Diriyah Authority marks Saudi National Day with colorful events

The Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) organized a host of cultural activities, which included dance performances and art shows. DGDA also produced a film for the occasion. (Supplied)
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Updated 24 September 2020

Diriyah Authority marks Saudi National Day with colorful events

  • Diriyah Gate will represent a huge leap in KSA’s position on the regional, international cultural map, says CEO

RIYADH: The Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) marked the 90th Saudi National Day on Wednesday by organizing a wide range of interactive cultural, artistic, awareness-raising, and historical activities that were enjoyed by Diriyah’s residents.

DGDA CEO Jerry Inzerillo and his staff conveyed their congratulations to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as to the royal family and the Saudi people.

“The celebration of Saudi National Day this year coincides with the Saudi presidency of the G20 summit, which includes the most important and powerful economic countries in the world,” said Inzerillo. He said it affirmed the Kingdom’s leading global role with its economic potential, natural resources, human capabilities, and ancient historical and cultural legacies.

He said that Saudi Arabia’s legacy is steeped in a special heritage and is as important as its economic position in granting the Kingdom a leading position on the world’s cultural stage.

Inzerillo said DGDA is confident that the development of the historic Diriyah Gate will represent a huge leap in the Kingdom’s position on the regional and international cultural map.

“Such projects are carried out through accumulated experiences, distinctive young talents, aspirations, and ambitions embracing the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030,” he added.

To mark the occasion, Salwa Palace, which is in the historic Turaif district and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, was decorated with the Kingdom’s flag and the National Day slogan.

A movie produced by DGDA for National Day and filmed in Turaif district in Diriyah was widely circulated on social media.




People were excited to see a helicopter carrying the Saudi flag fly across the skies of Riyadh. (Photo/Supplied)

The movie was about Diriyah’s history and how its features shaped the will, determination, and awareness of Saudis. According to DGDA, Saudi people learned generosity from palm trees, endurance from the desert, physiognomy from hawks, strength from wolves, persistence from the steadfastness of the mudbrick, determination from the sword, and patience from camels.

These features have become an integral part of the Saudi personality and originated from Diriyah, dubbed “Jewel of the Kingdom,” the capital of the first Saudi state and the home of the ruling family.

The movie, which included much historical information, impressive artistic performances, and an expressive soundtrack, also drew on the local natural environment.

Among other activities organized by the authority was an entertainment and cultural event titled “The seven districts of Diriyah.” Seven teams of knights in the Saudi Najdi uniform and wearing the Diriyah logo visited the seven neighborhoods, talking to residents and providing them with information on the National Day, Diriyah, and the Kingdom’s history.

Each team distributed gifts to the people of the neighborhoods on the occasion.

To abide by the precautionary measures to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic the DGDA organized a carriage to roam the streets of Diriyah to provide various activities for its residents. The carriage visited different sites and stopped at three main places to receive the public.

The “Arab Art” event portrayed several prominent Saudi figures in all fields and included musical performances.

The event entitled “The Arab horsemen” included dance performances and bicycle shows.

Earlier, DGDA launched a number of economic, heritage, and cultural schemes aimed at highlighting the city’s historical potential, with its major heritage sites, Najdi architectural designs, and the natural environment.

“This helps the region carry out these major projects to allure more than 25 million tourists and visitors inside and outside the Kingdom to enjoy an exceptional lifestyle as Diriyah represents the cultural heart of the Kingdom, a tourist destination with a new and developed lifestyle and one of the greatest gathering places in the world,” said DGDA in a statement.


Saudi Arabia launches strategy to become global AI leader

Updated 13 min 12 sec ago

Saudi Arabia launches strategy to become global AI leader

  • Ambitions for 2030 include training 20,000 data and AI specialists and the creation of 300 active data and AI startups

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia launched a national strategy on Wednesday to become a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and data by 2030, attracting more than $20 billion in foreign and local investments.

“Saudi Arabia wants to set the best example globally in using AI for the development of a nation,” Abdullah Bin Sharaf Alghamdi, president of the Saudi Data and AI Authority, said during his opening speech at the Global AI Summit announcing the launch of the National Strategy for Data and AI.

Alghamdi also touched on the Kingdom’s other AI and data ambitions for 2030 including training 20,000 data and AI specialists, and attracting the creation of 300 active data and AI startups.

“The strategy aims to make Saudi Arabia the place where the best of data and artificial intelligence is made reality… it sets the foundation and direction upon which we will unlock the potential of data and AI to fulfil our national transformation priorities and establish Saudi Arabia as a global hub for data and AI,” he said.

Alghamdi told participants that Saudi Arabia viewed the summit as an annual platform that would take a look at AI in a fresh and positive perspective that “elevates international collaboration over competition” which emphasizes on the potential benefits with the responsible application of artificial intelligence.

“AI’s potential has led to fierce competition between nations to claim global leadership… there has been an overly negative debate on the risks and dangers of AI,” he said.

The inaugural summit, which honors Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20, aims explore artificial intelligence’s role in the new global era and how its transformational potential can be deployed “to create a better future for all.”

Several major partnerships and initiatives are expected to be announced during the course of the two-day summit focused on accelerating AI for sustainable development in low- and middle-income countries, according to Alghamdi, for a more inclusive future and “no one is left is behind.”