Formula E at Ad Diriyah: An experience of a lifetime

Updated 14 December 2018
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Formula E at Ad Diriyah: An experience of a lifetime

  • The 2018 Ad Diriyah E-Prix gets off to a thrilling start

RIYADH: All the hype surrounding Formula E sent a wave of excitement through the streets that you could sense as you approached the Allianz E-Village, an electronic village with reality toys galore that will take you to the another world. Thrilled visitors who had come early had the advantage of avoiding the crowds and the busy queues as they paced their way through the village.
The Formula E-Prix took up the whole of Ad Diriyah, a family zone and cultural village. The best way to move around was by one of the many buses that transports visitors to the security checks.
On the ride to the cultural village at dusk you could see the place all lit up with twinkling fairy lights. It was magical and beautiful. One person on the bus gushed at the beauty of it, the mixing of the old and the new, the cultural and the technological.
“In my day everything was open; we had cinemas and foreigners walked around without abayas. This reminds me of the old days. I’m very happy that we have this again. This is normal life. It’s nice to go back to that,” Um Faisal, a Saudi citizen said from the crowd.
People were dancing in the crowds singing to the lyrics, and once the DJ stopped the music you could hear the crowds scream with excitement.
“This is ridiculous!” was overheard from one concert-goer who was watching the show. The huge crowd was jumping up and down to the beat. There were no limits to age, gender or race; everyone participated.
First-time concert-goer Yara Saud, an 18-year-old college student, had been waiting for this event since it was announced. Being a huge fan of Jason Derulo, she said: “I can’t believe that I’m attending my favorite artist’s concert in my home town. This is Crazy!”
“Saudi whassap. This is a dream come true for me! Since we are in Saudi Arabia I want to do things a little different,” said Jason Derulo.
As a special treat for his Saudi audience he gave the first performance of a new song, stating on the stage that his mother taught him to never visit empty handed: This was his gift to Saudi Arabia.
It was truly a night to remember as for the first time in Saudi Arabia we could witness the people of Saudi mingling, dancing, singing and enjoying themselves in a huge outdoor area.


High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

Updated 18 June 2019
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High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

  • Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners

TOKYO: More than 300 government, investment and industry leaders on Monday took part in a high-level gathering aimed at further boosting business opportunities between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) welcomed key figures from the public and private sectors to the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum, held in Tokyo.

Hosted in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the conference focused on the creation of investment opportunities in strategic sectors of the Kingdom. Delegates also discussed key reforms currently underway to enable easier market access for foreign companies.

Speaking at the event, Saudi Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, said: “Today’s forum is a testimony to the success of the strategic direction set by the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 two years ago, which seeks to drive private-sector involvement, both by partnering with public-sector entities.”

SAGIA Gov. Ibrahim Al-Omar said: “At SAGIA, we have been working on creating a more attractive and favorable business environment in Saudi Arabia, which is making it easier for foreign companies to access opportunities in the Kingdom.”

Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners. It is the Kingdom’s second-largest source of foreign capital and third-biggest trading partner, with total trade exceeding $39 billion.

JETRO president, Yasushi Akahoshi, said: “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 has made great progress since it was first announced. Under this strategic initiative, the number of cooperative projects between our two countries has nearly doubled, from 31 to 61, and represents a diverse range of sectors and stakeholders.”

Since 2016, the Saudi government has delivered 45 percent of more than 500 planned reforms, including the introduction of 100 percent foreign ownership rights, enhancing legal infrastructure and offering greater protection for shareholders.

As a result, the Kingdom has climbed international competitiveness and ease-of-doing-business rankings, with foreign direct investment inflows increasing by 127 percent in 2018 and the number of new companies entering Saudi Arabia rising by 70 percent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2019.