Asian Air Sports Federation grants medal and honorary presidency to Saudi Arabia’s Prince Sultan

Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, president of the Saudi Aviation Club, received a medal for his efforts in including paragliding in the Asian Games. (AFP)
Updated 28 August 2018

Asian Air Sports Federation grants medal and honorary presidency to Saudi Arabia’s Prince Sultan

JEDDAH: The General Assembly of the Asian Air Sport Federation has granted a recognition medal to Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Aviation Club, for his great efforts in including paragliding in the Asian Olympic Games.
During a meeting in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta on the sidelines of the 18th Asian Games, the assembly also granted the prince the honorary presidency for supporting young people engaged in air sports.
Dr. Mubarak Al-Suwailem, president of the Asian Air Sports Federation, announced the news during a press conference in Jakarta. He expressed his joy over this great moment in air sports history. He said: “Since his visit to space, as the first Arab Muslim to do so, Prince Sultan bin Salman has been exerting his efforts to serve aviation and related sports. It is not shocking for His Highness to be behind such an amazing step.”
He added: “The Asian Air Sports Federation, based in Riyadh, had a Saudi committee and was granted the support of Prince Sultan to enlist paragliding in the Jakarta Asian Games 2018, as His Highness is always seeking to develop air sports on local, Arab, Asian and international levels.”
Sanjit Thaber, secretary general of the federation, said Saudi Arabia is the biggest supporter for air sports activities in Asia.
Paragliding was enlisted into the 18th Asian Games, currently held in Indonesia for the first time in the history of air sports.
The initiative was adopted after continuous work for three years among the Olympic Council of Asia, the Asian Air Sports Federation and the Indonesian Olympic Committee.

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

Updated 25 January 2020

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

ALULA: British band Jamiroquai thrilled a delighted audience at Maraya Concert Hall in Saudi Arabia on Friday night during a show packed with hits.

In a first for a venue more used to hosting opera and classical concerts, the British funk/acid jazz outfit had fans dancing along to the music.

The show, at the distinctive, mirror-covered concert hall in historic AlUla, was part of the second Winter at Tantora festival. It opened with “Shake It On,” followed by the hit singles “Little L,” “Alright,” and “Space Cowboy.” By this time the crowd was well and truly warmed up, and “Use the Force” got them on their feet.

“The song seemed to resonate with everyone” Jay Kay told Arab News in an exclusive interview after the show.

During the gig, Kay dedicated the 2002 song “Corner of the Earth” to AlUla, which he described as a “magical and wonderful place, which is absolutely stunning.” The opportunity to perform there was “an honor and privilege” he added. He also thanked “Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman for his vision, and Prince Badr for making this happen and the great hospitality.”

After a further selection of singles and album tracks, the show ended on a high with a quartet of hits — “Cosmic Girl,” “Virtual Insanity,” “Canned Heat” and “Lovefoolosophy.”

Kay praised the Maraya Concert Hall as “a brilliant place to play.” He admitted that initially he was a little worried when he saw it because he was under the impression it would be an outdoor venue. However, any concerns he had were gone by the time the first sound check was done.

“I was transported into a completely different world; the acoustics were unbelievable, like being in a German concert hall,” he said. “It is obviously very well thought out and that’s what makes it so good. The sound was fabulous — I never looked at my sound guy once.”

Jamiroquai’s music videos often feature Kay in super cars, of which he owns many, and he revealed that he would love to shoot such a promo in AlUla.

“In reality, I’m desperate to get in one of the dune buggies, and would kill to have a (Ariel) Nomad and have a go in one in AlUla, where it’s supposed to be driven, for a day or five and dune bash, which is such a rare thing for us in England,” he said.

The singer also said he wants to bring his family to AlUla, which has become a hub for culture and creativity in Saudi Arabia.

“I would like to come out with my family and my youngest, who is called Talula, so hopefully we can have Talula come to AlUla, which would be wonderful,” said Kay.

He added that he was looking forward to exploring the area on Saturday, before leaving the country, but added: “I’m sure you can never have enough time to see everything there is to see.”