RIYADH: From a series of summits and diplomatic meetings to a show by the Harlem Globetrotters, the agenda of events coinciding with Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia is as varied as it is packed.
Trump’s first official foreign trip since taking office includes three key summits on May 20-21, as well as several business activities, cultural, intellectual and sports celebrations. On his first day in the Kingdom, the US president will visit the King Abdulaziz Historical Center, a cultural landmark highlighting the prominent history of the Arabian Peninsula and its historical role in the spread of Islam.
Here is the line-up for the events around the rest of Trump’s visit.
Three major summits
Held under the slogan “together we prevail,” the main events will be the Saudi-US Summit, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-US Summit, and the Arab Islamic American Summit.
The Saudi-US Summit (on May 20) will feature a series of bilateral meetings between King Salman and Trump, and “focus on re-affirming the long-standing friendship, and strengthening the close political, economic, security and cultural bonds between the two nations.”
The GCC-US Summit (on May 21), held at the King Abdulaziz Convention Center in Riyadh, will see GCC leaders meet with Trump to discuss threats to regional security and stability and the building of stronger commercial ties between the US and the Gulf.
The Arab Islamic American Summit (on May 21) will see Trump meet with leaders of the world’s Islamic nations.
On Sunday May 21, King Salman and President Trump are set to inaugurate the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (GCCEI), which will counter and prevent the spread of extremist ideology through promoting moderation, compassion and supporting the dissemination of positive dialogue.
The Riyadh Forum on Countering Extremism & Fighting Terrorism will be held on the same day, sponsored by the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC).
A social-media orientated event — held at the Ritz Carlton Riyadh on May 21 — will see the US president meet with figures including King Abdullah of Jordan and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The event will include a variety of panels, including one on countering radical views on social media platforms, which will be moderated by Faisal J. Abbas, editor in chief of Arab News.
Saudi-US CEO Forum
The Saudi-US CEO Forum, another event that coincides with Trump’s visit, aims to give a boost to trade relations between the two nations, organizers said.
Multiple bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoUs) are expected to be signed, and new licenses are to be issued for US companies to operate in the Kingdom.
More than 90 business leaders from Saudi Arabia and the US are set to convene at the forum, which is being held on Saturday.
High-profile attendees from the Saudi side will include: Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister; Majid Al-Qassabi, minister of commerce and investment; Amin H. Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco; Lubna Olayan, CEO of Olayan Financing Co.; and Yousef Al-Benyan, CEO of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).
Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Saudi minister of finance, and Ali Al-Ghafis, minister of labor and social development, are also expected to attend.
Visitors from the US will include: Andrew Liveris, chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical; Michael Corbat, CEO of Citigroup; Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO of GE; Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco; and Laurence Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock.
A series of public entertainment and cultural events will also be held in Riyadh around the time of Trump's visit. The events, overseen by the General Entertainment Authority, include:
The Race of Heroes, Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, May 19 (evening)
A thrilling auto race in which four Saudi champions will race against US drivers, to compete for the Riyadh Peace Trophy. At the finish line the racers will be met by sky divers and motorcyclists.
Sky diving Show, Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium & Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, May 19-20 (8.45 p.m.)
This magnificent sky diving display will feature 12 talented participants in freefall. It will take place at two events: “Race of Heroes” on May 19 and the football match on May 20.
The Basketball Show, Green Hall, Riyadh, May 25 (evening)
The Harlem Globetrotters are back with a brand new exciting basketball show displaying all of their best tricks and techniques to dazzle the crowds. This performance will also feature the talented Al Ittihad basketball team.
Football Match, Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium, Riyadh, May 20 (evening)
This highly anticipated football match pits 2016 US NASL champions, the New York Cosmos, against Saudi league champions Al Hilal.
The Classic Auto-Show, Historical Diraya, Riyadh, May 21-23 (4 p.m. - 11 p.m.)
This unique exhibition will feature over 200 vintage automobiles dating back to the 1960s.
Rider’s March, around Riyadh, May 19 (4 p.m.)
This event, which comes under the slogan of “No Terrorism”, features more than 350 motorcyclists from around the Kingdom on the roads of Riyadh. The riders will eventually all make their way from King Salman Arena to Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University to mark the opening of the Race of Heroes.
Royal Court Art Exhibition
A show highlighting Saudi Arabia’s contemporary art across several generations is also set to be held on May 20.
With a particular focus on young artists, the exhibition aims to showcase the Kingdom’s rich culture through creative artworks, and encourage dialogue between Saudi and American cultures through visual works demonstrating the artists’ life experiences.