Saudi FM: Gulf, Central Asian countries have huge potential that will enhance growth

Saudi FM: Gulf, Central Asian countries have huge potential that will enhance growth
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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan speaks at the first joint ministerial meeting between GCC states and Central Asian countries in Riyadh. (SPA)
Saudi FM: Gulf, Central Asian countries have huge potential that will enhance growth
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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan speaks at the first joint ministerial meeting between GCC states and Central Asian countries in Riyadh. (SPA)
Saudi FM: Gulf, Central Asian countries have huge potential that will enhance growth
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The first joint ministerial meeting between GCC states and Central Asian countries takes place in Riyadh on Wednesday. (SPA)
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Updated 07 September 2022

Saudi FM: Gulf, Central Asian countries have huge potential that will enhance growth

Saudi FM: Gulf, Central Asian countries have huge potential that will enhance growth
  • Prince Faisal said Gulf states and Central Asian countries were keen to discuss available opportunities in the fields of trade, investment, tourism, and energy

JEDDAH: Cooperation to enhance global economic recovery efforts was high on the agenda during the first joint ministerial meeting of the strategic dialogue between the Gulf Cooperation Council and the foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, which convened in Riyadh on Wednesday.

It was chaired by Prince Faisal bin Farhan, the Saudi minister of foreign affairs and chairman of the current session of the GCC’s Ministerial Council.

Prince Faisal stressed the importance of intensifying joint cooperation between countries in the two regions in light of global challenges.

“The areas of cooperation between us are endless, and the ultimate goal is to achieve stability and prosperity for our countries,” Prince Faisal said.

“There are many ties and an extended history that unites Gulf states with the countries of Central Asia,” the minister added.

He also highlighted the importance of supporting all efforts aimed at reducing regional and international political tensions while respecting international standards and creating conditions for promoting sustainable economic recovery.

The participants included Khalifa Shaheen Almarar, the UAE’s minister of state; Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Bahrain’s foreign minister; Sayyid Badr Albusaid, the Omani foreign minister; Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Qatar’s foreign minister; Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti foreign minister; Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf, secretary general of the GCC; Vladimir Norov, acting foreign minister of Uzbekistan; Rashid Meredov, Turkmenistan’s foreign minister; Sirojiddin Muhriddin, Tajikistan’s foreign minister; Mukhtar Tileuberdi, Kazakhstan’s foreign minister; and Jeenbek Kulubaev, Kyrgyzstan’s foreign minister.

Prince Faisal said Gulf states and Central Asian countries were keen to discuss available opportunities in the fields of trade, investment, tourism, and energy as a starting point toward enhancing joint cooperation, prosperity, and growth for the countries and peoples of the two regions.

The foreign minister reiterated the importance of continuous cooperation between Gulf states and the countries of Central Asia.

The ministers welcomed the convening of the meeting and underlined their commitment to establishing strong and ambitious future partnerships between their countries, based on common values and interests, the deep historical ties between their peoples, and existing cooperation at the bilateral and multilateral levels in a variety of fields.

They exchanged views on a number of regional and international issues and stressed the importance of coordinating their positions through strategic dialogue mechanisms that were established during the meeting.

In particular they emphasized the need for agreements relating to cooperation to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic; the recovery of supply chains; transport and communications; food security, energy security and water security; the development of green-energy sources and technologies; environmental challenges and climate change; education; the exchange of best practices and experiences in all fields; and the creation of business opportunities and support for investment, including appropriate trade and investment mechanisms.

They also underlined the importance of the link between the principles, goals and priorities for interaction among Central Asian countries, as part of a multilateral framework approved by the heads of those states on July 21 in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan, and GCC decisions about enhancing cooperation with those countries.

To help achieve the goals, a joint action plan for strategic dialogue and cooperation between GCC and Central Asian states, covering the period 2023-2027, was approved. It includes political and security dialogue, economic and investment cooperation, enhanced communication between peoples, and the establishment of effective partnerships between the business sectors in countries in both regions.

The ministers said that all necessary measures will be taken to ensure the rapid implementation of the plans to their fullest, at bilateral and multilateral levels.

They welcomed the invitation extended to Kazakhstan to host the first Economic Forum of GCC and Central Asian countries in Astana in June 2023, along with the invitation to Uzbekistan to hold the second ministerial meeting of the strategic dialogue in Samarkand next year.


Saudi minister of state and EU representatives discuss bilateral relations

Saudi minister of state and EU representatives discuss bilateral relations
Updated 31 sec ago

Saudi minister of state and EU representatives discuss bilateral relations

Saudi minister of state and EU representatives discuss bilateral relations
  • Topics for discussion during the meeting focused on climate change, energy and other issues of mutual concern
  • The EU delegation included Political and Security Committee chairperson Delphine Pronk, and Helen Le Gal, MD for MENA at the European External Action Service

RIYADH: Adel Al-Jubeir, the Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs met on Monday with representatives of the EU Political and Security Committee, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The two sides discussed Saudi-EU relations and ways in which they might be developed and enhanced in line with the aims of Saudi Vision 2030. They also addressed regional and international issues of mutual concern, in particular climate change and the energy crisis. In addition, the Kingdom’s ongoing environmental activities were highlighted, including its Saudi Green and Middle East Green initiatives.

The EU delegation included EU Political and Security Committee chairperson Delphine Pronk, a number of other committee members, and Helen Le Gal, the managing director for Middle East and North Africa at the European External Action Service, the EU’s diplomatic service. Saad Al-Arifi, the Saudi ambassador to the EU, was also present.

 


Industry leaders at XP Music Futures predict Arab region as next global music hub

Industry leaders at XP Music Futures predict Arab region as next global music hub
Updated 29 November 2022

Industry leaders at XP Music Futures predict Arab region as next global music hub

Industry leaders at XP Music Futures predict Arab region as next global music hub
  • The event kicked off on Monday with an enticing performance by up-and-coming Saudi talents Ntitled and MOT
  • MDLBEAST Chief Creative Officer: Annual XP focuses on growing the local scene and nurturing talent

RIYADH: The second MDLBEAST’s XP Music Futures conference, platforming regional and international industry leaders and experts, at Diriyah’s Jax District, concludes on Wednesday. 

The event kicked off on Monday with an enticing performance by up-and-coming Saudi talents Ntitled and MOT, who opened for various keynote speakers, including Mathew Knowles, Elyanna, Hardwell and Amy Thomson to discuss the evolution of the region’s music industry. 

MDLBEAST Chief Creative Officer Ahmad Al-Ammary, also known as Baloo, said that the anuual XP focuses on growing the local scene, nurturing talent, diversifying sound, development, management, label acquisition and scene navigation. 

“Last year, it was about the local brands. This year, it’s about the regional brands. We’re expanding to more sounds, more genres. Whatever your sound might be, you have a place for it here,” Al-Ammary told Arab News. 

The XP day experience championed engaging educational opportunities across various avenues: revolutionizing regional music, generating hits, music in the Metaverse age, the role of the artist, cultural representation within the global scene, pushing boundaries, utilizing social media and streaming services, and much more in a series of workshops, panel discussions and networking opportunities.

The XP night experience, which saw a lineup of over 130 artists throughout the conference, presented a unique glimpse into talents from the Middle East and North Africa’s music scene, from psychedelic minimal techno to R&B and hip-hop. 

Also featured were a DJ competition, drum circle and experiences by DJ Shaolin and Zii, Vague, Narratives, Eko and MDLBEAST Records. 

The precursor to Soundstorm 2022, the region’s largest music festival, has seen a 46 percent increase from last year’s edition, with 76 sessions across multiple platforms, focusing on key pillars of talent, impact, scene and — most recently — innovation. 

“I’m grateful for MDLBEAST, who bring so many different artists and so many different sounds to Saudi Arabia for people who never…felt that kind of energy around them,” Omar Agha, co-founder of record label and music lab KNZ, said.

As the world embraces niche genres from all over the globe, prominently K-pop and Latin pop, industry specialists are predicting that the Middle East’s regional music is next in line for the top charts. 

MDLBEAST Senior Creative Strategist Haya Shaath told Arab News: “What I get told a lot is that the global music industry is very hard to please. When they’ve come to Saudi Arabia, they’ve been pleasantly surprised to see what Saudi talent is all about. In a more qualitative sense, there is really good reception of that.”

An overarching theme is navigating authenticity in a global market: How do artists create music that is culturally relevant while also appealing to international audiences? 

Prominent Saudi DJ “Vinyl Mode” and Creative Activations Manager Muhanned Nassar told Arab News: “I came up with the concept of ‘vibe generators,’…and it’s about being real when you’re performing, in any form of art, whether painting, playing music. When you are fully present and real about it, this will transform, and it doesn’t need a language, wherever you are in the world. This will reach the people.” 

In a time when the MENA region is set to become the next music hub and the fastest-growing music market in the world, industry leaders are embracing the idea of exporting talents rather than simply importing them from abroad.

“You’ll notice, especially in the context of Saudi Arabia, that people are creating because they want to create. They’re not following any kind of formula…Authenticity has become the best ingredient for uniqueness, and that’s what we’re trying to push.

“It takes time for this dish to marinate,” Al-Ammary told Arab News, referring to the developing regional music scene. “I think within two, three years, you’re going to taste a really nice distinct list of music genres out of Saudi.”

The event also established the first MDLBEAST networking session, “Meet the Beasts,” allowing the public to connect with members of the music community, build bridges and explore the inner workings of the ambitious initiatives. 

Visitors also shopped for local designs, brands and delicacies at XP’s market and courtyard spaces.


5m visitors enjoy Riyadh Season in 5 weeks

5m visitors enjoy Riyadh Season in 5 weeks
Updated 29 November 2022

5m visitors enjoy Riyadh Season in 5 weeks

5m visitors enjoy Riyadh Season in 5 weeks
  • Events, experiences, exhibitions, and concerts have attracted visitors from inside and outside the Kingdom

RIYADH: There have been 5 million visitors so far to Riyadh Season 2022 following its launch on Oct. 21.

The entertainment zones, events, experiences, exhibitions, shows, plays, concerts and cafes have attracted visitors from inside and outside the Kingdom.

The season has combined originality with modernity and history, through activities that have provided visitors with options that include the travel experience of Boulevard World, and Qariat Zaman, a window into Saudi’s past.

In addition, the season has featured many specialist attractions, including the Rush Festival, the largest gaming event in the region, and Anime Town, the biggest of its kind in the world.

Riyadh Season 2022 features 15 diverse entertainment zones, and many sporting events such as World Wrestling Entertainment, and the Riyadh Season Cup that brings together the giants of Paris Saint-Germain with the stars of Al-Hilal and Al-Nasr football clubs. The season also boasts 65 days of fireworks.


‘Messi 10’ circus show mesmerizes Riyadh fans

‘Messi 10’ circus show mesmerizes Riyadh fans
Updated 29 November 2022

‘Messi 10’ circus show mesmerizes Riyadh fans

‘Messi 10’ circus show mesmerizes Riyadh fans
  • Ode to the artistry of world’s top player
  • Goal-scoring feature against robot showcased

RIYADH: The major career milestones of the Argentine football player Lionel Messi are being showcased at a Riyadh Season show, much to the delight of local fans.

The “Messi 10 International Circus World Cup Edition” features acrobats whose athleticism pays tribute to the artistry of one of the most famous players in history. 

One of the show’s directors, Andrew Corbett, told Arab News that the name of the production refers to Messi’s shirt number.

“The difference between the show of today and last year is that we’ve decided to make it small and more special, more intimate and exclusive for Riyadh Season. And it’s an adaptation of the show from last year, but we created a little special version,” Corbett said.

This year, visitors were also able to attempt scoring against a robot goalkeeper.

Performers who spoke to Arab News were delighted to present the show again.

“This is my second time in Saudi Arabia, and we came with more surprises like the Messi Challenge and the World Cup, which is awesome,” said Renato Dias.

“The audience was fun. It was great performing for them and it powers me up,” said Gretchen Ernst.

The show also has other interactive activities including a player’s Victory Corridor, where photographs can be taken.

Messi has won the men’s Ballon d’Or award a record seven times and scored more than 800 goals.

The show is on until Dec. 1 at Boulevard Riyadh City.


Germany’s Symphoniker Hamburg Orchestra hits all the right notes in Jeddah 

Germany’s Symphoniker Hamburg Orchestra hits all the right notes in Jeddah 
Updated 29 November 2022

Germany’s Symphoniker Hamburg Orchestra hits all the right notes in Jeddah 

Germany’s Symphoniker Hamburg Orchestra hits all the right notes in Jeddah 
  • The ensemble’s aim was to let the world discover the city’s musical life

The Symphoniker Hamburg Orchestra wowed its audience in Jeddah at Hayy Jameel’s community courtyard, Saha, last week. 

The performers at the 90-minute open-air concert — Susanne Barner, Marc Renner, Elmar Honig, Christian Ganzhorn, Peter Gulyka, Katharina Ivanova and Mihaly Andras — captivated people with beautiful traditional and contemporary pieces that highlighted the culture of Germany. 

Established in 1957, Symphoniker Hamburg has always been an orchestra for the people of Hamburg and the ensemble’s aim was to let the world discover the city’s musical life.

Dr. Eltje Aderhold, Germany’s consul general to the Kingdom, said: “Since Jeddah has lots to offer in terms of techno music, festivals and all other kinds of wonderful events, we felt the need to bring classical German music to Jeddah and introduce it to the people. Hamburg symphonic was our first choice as it is one of the prestigious orchestras consisting of top level musicians and composers in Germany and all around Europe.

“This is the first time Symphoniker Hamburg Orchestra performed in Saudi Arabia. It’s an honor and a privilege to host it in Hayy Jameel where art and artists are celebrated.”

Sara Al-Omran, the deputy director at Art Jameel, told Arab News that the musical performance was part of the second year of Hayy’s winter season program of music under the stars. 

“With this program we aim to provide a platform for emerging Saudi musicians while allowing the Jeddah public to experience a diverse musical program, from contemporary and experimental sounds to classical music, from Saudi Arabia and worldwide,” she said.

“We are excited to host this concert at our central outdoor courtyard. It’s been a pleasure collaborating with the Symphoniker Hamburg. The musicians we have with us tonight typically perform in major concert halls and we’re excited to have them performed in a more intimate setting this evening,” Al-Omran added.

Antonia Carver, director at Art Jameel and Jameel Arts Centre, said: “At Hayy Jameel, we are really about offering audiences of Jeddah the broadest possible access to arts that includes about everything classical music, fashion, design, visual arts and cinemas. 

“Our main aim is to have access to some of the highest quality musicians in Europe and bring them to Jeddah in this very open-ended setting that has no age restrictions while allowing them to enjoy music together.

“In all our past and current events at Hayy Jameel, we have noticed that Jeddah has such an appreciation toward the art … and the thirst to discover new art forms is clearly seen among the people.”