Saudi Arabia, Turkey to work closely on local defense industry

Turkish Ambassador Erdogan Kok, center, poses for photo in traditional Saudi dress with Turkish executives and local journalists at his house in Riyadh. (AN photo)
Updated 24 February 2018

Saudi Arabia, Turkey to work closely on local defense industry

RIYADH: Turkey, the guest-of-honor country at the Saudi armed forces exhibition (AFED 2018), has shown keen interest in working closely with Saudi Arabia to build Saudi defense capabilities.
Such a move will help the Kingdom to develop an indigenous defense industry, and to design as well as manufacture defense platforms, products and technology within the framework of Vision 2030.
This was disclosed by Turkish Ambassador Erdogan Kok on Saturday. Kok pointed out “a total of 24 top-notch Turkish companies will display a large number of products, including military hardware and service components, at the exhibition.” He said a high-ranking delegation comprising officials of the Turkish Defense Ministry and industry leaders led by Dr. Ismail Demir, chief of the Turkish defense industry, will participate in the opening ceremony of AFED 2018.
Kok pointed out that strategic ties between Turkey and Saudi Arabia in the fields of defense and military cooperation are flourishing. He said that the week-long AFED exhibition will serve as a unique tool for deepening military‑technical cooperation between the countries. This is a significant step as developing a military industrial base is an ambitious and attainable goal in Vision 2020.
The envoy said “Demir will hold talks with high-ranking Saudi leaders and senior officials on the sidelines of the AFED.” He also noted that “the next meeting of the Saudi-Turkish Coordination Council, which discusses and deliberates all aspects of bilateral relations between the two countries, will take place in Riyadh soon.”
Turkey, which has the second-largest standing military in NATO, has fielded advanced communications and information systems with focus on helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles and sensors, said a report released on this occasion.

Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

Updated 18 October 2019

Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

  • The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date

RIYADH: More than 1,500 performers and 25 floats took part in a parade and carnival on Thursday night that officially launched Riyadh Season’s Boulevard zone. The crowds that gathered for the fun-packed event were also treated to motorcycle displays, fireworks and other surprises.

The Boulevard lit up at 9 p.m. for the start of the 90-minute event, which featured some of the international artists who will perform as part of Riyadh Season. Afterwards, the zone’s food and drink outlets, outdoor cinema and fountain shows officially opened.

The audience watched the parade, performances and displays from specially constructed stands. Food trucks offered a selection of tasty snacks, and organizers also provided prayer rooms, toilets, first-aid stations and other facilities.


GEA president Turki Al-Sheikh gave an opening speech: “Our dearest people, in the beginning of this season, we welcome you and our guests in Riyadh.

“I want to share a story with you all; once upon a time, I was from a middle-class family. My mother and father would gather both their salaries to have us travel to see the world, and then we would stay in Riyadh for a year. These were our capabilities (at the time) and there was nothing to do in Riyadh. Who would've thought that we’d see all of this in Riyadh, and in our beloved country?

“This wouldn't have been possible without -of course Allah first- a person who has the qualities and vision of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”

He tweeted: “Riyadh traffic police estimated we have exceeded 600K which means ten times the capacity.”

In addition to the opening-night festivities, the Boulevard zone, which covers 400,000 square meters, will host a wide range of entertainment options and activities for all ages, including the outdoor cinema, restaurants, and sports, music and theatrical events. It has three main venues: The 22,000-seat Mohammed Abdu Theater, the 6,000-seat Abu Bakr Salem Theater, and the 2,000-seat Baker Al-Sheddi Theater.

The parade is just one of more than 100 events featuring local, regional and international performers taking place during the Riyadh Season festival, which continues until mid-December at 12 zones across the city: the Boulevard; the Front; Riyadh Car Show; Winter Wonderland; Riyadh Stadiums; the Diplomatic Quarter; Al-Muraba’a; Al-Malaz; Wadi Namar; Nabd Al-Riyadh; Riyadh Safari; and Riyadh Sahara. It has been organized with the support of Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority and president of Riyadh Season.

The ambitious 2019 Saudi Seasons initiative, the first of its kind in the region, was launched in February and includes 11 local seasons covering most parts of the Kingdom. Designed to promote the fledgling Saudi entertainment sector and boost tourism, it is attracting some of the biggest names in world entertainment.

The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date. It follows a folklore parade at the Mawtni (My Nation) cultural event in Yanbu to mark Saudi National Day this year, and a parade during the Jeddah Season festivities in the city’s Obhur district.

The parade had a special surprise; the appearance of DJ Carnage who took to the stage dressed in complete Saudi attire and performed his successful electronic show.

The musician also took to Twitter to celebrate the night and how he had had a hand in “making history,” tweeting: “A huge thank you to @Turki_alalshikh  ..... what you did for your country last night... was so special... thank you for having me... we made history.”