Italian Navy frigate’s visit to Dammam ‘boosts defense ties’

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A file photo of the Italian Navy multi-mission frigate Carlo Margottini.
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A helicopter is seen atop the Italian Navy multi-mission frigate Carlo Margottini.
Updated 22 March 2018
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Italian Navy frigate’s visit to Dammam ‘boosts defense ties’

JEDDAH: The visit of the European multi-mission frigate Carlo Margottini in Dammam was a positive sign for Italian efforts to promote defense ties with the Kingdom, Italian ambassador Luca Ferrari said on Thursday.
The frigate left Kuwait on Thursday and is expected to arrive in Saudi Arabia on Friday. Ferrari said it was the perfect time for the arrival of the frigate, 10 months after the visit of the FREMM frigate Carabiniere in the Kingdom in May 2017.
He said that there were "intensive" understandings between Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri and Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), the holding company set up by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the development of Saudi military industries to produce half of military equipment in the Kingdom by 2030.
Ferrari said Saudi Arabia began taking an interest in the naval military industries in the second half of 2016 when Carabiniere pulled into Saudi seas twice; the first time from Dec. 26, 2016 to Jan. 10, 2017 and the second time from May 3 to May 6 in 2017.
"Today, Carlo Margottini is back and its return has a very important meaning, reminding every one of the Kingdom’s concern to conclude cooperation agreements and buy ships to develop its defensive industry," he said.
The frigate Carlo Margottini Sapienza set sail on Feb. 20, and stopped in Pakistan and Kuwait. After Dammam, it will dock in Abu Dhabi before proceeding to Djibouti in April to lead the EU campaign against piracy (Operation Atlanta). Carlo Margottini will remain in the Gulf of Aden until August.
The decision to move the Italian frigate to the Middle East is part of the activities of the Italian Navy, along with allied nations within the framework of multinational cooperation and dialogue between states.


Fun in the family zone at Ad Diriyah E-Prix ​

Updated 27 min 53 sec ago
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Fun in the family zone at Ad Diriyah E-Prix ​

  • On offer were physically challenging activities such as a zipline, a net climbing wall, and a horse corral for the younger kids
  • At the heart of the park was an area dedicated to local artists and vendors, with everything from traditional foods to handmade soaps to artwork and clothing on display

RIYADH: A horse corral, a maze and a virtual reality biking station were some of the attractions on offer at the family zone at the E-Prix event being held at the Ad Diriyah UNESCO world heritage site near the capital Riyadh.
The event, which culminates Saturday with Formula E Championship street racing, is the first of its kind to be held in the region. 
It brings together world class entertainment — from artists including David Guetta and Amr Diab — and cultural activities.



“The amount of effort that must have gone into setting this up is extraordinary,” said visitor Abla Qanaq. “The variety of options is almost overwhelming. I’m not even sure where I want to start.”
People in the VIP Hospitality Section had the opportunity to ride camels, sample local staples of dates and Arabic coffee, and experience local customs such as traditional wedding marches.
“I’m glad they realized the importance of including a local touch in an event like this,” said visitor Alaa Al Dawsari. “Especially with so many foreigners coming from all over the world. It’s amazing that we were able to present Saudi Arabia like this.”
The family zone also featured an area dedicated to local artisans and vendors, with everything from traditional food to handmade soap and clothing on display. The Al Bujairi section hosts exhibitions and live music.