Film showcases AlUla’s beauty and diversity

Film showcases AlUla’s beauty and diversity
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AlUla is targeting domestic tourists in what is hoped will be a year of travel recovery. (SPA)
Film showcases AlUla’s beauty and diversity
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The video shows a woman traveling to locations of the ancient civilizations of the Dadanites, Nabataeans and Romans. (Supplied)
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Updated 11 January 2021

Film showcases AlUla’s beauty and diversity

Film showcases AlUla’s beauty and diversity
  • Campaign includes a 90-minute film directed by renowned cinematographer Bruno Aveillan and a suite of digital assets under the concept of “The World’s Masterpiece”
  • Video shows a woman travelling across AlUla – she visits Hegra, Elephant Rock, locations of the ancient civilizations of the Dadanites, Nabataeans, Romans and Maraya Concert Hall

JEDDAH: A new film depicting the beauty and enchanting landscape of AlUla is leading a campaign to attract more visitors to the area.  

Reopened to the public in October last year, AlUla has welcomed visitors again, targeting domestic tourists in what is hoped will be a year of travel recovery. The campaign is also aimed at deepening the Kingdom’s pride and affection for AlUla.

“We know Saudis love to travel and we hope this campaign will inspire many of them to appreciate a must-see destination, a world masterpiece, closer to home,” said Phillip Jones, chief destination management and marketing officer of the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU).

The campaign, unveiled on Saturday, was developed by the RCU with creative partners Leo Burnett, including a 90-minute film directed by renowned cinematographer Bruno Aveillan and a suite of digital assets under the concept of “The World’s Masterpiece.”

The video shows a woman travelling to locations across AlUla. She visits lush palm tree groves, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Hegra, Elephant Rock, the locations of the ancient civilizations of the Dadanites, Nabataeans and Romans, as well as the mirrored Maraya Concert Hall, home to many cultural events since its opening two years ago. 

HIGHLIGHT

The campaign aims to help achieve RCU’s visitor projections of 90,000 for 2021 and 130,000 for 2022.

“‘The World’s Masterpiece’ is a play on both the skillful artistry of ancient civilizations who carved elaborate artworks into the rocky outcrops, as well as the pure and unspoilt beauty of the geological rock formations and landscapes sculpted by nature,” Jones said.

The campaign aims to help achieve RCU’s visitor projections of 90,000 for 2021 and 130,000 for 2022. While it is aimed at the domestic market, specifically three core audience segments that represent 64 percent of the regional affluent traveler market, Melanie de Souza, executive director marketing, RCU, expects that it will also have an international reach.

“The travel landscape has been irreversibly altered, but as travel slowly resumes, research tells us people will be looking for meaningful travel, vast open spaces and close-to-nature experiences. AlUla is well-positioned in the domestic market for all of those reasons and internationally as a new and significant boutique heritage and culture destination,” de Souza said.


Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials
Updated 16 January 2021

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials
  • It will go through rigorous testing and several trial stages before it is approved for use by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority

RIYADH: Preclinical studies on the first Saudi vaccine against COVID-19 have been completed.

Professor of epidemiology Dr. Iman Almansour, who heads the team of researchers working on the vaccine at the Institute for Research and Medical Consultations (IRMC), affiliated with Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (IAU), confirmed to Arab News on Friday that the studies were complete, and said clinical trials would begin as soon as “the proper approvals” had been given.

She did not specify when that is expected to happen.

The Ministry of Education is financing the team’s project. The team’s research paper has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Pharmaceuticals.

The vaccine is given to the body to build protein inside cells, which stimulate the body to produce immunity specific to the S antigen.

Dr. Iman Almansour, professor of epidemiology

According to the published paper, the vaccine has so far proven effective, when used on animals, in eliciting antibodies that will target the virus. “The vaccine is given to the body to build protein inside cells, which stimulate the body to produce immunity specific to the S antigen,” Dr. Almansour explained.

Dr. Turki Almugaiteeb, director of Healthcare and Life Sciences at RPD Innovations, which runs the National Vaccine and Biomanufacturing Center, told Arab News: “There is a great focus on the results of medical research because of the pandemic. Research can play a great role in developing a vaccine that can be adopted and further developed in the future. We can say that the Kingdom has a strong infrastructure, which can help produce and manufacture a national vaccine.”

Both Almugaiteeb and Almansour stressed that the experimental vaccine will need to go through rigorous testing and several trial stages before it is approved for use by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority.

Prof. Nasser Al-Aqeeli, the deputy minister of education for research and innovation, said the ministry supported programs at the Kingdom’s universities with more than SR500 million ($133.3 million) in 2020.