Yalla Sharqiah season to bring culture, sports events to Eastern Province

Mike Goulian of USA maneuvers his plane during a training session for the 2019 Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi on February 8,2019. (AFP file photo)
Updated 03 March 2019
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Yalla Sharqiah season to bring culture, sports events to Eastern Province

  • The festival is part of Saudi Seasons, a tourism drive recently announced by the Saudi tourism commission
  • Dammam will host the Red Bull Air race and Formula 1 H20 for powerboats

RIYADH: The first Yalla Sharqiah season will take place March 14-30, bringing sporting and cultural events such as the Red Bull Air Race and a multimedia exhibit of Van Gogh’s artworks to the Eastern Province.
The festival is part of Saudi Seasons, a tourism drive recently announced by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), as one of the main pillars of the “The Quality of Life 2020 Program” spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, under Saudi Vision 2030.
The Sharqiah festival is the first of 11 “seasons,” beginning with the Eastern Province and continuing in different areas of Saudi Arabia, with entertainment options suited for each city. 
Under the theme of “A Season of Culture and Energy,” the Sharqiah season will include a wide variety of events and exhibitions across the region, including an “immersive rig” experience highlighting the Kingdom’s energy sector and the Van Gogh exhibition. 
Dammam will host the Red Bull Air race and Formula 1 H20 for powerboats, the Saudi Bike Show for motorbike enthusiasts, performances by Cirque Eloize and the East Coast Festival, highlighting local heritage.
Alkhobar will have a cultural village, Arabic concerts, an Egyptian opera, a Bollywood festival, the Color Run and a 3D mapping show. In Al-Ahsa , there will be an investment forum, cultural nights and an outdoor cinema. Other cities like Dhahran, Jubail, Hafar Al-Batin, Nuairyah and Khafji will offer programs that blend education and sports with entertainment and culture, including the Saudi Robotics Conference and Exhibition and the Aqua Bike Kingdom Championship.
The Sharqiah season is expected to provide 3,000 job opportunities for Saudis, combining the efforts of the SCTH, the General Entertainment Authority, the General Culture Authority, the General Sports Authority, the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu and Saudi Aramco’s King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).
 


Hajj Ministry: More than 7.46m Umrah visas issued so far

Updated 25 May 2019
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Hajj Ministry: More than 7.46m Umrah visas issued so far

  • The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan
  • The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience

RIYADH: The number of Umrah visas issued this year has reached 7,463,259, of which 6,964,943 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom, according to data provided by the Hajj Ministry.
There are 925,246 pilgrims still in the Kingdom, with 679,929 in Makkah and 245,317 in Madinah, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Most pilgrims — 6,185,504 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 671,356 entered by land and 108,083 arrived by sea.
The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan (1,530,855) followed by Indonesia (934,827), India (635,675), Egypt (524,728), Algeria (353,425), Yemen (323,083), Turkey (300,517), Malaysia (26,9554), Iraq (268,179) and Jordan (194,908).
The weekly data also included the number of Saudi staff within Umrah companies and institutions. They are 10,852 Saudis including 8,978 males and 1,874 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.