Over $270 million generated during Riyadh Season

Riyadh Season was an “exceptional success.” (GEA)
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Updated 19 December 2019

Over $270 million generated during Riyadh Season

  • 10.3 million visitors to the capital for the festival

RIYADH: The Riyadh Season of events has generated more than SR1 billion ($270 million) for the Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA), its chairman has revealed.

Turki Al Sheikh said the figure represented initial income from the season, while indirect revenues over the festival period made via the Saudi payments system, Mada, exceeded SR4 billion.

He added that Riyadh Season had attracted 10.3 million visitors to the capital and its surrounding area and had given rise to 34,700 jobs along with 17,300 indirect posts.

Al Sheikh noted that following the “exceptional success” of Riyadh Season, the challenge would be to match it again in the upcoming Sharqiah and Jeddah seasons. 

Riyadh Season is one of 11 Saudi Seasons that aim to promote Saudi Arabia as a tourism hub, as well as enhance the quality of life for the people of the Kingdom. It began on Oct. 11, 2019 with a concert by K-Pop superstars BTS at King Fahd International Stadium. 

Saudi assistant defense minister dies aged 68

Updated 8 min 4 sec ago

Saudi assistant defense minister dies aged 68

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s assistant minister of defense, Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Ayesh, died on Friday, aged 68.

In a statement, the Ministry of Defense said he had been suffering from an illness.

Al-Ayesh had been appointed to the position in May 2014 having previously been commander-in-chief of the Royal Saudi Air Forces (RSAF) between 2010 and 2013.

Born in 1952 and from Jouf, he joined the RSAF in 1970 and graduated from King Faisal Air Academy as a pilot in 1972, becoming a pilot officer on F-15 fighter jets in the same year.

In 1974, he was appointed pilot officer in the 13th Squadron on Lightning interceptor aircraft and in 1982 maintained the title in the same squadron flying F-15s. Al-Ayesh attended an instructor pilot and weapons instructor course on Lightning aircraft in the UK in 1978.

He also served as the director of the RSAF Command’s plans and operations department, the commander of King Khalid Air Base, chief of RSAF operations, and deputy commander of the RSAF.

During his career, Al-Ayesh received several military medals including the King Abdul Aziz Medal, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Legion of Merit from France, the First-Class Military Medal for Respect, and a Bronze Star from the US.