San Marino, Saudi Arabia to finalize cooperation agreement on tourism

Special San Marino, Saudi Arabia to finalize cooperation agreement on tourism
San Marino’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Luca Beccari and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud. (Supplied) 
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Updated 25 September 2022

San Marino, Saudi Arabia to finalize cooperation agreement on tourism

San Marino, Saudi Arabia to finalize cooperation agreement on tourism
  • Microstate in northern Italy is a well-known tourist destination
  • Another agreement will see the two states cooperate on sports

ROME: The Republic of San Marino and Saudi Arabia will soon finalize a cooperation agreement on tourism, San Marino’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Luca Beccari told Arab News after a meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud. 

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. 

Beccari said that the meeting covered all issues related to the “extraordinarily good bilateral cooperation” between the two states.

“We confirmed that we will increase this cooperation, particularly in the tourism sector,” he told Arab News after the meeting. 

In another meeting held in Italy at the beginning of September, Beccari and San Marino Secretary of State for Labor and Sports Teodoro Lonfernini agreed with Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, sports minister and president of Saudi Arabia’s Olympic and Paralympic Committee, to work together on a memorandum of understanding to further cooperation on sports and tourism and to continue talks soon in San Marino or Riyadh.

“The meeting we had in New York with Prince Faisal definitely represents a further important step toward this goal, which would benefit both our countries,” Beccari added. 

An enclave nestled in the northeast of Italy a few miles from the popular beach destination of Rimini, San Marino has been an independent state for 1,720 years and has a population of nearly 34,000.

With its medieval buildings, fine monuments and iconic landscapes, it is a well-known attraction for visitors to the Riviera Romagnola from all over the world.

Prince Faisal and Beccari also agreed to “work quickly” to finalize agreements on the abolition of double taxation and the promotion and protection of investments to further consolidate bilateral relations, Beccari added.


Saudi adventurers complete 1,200 km walk to mark UAE National Day

Saudi adventurers complete 1,200 km walk to mark UAE National Day
Updated 05 December 2022

Saudi adventurers complete 1,200 km walk to mark UAE National Day

Saudi adventurers complete 1,200 km walk to mark UAE National Day
  • Naif told Arab News that the walk had been “another accomplishment” after he previously completed more than 4 billion steps, covering 4,000 km on foot, through nine treks taking in NEOM, Makkah, Abha, Madinah, and AlUla

JEDDAH: Two Saudi adventurers have arrived in Abu Dhabi after walking for 30 days to celebrate the 51st UAE National Day.

Thirty-two-year-old Naif Shukri and his nephew Abdul Ellah Shukri, 19, started their trek from Riyadh passing through Al-Ahsa and Al-Hofuf before arriving at the UAE border, a journey of 1,200 kilometers.

Naif told Arab News that the walk had been “another accomplishment” after he previously completed more than 4 billion steps, covering 4,000 km on foot, through nine treks taking in NEOM, Makkah, Abha, Madinah, and AlUla.

He said: “Our journey titled, the Saudi is Emirati and the Emirati is Saudi, has several goals, but the most notable was the participation with Emirati brothers in their UAE National Day. It was a way to express our love and affection to the Emirati people.”

He broadcasted his trip on social media and was amazed by the interaction from Emiratis many of whom were waiting to greet the duo on the UAE border.

On Dec. 1, followers, supporters, and friends gathered at Bani Yas as Naif sent pictures of himself and his nephew holding the Saudi and UAE flag and another showing them arriving in the UAE.

“The Emirati people have been so hospitable and encouraging. The best part of the journey was the warm welcome we received upon our arrival,” he added.

 

 


Film AlUla begins construction of studio complex

Film AlUla begins construction of studio complex
Updated 05 December 2022

Film AlUla begins construction of studio complex

Film AlUla begins construction of studio complex
  • Film AlUla has hosted 694 production days since opening in 2020

JEDDAH: Film AlUla, the film agency of the Royal Commission for AlUla, has started construction on the first phase of its studio complex.

The finished complex will cover around 30,000 square meters and is set to be up and running by the end of next year.

The first phase will include two world-class soundstages, production support buildings, workshops, a pyro/sfx building, a sound recording studio, catering and administration buildings and a 6,500 square meter backlot.

HIGHLIGHT

The first phase will include two world-class soundstages, production support buildings, workshops, a pyro/sfx building, a sound recording studio, catering and administration buildings and a 6,500 square meter backlot. It is located near 12 sq. km of outdoor shooting locations showcasing the beauty and ancient heritage of AlUla, making it the best suitable for on-location filming and set construction.

It is located near 12 sq. km of outdoor shooting locations showcasing the beauty and ancient heritage of AlUla, making it the best suitable for on-location filming and set construction.

“AlUla is a thriving center for arts, culture and heritage. With the film and screen sector of central focus the first phase of this studio complex is carefully planned and part of a much larger program of infrastructure development,” said Charlene Deleon-Jones, executive director of Film AlUla.

“This complex will satisfy the growing demand from regional and international producers to shoot at AlUla, while also supplying an epicenter for our production ecosystem. The studio complex will diversify AlUla’s economy, in line with the objectives of RCU, as we build a home to nurture Saudi talent in the screen sector for generations to come,” he added.

Film AlUla worked with the US-based company Tait to ensure that work in AlUla would be uncluttered and comfortable, including during summer.

The studio complex will be 14 minutes from the Film AlUla Residence, which has 300 rooms, restaurants, recreational facilities and office space for industry professionals, and 20 minutes from AlUla International Airport, which recently opened a hangar for private jets. It lies outside the airport’s flightpath.

Phase two will be announced in the second quarter of 2023.

The project aims to attract local and international productions is bolstered by Saudi Arabia’s offer of a cashback rebate of up to 40 percent for international and local feature films, television series and documentaries.

The studio complex is also meeting rigorous environmental standards. Film AlUla contracted environmental agencies to conduct a 10-month impact assessment on the new location and will build it under continuous environmental monitoring.

Film AlUla has hosted 694 production days since opening in 2020. Movies include Kandahar, directed by Ric Roman Waugh and starring Gerard Butler, which was the first major Hollywood feature to shoot almost entirely in AlUla, and the Iraq war story Cherry, starring Tom Holland and directed by Anthony and Joe Russo.

Additionally, Norah was the first Saudi feature film to shoot at AlUla entirely and featured an all-Saudi cast and more than 40 percent Saudi crew.

A number of TV productions have been filmed in AlUla including the British series Expedition with Steve Backshall and Nat Geo documentaries, along with commercials, promotions, photo-shoots and short films.

 

 


On International Volunteer Day Saudi authorities highlight efforts of those who donate their time

On International Volunteer Day Saudi authorities highlight efforts of those who donate their time
Updated 05 December 2022

On International Volunteer Day Saudi authorities highlight efforts of those who donate their time

On International Volunteer Day Saudi authorities highlight efforts of those who donate their time
  • At the International Volunteer Exhibition, government and private agencies highlighted the opportunities for voluntary work they offer to all involved in education in Riyadh
  • Prince Fahad bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, the governor of Tabuk, announced the establishment of a volunteering unit in the region

RIYADH: In honor of the UN’s International Volunteer Day 2022 on Monday, Riyadh’s General Administration of Education staged a special event at its headquarters in the city.

At the Saudi and International Volunteer Exhibition, the slogan for which is “Giving of a Nation,” government and private agencies provided details of the opportunities for voluntary work they offer to all involved in education in Riyadh, students and staff, including 24 initiatives offered through the National Volunteer Platform.

The Saudi Press Agency reported that the exhibition is part of official efforts to encourage and enhance a culture of voluntary work in the educational community with the primary goal of reaching a total of 1 million volunteers. Authorities aim to achieve this by providing an appropriate environment that encourages the development of the voluntary sector, motivates people involved in education to volunteer, and increases the opportunities to do so.

The exhibition included information about the types of projects and the work they do, along with a “Team” pavilion highlighting the connection between the aspirations of the Saudi people and community-volunteer activities offered by schools and women’s charities.

In addition to displays by government agencies, the exhibition included information from nonprofit organizations such as Al-Waleed Philanthropies and the World Organization of the Scout Movement about their work as part of the wider effort to build capacity and increase the scale of the Saudi volunteer sector by 47 percent within a decade.

According to the organizations, nearly half a million people in the Kingdom last year donated their time and effort to voluntary community service, and their work helped to provide social safety nets for vulnerable groups and address global challenges such climate change, access to education and the promotion of gender equality.

Volunteers in the country are provided with training and other programs in line with national values to ensure the quality of voluntary work and efficiently harness the energies of communities, officials said.

According to Al-Waleed and WOSM, their volunteer programs have forged links and partnerships with universities across the Kingdom. Among their activities is a collaboration with Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, and King Khalid University to empower the next generation of volunteer leaders through scouting. It aims to encourage 500 Rover Scouts to volunteer for efforts to help 100,000 young people, and more universities are expected to join the initiative the near future.

The Athar Health Volunteering Society marked International Volunteer Day, the theme of which this year is “Solidarity Through Volunteering,” by highlighting its recent achievements. It said it aims to promote a culture of volunteering through its provision of health-awareness, educational and support services through community partnerships.

Sultan Al-Zahrani, the society’s secretary-general, said that it implemented numerous initiatives this year with the help of more than 20,000 volunteers. In addition to thus a further 3,000 volunteers donated 50,000 hours of work to other activities, the economic value of which was estimated to be more than SR6 million ($1.6 million).

Athar said it is working with partner organizations with the goals of achieving 1 million volunteers and increasing the non-profit sector’s contribution to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product by more than five percent, according to SPA.

The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture celebrated International Volunteer Day the presence of Deputy Minister Mansour Al-Mashaiti.

The deputy of the ministry’s Department for Beneficiary Service and Branch Affairs, Ghanim Al-Jathan, said that this year it offered 2,500 voluntary opportunities in which more than 22,700 people took part. The general manager of the ministry’s General Department of Non-Profit Sector Organizations, Khaled Al-Mejlad, said it offered 6,000 volunteer opportunities in which 49,000 people took part. This amounted to 2.5 million volunteer hours and an economic return exceeding SR8 million.

Meanwhile, during a ceremony honoring the voluntary efforts of government organizations, charities and individuals, Prince Fahad bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, the governor of Tabuk, announced the establishment of a volunteer unit in the region.

“In recent years, there has been a remarkable and blessed activity for volunteer work in all regions, especially Tabuk, which makes us optimistic that the future will be better,” he said.

“On this occasion, we are pleased in the Emirate of Tabuk to announce the establishment of a special unit for volunteering, and it will provide support for everyone who wants to contribute to volunteer work and help direct and guide them.”

The UN introduced the International Volunteer Day in 1985 as an annual event that offers all countries to celebrate and enhance volunteer work, highlight and honor the efforts of those who take part in it, and encourage more people to get involved.

 


Saudi international forum to tackle cyberterrorism

Experts will discuss ways to tackling cyberterrorism during an International Conference in Madinah. (SPA)
Experts will discuss ways to tackling cyberterrorism during an International Conference in Madinah. (SPA)
Updated 06 December 2022

Saudi international forum to tackle cyberterrorism

Experts will discuss ways to tackling cyberterrorism during an International Conference in Madinah. (SPA)
  • The forum would consider the latest threats and prevention methods and ongoing international efforts to deal with the problem

MADINAH: Experts from around the world will on Tuesday gather in Saudi Arabia for a three-day meeting aimed at tackling cyberterrorism.

The Islamic University of Madinah will host the Cyberterrorism International Conference at which delegates will discuss ways to combat the issue.

University president, Prince Dr. Mamdouh bin Saud bin Thunayan, said the event sought to highlight the Kingdom’s efforts to fight digital attacks on computers and system networks.

He pointed out that the forum would also consider the latest threats and prevention methods and ongoing international efforts to deal with the problem.

Agenda items will include the impact of cyberterrorism on religions, the role of international treaties and laws, electronic financial crime and the related funding of terrorism, data security, the responsibilities of cultural and media organizations in confronting the issue, and Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the process.

 


Organization of Islamic Cooperation to adopt anti-corruption single legal framework

Organization of Islamic Cooperation to adopt anti-corruption single legal framework
Updated 06 December 2022

Organization of Islamic Cooperation to adopt anti-corruption single legal framework

Organization of Islamic Cooperation to adopt anti-corruption single legal framework
  • Pact to be ratified at Dec. 21-22 meeting
  • Crime stems nations’ growth, says official

JEDDAH: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has begun preparing for its ministerial meeting later this month where it is expected to adopt a single legal framework for combating corruption in member states.

The OIC’s senior staff held a preparatory meeting on Monday at the secretariat’s headquarters for discussions on the adoption of the Makkah Agreement for law enforcement measures.

In a speech on behalf of OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha, the organization’s Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Yousef Al-Dobeay thanked Saudi Arabia — chair of the Islamic Summit — for its initiative to host the ministerial meeting on Dec. 20 and 21.

Al-Dobeay, reading Taha’s speech, praised King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the Kingdom’s support of the OIC.

The ministerial meeting would adopt the final version of the draft of the Makkah Agreement for anti-corruption law enforcement agencies in OIC member states, he said.

He said the framework would be a significant step in constructing the construction of the OIC’s legal system and help reduce corruption in member states. This crime continues to have a negative social, economic and security impact on OIC nations around the world, he added.

Taha said the draft agreement shows the OIC member states remained committed to transparency and integrity in government administration for the well-being of their citizens.