Saudi Arabia displays 2,400 books at Sharjah Book Fair pavilion

Some 1,691 publishers from 60 countries are taking part in the show, offering more than 1.5 million titles.
Updated 04 November 2017
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Saudi Arabia displays 2,400 books at Sharjah Book Fair pavilion

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is participating in the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), which opened on Wednesday.
The 11-day show was inaugurated by Sharjah ruler Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi, who honored former Egyptian Minister of Culture Mohammed Saber Arab as the fair’s “Cultural Personality of the Year” in recognition of his distinguished academic career.
Some 1,691 publishers from 60 countries are taking part in the show, offering more than 1.5 million titles. The Kingdom’s stall is displaying 2,400 books — including 290 new titles — related to literature, science and culture.
Sheikh Sultan himself released four new books at the SIBF: A collection of poetic discussions with one of his friends; volume two of a historical account of Sharjah; a collection of Spanish historical documents; and a discourse on a 16th-century Portuguese explorer.
Mohammed bin Hassan Al-Masoudi, director of cultural affairs at the Saudi Embassy in the UAE, stressed how eager the Kingdom always is to participate in the most important cultural events in the UAE.
He added that the Saudi pavilion includes a cultural salon for up to 60 guests, which will host 25 events during the fair, featuring Saudi, Emirati and Arab writers and intellectuals.
This year’s SIBF will host prominent figures including Syrian actor Ghassan Massoud, Algerian novelist Wassini Al-Aarj, Saudi writer Abdo Al-Khal, Kuwaiti novelist Saud Al-Sanousi and Iraqi novelist Sinan Antoon.
The UK is the guest of honor, as part of the UAE-British Cultural Year celebrations organized by the British Council to promote cultural exchange between the two countries.


Saudi Red Sea project to offer visa on arrival for tourists

Updated 27 May 2018
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Saudi Red Sea project to offer visa on arrival for tourists

  • Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project has been registered as a standalone company
  • The venture will be will be headed by John Pagano, former director of London’s Canary Wharf business zone

LONDON: Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea project will offer visas on arrival for overseas visitors following the creation of a company to deliver the ambitious project.
The project marked a milestone on Sunday with its incorporation as a standalone closed joint-stock company, The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), wholly owned by the country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).
The company, which in October announced Virgin Group founder Richard Branson as one of its board members, on Sunday said it had recruited John Pagano, the former managing director of development for the UK’s Canary Wharf Group as its chief executive.
The newly-incorporated company will now move forward with the creation of its Special Economic Zone, with its own regulatory framework, it said in a statement.
The framework will be separate from the base economy, with a special emphasis on environmental sustainability, and will offering visa on entry, relaxed social norms, and improved business regulations.
“The destination will provide a unique sense of place for visitors and offer nature lovers, adventurers, cultural explorers and guests looking to escape and rejuvenate, a wide range of exclusive experiences, combining luxury, tranquillity, adventure and beautiful landscapes,” said Pagano.
The first phase of The Red Sea Project — which will occupy an area greater than the size of Belgium between the cities of Al-Wajh and Umluj — will include hotels and residential units, along with a new costal town, an airport and a marina, and is due for completion by late 2022, the company said.
Authorities hope the project will create as many as 35,000 jobs and contribute SR15 billion ($3.99 billion) to the local economy.
The project, unveiled last July by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is one of the key developments in Saudi Arabia’s strategy to develop its tourism sector, alongside Qiddiya, an entertainment resort near Riyadh that will be two-and-a-half times the size of Disney World.
The country’s Vision 2030 economic development plan is targeting the creation of 1.2 million new jobs in the Saudi tourism sector by 2030.