International and local musicians kick off Gamers8 in Riyadh

Gamers8 opening ceremony took place in Boulevard Riyadh City. (Supplied)
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Gamers8 opening ceremony took place in Boulevard Riyadh City. (Supplied)
 Prince Faisal bin Bandar, Saudi Esports Federation's Chairman during Gamers8's opening ceremony. (Supplied)
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Prince Faisal bin Bandar, Saudi Esports Federation's Chairman during Gamers8's opening ceremony. (Supplied)
Rocket League kicked-off Gamers8’s international elite tournaments in style. (Supplied)
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Rocket League kicked-off Gamers8’s international elite tournaments in style. (Supplied)
The season’s first live show took place tonight with a star-studded line-up including J Balvin, Sebastian Ingrosso, Amr Diab, DJ El Fuego, and Salvatore Ganacci. (Supplied)
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The season’s first live show took place tonight with a star-studded line-up including J Balvin, Sebastian Ingrosso, Amr Diab, DJ El Fuego, and Salvatore Ganacci. (Supplied)
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Updated 15 July 2022

International and local musicians kick off Gamers8 in Riyadh

International and local musicians kick off Gamers8 in Riyadh
  • The festival is the first and biggest of its kind, spotlighting e-sports gaming teams and experts from all over the world to participate in a series of tournaments

RIYADH: Gamers8 opened with a bang as a lineup of international and local artists took to the stage at the NXT LVL Mohammed Abdo Arena at Riyadh Boulevard City.

Saudi DJ and music producer El Fuego was greeted with cheers from the waiting audience. His sound, consisting of uplifting electronic beats and sensual, warrior-like vocals, made for an appropriate kickoff to the inaugural festival.

He was followed by Egyptian singer Amr Diab who performed his most popular singles, including “Amel Eih” and Agmal Eyoun.”

Concert attendee Saad Aldawood told Arab News: “The performances were awesome. I came for the atmosphere, but all the performances just made me want to fly. They know how to light up the crowd.

“I feel a higher level of quality in life (with these events) since I’m getting good entertainment from all over the world and my schedule is always full with different events that suit me and my friends and family.”

Diab collaborated in recent years with DJ and producer Marshmello, who will be performing on Aug. 11, on a track titled “Bayen Habeit.”

Uplifting the crowd next was Colombian singer J Balvin, dubbed the “Prince of Reggaeton,” credited with popularizing a music style that is unconventionally slower and minimalist compared to the brisk traditional nature of the Latin reggae genre.

The crowd moved along to his most popular tracks, including “Mi Gente,” “I Like It” and “RITMO” in collaboration with the Black Eyed Peas, who will be performing live on Aug. 25.

Ending the night were Swedish DJ Sebastian Ingrosso and Bosnian-Swedish DJ Salvatore Ganacci, who played back-to-back for the second time on a Saudi stage, preceded by their performance at the region’s biggest music festival MDLBEAST last year.

They weaved in pop music classics to their tracks like Bob Marley’s “Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright” and ABBA’s “Man After Midnight.”

The festival is the first and biggest of its kind, spotlighting e-sports gaming teams and experts from all over the world to participate in a series of tournaments, including Fortnite and Dota 2, with a promise of a pool prize of $15 million.

The day’s festivities kicked off with the initiation of the tournament series featuring electronic sports teams from all over the globe. The opposing teams competed in the Gamers8 quarterfinals, allowing the winners to move to the semifinals that took place on the same day. Some of the more educational elements of the festival include workshops, webinars, and exhibitions led by global experts and specialists.

The festival launched, after weeks of public anticipation, in an effort to legitimize the Saudi gaming and e-sports field. The goal is to create a space where gamers can connect with their community and pursue their passions while contributing to the economy.

“I think (this event) gives an opportunity among the artists and even the Saudi people to meet on Saudi land, where they can demonstrate their perspectives, their art. I’m sure that, I would say, some percentage of the people here have never been to concerts or (to see) DJs. I think it’s a great opportunity for them to see different worlds,” another festival-goer, Moayed Abdulmohsen, told Arab News.

Upcoming gigs include performances by Balquees, rappers Nuss and Lil Pump, DJs Alex Walker and DJ Snake, Nanci Ajram and many others.


New Saudi defense minister meets senior ministry officials

New Saudi defense minister meets senior ministry officials
Updated 28 September 2022

New Saudi defense minister meets senior ministry officials

New Saudi defense minister meets senior ministry officials
  • Prince Khalid bin Salman said the ministry will continue to follow the path set by his predecessor, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s new minister of defense, Prince Khalid bin Salman, met senior ministry officials in his office on Wednesday.

Formerly the deputy defense minister, his appointment was announced on Tuesday as part of a cabinet reshuffle. He takes over from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was appointed prime minister.

Prince Khalid gave a speech in which he thanked King Salman and the crown prince for the trust they have placed in him. He said the close attention his predecessor paid to the work of the Ministry of Defense had resulted the launch of its development program, which reflects the crown prince’s belief in efforts to maintain the highest standards of military development.

He stressed that the ministry will continue to follow the path set by the crown prince to become a modern institution staffed by professional and joint military forces capable of protecting homeland security from external threats, and leading alliances with high degrees of competency. 

 

 


Saudi defense minister meets with head of Yemeni presidential leadership council

Saudi defense minister meets with head of Yemeni presidential leadership council
Updated 38 min 8 sec ago

Saudi defense minister meets with head of Yemeni presidential leadership council

Saudi defense minister meets with head of Yemeni presidential leadership council

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman met with the head of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council Rashad Al-Alimi on Wednesday.

During the meeting, Prince Khalid and Al-Alimi discussed the latest developments in Yemen, the Kingdom’s appreciation of the council’s efforts, and its wishes for peace, stability, and prosperity in the country.

Prince Khalid assured Al-Alimi that the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen will continue to support the Yemeni people and their aspirations for the council to achieve peace, stability, and security in their country.

Prince Khalid was appointed Minister of Defense by royal decree on Tuesday.


Saudi officials sign deal to develop Saudi UK Tech Hub

Saudi officials sign deal to develop Saudi UK Tech Hub
Updated 28 September 2022

Saudi officials sign deal to develop Saudi UK Tech Hub

Saudi officials sign deal to develop Saudi UK Tech Hub
  • Ministry and Saudi British Joint Business Council will work together on platform to connect entrepreneurs in both countries with partners and investors

RIYADH: The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi British Joint Business Council to develop the Saudi UK Tech Hub, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The hub is a digital platform that aims to connect Saudi and British entrepreneurs with partners and supporters in both countries, while enhancing and supporting the technical ecosystems.

Under the agreement, which was signed by Ibrahim Al-Nasser, undersecretary at the ministry, and SBJBC CEO Chris Anis Hopkins, the two sides will establish a board of directors comprising representatives from the Saudi and British public and private sectors. SBJBC will manage the hub’s financial affairs and provide support.

By helping to facilitate knowledge transfer, increase investment, and strengthen relationships, the platform aims to support the efforts of both countries to develop their positions as regional technology and innovation hubs, authorities said.

 


Arab, Muslim leaders congratulate Saudi crown prince on his appointment as prime minister

Arab, Muslim leaders congratulate Saudi crown prince on his appointment as prime minister
Updated 28 September 2022

Arab, Muslim leaders congratulate Saudi crown prince on his appointment as prime minister

Arab, Muslim leaders congratulate Saudi crown prince on his appointment as prime minister
  • Leaders wish Saudi crown prince success and hope that relations between their countries will continue to grow under his leadership

RIYADH: Arab and Muslim leaders have congratulated Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman following his appointment as Saudi Arabia’s prime minister on Tuesday, Saudi Press Agency reported.  

UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum congratulated the crown prince on his appointment.

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani wished the crown prince success and hoped the relations between the two brotherly countries will continue to develop and grow. 

Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa also sent a similar cable. 

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said: “On this occasion, I congratulate His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, wishing him further success and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia further welfare and prosperity under the leadership of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.”


Saudi tourism gets chance to bloom in UN challenge

Saudi tourism gets chance to bloom in UN challenge
Updated 28 September 2022

Saudi tourism gets chance to bloom in UN challenge

Saudi tourism gets chance to bloom in UN challenge
  • The UNWTO’s Natalia Bayona said that Saudi Arabia is a “priority because of how the country is committed to creating tourism as a public policy and as an economic sector” 
  • Bayona added that goals in the country’s Vision 2030 for “youth empowerment, women’s empowerment, sustainability, and tourism” are central to the UNWTO’s mission

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s blossoming tourism industry is being offered the chance to grow even faster through a UN challenge that helps nurture the best businesses.

Natalia Bayona of the UN World Tourism Organization has said she wants Saudi entrepreneurs to enter her agency’s Awake Tourism Challenge, whose previous winners have gained international experience and expert advice, and raised $350 million of investment over the four years it has run.

Bayona, the agency’s director of innovation, education and investments, told Arab News that Saudi Arabia is a “priority because of how the country is committed to creating tourism as a public policy and as an economic sector.” 

She added that goals in the country’s Vision 2030 for “youth empowerment, women’s empowerment, sustainability, and tourism” are central to the UNWTO’s mission.

“We’d like to give visibility and promote Saudi Arabia as a country making a strong effort in the tourism sector,” she said.

The challenge is a perfect opportunity to identify Saudi-based entrepreneurs trying to solve challenges they face in the sector, Bayona added.

Entrants are judged in one or more categories, including local community involvement, environmental work, good use of technology, employee development and the empowerment of women in business.

Bayona said the UNWTO is pushing for enterprises to employ locally to help develop rural economies.

“Eighty percent of people living in extreme poverty live in rural areas. Tourism can be part of the way rural areas can be developed,” she said.

Bayona added that women’s empowerment is important “because they have the lowest salaries, the lowest-status jobs. Nonetheless, tourism is the sector that hires the most women worldwide.”

She said the basing of her agency’s regional office in Saudi Arabia shows how seriously it takes the country’s efforts to expand tourism.

The UNWTO’s partners include tourism bodies from more than 160 countries, 100 universities, more than 400 investors and around 500 corporations.

The Awake Tourism Challenge has helped winners raise more than $350 million and helped create more than 100 pilot projects. The deadline to enter this year’s initiative is Oct. 15.