‘We are at Biennale to show Saudi Arabia as land of cultural treasures,’ Prince Badr tells Arab News

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Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture, and his Emirati counterpart, Noura Al-Kaabi, at the 58th Venice Biennale. (SPA)
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Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture, and his Emirati counterpart, Noura Al-Kaabi, at the 58th Venice Biennale. (SPA)
Updated 10 May 2019

‘We are at Biennale to show Saudi Arabia as land of cultural treasures,’ Prince Badr tells Arab News

  • Presence at Venice Biennale shows the world Saudi Arabia is a land of cultural treasures, minister says after inauguration of Saudi pavilion
  • Prince Badr — the Kingdom’s first culture minister — also visited the UAE pavilion at the Biennale with his Emirati counterpart, Noura Al-Kaabi

VENICE: Art builds bridges between different peoples and enriches all our lives, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture, told Arab News at the inauguration of the Saudi pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale.

For the first time, the Kingdom has a permanent exhibit at the Biennale — “the Olympics of the art world” — eight years after it first took part. In 2011 the Makkah-born sisters and contemporary artists Shadia and Raja Alem collaborated to present “The Black Arch,” a dazzling steel installation based on personal narratives and “the duality between Makkah and Venice.” 

This year Saudi Arabia is exhibiting the Jeddah-based land artist and professor Dr. Zahrah Al-Ghamdi’s “After Illusion” installation, curated by the Saudi lecturer and artist Eiman Elgibreen.

“Being at Venice this year is a great honor and helps us show the world that Saudi Arabia is a land of cultural treasures,” Prince Badr said.

“We believe that art enriches lives and we are delighted to be part of this year’s Biennale.”

Prince Badr — appointed in June 2018 and the Kingdom’s first culture minister — also visited the UAE pavilion at the Biennale with his Emirati counterpart, Noura Al-Kaabi. 

“Art and culture help us learn about each other and give us the chance to engage with our international friends in ways that build bridges and enhance understanding,” the prince told Arab News.

Al-Kaabi said it was “an honor to see how Saudis are contributing to the art scene, especially in Venice, to tell the world their stories.”

The Biennale opens to the public on May 11 and runs until Nov. 24. Saudi Arabia’s pavilion is in the Arsenale exhibition venue.


Girls outperform boys in games at Saudi Arabia's Taif Season

Updated 23 August 2019

Girls outperform boys in games at Saudi Arabia's Taif Season

  • Saudi Entertainment Summit aims to give visitors at Taif Season an atmosphre of fun, adventure and enthusiasm.

TAIF: Taif Season is attracting Saudi girls to adventure and action games, with the “Action Mania” park allowing game fans of both sexes to exercise their passions in an unprecedented interactive atmosphere in the Village of Roses, held in Al-Radf Park.

Ryan Shaqroun, CEO of Saudi Entertainment Summit, owner of “Action Mania,” noted that girls were more daring than their male counterparts in the “Adrenaline Live” event in the challenge and adventure city. The company has designed a special sports abaya, closed from the bottom, to give girls more freedom during play.

Among the adventure games that have attracted Saudi women at “Action Mania,” “Skyfall” is a breathtaking game, with a safe fall of 16 meters, while the company has also introduced its parachute jump simulator for the first time.

Shaqroun added that the company aims to give visitors at Taif Season an atmosphere of fun, adventure and enthusiasm, with the adventure park area covering 12,000 square meters within the Village of Roses, with 15 games of different sizes. All games have international safety and security certifications, conform to Saudi standards and specifications, and are under the supervision of trained Saudi cadres with experience in the entertainment industry.

Visitors can enter Action Mania from 5 p.m. to midnight, allowing them to experience the fun, entertainment and adventure through a range of exciting activities and games, suitable for the whole family, such as climbing, free jumping, circus swings, and other skill and fitness games.