The Gathering brings winter wonderland to Riyadh

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Winter Day Out is one of around 5,000 events either organized or sponsored by the GEA planned for this year. (AN photo by Essam Al Ghalib)
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Winter Day Out is one of around 5,000 events either organized or sponsored by the GEA planned for this year. (AN photo by Essam Al Ghalib)
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Winter Day Out is one of around 5,000 events either organized or sponsored by the GEA planned for this year. (AN photo by Essam Al Ghalib)
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Winter Day Out is one of around 5,000 events either organized or sponsored by the GEA planned for this year. (AN photo by Essam Al Ghalib)
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Winter Day Out is one of around 5,000 events either organized or sponsored by the GEA planned for this year. (AN photo by Essam Al Ghalib)
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Winter Day Out is one of around 5,000 events either organized or sponsored by the GEA planned for this year. (AN photo by Essam Al Ghalib)
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Winter Day Out is one of around 5,000 events either organized or sponsored by the GEA planned for this year. (AN photo by Essam Al Ghalib)
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Winter Day Out is one of around 5,000 events either organized or sponsored by the GEA planned for this year. (AN photo by Essam Al Ghalib)
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Winter Day Out is one of around 5,000 events either organized or sponsored by the GEA planned for this year. (AN photo by Essam Al Ghalib)
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Winter Day Out is one of around 5,000 events either organized or sponsored by the GEA planned for this year. (AN photo by Essam Al Ghalib)
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Winter Day Out is one of around 5,000 events either organized or sponsored by the GEA planned for this year. (AN photo by Essam Al Ghalib)
Updated 15 January 2019
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The Gathering brings winter wonderland to Riyadh

  • The event is now in its second year
  • “It is amazing how people here have responded to us,” says performer

RIYADH: Over the past ten days, more than 50,000 people have attended Winter Day Out, an event sponsored by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), at The Gathering in Riyadh’s Masharef Hills development complex.

Now in its second year, Winter Day Out is one of around 5,000 events either organized or sponsored by the GEA planned for 2019. 

Running from Jan. 3 until Saturday night, thousands of people arrived daily, braving the cold winter weather to walk through the scenic gardens, and enjoy the food, shopping and entertainment, including the Frank Sinatra Orchestra, featuring a Dutch Sinatra tribute act.

“This is my first time in Saudi Arabia, and hopefully not my last,” said Frank In Person, the Sinatra lookalike. “It is amazing how people here have responded to us.

“It was a very flattering experience I did not expect. People here are very polite and friendly. It’s new for the Kingdom and I am honored and privileged to be a part of it.”

Dutch ambassador Joost Reintjes was one of the thousands in attendance, who watched the performance and chatted with members of the Dutch orchestra.

“Everyone here is very excited,” Reintjes said. “The members of the band are very proud to be here. It is the first time; they’ve heard stories about Saudi Arabia, and when you’re abroad and come here for the first time, it is always different to what you thought.”

Winter Day Out is one of around 5,000 events either organized or sponsored by the GEA planned for this year. (AN photo by Essam Al Ghalib)

Reintjes also said there were plenty more Dutch-Saudi events being planned.

“The Netherlands has had magicians and acrobats perform here in Saudi Arabia. There are many things that we can do in Saudi Arabia and the other way around, not just business and investments. There are the entertainment, sport, and cinema sectors – we have a very big cinema event in April with Saudi movies. Culture and entertainment provide a lot of possibilities.”

A full schedule of other GEA events can be found at www.roznamah.sa.

50,000 people have attended Winter Day Out. (AN photo by Essam Al Ghalib)


13,230 families benefit from ‘Sakani’ program in Saudi Arabia

More than 157,000 families benefited from the program during 2018. (SPA)
Updated 17 June 2019
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13,230 families benefit from ‘Sakani’ program in Saudi Arabia

  • More than 157,000 families benefited from the program during 2018

RIYADH: The Ministry of Housing’s “Sakani” program has helped 13,230 families registered on its Real Estate Development Fund list with housing options and finance solutions during May.
This includes 5,835 families who live in their own homes, bringing the total number of families benefiting from the program in different regions of the Kingdom since the start of the year to 68,195.
The Sakani program announced the names of beneficiaries and their national ID numbers through the link https://sakani-names.housing.sa or via the program portal.
More than 157,000 families benefited from the program during 2018.
Ministry of Housing spokesman Saif Al-Suwailem said that Sakani continues to provide its services to beneficiaries according to their needs and abilities. The ministry is keen to provide better services in line with the “Eskan” program, one of the Saudi Vision 2030 initiatives that aims to raise the proportion of residential ownership to 70 percent by 2030.
As part of Sakani’s efforts to provide suitable housing options, the program began to implement 53 new housing projects in different regions of the Kingdom, characterized by affordable prices for a large segment of citizens registered on the lists of the Ministry of Housing.
Al-Suwailem said that the ministry was keen to find solutions for Saudi families that help them to own the right home for them. SPA Riyadh