Diplomats get insider’s guide to King Abdullah Economic City future

The visit highlights the economic city’s promising investment environment and new educational projects. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 03 November 2018
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Diplomats get insider’s guide to King Abdullah Economic City future

  • Hafiz Issahaku, consul general of Ghana, told Arab News: “The trip was far beyond expectations. The visit to MBSC was the most interesting part. It offered an excellent view of the Vision 2030 objectives for this country

JEDDAH: Diplomats from more than 40 countries were shown the investment and educational advantages of King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) during a one-day visit organized by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The visit on Wednesday — the first organized by the ministry to KAEC — included commercial attaches from 42 general consulates and their spouses.
The visit highlighted the economic city’s modern services, world-class infrastructure, promising investment environment and new educational projects.
Visitors toured the city’s principal features and public facilities, including Prince Mohammed Bin Salman College (MBSC), KAEC industrial valley, King Abdullah Port and the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club.
Dr. Asma Siddiki, the interim dean of MBSC, outlined the college’s academic programs and achievements.
She highlighted the diversity of MBA students at the business school and described future collaborations with other countries through scholarships and internships.
After touring MBSC, the diplomats visited the city’s industrial valley, which is in a prime location to serve global trade on the Red Sea corridor. KAEC aims to become the new global gateway to the region.
They also visited King Abdullah Port, which is strategically located on the main Asia-Europe trunk line.
The port handled 1.2 million TEU (20-foot equivalent unit) of container traffic during the first half of 2018, a record 50 percent increase on the same period last year, making it one of the fastest-growing ports in the world.
KAEC, which occupies an area of 181 million square meters on the Red Sea coast, north of Jeddah, is expected to become one of the most important trading hubs in the Middle East and an example of the country’s commitment to private-public partnership.
Diplomats visited the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club on the beachside, an 18-hole championship golf course designed by European Golf Design and operated by Troon, the largest third-party manager of golf operations in the world.
Hafiz Issahaku, consul general of Ghana, told Arab News: “The trip was far beyond expectations. The visit to MBSC was the most interesting part. It offered an excellent view of the Vision 2030 objectives for this country.
“With such a world-class institution, the graduates the college produces will be leaders in business, innovation and entrepreneurship, and help to take the country forward.”


The Color Run debuts in KSA’s Eastern Province

Updated 18 March 2019
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The Color Run debuts in KSA’s Eastern Province

  • ‘The Happiest 5k on the Planet’ combines ‘fun, exercise and charitable giving’ during the Sharqiah Season
  • The Sharqiah project aims to deliver an extensive entertainment experience for both Saudis and visitors to the Kingdom

JEDDAH: For the first time in Saudi Arabia, The Color Run is coming to Sharqiah Season, which features more than 80 events in Eastern Province cities, and is the first of 11 scheduled festivals planned throughout the Kingdom in 2019. 

Sharqiah Season is a collaborative effort by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), the General Culture Authority and the General Sports Authority.

The countdown is on for The Color Run, which takes place at the South Alkhobar Corniche on Saturday.

In this untimed 5-km event, runners — who start in white — are doused with various colors at every 1-km checkpoint.

Since its inception in 2012, The Color Run has seen more than 7 million participants in 40 countries, while donating more than $5 million to charities. 

Organized in line with the GEA’s efforts to attract top entertainment offerings to Saudi Arabia, “The Happiest 5k on the Planet” will make its mark on the Kingdom as part of this year’s worldwide “Color Run Hero Tour,” with 15,000 participants expected in each city.

The non-competitive run is not only an opportunity to create picture-perfect memories, but serves as a celebration of health, happiness and individuality. 

The GEA is supporting the event as part of its continued efforts to enrich the lifestyle of residents and citizens in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan and the Quality of Life Program 2020.

The Color Run was hosted in the UAE twice in 2018, with massive crowds attending and cheering the runners. 

This year, the main theme is celebrating the hero in you, where nothing is impossible. Once the run is over, the fun will continue at the Finish Festival, a larger-than-life celebration with music, photo ops, activity booths, vendors, and more massive color throws.

“We are thrilled to be bringing The Color Run to Saudi Arabia. Its vibrancy matches the aims of the GEA and the Quality of Life Program 2020 objective to support and create new options that boost participation across cultural, entertainment and sports activities,” said the GEA’s Chief Operating Officer Sultan Al-Faqir.

“The Color Run, being held in our three biggest cities, will provide an exciting opportunity for thousands of families to engage in a healthy activity that combines fun, exercise and charitable giving.”

The Sharqiah project aims to deliver an extensive entertainment experience for both Saudis and visitors to the Kingdom.

The festival features events in Eastern Province cities, including Dammam, Dhahran, Alkhobar, Al-Ahsa and Jubail. Future seasons will focus on different areas of Saudi Arabia, with different entertainment options for each city. Upcoming seasons will focus on different areas, and also different parts of the year, such as Ramadan, Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha.

"The Happiest 5k on the Planet" will make its mark on the Kingdom as part of this year’s worldwide ‘Color Run Hero Tour,’ with 15,000 participants expected in each city. (Photo Supplied)

Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority, said in a statement that  the organization’s participation in the festival aligns with its goal of improving the quality of life in the Kingdom, and discovering local talent in various entertainment industries.  He also highlighted the importance of the entertainment sector and its contribution to the economy and the creation of jobs for locals, all important aspects of Vision 2030.

The opening night of Sharqiah Season on Thursday drew crowds of Saudis to the Alkhobar Corniche, despite strong winds and sprinklings of rain earlier in the day. Groups of friends stopping to take selfies and families with young children in tow wandered through the Entertainment Boulevard, lined with food stalls selling karak and koshari.

Earlier in the day, the mega event began with the opening of an exhibit featuring the work of Leonardo da Vinci at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra). 

The exhibit showcased some of Da Vinci’s original sketches, with several screens showing videos detailing how his designs have continued to inspire scientists and inventors in the modern era.

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Sharqiah Season continues until March 30, with upcoming weekends featuring sports events such as the Red Bull Air Race and the Formula 1 H20 boat race, as well as concerts in Dammam featuring Akon, Deadmau5, Pitbull and French Montana.