British Consulate in Jeddah hosts reception to mark inaugural Saudi F1 Grand Prix

British Consulate in Jeddah hosts reception to mark inaugural Saudi F1 Grand Prix
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The event was attended by prominent officials, along with senior business and government figures. (Huda Bashatah)
British Consulate in Jeddah hosts reception to mark inaugural Saudi F1 Grand Prix
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The event was attended by prominent officials, along with senior business and government figures. (Huda Bashatah)
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Updated 03 December 2021

British Consulate in Jeddah hosts reception to mark inaugural Saudi F1 Grand Prix

British Consulate in Jeddah hosts reception to mark inaugural Saudi F1 Grand Prix

JEDDAH: The British Consulate in Jeddah recently hosted a special reception to celebrate the inaugural Formula 1 STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2021 that roars into action in the Red Sea port city on Friday.

The event, organized in partnership with the Saudi Motorsport Co., was attended by chairman of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation and SMC, Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal, and SMC chief executive officer, Martin Whitaker, along with senior business and government figures.

The Kingdom’s first female professional racing driver, Reema Juffali, was also among the guests who were treated to a display of some of the best of British engineering and motorsport.

On show at the reception was the legendary Saudia airlines-sponsored 1980 Williams FW07 Formula 1 racing car, reflecting Saudi Arabia’s long relationship with Formula 1. This classic car will be driven each day of the sporting weekend on the new Jeddah Corniche Circuit alongside Aston Martin safety vehicles also featuring at the race meeting.

Speaking at the reception, British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Neil Crompton, said: “The debut of Formula 1 in the Kingdom is another important first for Saudi Arabia. I am delighted to celebrate it here in Jeddah and look forward to watching the race with our Saudi hosts and friends.

“Formula 1 is an industry with deep roots in the UK. With seven out of the 10 F1 teams based in the UK, the event will showcase British innovation and manufacturing excellence on the amazing new Jeddah Corniche Circuit – another great example of the strong collaboration between our two countries.”

British firms are at the forefront of the motorsport industry’s rapid technological innovation. Increasingly, the technology used in the sector is filtering down into the wider automotive sector and other industries such as health and infrastructure.

At the start of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, British Formula 1 teams set up the Project Pitlane initiative to utilize the industry’s manufacturing expertise to support the development of new COVID-19 respiratory devices.

British Consul General Seif Usher, who also attended the Jeddah reception, said: “Formula 1 encapsulates so much of what Vision 2030 is seeking to achieve, bringing world-class technology and creativity to the Kingdom, and boosting efforts to expand the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia.

“The new Saudi Motorsport Co., led by CEO Martin Whitaker, is doing an amazing job to develop the motorsport industry in the Kingdom, building on the successful Saudi UK partnership of KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology) and the famous F1 racing team McLaren.

“And with millions of global viewers turning on to watch the race on Sunday evening, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone in Saudi Arabia,” he added.

Whitaker said: “It is a real thrill to be here tonight to celebrate the fusion of two cultures with such a passion for all things motorsports. On the eve of the first ever Formula 1 race in Saudi Arabia, it gives me an immense feeling of pride and satisfaction to witness the best of British and Saudi innovation and industry come together to celebrate this remarkable milestone in the Kingdom’s history.

“Formula 1’s deep ties to the UK are well known and form the backbone of this sport. As such, to experience the way the people of Saudi Arabia have so passionately embraced the pinnacle of motorsport gives me great confidence that Formula 1 – and motorsport in general – has found a wonderful new home here.

“I look forward to many more years of fruitful cooperation between both countries,” the CEO added.

The Grand Prix will be held in Jeddah between Dec. 3 and 5, with the drivers set to race around what will be the longest, and fastest, street circuit in Formula 1 history.


Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale launches local art ecosystem forum

Diriyah Biennale Contemporary Art kicks off local art ecosystem forum from Jan. 21 to 22 in Diriyah. (Supplied)
Diriyah Biennale Contemporary Art kicks off local art ecosystem forum from Jan. 21 to 22 in Diriyah. (Supplied)
Updated 23 sec ago

Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale launches local art ecosystem forum

Diriyah Biennale Contemporary Art kicks off local art ecosystem forum from Jan. 21 to 22 in Diriyah. (Supplied)

RIYADH: The Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale kicked off its two-day local art ecosystem forum to build bridges of knowledge and communication between the participating cultural entities.

This public program, held in the Jax neighborhood in Diriyah, is supporting the growth of the local art ecosystem in the Kingdom by gathering important contributors and investors interested in shaping the infrastructure of Saudi art and culture.

The forum sheds light on the opportunities that the different entities’ initiatives provide and seeks to grow a bigger network to strengthen the vision for art and cultural development in Saudi.

Key speakers of the first day of the forum included Aya Albakree, CEO of the Diriyah Biennale Foundation, Dina Amin, CEO of the Visual Arts Commission, Farah Abushullaih, museum director at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, and Nora AlDabal, arts and creative planning director at the Royal Commission For AlUla.

The second day’s programs will see input from Ilaria Bonacossa, arts and culture liaison at the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, Navid Niknejad, business enterprise and innovation director at AMAALA, Reem Alsultan, CEO of the Misk Art Institute, and Antonia Carver, director of Art Jameel.

The biennale, which opened to the public officially on Dec.11 and will run until March 11 next year, is located in the newly converted warehouses in the JAX district. It unfolds in six sections, featuring works by some 64 artists from around the world, with a particular focus on the 27 Saudi artists.


Blinken condemns Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia, UAE in call with Saudi FM

Blinken condemns Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia, UAE in call with Saudi FM
Updated 29 min 42 sec ago

Blinken condemns Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia, UAE in call with Saudi FM

Blinken condemns Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia, UAE in call with Saudi FM

RIYADH: In a call with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Blinken told Prince Faisal the US was committed to improving the defensive capabilities of the threats posed by the Houthi militia.

More to follow...


Saudi defenses destroy ballistic missile fired at Khamis Mushayt

Saudi defenses destroy ballistic missile fired at Khamis Mushayt
Updated 21 January 2022

Saudi defenses destroy ballistic missile fired at Khamis Mushayt

Saudi defenses destroy ballistic missile fired at Khamis Mushayt

RIYADH: Saudi defenses destroyed a ballistic missile fired at the city of Khamis Mushayt, the Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen said on Friday.

It added that the missile deliberately targeted a commercial center in the city.

The coalition also said that the ballistic missile was launched from Sa'dah airport.

Such Houthi escalations, including the targeting of civilians, required an immediate response in order to protect them, the coalition added.


Female artists craft tributes to agate in new exhibition at Scitech

Female artists craft tributes to agate in new exhibition at Scitech
Updated 21 January 2022

Female artists craft tributes to agate in new exhibition at Scitech

Female artists craft tributes to agate in new exhibition at Scitech
  • ‘The Agate’ features 70 artworks and runs until January 27

ALKHOBAR: It’s been said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but a new exhibition at the Sultan bin Abdulaziz Science and Technology Center suggests that agate is the gemstone that best symbolizes femininity.  

“I see agate (as representing) the inner beauty of a woman,” Saudi artist Esmat Mohsen Almohandis, the curator of the exhibition, which is called “The Agate,” told Arab News. Since most women are fond of jewelry, agate seemed like a good theme for an exhibition of the work of female artists, she explained.

According to the International Colored Gemstone Association, “Agate was highly valued as a talisman or amulet in ancient times. It was said to quench thirst and protect against fever. Persian magicians used agate to divert storms.” In Arabian folklore, agate is said to contain healing properties and bring power to its wearer.

The exhibition, hosted by Scitech in partnership with Alwan Al-Sharqia, consists of 70 paintings, all by female artists. Most of the artists are from Saudi Arabia, but a few are from neighboring Arab countries.

One of the participants, Hind Al-Tharman, used sustainable material in her work. “Since the theme of the exhibition was the agate stone and women, I used agate as the lip color of the woman in (my) painting,” Al-Tharman told Arab News. “My piece was not painted on canvas but on wood — on a table I already had. It can be turned into a table again or be displayed as a painting on the wall. I like to use recycling and to provide options.”

The paintings on show, if viewed in order, collectively tell a story of feminism and folklore by using fragmented storylines to build a narrative showcasing various milestones from many women’s lives, from marriage to motherhood, but also depicting the trials and triumphs of living in the era of COVID-19.

Much like the gemstone for which it is named, the exhibition is both beautiful and valuable.


Saudi and Egyptian armed forces conclude joint exercise

The Royal Saudi Land Forces conclude the Tabuk 5 joint exercise with the Egyptian Armed Forces in the northwestern region. (SPA)
The Royal Saudi Land Forces conclude the Tabuk 5 joint exercise with the Egyptian Armed Forces in the northwestern region. (SPA)
Updated 21 January 2022

Saudi and Egyptian armed forces conclude joint exercise

The Royal Saudi Land Forces conclude the Tabuk 5 joint exercise with the Egyptian Armed Forces in the northwestern region. (SPA)

RIYADH: The Royal Saudi Land Forces and the Egyptian Armed Forces concluded a joint exercise in the Kingdom’s northwestern region, the defense ministry said on Thursday.
The Tabuk-5 maneuvers, which began on Jan. 6, were concluded in the presence of the commander of the northwestern region, Maj. Gen. Hussain bin Saeed Al-Qahtani, and a number of senior officers of the RSLF and the Egyptian armed forces.
The exercises concluded with participating forces carrying out a number of combat scenarios, which they were trained on during the exercise.
Special forces carried out parachute landings and free-jumping using helicopters to clear and storm the fortified sites. The armored divisions carried out support operations using live ammunition for light and heavy weapons.
Maj. Gen. Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Khashrami, director of the exercises, said the drill was one of the most important, due to the diversity and nature of the participating forces.
He emphasized its benefits to both forces in refining their combat skills and raising their readiness, while praising the high proficiency of all the operations assigned to them during the exercise.
The Tabuk-5 exercise aimed to unify military approaches and exchange training expertise between the armed forces of both countries.