King Abdullah Economic City launches World of Moments Festival

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Cars drive past the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 18, 2018. (REUTERS)
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The festival is part of KAEC’s program of entertainment projects aimed at promoting quality of life on its pristine beaches and green landscapes. (SPA)
Updated 17 November 2019

King Abdullah Economic City launches World of Moments Festival

  • KAEC is an attractive investment tourist destination on the coast of the Red Sea

JEDDAH: The King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) on Friday launched its winter World of Moments Festival.
The event, which runs until Feb. 22, 2020, will offer a wide range of activities for visitors seeking entertainment and relaxation in an integrated modern environment.
KAEC is the largest privately funded new city in the world. The festival is part of KAEC’s program of entertainment projects aimed at promoting quality of life on its pristine beaches and green landscapes, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
“KAEC is an attractive investment tourist destination on the coast of the Red Sea. This made it one of the economic pillars supporting the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 due to its effective contribution to quality of life and tourism, entertainment and investment development programs,” said KAEC’s chief executive officer, Ahmed bin Ibrahim Linjawy.
“In order to improve KAEC’s position as a modern residential destination, we are constantly working to innovate and enrich the experiences of the city’s residents so they can run unique lives,” he added.
KAEC held its highly successful Turquoise World summer festival between July 18 and Aug. 31, which offered activities including a beach ball tournament and a range of water sports at Yam Beach. 


Saudi Arabia to inaugurate National Theater Initiative

Updated 5 min 47 sec ago

Saudi Arabia to inaugurate National Theater Initiative

  • The ceremony will see the opening performance of the play Daraish Al-Nour (Windows of Light)
  • The initiative is one of many projects from the Saudi Ministry of Culture

RIYADH: The curtain has risen on an ambitious new era for Saudi theater — and its future looks bright, if the launch of the National Theater Initiative at the King Fahd Cultural Center on Tuesday night is any indication. The evening’s entertainment began with a speech from Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, in which he offered his thanks for the “unprecedented” level of support for the theatrical arts the ministry has received, especially from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. “The theater is the father of arts, and we have great expectations regarding the future of the art of theater in Saudi Arabia,” he said. “We want Saudi Arabia to be a leader in the field.”

Abdulaziz Ismail, president of the National Theater Initiative, highlighted the importance of theater in Saudi culture and said that the new scheme represents a great step forward for the art form. “Our culture will be reborn through this historic moment,” he said. “We are going to express our culture through our theater.” The event continued with the first staging of the musical play “Daraish Al-Nour” (Windows of Light). Written by poet Saleh Zamanan and directed by Fatees Baqna, it features a cast of local actors including Naif Khalaf, Khaled Saqr and Ibrahim Al-Hassawi. The play explores Saudi culture, past and present, and includes a number of pop-culture and historical references that older audiences in particular will appreciate. The music evokes feelings of nostalgia without seeming overly dated, and even the style of directing recalls and pays tribute to the glory days of Saudi theater. The cast perform their roles beautifully, and if the audience’s reaction on Tuesday night was anything to go by, they made a great impression. Applause, cheers and whistles rang out through the theater at the end of every act, whether the scene on stage was a cheerful, traditional Saudi dance, or a more intense, dramatic scene full of angst. Lovers of Arabic theater, and especially of old Saudi plays, will delight in this spectacular first offering from the theater initiative. The stage of the King Fahd Cultural Center is used to its absolute fullest potential, with light, sound, color and space all perfectly employed. The script balances humor and lightheartedness with bittersweet and even tragic moments. One scene features a wedding celebration that is interrupted by the once-terrifying religious police, who storm into the celebration and, in a shocking moment, destroy an oud. But even before they saw the play, many people were already moved by the promise of the evening and what it represents as another step in the resurgence of art and culture in the Kingdom, and the wider development of the country. Bader Al-Zahrani immediately volunteered to be an organizer for the initiative when he read about it on Twitter. “I think it’s a wonderful initiative from the Ministry of Culture,” he said. “Seeing the adverts on Twitter, I knew that this play was something I definitely wanted to see. I want to thank the ministry for this great initiative.” There is a second performance of “Daraish Al-Nour” at 8 p.m. tonight, and free tickets are available from www.moc.gov.sa. Theater is one of one of 16 areas in which the ministry is working to preserve and advance Saudi culture. The theater initiative aims to provide Saudi directors, playwrights and actors with a high-quality integrated system that will offer better opportunities and improve standards of quality.