Saudi film ‘Najd’ to premiere soon in Kingdom

A scene from the film Najd.
Updated 11 January 2018

Saudi film ‘Najd’ to premiere soon in Kingdom

JEDDAH: “Najd”, a Saudi film featuring Kuwaiti actress Hayat Al-Fahad, will be premiered in Saudi Arabia, in line with the approval of the General Entertainment Authority for cinemas to reopen in Saudi Arabia.
Khaled Al-Rajeh, a Saudi producer and writer, began preparation two years ago to produce his film “Najd” which revolves around Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt in the 1950s and the present.
In an Interview with MBC TV channel, star Al-Fahad talked about the new film. “It is about young couple’s story — the wife who keeps a secret throughout her life.”
Al-Fahad posted a photo of her in one of the newspapers that published the news of the film on her official Instagram account (@hayatalfahad) and commented: “Najd is the first Saudi film starring yours truly.”
The author and director of “Najd” is Sameer A’aref, who directed several well-known series and movies in the Gulf region, including the Saudi series “37 degrees,” “Tash 17 and 18” and “Shabab albomb 5,” which was classified as one of the most Googled series of 2017.
Najd was filmed in a number of heritage areas, including the Saudi areas of Siddus and Al-Oyainah, as well as several locations in Kuwait. Ninety percent was filmed in Saudi Arabia.
Mamdoh Al-Salem, who organized and supervised the first Saudi film festival with a total of 27 television shows under his name, told Arab News: “We cannot affirm which movie will be the first Saudi movie to be screened in Saudi Arabia as there is a huge number of producers and filmmakers working on a number of movies under international standards.”
“Let’s talk about a real cinema industry and what the Saudi audience wants to see, as until now filmmakers and producers cannot certify Saudi audience preferences as they just have YouTube and television programs as available sources. Are they looking to see comedy, action, drama, history or fantasy? It is a hard task to make predictions, except through experiments in making movies. Thus, our goal as filmmakers is to provide a real cinematic industry for Saudi movies with an international measure.”
The Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts (SASCA) in Riyadh and the Union of Producers help attract young faces to participate in the film, and has already chosen names.
The president of SASCA in Jeddah, Omar Al-Jasser, told Arab News: “The association helps many filmmakers and drama producers in the country to attract new faces and talents. We offer performance tests and then help to promote actors and actresses to cooperate with them.”
Najd is getting great reactions from people and stars on social media because of the start of Saudi cinema after the decision to reopen cinemas and theaters in the Kingdom.
The movie’s name refers to a geographical central region of Saudi Arabia in which 28 percent of Saudis live. Najd consists of the regions of Riyadh, Qassim and Hail.

Saudi capital to get world’s biggest park in $23bn project

Updated 11 min 57 sec ago

Saudi capital to get world’s biggest park in $23bn project

  • The project will see 7.5m trees planted and the creation of the world's biggest park
  • There will be 70,000 jobs created across the four major projects

RIYADH: The world’s biggest park will be created in Saudi Arabia as part of a $22.9bn project that promises to create vast open green areas in Riyadh, creating thousands of new jobs, state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday

The aim of the project is to “significantly improve the lives of its citizens, transform the city into an attractive destination and make it one of the world’s most livable cities,” the report added.

The four projects - King Salman Park, Sports Boulevard, Green Riyadh and Riyadh Art – will complement the Saudi Vision 2030’s “Quality of Life” Program and are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to create sustainable cities and communities, while driving urgent action against climate change.

Developed with a government investment of $23 bn, the four projects will offer opportunities worth $15bn for the private sector to invest in residential, commercial, recreational and wellness projects.

As well as creating tens of thousands of new jobs, the project will also help boost efforts to improve the city’s health and wellbeing with a commitment to wellness, health, sports, culture and the arts, underpinned by a commitment to environmental sustainability.

Measuring 13.4 square kilometers, King Salman Park will be the world’s biggest park, with residential areas, hotels, and will also feature a Royal Arts Complex, theaters, museums, cinemas, sports venues, water features, restaurants and an 18-hole Royal Golf Course.

The park will also boast several landmark assets, including the Riyadh Fountains and a Vertical Garden. As an environmentally sustainable urban development, it will offer opportunities for the international community in arts, entertainment and culture.


One of the world’s largest urban greening projects, Green Riyadh will increase Riyadh’s green cover with 7.5 million trees.

The massive planting project will help increase the city’s green cover from 1.5 percent of Riyadh’s total area to 9.1 percent – that’s approximately 541 square kilometers, by 2030.


Green space availability will increase to 28 square meters per capita from the current 1.7 square meters per capita, compared to the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 9 square meters per capita.

Green Riyadh will help reduce average ambient temperature by 2C, and will use more than 1 million cubic meters of treated sewage effluent daily for irrigation, for the sustainability of water resources in the city.


Sports Boulevard  - a health and wellness destination in the heart of the city- will feature a 135 kilometer-long professional cycling track covering the city and the surrounding valleys, the first of its kind in the region.

Adding 3.5 million square meters of new open space across the city, this grand project will also feature a sports pavilion, riding stables and athletics tracks.

Riyadh Art will be the world’s largest government investment in public art and will establish the city as “a gallery without walls” through a world-class interactive public arts program.

With 1,000 artworks curated through 10 separate programs and an annual arts festival, this project will feature large-scale art works with the aim of drawing art lovers and creators from around the world.

The projects are part of Saudi Arbia’s strategy to meet their Vision 2030 goals, they are expected to provide 70,000 new job opportunities.

Construction work is due to start in the second half of 2019.