Muqrin opens eHealth conference

Updated 19 December 2014

Muqrin opens eHealth conference

Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin told participants of the Fifth Saudi eHealth Conference on Tuesday that the King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAUHS) has harnessed the electronic health system for the greater benefit of individuals and society.
The prince also opened an exhibition which would run concurrently with the conference for the next two days.
Expressing his delight over the exemplary performance of the KSAUHS, the prince said the fact that the conference is being held for the fifth consecutive time bears eloquent testimony to its achievements through the eHealth system. He also thanked the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques who has been supportive of such activities which benefit the nation.
He pointed out that the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Arabic Health Encyclopedia (KAAHE) published by KSAUHS in collaboration with the Saudi Health Association for Health Informatics (SAHI) has received global recognition.
More than 21 million browsers from all parts of the world had visited its pages. “This is the only encyclopedia which is available both in English and Arabic,” he said, hoping that it would become a global edition for ready reference for matters related to health and would be made available in other languages in the long run.
The encyclopedia addresses the general population, professionals, as well as students. The health care providers can use the information provided on KAAHE in order to enhance the communication with their patients. KAAHE contains information about medical topics, diet and healthy lifestyle, getting health care, news and events. Moreover, it contains personalized services and interactive applications presented in a user-friendly interface.
The CEO of the Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs and President of KSAU-HS Dr. Bandar Al-Knawy extended his gratitude to Prince Muqrin for sponsoring this conference since its first edition in 2006. He added that his sponsorship contributes immensely to the success of this conference, stressing that it embodies the county’s support for civil society institutions and activates their role in the society.
The conference hosts 23 specialists and internationally recognized speakers from the US, UAE, South Korea, UK, Australia, Germany and Canada.

Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

There was an explosion of joy at the podium when Antonio Felix da Costa lifted the winner’s trophy at the conclusion of the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix on Saturday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 8 min 13 sec ago

Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

  • Three-day event at Ad Diriyah reaches spectacular climax in an unprecedented spirit of openness

The driver with the winner’s trophy was Antonio Felix da Costa — but the real winners were Saudi Arabia itself, and more than 1,000 tourists visiting the country for the first time.

Da Costa, the Andretti Motorsport driver, won the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix in front of thousands of race fans at a custom-built track in the historic district on the outskirts of Riyadh.

But in truth, the event was about much more than high-tech electric cars hurtling round a race track — thrilling though that was. The three-day festival of motorsport, culture and entertainment was Saudi Arabia’s chance to prove that it can put on a show to rival anything in the world, and which only two years ago would have been unthinkable.

The event was also the first to be linked to the Sharek electronic visa system, allowing foreigners other than pilgrims or business visitors to come to Saudi Arabia.

Jason, from the US, is spending a week in the country with his German wife, riding quad bikes in the desert and visiting heritage sites. “I’ve always wanted to come for many, many years ... I’m so happy to be here and that they’re letting us be here,” he said.

Aaron, 40, a software engineer, traveled from New York for two days. “Saudi Arabia has always been an exotic place ... and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to come here,” he said.

About 1,000 visitors used the Sharek visa, a fraction of what Saudi Arabia aims eventually to attract. 

“Hopefully we will learn from this and see what we need to do for the future, but I can tell you from now that there is a lot of demand,” said Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, vice chairman of the General Sports Authority.

His optimism was backed by Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund and a visitor to Ad Diriyah. “Such events will attract tourists and are a true celebration for young Saudis who desire a bright future,” he said.

“The vision of moderate Islam, promoted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is important both for the region and the entire world, and its realization needs to be appreciated, respected and supported.”

The event ended on Saturday night with a spectacular show by US band OneRepublic and the superstar DJ David Guetta. “Just when you think things can’t get better, they suddenly do,” said concertgoer Saleh Saud. “This is the new Saudi Arabia, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.”