partners opportunities presented by the tourism sector.”
“The advisory board members met in New York for the first time in March 2018, to discuss their initial visions for the project. Their second meeting took place in Saudi Arabia in July when the team visited the project, its unique land and maritime environmental systems, and presented their views on the strategies of development and sustainability in the project.”
Pagano added: “The advisory board will play a vital role in the development of the project. The board members’ insights and ideas were extremely valuable in the assessment of our current plan’s effectiveness. That will allow us to create a unique tourism destination for our guests and the citizens of Saudi Arabia, as we work on setting new international standards to protect, preserve, restore and provide an exceptional experience for the next generations.”
The Red Sea Development Co. was founded on May 10, 2018, as a closed joint stock company owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, to execute the Red Sea Project which is considered a luxury destination that brings together a beautiful landscape, adventure and culture and promotes a healthy lifestyle. It is situated along Saudi Arabia’s western coast and creates a center linking the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa.
The Red Sea Project was launched by the Chairman of the Public Fund, Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, on July 31, 2017, and the company will work on developing unique treasures, along a 200km coastline and more than 50 islands and lakes, coral reefs, marine environments, mountains and inactive volcanoes, and heritage sites with the authentic Saudi hospitality.
The project’s first phase will include hotels and residential units and an airport, along with unique landmarks, all of which provide a perfect environment for partnerships with the biggest international investors. The project’s environmental standards will define the number of hotel rooms and housing units that will be built.
A calculated number of visitors will be permitted to experience the place to protect the environmental system, enrich their experiences and maintain the project’s exclusive tourism destination. The project’s first phase is due for completion by late 2022.