Major Saudi filming destination AlUla promoted at Venice Film Festival

Production companies filming in AlUla can benefit from competitive rebates and a range of  incentives such as free bespoke production support. (Photo/Royal Commission for Al-Ula)
Production companies filming in AlUla can benefit from competitive rebates and a range of incentives such as free bespoke production support. (Photo/Royal Commission for Al-Ula)
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Updated 14 September 2021

Major Saudi filming destination AlUla promoted at Venice Film Festival

Production companies filming in AlUla can benefit from competitive rebates and a range of  incentives such as free bespoke production support. (Photo/Royal Commission for Al-Ula)
  • Al-Farhan is best known for his roles in the thriller “Zero Distance” and Shahad Ameen’s award-winning “Scales,” selected as Saudi Arabia’s official submission for Best International Feature Film at the 2021 Academy Awards

AlUla: Film AlUla concluded its participation at the 78th edition of the Venice International Film Festival, promoting the region to international film and TV producers.

The delegation from the Royal Commission for AlUla’s film agency joined other Saudi entities, including the Saudi Film Commission and the Red Sea International Film Festival, along with a delegation of rising young filmmakers from the region.

“International festivals such as Venice provide us with a great opportunity to interact with the film community, introduce the incredible and diverse location of AlUla, and promote the Saudi film industry,” said Stephen Strachan, film commissioner at the Royal Commission for AlUla. “We are making great progress in developing the infrastructure and building an ecosystem for filmmaking with easy access to crew, locations and facilities.

“The region is beginning to draw in a bigger variety of productions, including more foreign productions and we look forward to welcoming them to AlUla,” he added.

Following the successful showcase at the Cannes International Film Festival in July, the three organizations continue their mission to build international relationships within the industry and introduce Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning film sector to global audiences.

During the festival, Saudi actor Yaqoub Al-Farhan announced his upcoming feature “Norah,” this year’s winner of the Saudi Film Commission’s Daw Film Competition. The movie will be directed by Tawfik Al-Zaidi, with the set location in AlUla.

Al-Farhan is best known for his roles in the thriller “Zero Distance” and Shahad Ameen’s award-winning “Scales,” selected as Saudi Arabia’s official submission for Best International Feature Film at the 2021 Academy Awards.

Production companies filming in AlUla can benefit from competitive rebates and a range of incentives such as free bespoke production support, location scouting, expert knowledge of filming in Saudi Arabia, assistance in sourcing equipment, and professional film crews from both the Kingdom and neighboring countries. In addition, the construction of the new purpose-built film crew accommodation, Film Camp, was recently completed.


Pakistan’s Imran Khan arrives in Saudi Arabia for Middle East green initiative summit

Pakistan’s Imran Khan arrives in Saudi Arabia for Middle East green initiative summit
Updated 17 min 3 sec ago

Pakistan’s Imran Khan arrives in Saudi Arabia for Middle East green initiative summit

Pakistan’s Imran Khan arrives in Saudi Arabia for Middle East green initiative summit
  • Libyan president and Morocco’s prime minister also arrived in Riyadh to attend the regional summit
  • The inaugural summit will see world leaders and representatives gather on Monday to define green policy solutions

RIYADH: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and his accompanying delegation arrived in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Sunday, to participate in the Middle East Green Initiative Summit.
Khan was received at King Khalid International Airport by Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman, acting governor of Riyadh, and other Saudi officials.
The inaugural summit will see world leaders and representatives gather on Monday to examine green policy solutions to climate challenges, as part of a regional initiative launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman earlier this year.

Later on Sunday, Chairman of the Libyan Presidential Council Mohamed Al-Menfi, Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch, and Tunisian Prime Minister Najla Bouden also arrived at King Khalid International Airport and were received by Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman.
The Middle East Green Initiative aims to apply a number of ambitious programs that will reduce carbon emissions by 60 percent in the region and plant 50 billion trees in the world’s biggest afforestation project.


Saudi Arabia registers 2 COVID-19 deaths, 47 new infections

Saudi Arabia registers 2 COVID-19 deaths, 47 new infections
Updated 24 October 2021

Saudi Arabia registers 2 COVID-19 deaths, 47 new infections

Saudi Arabia registers 2 COVID-19 deaths, 47 new infections
  • Ministry of Interior records 824 violations against precautionary measures in the past week
  • Municipalities close three businesses and issue fines to 500 others for violating precautionary measures

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia confirmed two new COVID-19 related deaths on Sunday, raising the total number of fatalities to 8,778.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 47 new cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 548,252 people have now contracted the disease. Of the total number of cases, 79 remain in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 13, followed by Jeddah with nine, Makkah with four, and Madinah recorded three cases.
The health ministry also announced that 36 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 537,282.
Over 45.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the Kingdom’s immunization campaign started. More than 21.1 million people have been fully vaccinated.


Saudi authorities continued their monitoring campaigns to ensure compliance with the precautionary measures imposed to stem the spread of the disease.
The Ministry of Interior reported 824 violations in the past week, compared to 22,746 the previous week. The highest number of breaches was recorded in Riyadh with 344, followed by Makkah with 298, Madinah with 59, and the Eastern Province with 56. Al-Jawf recorded the lowest number of violations with three.
The ministry called on citizens and residents to abide by the preventive protocols and the instructions issued by authorities in this regard.
Saudi municipalities have also ramped up efforts to monitor compliance with health and safety measures.
The municipality of the Eastern Province carried out 8,872 inspection tours of commercial centers and facilities during the past week. Authorities found 475 violations and closed three businesses for not adhering to the precautionary measures.
Rafha Municipality in the Northern Borders Province also carried out 280 inspection tours of commercial centers and facilities during the last week and authorities issued fines to 25 commercial outlets for breaching protocols.
Officials have also called on the public to report any suspected health breaches by phoning the 940 call center number or contacting authorities through the Balady app.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 244 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 4.96 million.


Saudi Arabia to extend residency, visitor visas

Saudi Arabia to extend residency, visitor visas
Updated 24 October 2021

Saudi Arabia to extend residency, visitor visas

Saudi Arabia to extend residency, visitor visas
  • The foreign ministry said visas would be automatically extended until Nov. 30 without any charge

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday it will extend residency and visitor visas for people still unable to reach the Kingdom due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
The foreign ministry said visas would be automatically extended until Nov. 30 without any charge.
The ministry said the move, which was done in cooperation with the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (National Information Center), the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Interior, comes as part of the Saudi government’s efforts to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
The ministry added that the beneficiaries have been notified of the extension via email, which includes an attached e-visa form.


King Salman to head Saudi Arabia’s delegation at G20 meeting in Italy

King Salman to head Saudi Arabia’s delegation at G20 meeting in Italy
Updated 24 October 2021

King Salman to head Saudi Arabia’s delegation at G20 meeting in Italy

King Salman to head Saudi Arabia’s delegation at G20 meeting in Italy
  • The decision comes in response to an invitation from Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman is set to head the Kingdom’s delegation at the annual G20 summit in the Italian capital, Rome, next week, state news agency SPA reported on Sunday.
The king’s decision to head the delegation virtually comes “in response to the kind invitation received by King Salman from Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi to attend the G20 Leaders’ Summit to be held on Oct. 30-31,” the statement said.
“The Kingdom expresses its appreciation for the efforts made by Italy to ensure the work of the G20 presidency succeeds this year through joint collective action,” it added.
As a member of the group’s Troika, Saudi Arabia also reaffirmed its keenness to continue efforts to make the summit a success.
The current members of the Troika include Saudi Arabia, former president of the G20, Italy, the current president and Indonesia, next year’s president.


Saudi and US officials discuss climate change initiatives

Saudi and US officials discuss climate change initiatives
Updated 46 min 3 sec ago

Saudi and US officials discuss climate change initiatives

Saudi and US officials discuss climate change initiatives
  • Al-Jubeir, Kerry discuss Kingdom’s environmental efforts on sidelines of Saudi Green Initiative Forum

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir on Sunday met with the US envoy for climate, John Kerry, on the sidelines of the Saudi Green Initiative Forum, which is being held in the capital, Riyadh.
During the meeting, they discussed the Kingdom’s efforts to confront climate change and the qualitative initiatives it has launched to protect the planet and nature. 
The two sides also discussed regional and international developments of common interest, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.