Meet Lele, the Mexican doll on tour in Saudi Arabia 

Special Meet Lele, the Mexican doll on tour in Saudi Arabia 
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With her long braids and button eyes, Lele, the Mexican doll known to travel the world, arrived at Arab News’ office in Riyadh. (AN Photo/Rahaf Jambi)
Special Meet Lele, the Mexican doll on tour in Saudi Arabia 
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As a gift from the Embassy of Mexico, a Lele double has a home at Arab News, Riyadh. (AN Photo/Rahaf Jambi)
Special Meet Lele, the Mexican doll on tour in Saudi Arabia 
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With her long braids and button eyes, Lele, the Mexican doll known to travel the world, arrived at Arab News’ office in Riyadh. (AN Photo/Rahaf Jambi)
Special Meet Lele, the Mexican doll on tour in Saudi Arabia 
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Lele arrived in Saudi Arabia in February and, during February and March, she traveled through Riyadh with the Embassy of Mexico. (Supplied)
Special Meet Lele, the Mexican doll on tour in Saudi Arabia 
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Lele arrived in Saudi Arabia in February and, during February and March, she traveled through Riyadh with the Embassy of Mexico. (Supplied)
Special Meet Lele, the Mexican doll on tour in Saudi Arabia 
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Lele arrived in Saudi Arabia in February and, during February and March, she traveled through Riyadh with the Embassy of Mexico. (Supplied)
Special Meet Lele, the Mexican doll on tour in Saudi Arabia 
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Lele arrived in Saudi Arabia in February and, during February and March, she traveled through Riyadh with the Embassy of Mexico. (Supplied)
Special Meet Lele, the Mexican doll on tour in Saudi Arabia 
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Lele arrived in Saudi Arabia in February and, during February and March, she traveled through Riyadh with the Embassy of Mexico. (Supplied)
Special Meet Lele, the Mexican doll on tour in Saudi Arabia 
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Lele arrived in Saudi Arabia in February and, during February and March, she traveled through Riyadh with the Embassy of Mexico. (Supplied)
Special Meet Lele, the Mexican doll on tour in Saudi Arabia 
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Lele arrived in Saudi Arabia in February and, during February and March, she traveled through Riyadh with the Embassy of Mexico. (Supplied)
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Updated 09 March 2023

Meet Lele, the Mexican doll on tour in Saudi Arabia 

Meet Lele, the Mexican doll on tour in Saudi Arabia 
  • Lele means “baby” in Otomi, one of the 68 indigenous groups and languages in Mexico
  • Lele’s clothing harks back to Otomi weavers and is intended to highlight the accomplishments of indigenous women

With her long braids and button eyes, Lele, the Mexican doll known to travel the world, arrived at the Arab News headquarters office in Riyadh. 

Lele is a rag doll with long braids, a headband made of vibrant colored bows, and traditional clothing from the indigenous Otomi community, who uphold and celebrate their culture through their arts, food and festivals. 

As a gift from the Embassy of Mexico, a version of the doll “Lele” has a home at Arab News, Riyadh. 

“I would like to thank Arab News for giving Lele a place in their editorial home and keeping her ever-present in Riyadh,” Anibal Gomez Toledo, Ambassador of Mexico in Saudi Arabia said. 

Lele Arrived in Saudi Arabia in February and traveled through Riyadh with Mexico’s embassy staff. 

She was featured in some of Riyadh’s most famous locations during the #LeleInSaudi social media promotion, including the Kingdom Tower, Masmak Fortress, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Diriyah’s At-Turaif district. 

She also participated in last week’s Founding Day celebrations and visited “The Line exhibition.” She was introduced to the Saudi audience by a young Saudi woman, who filmed a small video with her in Arabic and English. 

Lele plans to visit other regions, the embassy said. She would also like to explore other countries in the region, especially Bahrain and Oman. 

Lele means “baby” in Otomi, one of the 68 indigenous groups and languages in Mexico. 

She was recognized as part of the State’s cultural heritage on April 18, 2018, and she hails from the Mexican municipality of Amealco, in Queretaro state. 

The Otomies are Mexico’s fifth-largest indigenous group and live mainly in the states of Hidalgo, Estado de Mexico and Queretaro.

Lele’s clothing harks back to Otomi weavers and is intended to highlight the accomplishments of indigenous women. 

The doll was part of a public diplomacy campaign launched in January by Mexico in North and South America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. 

“Lele’s presence in Saudi Arabia is relevant as Mexico seeks to make visible the Mexican women, especially those of indigenous origin, and their contributions to the economy and the society,” Gomez Toledo said.

“It coincides with (Saudi Arabia) undergoing important reforms that increase the presence of women and girls in different fields.” 


Red Sea Global organizes local, regional meetings in bid to expand partnerships

Red Sea Global organizes local, regional meetings in bid to expand partnerships
Updated 30 March 2023

Red Sea Global organizes local, regional meetings in bid to expand partnerships

Red Sea Global organizes local, regional meetings in bid to expand partnerships
  • First regional meeting in Doha attracts over 100 businesses
  • Contracts worth about SR25bn are being sought by the Saudi tourism development company

RIYADH: Red Sea Global has organized a series of local and regional meetings highlighting projects being developed along the Kingdom’s Red Sea coast, as well as partnership opportunities with the company, Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.

The first regional meeting, held in Doha, reviewed details of the Saudi sustainable tourism development company’s projects and shed light on investment opportunities available to regional partners. It attracted over 100 businesses. 

Red Sea Global announced that contracts worth SR27 billion ($7.2 billion) and SR13 billion were awarded for its projects The Red Sea and Amaala this year. Other contracts worth about SR25 billion are also being sought by the company.

In 2023, 70 percent of existing contracts were awarded to Saudi companies.

Mohammed Al-Fardan, executive director of procurement at Red Sea Global, said that expanding partnerships at the local and international levels is a critical step in developing new relationships with Saudi Arabia’s private sector. 

Ben Edwards, group head of cost, commercial and procurement, highlighted opportunities in construction work for Red Sea Global destinations, including building infrastructure, marine and civil engineering, plumbing and furnishing. 

Edwards said that the company is also looking for partners with global experience in tourism, such as food and beverages and other hospitality services.

The Red Sea project is set to open its first three resorts this year, and its Red Sea International Airport is nearing the first phase of completion.

 


Ministry of Hajj and Umrah wins performance excellence award

Ministry of Hajj and Umrah wins performance excellence award
Updated 30 March 2023

Ministry of Hajj and Umrah wins performance excellence award

Ministry of Hajj and Umrah wins performance excellence award
  • The ministry said that the award was the result of its efforts in supporting innovation in institutional performance and preparing guides for Hajj and Umrah operations
  • It also stressed its digital transformation, an awareness of responsibility, integrity, justice and transparency, and its encouragement of employees to participate in community activities

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has taken first place in the excellent corporate performance category at the Madinah Award Foundation’s ceremony.

The event, which was held at Taibah University’s Conference Hall on Wednesday, was attended by Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman, who is also chairman of the foundation’s board of trustees, and Hajj and Umrah Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah.

The ministry said in a press statement that the award was the result of its efforts in supporting innovation in institutional performance and preparing guides for Hajj and Umrah operations, which included follow-up procedures to achieve performance indicators.

It also stressed its digital transformation, the spreading awareness of responsibility, integrity, justice and transparency, and its encouragement of employees to participate in community activities and volunteer work.

Some 26 entities had applied for the award for the best government-performing organization.

Al-Rabiah expressed his appreciation to Prince Faisal for organizing the award, which he said aimed to encourage departments to achieve excellence.

He added that the ministry would not have achieved the distinction had it not been for the directives of its leadership which sought to help worshippers on their journeys to the holy places.


Ramadan District in Riyadh showcases heritage through artisanal crafts

Ramadan District in Riyadh showcases heritage through artisanal crafts
Updated 30 March 2023

Ramadan District in Riyadh showcases heritage through artisanal crafts

Ramadan District in Riyadh showcases heritage through artisanal crafts
  • Vibrant decorations welcome visitors to Al-Nada Garden to live out a unique cultural experience and get a taste of authentic Saudi traditions
  • Two shops specialize in weaving — a Sadu shop featuring colorful, hand-embroidered goods, and a wicker shop, offering a variety of accessories

RIYADH: For the entire month of Ramadan, local shops are bringing heritage crafts to Al-Nada Garden and Al-Hezam Park in Riyadh for the Ramadan District event.

Vibrant decorations welcome visitors to Al-Nada Garden to live out a unique cultural experience and get a taste of authentic Saudi traditions.

Two shops specialize in weaving — a Sadu shop featuring colorful, hand-embroidered goods, and a wicker shop, offering a variety of accessories.

In 2020, wicker weaver Razan Jaber and Sadu weaver Aisha Fakhaihi took training courses with the Herfa Organization as part of an initiative aimed at preserving heritage crafts through workshops and events.

“I have been practicing Sadu for three years now, and I hope to create new things in the future. Herfa has helped me a lot with personal development and my hobby,” Fakhaihi said.

“The event has been nice. Kids are getting exposure to new things, and they are curious about where these things come from. It has been beautiful,” Jaber said.

Saudi psychologist Ahmed Al-Shehri was taking his daily stroll when the rosary shop caught his eye.

“I was taking my daily walk when I came across a rosary shop that grabbed my attention. It was great seeing a young Saudi man creating rosaries, which is not usually typical,” he said.

“I also noticed that there are other shops with traditional ways of handmaking crafts such as the Sadu and wicker weaving. Where I’m from, weaving is very well known, and seeing that the new generation and kids are getting to know what it is makes this a beautiful initiative,” Al-Shehri said.

Visitors are spoiled for choice with all the food and refreshment options from Saudi-owned home kitchen Tuwaiq Kitchen and the Black Stamp coffee shop, which offers a special hibiscus tea for Ramadan.

Operated by Saudi women, Tuwaiq Kitchen has an exclusive menu for the month of Ramadan filled with traditional dishes such as the Saudi national dish jareesh and basboosa for dessert.

Ramadan District is one of the events under Ramadan Season, a series of cultural experiences organized by the Saudi Ministry of Culture across Riyadh, Jeddah and Makkah.

The event will take place for 30 days during the holy month, from 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. in Al-Nada Garden and Al-Hezam Park.


Direct flights launched between Saudi Arabia, Venice

Direct flights launched between Saudi Arabia, Venice
Updated 30 March 2023

Direct flights launched between Saudi Arabia, Venice

Direct flights launched between Saudi Arabia, Venice
  • Wizz Air flights between Jeddah and Italy’s most popular tourist destination will be twice a week
  • Airline manager: ‘Our expansion into Saudi Arabia from Italy began only a few months ago and has already proved to be a success’

ROME: The first direct flight between Saudi Arabia and Venice, Italy’s most popular tourist destination, took place on Wednesday.

Flights with low-cost Hungarian airline Wizz Air between the historical lagoon city and Saudi Arabia’s second-largest city Jeddah will be twice a week, operating all year round.  

The new direct flights follow a memorandum of understanding that Wizz Air signed with the Saudi Investment Ministry aimed at enhancing the development of the Kingdom’s tourism sector in line with the Vision 2030 reform program.

Wizz Air launched other direct flights between Italian and Saudi cities in recent months — including from Rome to Dammam and Riyadh, and from Milan to Jeddah — as part of 23 new routes from Europe to the Kingdom.

The departure of the first Venice-Jeddah flight was saluted with a ceremony at Marco Polo Airport in Venice attended by a representative of the mayor.

Tamara Nikiforova, corporate communication manager at Wizz Air Malta, said: “We are happy to continue our expansion into Saudi Arabia from Italy, which began only a few months ago and has already proved to be a success.”

She added: “This new and unique connection to Jeddah will allow all passengers departing from Venice Marco Polo Airport to benefit from the immense historical, artistic and cultural heritage this city offers.”


Saudi leaders congratulate UAE president on new leadership appointments

Saudi leaders congratulate UAE president on new leadership appointments
Updated 30 March 2023

Saudi leaders congratulate UAE president on new leadership appointments

Saudi leaders congratulate UAE president on new leadership appointments
  • Bahrain and Qatar’s leaders also congratulated Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed on new appointments
  • Newly-appointed officials received messages of congratulations from the rulers of the rest of the emirates

RIYADH: King Salman of Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman congratulated UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Al-Nahyan on new leadership appointments.

On Wednesday, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed appointed his eldest son Sheikh Khaled as the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, and his brother Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan as vice president of the UAE.

He also named his other brothers Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al-Nahyan the deputy rulers of Abu Dhabi.

In their cable of congratulations, the Saudi leaders wished the newly appointed officials success in serving the people of the UAE towards further progress and prosperity. They also reiterated the deep historical ties that unite both countries, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.  

Bahrain and Qatar’s leaders also congratulated Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed on the new appointments.

In a phone call with the UAE president, Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said he hoped the new appointments would “provide a strong impetus for the country’s development and progress,” reported Emirates News Agency (WAM).

The newly-appointed officials received messages of congratulations from the rulers of the rest of the emirates early Thursday.