Saudi film ‘Najd’ to premiere soon in Kingdom

A scene from the film Najd.
Updated 11 January 2018
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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 Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. (Supplied)
Updated 12 December 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

  • The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021
  • SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is fast catching up with the world’s ever-growing energy and technology scene ahead of 2030. In fact, the King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) may soon prove a global destination for energy industry investors.

The new energy city mega-project is being developed by Saudi Aramco, which received authoritization to embark on the initiative in the summer, and is operated, managed and maintained in partnership with the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON). 

With projections that the megacity will create more than 100,000 jobs, it is considered one of the most up-and-coming energy parks in the world.

SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower.

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. 

The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021, while the final phase of the project is set for completion in 2035. With all this on track, the 50-square-kilometer project is poised to be a magnet for foreign and domestic investment. 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday. (SPA)

What’s more, Aramco’s espousal of SPARK will also help businesses indulge in technological development, manufacturing and exports channels and build a world-class energy supply chain. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Energy Minister and Aramco Chairman Khalid Al-Falih declared SPARK a special economic zone (SEZ) in which businesses can enjoy exclusive benefits. 

“We are looking forward to collaborating with our first anchor partners at SPARK,” said Saudi Aramco President and CEO, Amin Nasser.

SPARK has already attracted investment from foreign and local companies to produce and manufacture goods and services. The first phase of the project is expected to cost about $1.6 billion. 

The park is set to attract industrial investors in the water, power, petrochemical and wastewater sectors, among others. 

Facilities at SPARK will also help investors bridge gaps in local production back home, increasing competition in the long run. 

“This energy city is exciting because it brings together a multitude of businesses,” Mark McCollum, president and CEO of Weatherford Corp, told SPARK.

“We firmly believe that collaboration and cooperation among service companies and individual providers to the energy sector is vital in breaking new ground.”

The King Salman Energy Park is also set to promote small and medium-sized enterprises. With focus on energy production, it also provides opportunities for investment in residential and commercial real estate projects.

Nasser said that the “King Salman Energy Park will spur a new era of growth for one of the Kingdom’s already thriving sectors. What’s more, it will serve as a central gateway to the region’s economies since Aramco is at the heart of the global oil and gas industry.”