Automotive wonderland kicks off in Riyadh with more than 100 car brands

American automotive racing company RTR Team drifting in their tuned Ford Mustangs in the Live Action Arena, creating scenes for the fans and enthusiasts. (Supplied)
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American automotive racing company RTR Team drifting in their tuned Ford Mustangs in the Live Action Arena, creating scenes for the fans and enthusiasts. (Supplied)
Attendees of the festival cheered as American automotive racing company RTR Team drifted in the Live Action Arena, creating scenes for the fans and enthusiasts. (Supplied)
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Attendees of the festival cheered as American automotive racing company RTR Team drifted in the Live Action Arena, creating scenes for the fans and enthusiasts. (Supplied)
Shots from the first day of the Saudi International Motor Show, Autoville. (Supplied)
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Shots from the first day of the Saudi International Motor Show, Autoville. (Supplied)
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Updated 09 January 2022

Automotive wonderland kicks off in Riyadh with more than 100 car brands

Automotive wonderland kicks off in Riyadh with more than 100 car brands

RIYADH: The largest motor show in the Arab world kicked off with more than 100 global automotive brands and plentiful interactive experiences for car and motorsport enthusiasts in the Riyadh desert.
Aiming to emulate the success of the Geneva International Motor Show and those like it in Paris and Frankfurt, the Saudi International Motor Show, Autoville, opened its doors to the public on Saturday to celebrate car culture and motorsports from Jan. 8-14 in Dirab Motor Park, welcoming petrolheads from all over the world.
Top automakers and professional drivers are taking part in the festival, including Saudi professional driver and two-time Guinness World Record breaker Abdulhadi Al-Qahtani, professional drifters Ken Block and Vaughn Gittin, and motocross freestyler Remi Bizouard.




Shots from the first day of the Saudi International Motor Show, Autoville. (Supplied)

Organized by the Saudi Conventions and Exhibitions General Authority (SCEGA), Autoville markets itself as a “revolutionary and interactive alternative” to the traditional motor show, with seven main zones covering an expanse of 1.7 million square meters.
It also features a live action arena, competitions and a robotics section.
Amjad Shaker, acting CEO of SCEGA, said that Autoville will “unleash the untapped potential” of the Kingdom’s exhibition, conference and entertainment sector. He said that the authority had “pulled out all the stops to ensure a worthy and pioneering event.”
And the Kingdom is no stranger to car culture and motorsports, having recently hosted the penultimate race of Formula One’s last season in Jeddah.




American automotive racing company RTR Team drifting in their tuned Ford Mustangs in the Live Action Arena, creating scenes for the fans and enthusiasts. (Supplied)

It also celebrated the Jeddah International Motor Show in December last year. Before that, the Riyadh International Car Show was hosted together with the Ferrari Festival, which saw more than 600 cars and the appearance of HAAS F1 Driver Mick Schumacher, son of legendary F1 World champion Michael Schumacher.
Since 2020, the Kingdom has played host to the ongoing Dakar Rally championship, while Diriyah has enjoyed a spot on the Formula E calendar since 2018 and the new electric rally racing championship, Extreme E, officially kicked off in AlUla in April 2020.
This all comes in addition to the 10 international Cars & Coffee events held in the Kingdom since 2012.
Doors to Autoville are open from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and tickets can be bought through the official website at autoville.me.
Car lovers have already taken part in Autoville’s many interactive experiences.




Attendees of the festival cheered as American automotive racing company RTR Team drifted in the Live Action Arena, creating scenes for the fans and enthusiasts. (Supplied)

Professional car drifter Chelsea DeNofa showed fans the lines at the event’s Drift School, while US automotive racing company RTR taught attendees some pro skills behind the wheel. The Tokyo Drift drive attracted fans to the arena, where they reenacted scenes from the hit film, while Suzuki also got fans into its Swift model with top professional stunt drivers, who showed them how it is done.
Shaker said that Autoville “enriches the country’s efforts to bolster the national tourism and exhibition industries with massive audience shows that attract experts, motorsport enthusiasts and the general public.”
He added that events like Autoville “add tremendous value” to the Kingdom by drawing in major investors in event management and the automobile industry. He said that these events bring business to local hospitality establishments, including retail, food and entertainment, all of which help make Riyadh one of the world’s best cities — a primary target of Saudi Vision 2030.
The Saudi health ministry is also present at the festival, with a full team ready to provide eligible visitors with their third COVID-19 vaccine. The team will also spread awareness of health measures and ensure that visitors that people adhere to them.


Human Rights Commission chief and New Zealand Foreign Ministry official hold talks in Riyadh

Human Rights Commission chief and New Zealand Foreign Ministry official hold talks in Riyadh
Updated 26 May 2022

Human Rights Commission chief and New Zealand Foreign Ministry official hold talks in Riyadh

Human Rights Commission chief and New Zealand Foreign Ministry official hold talks in Riyadh

RIYADH: Awwad Al-Awwad, president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, met Jonathan Kerr, the director-general of the Middle East and Africa Department at the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in Riyadh on Wednesday to discuss a number of issues relating to human rights and the development of bilateral cooperation.

Also present at the meeting was Barney Riley, New Zealand’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia.


Saudi authorities seize amphetamine pills hidden in plastic beans

Saudi authorities seize amphetamine pills hidden in plastic beans
Updated 26 May 2022

Saudi authorities seize amphetamine pills hidden in plastic beans

Saudi authorities seize amphetamine pills hidden in plastic beans

RIYADH: Authorities in Saudi Arabia foiled an attempt to smuggle thousands of amphetamine pills and arrested two suspects, the General Directorate of Narcotics Control said on Wednesday.

Spokesman Maj. Mohammed Al-Nujaidi said security officials who monitor drug smuggling and distribution networks that target the Kingdom intercepted 403,000 amphetamine tablets. They were found in the possession of a Syrian national and a Saudi citizen in Jeddah, hidden in a shipment of fake plastic bean pods, he added. The two men were referred to the Public Prosecution.

Al-Nujaidi said that the Ministry of Interior’s security forces, in coordination with the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority, will continue to work to uncover plots to smuggle narcotics into the Kingdom and arrest those responsible.


US congress delegation hails work of Muslim World League during meeting with its leader

US congress delegation hails work of Muslim World League during meeting with its leader
Updated 26 May 2022

US congress delegation hails work of Muslim World League during meeting with its leader

US congress delegation hails work of Muslim World League during meeting with its leader

RIYADH: A delegation from the US Congress has praised the work of the Muslim World League in promoting common human values and promoting the urgent need for peace in the world. It came during a meeting with Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Iss, the MWL’s secretary-general, in Riyadh on Wednesday.

The American delegates included Chris Stewart, a representative from Utah, Lisa McClain, a representative from Michigan, and Guy Reschenthaler, a representative from Pennsylvania, all three of them Republicans. They were accompanied by a number of officials.

(Supplied)

During the meeting, they discussed a number of issues of common interest, and Al-Issa affirmed that the Saudi Arabia represents the unifying spirit of the Islamic world.

The US delegation also hailed the MWL for its leading role in building effective alliances at the national level and between international organizations to consolidate the values of friendship and cooperation among nations and peoples.


DiplomaticQuarter: US Embassy celebrates 80 years of ‘shared history’ with Saudi Arabia

DiplomaticQuarter: US Embassy celebrates 80 years  of ‘shared history’ with Saudi Arabia
Updated 25 May 2022

DiplomaticQuarter: US Embassy celebrates 80 years of ‘shared history’ with Saudi Arabia

DiplomaticQuarter: US Embassy celebrates 80 years  of ‘shared history’ with Saudi Arabia
  • The US Legation opened in Jeddah in 1942. Full diplomatic relations began in 1940 and the US Mission, located in a traditional house in the old city center, was upgraded to the status of an embassy in 1949

RIYADH: The US Embassy in Riyadh has marked the 80th anniversary of the establishment of its first diplomatic presence in Saudi Arabia, highlighting what it described as “eight decades of shared history, strong partnership and united vision” with the Kingdom.

The US Legation opened in Jeddah in 1942. Full diplomatic relations began in 1940 and the US Mission, located in a traditional house in the old city center, was upgraded to the status of an embassy in 1949.

In 1952, the embassy moved to the current consulate general location, which at the time was an isolated, beachfront property to the north of the city.

Along with all other foreign missions, the US Embassy was transferred to Riyadh in 1984. The former embassy compound in Jeddah is now a consulate general in the heart of one of the Middle East’s most dynamic cities.

The theme of this year’s celebration was “Shared History, Strong Partnership and United Vision,” highlighting the enduring foundation of the strategic ties and friendship between the US and Saudi Arabia.

“From the very early days of modern Saudi Arabia, the US, its leaders, its companies and its people supported their Saudi friends on their remarkable journey toward success and prosperity,” the US Embassy in Riyadh said in a statement to Arab News.

“The US-Saudi relationship has naturally evolved over the years. It has grown to encompass trade, culture, education, security, and especially the close ties between the Saudi and American people. What has not changed during the past 80 years is the shared vision that has always guided the cooperation between the US and Saudi Arabia in these and many other areas,” it added.

“As Saudi Arabia pursues the ambitious goals of Vision 2030, the US is supporting the Kingdom’s efforts in the same spirit of partnership that has been one of the key pillars of US–Saudi ties. Today, in every field, in every sector, Americans and Saudis are working together, learning together, conducting research together and, more recently, performing together in concerts, films and athletic competitions.”

This engagement translates into $54 billion annually in US-Saudi trade and investment.

American companies have been an integral part of the Vision 2030 economic transformation of Saudi Arabia, while the US and Saudi Arabia also enjoy robust cultural and educational ties.


Saudi Arabia reports 540 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death

Saudi Arabia reports 540 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death
Updated 25 May 2022

Saudi Arabia reports 540 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death

Saudi Arabia reports 540 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death
  • Of the new infections, 146 were recorded in Jeddah, 122 in Riyadh, 50 in Makkah, 38 in Dammam and 32 in Madinah

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia reported 540 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, according to the Ministry of Health. As a result, the total number of cases in the Kingdom grew to 764,789.

The authorities also confirmed one new COVID-19-related death, raising the total number of fatalities to 9,135.

Of the new infections, 146 were recorded in Jeddah, 122 in Riyadh, 50 in Makkah, 38 in Dammam and 32 in Madinah. Several other cities recorded fewer than 20 new cases each.

The ministry also announced that 570 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 749,141. It said that 6,513 COVID-19 cases were still active.