Saudi festival Outlet 2022 sets new Guinness World Record

Saudi festival Outlet 2022 sets new Guinness World Record
The “Outlet 2022” shopping festival, being organized by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), has won Guinness World Records recognition. (Supplied)
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Updated 02 October 2022

Saudi festival Outlet 2022 sets new Guinness World Record

Saudi festival Outlet 2022 sets new Guinness World Record
  • The festival includes 3 million items manufactured by more than 1,500 international brands

RIYADH: The Outlet 2022 shopping festival, being organized by the General Entertainment Authority, has won Guinness World Records recognition as the largest pop-outlet center.

Covering an area of 146,623 square meters, festival activities started on Saturday in Riyadh. It includes 3 million items, manufactured by more than 1,500 international brands, and discounts of up to 70 percent on fashion, accessories, and cosmetic products designed by international experts.

Farah Ahmed, who lives in Al-Rehab neighborhood where the outlet is located, described it as “impressive,” while Mohammed Al-Bugami, a Saudi private-sector employee, praised the “top organization” he witnessed on the first day.

“I have no words to describe how great and well-organized this festival is. I would like to thank the organizers for their efforts in making this shopping festival a reality,” he said.

Entry to the festival is free and outlet sections include home accessories, leather-made items, bridal gowns, suitcases, and electronics.

The fashion section includes products by names such as Zara, Massimo Dutti, GAP, Ralph Lauren, Diesel, Lacoste, Roberto Cavalli, Versace, and Mango. Additionally, visitors can choose between various sports shoe brands, including Adidas, Puma, and Nike.

GEA chairman, Turki Al-Asheikh, thanked Kuwaiti actresses Hayat Al-Fahad and Suad Abdullah, and Saudi actor Bashir Al-Ghunaim for taking part in the official festival promo that gained millions of views.

The GEA aims to encourage private-sector organizations to develop entertainment activities in the Kingdom. It was established in line with Saudi Vision 2030 to organize and develop the entertainment sector in the country and provide options and entertainment opportunities for all segments of society.


Birthplace of Saudi state comes to life with opening of Bujairi Terrace, Turaif

Birthplace of Saudi state comes to life with opening of Bujairi Terrace, Turaif
Updated 8 min 19 sec ago

Birthplace of Saudi state comes to life with opening of Bujairi Terrace, Turaif

Birthplace of Saudi state comes to life with opening of Bujairi Terrace, Turaif
  • Marking the first phase of the $50 billion Diriyah Gate Development Authority project, the opening signals a new chapter in the area’s history

RIYADH: The prominent citadel of Salwa Palace, made from mudbricks three centuries ago in the historic Turaif district, the first capital of the Saudi dynasty, was illuminated on Dec. 4 with a spectacular light display in celebration of its opening to the public.

Just a few steps away, also in the historic Diriyah area, the Bujairi Terrace, a slew of high-end dining experiences ready to welcome over 3,000 people within an area of 15,000 square meters and featuring both Saudi and top international restaurants, opened to its first visitors.

It was a historic day for Saudi Arabia as the opening of both sites marked the first phase of completion for the $50 billion project of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority.

“This area is very special because it is the birthplace of the Kingdom,” Jerry Inzerillo, group CEO at the DGDA told Arab News. “It’s the ancestral home of Al-Saud, and it is the source of national identity and pride for all Saudis and all Arabs.”

To mark the special day, traditional performers in national dress put on a show and distributed gifts to visitors.

Stunning illuminated walkways lead the way through new buildings reflective of traditional mudbrick Arabian homes and lampposts decorated in the Najdi style typical to central Arabia. Palm trees line the Wadi Hanifa that separates the Bujairi Terrace from Turaif.

Visitors can walk over a bridge after dining at the Bujairi Terrace to visit the recently restored ruins of the original seat of the Al-Saud dynasty, taking the same steps as Saudi rulers did centuries ago.

What distinguishes the Bujairi Terrace from other high-end dining areas in the Gulf is the balanced offering of Saudi cuisine alongside top-notch international Michelin-star brands.

Maiz and Takya, two Saudi restaurants, offer a mix of traditional and contemporary cuisine within sleek settings decorated with a modern take on native Najdi patterns and architecture.

“We are offering specialties from the 13 provinces of Saudi Arabia,” Bader Al-Shaikh, a chef at Maiz, told Arab News.

“The idea was to create a place where people can dine in comfort and peace,” Hessah Al-Mutawa, owner of Takya, told Arab News. “We offer a contemporary fusion of traditional Saudi dishes.”

Inzerillo said that, in addition to the first 20 restaurants already present at the site — including well-known names like Angelina Paris, Café de L’Esplanade, Flamingo Room by tashas, which over the last few years has taken neighboring Dubai by storm — there are other 10 in the works for the second phase of development.

Six million trees and plants have also been incorporated into the area so that visitors can walk for hours, enjoying the natural and historic surroundings before and after dining at world-class restaurants.

Bruno, the famed French restaurant from the south of France, also opened in Bujairi, marking its second branch abroad after St. Petersburg, Russia. Saudi-owned gastronomical brands include GRIND, Somewhere, SUGAR and Sum + Things.

Upon the completion of the DGDA project, scheduled to be finished in 2030, Diriyah will be home to cultural, educational and entertainment shows, along with retail and hospitality facilities. The latter will include 38 hotels, in addition to a series of museums, cultural and academic institutes and retail areas.

The destination is expected to add around SR27 billion ($7.2 billion) to the country’s gross domestic product and create 55,000 jobs, with a focus on upskilling women.

The historic area of Diriyah, known for its Bedouin hospitality and culture, is experiencing a renaissance through a celebration of its past and present.

Inzerillo stated: “Now, from today, it is going to be one of the great gathering places in the world. Everybody will come.”

 

 


President Xi’s 3-day visit aims to boost Saudi-Chinese diplomatic, trade ties

King Salman, President Xi Jinping shaking hands during a signing ceremony in Beijing in March 2017. (AFP file photo)
King Salman, President Xi Jinping shaking hands during a signing ceremony in Beijing in March 2017. (AFP file photo)
Updated 21 sec ago

President Xi’s 3-day visit aims to boost Saudi-Chinese diplomatic, trade ties

King Salman, President Xi Jinping shaking hands during a signing ceremony in Beijing in March 2017. (AFP file photo)

RIYADH: Chinese President Xi Jinping is due to arrive in the Kingdom on Wednesday for a three-day visit during which he will meet Saudi and Arab leaders.

Three summits will take place during his trip: the Saudi-Chinese Summit, the Riyadh Gulf-China Summit for Cooperation and Development, and the Riyadh Arab-China Summit for Cooperation and Development. The participants will include more than 30 leaders and officials from the two countries and international organizations, highlighting the importance of the gatherings and their high regional and international profile, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Xi’s visit reflects the desire of the leaderships of Saudi Arabia and China to strengthen the bilateral relationship, enhance their strategic partnership and realize the political and economic potential it offers to serve their common interests, the SPA added.

More than 20 initial agreements between the two countries, worth more than SR110 billion ($29.3 billion), will be signed during the presidential visit, along with a strategic partnership deal, and a plan to harmonize the implementation of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 development and diversification project with China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the agency said.

Saudi Arabia aims to build a strong strategic partnership with China to support trade and investment. The Kingdom was the biggest recipient of Chinese investment in the Arab World between 2005 and 2020, accounting for more than 20.3 percent of the total regional investment, worth $196.9 billion.

The two countries are preparing to launch the SABIC-Fujian Petrochemical Industrial Group, a joint venture worth an estimated SR22.5 billion, in which SABIC has a 51 percent stake, that includes a high-capacity plant for the production of petrochemical products.

Beyond trade and investment, relations between the two countries have also continued to expand and develop more broadly in recent years, particularly in terms of cultural exchanges.

In 2019, for example, the Saudi Ministry of Culture announced the establishment of the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Award for Cultural Cooperation between Saudi Arabia and China, which will be officially launched during President Xi’s visit. It aims to promote the Arabic language, along with Arab arts, mutual understanding and cultural exchanges, reflecting the Kingdom’s desire to further enhance the cultural aspects of relations.

A number of Saudi universities and schools offer classes in the Chinese language, while Arabic is taught in 44 Chinese universities.

 


AlUla, UNESCO launch archaeology International Fellowship Program

AlUla, UNESCO launch archaeology International Fellowship Program
Updated 06 December 2022

AlUla, UNESCO launch archaeology International Fellowship Program

AlUla, UNESCO launch archaeology International Fellowship Program
  • Training on archaeological digs, recordkeeping
  • Focus on protecting Saudi heritage, says royal body

RIYADH: The Royal Commission for AlUla has announced the launch of an International Fellowship Program in the field of antiquities preservation in cooperation with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The international fellowship program provides the opportunity to explore and learn about civilizations in the northwest of the Arabian Peninsula.

The program, in cooperation with archaeologists and heritage experts from the RCU’s Kingdoms Institute, is part of a four-month workshop in AlUla. It is expected to strengthen the scientific and technology transfer partnership between the RCU and UNESCO.

Training for field and administrative positions will be offered during the course of the program, which includes the study of artifacts and the preservation of archaeological monuments and key sites of interest.

Jose Ignacio Gallego, the RCU’s archaeology and heritage research executive director, said: “The international fellowship program will enhance knowledge transfer between international experts and trainees in a variety of specialized fields.”

“The fellowship aims to support the heritage of AlUla and establish it as a center of knowledge in the field of antiquities protection, and enhances the Kingdoms Institute’s position as a leading entity that implements innovative solutions and ideas in the field of heritage research, preservation and publicization.”

The Kingdoms Institute is a project of the RCU governorate. It is located in the Dadan Oasis. Its urban design is inspired by the Dadanian civilization, which is represented by one of the most prominent buildings carved into the mountains opposite the archaeological site.

The institute includes several basic archaeological programs and research, most notably preserving rock art, inscriptions, languages, agriculture, sustainability in prehistoric times, communication, and the protection of records and sites.

The Kingdom Institute specializes in studying and analyzing artifacts, and applying international practices for archaeological excavations and heritage preservation.


Saudi King invites Chinese president to visit Kingdom on Wednesday

Saudi King invites Chinese president to visit Kingdom on Wednesday
Updated 06 December 2022

Saudi King invites Chinese president to visit Kingdom on Wednesday

Saudi King invites Chinese president to visit Kingdom on Wednesday

King Salman invited President of China Xi Jinping for an official visit to attend the Saudi-Chinese summit held in Saudi Arabia from Dec. 7 to 9, state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday. 

The summit will be chaired by King Salman and the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. It will look at relations between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Arab states with the People's Republic of China,

Discussions are expected to focus on strengthening joint cooperation in economy and development.


Saudi’s aid agency concludes anti-blindness program in Morocco

Saudi’s aid agency concludes anti-blindness program in Morocco
Updated 06 December 2022

Saudi’s aid agency concludes anti-blindness program in Morocco

Saudi’s aid agency concludes anti-blindness program in Morocco
  • KSRelief continued providing medical aid to Syrian refugees residing in Jordan’s Zaatari camp

RIYADH: King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center has concluded an anti-blindness voluntary program in Morocco’s Tiflet.

Under the Saudi Noor Voluntary Program, held in collaboration with the Kingdom’s Al-Basar International Foundation, doctors performed 462 cataract removal operations, examined 5,800 patients and distributed 1,470 glasses.

The program comes as part of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to help low-income families in the region, according to a statement by state news agency (SPA).

KSRelief continued providing medical aid to Syrian refugees residing in Jordan’s Zaatari camp. The agency’s medical clinics offered consultations to 14,704 refugees during November, said SPA.

The laboratory and radiology departments also received 1,480 people.