Food trucks and camels mingle in national fair

A foreign visitor at the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival that kicked off on Monday in Riyadh. (AN photo)
Updated 02 January 2018

Food trucks and camels mingle in national fair

JEDDAH: The Al-Dahnaa Desert buzzes with life and commercial activity as it hosts the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival, which is expected to attract around 20,000 visitors every day — especially during the holidays — between Jan. 1 and Feb. 1, 2018.
The festival includes a market for productive families, with 100 points of sale for displaying handcrafted products, the most noticeable of which are camel heritage tools and leathers.
There is another market, which includes 100 points of sale for camels, cattle, fodder, antiques, vintage toys, handicrafts, tents, food supplies, laundries, firewood and camping supplies.
Several catering companies and coffee shops will participate in the festival to provide everything campers, participants, guests and tourists may need.
The director of the project, Mohammed Al-Hasoun, said the street allocated for the market was paved this year and developed to better serve shop owners and shoppers.
“The shops’ tents were altered to look the same and have similar colors, sizes, and specifications,” he added.
The official spokesman for the festival, Sultan Al-Bokomi, said a special area was allocated for 25 food trucks to ensure a diverse food menu at a nominal subscription of SR3,000 ($800) throughout the festival, and the festival’s management will provide these trucks with electricity and any service they might need.
Al-Bokomi pointed out that there are rules and regulations governing the trucks’ work at the festival, including having a municipal license for carrying out such activity, and in case there were employees, they should be sponsored by the truck owner and must provide a health certificate.
He also confirmed that the festival’s management would control prices and ensure a safe, healthy and clean environment throughout the event’s activities.
The King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival is open for visitors between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Saudi Arabia launches strategy to become global AI leader

Updated 13 min 4 sec ago

Saudi Arabia launches strategy to become global AI leader

  • Ambitions for 2030 include training 20,000 data and AI specialists and the creation of 300 active data and AI startups

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia launched a national strategy on Wednesday to become a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and data by 2030, attracting more than $20 billion in foreign and local investments.

“Saudi Arabia wants to set the best example globally in using AI for the development of a nation,” Abdullah Bin Sharaf Alghamdi, president of the Saudi Data and AI Authority, said during his opening speech at the Global AI Summit announcing the launch of the National Strategy for Data and AI.


Alghamdi also touched on the Kingdom’s other AI and data ambitions for 2030 including training 20,000 data and AI specialists, and attracting the creation of 300 active data and AI startups.

“The strategy aims to make Saudi Arabia the place where the best of data and artificial intelligence is made reality… it sets the foundation and direction upon which we will unlock the potential of data and AI to fulfil our national transformation priorities and establish Saudi Arabia as a global hub for data and AI,” he said.

Alghamdi told participants that Saudi Arabia viewed the summit as an annual platform that would take a look at AI in a fresh and positive perspective that “elevates international collaboration over competition” which emphasizes on the potential benefits with the responsible application of artificial intelligence.

“AI’s potential has led to fierce competition between nations to claim global leadership… there has been an overly negative debate on the risks and dangers of AI,” he said.

The inaugural summit, which honors Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20, aims explore artificial intelligence’s role in the new global era and how its transformational potential can be deployed “to create a better future for all.”

Several major partnerships and initiatives are expected to be announced during the course of the two-day summit focused on accelerating AI for sustainable development in low- and middle-income countries, according to Alghamdi, for a more inclusive future and “no one is left is behind.”