Double act: Arts, education projects to reinforce UK-Saudi cultural ties

Art projects to help Vision 2030. (Misk)
Updated 09 March 2018
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Double act: Arts, education projects to reinforce UK-Saudi cultural ties

RIYADH: The UK and Saudi Arabia will work on a series of ambitious arts and education projects to help Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman carry out his Vision 2030 reform program, a British official has revealed.
Amir Ramzan, the British Council’s country director for Saudi Arabia, told Arab News the UK is committed to strengthening its cultural ties with the Kingdom by improving academic and career opportunities for young Saudis.
Britain already runs a language-training program that teaches English to 30,000 students across Saudi Arabia. Now it wants to promote new initiatives, including a Saudi-based British film festival and a UK Education Week to improve relations between universities in the two countries.
Ramzan said the British Council’s “biggest contribution” in the months and years ahead “will be to support the skills development of young people and enhance their career opportunities.”
As part of these efforts, a delegation from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage will travel to the UK later this year to learn about British art. The trip will mark the second stage of a cultural exchange. A British delegation visited Saudi Arabia last November.
According to Ramzan, the UK has trained more than 100 Saudi sports teachers — half of them women — and dozens of Saudi teaching assistants. He said the continued development of cultural and vocational projects would help Saudi Arabia reduce its reliance on foreign workers by improving the skills and education of young people in the Kingdom, a key aim of Vision 2030.
There are now more than 9,000 Saudi students in the UK, the largest contribution to Britain’s student population by any Gulf Cooperation Council member.


Budding businesses make their case at Riyadh conferences

The event was attended by Commerce Minister Majid Al-Qassabi. (SPA)
Updated 13 December 2018
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Budding businesses make their case at Riyadh conferences

  • The event featured a number of dynamic initiatives to support entrepreneurs, including interactive workshops and pop-up stores for Instagram businesses

RIYADH: Thousands of start-up owners, investors and other visitors flooded into the capital for two events in Riyadh on Wednesday.
The ArabNet Riyadh conference, which focuses on digital businesses in the Gulf region, and ArabNet’s Monsha’at Startup Saudi, attracted regional and international digital business leaders and investors who came to share the latest trends and business opportunities with an audience of more than 4,000 up-and-coming entrepreneurs and students and 200 start-ups.
The event was attended by Commerce Minister Majid Al-Qassabi and Saleh Al-Rasheed, governor of the General Authority of Small and Medium Enterprises (Monsha’at), in addition to more than 300 global and regional leaders.
“At Monsha’at, we seek to support small and medium-sized enterprises and empower them in the drive for economic development,” said Al-Rasheed.
“This is a great addition to the Kingdom’s business community,” said ArabNet CEO and Founder Omar Christidis. “Thousands of attendees presented business plans to 100 investors from around the globe. Conferences like this bring together key stakeholders that are critical for the growth of the digital sector.”
“Here at this conference, we have regulators and corporations that represent some of the largest customer bases in innovation,” he added.
The opening ceremony was followed by a high-profile panel that discussed the components needed to make Saudi Arabia the region’s next Silicon Valley.
The panel featured prominent figures, including Careem Co-Founder Abdulla Elyas, Omar Al-Madhi, senior managing editor of Abdul Latif Jameel, and Khalil Al-Shafei, CEO and managing director at Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Venture.
The event also featured a number of dynamic initiatives to support entrepreneurs, including interactive workshops and pop-up stores for Instagram businesses. The event also allowed one-on-one meetings between executives and start-ups.