Saudi Arabia seeks to expand entertainment landscape

Gustaf Skarsgard of television drama, ‘Vikings,’ at the closing ceremony of the Saudi Comic Con 2018 in Jeddah. (AN photo)
Updated 28 March 2018
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Saudi Arabia seeks to expand entertainment landscape

NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) is to host a summit at a Beverly Hills hotel in Los Angeles to attract events to the Kingdom.
The summit will explore the role of entertainment in enhancing the quality of life and providing investment and employment opportunities in Saudi Arabia.
It will be opened with an address from GEA Chairman Ahmed Al-Khatib.
GEA CEO Faisal Bafarat said: “The summit is designed to educate and advance creative industry opportunities. We’re committed to expanding the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s entertainment landscape, supported with private/public partnerships while attracting local and international investors to help foster exciting new partnerships to benefit our growing millennial population.”
More than two-thirds of the country’s 32 million population are under the age of 30.
In his interview last week on 60 Minutes, the CBS television network’s flagship current-affairs program, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman detailed Vision 2030 plans to re-introduce all forms of entertainment to the Kingdom after decades of austerity imposed by extreme religious conservatism.
After the opening keynote address, the importance of entertainment to society and the economy will be discussed. Those taking part include government leaders from the delegation accompanying the crown prince on his seven-city official tour of the US, as well as business investors.
The summit will take place on April 4 at the Four Seasons Los Angeles, Beverly Hills.
The GEA was established by a royal decree in May 2016 to define a new entertainment sector in Saudi Arabia and oversee its growth, while also safeguarding customs and traditions.
Saudis currently spend $22 billion a year on tourism and entertainment — all of it outside the country.
Since the GEA was created, it has been announced that cinemas are to open after a ban lasting more than three decades and deals are being discussed to open amusement parks and stage hit shows such as Cirque du Soleil and The Lion King.
The crown prince’s visit to the US, which runs until April 7, has brought American companies to the table to discuss working with their Saudi counterparts.


Saudi pilot Yasmeen Al-Maimani’s first flight celebrated

Hail International Airport and Nesma Airlines celebrated the first official flight of Saudi pilot Capt. Yasmeen Al-Maimani. (GACA)
Updated 25 June 2019
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Saudi pilot Yasmeen Al-Maimani’s first flight celebrated

  • Yasmeen Al-Maimani has a commercial pilot’s license (CPL) from the US

RIYADH: The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), represented by the management of Hail International Airport and Nesma Airlines, celebrated the first official flight of Saudi pilot Capt. Yasmeen Al-Maimani, 29, on Sunday.
Al-Maimani made her first official flight between Hail International Airport and Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Qassim, becoming the first Saudi woman to fly a commercial aircraft as a co-pilot with Nesma Airlines.
She received the opportunity after the airline advertised vacant positions for co-pilots on its New Pilots Program — 11 were accepted, including Al-Maimani, who has a commercial pilot’s license (CPL) from the US.
Following their acceptance into the program, the pilots underwent a four-stage training regimen at Prince Sultan Aviation Academy in Jeddah, including practice on multi-engine planes with multiple crews.
Ground training using an ATR 72-600 aircraft at Nesma Airlines’ training center in Hail followed, before progressing to simulators in Jakarta and Madrid.