Saudi Arabia appoints Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak as tech ambassador

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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (right) accepting his appointment as "Ambassador of the Saudi Tech Hub" from Saud bin Abdullah Al-Qahtani, head of the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones, at the close of the Hajj Hackathon in Jeddah on Aug. 3, 2018. (Twitter photo)
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Saud bin Abdullah Al-Qahtani (left), head of the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Wozniak's wife Janet Hill Wozniak at the close of the Hajj Hackathon in Jeddah on Aug. 3, 2018. (Twitter photo)
Updated 04 August 2018

Saudi Arabia appoints Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak as tech ambassador

  • Wozniak is considered as one of the most important minds that have changed the history of the world
  • Wozniak said there is a great chance that Saudi Arabia will be an important player in the evolving and changing technology community

JEDDAH:  The Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP) has named Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak as an ambassador for the creation of a “Saudi Tech Hub.” 

Saud Bin Abdulla Al-Qahtani, the head of the federation and an adviser to the Royal Court, presented Wozniak with a special certificate marking the occasion on Friday, during the finale of the three-day Hajj Hackathon in Jeddah.

Al-Qahtani said the appointment of Wozniak reflects the federation’s desire to work with the best minds in the sector to help the Kingdom become the region’s technology hub.

“Perhaps the greatest evidence of the scale of these technical transformations in today’s world is that a company such as Apple has become the first public company in the world with a market value of one trillion dollars,” he added. “We are happy that its co-founder has agreed to be an ambassador to the Saudi Technical Hub.

“The huge interest in the technical and technological sectors is reflected in the general plans of the state, as it is one of the main objectives pursued by the Kingdom in its Vision 2030 under the supervision, follow-up and direct support of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”

Al-Qahtani thanked Wozniak for accepting the role of ambassador and his enthusiasm for it, describing him as one of the most important modern minds, who has helped to change the history of the world.

Wozniak said he was happy to accept the SAFCSP offer, explaining that he had been persuaded to do so by the remarkable development he has seen in Saudi Arabia’s approach to technology, which strengthens the nation’s vision for the sector. He said the success of this week’s Hajj Hackathon reflected the great interest among Saudis in programming and emerging technologies. There is every chance, he added, that Saudi Arabia will play an important role in the evolving and changing global technology community, and that that the country could soon be the main tech hub in the region.

Vision 2030 is fascinating, Wozniak said, adding that he is a fan and follower of the NEOM “city of the future” project in particular, which he described as an amazing idea.

“This is a remarkable success story in Saudi Arabia that can be written in the near future and will be an example to be followed internationally,” he said, adding that he is happy to support this by becoming a tech ambassador.


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.



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 audience watched the parade from specially built stands. (Supplied)

 

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.