Preparations start for AlUla winter festival launch

The season will being on Dec. 19. (Winter at Tantora)
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Updated 31 December 2019

Preparations start for AlUla winter festival launch

  • It is a global event, which celebrates arts, culture and history in the heart of AlUla

RIYADH: Preparations have started for the launch of the second season of Winter at Tantora ahead of its launch on Dec. 19.

It is a global event, which celebrates arts, culture and history in the heart of AlUla.

The second season of Winter at Tantora will see artistic events taking place from January through to March. Classical music lovers will enjoy special concerts on Dec. 27 and Feb. 7, where Winter at Tantora will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of German composer Beethoven by presenting his most outstanding music in “Beethoven Celebration” between Jan. 2-4.

In the historical aspect of the festival, the program includes a theatrical show inspired by the history of AlUla entitled “Jamil Buthaina” on the stage at Maraya Theater on Feb. 14.

FASTFACT

Classical music lovers will enjoy special concerts on Dec. 27 and Feb. 7, where Winter at Tantora will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of German composer Beethoven by presenting his most outstanding music in ‘Beethoven Celebration’ between Jan. 2-4. 

Visitors can purchase one-day trip packages in the appropriate category for their budget: Gold, platinum and diamond. These packages include the cost of return flights from Riyadh or Jeddah to AlUla, a tour to a heritage or archaeological site and tickets to an event at Maraya Theater. The packages start from SAR 3,155 ($841) per person.

Weekend packages start from SAR 6,600 per person, and are divided into three different cost categories: Gold, platinum and diamond, including a two-night stay, return flights from Riyadh or Jeddah to AlUla, transportation and tours to natural, heritage and archaeological sites, in addition to events at Maraya Theater.

There will also be fun activities such as the Balloon Festival, which runs during Jan. 2-11, tours in the skies of AlUla in classic aircraft, adventures in classic Land Rover cars and the race of The Knights Forum for Endurance — the second-largest horse race in the world — which will take place on Feb. 1.

The rebirth of AlUla
Hegra, ancient city of the Nabataeans in Saudi Arabia’s historic AlUla Valley, is emerging from the mists of time to take its rightful place as one of the wonders of the world

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Riyadh governor opens high-profile Saudi economic forum

Updated 22 January 2020

Riyadh governor opens high-profile Saudi economic forum

RIYADH: A high-profile conference to tackle some of the main challenges facing the Saudi economy was on Tuesday opened by Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar.

Speaking at the opening session of the influential three-day Riyadh Economic Forum (REF), the prince praised the Saudi business community for its cooperation with the government in helping to strengthen the country’s economic fortunes.

The ninth edition of the forum, being held under the title “Human-Centered Economy,” will discuss some of the key future economic issues confronting the Kingdom.

Thanking King Salman for his patronage of the event, vice chairman of Riyadh Chamber and chairman of the forum’s board of trustees, Hamad Al-Shuwaier, said important recommendations linked to the Vision 2030 plan would be announced during the gathering.

These would be related to the areas of public finance reform, the nonprofit sector, future jobs, the environment, and reverse migration.

“What distinguishes the forum, which serves as a research center for national issues, is its focus on the principle of dialogue and participation between all concerned, specialized and responsible parties within the economic and social community, by intensifying meetings and promoting participation in all study discussions, with the aim of touching barriers in a close and intensive manner.

“Accurately diagnosing the facts gives accurate results when identifying solutions,” he added.

Special sessions of the forum will aim to generate practical suggestions and solutions to help with economic decision-making and to establish the principle of dialogue and participation among sectors of the business community.

In July 2019, the REF held a panel discussion at the chamber’s Riyadh headquarters on a study detailing the role of balanced economic development in reverse migration and sustainable and comprehensive development in the Kingdom.

Its focus was to identify the obstacles preventing the movement of young workers between towns and big cities, as well as highlighting ways to improve the quality of life in small urban centers through an analytical survey of industrial and service resources in different regions.

Al-Shuwaier noted that the forum was special in bringing together a broad range of intellectual and practical minds from government and private sector organizations covering many fields.

He added that the chamber was working on the final touches to transforming the forum into an independent economic think tank that served national economic issues.

Ajlan Al-Ajlan, chairman of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), which organized the event, said the forum’s main objectives included using scientific studies and methodology to identify issues affecting the national economy, analyzing constraints on economic growth and working to combat them by learning from the experiences of other countries.

He pointed out that the forum coincided with the Kingdom’s presidency of the 2020 G20 summit of global leaders, being held in Riyadh in November, and that the eyes of the world would be on Saudi Arabia.

The forum is one of the participants in T20, an official G20 engagement group, with four topics related to important sectors discussed by the group.

The opening ceremony of the REF was followed by a session on future jobs, administered by Education Minister Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh. Delegates discussed employment requirements linked to the fourth industrial revolution and how to tackle the prospect of 40 percent of jobs becoming obsolete due to mechanization in the farming and industrial sectors.

The session highlighted that education should go hand in hand to prepare students for the jobs of the future.

Forum data showed its previous eight sessions attracted 33,938 attendees, an average of 4,243 participants per session.