Racing-themed entertainment areas to open in Saudi Arabia in run-up to Middle East race debut

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The entertainment areas will be racing-themed. (Supplied)
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Motorsports fans will get a feel of what the three-day festival through the e-village. (Supplied)
Updated 07 November 2018
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Racing-themed entertainment areas to open in Saudi Arabia in run-up to Middle East race debut

  • The championship will take place on Dec. 13 to 15
  • The touring E-Village will be hosted in Khobar, Jeddah, and Ad Diriyah

DUBAI: Formula E is set to unveil a touring “E-Village,” a racing-themed entertainment area, to create hype for the inaugural Formula E racing championship in December.

Premiering in Khobar on Nov. 8 to 10, the entertainment area will feature family-friendly activities including racing simulators and an AR experience that motorsports fans can try, as well as exclusive displays of Formula E race cars.

The touring e-village is part of the promotion of the fifth season of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship happening in Ad Diriyah on Dec. 13 to 15, the first event in a 10-year cooperation between Formula E and the Kingdom’s General Sports Authority.   

According to the organizers, the touring e-village will preview the “three-day festival of music, sports, and culture.” Jeddah and Ad Diriyah will also host the e-village on Nov. 22 and Dec. 13 respectively.

“The Touring E- Village is a unique opportunity for the fans to feel the pulse and high energy of Formula E, to get a taste of what Formula E is all about and participate in interactive activities that are both fun and educational,” Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al Faisal Al Saud, President of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, said.

The three-day Formula E weekend will see racers drive through the streets of the first Saudi capital, as well as world class performances pegged to be the biggest concert event in Saudi history.

The race manifests the Kingdom’s commitment to the Vision 2030 plan, said Prince Khalid.

“Saudi Arabia is racing into the future with Formula E, a future headlined by sports, tourism, sustainability, entertainment and other focus areas that the Kingdom wants to invest in,” he added.


Egypt’s retired football star sentenced to 1 year in prison

Updated 13 November 2018
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Egypt’s retired football star sentenced to 1 year in prison

  • Egypt froze Aboutrika’s assets in 2015 and placed him on a no-fly list in 2017 over allegations of links to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood
  • Cairo misdemeanor court said Aboutrika failed to pay 710,000 Egyptian pounds in taxes on income from ad deals

CAIRO: An Egyptian court sentenced Mohamed Aboutrika, one of the country’s greatest all-time football players, to a year in prison for tax evasion while also giving him the option to pay a fine of 20,000 Egyptian pounds, or $1,115, to have the sentence suspended.
The verdict, handed down on Monday by the Cairo misdemeanor court, was delivered in absentia.
Aboutrika, who has lived since his 2013 soccer retirement in exile in Qatar, where he works as a sports analyst for the beIN sports network, could not be reached for comment.
Under the law, the verdict can be appealed and if Aboutrika returns to Egypt, he would have to stand a new trial.
The court said Aboutrika failed to pay 710,000 Egyptian pounds — about $39,500 — in taxes on income from advertising deals with carbonated drink and telecommunications companies in 2008 and 2009.
Egypt froze Aboutrika’s assets in 2015 and placed him on a no-fly list in 2017 over allegations of links to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, which authorities have labelled a terrorist organization.
The Brotherhood emerged as the country’s dominant political force after Egypt’s 2011 Arab Spring uprising but was later purged in 2013, when the army, led by general-turned-president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi overthrew Muhammad Mursi, the country’s first freely elected but divisive president.
Aboutrika played for Cairo’s Al-Ahly club and was central to two of Egypt’s three straight African Cup of Nations titles in 2006, 2008 and 2010. Those triumphs made Egypt Africa’s most successful team with a record seven titles.
Aboutrika was dubbed “Prince of Hearts” and “The Magician” by his football fans.
But he also openly sympathized with the Brotherhood and publicly endorsed Mursi in his successful presidential run in 2012, a year after the overthrow of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Egyptian pro-government media now refer to Aboutrika as a traitor but he still enjoys huge support from his football fans in the country.
Aboutrika has repeatedly denied ever funding the Islamists, who have been the main target of a fierce government crackdown on dissent led by current President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.