Saudi Arabia, Russia ‘aim to build bridges through culture’

Russia is looking to bolster cultural ties with Saudi Arabia. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 October 2018
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Saudi Arabia, Russia ‘aim to build bridges through culture’

  • Culture not only supports economic growth, but also builds bridges between nations: Dmitriev

RIYADH: Russia seeks to extend its close economic ties with Saudi Arabia into the world of arts and culture, a leading Russian businessman writes today in Arab News.

The arts are “a source for new jobs and sustained economic growth, and private companies realize this trend is an opportunity,” says Kirill Dmitriev.

“Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that identified this trend early. Cultural development is an important part of the Vision 2030 program led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” he writes.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of which Dmitriev is chief executive, “believes that culture not only supports economic growth, but also builds bridges between nations, creating an atmosphere of mutual trust.” 

As an example, five paintings by the Russian avant-garde artists Wassily Kandinsky and Pavel Filonov are being exhibited at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh. Such cultural ties “will contribute to the long-term relationship.” Dmitriev writes.


Saudi camel racing no longer an all-male affair, says Princess Jamila

Updated 23 March 2019
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Saudi camel racing no longer an all-male affair, says Princess Jamila

  • Princess Jamila’s camel will compete in a race marking the conclusion of the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival
  • King Salman will attend the grand finale of the 46-day event

JEDDAH: A camel owned by a woman will compete in an official race in Saudi Arabia for the first time, a senior figure in the sport said on Friday.

Fahd bin Hithleen, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Camel Club and the newly appointed president of the International Camel Organization (ICO), said the race is part of the closing day of the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival on the outskirts of Riyadh, which began on Feb. 5 and ends on March 23.

“The camel race will end this Saturday with the participation of the first female in camel racing,” Hithleen said on his official Twitter account. “I congratulate Princess Jamila Bint Abdulmajeed bin Saud bin Abdulaziz for breaking into the camel world and wish her all the success.”

The festival finale will take place in the presence of King Salman.

Princess Jamila said that camel racing is no longer exclusively the preserve of men, as the ongoing reforms in the country continue to empower Saudi women and open up new opportunities for them across the Kingdom.

The Kingdom established the ICO, the first global group of its kind for camels, on Thursday with the participation of representatives from 96 countries. Riyadh was chosen as the location for its headquarters and Hithleen was appointed to serve a five-year term as its first president.