Riyadh turns pink for BLACKPINK

The four band members took to the stage and thanked their fans for their ongoing love, admiration, and support. (Supplied)
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The four band members took to the stage and thanked their fans for their ongoing love, admiration, and support. (Supplied)
Riyadh turns pink for BLACKPINK
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The four band members took to the stage and thanked their fans for their ongoing love, admiration, and support. (Supplied)
Riyadh turns pink for BLACKPINK
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The four band members took to the stage and thanked their fans for their ongoing love, admiration, and support. (Supplied)
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Updated 21 January 2023

Riyadh turns pink for BLACKPINK

The four band members took to the stage and thanked their fans for their ongoing love, admiration, and support. (Supplied)
  • Korean girl group shines on historic Middle East debut

JEDDAH: K-pop fans in the Kingdom were treated to a spectacular concert by the wildly popular Korean girl group BLACKPINK on Friday at BLVD International Festival Site in Riyadh.

BLACKPINK are just one of the international bands participating in Riyadh Season 2022. The sold-out show — the group’s first in the Middle East — attracted visitors from across the Kingdom and overseas.




The venue was filled with fans singing along and waving pink light sticks. Following the farewells from the band, the venue was illuminated by a spectacular fireworks display. (Supplied)

Many of the Saudi capital’s prominent landmarks such as Kingdom Tower, King Abdullah Financial District, Al-Faisaliah Tower, Digital City, and Boulevard World, were lit up in pink to celebrate the concert, which was part of the band’s BORN PINK World Tour, which will also include performances in Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Jakarta, and Bangkok, among other major cities.

The four band members — Jisoo, Jennie, Rose and Lisa — took to the stage and thanked their fans for their ongoing love, admiration, and support. The venue was filled with fans singing along and waving pink light sticks.




The venue was filled with fans singing along and waving pink light sticks. Following the farewells from the band, the venue was illuminated by a spectacular fireworks display. (Supplied)

Due to the great demand for tickets, the concert was moved from Mrsool Park to the BLVD International Festival Site. The show was divided into four parts and climaxed with each member of the band putting on a solo performance. Following the farewells from the band, the venue was illuminated by a spectacular fireworks display.

Rose thanked the audience, saying, “Riyadh wins with the crowd. You guys are absolutely crazy.”




The venue was filled with fans singing along and waving pink light sticks. Following the farewells from the band, the venue was illuminated by a spectacular fireworks display. (Supplied)

Sayeda Fatima, a 25-year-old fan, said: “My wish was to watch BLACKPINK perform live and it came true. Even though it was cold, there was a lot of good energy in the crowd and we couldn’t stop chanting and cheering for them.”

Another BLINK — as the band’s fans are known, Mona, shed tears while listening to her favorite band perform. “Their performance was amazing,” she said. “I really wish them the best and hope they shine even brighter in the future.”

 


Entertainment authority announces Riyadh Calendar activities

Entertainment authority announces Riyadh Calendar activities
Updated 14 sec ago

Entertainment authority announces Riyadh Calendar activities

Entertainment authority announces Riyadh Calendar activities
  • Activities and entertainment zones will continue until mid-March

RIYADH: Riyadh Season 2022 and its wide range of entertainment options in the capital may have come to an end, but there are reasons to be happy following the General Entertainment Authority’s launch of the Riyadh Calendar.

In a statement to Arab News, the GEA said that Riyadh Calendar activities and entertainment zones will continue until mid-March.

The Groves, Boulevard World, Boulevard Riyadh City and other zones will feature a variety of activities, with different dates and opening times.

Expected events include “Earth Voice Night” on Feb. 1, in honor of the late artist Talal Maddah, at Mohammed Abdo Theater in Boulevard Riyadh City.

Visitors can book for events through the Enjoy platform on the link: https://enjoy.sa/en/

Riyadh Season 2022 kicked off on Oct. 21 with more than 8,500 activities, under the slogan “Beyond Imagination.”

The Groves, Boulevard World, Boulevard Riyadh City and other zones will feature a variety of activities, with different dates and opening times. (GEA)

The third season offered visitors a wide range of entertainment options across 15 zones, each characterized by a variety of activities and events, including stores, cafes, restaurants, games, theaters, and a number of new global experiences.

The zones include Boulevard World, Boulevard Riyadh City, Winter Wonderland, Al-Murabaa, Sky Riyadh, Via Riyadh, Riyadh Zoo, Little Riyadh, The Groves, Imagination Park, Al-Suwaidi Park, Souq Al-Zel, Qariat Zaman, Fan Festival and Riyadh Front.

The Groves zone inside the Diplomatic Quarter offers visitors the experience of living in the North Pole through the ice lounge, the first of its kind in the Kingdom, with temperatures as low as minus 18 C.

Food, fashion and family fun are also available in the zone. Visitors can book tickets via the app.

A 35-meter-tall Light Ball, another highlight of Riyadh Season 2022, has become a new landmark in the capital and is the largest illuminated LED ball in the world, according to Guinness World Records.


Former Saudi national guardsman adds string to bow with archery medals

Former Saudi national guardsman adds string to bow with archery medals
Updated 6 min 46 sec ago

Former Saudi national guardsman adds string to bow with archery medals

Former Saudi national guardsman adds string to bow with archery medals
  • Mohammed Al-Shami picked up the sport of archery after losing his right hand in a terrorist attack in 2007 that forced his retirement

RIYADH: A former soldier in the Saudi Arabian National Guard has become a professional archer, winning a number of competitions and awards despite competing with a disability sustained in a terror attack.

Mohammed Al-Shami picked up the sport of archery after losing his right hand in a terrorist attack in 2007 that forced his retirement.

He was treated at King Saud Medical City and was sent to the Rehabilitation Hospital at King Fahd Medical City in Riyadh.

But Al-Shami’s physical disability failed to dent his positive outlook on life.

Ambition cannot stop in the face of “minor problems,” he told Arab News. Instead, Al-Shami believes that problems can give purpose and make people stronger.

Every day, Al-Shami, who usesa prosthetic hand, wakes up with a smile and spreads positivity.

His journey in archery commenced when he registered for the Kingdom Marathon at King Saud University.

“Captain Mishaal Al-Otaibi was explaining to visitors how to shoot … so I went to him and told him I wanted to try it. He looked at me and said ‘come later,’” Al-Shami said.

After waiting for three hours, Al-Shami again went to the captain, who told him to return once more after two hours.

When Al-Shami went back for the second time, he asked the captain: “Can handicapped people throw arrows or not?”

Al-Otaibi then gave a bow and arrow to the former guardsman and told him: “Go ahead, shoot.”

Al-Shami said: “I put the bowstring between my teeth, pulled it and threw it hard, and it settled in the middle of the target, in the bullseye. The captain was impressed. He then taught me how to develop my abilities.”

During the course of his rigorous training, Al-Shami shot 1,000 –1,200 arrows per day to improve his accuracy and technique.

He took part in the 2017 World Championships in Athletics for People with Disabilities at the Dubai Club for People of Determination, winning a gold medal.

Al-Shami also won gold and silver medals at the Sheikh Fazza Championship in the UAE in 2019.

His determination earned him third place in archery in the Kingdom’s My Disability Distinguishes evemt in 2022.

Al-Shami said that archery is the only sport that gives him determination and strengthens his focus.

In the future, he aspires to establish a charitable sports center for archery and taekwondo, where people of all ages can learn the basics of the sports and build bright futures for themselves.

“My biggest professional project is to help put Vision 2030 into action by building the biggest and most ambitious investment and charitable sports center. This will be a one-of-a-kind project with the goal of spreading and graduating professional teams in archery and taekwondo.”

Al-Shami hailed a 2019 decision by the Saudi Paralympic Committee to promote archery for people with disabilities around the Kingdom.


Saudi ministries launch national cultural skills contest

Saudi ministries launch national cultural skills contest
Updated 16 min 51 sec ago

Saudi ministries launch national cultural skills contest

Saudi ministries launch national cultural skills contest
  • The scheme will start by identifying talent in public schools, honing their skills and knowledge, providing online training, and then running a series of competitions

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is to stage its first national cultural skills competition — with a prize-money pot of SR5 million ($1.33 million).

The initiative was launched on Wednesday by officials from the Saudi ministries of culture and education.

Noha Kattan, the Ministry of Culture’s deputy minister of national partnerships and development, and Dr. Mohammed Al-Meqbel, Ministry of Education undersecretary for educational programs, announced details of the contest at a press conference.

Kattan said the competition would cover multiple tracks in various cultural sectors including short films, Arabic calligraphy, visual arts, music, theater, manga and short stories, and folk dance.

Divided into seven stages, the scheme will start by identifying talent in public schools, honing their skills and knowledge, providing online training, and then running a series of competitions.

Finalists will showcase their art or skill at a closing ceremony, which will be subject to voting.

The winners of each sector will receive SR100,000, with runners-up getting SR75,000, and SR50,000 going to those coming third.

Al-Meqbel said the competition aimed to discover and develop the skills of male and female students in the cultural and artistic fields to help preserve the Kingdom’s cultural heritage.

Investing in talented students would empower them through the different stages of the competition, he added.

The contest is part of an ongoing working relationship between the two ministries under a cultural capacity development strategy.

It has been designed to increase the cultural and artistic development of public-school students in the Kingdom, pinpoint their skills, and work to enhance them and encourage new creative energies that contribute to the effectiveness and enrichment of the Saudi cultural sector.


HADAF, NIDLP sign agreement to support Saudization in industrial, logistics sectors

HADAF, NIDLP sign agreement to support Saudization in industrial, logistics sectors
Updated 22 min 1 sec ago

HADAF, NIDLP sign agreement to support Saudization in industrial, logistics sectors

HADAF, NIDLP sign agreement to support Saudization in industrial, logistics sectors
  • The agreement aims to transform the Kingdom into a leading industrial power and an international logistics platform in several promising areas

RIYADH: The Saudi Human Resources Development Fund, known as HADAF, concluded a cooperation agreement with Saudi Arabia’s National Industrial Development and Logistics Program in Riyadh on Thursday, Jan. 26, to support the training and recruitment of national cadres in opportunities generated by program’s initiatives.

In a joint statement, the two sides agreed to contribute to the development of human capital in support of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 initiatives.

The agreement was signed by Turki Al-Jawini, director-general of HADAF, and Suliman Al-Mazroua, CEO of NIDLP. 

The agreement aims to transform the Kingdom into a leading industrial power and an international logistics platform in several promising areas, focusing on the application of 4G technologies for industry. It will also contribute to the creation of employment and training opportunities for national cadres.

The agreement’s provisions include cooperation in the exchange of information, the transfer of expertise and the implementation of joint projects. 

The parties also agreed to establish a joint working group to provide periodic reports on the progress of work.

HADAF revealed that in 2022 it supported the employment of 400,000 citizens in private-sector enterprises through the fund’s programs and initiatives.

Al-Jawini said that the fund has undergone many transformations over the past year and is presently working in partnership with various government and private-sector companies to empower Saudis with job opportunities.

The number of people who benefitted from the fund’s training and counseling services in the past year exceeded 1.49 million, he added, while the number of enterprises that benefitted from the fund’s services during the same period exceeded 138,000.

Total disbursements on training and support programs over the past year reached SR6 billion ($266 million), Al-Jawini said.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched in October 2022 the National Industrial Strategy, which aims to drive growth in the sector and increase the number of factories to 36,000 by 2035, SPA reported.

The strategy also aims to develop an industrial economy that attracts investment and contributes to achieving economic diversification and sustainable growth by developing domestic products and non-oil exports in line with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.

Saudi Arabia is seeking to triple manufacturing by 2030, to create tens of thousands of high-quality jobs and to increase the value of industrial exports to SR557 billion, the total additional investments in the sector to SR1.3 trillion and the export of advanced technology products sixfold.

Through the strategy, the Kingdom aims to empower the private sector, increase the flexibility and competitiveness of the industrial sector, lead the regional industrial integration of value chains and achieve global leadership by investing in promising new technologies.

Saudi Arabia is currently the fourth largest manufacturer of petrochemical products in the world, while its industrial outputs contribute to global supply and manufacturing chains.


Saudi EXIM signs deal with Italian Export Credit Agency to boost exports

Saudi EXIM signs deal with Italian Export Credit Agency to boost exports
Updated 37 min 38 sec ago

Saudi EXIM signs deal with Italian Export Credit Agency to boost exports

Saudi EXIM signs deal with Italian Export Credit Agency to boost exports
  • Agreement in line with Kingdom’s economic diversification plans

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Export-Import Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Italian Export Credit Agency to increase trade between the two countries, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.

The agreement was signed in Rome by Saudi EXIM Bank CEO Saad bin Abdul Aziz Alkhalb and SACE CEO Alessandra Ricci.

It aims to establish a framework to boost Saudi exports to the Italian market and explore opportunities for collaboration in professional development and knowledge exchange on best export credit practices.

Alkhalb said the deal reflected the bank’s efforts to promote the development and diversification of Saudi exports and their ability to compete in global markets in a variety of sectors.

It is in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 framework to increase the economic contribution of non-oil sectors to 50 percent of gross domestic product, from 16 percent at present.