Hamaki’s voice rumbles through King Abdullah Economic City in Jeddah

Mohammed Hamaki woos fans who sang along to his greatest hits. AN photo by Ameera Abid
Updated 08 April 2018
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Hamaki’s voice rumbles through King Abdullah Economic City in Jeddah

  • More than two-thirds of Saudi Arabia’s 32 million population is under the age of 30.
  • The authority will contribute in enriching the lifestyle and social cohesion among the community.
JEDDAH: The Egyptian singer Mohammed Hamaki — renowned throughout the Arab world — took the stage of King Abdullah Economic City in Jeddah on Thursday.
As the countdown to his appearance began, the crowd was entertained by a casanota band, whose melodies warmed up the crowds streaming into the auditorium.
Then Hamaki appeared on stage to be greeted by loud cheers — it was reported that they had been heard miles away from the venue.
As he finished his first song, in tribute to the crowd’s energy, Hamaki, called out “Jeddah ghair” (Jeddah is unique). He took requests from the audience and, in an interaction with them, he gave away the band’s drumsticks.
The 42-year-old singer began singing along alternate lines with the audience — singing a line and then letting his fans pick up with the lyrics and notes for the next.
“You all should audition for ‘The Voice’ next time. Your voices are amazing,” shouted Hamaki, a coach on The Voice Ahla Sawt.
”This concert will not be like any other I have done, because it won’t have songs from last year or recent album. We will cover songs from all 15 years of my career,” he promised. And he certainly didn’t disappoint as he opened up his songbook and delivered greatest hits such as “Ma Balash” (“Please Don’t”) “We Aftakrt” (“And I Remembered”),“Wahda Wahda” (”One by One”) and “Kan We Kan” (“It Was.”)
As the performance continued the crowd and the singer’s energy seemed to increase. Buoyed up by the crowd’s reaction, Hamaki performed more songs than originally planned, then wrapped up with “Kan We Kan” and a word of thanks to the organizers who had made the event possible.
“I am very excited to perform here, as this is an exceptional concert,” Hamaki told Arab News. “I love the people here, they are very hospitable and professional.”
“I have performed in many countries before, but performing here in Saudi Arabia for the first time is so exciting. I hope to put smiles on my fans’ faces.”
He certainly succeeded in his ambition as fan Sarah Ahmad, 23, who summed up the feelings of many, when she said: “I can’t believe a day has come where I am able to see Hamaki live. I am such a big fan of his.”


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.