Saudi Arabia to host Arab broadcasting festival in November

Saudi Arabia to host Arab broadcasting festival in November
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The 22nd edition of festival by the Arab States Broadcasting Union will run between 7-10 November. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia to host Arab broadcasting festival in November
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(SPA)
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Updated 14 June 2022

Saudi Arabia to host Arab broadcasting festival in November

Saudi Arabia to host Arab broadcasting festival in November
  • The union’s executive council unanimously chose Saudi Arabia to host the event

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is set to host the Arab Radio and Television Festival in Riyadh later this year.

The 22nd edition of festival by the Arab States Broadcasting Union will run between 7-10 November.

The union’s executive council unanimously chose Saudi Arabia to host the event, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday, and the Kingdom will be represented by the Saudi Broadcasting Authority.

The council said that the decision to select Riyadh was based on the Kingdom’s success in managing a slew of major regional and global events, including in the media sector.

The World Broadcasting Unions, International Telecommunication Union and other organizations from the UK, Italy, and Spain are expected to attend.

Mohammed Al-Harthi, chief executive of SBA, said Riyadh hosting the festival is based on its keenness to empower joint Arab action according to the highest international standards.

The four-day event includes television programs and news production contests, workshops, and modern television and radio equipment exhibition.
 


Indian companies eye more tech collaboration with Saudi Arabia under Vision 2030

Updated 7 sec ago

Indian companies eye more tech collaboration with Saudi Arabia under Vision 2030

Indian companies eye more tech collaboration with Saudi Arabia under Vision 2030
  • Over 45 Indian companies are participating at LEAP tech conference in Riyadh
  • ‘Huge potential’ for collaboration between India and Saudi companies, embassy says

NEW DELHI: Indian companies are setting their sights on more tech collaboration under Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, the Confederation of Indian Industry said on Monday, as a delegation from the South Asian nation visited the Kingdom to explore new opportunities.

The Indian delegation, comprising unicorns and tech startups and led by CII, is in Riyadh to attend the second LEAP tech conference in the Saudi capital, where more than 100,000 global innovators and experts are expected to gather from Feb. 6-9.

Over 45 Indian companies are participating at the event, where the embassy in Riyadh launched a pavilion on Monday to facilitate potential collaboration between India and Saudi Arabia.

The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 holds potential to boost cooperation in tech between the two countries, CII said.

“This Vision 2030 is very important, and this is one of the areas where they are trying to collaborate,” Manish Mohan, CII senior director, told Arab News.

“We are looking for partnership in the growth story of India’s startup ecosystem, how Indian companies can collaborate with Saudi Arabia also in a big way,” he said.

The Kingdom is projected to spend over $24 billion on various technologies by 2025, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

“They are trying to move from oil economy to non-oil economy, they are trying to look at collaboration in sectors like IT, they are also trying to look at infrastructure…If you see Vision 2030, they are trying to expand and collaborate in various fields,” Mohan said.

As Indian companies hope to tap into potential cooperation in IT, technology and startups, the LEAP conference served as a good platform, he added.

During the Riyadh visit, the Indian delegation plans on taking part in various networking opportunities with global venture capitalists while also connecting with various Saudi businesses.

“There is a huge potential of IT business between India and Saudi Arabia,” the Indian Embassy in Riyadh said in a tweet.


Saudi Arabia pledges $9bn to support tech, startups, digital entrepreneurship at LEAP23

Saudi Arabia pledges $9bn to support tech, startups, digital entrepreneurship at LEAP23
Updated 1 min 38 sec ago

Saudi Arabia pledges $9bn to support tech, startups, digital entrepreneurship at LEAP23

Saudi Arabia pledges $9bn to support tech, startups, digital entrepreneurship at LEAP23
  • Investments intended to enhance the Kingdom’s position as the largest digital economy in the MENA region
  • Minister says Saudi Arabia leads in terms of manpower, with 340,000 people working in the tech sector

RIYADH: Riyadh’s LEAP23 Conference on Monday announced more than $9 billion in investments to support future technologies, entrepreneurship, and tech startups to enhance the Kingdom’s position as the largest digital economy in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The investments were announced by the Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Abdullah bin Amer Al-Swaha.

He added: “The LEAP23 Conference has become an annual occasion that brings together the most important international technology experts.”

Al-Swaha said that the financial backing included Microsoft’s $2.1 billion investment in a global super-scale cloud in the Kingdom; Oracle’s $1.5 billion aimed at expanding its MENA business by launching new cloud areas in Saudi Arabia; Huawei’s $400 million toward cloud infrastructure for its services; and the launch of a Zoom cloud area in the Kingdom, in partnership with Aramco, worth $434 million. 

He added that an additional $4.5 billion had been invested in global and local assets across multiple sectors.

Al-Swaha said the investments were part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s empowerment of the technology sector, adding that the Kingdom continues to lead when it comes to manpower, with more than 340,000 people working in the sector.

He added that the country is also witnessing exceptional progress in female participation in the telecommunications and information technology sector, as it stands now at 32.5 percent — a rate higher than both the EU and Silicon Valley.

Outcomes of the conference will contribute to diversifying the economy, according to Al-Swaha.

It has now become one of the most important annual global technical events, connecting people with entrepreneurs and decision-makers, creating scores of opportunities. 

Meta announced on the conference’s first day the opening of the first Metaverse Academy in the MENA region, headquartered in Saudi Arabia.

WEO Technology and Camel Lab announced the launch of Hektar, a multi-content social media app; and MENA Communication and STC publicized the launch of Beem, a new application for instant messaging, high-quality voice and video calls, and business features.

The conference is expected to attract more than 250,000 visitors from around the world. 
 


LEAP23 tech conference launches competitions with $1.6 million prize pool

LEAP23 tech conference launches competitions with $1.6 million prize pool
Updated 06 February 2023

LEAP23 tech conference launches competitions with $1.6 million prize pool

LEAP23 tech conference launches competitions with $1.6 million prize pool
  • Cash prizes are on offer in the Rocket Fuel competition and Alibaba Cloud Hackathon
  • Both events aim to support startups and projects in addressing technical challenges 

RIYADH: The LEAP23 conference in Riyadh launched the Rocket Fuel competition and Alibaba Cloud hackathon, with more than SR6 million ($1.6 million) in cash prizes on offer.

Being held at the Front Expo Center until Thursday, both events aim to support startups and projects in addressing technical challenges through innovative solutions.

Supported by the National Technology Development Program and the Misk Foundation, the Rocket Fuel competition will see 90 global startups competing for a chance to be among 15 presented to a jury.

Divided into six categories, the competition offers cash prizes amounting to SR4 million, including the LEAP Award, which offers $250,000 to the strongest and most prominent company.

The Rising Star Award, worth $150,000, will go to the startup with the strongest start.

The Aviatrix Award and the Technology for Humanity Award — worth $150,000 each — will go to the best women-led creative startup company and the startup that best serves humanity, respectively.

Two “Towards new horizons and artificial intelligence” awards, with a value of $300,000, will also be given to winners of the best startup working in the field of metaverse and Web3, as well as the best emerging company that provides artificial intelligence solutions.

The Alibaba Cloud hackathon, sponsored by the Saudi Telecom Company, will enhance cloud technology in the Kingdom through several challenges and SR2 million in prize money.

The event targets amateurs as well as local and international professionals in sectors including education, health technology, government, logistics services, e-commerce and artificial intelligence.


Saudi crown prince offers condolences to Erdogan after Turkiye quake

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has offered his condolences to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (SPA/Reuters)
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has offered his condolences to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (SPA/Reuters)
Updated 06 February 2023

Saudi crown prince offers condolences to Erdogan after Turkiye quake

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has offered his condolences to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (SPA/Reuters)
  • Prince Mohammed also offered his condolences to the families of victims and wished the injured a speedy recovery
  • Major earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, killing more than 2,600 people on Monday

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman offered his condolences to Turkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and people after an earthquake rocked the country on Monday.

The major earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, killing more than 2,600 people and flattening thousands of buildings as rescuers dug frantically for survivors.

Prince Mohammed also offered his condolences to the families of victims and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

He added that the Kingdom stands with and supports Turkiye in the face of the natural disaster.

Erdogan thanked the crown prince and said he appreciates the Kingdom’s support in these difficult circumstances.

Multi-storey apartment buildings full of residents were among the 3,400 structures reduced to rubble in Turkey, while Syria announced dozens of collapses, as well as damage to archaeological sites in Aleppo.


Royal Commission for AlUla reconstructs face of 2,000-year-old Nabataean woman

Royal Commission for AlUla reconstructs face of 2,000-year-old Nabataean woman
Updated 06 February 2023

Royal Commission for AlUla reconstructs face of 2,000-year-old Nabataean woman

Royal Commission for AlUla reconstructs face of 2,000-year-old Nabataean woman
  • Leila Chapman, an expert in narrative experiences at the RCU, said that observing Hinat will provide visitors with an immersive historical experience through insights into the history of the Nabataeans and their civilization

JEDDAH: The facial structure of a 2,000-year-old Nabataean woman from the AlUla region has been reconstructed by experts from the Royal Commission for AlUla.

They used the skeleton of the woman, dubbed “Hinat,” who authorities believed died in the first century B.C. The reconstruction will be displayed for the public in the visitor’s center at the Hegra historical site in AlUla from Feb. 6.

The skeleton was discovered inside a tomb in the UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008.

Human remains, skin and hair, along with textiles, leather and other substances were also discovered, as was an inscription that said that the tomb belonged to “Hinat, the daughter of Wahbu.”

Studies confirmed the importance of Hinat’s position in the Nabataean community, as she had possessed sufficient wealth to obtain her own tomb in Hegra.

A number of experts on Nabataean civilization issued a biography of Hinat, equipped with pictures of her clothes and jewelry as a background to her facial reconstruction.

They were joined by a production team with experience in anthropology, reconstruction and physical model-making.

The reconstruction aims to give visitors the opportunity to learn about the ancient history of the region.

Helen McGauran, an expert in organizing heritage exhibitions, said: “The process of restoring Hinat’s facial features combined both scientific accuracy and contemporary artistic development to expand our understanding about the Nabataean civilization, which still offers many secrets and stories, and sheds light on the history of AlUla.”

Leila Chapman, an expert in narrative experiences at the RCU, said that observing Hinat will provide visitors with an immersive historical experience through insights into the history of the Nabataeans and their civilization.

Laila Neamah, co-director of the Hegra project, oversaw the selection of appropriate models for the reconstruction.

The RCU seeks to preserve the heritage of the region, as well as attract visitors and residents.

The commission’s “Journey Through Time” plan involves the launch of the “Kingdom’s Institute” in the Dadan area.

The design of the structure will be inspired by the Dadan civilization.