MUVI opens drive-in cinema in Riyadh

The pop-up movie theater in Riyadh is Saudi Arabia’s first drive-in since the nationwide ban on cinemas was lifted in 2018. (Supplied)
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The pop-up movie theater in Riyadh is Saudi Arabia’s first drive-in since the nationwide ban on cinemas was lifted in 2018. (Supplied)
The pop-up movie theater in Riyadh is Saudi Arabia’s first drive-in since the nationwide ban on cinemas was lifted in 2018. (Supplied)
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The pop-up movie theater in Riyadh is Saudi Arabia’s first drive-in since the nationwide ban on cinemas was lifted in 2018. (Supplied)
The pop-up movie theater in Riyadh is Saudi Arabia’s first drive-in since the nationwide ban on cinemas was lifted in 2018. (Supplied)
3 / 3
The pop-up movie theater in Riyadh is Saudi Arabia’s first drive-in since the nationwide ban on cinemas was lifted in 2018. (Supplied)
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Updated 28 January 2021

MUVI opens drive-in cinema in Riyadh

MUVI opens drive-in cinema in Riyadh

RIYADH: The homegrown chain MUVI Cinemas opened a pop-up movie theater in Riyadh, which the company claims is Saudi Arabia’s first drive-in since the nationwide ban on cinemas was lifted in 2018.
The pop-up can accommodate up to 150 vehicles while maintaining social distancing measures, organizers said. Audience members will be required to wear facemasks and have their temperatures checked in accordance with recommended measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. Food and drinks are available to be consumed in visitors’ cars. “MUVI Cinemas is strictly applying all the precautionary measures to ensure a safe environment for our employees and customers,” MUVI’s marketing director, Mahmoud Mirza, told Arab News, adding no decision had yet been made on how long the pop-up would remain open.
According to Mirza, the initial response from the public suggests the drive-in concept will prove as popular in the Kingdom as it has recently in other parts of the Middle East, including Dubai and Beirut, as a way to allow customers to watch movies on the big screen while protecting themselves against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Riyadh resident Arwa Al-Numair told Arab News that she was looking forward to trying out the drive-in for herself, having seen photographs of it on social media.

“It looks so cool. Just like it does in the movies and on TV. It’s so retro, and a great way to safely see movies during the pandemic,” she said. “I’m overly cautious, so I was very worried about visiting a cinema. But being able to see a movie without even having to leave my car makes me feel more comfortable about taking my family out to see a film.”
Ismaeel Al-Assem, another Riyadh resident, recalled his experiences of visiting drive-in cinemas in the Eastern Province in the early 1970s, before the nationwide cinema ban.
“I remember going to the drive-in on weekends with my friends, getting French fries and burgers from one of the stands and having to listen to the audio via a hose-like cable that you could pull into your car. At the time it was the very height of cool,” he said. “It’s exciting to see them being brought back again. I would definitely like to go and see what’s changed, what’s improved, and what feels the same.”
Mirza said that now is the ideal time to attend a drive-in cinema in the Kingdom. “Drive-in cinemas require many aspects to succeed. One important factor is the weather, and with Riyadh’s weather nowadays, it is a perfect fit to complete an outstanding experience,” he explained, adding that MUVI is considering opening similar temporary venues across the Kingdom.
“Having pop-up cinemas isn’t new to MUVI Cinemas,” he continued. “We shall continue offering such experiences to expand our reach and create happy moments for our audience, be it inside our sites and theaters or outside.”
Mirza also revealed that MUVI plans to open 15 new cinemas in Saudi Arabia this year, adding more than 150 screens to its roster. “New sites will be added to those in current cities, and introduced to new cities, such as Taif, Buraidah and Onaizah,” he said.

 


WATCH: Saudi Crown Prince attends Formula E Diriyah E-Prix second race

 Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in attendance for the second race of the Formula E Diriyah E-Prix weekend in Riyadh on Saturday. (Screenshot)
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in attendance for the second race of the Formula E Diriyah E-Prix weekend in Riyadh on Saturday. (Screenshot)
Updated 27 February 2021

WATCH: Saudi Crown Prince attends Formula E Diriyah E-Prix second race

 Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in attendance for the second race of the Formula E Diriyah E-Prix weekend in Riyadh on Saturday. (Screenshot)
  • Crown prince received good wishes as he arrived following successful operation

LONDON: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in attendance for the second race of the Formula E Diriyah E-Prix weekend in Riyadh on Saturday.

The crown prince received good wishes from those in attendance as he arrived, following his successful operation earlier this week.

UNESCO World Heritage site Diriyah is host of the opening round of the FIA Formula E world championship this weekend.

In an electric opening race on Friday night, Mercedes-EQ driver Nyck de Vries claimed a maiden Formula E victory.

Dutch driver Robin Frijns, in the Envision Virgin Racing car, started on pole for the second race.


Arab region voices support for Saudi Arabia over US Khashoggi report

Arab region voices support for Saudi Arabia over US Khashoggi report
Updated 59 min 52 sec ago

Arab region voices support for Saudi Arabia over US Khashoggi report

Arab region voices support for Saudi Arabia over US Khashoggi report
  • The Secretary-General of the OIC said it rejects “the incorrect conclusions contained” in the US report
  • Arab Parliament stresses pivotal role that the Kingdom plays in consolidating security in the Arab region

LONDON: Arab countries and organizations expressed their support on Saturday for a statement released by Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry. The statement concerned the report provided to the US Congress on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In a statement, Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry rejected anything that affects the sovereignty of Saudi Arabia.
Bahrain’s Shoura Council affirmed “the prominent and pivotal role played by Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to lay down the foundations of regional and global security and peace.”
The council also praised diplomatic efforts exerted by Saudi Arabia through its foreign diplomacy in the region and the world, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.

The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed its confidence in and support for the Saudi judiciary, as well as the Kingdom’s commitment to enforcing the law with transparency and integrity and to holding those responsible for the murder to account.

The Ministry affirmed the UAE’s solidarity with Saudi Arabia in its efforts to maintain stability and security in the region and the key role it plays in maintaining moderation in the Arab world.

The UAE rejects any attempts to exploit the Jamal Khashoggi case or interfere in Saudi internal affairs, the ministry said.

Kuwait’s foreign ministry expressed its support for Saudi Arabia’s statement and stressed the important role played by the Kingdom in supporting moderation regionally and internationally and in denouncing extremism.

The ministry said that it categorically rejects any attempts to affect the Kingdom’s sovereignty.

 

Oman’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also expressed the Sultanate's solidarity with the Kingdom, saying it appreciated the efforts and actions of the competent judicial authorities in the Kingdom regarding the case and its outcome.

The Muslim World League (MWL) also affirmed its full support for Saudi Arabia’s statement.

MWL secretary-general Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa said the league rejects the conclusions of the report and affirmed the confidence of the Muslim world, led by Saudi Arabia, in all measures taken by the Kingdom.

Al-Issa added that the league rejects any interference that affects the Kingdom’s sovereignty. 

The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said it categorically rejects “the incorrect conclusions contained” in the US report which is “devoid of any conclusive evidence.”

The organization rejected attempts to infringe the Kingdom’s sovereignty, insult its leadership and compromise the independence of its judiciary.

It expressed support for all judicial measures that were taken against the perpetrators of the murder who were brought to justice, and the sentences that were issued.

The Arab Parliament affirmed its support for the Saudi statement and expressed its categorical rejection of any infringement of the sovereignty of the Kingdom and the independence of its judiciary.

The parliament stressed the pivotal role that the Kingdom plays in consolidating security and stability in the Arab region and the Middle East and its policy of supporting international peace.

The Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Dr. Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajjraf, affirmed his appreciation for the pivotal role the Kingdom plays in enhancing regional and international security and peace, and its great role in combating terrorism and supporting the efforts of the international community in this regard.

Al-Hajjraf said the report is nothing more than an opinion that is devoid of any conclusive evidence. He expressed his support for any measures that the Kingdom takes in order to preserve its rights and support its role in promoting a culture of moderation.

Yemen also rejected everything that might affect the sovereignty of the Kingdom and the independence of its judiciary.

 


Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 27 February 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 368,011
  • A total of 6,488 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

LONDON: Saudi Arabia announced five deaths from COVID-19 and 338 new infections on Saturday.
Of the new cases, 179 were recorded in Riyadh, 70 in the Eastern Province, 42 in Makkah, 10 in Asir, seven in Madinah, three in Hail, three in Jazan and two in Najran.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 368,011 after 320 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 6,488 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.


Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drones, ballistic missile attack targeting Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drones, ballistic missile attack targeting Saudi Arabia
Updated 8 min 16 sec ago

Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drones, ballistic missile attack targeting Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drones, ballistic missile attack targeting Saudi Arabia

LONDON: The Arab coalition intercepted and destroyed a Houthi drone targeting civilian areas in the Kingdom's southwestern city Khamis Mushait and another targeting Jazan on Saturday.

The coalition also intercepted a ballistic missile attack targeting the capital Riyadh.

Arab coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said that the Houthi militia’s attempts to attack civilians and civilian areas constituted a war crime.

Al-Maliki added that the coalition takes necessary operational measures to protect civilians in accordance with international humanitarian law.

The attempted attacks came a day after the Arab coalition intercepted and destroyed two Houthi drones and a ballistic missile targeting the Kingdom on Friday.


Blinken stresses US will continue to defend, do business with Saudi Arabia

Blinken stresses US will continue to defend, do business with Saudi Arabia
Updated 27 February 2021

Blinken stresses US will continue to defend, do business with Saudi Arabia

Blinken stresses US will continue to defend, do business with Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, said Washington’s relationship with Saudi Arabia was important and that the relationship reflected shared interests and values between the two countries.
“The relationship with Saudi Arabia is an important one. We have significant ongoing interests. We remain committed to the defense of the Kingdom,” Blinken said during a press conference at the US State Department, as reported by CNN on Saturday.
The secretary of state also reiterated the United States’ interests to continue doing business with the Kingdom, stating that the relationship was “bigger than any one individual.”
Blinken also affirmed that US officials, including himself and President Joe Biden, had spoken with their Saudi counterparts.
Meanwhile, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said on Friday that Saudi Arabia remained “a strategic partner in the region.”
“From a military perspective, as I've said many times, we take seriously our security commitments to Saudi Arabia with respect to their ability to defend themselves, and they do need to defend themselves, particularly along that southern border.”