Ad Diriyah: Jewel of the Kingdom now home to the Middle East’s first Formula E race

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Ad Diriyah wiill be the setting for the first Formula E race in the Middle East next month. (Diriyah Gate Development Authority)
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Ad Diriyah wiill be the setting for the first Formula E race in the Middle East next month. (Diriyah Gate Development Authority)
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Ad Diriyah wiill be the setting for the first Formula E race in the Middle East next month. (Diriyah Gate Development Authority)
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Ad Diriyah wiill be the setting for the first Formula E race in the Middle East next month. (Diriyah Gate Development Authority)
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Ad Diriyah wiill be the setting for the first Formula E race in the Middle East next month. (Diriyah Gate Development Authority)
Updated 14 December 2018
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Ad Diriyah: Jewel of the Kingdom now home to the Middle East’s first Formula E race

JEDDAH: Blocks of mud-brick buildings and short streets look like a mosaic of beiges and browns from a distance. The cool houses were once a shelter from the heat of the desert. Now, the historic area is a hub of urban life and a collection of outdoor museums curated at the At-Turaif Unesco world heritage site. 

Showing so much of the nation’s rich history, the historic area of Ad Diriyah on the outskirts of Riyadh is about to play host to an event that is a promise of the future.

The historic town will be the extraordinary setting for the first Formula E race in the Middle East next month.

Since the inception of motor racing as a sport, race locales have been as important as the race itself, attracting the world’s finest and most sophisticated auto enthusiasts,” Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of Ad Diriyah Gate Development Authority, said.

“Formula E in Ad Diriyah is a continuation of that tradition, offering fans a chance to enjoy the sport while accessing the best in hospitality, culture and community.”

Inzerillo said the partnership with Formula E is indicative of the Kingdom’s mission to deliver world-class hospitality and share unforgettable experiences - in line with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030.

Ad Diriyah is one of few global historical sites to join the suite of prominent destinations populating the electric motorsport circuit. 

Inzerillo added that as the Kingdom continues to embrace new technologies, develop renewable energy sources and invest in electrified mobility, hosting the Formula E race at Ad Diriyah represents the essence of Saudi Arabia – a gateway connecting the past and the future and a space for preservation, innovation and togetherness. 

Known as The Home of Kings and Heroes and just minutes from Riyadh, Ad Diriyah ushers in an era of E-racing in the Middle East by hosting Season 5’s inaugural ABB FIA Formula E Championship race on Dec. 15, 2018.

Located just minutes from Riyadh, Ad Diriyah is on the banks of the Wadi Hanifah, surrounded by lush agricultural lands. As communities grew in Wadi Hanifah, Ad Diriyah developed into a central gathering point in the Najd Region.


Saudi ministry: More than 3 million Umrah visas issued so far

The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience. (SPA)
Updated 20 January 2019
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Saudi ministry: More than 3 million Umrah visas issued so far

  • Developing Hajj and Umrah organizations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government

JEDDAH: The number of Umrah visas issued this year has reached 3,024,272, of which 2,561,541 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom, according to data provided by the Hajj and Umrah Ministry.
There are 399,479 pilgrims still in the Kingdom, with 277,372 in Makkah and 122,107 in Madinah.
Most pilgrims — 2,288,789 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 257,266 entered by land and 15,486 arrived by sea.
The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan (681,392) followed by Indonesia (447,450), India (306,470), Yemen (146,067), Malaysia (142,290), Algeria (92,752), Turkey (86,925), Egypt (85,438), Bangladesh (53,131) and the UAE (62,927).
The weekly data also included the number of Saudi staff within Umrah companies and institutions. They are 9,983 Saudis including 8,259 males and 1,724 females.
Developing Hajj and Umrah organizations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government.
The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience.