Film festival heralds return of cinema to Saudi Arabia

The 12th European Film Festival has been organized by the embassies of several countries. (AN Photo)
Updated 21 February 2018
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Film festival heralds return of cinema to Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: A week-long film festival is giving Saudi audiences an insight into what they can expect when cinema returns to the Kingdom later this year.
The 12th European Film Festival has been organized by the embassies and consulates of Belgium, Germany, the Republic of Ireland, France, Italy, Hungary and Norway, with support from the European Union delegation in Saudi Arabia.
The festival’s first screening took place on Feb. 17 at the German residence, with the film “My Blind Date with Life.”
On Feb. 18, the Italian consulate showed the film “Fire at Sea,” a 2016 documentary film directed by Gianfranco Rosi and winner of the Golden Bear at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival.
Elisabetta Martini, consulate general of Italy, said the movie highlighted “a tragedy that is happening all around the world; the tragedy of the refugees and immigrants is something that is affecting all our lives and also leaving an impact on the artistic environment.”
She praised Saudi Arabia’s decision to reopen its cinemas: “We consider Saudi Arabia as part of our broader Mediterranean region that shares the problems and the opportunities we have.”


Major projects, investments worth over $685bn unveiled on Saudi National Day

A photo taken on July 5, 2018, shows Bader al-Ajmi, 38,(L) owner of "One Way Burger" serving customers from his truck at a main street in the capital Riyadh. (AFP)
Updated 22 September 2018
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Major projects, investments worth over $685bn unveiled on Saudi National Day

  • The private sector’s contribution to the GDP at constant prices doubled to around SR1236.6 million in 2017

JEDDAH: A major economic boost in the form of 10 major projects and investments exceeding SR685 billion ($183 billion) were unveiled as celebrations of the 88th Saudi National Day got under way.
The Council of Saudi Chambers released a report focusing on great economic achievements in 2017.
These projects reflect the Kingdom’s vision under the wise leadership of King Salman and that of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to provide a brighter future through diversifying sources of national income, tackling environmental challenges and increasing investment and prosperity.
The report summarized the most important events and economic developments in the Kingdom over the past year. These include the lifting of the ban on women driving in June, and the establishment of the General Authority for Cyber Security, in addition to the numerous royal decrees providing financial support to Saudis.
It also noted the important decisions related to the Saudi business sector. These include the launch of a private sector incentive program with a value of SR72 billion, the privatization of 10 government sectors and the establishment of the General Authority for Real Estate. The private sector is still showing a strong performance as an efficient partner in the inclusive development process and in the achievement of the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision, the report noted, as it contributes 39 percent to the Saudi gross domestic product (GDP).
The private sector’s contribution to the GDP at constant prices doubled to around SR1236.6 million in 2017. There has been increased contribution to GDP from non-oil private sector streams.
The private sector also witnessed an increase in the number of workers, in its capital, in the number of shares on the Saudi market, in the cumulative number of establishments operating in the Kingdom, and in non-oil exports.
Continued growth of the private sector was attributed by the report to the Saudi government’s support. This support comes through initiatives such as the removal of obstacles to financial development, improvements to the working environment and policies adopted to boost investment.
It also reviewed the private sector’s efforts to support diversification of the economy and lower unemployment rates.
The importance of the measures taken to prioritize the employment of qualified Saudi workers over the employment of expatriates in the private sector were stressed, as well as the sector’s role in providing education and health services.