Popstar Jason Derulo lauds AlUla’s unique ‘blend of worlds’

American popstar Jason Derulo enthralls Saudi audience at the Azimuth Festival in AlUla last week as part of Kingdom’s 92nd National Day celebrations. (AN photos Huda Bashatah)
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American popstar Jason Derulo enthralls Saudi audience at the Azimuth Festival in AlUla last week as part of Kingdom’s 92nd National Day celebrations. (AN photos Huda Bashatah)
Popstar Jason Derulo lauds AlUla’s unique ‘blend of worlds’
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American Popstar Jason Derulo performing to a Saudi audience in celebration of the 92nd National Day at the Azimuth festival in AlUla, which took place from Sept. 22-24. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Updated 01 October 2022

Popstar Jason Derulo lauds AlUla’s unique ‘blend of worlds’

Popstar Jason Derulo lauds AlUla’s unique ‘blend of worlds’
  • Singer says Saudi Arabia becoming world’s most attractive destination

ALULA: In the historical epicenter for cross-cultural exchange, between the majestic mountains of AlUla, popstar Jason Derulo took the stage to deliver a performance unlike any other at the second edition of the Azimuth music festival on Saudi National Day last weekend.

The American artist entranced the crowd with some of his most recent hits, including “Swalla” and “Jelebi Baby,” as well as some of his older fan favorites such as “Ridin’ Solo” and “In My Head.”

The concert took place in the same valley that hosted the contemporary art exhibition Desert X earlier this year, ensuring a special music experience for nationals and visitors alike in celebration of the Kingdom’s 92nd National Day.




American Popstar Jason Derulo performing to a Saudi audience in celebration of the 92nd National Day at the Azimuth festival in AlUla, which took place from Sept. 22-24. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

“Any time you can come to a place and have an experience … it makes the show so much better because it’s something that’s completely different that you can’t get anywhere else,” Derulo told Arab News in an exclusive interview.

Historically known as a strategic crossroads for trade and pilgrimage routes, the settlement conceals hidden gems such as the narrow valley oasis and the unique Elephant Rock. As part of the Madinah province, AlUla is a symbol of the cultural richness found throughout the eastern region of Saudi Arabia and beyond.

Any time that I can spread the word about how incredible this place is, I jump at the opportunity, and this is another one of those opportunities.

Jason Derulo

“Coming through the rock and all the sand, it’s almost like it’s a hideaway from everything, and to bring all of this luxury to the middle of the desert is unlike any other experience,” he said.

“Here you get to really see all the stars, you get to see all the rock, the mountains, you get a piece of that world. Then you bring the highest level of luxury to it and it’s just a blend of worlds that you can’t get anywhere else,” Derulo added.




American Popstar Jason Derulo performing to a Saudi audience in celebration of the 92nd National Day at the Azimuth festival in AlUla, which took place from Sept. 22-24. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

Derulo has performed throughout the region, headlining in Saudi for the first time in 2018 at the Saudia Diriyah E-Prix alongside Enrique Iglesias, The Black Eyed Peas, and Egypt’s Amr Diab.

“I’ve been performing for a very long time and I can say that this experience was unique, unlike any experience I’ve ever had. I’ve performed all over the world and even coming here today, I pulled out my phone — I was like, ‘this is amazing,’” he said.

The three-day Azimuth festival is one of several initiatives, forming part of Vision 2030, to position the Kingdom as a tourism hub.

FASTFACTS

• The American artist entranced the crowd with some of his most recent hits, including ‘Swalla’ and ‘Jelebi Baby,’ as well as some of his older fan favorites such as ‘Solo’ and ‘In My Head.’

• The concert took place in the same valley that hosted the contemporary art exhibition Desert X earlier this year, ensuring a special music experience for nationals and visitors alike in celebration of the Kingdom’s 92nd National Day.

• Jason Derulo commended the efforts made to globalize local talent and create new avenues for entertainment, recalling his performance during the professional LIV Golf tour, financed by the Public Investment Fund.

“I was actually one of the first performers, if not the first performer, that performed with an integrated crowd between men and women here, and I feel honored and blessed to be a small piece of history.”

“Any time that I can spread the word about how incredible this place is, I jump at the opportunity, and this is another one of those opportunities,” Derulo said.

“I love that people from across the world have come here and made this home because it really is a special place. They have a sense of pride, a small piece of ownership even, you would think that they were from here and they know so much about the history,” he added.

The artist believes that Saudi Arabia is on the verge of becoming one of the “biggest” attractions in the world.

“This is something that’s just starting, though people are just now starting to see it, I’m sure this has been in the works for such a long time. There’s still so much room for growth, but it’s already incredible,” he said.

Bringing in a diverse lineup of both local and international artists was a key goal for the event, collaborated by entertainment festival MDLBEAST and the Royal Commission for AlUla.

Ahmed Alammary, the Saudi DJ and chief creative at MDLBEAST, told Arab News that this celebration was a chance to create cultural exchange opportunities with international artists while also catering to a local audience.

Derulo commended the efforts made to globalize local talent and create new avenues for entertainment, recalling his performance during the professional LIV Golf tour, financed by the Public Investment Fund.

“This is becoming a melting pot, and it’s beautiful to see … I think Saudi is really pushing the envelope in terms of tourism and technology. When you think of arts when you think of entertainment, Saudi has become really high up on the list because they really took a stand and really took a giant leap in that world,” Derulo said.


Saudi ambassador to Yemen meets UN envoy

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber meets with UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber meets with UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg. (SPA)
Updated 52 min 37 sec ago

Saudi ambassador to Yemen meets UN envoy

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Yemen Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber meets with UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg. (SPA)
  • The two officials reviewed the Kingdom’s political, economic, developmental, and relief efforts to support the Yemeni government and people

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 Tuesday.

The two officials reviewed the Kingdom’s political, economic, developmental, and relief efforts to support the Yemeni government and people.

They also discussed ways to strengthen and support UN efforts to reach a comprehensive political solution to end Yemen’s crisis and support its security, stability, and development.

Grundberg said he also met with the new Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Jasem Al-Budaiwi and senior Saudi officials to discuss ways to expand economic and humanitarian measures, and to progress toward a national ceasefire and an inclusive Yemeni-owned political process under UN auspices.


Saudi crown prince discusses bilateral relations with Italy PM during call

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. (File/SPA/AFP)
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. (File/SPA/AFP)
Updated 07 February 2023

Saudi crown prince discusses bilateral relations with Italy PM during call

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. (File/SPA/AFP)

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed bilateral relations with Italian premier Giorgia Meloni during a telephone call on Tuesday.

Prince Mohammed and Meloni also discussed opportunities for joint cooperation and ways to develop them in a number of fields.


Saudi Cabinet expresses solidarity with quake hit Turkiye and Syria

Saudi Cabinet expresses solidarity with quake hit Turkiye and Syria
Updated 07 February 2023

Saudi Cabinet expresses solidarity with quake hit Turkiye and Syria

Saudi Cabinet expresses solidarity with quake hit Turkiye and Syria

RIYADH: The Saudi cabinet voiced its solidarity with Turkiye and Syria following the devastating earthquakes that ripped through the border area  between the two countries killing thousands and injuring thousands more.

The statement was made during Tuesday’s weekly Saudi Cabinet meeting, chaired by King Salman, as the death toll exceeded 5,000, with tens of thousands more injured.

But international agencies like the WHO said the casualty number would grow significantly to thousands more.

The Cabinet statement published via the state news agency SPA said “the Kingdom expressed its solidarity” with the countries impacted by the earthquakes.

The first quake – of a magnitude 7.8 - struck the border area between Turkiye and Syria at about 4a.m. local time on Monday causing buildings to topple to the ground, their occupants caught unaware as they slept.

The second – 7.7 magnitude - quake struck the same area shortly before 2p.m. local time as search and rescue workers dug frantically through the rubble to find survivors.

There were two further earthquakes of a magnitude 5.6 and 5.7 on Tuesday morning as well as 312 aftershocks since the first quake struck.

The Cabinet also praised the bilateral ties between the Kingdom and Iraq and reiterated the Kingdom’s support for efforts made by the Iraqi government to achieve sustainable growth and prosperity for its people.

It also reviewed reports on regional and international conferences recently held in Saudi Arabia to keep pace with the rapid developments and contribute to finding solutions to global challenges.


KSRelief Masam project clears 675 mines in Yemen

KSRelief Masam project clears 675 mines in Yemen
Updated 07 February 2023

KSRelief Masam project clears 675 mines in Yemen

KSRelief Masam project clears 675 mines in Yemen

DUBAI: Nearly 675 mines planted by the Houthi militia in Yemen have been dismantled in the Fifth week of 2023 by King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief)’s Masam project.
The mine-clearing team removed a total of 384,980 mines planted by the militia across Yemen since Masam project started, Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

Overseen by the KSRelief, special teams destroyed hundreds of anti-personnel and anti-tank mines, unexploded ordinances and other explosive devices.

The KSRelief project, also known as Masam, is one of several initiatives undertaken by Saudi Arabia on the orders of King Salman to help the Yemeni people.

More than 1.2 million mines have been planted by the Houthi militia, claiming the lives of hundreds of civilians.

The Saudi project trains local demining engineers and provides them with modern equipment. It also provides support to Yemenis injured by the devices.


KSRelief continue its efforts to aid people in need

KSRelief continue its efforts to aid people in need
Updated 07 February 2023

KSRelief continue its efforts to aid people in need

KSRelief continue its efforts to aid people in need

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center’s (KSRelief ) humanitarian efforts in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Syria continue with securing food parcels for people in need.
In Afghanistan the center distributed 650 food packages to families affected by the floods. And in Pakistan another 600 food parcels were distributed.
The agency has also extended its help to the Syrian people displaced in Jordan, in support to the education of Syrian refugees it distributed 3,262 school bags to students in Amman.