Saudi entertainment authority launches e-portal to facilitate event planners

Updated 17 November 2017
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Saudi entertainment authority launches e-portal to facilitate event planners

RIYADH: The General Entertainment Authority (GEA) launched an online “License Portal” on Nov. 14 to facilitate event planners in obtaining official permissions in minimum possible time.
A four-minute instructional video is also available on the GEA’s website, www.events.gea.gov.sa. The step-by-step video contains all information about the required documents to be uploaded through the web portal. It is currently available only in Arabic.
Event planners and organizers have reacted positively to the measure. However, they said they have to wait and watch how things work, as the service is yet to be tested.
“It’s still too early to tell,” said Anwar Idriss, a media consultant and entertainment director.
“If the portal is backed up with a well-organized support team that offers assistance on an equal opportunity basis, it will solve many of the issues we currently face.” He added: “The purpose is to help organizers’ workflow, not complicate it. There are many who would like to enter the business, and are in need of guidance.”
Before the establishment of the GEA, organizers had to face several bureaucratic complications in the issuance of permissions, as various agencies and authorities used to issue permits.
However, now event planners hope that the introduction of the new service will prove to be a “one-window” operation.
A GEA spokesperson told Arab News: “It’s too soon to comment on the results ...The portal was established for event planners in the Kingdom who organize events that go along with our vision. If an event planner doesn’t qualify… the application will be rejected until all the requirements are met.”
The authority also launched an electronic “ideas portal” for the 2018 calendar year for international and national organizations and entertainment firms. The aim is to diversify and develop the entertainment industry in the Kingdom to meet international standards.
The GEA has offered all organizers to submit their ideas through http://add.roznamah.sa starting Nov.13. The ideas will be accepted until Dec. 14.


Putin welcomes Saudi delegation at St. Petersburg cultural forum

Updated 18 November 2018
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Putin welcomes Saudi delegation at St. Petersburg cultural forum

JEDDAH: Russian President Vladimir Putin warmly welcomed Saudi Arabia’s delegation to the 7th St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum as one of the main guest countries attending the annual event.
The delegation was headed by Saudi Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, who posted a selfie with Putin on his Twitter account.
“We responded to the invitation from our friends in Russia to participate in the St. Petersburg cultural forum, and it was an opportunity to meet with officials to promote cultural cooperation,” the post said.


The forum, which ran from Nov. 15-17, was held under the theme “Culture as a Strategic Potential of the Country,” was attended by visitors from 101 countries.
Opening the forum, the Russian president expressed hope that the event would develop fruitful dialogue between society and the state.
Putin said the forum gives others a chance to get to know Russia more closely, stressed that “what distinguishes his country is the diversity of languages and traditions.”
During the visit the Saudi minister held talks with the Russian president on the sidelines of the event.
He also met his Italian counterpart, Alberto Bonisoli, on the sidelines of the forum to discuss areas of joint cooperation between the two countries and means of enhancing Saudi-Italian cultural relations.
“I was delighted to meet with the Italian Minister of Culture and we have many opportunities for a future of strong cooperation between the two countries,” Prince Badr tweeted.

Bonisoli said that culture is “a means of communication” for politics, even when serious international crises occur.
“If there are problems between two or more countries, according to their positions, culture is still a way to convey the messages of partnerships, communities, politicians, and sometimes to promote fundamental values,” he added.
The St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum annually attracts thousands of experts in the field of culture from all over the world.
Stars of theater, opera and ballet, renowned directors and musicians, public figures, representatives of and academic communities, all attend the event.
The year’s program includes 14 pavilions, including museums, circuses, theaters, cinema, literature, tourism, folklore and popular culture.