AlUla’s mystical landscape echoes with music on National Day

The night ascended with Saudi DJs Durar and Solskin playing back-to- back, warming up the audience for the night ahead. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The night ascended with Saudi DJs Durar and Solskin playing back-to- back, warming up the audience for the night ahead. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
AlUla’s mystical landscape echoes with music on National Day
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The night ascended with Saudi DJs Durar and Solskin playing back-to- back, warming up the audience for the night ahead. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
AlUla’s mystical landscape echoes with music on National Day
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The night ascended with Saudi DJs Durar and Solskin playing back-to- back, warming up the audience for the night ahead. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
AlUla’s mystical landscape echoes with music on National Day
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The night ascended with Saudi DJs Durar and Solskin playing back-to- back, warming up the audience for the night ahead. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
AlUla’s mystical landscape echoes with music on National Day
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The night ascended with Saudi DJs Durar and Solskin playing back-to- back, warming up the audience for the night ahead. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Updated 25 September 2022

AlUla’s mystical landscape echoes with music on National Day

AlUla’s mystical landscape echoes with music on National Day
  • Beats of top artists lit up the stage at the Azimuth festival

ALULA: Local and international artists took to the stage at one of the Kingdom’s most distinctive venues in celebration of Saudi Arabia’s 92nd National Day during the second AlUla Azimuth festival on Friday.

Engulfed in the mountainous terrain of the historic AlUla, Saudi nationals and international visitors welcomed a lineup composed of DJ and performances that lit up the stage in vivid light and fire shows.




The night ascended with Saudi DJs Durar and Solskin playing back-to-back, warming up the audience for the night ahead. Next was Canadian RnB
duo artist and frequent Drake collaborator Majid Jordan, who subbed their usual mellow vocals with a distinctive DJ set. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

While the event was to celebrate the establishment of the Kingdom, it was important for both the Royal Commission for AlUla and MDLBEAST to feature international artists to create greater opportunities for cultural exchange and audience attraction.

“It’s a chance for us to communicate with other artists and other talents and bring in what the local audience wants. It’s a matter of understanding what kind of flavors can we bring in every time to change it up.

 

“Being a part of it as the Saudi talent is great for us, for our national pride. We get to play on the same stage together with wonderful artists around the world,” said Ahmed Alammary, chief creative of MDLBEAST, and known for his music as DJ Baloo.  

HIGHLIGHT

Azimuth’s National Day lineup also includes performances by DJs Kayan, Biirdperson, Cosmicat, Disco Misr, Parov Stelar, Jason Derulo, Anmarz, Baloo, and BKR.

The Azimuth concept was first created by the AlUla commission, but this year’s programming happened in collaboration with the leading entertainment company and record label MDLBEAST. The two entities created a production and design experience unlike any other, featuring projections on the valley mountains and laser shows that captivated the audience.




The night ascended with Saudi DJs Durar and Solskin playing back-to-back, warming up the audience for the night ahead. Next was Canadian RnB
duo artist and frequent Drake collaborator Majid Jordan, who subbed their usual mellow vocals with a distinctive DJ set. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

“The spaces here and the landscape are so beautiful, you look at it and you want to enhance it with something and music is the perfect complement for beautiful scenery. AlUla presents a really great space for music venues — beyond one, there’s hundreds of them,” Alammary told Arab News.

The night ascended with Saudi DJs Durar and Solskin playing back-to-back, warming up the audience for the night ahead. Next was Canadian RnB duo artist and frequent Drake collaborator Majid Jordan, who subbed their usual mellow vocals with a distinctive DJ set.

Acclaimed American singer Kelis, known for her popular song “Milkshake” was up next, setting the stage up for crowd-favorite DJ Snake, bringing back pop classics such as “Middle and “All I Need Is Your Love Tonight.”




The night ascended with Saudi DJs Durar and Solskin playing back-to-back, warming up the audience for the night ahead. Next was Canadian RnB
duo artist and frequent Drake collaborator Majid Jordan, who subbed their usual mellow vocals with a distinctive DJ set. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

The crisp autumn air filled the desert scene. At this point the crowd was enjoying the eccentric tunes of the French-Algerian DJ.

To follow up, Saudi duo Dish Dash, composed of brothers Hassan and Abbas Ghazzawi, performed at what they describe as a “magical” place.

“It’s a dream come true for us to actually have the power to influence and show the world what Saudi is and how we actually come together and enjoy our time in such locations, in places like these. It’s a blessing for us to be part of the leading people showing this to the world,” Hassan told Arab News.

The duo have traveled the world performing at festivals and cities, most notably Tomorrowland and MDLBEAST, but said that the AlUla experience is distinctive because of its cultural narrative. For them, it is the perfect location to share their music with the world on Saudi National Day.

“To see how much history is in this place (makes) it even more unique and to have this setup happening here, with this magnitude and all of these ideas are like a natural background of our everyday lives,” Abbas said.

Vinyl Mode took to the stage next to bring a patriotic set to the crowd, which erupted in unison singing, as Nomad ended the night.

Azimuth’s National Day lineup also includes performances by DJs Kayan, Biirdperson, Cosmicat, Disco Misr, Parov Stelar, Jason Derulo, Anmarz, Baloo, and BKR.

 


European languages are the talk of Riyadh

European languages are the talk of Riyadh
Updated 14 sec ago

European languages are the talk of Riyadh

European languages are the talk of Riyadh
  • The EU delegation to Saudi Arabia will host a European Night of Languages on Wednesday
  • Participants at the event at the Hyatt Regency Riyadh will have the chance to test their language skills with staff from several EU embassies

RIYADH: Saudi and EU partners have come together to mark the European Day of Languages and promote better communication and cultural understanding.

The EU delegation to Saudi Arabia, in partnership with the Riyadh Language Exchange, marked the day on Monday as it prepared to host a European Night of Languages on Wednesday.

Participants at the event at the Hyatt Regency Riyadh will have the chance to test their language skills with staff from several EU embassies, learn basic words and phrases in less common languages, and play games and quizzes.

Patrick Simonnet, the EU’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said: “Europe is known for its cultural and linguistic diversity. Almost two-thirds of Europeans are able to converse in one or more foreign languages. Language is what connects us as people and enables us to communicate and better understand one-another.

“It is encouraging to see that also more and more Saudis are interested in learning languages. There has never been a better time to learn a new language and reap the socioeconomic benefits that multilingualism has to offer, from global access to knowledge and education to better job opportunities and greater cultural understanding.”

Mohammed Matham, co-founder of the Riyadh Language Exchange, a Saudi non-profit organization, said he was pleased to partner with the EU for the event.

“Our efforts over the past four years to support the practice of languages and cultural exchange are bearing fruit,” he added.

“It is a great privilege to partner with the EU delegation to organize such an exceptional event.”

The European Day of Languages was also marked at the SEK International School and the German International School, both in Riyadh, where students participated in activities focused on language learning.

Alliance Francaise and the Goethe-Institut both offered a free beginners’ class in French and German respectively.

The annual celebration is organized by the European Commission and the Council of Europe to promote linguistic diversity and cultural heritage, reinforce cultural understanding, and encourage people of all ages to learn languages.


Saudi ambassador to Yemen meets UN special envoy in Riyadh

Saudi ambassador to Yemen meets UN special envoy in Riyadh
Updated 26 September 2022

Saudi ambassador to Yemen meets UN special envoy in Riyadh

Saudi ambassador to Yemen meets UN special envoy in Riyadh
  • Al-Jaber emphasized the Kingdom’s support for UN efforts to extend the truce in Yemen

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber met with the UN special envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg in Riyadh on Monday.

During the meeting, Al-Jaber emphasized the Kingdom’s support for UN efforts to extend the truce in Yemen to reach a complete ceasefire and a comprehensive political solution in the war-torn country.

The truce was first implemented on April 2 and is due for renewal on Oct. 2.

Earlier this month, Grundberg met with the head of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council Rashad Al-Alimi in Riyadh where they discussed ongoing efforts to implement the truce and the importance of negotiating its extension and expansion.


Saudi Hajj and Umrah ministry launches ‘Nusuk’ platform to facilitate pilgrim procedures

Saudi Hajj and Umrah ministry launches ‘Nusuk’ platform to facilitate pilgrim procedures
Updated 26 September 2022

Saudi Hajj and Umrah ministry launches ‘Nusuk’ platform to facilitate pilgrim procedures

Saudi Hajj and Umrah ministry launches ‘Nusuk’ platform to facilitate pilgrim procedures
  • Those wishing to perform Umrah will be able to use Nusuk to obtain the necessary visas and permits and book packages and programs electronically

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah launched a new unified government platform on Monday through which pilgrims can plan and book their visits to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.

With Nusuk, travelers from all over the world can easily organize their entire visit to the Kingdom, from applying for an eVisa to booking hotels and flights.

The platform provides a wide range of services and information for pilgrims and visitors that enable them to perform their Umrah rituals easily. It is part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 objectives to better the quality of services provided and enrich the religious and cultural experience of pilgrims.

Nusuk is being launched in cooperation with the Saudi Tourism Authority, and is linked to the services provided by the Kingdom’s official tourism website “Visit Saudi Arabia” with the aim of enriching pilgrim experiences and facilitating reservation and communication procedures to provide them with various packages and programs.

Those wishing to perform Umrah will be able to use Nusuk to obtain the necessary visas and permits and book packages and programs electronically.

A range of other services will be added to the platform at a later stage and these will include interactive maps, a calendar for offers and activities, a digital instruction guide in several languages, and health information and services.

The Maqam platform will continue to operate until all services are transferred to Nusuk at a later stage.

The Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah explained that the Nusuk platform is an extension of continuous efforts to improve the quality of services provided to pilgrims using the latest technology.

He added that the platform is a result of several government agencies coming together to facilitate pilgrim procedures with the aim of enriching their spiritual journey.


German envoy hosts press conference to highlight talks with Saudi Arabia

German envoy hosts press conference to highlight talks with Saudi Arabia
Updated 26 September 2022

German envoy hosts press conference to highlight talks with Saudi Arabia

German envoy hosts press conference to highlight talks with Saudi Arabia
  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz discussed strengthening ties, potential partnerships

RIYADH: German Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dieter Lamle highlighted discussions that took place between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at a press conference in Riyadh on Sunday.

“The Kingdom has an active and very important role in this region, just as Germany has an active and important role in Europe, and it is apparent that these two very important countries meet in their region to talk about issues and ways to solve them,” Lamle said.

“The goal is to strengthen and deepen the economic relations between the two countries, as well as in the field of education. What we want is to start a new page in the relations between Germany and the Kingdom, and what we did yesterday is the first step for this new stage,” he added.

Scholz met with the crown prince on Saturday in Jeddah during a two-day tour of the Gulf region.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed potential sectors for partnerships, regional and international political issues, energy partnerships, and ways of contributing to the development of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

“The purpose is to deepen the relationship in the field of economy and trade, and not only in concluding deals. We seek a real partnership by exchanging knowledge and experiences. The two sides benefit from each other in the exchange of knowledge, technology, and vocational education,” Lamle said.

“Starting with the bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and Germany, there are some people who believe that the German side came to the Kingdom because we have a problem because of Russian supplies, and this possibility is incorrect, because we buy Saudi oil from the international natural resource markets. We can take advantage of this wealth,” he added.

Lamle explained that the chancellor’s intention was to strengthen partnerships in various fields, including energy.

“We did not come here for gas. The goal that was in the field of energy was to talk about green hydrogen and blue hydrogen and partnership between the two countries,” the ambassador said.

He underlined that Germany is pushing for an energy transformation, with 53 percent of the country’s power being sourced through renewable energy. Its mission is to expand energy resources through partnerships with the Kingdom.

“The idea is, of course, that it will be a benefit for the two sides to take advantage of German technology with the great potential in the Kingdom to produce green hydrogen because of the excellent climatic conditions for extracting solar energy to produce hydrogen,” Lamle said.

“The second point discussed during the meeting was in bilateral relations, and ways to strengthen and deepen the bilateral relationship between the two countries,” he added.

During the press conference, the ambassador also highlighted the regional and international conflicts including the Ukrainian-Russian and Iranian conflicts. 

“They (the crown prince and chancellor) spoke about the Russian and Ukrainian wars that Europe is witnessing today. 

“The federal chancellor said very clearly that it is important for Germany to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and we will continue to support this country … the important thing is that this war does not lead to famine or problems in other parts of the world or raises energy prices to a level that some countries cannot pay these prices.

“They agreed frankly that it is the most important thing for this war to end as soon as possible to end the catastrophic repercussions all over the world that result from this war,” he added.

In addition to the war in Ukraine, the two leaders also discussed Iran. 

“Iran poses a threat in the region, similar to the Russian-Ukraine war in Europe. Two sides are of course aware of Iran’s regional hegemony policy, and we have been working so far to re-conclude the nuclear agreement with Iran,” the ambassador said, adding: “Here, as two countries, we seek the stability of the region.”

He continued: “We know, of course, that the Kingdom is a leading country in the Arab world, and the Kingdom is a member of the G20, and in this way, it has great weight in the region, and without the active supervision of the Kingdom in all issues, it cannot be resolved.”


Two additional Saudi aid planes arrive in Pakistan

Two additional Saudi aid planes arrive in Pakistan
Updated 26 September 2022

Two additional Saudi aid planes arrive in Pakistan

Two additional Saudi aid planes arrive in Pakistan
  • The aid will be delivered to 8,424 beneficiaries across Pakistan

RIYADH: Two additional planes carrying 60 tons of humanitarian aid from Saudi Arabia arrived in Karachi to help those affected by Pakistan’s worst floods in decades.

The 6th and 7th flights to be dispatched by King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) delivered tents, blankets, shelters, and food baskets for 8,424 beneficiaries, reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The batches of aid were received by the National Disaster Management Authority to be distributed in several regions across Pakistan based on the need.

KSRelief earlier established a Saudi air bridge to deliver urgent aid to Pakistan amid the floods, which drowned third of the country, killing over 1,300 people and displacing millions more. The first two batches of Saudi aid arrived earlier this month.

“The aid reflects the Kingdom’s mission to help people in need across the world in various crises,” read the SPA statement.