Rap star Pitbull to launch Riyadh Season with sold-out concert

Rap star Pitbull to launch Riyadh Season with sold-out concert
Cuban-American rap star Pitbull to open Riyadh Season.
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Updated 10 November 2021

Rap star Pitbull to launch Riyadh Season with sold-out concert

Rap star Pitbull to launch Riyadh Season with sold-out concert
  • Grand parade and fireworks display in opening ceremony of the Middle East’s largest entertainment festival

RIYADH: The Cuban-American rap star Pitbull will launch this year’s Riyadh Season festival with a sold-out concert on Wednesday that will be broadcast live.
The opening ceremony of the Middle East’s largest celebration of music, dining, and entertainment will also feature a parade and fireworks show.
The festival site covers 5.4 million square meters, divided into 14 zones — Boulevard Riyadh City, Al’Athriyah, Oasis, Combat Field, Riyadh Front, Qariat Zaman, Winter Wonderland, the Groves, VIA Riyadh, Riyadh Safari, Nabd Al Riyadh, Alsalam Tree, Almurabaa, and Khaloha.
There will be 16 events this month alone — WWE Crown Jewel on Oct. 21, Rush Gaming Festival from Oct. 22 to 26, the Crystal Maze live experience on Oct. 22, the Global Town Festival on Oct. 27, the Champions of Magic show on Oct. 27, and the Messi 10 Cirque Du Soleil show on Oct. 29.
And that’s just the start, with a total of 7,500 events, programs and activities for all age groups and interests. This year, children and fans of the nursery rhymes show CoComelon will be able to meet the characters while visiting their home, school, and farm in the Winter Wonderland zone.
Most events are free, and those that require tickets will be listed on the Riyadh Season 2021 website. Visitors must link their tickets to the Tawakkalna app, which has a new security feature to prevent tickets being misused or resold.
The entertainment sector will be a key contributor to the growth of the economy as part of Vision 2030. Riyadh Season will support the tourism and leisure sector and provide a unique experience for visitors. It continues until March 2022.


Saudi Arabia forms new working group within UN tourism body

Saudi Arabia forms new working group within UN tourism body
Updated 13 min 27 sec ago

Saudi Arabia forms new working group within UN tourism body

Saudi Arabia forms new working group within UN tourism body
  • It was the first global tourism meeting since the virus outbreak

MADRID: A Saudi Ministry of Tourism delegation recently took part in the UN World Tourism Organization general assembly meeting held in Spain.

The UNWTO gathering, which takes place every two years, aimed to show the sector’s determination to lead tourism’s recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, through innovation, education, and investment.

The organization, a specialized UN agency responsible for promoting the development of the tourism sector globally, staged its 24th general assembly session at the UNWTO’s headquarters in Madrid.

It was the first global tourism meeting since the virus outbreak, and delegates from more than 100 countries shared their achievements over the past two years in helping the sector get through the health crisis.

Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb, who headed the Kingdom’s delegation, said: “Despite its relatively recent presence in the international tourism arena, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia plays a major global role in this field.”

He noted that the country had great tourism ambitions and sought to make the sector one of the largest contributors to the economic transformation taking place in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

One of the main achievements of the Saudi delegation during the meeting was the formation of a new working group to support the agency in increasing the transparency and effectiveness of its current and future work. The group will also assist in developing initiatives to help respond to the needs of member states, revitalizing the UNTWO for a better future for tourism.

Among Saudi Arabia’s recent achievements in the tourism sector was the opening of a UNWTO regional office in Riyadh, which will serve as a hub for the agency to coordinate policy and initiatives across its 13 member states in the region.


Saudi Arabia records 2 COVID-19 deaths, 46 new infections

Saudi Arabia records 2 COVID-19 deaths, 46 new infections
Updated 08 December 2021

Saudi Arabia records 2 COVID-19 deaths, 46 new infections

Saudi Arabia records 2 COVID-19 deaths, 46 new infections
  • The health ministry says 64 patients have recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours
  • Municipalities close several businesses and issue fines to a number of others for breaching coronavirus protocols

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia confirmed two new COVID-19 related deaths on Wednesday, raising the total number of fatalities to 8,849.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 46 new cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 550,043 people have now contracted the disease. Of the total number of cases, 29 remain in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 16, followed by Jeddah with 10, while Tabuk, Makkah and Dhahran confirmed two cases each.
The health ministry also announced that 64 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 539,205.
Over 47.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the Kingdom’s immunization campaign started. More than 22.7 million people have been fully vaccinated.


Saudi municipalities have also ramped up efforts to monitor compliance with health and safety measures.
The municipality of Eastern Province carried out 3,687 inspection tours of commercial centers and facilities during the last three days. Authorities recorded 211 violations and closed three businesses for not adhering to the precautionary measures.
Jeddah Municipality carried out 6,081 tours in the past two days and field teams issued fines to 32 commercial outlets and closed 10 others 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 267 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 5.29 million.


Saudi hands turn Al-Khuzama Park into the paradise of the Groves

Saudi hands turn Al-Khuzama Park into the paradise of the Groves
Updated 08 December 2021

Saudi hands turn Al-Khuzama Park into the paradise of the Groves

Saudi hands turn Al-Khuzama Park into the paradise of the Groves
  • The Groves, in the Diplomatic Quarter, is set in Al-Khuzama Park, one of the famous green spaces in Riyadh at Wadi Hanifah

RIYADH: The woman behind the success of the Groves, one of the 14 zones in this year’s Riyadh Season, revealed to Arab News how she realized the project in only 45 days.

“The planning ran from January till September. We had only 45 days to put it together,” said Siham Hassanain, general manager of the Groves.

“All of the designs have been done by Saudi hands. All of the restaurants are local brands Everything you see, from lighting to construction to organizers, is Saudi. The zone was built by a local company called Zivix International Holding,” she added.

The Groves, in the Diplomatic Quarter, is set in Al-Khuzama Park, one of the famous green spaces in Riyadh at Wadi Hanifah.

“It all started in 2019, I had some work to do in the diplomatic quarter, and I entered the park and fell in love with its beauty,” she said.

Hassanain said she researched the place and found out that the park was built 38 years ago when the diplomatic quarter was established. 

The zone was built around nature so that no trees were destroyed. (Supplied)

Turki Al-Shaikh, CEO of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) and chairman of the Season, had tweeted that anyone with a new idea for Riyadh Season should present it to the authority.

“The first thing that came to my mind was Al-Khuzama Park. I didn’t expect at all, not even 1 percent, that this zone would become a reality. But I told myself I should put all of my energy in this place,” Hassanain said.

After Hassanain pitched her idea to the GEA, she was selected as one of the 20 winning initiatives for the Riyadh Season, and her concept won first place.

“When the announcement came out, I was happy and excited for the first five minutes, then the sense of responsibility kicked in,” she said.

Hassanain says the Groves is filled with trees and fields: “You can hear fountains, water, and birds. The place also has a special scent.” 

The zone contains several open spaces, including an area surrounded by palm trees where visitors can discover various activities. (Supplied)

The Groves’ logo has the four elements of life: water, air, fire, and earth, which Hassanain included in the zone as water resembles relaxation, fire action and attractions, earth food, and air resembles memories.

She faced many challenges while executing the project as everything was done by hand to make sure no plants or trees were destroyed.

She said she had a fantastic Saudi team who helped her and believed and loved the concept even more than she did. “I was anxious they were passionate, I was nervous they were enjoying it … so these feelings created a balance.”

Hassanain noted that in the past Saudi females faced some obstacles in being part of building the country. “Had it not been for the support and vision of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman this wouldn’t exist,” she said.

“If we compare the Boulevard Riyadh City zone in 2019 to the zone in 2021, you can see the big jump. We will amaze the whole world and become the first in the entertainment sector.”


Social Dialogue Forum discusses labor market issues post-pandemic

Social Dialogue Forum discusses labor market issues post-pandemic
Updated 23 sec ago

Social Dialogue Forum discusses labor market issues post-pandemic

Social Dialogue Forum discusses labor market issues post-pandemic

RIYADH: The 11th Social Dialogue Forum, addressing the challenges facing the Saudi labor market during the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on government policies, was held in Riyadh on Wednesday.

Under the patronage of the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Ahmed Al-Rajhi, the forum is organized by the ministry with the participation of Deputy Minister Dr. Abdullah Abuthnain. 

Al-Rajhi highlighted the government’s efforts to achieve balance in the labor market, ensure employee security and support institutions affected by the pandemic, including the private and non-profit sector. 

The government has spent more than SR47 billion, launching initiatives and economic stimulus measures to include all citizens and residents for enhanced allocation of public health services. 

The ministry seeks to form a common vision and strengthen its internationally recognized mechanisms to reach practical decisions on labor market issues through social dialogue, and to promote effective communication between government, employers and employees.


Saudi Arabia’s crown prince arrives in Qatar, meets emir

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince arrives in Qatar, meets emir
Updated 4 min 23 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince arrives in Qatar, meets emir

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince arrives in Qatar, meets emir
  • Sheikh Tamim said the prince’s visit will deepen the strong ties, especially in light of the conditions in the region
  • Prince Mohammed and Sheikh Tamim presided over the 6th Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council meeting

RIYADH: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday arrived in the Qatari capital, Doha, on the third leg of his official tour of neighboring Gulf countries.

Prince Mohammed and Sheikh Tamim reviewed relations between their two countries and ways to enhance cooperation in various fields, as well as the latest regional and international developments.

The crown prince and emir signed the minutes of the Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council meeting at the end of the session.

Sheikh Tamim said the prince’s visit will deepen the strong ties, especially in light of the conditions in the region.

“The relations of brotherhood and cooperation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia are based on solid foundations of a common history and destiny,” he said in a tweet.

“Today, I discussed with my brother, Prince Mohammad bin Salman, ways to enhance this cooperation between our two countries (and) I also affirmed with him our common concern to support security and stability in our region and the region,” Sheikh Tamim said, adding: “Welcome my brother Mohammad to Qatar.”

An official ceremony and procession was held to welcome Prince Mohammed at the Amiri Diwan. (Twitter/@KSAMOFA)

Upon his arrival at Doha International Airport, the crown prince was received by Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad.

An official ceremony and procession was held to welcome Prince Mohammed at the Amiri Diwan, where he also met senior Qatari officials.

The crown prince then visited the Consultative Assembly, where he was greeted by a number of officials.

Prince Mohammed and Sheikh Tamim presided over the 6th Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council meeting. (Twitter/@KSAMOFA)

Prince Mohammed and Sheikh Tamim presided over the 6th Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council meeting, where the Qatari leader welcomed the crown prince to Qatar.

The crown prince expressed his thanks and appreciation to the emir for the warm reception and generous hospitality, and conveyed greetings from King Salman.

The crown prince arrived in Doha from the UAE on the third leg of his official tour of Gulf states. He began in Oman and is expected to visit Bahrain and Kuwait, where he will meet with leaders and senior officials in an effort to boost relations.