Bollywood singer Kumar Sanu delights fans in Jeddah

Kumar Sanu was the star of the show for the two-day music festival at the Equestrian Club in Jeddah. (Supplied)
Kumar Sanu was the star of the show for the two-day music festival at the Equestrian Club in Jeddah. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 05 February 2023

Bollywood singer Kumar Sanu delights fans in Jeddah

Kumar Sanu was the star of the show for the two-day music festival at the Equestrian Club in Jeddah. (Supplied)
  • Making his first ever appearance in the Kingdom, Sanu thrilled the audience of mostly Indian expats, serving up renditions of more than 20 songs

JEDDAH: Bollywood singer Kumar Sanu wowed the crowds on Friday night as the latest celebration of Indian culture drew to a close.

Sanu was the star of the show for the two-day music festival at the Equestrian Club in Jeddah’s Al-Frosyah district, which was organized by Good Hope Events in cooperation with the General Entertainment Authority.

Making his first ever appearance in the Kingdom, Sanu thrilled the audience of mostly Indian expats, serving up renditions of more than 20 songs.

“I have been waiting to perform in Saudi Arabia and here we are in Jeddah for the first time,” he told his adoring fans from the stage.

“We have a great crowd and I am happy to see you enjoying the night.”

Also on the bill were Rachna Chopra, Biplab and Afsal, who helped ramp up the crowds with a host of Bollywood numbers.

“I am amazed by the energy that flowed from you guys,” Chopra told the crowd.

Fan Nadia Azmi, who went to the gig with friends, said: “We all are privileged to have Sanu among us in Jeddah today. We all have grown up listening to his songs since the ’80s and ’90s.

“It is wonderful to listen to him live today. I want to thank Saudi Arabia and the organizers for their efforts in making this possible.”

Junaise Babu, chairman of Good Hope Events, said the festival had been a huge success.

“It was a great feeling to see so many men, women, young and old, not only Indian expatriates but also other Asians enjoying the various musicians we brought.”

Amrina Qaiser, who introduced Sanu on stage, said: “It was an amazing experience hosting such a mega event in Jeddah for the first time.

“I felt overwhelmed and I was lucky enough to interact with the king of melody from Bollywood, Kumar Sanu.”

 


Riyadh charity event collects 50,000 clothing items

Riyadh charity event collects 50,000 clothing items
Updated 02 April 2023

Riyadh charity event collects 50,000 clothing items

Riyadh charity event collects 50,000 clothing items
  • Families from all over Kingdom will have opportunity to get clothes to wear during Eid, Ramadan

 

RIYADH: More than 50,000 clothing items were donated at one of the biggest charity events held in the Kingdom on Friday and Saturday in Riyadh.

The third edition of the Kiswa Project launched 13 clothing market donations in 13 regions of the Kingdom.

The charity event was held at Prince Sultan University in Riyadh, in cooperation with the Nubader Club, a group of students at the university who are committed to volunteering and being part of betterment initiatives.

Renad Alzaid, who volunteered as part of the Kiswa crew to help organize the event, said: “Our aim is to distribute the 50,000 clothing items throughout the Kingdom to women, men and children. Anyone who would like to be a part of this should join us.”

Families from all over the Kingdom will have the opportunity to get clothes — of various designs, sizes and colors — to wear during Eid and Ramadan.

Tayseer Abdullah attended the event with her children to pick up clothes that they plan to wear during the month of Ramadan and in Eid celebrations. “I got everything for my family. Some things for the children, for myself and my mother,” Abdullah said.

Abdulrahman Alemam, a Kiswa volunteer, said: “We came in today to support the needy families by helping them and arranging for them the clothes they want to take so they take them in an orderly, faster and smooth manner. It feels incredible to help out.”

Abdulaziz Alshenqity, a Nubader member, said: “Our goal is to bring joy and happiness to the beneficiaries and the needy famlies. Nubader Club was established by students who are enthusiastic about serving the community in order to have a positive impact on society and provide volunteer initiatives for all members of society.”


Dates—beloved jewels of the desert

Dates—beloved jewels of the desert
Updated 01 April 2023

Dates—beloved jewels of the desert

Dates—beloved jewels of the desert
  • A symbol of Saudi hospitality, dates come in a range of textures, colors and levels of sweetness

RIYADH: Dates are an iconic symbol of Saudi Arabia. The fruit represents an integral part of the Kingdom’s hospitality as one is always offered dates and Arabic coffee at home, in the office and at event of all kinds.

It is no surprise that during the holy month of Ramadan, dates are a staple on the iftar table. With more than 200 varieties to choose from, dates come in a range of flavors, textures, colors and levels of sweetness.

Aside from consuming them on their own, dates are used in multiple ways in the kitchen: a filling for the popular and traditional mamool cookie, a natural sweetener for drinks and desserts and garnishing for salad, among other uses. Choosing the right variety will ensure a magical gastronomic experience.

A symbol of Saudi hospitality and an Iftar staple, over 200 varieties of dates are produced in Saudi Arabia and sold at date markets. (SPA)

The significance of dates is also tied to the belief that the Prophet Muhammad broke his fasts with the fruit, thus eating dates in the holy month of Ramadan is a tradition that Muslims have followed for centuries.

Khaled Al-Ramadan, a mechanical engineer, dedicates all of his free time to his date business, Kahraman Dates, in the Eastern Province. “I was born in Al-Ahsa and I have always had palm trees surrounding me. Out of love for agricultural history and my own hobby, I started my date business,” he said.

FASTFACT

The Ajwa date, considered one of the most expensive in the Kingdom, is produced mainly in Madinah, the second holy city in Saudi Arabia. Nicknamed the ‘holy date,’ the black or dark brown Ajwa has a distinct flavor profile.

Al-Ramadan added that he has become acquainted with many people in the date business, whose work he values. “Dates are available everywhere, even in grocery stores. There are dates that are marked at the lowest possible price, SR2-3 ($0.5) a kilo. But a person who can produce a beautiful and luxurious product deserves appreciation and support … we should buy from him and market his production.”

A symbol of Saudi hospitality and an Iftar staple, over 200 varieties of dates are produced in Saudi Arabia and sold at date markets. (Supplied)

Al-Ramadan’s favorite type of date is the Raziz date. The Raziz date is usually served with date molasses and sesame in a traditional dish named safsif. “Any authentic date expert would also tell you that the best date out there is the Raziz date. It has great nutritional value and flavor, even if it’s high in sugar,” he said.

Al-Ramadan told Arab News about four of the most popular Ramadan date varieties in the Kingdom.

Ajwa: The Ajwa date, considered one of the most expensive in the Kingdom, is produced mainly in Madinah, the second holy city in Saudi Arabia. Nicknamed the “holy date,” the black or dark brown Ajwa has a distinct flavor profile. It is slightly sweet and fruity with a prune-like texture and is rich in vitamins.

Khalas: Khalas dates are also considered one of the Kingdom’s premium varieties. It is a dark brown, oval-shaped date with a sweet butter-caramel flavor. “Khalas is most famously associated with the Eastern region in Saudi Arabia. Al-Ahsa tends to produce the highest quantity and quality of the Khalas date. You most certainly will find Khalas dates in every social gathering in the GCC, particularly in Saudi Arabia and UAE,” he said.

Sokari: Al-Ramadan recommends the sought-after Sokari date for a sweet caramel taste. They are considered a great source of fiber and suitable for people with heart conditions. “The word ‘Sokari’ sounds like ‘sugar’ in Arabic. It means ‘the sweet one,’ he said. The variety is popular in the region and the fruit is often referred to as ‘royal dates’,” Al-Ramadan added.

Segai: Segai are two-toned dates that hold different textures: One part of the date is soft and the other is dry and crunchy. Its taste is similar to brown sugar.

 


Saudi esports festival returns with $10m charity prize fund

Saudi esports festival returns with $10m charity prize fund
Updated 01 April 2023

Saudi esports festival returns with $10m charity prize fund

Saudi esports festival returns with $10m charity prize fund
  • Event will also host a women’s tournament for the first time

JEDDAH: The world’s biggest charitable esports festival is returning to the Kingdom for the fourth year with a $10 million charity prize fund, connecting the world of gaming to humanitarian causes around the globe.

Gamers Without Borders is a six-week-long series of events that will be held virtually by the Saudi Esports Federation beginning April 27.

The esports festival offers elite players competition across a wide range of the world’s most popular gaming titles through tournaments that will serve as a qualifier to Gamers8: The Land of Heroes, the biggest esports and gaming festival worldwide, which will return for a second year on July 6.

Teams including NIGMA GALAXY will compete for a total prize pool of $2.5 million in the multiplayer tactical first-person shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, developed by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment. Other teams taking part will be announced later.

This year’s edition will also feature the first-of-its-kind all-women Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament, with six teams battling in a single elimination bracket on April 27-29.

HIGHLIGHT

The esports festival offers elite players competition across a wide range of the world’s most popular gaming titles through tournaments that will serve as a qualifier to Gamers8: The Land of Heroes, the biggest esports and gaming festival worldwide, which will return for a second year on July 6.

Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, chairman of the Saudi Esports Federation, said: “It is extremely exciting to announce that Gamers Without Borders’ fourth edition will have an all-women component. One of the best features of gaming and esports is that it provides equal opportunities for everyone without any bias or restrictions.

“We are furthering our commitment to providing an inclusive gaming and esports environment that encourages and supports female gamers from all backgrounds.”

NIGMA GALAXY said: “We are proud to take part in the world’s biggest charitable esports festival and see the tournament expanding its horizons. Hopefully, events like Gamers Without Borders will help pave the way for the further development of women’s esports globally and we’re excited to play for such an important cause.”

In addition to the women’s tournament, the main Counter-Strike: Global Offensive qualifiers will take place on May 16 for Europe and North America, allowing teams to secure a spot at the GWB finals and Gamers8 grand finals.

Prince Faisal added: “Gamers Without Borders paved the way for us to organize Gamers8, the biggest esports and gaming festival worldwide. With Gamers Without Borders, the Kingdom has established the world’s largest charity esports platform and in just three years, the world’s largest charitable Esports festival raised $30 million to support humanitarian aid partners such as Direct Relief, IMC, UNICEF, ITU Gavi, NRC, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center and UNHCR.”

After three successful editions that saw more than $30 million donated to COVID-19 relief and vaccine distribution, the festival is aiming to reach a total of $40 million in donations.

Gamers from around the world can support the donation drive through the Gamers Without Borders website.

 


Who’s Who: Ahmed bin Wasl Al-Juhani, CEO of Rua Al-Madinah Holding

Ahmed bin Wasl Al-Juhani
Ahmed bin Wasl Al-Juhani
Updated 01 April 2023

Who’s Who: Ahmed bin Wasl Al-Juhani, CEO of Rua Al-Madinah Holding

Ahmed bin Wasl Al-Juhani

Ahmed bin Wasl Al-Juhani has been CEO of Rua Al-Madinah Holding since February 2022.

The company is a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and undertakes development projects in Madinah that feature modern urban planning.

Rua Al-Madinah Holding aims to highlight Madinah’s cultural and urban characteristics, while helping achieve Vision 2030 targets for Hajj and Umrah through its development projects.

Al-Juhani’s executive track record extends across more than three decades, and includes real estate development, construction and facilities management, housing, tourism, hospitality and culture, education, sports facilities, as well as railways, airports, and oil and gas facilities.

He has held numerous leadership positions at major companies and institutions in the Kingdom, Europe and South Korea.

Before joining Rua Al-Madinah Holding, Al-Juhani was CEO of the development and construction sector at the Royal Commission for AlUla, where he served for a year.

He was previously vice president of construction at El-Seif Engineering Contracting.

Al-Juhani also lent his expertise to Saudi Aramco, where he served for 20 years, and the Ministry of Finance, where he supervised various large-scale projects and laid out the strategic framework for future undertakings.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, and a master’s degree in engineering from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Al-Juhani has completed Harvard Business School’s real estate management program, as well as several specialized training programs.

 

 


Saudi Arabia reports 153 new COVID-19 cases

More than 69.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Saudi Arabia. (REUTERS)
More than 69.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Saudi Arabia. (REUTERS)
Updated 02 April 2023

Saudi Arabia reports 153 new COVID-19 cases

More than 69.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Saudi Arabia. (REUTERS)
  • The ministry said of the current cases, 75 patients were in critical condition

RIYADH: Saudi authorities reported 153 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday. As a result, the total number of cases in the Kingdom over the course of the pandemic grew to 833,880.

Of the new infections, 58 were recorded in Riyadh and 23 in Jeddah. Several other cities recorded fewer than 10 new cases each.

The Ministry of Health also confirmed that the Kingdom’s death toll from COVID-19 reached 9,631.

It said that 116 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom over the course of the pandemic to 819,303.

The ministry said that 4,946 COVID-19 cases are still active, adding that 4,026 PCR tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number to more than 45.2 million.

The ministry said of the current cases, 75 patients were in critical condition.

More than 69.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the Kingdom’s immunization campaign began, with more than 25.4 million people fully vaccinated.