AlUla mesmerises Paris as ‘Wonder of Arabia’ exhibition opens in French capital

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A unique exhibition - ‘Wonder of Arabia’ - opened its doors to art and history lovers on Monday evening on the banks of the river Seine in Paris. The event was attended by Saudi Culture Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah. (Nicolas Kalogeropoulos)
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A unique exhibition - ‘Wonder of Arabia’ - opened its doors to art and history lovers on Monday evening on the banks of the river Seine in Paris. (Nicolas Kalogeropoulos)
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A unique exhibition - ‘Wonder of Arabia’ - opened its doors to art and history lovers on Monday evening on the banks of the river Seine in Paris. (Nicolas Kalogeropoulos)
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A unique exhibition - ‘Wonder of Arabia’ - opened its doors to art and history lovers on Monday evening on the banks of the river Seine in Paris. (Nicolas Kalogeropoulos)
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Jack Lang and Amr Al-Madani at the event. (Nicolas Kalogeropoulos)
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Amr Al-Madani at the event. (Nicolas Kalogeropoulos)
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A unique exhibition - ‘Wonder of Arabia’ - opened its doors to art and history lovers on Monday evening on the banks of the river Seine in Paris. (Nicolas Kalogeropoulos)
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A unique exhibition - ‘Wonder of Arabia’ - opened its doors to art and history lovers on Monday evening on the banks of the river Seine in Paris. (Nicolas Kalogeropoulos)
Updated 07 October 2019

AlUla mesmerises Paris as ‘Wonder of Arabia’ exhibition opens in French capital

  • Unique exhibition ‘Wonder of Arabia’ opens in Paris
  • The exhibition presents the treasures of the ancient cultural centre of the region

PARIS: A unique exhibition opened its doors to art and history lovers on Monday evening on the banks of the river Seine in Paris.

The ‘Wonder of Arabia’ exhibition will present the treasures of the ancient cultural centre of the Saudi Aarabian region of the AlUla valley.

It was opened at the Institut du Monde Arabe (Institute of the Arab World) by the Saudi Culture Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah and his French counterpart, Franck Riester, in a lavish ceremony. 

Also present at the event were the director general of UNESCO Irina Bokova, IMA president Jack Lang and noted architect Jean Nouvel, as well as other guests hailing from the fields of archaeology, arts, history, culture, environmental and natural sciences.

The exhibition, occupying three floors in the Institute, takes the visitor through the valley — its nature, history, culture and the work being done by leading archaeologists from all over the world, but notably Saudis and the French.

Addressing a press conference about the exhibition and  the AlUla region, Amr Al-Madani, chief executive officer of the Royal Commission for AlUla, said the first phase of the project, covering dozens of sites and spread over a large area, would be completed by the end of 2023. 

‘’But from October 2020, visitors from all over the world will be able to see for themselves this cradle of civilization that has been at the historic crossroads connecting Europe, Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and Asia,’’ he added.

Talking about the importance of the site, Al-Madani said that AlUla represented an important piece of the history for the entire region and due to its strategic location and continuous inhabitation, saying it could unlock some of the mysteries that still surround the history of parts of the Middle East.

Lang, a former French Minister, said he was captivated when he discovered AlUla for himself the first time five years ago.

He said that it was then when he decided to enhance cooperation between French and Saudi researchers, historians and archaeologists to jointly present the jewel of AlUla to the rest of the world.

Visitors to the exhibition can also see impressive immersive photography shot by renowned photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

The exhibition in Paris will formally open its doors to the public on Wednesday October 9 and will run until January 19 next year. It has been jointly curated by Laila Nehmé and Abdulrahman Alsuhaibani.


Saudi investment chiefs host students from one of world’s top business schools

Updated 17 min 57 sec ago

Saudi investment chiefs host students from one of world’s top business schools

  • The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) hosted business major students from Harvard Business School (HBS) for a conference held at the capital’s King Abdullah Financial District

Riyadh: Saudi mega projects and regional and global investment opportunities were outlined to students from one of the world’s top business schools at a seminar in Riyadh.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) hosted business major students from Harvard Business School (HBS) for a conference held at the capital’s King Abdullah Financial District.

As well as being introduced to the PIF, the visitors were briefed about ongoing mega projects, along with potential future investment plans both locally and throughout the world.

During their Saudi trip, some of the students took the chance to see for themselves evidence of the reforms taking place in the Kingdom by visiting Riyadh, Jeddah, and AlUla and exploring the Red Sea coast by car.

The PIF hosted the students as part of its aim of providing exposure to the broadest possible portfolio of businesses and careers while striving to be an employer of choice for top talents domestically and globally.

The fund continues to focus its commitment and dedication in providing a learning culture that promotes partnerships and training with world-class learning institutions, by actively incentivizing professional development and certifications.

HBS is an example of PIF efforts to build relationships with highly recognized learning organizations, and links in with its prestigious graduate development program to attract and develop top Saudi talent.

The study/work development program is delivered in partnership with some of the world’s top educational institutions, offering only 80 seats per application cycle. In 2019, only a fraction of the 12,000 applicants were accepted, and the PIF has attracted several Saudi HBS graduates as part of its human capital.

It is hoped that the visit to Saudi Arabia will encourage some of the HBS students to carry out their own research on the Kingdom to benefit sectors and resources such as the geology of Saudi deserts, Red Sea oceanography, and the sociology of its citizens.

By getting a close-up insight into the Kingdom it is also envisaged that students will return to the country as tourists, investors or for employment.