France to help Saudi Arabia develop tourism

French ambassador François Gouyette (left) with Prince Sultan bin Salman during their meeting in Riyadh.
Updated 19 November 2016

France to help Saudi Arabia develop tourism

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and France are working in tandem on the development of tourism in the Kingdom. The two countries have agreed to cooperate more in imparting training to Saudi youth and explore areas for Saudi-French joint teams to engage in archaeological excavations.
Earlier this year, a joint team of Saudi-French archaeologists, carrying out excavations on historical sites in Al-Kharj, discovered heritage artifacts belonging to the Stone and Bronze ages, and the Abbasid era, a major breakthrough for the promotion of heritage tourism in the Riyadh region.
The new French ambassador in Riyadh, François Gouyette, met Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) here and reviewed cooperation between the two friendly countries, an SCTNH official said Friday.
Prince Sultan also met the founder of the French Accor Group, Gerhard Pils, and Accor Group President and General Manager Alan Xuan. Accor Group runs hotels.
“They reviewed cooperation in various areas including the development of tourism products, qualifying human resources via professional training in the areas of hospitality, and exploring the areas of Saudi-French joint teams engaged in the archaeological explorations in the Kingdom,” the SCTNH media department said.
During the meeting, Prince Sultan also stressed the keenness of the tourism commission to support investors, operators and hoteliers and provide all facilities to international hotel companies to enter the Saudi market after the SCTNH's efforts to regulate the hotel sector.
This includes classification of the sector for the benefit of citizens and consumers of tourism services by raising the quality of services and reducing costs, as well as providing more job opportunities for citizens.
Prince Sultan also referred to the benefits from the Accor Academy’s experience in France, in the area of training for Saudi youth, and expressed his appreciation to Accor Group for helping in the country in nationalizing the tourism sector.
The Accor Group founder also stressed the importance of the Saudi market and his keenness to work with the SCTNH to develop the tourist experience based on excellence and the originality represented by each Saudi province.

Organizers promise ‘exceptional’ Saudi National Day celebrations

Updated 8 min 7 sec ago

Organizers promise ‘exceptional’ Saudi National Day celebrations

  • We are keen to have the largest international events to create an exceptional season, says GEA CEO Amr Banaja

RIYADH: Fireworks, concerts, festivals and international performances will be among the highlights of the 89th Saudi National Day celebrations this year.

The General Entertainment Authority (GEA) has announced a season of record-breaking events for the annual celebration.

At a press conference in Riyadh on Sunday, GEA CEO Amr Banaja said that Saudi citizens and residents can enjoy a number of entertainment activities planned across 13 regions of the Kingdom as part of the National Day season being supervised by the GEA from Sept. 19 to 23.

“The GEA is proud to oversee the Saudi National Day Season activities by launching a unified identity that brings together the society under “Himma Hatta El-Qimmah,” Banaja said, inspired by the words of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: “The Saudis’ strength is like that of the Tuwaiq mountain.”

The GEA was proud to be overseeing the occasion, Banaja said. “We are keen to have the largest international events to create an exceptional season befitting this dear country,” he said.

“This year fireworks celebrations will continue for several days where more than 700,000 shots will be fired at an altitude of up to 300 meters, accompanied by music,” he said.

Celebrations will be held in all regions during the season, and visitors will be able to enjoy a range of activities that reflected the unity of the nation and the cohesion of the people and leadership.

“Distinctive international shows designed especially for the National Day will be held in Riyadh from Sept. 21-23,” he said.

Fireworks will light up Jeddah over Al-Hamra Corniche accompanied by sound and light effects and laser shows.

At the five-day Dhahran Exhibition in Dammam starting on Sept. 19, the world’s largest theatrical producer “Cirque du Soleil” will present a specially designed show for Saudi National Day.

Forty artists will present 14 shows of acrobatics, sports, music, and dance. Eight concerts will also be held in a number of regions where, besides international stars, Saudi and Gulf artists will present patriotic songs.

The concerts will begin on the first day of the season on Sept. 19 at Al-Jouf University Stadium in Sakaka with performances by Khaled Abdulrahman and Nabil Shuail.

The next day, a concert will be held at King Khalid Sport City in Tabuk staged by artists Abdullah Al-Rowaished and Aseel Abu Bakr.

On Sept. 21, Majid Al-Mohandes and Dalia Mubarak will perform at Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Musaed Stadium in Hail.

On Sept. 22, two concerts will be performed at King Abdullah Sports City in Buraidah by artists Rashid Al-Majid and Balqees Fathi; the second at Prince Sultan Cultural Center in Jazan by “The Artist of Arabs” Mohammed Abdo and Turki.

On Saudi National Day (Sept. 23), three concerts will be held in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.

Thousands will gather at King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh to listen to singers Hussein Al-Jasmi and Abadi Al-Jawhar.

In Jeddah, Rabeh Saqr and the artist Waad will perform at King Abdullah Sports City, while in Dammam, and in the Green Halls in Riyadh, Kuwaiti singer Nawal and the artist Ayed will entertain the audience.

Five forums will take place in five cities, where a number of speakers will present inspirational events.

Forums will be held in Madinah and Tabuk on Sept. 19, while in Abha and Buraidah the forum will be held on Sept. 21 and in Hail on Sept. 23.

Banaja said that the GEA had created 150 smartphone apps for the National Day celebrations with 40,000 downloaded so far.

He thanked the security authorities for their efforts to make the season a success, and all government, private and nonprofit sectors for their contribution.

The programs were mostly free, he said, though there were some concerts for which tickets could be purchased online.

There will also be a major aero show in Riyadh, Jeddah and the Eastern Province, and a Saudi falcon show will be organized in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar.