High-voltage thrills as roadshow sets stage for Formula E debut in Saudi Arabia

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E-prix enthusiasts will be the first to take advantage of the Kingdom’s new Sharek electronic visa system. (Suppllied)
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Updated 12 November 2018
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High-voltage thrills as roadshow sets stage for Formula E debut in Saudi Arabia

  • Hundreds of visitors from more than 50 countries are expected to arrive in Saudi Arabia on tourist visas issued in conjunction with next month’s inaugural Saudi Ad Diriyah E-Prix weekend

ALKHOBAR: Saudi Arabia is revving up for the debut of Formula E racing in the Kingdom with a two-day roadshow promoting the Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix drawing motorsports fans and families to the Alkhobar Corniche at the weekend.
The “Road to Ad Diriyah” event offered crowds a taste of the excitement of Formula E and showcased the next generation of electric-powered racing cars that will take to the track at the Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix near Riyadh from Dec. 13-15.
Racing simulators and interactive displays gave participants a chance to test their high-speed driving skills as they joined in the motorsports action at Alkhobar.
Two contestants, Abdullah Al-Dousari and Faisal Al-Qahtani, claimed victory in the ABB FIA Formula E Road to Ad Diriyah Powered by Nissan esports tournament, and will represent Alkhobar in the finals at Ad Diriyah next month for a chance to win prizes worth SR1 million ($270,000).
Saiid Al-Gurair, who brought sons Raed and Ali to see the Formula E car, said: “It is an amazing setup and a new experience. I have seen Formula 1 on TV but have not known Formula E until now. This is the first time we have had the Formula E experience. I hope we get to go to the race in Ad Diriyah.”
The Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix will see cutting edge electric race cars twisting through the streets of the UNESCO site as the ABB FIA Formula E Championship makes its debut not only in the Kingdom but also the Gulf region.
Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal Al-Saud, president of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, said: “We are pleased with the impact that the Road to Ad Diriyah touring e-village had on the people of Alkhobar. Such activities are a key component of the success of the Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix.”
E-prix events will massively contribute to achieving many objectives as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, he said.
“For example, the event brought cutting edge technology to Saudi Arabia and is helping the search for more sustainable solutions in all areas. The track was purpose built in cooperation with UNESCO and ensures that we protect the heritage in Ad Diriyah. Now it is attracting tourists to experience the culture of the Kingdom and the race itself,” he said.
The Road to Ad Diriyah will move to Jeddah from Thursday, Nov. 22 to Saturday, Nov. 24.
Hundreds of visitors from more than 50 countries are expected to arrive in Saudi Arabia on tourist visas issued in conjunction with next month’s inaugural Saudi Ad Diriyah E-Prix weekend. It is the first time the Kingdom has issued tourist visas for an event apart from religious tourism and represents the first move to open its borders to international visitors.
So far, the US holds top spot for the largest number of visa holders, followed by the UK, Russia and Germany.
E-prix enthusiasts will be the first to take advantage of the Kingdom’s new Sharek electronic visa system. Visa applicants must buy E-prix tickets to secure a visa, which can be extended for 30 days after the Formula E festivities.
Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud, vice-chair of the Saudi Arabia General Sports Authority, said: “We can promise a lineup both on the track, on stage and in a breathtaking historical setting that will excite fans across the world.”
Meanwhile, Ad Diriyah is bristling with activity to transform the ancient site into a race venue. With its characteristic clay architecture interspersed with palm trees, the site will offer a spectacular contrast of old and new as a backdrop to modern Formula E racing.
Tickets for the Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix start from SR395 ($105) for grandstand seat and include concert access. International travelers are limited to one ticket per visa.


GEA and Misk launch ‘Entertainment Pioneers’ program

Updated 26 June 2019
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GEA and Misk launch ‘Entertainment Pioneers’ program

RIYADH: The General Authority for Entertainment (GEA) launched its “Entertainment Pioneers” program, in partnership with the Initiatives Center at the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Foundation (Misk).

The program aims to prepare citizens, and especially fresh graduates, to work with the most renowned international companies in the field of entertainment, to gain experience, develop their skills in the field, and enable them to integrate this sector and contribute to its development and prosperity.

The program is part of GEA’s strategy to develop the sector of entertainment in accordance with the best international standards, and to provide it with qualified national competencies in this field, to meet the objectives of the Quality of Life program, a basic part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

The first stage of the program will kick off in collaboration with a leading American entertainment company that employs 44,000 people worldwide, and that has a record of more than 30,000 entertainment programs and 100 festivals, with its sales surpassing of 500 million tickets per year.

In addition, various international companies are participating in the event, in order to train Saudis in the tasks of planning, organization and management of entertainment programs and projects.

As part of its plans to develop and increase the size of local content in the entertainment sector, GEA is launching several other initiatives to train Saudi cadres develop their skills, and to integrate the job market especially in small and medium enterprises in the field of entertainment.

For registration a webpage was set on the link: https://misk.org.sa/fellowship/services/live-nation/