Public diplomacy key to raising Saudi Arabia’s media profile

Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, chairs the session on public diplomacy in Jeddah on Friday. (SPA)
Updated 22 February 2019
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Public diplomacy key to raising Saudi Arabia’s media profile

  • Saudi Arabia is also making sincere efforts to facilitate greater and easier access for cultural diplomacy to take place through international tourism

JEDDAH: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Friday staged a lecture in the Kingdom on public diplomacy.
Delegates attending the event, held at OIC headquarters in Jeddah, included senior OIC officials and general secretariat members, and diplomats based in the city.
Titled “Public Diplomacy, Impact of Soft Power and Reinforcement of Mental Picture,” the lecture was part of a monthly intellectual series of presentations organized under the direction of OIC Secretary-General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen.
The lecture was run by Ambassador Ali Quwtali, the OIC director for Palestine and Al-Quds Affairs, and delivered by Saud Kateb, a Saudi writer and undersecretary for public diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During his talk Kateb highlighted an article on the subject he had written for Al-Madina newspaper in 2016. “It is when we hide our faces that others paint it as they please,” he told delegates, praising Saudi Arabia’s efforts to showcase the country’s diversity to the world.
Kateb’s highly visual presentation noted that public diplomacy had a major role play in raising the media profile of the Kingdom.
Al-Othaimeen said the lecture program aimed to enrich attendees, and he added that the first OIC Festival held in Cairo earlier this month, had expressed the diversity of the Islamic world.
Public diplomacy is the promotion of ideas and national interests by informing and educating people around the world through cultural activities, exchange programs and social media.
Saudi Arabia is also making sincere efforts to facilitate greater and easier access for cultural diplomacy to take place through international tourism.


Saudi capital to get world’s biggest park in $23bn project

Updated 32 min 55 sec ago
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Saudi capital to get world’s biggest park in $23bn project

  • The project will see 7.5m trees planted and the creation of the world's biggest park
  • There will be 70,000 jobs created across the four major projects

RIYADH: The world’s biggest park will be created in Saudi Arabia as part of a $22.9bn project that promises to create vast open green areas in Riyadh, creating thousands of new jobs, state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday

The aim of the project is to “significantly improve the lives of its citizens, transform the city into an attractive destination and make it one of the world’s most livable cities,” the report added.

The four projects - King Salman Park, Sports Boulevard, Green Riyadh and Riyadh Art – will complement the Saudi Vision 2030’s “Quality of Life” Program and are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to create sustainable cities and communities, while driving urgent action against climate change.

Developed with a government investment of $23 bn, the four projects will offer opportunities worth $15bn for the private sector to invest in residential, commercial, recreational and wellness projects.

As well as creating tens of thousands of new jobs, the project will also help boost efforts to improve the city’s health and wellbeing with a commitment to wellness, health, sports, culture and the arts, underpinned by a commitment to environmental sustainability.

Measuring 13.4 square kilometers, King Salman Park will be the world’s biggest park, with residential areas, hotels, and will also feature a Royal Arts Complex, theaters, museums, cinemas, sports venues, water features, restaurants and an 18-hole Royal Golf Course.

The park will also boast several landmark assets, including the Riyadh Fountains and a Vertical Garden. As an environmentally sustainable urban development, it will offer opportunities for the international community in arts, entertainment and culture.

Image: riyadhgreen.sa

One of the world’s largest urban greening projects, Green Riyadh will increase Riyadh’s green cover with 7.5 million trees.

The massive planting project will help increase the city’s green cover from 1.5 percent of Riyadh’s total area to 9.1 percent – that’s approximately 541 square kilometers, by 2030.

Image: riyadhgreen.sa

Green space availability will increase to 28 square meters per capita from the current 1.7 square meters per capita, compared to the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 9 square meters per capita.

Green Riyadh will help reduce average ambient temperature by 2C, and will use more than 1 million cubic meters of treated sewage daily for irrigation, for the sustainability of water resources in the city.

Image: riyadhgreen.sa

Sports Boulevard  - a health and wellness destination in the heart of the city- will feature a 135 kilometer-long professional cycling track covering the city and the surrounding valleys, the first of its kind in the region.

Adding 3.5 million square meters of new open space across the city, this grand project will also feature a sports pavilion, riding stables and athletics tracks.

Riyadh Art will be the world’s largest government investment in public art and will establish the city as “a gallery without walls” through a world-class interactive public arts program.

With 1,000 artworks curated through 10 separate programs and an annual arts festival, this project will feature large-scale art works with the aim of drawing art lovers and creators from around the world.

The projects are part of Saudi Arbia’s strategy to meet their Vision 2030 goals, they are expected to provide 70,000 new job opportunities.

Construction work is due to start in the second half of 2019.