Jamil and Bouthayna’s Arab love story revived at Maraya Concert Hall in AlUla

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The Lebanese Caracalla Dance Theatre group will be debuting a production of Jamil and Bouthayna’s love story in AlUla over Valentine's Day weekend. (Supplied)
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The Lebanese Caracalla Dance Theatre group will be debuting a production of Jamil and Bouthayna’s love story in AlUla over Valentine's Day weekend. (Supplied)
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The Lebanese Caracalla Dance Theatre group will be debuting a production of Jamil and Bouthayna’s love story in AlUla over Valentine's Day weekend. (Supplied)
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The Lebanese Caracalla Dance Theatre group will be debuting a production of Jamil and Bouthayna’s love story in AlUla over Valentine's Day weekend. (Supplied)
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Updated 13 February 2020

Jamil and Bouthayna’s Arab love story revived at Maraya Concert Hall in AlUla

  • A cast of singers, actors and performers from all over the world are participating in the production

ALULA: The Lebanese Caracalla Dance Theatre group will be debuting a production of Jamil and Bouthayna’s love story in AlUla, where it originally took place.

The show will run for three days starting Thursday at Maraya Concert Hall, where the spirit and magic of the East will be brought to life as part of the Winter at Tantora Festival.

“Jamil and Bouthayna” is a theatrical production that tells the legendary love story of the poet Jamil bin Ma’amar, who fell madly in love with Bouthayna Bint Hayyan.

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) assigned the Caracalla Dance Theatre the task of retelling the romantic adventure inspired by an ancient love story born in the Arabian desert. The epic tale has been described by many as the Romeo and Juliet of the East.

A cast of singers, actors and performers from all over the world are participating in this mass production of “Jamil and Bouthayna” under the leadership of the founding maestro Abdel Halim Caracalla.

“We are delighted to partner with the RCU in its endeavor to raise the status of oriental arts and authentic Arab culture through this epic theatrical work,” said the maestro.

“This unique story was born in AlUla and introduced one of the most remarkable tales of immortal love that took place in the heart of the desert. The Winter at Tantora Festival is the perfect platform to bring this tale back to life for the world to see,” he added.

The story will be told through a variety of theatrical elements including poetry, musical composition, set and scenography design, video projection design, costume design, singing and choreography.

The performance will premiere in AlUla and could travel to theaters and festivals worldwide as a global message of culture, arts and civilization from the Kingdom.

The RCU has brought a variety of regional and international acts to Maraya Concert Hall throughout the duration of the festival.

The visually striking, mirror-walled venue can seat 500 guests and is fitted with a state-of-the-art sound system.

Organized by the RCU, the Winter at Tantora Festival features a wide range of cultural and artistic events inspired by the area’s heritage, which dates back thousands of years. In addition, there are a number of other activities and attractions, including markets, a winter garden, farms and the historic old town.

The festival continues each weekend until Mar. 7. It offers the final chance to visit AlUla’s heritage sites before they are closed to the public until October.


Future Hospitality Summit: Tourism sector worst hit by pandemic

Saudi Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb attends a summit to discuss the challenges facing the travel and tourism industry. (Supplied)
Updated 3 min 53 sec ago

Future Hospitality Summit: Tourism sector worst hit by pandemic

  • Al-Khateeb says revival of travel, aviation is G20’s top priority

JEDDAH: Two sectors amassed billions in losses due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic this year — travel and aviation as well as hotels and hospitality.

According to Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb, who spoke at the Future Hospitality Summit on Monday, airlines will lose up to $6 billion while hotel occupancy rates, to date, are at under 10 percent their usual levels.
The summit was organized by the Ministry of Tourism and the Saudi Secretariat of the G20 as part of the International Conferences Program, honoring Saudi Arabia’s G20 presidency this year.
The travel sector is expected to lose up to 160 million jobs out of 330 million existing jobs by the end of 2022, said the minister.
“Our industry is driven mainly by the private sector and most of the companies operating in (it) are driven by profitability, therefore they wish to cut their costs to survive,” he said.
Job security, the safety of passengers and a fast recovery for the sector are at the top of the G20’s list of priorities, said Al-Khateeb.
“We met, all the G20 ministers, and discussed the main issues that are impacting our sectors. For the first time ever, we arranged a meeting with the private sector on Oct. 7. We listened to the private sector and tried to create bridges with the help of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). We came out of that meeting with a commitment to restore 100 million jobs,” he added.
The G20 meeting also resulted in the “adoption” of the secretary-general’s initiative, which is the development of rural areas around the globe. Al-Khateeb said securing jobs and training was the main goal, while improving the conditions of these areas to create travel destinations. “We took AlUla, a historical village in Saudi Arabia, as an example and we adopted AlUla’s framework on how to develop small villages,” he added.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The travel sector is expected to lose up to 160 million jobs out of 330 million existing jobs by the end of 2022.

• Airlines will lose up to $6 billion while hotel occupancy rates, to date, are at under 10 percent their usual levels.

The minister also talked about Saudi Arabia’s keenness to resume its tourism activities ever since the country reopened its gates to tourists in 2019, with several giga-projects, such as NEOM, the Red Sea Project, Qiddiyah and Diriyah.
Most of these projects were affected by the pandemic, but are now back on track.
The CEO of Diriyah Gate Development Authority, Jerry Inzerillo, said that Turaif’s Salwa Palace had to be closed to the public, and that the pandemic had changed how people walk around sites to maintain safety.
Inzerillo promised many activities would be launched at Diriyah this December, including a Samhan Historical Hotel and a soft opening for the Salwah Palace.
Other speakers at the summit discussed what the sector needed during the pandemic. Gloria Guevara, CEO and president of the WTTC, said global governmental cooperation was essential.
“Travel can resume when, through cooperation and coordination, the correct measures and protocols are in place to ensure hygienic and safe travels,” she said.
About 6,000 leaders, experts and interested people around the world are participating in the two-day conference.