King Salman Royal Reserve unveils digital identity

King Salman Royal Reserve unveils digital identity
King Salman Royal Reserve's corner at the International Saudi Falcon Exhibition. (SPA/File)
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Updated 27 January 2022

King Salman Royal Reserve unveils digital identity

King Salman Royal Reserve unveils digital identity
  • Campaign aims to boost awareness, outreach ahead of Vision 2030 goal

RIYADH: King Salman bin Abdulaziz Royal Natural Reserve, the largest reserve in the Middle East and North Africa, unveiled its digital identity on its website and Twitter account to foster awareness and boost its outreach.

The campaign showcased the vision, mission and goals of the reserve, along with more than 235 plant species, such as tamarisk, calligonum and common poppy.

Besides historical treasures dating back more than 12,000 years from the ancient period to the Islamic age, the sites of Jubbah and Kalwa within KSRNR are full of old stories and legends, which the KSRNR hopes to preserve.

The reserve is characterized by its enormous size, and serves as a resting site for migrating birds.

The new digital campaign pointed to the future vision for KSRNR, as well as its ecotourism and recreational goals in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

Spelling out the plans, a senior official at the reserve said that the KSRNR “seeks to reintroduce species, resettle wildlife, restore natural wealth, increase vegetation cover, maintain cultural heritage and provide job opportunities for the local community.”

As part of the digital reveal, Abdullah bin Qadhan, director of partnerships and external communication at KSRNR, discussed the reserve’s strategic objectives and its latest initiative to develop vegetation cover.

HIGHLIGHT

Established in 2018, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Royal Natural Reserve is spread across 130,700 square kilometers of land, stretching toward the Northern Borders region. It incorporates three existing natural reserves: Harrat Al-Harrah Conservation, Al-Tubaiq Natural Reserve and Al-Khanfah Wildlife Sanctuary.

“Qadhan shared details of the ‘We Spread It for a Green Tomorrow’ campaign in the Tabuk region, in which drones were used,” the reserve tweeted.

“There is an activation of the career opportunities in the region by employing young Saudi cadres, and we are working with universities to qualify final year students. There are training programs that end with employment for them,” Qadhan said.

“We signed a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Investment to develop feasibility studies for attractions and market them to local and international investors,” he added.

“Our goal is to be a distinguished tourist destination in the Arabian Peninsula, and we seek to enable the private sector to invest in the natural reserve.”

KSRNR was established in 2018 as a result of a royal decree to create a Council of Royal Reserves, which is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The reserve is spread across 130,700 square kilometers of land, stretching toward the Northern Borders region. It incorporates three existing natural reserves: Harrat Al-Harrah Conservation, Al-Tubaiq Natural Reserve and Al-Khanfah Wildlife Sanctuary.


Japanese delegation visits KSrelief headquarters in Riyadh

Japanese delegation visits KSrelief headquarters in Riyadh
Updated 11 sec ago

Japanese delegation visits KSrelief headquarters in Riyadh

Japanese delegation visits KSrelief headquarters in Riyadh

RIYADH: A diplomatic delegation from Japan visited the headquarters of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center in Riyadh on Wednesday.

The delegates watched a presentation detailing humanitarian and aid projects carried out by KSrelief, which amount to 1,997 schemes across 83 countries in cooperation with 175 international, regional, and local partners.

The country that benefited the most was Yemen, where 702 projects with a total value exceeding $4 billion were carried out, followed by Palestine with 107 projects worth $369 million, and Syria with 702 projects worth $327 million.

The projects provided food, health, educational, and shelter aid.

The delegates also learned about the center’s various qualitative programs including the rehabilitation of recruited children, the Saudi Project for Landmine Clearance, and projects providing prosthetic limbs.

The Japanese delegates praised the big role that KSrelief plays in supporting needy people around the world.


Norway’s relations with Saudi Arabia ‘excellent, growing’: Envoy at national day ceremony

Norway’s relations with Saudi Arabia ‘excellent, growing’: Envoy at national day ceremony
Updated 18 May 2022

Norway’s relations with Saudi Arabia ‘excellent, growing’: Envoy at national day ceremony

Norway’s relations with Saudi Arabia ‘excellent, growing’: Envoy at national day ceremony
  • The envoy made his comments during a ceremony at the Norwegian Embassy to mark his country’s Constitution Day
  • Thomas Lid Ball: ‘Our bilateral relations are growing; Norway has enjoyed excellent relations with the Kingdom since they were officially established back in 1961’

RIYADH: The Norwegian ambassador to Saudi Arabia hailed relations between the two countries as the Scandinavian nation on Tuesday celebrated its national day.

And Thomas Lid Ball predicted that the long-established bonds would only strengthen over the coming years.

The envoy made his comments during a ceremony at the Norwegian Embassy to mark his country’s Constitution Day, an event attended by a number of guests including Saudi government officials, business leaders, and Riyadh Mayor Prince Faisal bin Abdulaziz who was present on behalf of Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar.

In a speech, the Norwegian diplomat said: “Our bilateral relations are growing. Norway has enjoyed excellent relations with the Kingdom since they were officially established back in 1961.

“To all Saudi brothers and sisters who are here today, I would like to say that we greatly appreciate our long-standing bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia. As a Norway ambassador, I would like to further those relations in the years to come.

“One key dimension of Norway’s engagement in Saudi Arabia and vice versa is fuel production. What Saudi Arabia and Norway have in common, is that we are producing oil and gas. Of course, Norway is small in comparison to Saudi Arabia.

“We also have a common political commitment to cut emissions and to achieve carbon neutrality by making energy production greener, through new technologies.

“For example, carbon capture and storage by investing in renewables, in hydrogen, and protecting our marine resources, producing sustainable seafood, and breeding maritime industries by aiming for green technologies and carbon neutrality to act in all sectors. And there is no time to lose in this field. We must accelerate our efforts.

“People in the Middle East feel impacted by climate change already. I believe that the public awareness around this issue will only grow as this region is hosting the next two climate summits,” he added.

He pointed out that the business community and industries across many sectors had key roles to play in bringing forward the technologies to know-how and the implementation capacity that was required for the green transition.

The envoy noted that Norway’s constitution, from 1814, was one of the oldest in the world and when signed on May 17 of that year marked the beginning of a modern sovereign and democratic country, laying the foundations for a parliament, power sharing, and civil rights.

He said: “This year, unfortunately, our national day happens at a time of war in Europe. Millions of innocent civilians need protection and lifestyle-saving assistance. The wide-ranging consequences of Russia having provoked an awful attack on Ukraine has been felt throughout the world, not least in Yemen, and other countries where many people are vulnerable to price rises.

“Rarely on our Constitution Day, has it been more essential to emphasize the rights of every sovereign nation to determine its own future and to stress the critical importance of international law and the UN Charter,” he added.

“On our national day, we also honor the Kingdom of Norway, our royal family,” he said, before reading out an email from the Norwegian king and queen conveying a message of peace, harmony, and best wishes.


Saudi deputy defense minister meets US national security adviser

Saudi deputy defense minister meets US national security adviser
Updated 18 May 2022

Saudi deputy defense minister meets US national security adviser

Saudi deputy defense minister meets US national security adviser
  • Both officials discussed ways to support and enhance relations within the framework of a common vision
  • They reviewed solid Saudi-US relations, and discussed prospects for cooperation and joint coordination

RIYADH: Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman met US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in Washington, D.C, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

Prince Khalid said in a tweet that the meeting was organized on the directive of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“I met with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to review the enduring and historic Saudi-US partnership, and discuss solidifying US-Saudi coordination,” Prince Khalid said.

During the meeting, the two reviewed solid Saudi-US relations and discussed prospects for cooperation, as well as joint coordination, between the Kingdom and the US.

Both officials also discussed ways to support and enhance relations within the framework of a common vision.

The meeting was attended by Saudi Ambassador to the US Princess Reema bint Bandar, Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber and other officials.

The coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa affairs at the US National Security Council, Brett McGurk, also attended the meeting.


Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud receives honorary doctorate from Marymount University

Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud received an honorary doctorate from Marymount University in Virginia. (Supplied)
Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud received an honorary doctorate from Marymount University in Virginia. (Supplied)
Updated 17 May 2022

Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud receives honorary doctorate from Marymount University

Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud received an honorary doctorate from Marymount University in Virginia. (Supplied)
  • The princess thanks Marymount University for hosting Saudi students throughout the years

RIYADH: Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US, received an honorary doctorate from Marymount University in Virginia last Friday in honor of her work empowering women across sectors in the Kingdom and globally.

The president of Marymount University, Dr. Irma Becerra, presented Princess Reema with the honorary degree — her first — at the commencement ceremony.

The Saudi ambassador gave the commencement address for the College of Health and Education graduates at the university.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Princess Reema gave the commencement address for the College of Health and Education graduates at the university.

• She congratulated the graduates and thanked the university for hosting Saudi students throughout the years.

In her address, she congratulated the graduates and thanked the university for hosting Saudi students throughout the years.

Princess Reema, who graduated from George Washington University with a degree in museum studies, has an extensive career working towards the empowerment of women in both the private and public sectors.

From 2007 to 2015, she was CEO of Alfa International Co. Ltd. — Harvey Nichols Riyadh, a multi-brand luxury retail company. During her time in this position, she commissioned the study “Obstacles for Women in the Workplace.” The study set the tone for female inclusion in retail and resulted in the opening of the first workplace nursery.

In 2013, she founded Alf Khair, a social enterprise aimed at elevating the professional capital of Saudi women through a curriculum developed to enable financial self-sufficiency.

In 2016, Princess Reema left the private sector to begin a career in public service as vice president of women’s affairs at the Saudi General Sports Authority, where she developed policies and programs that benefited women and children throughout Saudi Arabia.

In 2018, she was also appointed president of the Mass Participation Federation, making her the first woman to lead a multi-sports federation in the Kingdom, a role she occupied until her appointment as Saudi ambassador to the US.


Lights, cameras, action… and more besides, at the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo

Lights, cameras, action… and more besides, at the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo
Updated 17 May 2022

Lights, cameras, action… and more besides, at the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo

Lights, cameras, action… and more besides, at the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo
  • Developers and manufacturers in the entertainment sector are showcasing innovative, cutting-edge products and services during the event in Riyadh
  • It is taking place alongside the Saudi Light and Sound Expo, the first dedicated event in the Kingdom for professional lighting and audio equipment

RIYADH: The Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo and Summit began in Riyadh on Monday, alongside the Saudi Light and Sound Expo, the first dedicated event in the Kingdom for professional lighting and audio equipment.

The three-day dual event at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center showcases thousands of cutting-edge products and solutions for the entertainment sector, and offers professionals in the leisure and entertainment sector the chance to discover new products, learn about the most exciting innovations in the sector, network and do business with vendors.

The international exhibitors are presenting a wide range of products and services, including thrill rides, playground equipment, arcade machines, food and beverage equipment, professional lighting rigs, sound systems, event technology, security tools, and marketing solutions.

Attendees can experience a variety of fun events and activities while engaging with local, regional and global entertainment communities at the Amusement Services International pavilion during the expo, where the line-up includes virtual reality experiences, the latest video and arcade games, and carnival attractions, to name but a few.

Among the technology on show is the 3Motion simulator, which uses hydraulic actuators with precise control to deliver the same dynamic feedback you would get when driving a real racing car. Meanwhile SODIKART, a leader in the karting industry, presents its latest products and services, including a kart simulator.

Matt Wells, the CEO of Frontgrid, which owns ParadropVR, a virtual reality flying experience, told Arab News: “I am very happy to be here having a great time at the SEA summit and looking forward to working with the people here.”

In March, Frontgrid announced an exclusive distribution partnership with ASI to support the continued growth and success of ParadropVR. ASI is now Frontgrid’s distributor across the Middle East, including in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE, and in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco.

Marloes Knippenberg, the CEO of lifestyle operator Kerten Hospitality is appearing as a panelist at the summit.

“The world has really changed; consumer behavior has changed a lot,” he told Arab News. “More than 60 percent of the Saudi population is under 35 and the expectations from them as consumers has really changed.

“When you look at this conference, at the perfect timing, I think never was there so much conversation like today, with a lot more opportunity for the hospitality sector in the entertainment segment. There are a lot more expectations and I am looking forward to it.”

The SEA and SLS expos were expected to attract more than 10,000 visitors. In addition to the exhibitors showcasing business opportunities, entertainment options, innovations, and technology, there are also sessions to discuss trends and future visions within the industry, and networking events.

The inaugural SLS Expo, meanwhile, offers businesses and developers the chance to show off their products and services through specially staged laser, light and sound shows.

RS Research and Strategy will share insights from its Voice of The Market research, conducted on behalf of the expo, to offer a deeper understanding of the factors that can help generate opportunities, or create challenges, for those considering entering the light and sound or entertainment markets.

Saudi Arabia has embarked in recent years on a rapid transformation that is not only economic in nature but also cultural, by identifying travel, tourism and entertainment as priority sectors as part of the nation’s Vision 2030 economic diversification initiative.

The General Entertainment Authority was founded in 2016 to organize, develop and lead the entertainment sector in the country, triggering a transformation and the introduction of a wide range of exciting entertainment options. Since then, the sector has grown exponentially in the Kingdom, helping to improve the quality of life of residents and contributing to economic development by creating investment opportunities and thousands of jobs.

The SEA expo, which was launched four years ago, is the only trade show in the country dedicated to the flourishing leisure and entertainment sectors.

“Saudi Arabia is leading the way in encouraging collaboration and action by thinking big,” said Sarkis Kahwajian, SEA Expo’s event director. “This will lead to a strong and sustainable future for the entertainment and amusement industry.

“Saudi Arabia is developing its tourism destinations, which represent great opportunities, especially since the Kingdom’s wealth of spectacular landscapes and cultural heritage is still unknown to the international traveler.”

Yael Coifman, a senior partner at Leisure Development Partners and the president of the Europe and Middle East division of the Themed Entertainment Association, said: “The goals proposed as part of the entertainment strategy for KSA are inspiring and visionary.

“We think there is real potential in this market and although some of the members are already involved in the planning, there are opportunities for many others to influence and help shape the future of the entertainment industry in the Middle East, bringing global knowledge to the region.”

One example of the ways in which the entertainment sector in Saudi Arabia is evolving was the decision by the government in 2018 to end a 30-year ban on cinemas. By the end of 2021, 45 movie theaters had opened in the country and screened more than 1,000 films. In addition, the Red Sea International Film Festival was launched in 2019 and the inaugural event took place in December last year.

It is expected that by 2030 there will be 350 cinemas and 2,500 movie screens in Saudi Arabia, and the industry will be worth about $1 billion.

The development and expansion of the entertainment sector in the Kingdom has spawned an ambitious construction pipeline of movie theaters, theme parks and sports-related infrastructure, along with the hosting of live mega events.

In addition, the great success of Saudi Seasons — an annual series of festivals across the country featuring concerts, motor racing, pop-up restaurants, auto shows and other forms of entertainment — have shown the huge demand in the sector.

The GEA has pledged to invest up to $64 billion by 2028 to develop the Kingdom’s domestic entertainment sector.

In terms of tourism, Saudi authorities plan to welcome more than 100 million visitors each year by 2030, and to this end have implemented numerous related initiatives, including an electronic visa system for citizens of 49 countries.