Major boost for Saudi creative industries at Misk Global Forum

Saudi men chat in front of a poster of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during the "MiSK Global Forum" held under the slogan "Meeting the Challenge of Change" in Riyadh, on November 15, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 17 November 2017
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Major boost for Saudi creative industries at Misk Global Forum

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s creative industries received a game-changing boost on Thursday following the signing of three agreements with leading Japanese games development companies and animation studios to train Saudi young people and develop Saudi-created content.
The Misk Foundation and its subsidiary, Manga Productions, signed agreements with Square Enix, Shin Nippon Koki (SNK), and Toei Animation Studios at the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh.
The Misk Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Square Enix Group, one of the most respected and successful video game developers in the world today. Creators of the Final Fantasy series, Square Enix was an early pioneer of online gaming and 26 of its titles were included in Famitsu magazine’s “Top 100 Games Ever.”
The MoU will see Square Enix provide training and mentorship to young Saudi games developers through the Misk Foundation, empowering them to introduce more Saudi-created content to the world stage.
In addition, Manga Productions, a Riyadh-based games development, animation and creative studio, affiliated with Misk Foundation, signed a new agreement with Toei Animation Studios to jointly produce a number of anime movies and television serials to be shown in both Japan and Saudi Arabia.
The two companies have already collaborated on an all-ages television adaptation of the Saudi folk tale, the Woodcutter and the Treasure, which will be broadcast in both countries.
The collaboration will enable young both countries to share and appreciate each other’s culture, bring Saudi folklore to Japan and anime techniques to the Kingdom.
Manga Productions also signed an agreement with SNK, a leading Japanese computer games developer responsible for a range of seminal games across several decades.
Essam Bukhary, CEO of Manga Productions, said: “We want to further enhance the partnership we have with Japan in order to create world-class animations and games.”


Saudi Arabia plays host to major Indonesian tourism campaign

Updated 24 min 47 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia plays host to major Indonesian tourism campaign

  • More than 165,000 Saudis visited the Southeast Asian country in 2018, and officials there are aiming to increase that number to 200,000 as part of a global visitor target of 20 million for this year
  • Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago, with more than 17,000 islands famed for their beaches, wildlife and natural beauty

JEDDAH: Tourism chiefs have been taking part in a major five-day Saudi campaign to help promote Indonesia as a top international holiday destination.
More than 165,000 Saudis visited the Southeast Asian country in 2018, and officials there are aiming to increase that number to 200,000 as part of a global visitor target of 20 million for this year.
From Feb. 11-15, the Indonesian Tourism Ministry has been working with its Consulate General in Jeddah to run a series of events in the Kingdom in a bid to boost the country’s tourist attractions.
Seventeen agencies representing Indonesia’s hotel, airline and travel industries participated in a business get-together with local Saudi tour operators, and around 70 prominent media figures were invited to the Pullman Hotel in Jeddah for a day of briefings on key Indonesian visitor destinations.
The last three days of the promotional program saw the Tourism Ministry and officials from top local destinations, take part in the Jeddah International Travel and Tourism Exhibition (JTTX), held at the Hilton Hotel.
Indonesia was one of the main sponsors of the event which has now been running for nine years.
Mohamad Hery Saripudin, the consul-general of Indonesia in Jeddah, said numerous innovative promotional breakthroughs had been made toward attracting more Saudi tourists to his country.
Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago, with more than 17,000 islands famed for their beaches, wildlife and natural beauty.
Garuda, the national airline of Indonesia, has helped with the running of familiarization trips for journalists to several tourist hotspots, and other initiatives have seen free Indonesian language courses being offered to Saudis and expatriates.
R. Sigit Witjaksono, the director of tourism marketing for South and Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa, said Indonesia aimed to play host to 20 million visitors from throughout the world during 2019.
He noted that Indonesia welcomed 165,862 Saudi visitors in 2018, the highest total of any country in the Middle East.
As well as its natural delights, Indonesia is Islam-friendly, having thousands of mosques and offering products which are Shariah-compliant.