Indian craftsman astonishes Boulevard World visitors

Indian craftsman astonishes Boulevard World visitors
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The craftsman, Shand Mohammed, traveled from India to Boulevard World to present the history of his profession to visitors of Riyadh Season by crafting accessories and prayer beads. (Supplied)
Indian craftsman astonishes Boulevard World visitors
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(Supplied)
Indian craftsman astonishes Boulevard World visitors
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(Supplied)
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Updated 30 November 2022

Indian craftsman astonishes Boulevard World visitors

Indian craftsman astonishes Boulevard World visitors

RIYADH: An Indian craftsman amazed visitors to Boulevard World, one of the 15 entertainment zones in Riyadh Season, by making ornaments with natural colors and fire.

The craftsman, Shand Mohammed, traveled from India to Boulevard World to present the history of his profession to visitors of Riyadh Season by crafting accessories and prayer beads.

He dazzled visitors to the zone with his skill in mixing natural colors derived from tree resin with fire and preparing them for sale within five minutes.

Mohammed has been practicing his craft, which he learned from his ancestors, for more than 35 years.

His sons also accompanied him to introduce the public to their goods and products, which have been a major attraction for visitors, especially the colorful prayer beads and accessories.

The history behind the art, according to Mohammed, is as old as India itself, as it has constituted one of the most prominent traditions in the country.

As part of the Boulevard World activities, the India subzone, where Mohammed showcased his craft, has attracted much attention from Riyadh Season visitors, with its luxury handmade goods and its buildings and streets modeled after traditional Indian architecture.

Boulevard World receives visitors daily from 3 p.m. until 11 p.m. Entry tickets can be booked via the link: https://riyadhseason.sa/event-details-en.html?id=786/en_Boulevard_World.

Visitors to Boulevard World can also learn about different world cultures through subzones inspired by China, Italy, France, Morocco, Spain, America, Japan, Greece and Mexico.

For both families and individuals, Boulevard World is a premier entertainment destination, featuring a host of experiences, including rides in hot air balloons, submarines and boats.

It has the largest man-made lake in the world, where boats can travel between cities through 11 stations. It also offers the Area 15 experience from Las Vegas; The Sphere, the biggest spherical theater in the world; a city for game fans; comic book and anime-themed activities; and plenty of family-friendly entertainment options.

Visitors can enjoy a ride in a Venetian gondola, taste American cuisine, shop for the best Spanish products and watch flamenco shows.


Saudi telecoms firm in deal to provide vital eye-screening tests for diabetes in Kingdom

Saudi telecoms firm in deal to provide vital eye-screening tests for diabetes in Kingdom
Updated 9 sec ago

Saudi telecoms firm in deal to provide vital eye-screening tests for diabetes in Kingdom

Saudi telecoms firm in deal to provide vital eye-screening tests for diabetes in Kingdom
  • SDM’s screening technology notifies patients of diabetes stage and if medical intervention is required

RIYADH: Saudi telecommunications firm stc has signed a deal with a health technology company to provide vital checks for eye problems caused by diabetes.

SDM’s screening technology not only identifies if patients have the blood sugar condition but also notifies them of what stage the disease has reached and if medical intervention is required.

The memorandum of understanding agreement on the use of diabetic retinopathy screening through artificial intelligence was inked by Saad Al-Rabiah, stc’s new business development manager, and Prof. Selwa Al-Hazzaa, founder and chief executive officer of SDM, at the stc booth during the recent LEAP 2023 conference.

Al-Hazzaa told Arab News: “This took us about four years; we got the Saudi FDA (Food and Drug Authority) approval. We got the SDAIA (Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority) regulations to approve it. And, then we went to the Ministry of Health.

“SDM is probably the first technological company that deals with retinal image analysis. In simple words, we take a picture of the back of the eye, and we are able to analyze it. And through this analysis, we can figure out what the different stages of diabetes are in the eye.”

Describing stc as “digitally able, an enabler,” and a company that could “take this and fly with it all over the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” she said: “What this artificial intelligence does, or the SDM smart thinker does, is decrease the human resources of any entity.

“It will reduce costs and waiting times for patients having to come in to get an appointment in the hospital, or even in the clinic having to wait.

“And most important, we’re moving it out of the hospitals to decrease patient waiting lists. That will definitely make a big difference when it comes to digital transformation,” she added.

Al-Hazzaa pointed out that the screening technology would help to cut the Kingdom’s spending on diabetic retinopathy.

The World Health Organization has estimated there to be more than 7 million diabetics in Saudi Arabia.

“The only way to do it (examinations) is through automation. Automation has to kick in,” she said.

She noted that 75 percent of the country’s population was not being monitored.

“These patients, ultimately if they don’t get good care, will go blind. I wanted to be able to reach the patients that could not reach the specialized hospitals.” 

Inclusivity has been a major driver of Al-Hazzaa’s mission in growing SDM smart thinker, creating accessible and accurate detection that all patients in the Kingdom can have.

“If you need good-quality care, you have to be able to reach a hospital with this technology.

“Its sensitivity is very high. Its sensitivity is much higher than your general ophthalmologist. It’s much more sensitive than that of the board-certified ophthalmologist,” she added.


World’s biggest tech conference closes its doors

World’s biggest tech conference closes its doors
Updated 4 min 40 sec ago

World’s biggest tech conference closes its doors

World’s biggest tech conference closes its doors

Riyadh: The largest tech event in the world is closing its doors, with thousands of people having flocked to the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center in Saudi Arabia’s capital to participate in discussions and witness world debuts in what would be one of many future tech events in the Kingdom.

The second edition of the LEAP23 Conference marked a significant turnout, with entrepreneurs and experts attending talks and browsing the venue’s many booths showcasing the latest tech products at what Michael Champion, regional executive vice president of Informa Markets, described to Arab News as “the fastest-growing tech event in the world.”

He said: “When we first launched LEAP, it was the largest debut tech event in history, so there were 100,000 visits.”

Now, Champion added, the conference has had to “build multiple tents” outside just to be able to accommodate attendees.

“There are hundreds of companies that are on the waiting list, trying to get in. And so, we have plans in the future to solve that, to grow even more,” said Champion.

For four days straight, the center saw an ever-growing crowd trying to make it into the halls where some of the biggest tech companies were stationed.

There were over 250,000 registrations this year — more than double those of last year.

Across the world, technology-based small and medium-sized enterprises are considered drivers of job growth and innovation.

According to Champion, LEAP is one of the best platforms for startups globally to participate in, especially if they want to have access to a serious amount of funding and win record-breaking prize amounts as more than 1,000 investors from all over the world — triple those at last year’s conference — represent companies with assets under management of over $2 trillion.

With Saudi Arabia rapidly emerging as a global hub for startups and entrepreneurs, Champion believes that the Kingdom’s active investor community and its east-meets-west location are ideal for startups looking to build strong bonds with major tech investors from across the region, Europe, the US and the Far East.

On the third day of LEAP23, investment programs worth $2.43 billion were announced following the $9 billion deals revealed by the Kingdom’s Minster of Information Abdullah Al-Swaha.

Emerging and disruptive technologies are increasingly touching all aspects of life, and trends continue to develop and improve with time. LEAP23’s primary focus is to showcase the latest of these technologies.

Champion told Arab News that to keep up with emerging trends, a LEAP Alliance was established where a collective of thought leaders from around the world select some of the most promising trends and “weave them into the theme of the year.”


Consulate-General of Japan in Jeddah organizes seminar on smart cities

Consulate-General of Japan in Jeddah organizes seminar on smart cities
Updated 09 February 2023

Consulate-General of Japan in Jeddah organizes seminar on smart cities

Consulate-General of Japan in Jeddah organizes seminar on smart cities
  • The lecture was followed by active exchange of questions and answers session between the two lecturers and audience

The Consulate-General of Japan in Jeddah, in cooperation with Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) and Japan Cooperation Center for the Middle East (JCCME), organized a seminar on smart spaces and smart cities entitled “New Vision for the Cities of Tomorrow” on Feb. 8.

The seminar held at Jeddah Chamber of Commerce was attended by Jeddah municipality officials, Saudi officials, Consul-Generals, businessmen, representatives of Saudi companies, academics, media people, university professors and interested people.

Aniket Patange, Head of Artificial Intelligence & Innovation at Hitachi, Ltd., Middle East Branch, and Ahmed Abubasha, Head of Sales & Marketing Grid Automation at Hitachi Energy Ltd respectively deliver speeches in which they explained how smart cities can enhance the safety and security, improve efficiency of municipal services and promote a better quality of life for residents in addition to its great and pivotal role to reducing gas emissions to achieve carbon neutrality through using of eco-friendly materials. The lecture was followed by active exchange of questions and answers session between the two lecturers and audience. 

Moammar Al-Atawi, Chairman of the Urban Development Council at JCCI said in his opening remark that he welcomes the audience and praised the cooperation between JCCI and the Consulate-General of Japan in Jeddah, stressing the Chamber’s keenness on permanent and continuous cooperation with the Consulate-General and JCCME. He hails Japanese experiences in smart cities technologies.

Muto Koji, Chief Representative of JCCME Saudi Arabia Office referred in his remarks to the historic relations between JCCI and JCCME since 2005, when JCCME office was established inside the Chamber. He confirmed JCCME’s readiness to provide any possible assistant to create new partnerships.

Izuru Shimmura, Consul General of Japan in Jeddah, said in his welcome remark that Jeddah is witnessing huge development movement and this seminar which comes within the framework of “Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030” represents a good opportunity for governmental officials, Saudi public and private companies, young Saudi engineers, students and other interested people to learn about the latest Japanese technologies. He also expressed his wish that seminar will contribute to building new cooperation relations between both public and private sectors of the two friendly countries and that Saudi Arabia achieve further prosperity and development under its leadership.

This article was originally published on Arab News Japan.


Saudi aid teams fly to Turkiye to take part in earthquake relief effort

Saudi aid teams fly to Turkiye to take part in earthquake relief effort
Updated 09 February 2023

Saudi aid teams fly to Turkiye to take part in earthquake relief effort

Saudi aid teams fly to Turkiye to take part in earthquake relief effort
  • KSrelief launched a fundraising campaign, which has collected close to SR80 million ($21 million) as of Thursday morning

RIYADH: Saudi teams flew out of Riyadh on Thursday morning to take part in relief efforts in Turkiye after quakes hit the country earlier this week, leaving thousands dead and others trapped under the rubble.

Specialists from King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, also known as KSrelief, departed King Khalid airport in the Saudi capital to join the international mission to provide assistance to Turkiye after Monday’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which struck parts of southeastern Turkiye, northwestern Syria and neighboring areas.

KSrelief also launched a fundraising campaign, which has collected close to SR80 million ($21 million) as of Thursday morning.

Saudi Red Crescent’s vice president for operational affairs Fahad Al-Hajjaj told Ekhbariya TV that the goal is to assess current needs to have a comprehensive understanding of the situation in affected areas.

He also said that the Red Crescent’s team consists of about 20 members including doctors and specialists in different crucial fields.

The air bridge consists of 4 flights, the first of which departed at 6 a.m. Saudi time. 

 

 

 


‘We support women’s empowerment as Vision 2030 goal,’ says US Embassy

‘We support women’s empowerment as Vision 2030 goal,’ says US Embassy
Updated 08 February 2023

‘We support women’s empowerment as Vision 2030 goal,’ says US Embassy

‘We support women’s empowerment as Vision 2030 goal,’ says US Embassy

RIYADH: The US Embassy in Riyadh welcomed US Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, commander of the US Transportation Command, as she met female members of the Saudi Arabian Armed Forces, saying that it supports women’s empowerment as a Vision 2030 goal.

Van Ovost, who is on a tour of the Kingdom, expressed her happiness at exchanging ideas and sharing experiences with Saudi Arabian Armed Forces female members.

“Ending my day energized after speaking with Saudi Armed Forces service members. We talked about one of my favorite things — mentorship. No one overcomes challenges alone. We all need someone to help us stay with it, remain confident, and provide opportunities to let us shine,” Van Ovost tweeted with photos of her meeting, which was retweeted by the US Embassy.

US Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, commander of the US Transportation Command, interacts with female members of the Saudi Arabian Armed Forces. (Supplied)

The US Embassy also tweeted: “Lt. Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost @USTRANSCOM_CDR Commander, US Logistics Command @US_TRANSCOM focuses on women’s empowerment and STEM education. The US government proudly supports women’s empowerment as a Saudi Vision 2030 goal.”

She also visited Prince Sultan Military Air Base and the Apple Developer Academy in Riyadh, which is supporting female developers and entrepreneurs in the Kingdom.

“#TogetherWeDeliver! @usairforce Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost,@USTRANSCOM_CDR, visited #TeamPSAB, where she learned more about the 378th AEW mission, our strong partnership with Saudi Arabia, and engaged with US service members who keep the mission successful,” tweeted the embassy.

In another tweet the US Embassy said: “Lt. Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost @USTRANSCOM_CDR Commander of the US Logistics Transport Command @US_TRANSCOM toured the Apple Developers Academy @ADA_TWQ during her visit to the headquarters of Princess Noura University @_PNU_KSA. The US Government proudly supports women’s empowerment.”

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, an Arab News sister publication, Van Ovost said that her first visit to Riyadh as commander of US Transportation Command focused on consolidating the strong relationship with the Saudi Ministry of Defense, in the national interest of Saudi Arabia and the US, as well as to achieve security goals.

The US Central Command is working with Saudi Arabia to establish an integrated air defense system to counter missiles and unmanned aircraft, among other technological initiatives, she said.

Van Ovost described US military relations with the Kingdom as solid, saying that the two countries fought side by side during the Gulf War in the early 1990s, and that their partnership is a cornerstone of security and stability in the Middle East.