GEA launches shortlisting-stage for Quran and Athan competitions 

The GEA calls it the largest Quran competition and the first Athan competition. (Shutterstock)
Updated 25 August 2019

GEA launches shortlisting-stage for Quran and Athan competitions 

  • GEA announced that it has allocated a total prize fund of $3.2 million
  • The winner of the Quran Recitation competition will receive a prize of $1.3 million, while the winner of the Athan competition will receive $530,000

JEDDAH: The second stage of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) Quran and Athan Global Awards has been launched, and will see the shortlisting of 42,000 applicants registered so far. 

Earlier, the GEA announced that it has allocated a total prize fund of $3.2 million for what it called the largest Quran competition and the first Athan competition.

The first stage finished on Aug. 18, and now the second stage will see the shortlisting of the registered applicants, participating from 162 countries.

24,766 competitors registered for the Quran recitation competition and 17,347 for the Athan competition.

In the Quran competition, Saudi Arabia topped the list with 9,082 applicants, while Egypt came in second with 5,184, followed by Pakistan with 1,822, Indonesia with 1,801, and India with 1,225. 

The remaining applicants came from a total of 157 countries.

The same five countries maintained their rankings in the Athan competition, which received 7,167 participants from Saudi Arabia, 2,872 from Egypt, 2,193 from Pakistan, 1,064 from Indonesia, and 956 from India, with the remaining also covering 157 countries.

The third stage involves live on-stage performances. 

The winner of the Quran Recitation competition will receive a prize of $1.3 million, while the winner of the Athan competition will receive a prize of $530,000.


Saudi Arabia: All options open to OPEC+ as China virus weighs on price

Saudi Arabia’s minister of energy, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman Al-Saud, pictured here at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, warned it was too early for OPEC+ to make a decision on oil supply. (Reuters)
Updated 30 min 38 sec ago

Saudi Arabia: All options open to OPEC+ as China virus weighs on price

  • Group will meet in Vienna in March to set policy, with the possibility of further oil production cuts firmly on the table

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman Al-Saud said all options were open at an OPEC+ meeting in early March, including further cuts in oil production, Al Arabiya reported. But he added it was too early to make a call on the need for more cuts.
“I can’t judge now if the market needs additional cuts because I haven’t seen the balances for January and February,” he said.
He added that when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies led by Russia convened for an emergency meeting in March, the grouping would study where the market is and “objectively decide” if more cuts are needed.
OPEC+ agreed in December to widen supply cuts by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.7 million bpd until the end of March.
Prince Abdul Aziz said the aim of OPEC+ was to reduce the size of the seasonal inventory build that takes place in the first half of the year.
OPEC+ is due to meet in Vienna on March 5 and 6 to set their policy. A ministerial monitoring committee for the deal will meet in Vienna on March 4.
Oil slipped below $62 a barrel on Friday and was heading for a weekly decline as concern that a virus in China may spread, curbing travel and oil demand, overshadowed supply cuts.

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman Al-Saud. (Reuters)

The virus has prompted the suspension of public transport in 10 Chinese cities. Health authorities fear the infection rate could accelerate over the Lunar New Year holiday this weekend, when millions of Chinese travel.
Global benchmark Brent is down almost 5 percent this week, its third consecutive weekly drop. US crude was also on course for a weekly decline.

FASTFACT

2nd - China is the world’s second largest oil consumer.

“One should be prepared for negative surprises when it comes to Chinese demand,” said Eugen Weinberg, analyst at Commerzbank. “The impact of this is all the greater because the restrictions are being imposed during the busiest travel season for the Chinese.”
China is the world’s second-largest oil consumer so any slowdown in travel would show up on demand forecasts.
Offering some support for prices was the US Energy Information Administration’s latest weekly supply report, which showed crude inventories fell 405,000 barrels in the week to Jan. 17.
Nonetheless, the upside for prices was limited. Oil inventories in the wider industrialized world are above the five-year average according to OPEC figures, which analysts say is limiting the impact on prices of supply losses.
“Such is the bearish pressure that a raft of ongoing crude supply outages are not gaining much traction,” said analysts at JBC Energy in a report.