Princess Noura University hosts heritage festival

The traditional Saudi Arda dance was a key feature at the festival. (AN photo)
Updated 16 December 2017
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Princess Noura University hosts heritage festival

JEDDAH: The Saudi Heritage Preservation Society (SHPS) opened the Iqletto food festival at Princess Noura University on Wednesday. 
The event, which ends on Saturday, had many sponsors, and the guest of honor was the UAE.  
The family-friendly event featured dishes from each Saudi region and booths representing each city and its heritage. 
The booths hosted chefs flown in from their cities to provide exceptional dishes that people could sample for free. 
“The point of the tasting was to encourage people to get to know different Saudi dishes,” said SHPS member Sara Al-Karedeiss.
“We plan to expand this event to various cities in the Kingdom. Professional Saudi chefs cook in front of an audience, after which cooking workshops are held.” 
There were various performances, including the traditional Saudi Arda dance and a special heritage dance from the UAE.


Housing expo opens doors for first-time buyers in Saudi Arabia

Updated 11 min 8 sec ago
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Housing expo opens doors for first-time buyers in Saudi Arabia

  • Sakani Expo, which will be held until Nov. 23, aims to facilitate real estate loans and help beneficiaries buy their first home
  • Through the Mortgage Loan program, Sakani Expo offers financing solutions and products to suit all beneficiary groups

JEDDAH: Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar inaugurated the Sakani Expo residential exhibition at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center on Thursday.
The ceremony was attended by Housing Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al-Huqail.
Sakani Expo, which will be held until Nov. 23, aims to facilitate real estate loans and help beneficiaries buy their first home by bringing together developers, real estate professionals, contractors, government agencies and financing institutions — providing all housing and financing solutions in one place.
Prince Faisal said: “This exhibition promotes the development taking place in the Kingdom and provides citizens with many options as well as information, all of which have the care and support of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“Saudi Arabia has always been full of good and enlightened thinking, through which citizens can lead good lives and own suitable houses,” he said.
Through the Mortgage Loan program, Sakani Expo offers financing solutions and products to suit all beneficiary groups, including retirees, entrepreneurs, private-sector employees and many who were previously unable to get a mortgage.
The Ministry of Housing and the Real Estate Development Fund (REDF) organized the exhibition to provide financing solutions to beneficiaries of the Mortgage Loan program, driving the housing sector forward and offering maximum benefit to citizens.
The initiative will also shorten a waiting list of an estimated 48,000 beneficiaries, all of whom will be served by the end of 2020.
REDF approved 85,000 beneficiaries’ requests last year and aims to grant more than 100,000 approvals during 2018 to achieve the goal of the National Transformation Program 2020 to increase the percentage of Saudis owning their homes to 60 percent. That figure is expected to reach 70 percent by 2030.
Sakani Expo will allow beneficiaries to meet with a real estate adviser who will offer residential and financing solutions to suit their needs and capabilities.
A Military Home Loans initiative to be launched during the expo by the Local Content and Private Sector Development Unit aims to make it easier for members of the military their own house by offering an additional loan up to SR140,000 ($37,300), in addition to covering up to SR500,000 of the profits of the financing provided by financiers through the Mortgage Loan program.
The loan will be repaid after repayment of the basic financing — 15-25 years — with premiums scheduled according to monthly income.
The Military Home Loans initiative targets members of the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of National Guard, Saudi Arabian Royal Guard, Presidency of the State Security and the General Intelligence Presidency.
In order to benefit from the initiative, members of the military are encouraged to register or update their data in the “Housing Support” program through the Ministry of Housing or the REDF.