Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah project ‘on time and on track’

Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah project ‘on time and on track’
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Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority. (Supplied)
Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah project ‘on time and on track’
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Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority. (Supplied)
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Updated 24 February 2021

Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah project ‘on time and on track’

Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah project ‘on time and on track’
  • DGDA chief vows to turn ‘Jewel of the Kingdom’ into a global destination

RIYADH: Despite challenges posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the multibillion-dollar Diriyah Gate Project is “on time and on track,” said Jerry Inzerillo, the tourism mogul and CEO of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA).

In an interview with SPA, Inzrillo said development work on the biggest cultural project in the world, at a cost of SR75 billion ($20 billion), is forging ahead.
Seven square kilometers of the historic city of Diriyah, just 15 minutes northwest of Riyadh, are being transformed into one of the world’s foremost lifestyle destinations for culture, hospitality, retail and education.
“It will become one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated subsurface infrastructures,” Inzerillo said. “We have recently signed new contracts and are currently in the process of adapting different building techniques for our authentic Najdi architecture.”
In line with design, development and preservation standards, DGDA is creating an environment that enhances Diriyah’s national and international relevance, including the preservation of the At-Turaif UNESCO World Heritage Site, which sits at the heart of the development.
Officials hope the “Jewel of the Kingdom” attracts local and international visitors alike through its world-class entertainment and events.
One such world-class event will be held this weekend when the Kingdom hosts the Diriyah E-Prix double-header, two nights of racing set to launch the seventh season of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

HIGHLIGHTS

• DGDA is creating an environment that enhances Diriyah’s national and international relevance.

• Officials hope the ‘Jewel of the Kingdom’ attracts local and international visitors alike through its world-class entertainment and events.

• One such world-class event will be held this weekend when the Kingdom hosts the Diriyah E-Prix double-header.

Inzerillo said lighting up the Formula E race circuit with environmentally friendly lighting and low-consumption LED technology contributed to an increase in creativity and innovation. It led to the introduction of sustainable solutions that are more energy-efficient and reduce carbon emissions.
The health and safety of drivers and those who will attend the championship is a top priority for the organizers of the event as Inzrillo said strict COVID-19 precautions will be taken to ensure everyone’s safety.
A successful race event will only reinforce Diriyah’s position as one of the world’s greatest gathering places, with modern amenities and advanced infrastructure, he said.
“Hosting the Formula E race against the historical background of Diriyah is an appropriate representation of our vision,” Inzrillo said. “The DGDA wants to protect the history of Diriyah while taking steps toward the future.”
The authority has plans to host more international sporting events at Diriyah as Inzrillo predicts that sports and health will take leading roles in the Kingdom’s future tourism.
He said DGDA wants to build world-class golf courses, picturesque squares, outdoor plazas and tracks dedicated to horse riders that will enhance social and human interaction in Diriyah.
“Heritage and history will be honored and beautifully interwoven with sustainability and environmental considerations,” Inzrillo said.


Jeddah residents make the most of new Red Sea water sports activities

Jeddah residents make the most of new Red Sea water sports activities
Updated 29 September 2021

Jeddah residents make the most of new Red Sea water sports activities

Jeddah residents make the most of new Red Sea water sports activities
  • Saudis are flocking to the newest and coolest new water sports activities

JEDDAH: You’ve heard of flips, twists, and turns underwater, but a new extreme water sport is allowing sports enthusiasts to do the same above the surface. It’s called flyboarding and it will take you to new heights.

Saudis are flocking to the newest and coolest new water sports activities. Invented in 2012 by French watercraft rider Franky Zapata, the flyboard is a hydroflight device that uses propulsion to drive a board into the air to perform tricks and skills. With the right balance and push, the board allows users to climb out of the water and fly, and one Saudi flyboard instructor can show you how it is done.

Mussab Felemban, a certified flyboard instructor, has been performing the art of water hoverboarding wherever he can find a body of water deep enough to hold the board and big enough to fly over.

“Flyboarding is a new sport in the Kingdom; it’s very popular among people whether they want to try it or just want to watch the performance,” Felemban told Arab News.

“Anyone can practice the sport with the presence of an instructor and of course safety equipment such as a helmet and a life jacket. It is one of the funnest and toughest water activities,” he added.

Felemban found his passion for watersports in 2009 through riding jet skis. He later discovered flyboarding in 2017, fell in love with it, and took courses in Hurghada and Dubai, to become an official flyboard instructor certified in the US.

“I was discovered 2 months ago by Jeddah’s waterfront operator as I posted my flyboard performances on social media, the operator contacted me and offered me the opportunity to be a part of their activities and I’ve been performing since,” he said. 

“I started flyboarding on the Jeddah waterfront two months ago, and thank God it was a great turnout. More than 300 people tried it, including women and children who wanted to try it out.”

Felemban is active on social media, especially TikTok, where he has gathered over 300,000 followers in just four months. “This is the biggest evidence of the strong demand for watersports,” he said.

Felemban stressed that flyboarding does require some agility, strength, and patience as it can take a while to find the balance while hovering over the water, but it is suitable for anyone. 

The price for half an hour of flyboarding is SR250 ($67).

“Flyboarding is considered a fun activity and you can do it for less than half an hour. No one can do flyboarding for longer than that because of the pressure on the knees. Yes, it burns calories and tightens the body, however, it does not replace the regular sport activities like going to the gym.”

Felemban has participated in events like Saudi National Day celebrations at the Jeddah waterfront and Sharqiyah, the opening of the Asir waterfront, and many more exciting occasions.

“Flyboarding is an entertainment sport activity, and the Ministry of Sports is focusing on Saudi youth to be prepared to participate in Olympics and international sports events.”

“You want to fly? We will make that happen,” he added.


Who's Who: Dr. Mansour Al-Turki, Saudi deputy minister for planning and information

Who's Who: Dr. Mansour Al-Turki, Saudi deputy minister for planning and information
Updated 2 min 10 sec ago

Who's Who: Dr. Mansour Al-Turki, Saudi deputy minister for planning and information

Who's Who: Dr. Mansour Al-Turki, Saudi deputy minister for planning and information

Dr. Mansour Al-Turki is the Saudi deputy minister for planning and information and executive director of the Ministry of Transport’s Vision 2030 realization office.

He is currently leading strategic planning and strategy execution initiatives for the transport sector, in addition to heading up the development of transport information centers and supervising the ministry’s corporate excellence and international relations.

From February to July last year, he held the position of assistant deputy minister for planning and prior to joining the Ministry of Transport had been director of capital planning at the Saudi National Project Management Organization (Mashroat), from November 2017 to February 2020.

At Mashroat, he took a leading role in the development of Saudi Arabia’s five-year project portfolio plans performed by government entities in the infrastructure sector. And as part of his work with the organization, he liaised with Saudi ministries and authorities to optimize capital expenditures which led to a directive to establish a uniform national capital planning system.

Between December 2011 and February 2020, Al-Turki worked with the facilities planning department at Saudi Aramco in various capacities and led a multinational team to develop business cases and proposals for a variety of projects.

Prior to that, he held roles with the Colorado department of transportation, the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones, and Riyadh municipality, and has also served on committees including as a board member of the National Competitiveness Center, and the Saudi Council of Engineers.

Al-Turki gained a bachelor’s degree in planning engineering from King Saud University in 2005, a dual master’s degree in civil engineering and business administration from the University of Colorado in 2008, and a Ph.D. in civil engineering and transportation systems from the same American university in 2014.

In addition, he is a US-registered professional engineer and a certified project management professional and has taken part in numerous Harvard Business School executive and leadership programs.


Saudi official receives Brunei diplomat in Jeedah

Saudi official receives Brunei diplomat in Jeedah
Updated 13 sec ago

Saudi official receives Brunei diplomat in Jeedah

Saudi official receives Brunei diplomat in Jeedah

JEDDAH: The director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs branch in the Makkah region, Mazen bin Hamad Al-Hamali, received the consul general of the Sultanate of Brunei in Jeddah, Mohammed Salemin, on Tuesday.

During the meeting, the consul was received and friendly conversations were exchanged. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Brunei and the Kingdom, both countries continue to enjoy warm and brotherly relations. These relations are based on mutual understanding, respect, and bonds of brotherhood that link the two countries.


25 new paths allocated at Makkah's Grand Mosque

25 new paths allocated at Makkah's Grand Mosque
Updated 29 September 2021

25 new paths allocated at Makkah's Grand Mosque

25 new paths allocated at Makkah's Grand Mosque
  • The presidency has also prepared new prayer areas inside the Grand Mosque

MAKKAH: The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has allocated 25 new paths at the Grand Mosque in Makkah in order to provide comfort for visitors, while implementing precautionary measures. This comes in light of the increasing number of worshipers and Umrah performers to the Grand Mosque.
The presidency arranged social distancing stickers for the 25 new paths around the Tawaf (circumambulation) area to keep pace with the preparations for the Umrah season. It also allocated paths for people with disabilities in accordance with the precautionary measures.
The presidency has also prepared new prayer areas inside the Grand Mosque and its courtyards for Umrah performers in order to ensure their safety. The Saudi authorities aim to focus on the construction and maintenance works at the Two Holy Mosques. SPA Makkah
Earlier, the presidency announced that it has so far trained around 600 female employees of its agencies or assisting agencies.
The Women’s Development Affairs Agency, led by Al-Anoud Al-Aboud, deputy president for women’s development affairs, employs 310 of those women.
Around 200 women work for the Agency for Women’s Scientific, Intellectual and Guidance Affairs, led by Noura Al-Thuwaibi.
The rest of the trained women work at the Agency for Women’s Administrative and Service Affairs, under the leadership of Kamelia Al-Daadi, the general presidency said.


Saudi Ministry of Justice digitizes 50m title deeds 

Saudi Ministry of Justice digitizes 50m title deeds 
Updated 29 September 2021

Saudi Ministry of Justice digitizes 50m title deeds 

Saudi Ministry of Justice digitizes 50m title deeds 

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Justice has digitized more than 50 million title deeds as part of the Real Estate Wealth Digitization Initiative. 
Launched as part of the ministry’s National Transformation Program 2020 initiatives, the title deed digitization project aims to enhance property services and simplify property management procedures through central digitization facilities.
The facilities operate round the clock and are the largest of their kind in the Middle East. 
The digitization process starts at the courts and notary public offices, where documents are accounted for and compiled, data is entered and audited. Later on, the documents are processed for transfer to the central digitization facilities for disinfection, restoration, photography, archiving, auditing and quality.