Saudi Arabia’s Ad Diriyah concert kicks off in rainy Riyadh

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Updated 15 December 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s Ad Diriyah concert kicks off in rainy Riyadh

  • After DJ EJ’s performance, the concert area took an intermission only to witness a spike in attendance
  • Egyptian pop singer Amr Diab took to the stage and fired up an electric crowd who were cheering him on beneath the rain

RIYADH: Come rain or shine, nothing could hold off the festivities on the sidelines of the biggest event in Saudi Arabia - the Ad Diriyah E Prix - as Formula E's resident DJ EJ kicked off the evening concert for the three-day event.

"I still can't believe this is happening. This is so awesome," Badr who was amongst the crowd listening to the ABB formula E resident DJ, told Arab News.

After DJ EJ’s performance, the concert area took an intermission only to witness a spike in attendance as attendees ran to the stage area to listen to Scott Forshaw perform at the E Village area.

Mohaisin, who was dancing amongst three of his friends, told Arab News that this is a new Saudi Arabia and that he is proud Riyadh is hosting the Formula E.

"We are a world class country and our events should reflect that. This, to me, is the biggest event I have been to in the region," he added.

After another intermission, Egyptian pop singer Amr Diab took to the stage and fired up an electric crowd who were cheering him on beneath the rain. After his first song, Diab to a moment to thank the Kingdom’s General Sports Authority Chairman Turki Al-Sheikh for the extended invitation to perform at the landmark event.

Heba and her sister Hanoof were both cheering their favorite Egyptian icon.

"I can't believe I am listening to Amr Diab right here in Ad Diriyah, this is not happening. I used to have to travel to attend concerts." Heba told Arab News.

"This to me is a pinch me moment,” added her sister Hanoof.

"This is a surreal moment which reminds me of the cool factor that Vision 2030 brings to our people. I mean we still have the Black Eyes Peas performing too, all in one night," she added.

The evening’s festivities included US hip-hop group the Black-Eyed Peas.


Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki at a press briefing. (SPA file photo)
Updated 19 March 2019
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Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

  • Houthis want to disturb peace, says coalition spokesman
  • Stockholm peace agreement under strain

RIYADH: The Arab coalition supporting the internationally recognized Yemeni government is committed to protecting regional and global security, a spokesman said Monday.

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki was asked at a press briefing about Houthi militias threatening to target the capitals of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“This is their way to disturb peace,” Al-Maliki replied. “Previously the Houthis targeted Riyadh with a ballistic missile, violating all international laws by attacking a city that has more than 8 million civilians. We take all precautions to protect civilians and vital areas. The coalition works to protect regional and international security.”

Al-Maliki said Houthis had targeted Saudi border towns several times, the most recent incident taking place in Abha last Friday.

But the Saudi Royal Air Defense Force had shot down a drone that was targeting civilians, he added.

He said four Saudi nationals and an Indian expatriate were injured in the attack because of falling debris.

The drone wreckage showed the characteristics and specifications of Iranian manufacturing, he said, which proved Iran was continuing to smuggle arms to the militias.

He warned the Houthis to refrain from targeting civilians because the coalition, in line with international humanitarian law, had every right to counter such threats.

He said the coalition was making efforts to neutralize ballistic missiles and dismantle their capabilities, as the coalition’s joint command would not allow the militia to possess weapons that threatened civilian lives and peace.

Al-Maliki reiterated that the Houthis were targeting Yemeni civilians and continued to violate international laws. 

He also urged Yemenis to try their best to prevent children from being captured by Houthis, who were using them as human shields and child soldiers.

His comments came as the UN tried to salvage a peace deal that was seen as crucial for ending the country’s four-year war.

The Stockholm Agreement was signed by the Yemeni government and Houthi representatives last December.

The main points of the agreement were a prisoner exchange, steps toward a cease-fire in the city of Taiz, and a cease-fire agreement in the city of Hodeidah and its port, as well as ports in Salif and Ras Issa.

Militants triggered the conflict when they seized the capital Sanaa in 2014 and attempted to occupy large parts of the country. An Arab coalition intervened in support of the internationally recognized government in March 2015.

The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since 2015.

Earlier this month US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that President Donald Trump’s administration opposed curbs on American assistance to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

“The way to alleviate the Yemeni people’s suffering isn’t to prolong the conflict by handicapping our partners in the fight, but by giving the Saudi-led coalition the support needed to defeat the Iranian-backed rebels and ensure a just peace,” Pompeo said at a news conference in Washington.