Investment contract signed for the first ‘coffee city’ in Saudi Arabia

Investment contract signed for the first ‘coffee city’ in Saudi Arabia
The ministry said that agreement aims to achieve sustainability of agricultural products and crops. (SPA)
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Updated 04 November 2021

Investment contract signed for the first ‘coffee city’ in Saudi Arabia

Investment contract signed for the first ‘coffee city’ in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: A Saudi ministry has signed an investment contract for the first “coffee city” in the Kingdom. The dealwith the Agricultural Cooperative Society in Baljurashi, which lasts for 15 years, was signed under the patronage of Abdul Rahman Al-Fadhli, the minister of environment, water and agriculture, and in the presence of Ahmed Al-Ayada, the undersecretary for agriculture.

The ministry said that agreement aims to achieve sustainability of agricultural products and crops, encourage agricultural investment, develop vegetation cover, create local job opportunities, and enhance the role of cooperative societies in the Kingdom.

The agreement includes the cultivation of 300,000 coffee arabica seedlings and pomegranate trees on a 1,662,373-square-meter site in the village of Mashuqa, in Al-Qura governorate, Al-Baha. It will include a model farm, an integrated nursery for cultivating coffee seedlings, and an industrial center that includes workshops, warehouses, a business center, on-site accommodation, a training center and a mosque.

The ministry is working to develop the production, manufacture and marketing of coffee arabica. The regions of Jazan, Al-Baha and Asir are among the most important and best-cultivated coffee-growing regions in the Kingdom.


AlUla says ‘bienvenue’ to France as first direct flight arrives in ancient city

AlUla says ‘bienvenue’ to France as first direct flight arrives in ancient city
Updated 38 sec ago

AlUla says ‘bienvenue’ to France as first direct flight arrives in ancient city

AlUla says ‘bienvenue’ to France as first direct flight arrives in ancient city
  • Officials including Phillip Jones, RCU, and Gérard Mestrallet, AFALULA arrived on the first direct flight from Europe at AlUla’s Airport last night
  • The weekly non-stop flight will operate from 30 January to 27 March 2022, as winter season events enter full swing

ALULA, Saudi Arabia: Carrying 75 passengers on board, the inaugural SAUDIA direct flight from Paris touched down in AlUla on Thursday night.

The flight departed from Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Airport and arrived at AlUla International Airport at 10:30 p.m., after a comfortable five-hour flight.

“Today we celebrate a milestone in the history of Franco-Saudi cooperation for AlUla's development: the inauguration of the Paris AlUla flight operated by Saudi_Airlines,” the French Agency for AlUla development tweeted.

French ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ludovic Pouille hailed the step, thanking Saudia and the Royal Commission for AlUla.

“My dear French friends, come and discover the treasures of AlUla”, he tweeted in Arabic.

Marking the first direct flight from Europe, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was welcomed at AlUla Airport by Saudi officials including AlUla Airport Director, Eng. Abdulwahab Bokhari.

Guests on the inaugural flight included officials from SAUDIA, Phillip Jones, Chief Destination Management and Marketing Officer, Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), Gérard Mestrallet, Executive Chairman of the French Agency for the Development of AlUla (AFALULA).

Guests arriving in AlUla will attend the equestrian events as part of the destination’s Winter at Tantora festival including Pierre Durand, ex-Olympic Champion show-jumper.

Timed to coincide with the winter event season in AlUla; the new flight will welcome French visitors to explore the ancient desert city and take part in one of many arts, music, cultural events on offer.


Stars come out in Riyadh for Joy Awards 2022

The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
Updated 14 min 31 sec ago

Stars come out in Riyadh for Joy Awards 2022

The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards. (Supplied)
  • John Travolta received lifetime achievement award from Saudi General Entertainment Authority Chairman Turki Al-Sheikh

RIYADH: The Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater in Riyadh rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday, welcoming some of the biggest names in entertainment to the second annual Joy Awards.

“It’s my honor to be a part of something that helps spread the ultimate feeling: The feeling of joy,” US actor John Travolta said as he picked up his Lifetime Achievement Award. “And to be here on this stage tonight in this incredible celebration of culture; to be surrounded by such immense talents who are able to bring joy to millions through their music, their art, and, above all, their passion.

“I’ve worked with thousands of talented people — people that create movies and have caused the world to laugh and to cry and to smile too, hopefully, like this evening that is filled with joy,” he continued. 

Travolta, best known for his performances in “Grease,” “Saturday Night Fever,” and “Pulp Fiction,” received his award from Saudi General Entertainment Authority Chairman Turki Al-Sheikh.

“Four years ago, I visited Saudi Arabia. This is my second visit and I am truly impressed,” Travolta said. 

The star concluded his speech with an inspiring message for young Saudis. 

“All I want to say to the Saudi people, especially the younger generation, is ‘Keep dreaming and dream more and more,’ because — from what I can see — your dreams can come true,” he stated. 

The Joy Awards — part of Riyadh Season — is hosted by the GEA, in line with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030. It is billed as the largest celebration of entertainment creators in the Arab world.

More than 200 Arab and international artists were invited to the ceremony, which honored entertainers in 13 separate award categories ranging from television and cinema to social media, sports, and music.

The show kicked off with dancers and aerial performers decked out in gold putting on an extravagant theatrical show.

The awards began by celebrating the first category of best male television actor. Saudi star Yacob Alfarhan picked up the evening’s first award — Best Male TV Actor. 

“I thank everyone who took part in making the Joy Awards happen, especially Turki Al-Sheikh,” Farhan told Arab News. “I am happy to have such an event that connects us all.” 

Saudi singer and YouTube star Zena Emad took home the coveted Favorite New Face in Music award. Her fellow Saudi nominee, Ayed Yousef, told Arab News: “Being in the Joy Awards and being a part of Riyadh Season is a huge honor for me. Tonight, I have seen all the stars of the Arab world.”

Yousef was not exaggerating. Some of the biggest names in Middle Eastern music took to the stage to perform during the ceremony, including Kadim Al-Sahir, Hany Shaker, Mohammed Abdu, Elissa, Majid Al-Mohandis, and Assala Nasri.

Among the international winners was Bollywood star Salman Khan, who won the Personality of the Year award.  

“I’m excited and I’m happy. That love that you get from the fans all over the world? I really appreciate and treasure that,” Khan said.

“It’s been a very long, but very quick, journey,” the 56-year-old actor said of his career. “I think I was only about 18 or 19 when I signed my first film.”

Following an In Memoriam section, posthumous achievement awards were given to Egyptian entertainer Samir Ghanem and his wife, the actress Dalal Abdel Aziz, who both died last year. Their daughters, who are also actresses, received the awards from Al-Sheikh.

Saudi actor and writer Khalid Abdulaziz told Arab News that he would never forget the night.

“To be a part of Riyadh Season for the first time was a huge step in my career and the things I am seeing at the Joy Awards tonight are extraordinary,” he said. 


AlUla Design Award announce winners for inspired product designs 

Winners and jury of AlUla Design Awards in Saudi Design Festival. (AN Photo/Saleh Al Ghannam)
Winners and jury of AlUla Design Awards in Saudi Design Festival. (AN Photo/Saleh Al Ghannam)
Updated 25 min 39 sec ago

AlUla Design Award announce winners for inspired product designs 

Winners and jury of AlUla Design Awards in Saudi Design Festival. (AN Photo/Saleh Al Ghannam)

RIYADH: The AlUla Design Award has announced the winners of its various categories for outstanding products inspired by AlUla.

The categories adjudicated at the Saudi Design Festival in Riyadh’s Jax district included jewelry, leather goods, footwear, homeware accessories, and other lifestyle products. 

Over 400 applications were received, with shortlisted designs reviewed by a jury. The six best products were selected to receive the prestigious AlUla Design Award, including Harry Dobbs Design x Rukun, a collaboration between a British and Saudi design studio, which proposed a distinctive set of artifacts that capture AlUla’s spirit and memory.

The other five winners included Nour Shourbagy, a Saudi-based designer, whonproposed a collection of travel carry-ons and clutches inspired by AlUla’s aesthetics and motifs.  

Tarek Elkassouf, a Lebanese designer, now based in Australia, proposed a collection of gifts crafted by traditional artisans, while Mohamad Baalbaki x AlJoharah Al-Rasheed, a Saudi-based studio, put forward a collection of products evoking all five senses, with an interaction between play and memory. 

Niko Kapa, a Greek designer based in Dubai, offered a collection of accessories inspired by the natural landscapes of AlUla, and Reem Bashawri, a Saudi-based designer, entered a line of luxurious winter shawls echoing the region’s natural beauty.

Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, governor of the Royal Commission for AlUla, stated that the award was an important milestone in AlUla’s flourishing arts and cultural sector, to make AlUla a region for inspiration to all designers globally.

One of the judges for the award, sponsored by RCU, Yara Al-Namlah, an arts and culture influencer, said that it took the panel a lot of time to choose the winners.

 “We received a lot of applications from very talented local and international designers from different categories, but the six winners were the highest-ranked and they deserve this award,” Al-Namlah told Arab news.

Dobbs said that Saudi Arabia’s heritage and landscape were his inspiratio.

“The root to contemporary Saudi culture is a current and a living culture, so we want to make sure that we are in the creative platform in Saudi Arabia,” Dobbs said. 

Amr Al-Madani, CEO of RCU, spoke about the challenges they had in order to make the awards happen. 

“The toughest challenge was how can you inspire creatives to be in AlUla; there is a lot in the world that gets people’s attention, but how can you get genuine attention from the creative community? We are very pleased to see that AlUla has gotten to the heart of the creative community, and see this amount of applications, and see their designs, from furniture to gifts to clothes, has outperformed expectation,” Al-Madani said.

Nora Al-Dabal, art and culture programming director for RCU, was pleased to see the high number of applicants. “AlUla has always been a place for inspiration and to see the designers being inspired and transforming natural elements and traditional elements to contemporary designs that live in today’s world and we cannot wait for next year’s applicants,” Al-Dabal said.


Saudi and British ministers discuss developing cooperation

Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji holds talks with UK Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa James Cleverly. (SPA)
Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji holds talks with UK Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa James Cleverly. (SPA)
Updated 28 January 2022

Saudi and British ministers discuss developing cooperation

Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji holds talks with UK Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa James Cleverly. (SPA)

LONDON: Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji held talks with British Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa James Cleverly, via video conference.
During the meeting, they reviewed aspects of cooperation between the two kingdoms and ways to enhance and develop them in all fields, in addition to discussing regional and international developments and the importance of strengthening joint coordination.
Cleverly also held a phone call with the Saudi ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed Al-Jaber, to discuss developments in the Yemeni crisis and the efforts made to establish security and peace in Yemen, and the region in general.
The call comes a day after Cleverly and Al-Jaber met in person on the sidelines of a UK-hosted conference on Yemen, with senior representatives from the UAE, Oman, the US and the UN.

 


137,000 Saudis benefit from tourism sector human capital development initiative

Ministry of Tourism celebrates training 137,000 Saudi men and women as part of the tourism human capital development program during 2021. (Ministry of Tourism)
Ministry of Tourism celebrates training 137,000 Saudi men and women as part of the tourism human capital development program during 2021. (Ministry of Tourism)
Updated 28 January 2022

137,000 Saudis benefit from tourism sector human capital development initiative

Ministry of Tourism celebrates training 137,000 Saudi men and women as part of the tourism human capital development program during 2021. (Ministry of Tourism)
  • The initiative helped 2,614 Saudis to gain professional qualifications and enhance their leadership skills
  • The Ministry of Tourism will launch more quality training and education programs this year

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism hosted an event on Wednesday to celebrate its Your Future is Tourism education and training initiative, as part of its human capital development strategy for the tourism sector.
The participants included leaders from the public and private sectors, along with some of the initiative’s beneficiaries, who shared their stories to help motivate and inspire the young people who will be the future leaders of the sector in the Kingdom.
The initiative, launched by the ministry last year, has so far benefited about 137,000 employees and job seekers, and helped 2,614 Saudis to gain professional qualifications and enhance their leadership skills. About 226,000 people have registered with the digital educational platform since launch.
“We have a strategic goal in the Ministry of Tourism, which is to attract the largest number of Saudi men and women to work in the tourism sector and qualify them in the best possible way,” said Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb.
“Yesterday, we celebrated the success of the Your Future is Tourism initiative in 2021, and about 137,000 Saudis benefited from it, but the future will be much better and more beautiful,” he added in a message posted on Twitter on Thursday.

Mohammed Bushnag, the deputy minister for human capital at the Ministry of Tourism, said that the ministry is working to develop the capabilities of local human capital in the sector, and that investing in future generations contributes to the development of competency and diverse skills within the tourism industry, which is a major provider of jobs worldwide. He also stressed the importance of motivating employees and job seekers to take advantage of the quality training and education programs that the ministry will launch this year.
The Saudi cabinet recently approved plans for establishing a global tourism academy, in cooperation with the World Tourism Organization, that will provide professional academic programs that support those working in the local and international tourism sectors, and develop national competencies to compete globally.