Within minutes more than 60,000 tickets sold for Riyadh Season's Winter Wonderland

Within minutes more than 60,000 tickets sold for Riyadh Season's Winter Wonderland
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Riyadh Season’s Winter Wonderland opens its doors for visitors with more than 103 games for adults and children.  (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Riyadh Season’s Winter Wonderland opens its doors for visitors with more than 103 games for adults and children. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Riyadh Season’s Winter Wonderland opens its doors for visitors with more than 103 games for adults and children.  (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Riyadh Season’s Winter Wonderland opens its doors for visitors with more than 103 games for adults and children. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Riyadh Season’s Winter Wonderland opens its doors for visitors with more than 103 games for adults and children.  (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Riyadh Season’s Winter Wonderland opens its doors for visitors with more than 103 games for adults and children. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Riyadh Season’s Winter Wonderland opens its doors for visitors with more than 103 games for adults and children.  (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Riyadh Season’s Winter Wonderland opens its doors for visitors with more than 103 games for adults and children. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Updated 29 October 2021

Within minutes more than 60,000 tickets sold for Riyadh Season's Winter Wonderland

Within minutes more than 60,000 tickets sold for Riyadh Season's Winter Wonderland
  • More than 60,000 entry tickets were sold during the first minutes of the ticket portal opening
  • Winter Wonderland zone opens its doors to visitors from 4 p.m. until 1 a.m. daily throughout the season

RIYADH: Zombies dancing, clowns performing, fireworks lighting the city sky — this is how visitors were welcomed to Winter Wonderland, part of Riyadh Season’s 14 zones.

Some families even skipped school and work to make sure they were the first to enter the zone.

Mustafa Usman, a logistics operation manager from Uzbekistan, told Arab News how he had loved Winter Wonderland during the last season and could not wait for it to open again this season.

“The reason why I came on the first day of Winter Wonderland is that last season I visited the zone twice, and this time I wanted my kids to enjoy the experience; they were excited. That is why I got an excuse from my job to be here,” Usman said.

Usman said that he has visited almost all the zones and events during the first ten days since the launch of Riyadh Season. “I went to almost all events, the grand opening for Riyadh Season . . . the WWE Crown Jewel show... I went to Combat Field… and today here at Winter Wonderland… and on Friday I’m going to the (Egyptian) Orchestra in (Riyadh) Boulevard, at Muhammed Abdu’s arena . . . I am excited to go to (Riyadh) Safari once the weather gets better.”

Winter Wonderland opened its doors yesterday with a sense of huge anticipation from a large audience of game-lovers. The zone consists of six primary areas including, for the first time, the children’s corner. The corner is dedicated to the nursery and care of children from one year to 7 years old and is equipped with games for toddlers.




Riyadh Season’s Winter Wonderland opens its doors for visitors with more than 103 games for adults and children.  (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the board of the General Entertainment Authority, revealed earlier in a tweet that more than 60,000 entry tickets were sold during the first minutes of the ticket portal opening. This confirms visitors’ enthusiasm, especially after the zone’s area capacity increased 40 percent from last season.

The zone includes more than 103 games that meet all age groups’ tastes — from adults to children — and with cosy snowy scenes and lights where people can enjoy hot drinks and different types of foods. Visitors can also try out the snow maze and skating rink.

The winter atmosphere attracts visitors from all over the world to enjoy experiences that bring back memories of their childhood, with decorations that mix reality with dreams.

Many visitors from GCC countries such as Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait have come to visit the zones of Riyadh Season.




Riyadh Season’s Winter Wonderland opens its doors for visitors with more than 103 games for adults and children.  (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

Eisa Adnan, a civil engineer visiting from Kuwait, told Arab News that he would stay for two weeks in Riyadh to attend most of the events during the season. “We want to go to Al-Murabba zone, and I heard that there is a play coming up for Mohammed Hunaidi, a very famous actor; we would love to see that play,” he said.

“I thank all the girls and boys who are organizing and preparing these amazing events. I never came to the previous seasons; this is my first season to attend, and it is luxurious.”

The zone opens its doors to visitors from 4 p.m. until 1 a.m. daily throughout the season, and entry tickets can be booked online through Riyadh Season’s website or application.


Stunning French soprano enthralls Jeddah audience

Clara Barbier Serrano performed arias by composers such as Purcell, Handel, Mozart and Puccini. Her journey into opera began 10 years ago when she was 16 years old. (Photos/ Hayy Jameel)
Clara Barbier Serrano performed arias by composers such as Purcell, Handel, Mozart and Puccini. Her journey into opera began 10 years ago when she was 16 years old. (Photos/ Hayy Jameel)
Updated 24 January 2022

Stunning French soprano enthralls Jeddah audience

Clara Barbier Serrano performed arias by composers such as Purcell, Handel, Mozart and Puccini. Her journey into opera began 10 years ago when she was 16 years old. (Photos/ Hayy Jameel)
  • Clara Barbier Serrano performs arias taking audience on a special journey through European history
  • To be in this place in this Maraya concert hall was just incredible, because it’s beautiful; it’s so magical how we can bring this music to the whole world, and then people will somehow connect to it

JEDDAH: The first recipient of the Andrea Bocelli Foundation-Community Jameel Scholarship, French soprano Clara Barbier Serrano, thrilled a Jeddah audience with her stunning performance on the Hayy Jameel stage on Jan. 22.

Serrano performed arias by composers such as Purcell, Handel, Mozart and Puccini, taking the Jeddawi audience on a special journey through European history from the 17th to the 20th centuries, via Italian opera, Mozart and finishing with French songs, accompanied by a pianist to complete a beautiful, intimate recital.
This event is considered the first classical music performance at Hayy Jameel.
In an exclusive interview at Hayy Jameel, Serrano told Arab News that she was lucky to receive the scholarship as it created chances for her, including the opportunity to perform next to Bocelli at different locations throughout the world.
“I had my first performance next to Bocelli after I received the Bocelli-Jameel scholarship, it is really always a pleasure to sing next to him,” she said.
“Now I feel more at ease when we’re on the stage together. I’m more relaxed than before because I know him a little bit. There is very nice energy that he gives on stage.”
The talented young singer performed the day before with Bocelli at one of the Kingdom’s prominent cultural destinations, the award-winning Maraya in AlUla.
“To be in this place in this Maraya concert hall was just incredible, because it’s beautiful; it’s so magical how we can bring this music to the whole world, and then people will somehow connect to it,” she said.
As a child, Serrano said that she did not know much about opera. “My family also didn’t listen to classical music, I was not particularly into it. I was listening more to jazz and things like that.”
Serrano’s journey into opera began 10 years ago when she was 16 years old. “I played the violin as a kid, and I took so many musical classes, singing in the choir, and playing the violin, I got more and more interested in the voice and then my teachers would tell me, you have a nice voice you should think solo, and that’s how I got interested in opera or more in lyrical singing.”
“At the time, I hadn’t seen many operas in my life. And it’s a very particular form of art actually. However, this interest in the voice just led me to practice this kind of singing,” she said.
Serrano said that when an opera is performed on stage a great narrative combination happens. “When we are on stage, it is like a story and a plot, it is like a theater piece being performed in a music style. The technique and the way we use our body to make the sound are very emotional. You have to take people with you in something very personal.”
Serrano received the Andrea Bocelli Foundation-Community Jameel Scholarship in 2020; she was rewarded with a two-year diploma in opera and a chance for her to be fully immersed in the opera world.
“I have been studying opera classical singing for six years, including my four years of bachelor in art and music in Germany, and now I am doing a special kind of postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Music in London,” she said.
Serrano performed with Bocelli in the 2020 “Believe in Christmas” concert at the Teatro Regio di Parma, at the annual Concerto di Natale in Assisi in 2020, and in 2021 at the Teatro di Silenzio in Bocelli’s Tuscan hometown of Lajatico.
The opera scholarship is open to students from around the world. Community Jameel, which supports the scholarship, and Art Jameel, which runs Hayy Jameel, are sister organizations founded by the Jameel family of Saudi Arabia.
The Andrea Bocelli Foundation and Community Jameel scholarship were established in 2019, with the aim of supporting up-and-coming singers to study opera at the Royal College of Music in London. The second Bocelli-Jameel Scholar was awarded to Egyptian talent Laura Mekhail in 2021.


Internal Audit Conference to start today in Riyadh

The conference will be held under the patronage of Hussam Al-Anqari. (SPA)
The conference will be held under the patronage of Hussam Al-Anqari. (SPA)
Updated 12 sec ago

Internal Audit Conference to start today in Riyadh

The conference will be held under the patronage of Hussam Al-Anqari. (SPA)
  • The conference will host 30 local and international leaders and experts specialized in internal auditing and control systems

RIYADH: The activities of the 8th annual internal audit conference starts in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Organized by the Saudi Institute of Internal Auditors, the conference will be held under the slogan “The Future of Internal Audit,” under the patronage of Hussam Al-Anqari the president of the General Auditing Bureau and chairman of the board of directors of Institute of Internal Auditors.

The two-day conference aims to review the developments of the internal audit profession and control systems globally, chart the future of the profession according to worldwide developments and enhance the characteristics of flexible leadership for the profession in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan.

The conference will host 30 local and international leaders and experts specialized in internal auditing and control systems, in addition to a number of representatives of international organizations and companies, led by the president and CEO of the International Institute of Internal Auditors , Anthony Pugliese.

The conference will include dialogue sessions, presentations and specialized workshops, discussing the new trends in internal auditing and risk tools in leading control systems in enterprises, as well as role of governance in crisis management and business continuity and growing demand for internal auditing in the Kingdom.


Saudi Arabia assumes presidency of GCC Commercial Arbitration Center

Saudi Arabia assumes presidency of GCC Commercial Arbitration Center
Updated 43 min 48 sec ago

Saudi Arabia assumes presidency of GCC Commercial Arbitration Center

Saudi Arabia assumes presidency of GCC Commercial Arbitration Center
  • Saudi Arabia takes over the presidency from Bahrain

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has assumed the presidency of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Commercial Arbitration Center and will be headed by the Kingdom’s representative Fahd bin Ali Al-Omari, Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.
Saudi Arabia takes over the presidency from Bahrain following a decision made during a board of directors meeting in December.
Tariq Yousef Al-Shammari, the center’s secretary-general, said that Al-Omari is regarded as one of the most prominent legal figures in the Kingdom, and holds a leading position in the Federation of Saudi Chambers.
He also served as vice chairman of the disciplinary committee in the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, and participated in several research projects on economic systems.
Bahrain’s representative and former president, Sami Zainal, praised the GCC’s accomplishments over the past year and the efforts made by the General Secretariat to achieve the center’s strategic objectives.
Oman’s Ali bin Salem Al Kasbi assumed the position of vice president.


Cirque du Soleil to debut major international shows in Saudi Arabia

Cirque du Soleil to debut major international shows in Saudi Arabia
Updated 24 January 2022

Cirque du Soleil to debut major international shows in Saudi Arabia

Cirque du Soleil to debut major international shows in Saudi Arabia
  • The Kingdom will host a brand new Cirque du Soleil resident show unique to Saudi Arabia
  • The deal also says the two parties will establish a regional Cirque du Soleil academy and office

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture has signed an agreement with the Canadian entertainment group Cirque du Soleil to enable it to put on its renowned creative performances in the Kingdom.
The agreement was signed by Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, minister of culture and chairman of the Theater and Performing Arts Authority, and Gabriel de Alba, co-chairman of Cirque du Soleil, at a meeting held in New York City.
The agreement will see Cirque du Soleil present a number of award-winning circus shows for the first time in the Kingdom, including touring shows such as “The Illusionist,” “Now You See Me,” “Paw Patrol Live,” “Race to Rescue,” “Trolls Live,” and the Blue Man Group’s world tour. The Kingdom will also host a brand new Cirque du Soleil resident show unique to Saudi Arabia.
The agreement also says the two parties will establish a regional Cirque du Soleil academy and office, to provide a curriculum of high standards led by the best global circus experts. Students from all over the Kingdom and abroad will have the opportunity to hone their performance skills through the circus’ international school exchange and artist-in-residence programs, and will also be awarded internationally recognized certificates.

Cirque du Soleil has presented six shows in Saudi Arabia since 2018, the last of which was the “Messi 10” show, which was held in November during the Riyadh Season and shed light on the life of the famous Argentine footballer Lionel Messi.
The agreement comes with the performing arts witnessing greater development in the Kingdom, especially after the establishment of the Theater and Performing Arts Authority, which announced its strategy to further improve the sector last year.
The plan includes better infrastructure for theater and performing arts, providing job opportunities, building partnerships, and providing educational and training opportunities for about 4,500 playwrights and more than 4,000 trainees by 2030.


New judicial costs system to reduce false lawsuits in Saudi Arabia

The most prominent provision mentioned is the mechanism for calculating the judicial costs of the lawsuits. (Shutterstock)
The most prominent provision mentioned is the mechanism for calculating the judicial costs of the lawsuits. (Shutterstock)
Updated 24 January 2022

New judicial costs system to reduce false lawsuits in Saudi Arabia

The most prominent provision mentioned is the mechanism for calculating the judicial costs of the lawsuits. (Shutterstock)
  • The mechanism will be in full effect starting March 13
  • Judicial costs are imposed on the lawsuit in an amount not exceeding 5 percent of the value of the claim, with a maximum amount of SR1 million, with defined regulations and criteria for estimating judicial costs

JEDDAH: Less than 50 days remain until the application of the judicial costs system, which entails the imposition of fees when filing civil, commercial, and criminal lawsuits, borne by the convicted party or the party who loses the case.

The draft executive regulations for the judicial costs system revealed that the purpose behind imposing fees on types of cases is to reduce malicious and false lawsuits, and promote alternative means for settling disputes.
The application of this system will be in full-effect from March 13.
Waleed bin Naif, a lawyer, told Arab News: “The judicial costs system objective is to reduce the overgrowth of malicious lawsuits, urge the documentation and proof of transactions and contracts, as well as directing litigants to resolve their dispute amicably.
“Judicial costs are imposed on the lawsuit in an amount not exceeding 5 percent of the value of the claim, with a maximum amount of SR1 million ($266,596), with defined regulations and criteria for estimating judicial costs,” added Bin Naif.
According to the new system, the estimation of the judicial fees of the lawsuit ranges between 5 percent and 2 percent.
The most prominent provisions mentioned are the mechanism for calculating the judicial costs of the lawsuits, estimated in a descending percentage of no more than 5 percent.
The draft also explains the mechanism for calculating the financial execution request and direct execution request, determining who bears the costs of execution requests, and ascertaining criteria for cost estimation of requests on lawsuits.
In addition to issuing rules and procedures for notification and objection to judicial litigation expenses, the draft includes issuing cost bonds for lawsuits, requests, and collection and objection methods, and clarifying cases of exemption from judicial costs.
“The provisions of the law shall apply to all cases and requests submitted to the courts, excluding the following: The first exception being general criminal cases, disciplinary cases, and requests related thereto. The second is cases and requests that are within the jurisdiction of the Personal Status Courts, except for the cassation request and the request for re-examination,” Bin Naif said.
“The third includes cases and requests that fall within the jurisdiction of the Board of Grievances. The fourth is the cases and requests related to lawsuits for the division of estates, except for a request for cassation and a request for reconsideration. The fifth includes cases and requests that arise from the application of the provisions of the bankruptcy system. While the sixth exception is for cases of termination and related requests.”