Saudi Towards Space exhibitions launched in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dhahran

The Saudi Space Commission on Monday launched its Saudi Towards Space exhibitions in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dhahran. (Supplied)
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The Saudi Space Commission on Monday launched its Saudi Towards Space exhibitions in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dhahran. (Supplied)
The Saudi Space Commission on Monday launched its Saudi Towards Space exhibitions in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dhahran. (Supplied)
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The Saudi Space Commission on Monday launched its Saudi Towards Space exhibitions in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dhahran. (Supplied)
The Saudi Space Commission on Monday launched its Saudi Towards Space exhibitions in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dhahran. (Supplied)
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The Saudi Space Commission on Monday launched its Saudi Towards Space exhibitions in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dhahran. (Supplied)
The Saudi Space Commission on Monday launched its Saudi Towards Space exhibitions in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dhahran. (Supplied)
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The Saudi Space Commission on Monday launched its Saudi Towards Space exhibitions in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dhahran. (Supplied)
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Updated 22 May 2023
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Saudi Towards Space exhibitions launched in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dhahran

Saudi Towards Space exhibitions launched in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dhahran
  • The events run until June 1 in Riyadh, June 2 in Jeddah and Dhahran

JEDDAH/RIYADH: The Saudi Space Commission on Monday launched its Saudi Towards Space exhibitions in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dhahran to coincide with the take-off of Axiom’s second mission to the International Space Station.

The events, running until June 1 in the capital and June 2 in the other two cities, aim to give visitors an intergalactic experience while providing opportunities to explore the vast field of space, and learn about space flight, astronomy, and cosmology.

Information will also be provided on modern scientific theories about the nature of the universe, delivered through the use of educational games, interactive simulators, live shows, and workshops.

Saudi astronauts Rayyanah Barnawi and Ali Alqarni were among a crew of four that blasted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida early on Monday on the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour rocket, becoming the first Saudis in space since Prince Sultan bin Salman in 1985.

The commission aims to boost national interest in the space sector and inspire the next generation to work in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

In Jeddah, Abdulrahman Al-Najjar, a member of the guiding team at the exhibition, said it provided educational opportunities for people of all ages to learn more about space travel.

“This is an exhibition, it’s recreational, interactive, immersive, and there is virtual reality,” he added.

Father of two boys, Saad Al-Aboud, said: “It’s history in the making for a whole new generation as on Monday we witnessed our astronauts go to space.

“It (the exhibition) provides actual scale models so people can understand what it really took to get to the Moon.”

Mohammed Abdulwahed said he attended the exhibit because one of his sons, Khalid, 12, loved everything to do with space.

“We stood until midnight to watch the historical trip of our astronauts, we really had mixed feelings, but we are really proud of them and hope they accomplish what they are aiming to,” he added.

Khalid said that he stayed up all night to watch the launch. “I like it and I love Ali and Rayyanah.”

In Riyadh, the vast space in which Winter Wonderland was once housed has been converted into an immersive and interactive space-centric area.

It has three main zones — an exhibition area with several large screens, installations, VR experiences, smart screens, and guides on the ground, a zone housing a stage with live experiments by experts in the field, and another space with food vendors and rest areas.

Invited guests also attended a countdown viewing party to watch the launch live on a large screen.

Nourah bint Khalid took her sons Bandar, 12, and Mohammad, eight, to the exhibition’s opening night in Riyadh.

Bandar said: “I learned today about who is going to space and when they are going, and that they’ll be testing everything and doing experiments.”

Mohammad said: “It’s the first time a female from our country has been into space, so it’s exciting.”

Khalid said: “Yesterday, their father and I talked about how we were lucky to have a child who was interested in space now. If his passion for space continues, he’ll have a place that can help him achieve his goals or reach higher places.

“This is a very historic moment and we’re extremely proud. The moment I walked in here, I choked up. This proves that when Saudis decide to do something, they can do the best. They can go all the way, from zero to forever.”


Saudi rooftop event Fowg takes Riyadh nightlife to new heights

Saudi rooftop event Fowg takes Riyadh nightlife to new heights
Updated 31 min 16 sec ago
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Saudi rooftop event Fowg takes Riyadh nightlife to new heights

Saudi rooftop event Fowg takes Riyadh nightlife to new heights
  • Music fans dance the night away at rooftop event featuring Italian DJ Lehar
  • Saudi music events company helps build loyal community

RIYADH: At the weekend in Riyadh’s King Abdullah Financial District, a rooftop event featuring dancing and music with Italian DJ Lehar at the forefront attracted a packed house.

A handful of years ago, a scene like this was only a distant possibility in Saudi Arabia, but today MDLBeast and local creatives have left no stone unturned to make it a reality.

“It’s something beautiful when you have this impact … It was a dream, and now we see it on the rooftops,” Ayman Al-Zurayer told Arab News. He is the founder of the local music events company Desert Sound Entertainment, which brought the festivities to life.

Italian DJ Lehar headlined at Fowg during his third visit to Saudi Arabia. (Instagram/leharmusic)

Lehar, the well-known Italian DJ and producer who grew up in Venice and has performed at events like Tomorrowland, debuted some new tracks as well as ones from his labels. Having performed in Jeddah and Riyadh during his third visit to Saudi Arabia, Lehar said that even Europeans can learn from the booming music scene in the Kingdom.

“In just three years, I have to tell you I see things changing, especially the electronic music scene. It’s become one of the top capitals in the Middle East,” Lehar told Arab News. “The crowd understands everything; they can’t wait to dance. It’s a fantastic crowd.”

For the past few months, MDLBeast, the region’s music and entertainment platform, has made Thursdays a staple for weekly nights out at a unique location overlooking skyscrapers and eye-catching architecture through its first small venue activation Fowg, the Arabic word for “up” or “above.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• Fowg music venue by MDLBeast is a unique location overlooking skyscrapers.

• For event updates check the Instagram @desertsound.co and @mdlbeast.

Rayan Al-Rasheed, senior artist booking and operations manager at MDLBeast, told Arab News: “We’re really trying to show that there’s a nightlife here in Riyadh … it’s been amazing. We collaborated with a lot of local brands to make this happen. We really wanted to integrate rather than compete with small businesses that are already on the ground and have communities.

“Desert Sound’s reputation (precedes them) — the amount of activations, the quality, the standard that they deliver. It just made sense to have them as the closing of this edition of Fowg.”

While MDLBeast has been pushing the envelope in the region to host international names, such as headlining its flagship annual music festival Soundstorm, this event sheds light on the locals, Al-Rasheed said.

Rayan Al-Rasheed, MDLBeast senior artist booking and operations manager

Desert Sound champions the same goal through smaller venues that host various artists within the EDM (electronic dance music) genre.

Unlucky partygoers were turned away at the gate of the sold-out show due to the enormous turnout, despite the event only being announced five days previously.

But it was not by accident that the house filled up. The majority of participants are ardent fans of Desert Sound, which distinguished itself by refusing to limit itself to a single-sound brand.

We really wanted to integrate rather than compete with small businesses that are already on the ground and have communities.

Rayan Al-Rasheed, MDLBeast senior artist booking and operations manager

Al-Zurayer added: “Since day one we’ve been trying to provide different experiences for people to trust the brand itself. No matter what we bring, where we go they will follow, and come because they know they’re going to have fun.”

Inaugural event Mars Escape headlined Dutch artist Satori and transported around 1,000 attendees to another dimension made distinct by live art, festival makeup and fire performances within a valley in Riyadh.

Reema Al-Saud, the brand’s co-founder, told Arab News:  “We started small (with) whatever we could handle in order to make people safe, so we could control and see the community and make girls and guys feel safe. You can’t do that with a big number so we started there and slowly evolved until we reached 2,500 — and it’s not going to stop there.”

Al-Zurayer added: “Music is education. It connects people from different languages, different cultures, and here in Saudi Arabia developing our culture in this way … that’s such an amazing way to use music.”

Desert Sound’s next event will take place on Dec. 5 in yet another distinct location. The company champions bringing new names, whether local or international, to the stage through the platform it has created.

Al-Saud said: “We want to orchestrate every preference … Every day someone new comes up but they don’t get the chance because they’re not famous enough, or whatever. But when you give them the opportunity, they exceed in every way.”

Artist and DJ Joj was looking for a medium a year ago to focus on and she eventually found her calling to music. At Desert Sound’s milestone Fowg event, she opened up the night.

“I was going through a tough time and I needed this thing (music) to keep me going ... Tonight, I loved that there were a lot of women on the dance floor who gave me the push to go further,” she told Arab News.

Her set preceded musicians ANT. and Misha Saied, who played back to back before handing gears over to Lehar.

Desert Sound brings the underground scene to the public. It built its brand by hosting acclaimed international names, who are also part of the change to leverage the local scene.

Al-Zurayer said: “This is one of the keys to unlocking internationals to seeing Saudi Arabia as a country that has love and peace. We’ve been a secret country for many years, but now is the time to show them this love. Come and discover us.”

While Fowg has just concluded its gleaming nightlife series, Al-Rasheed said that other experiences will soon surface, including one to be held in the abandoned Irqah Hospital.

To keep up with updates and upcoming events, check the Instagram @desertsound.co.


Riyadh’s ICAN 2023 states aim to keep pace with progress in global air transport

Riyadh’s ICAN 2023 states aim to keep pace with progress in global air transport
Updated 28 min 42 sec ago
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Riyadh’s ICAN 2023 states aim to keep pace with progress in global air transport

Riyadh’s ICAN 2023 states aim to keep pace with progress in global air transport
  • Malaysia to host event next year

RIYADH: The 15th International Conference on Air Services Negotiations, which is affiliated with the International Civil Aviation Organization, opened in Riyadh on Sunday with the aim of working to keep pace with rapid developments in the aviation sector.

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Transport and Logistics Services Saleh Al-Jasser, who is also chairman of the board of directors at the General Authority of Civil Aviation, opened the conference, which is being hosted by the GACA with the participation of industry leaders, a number of ministers, and heads of civil aviation authorities.

More than 700 experts and specialists in the aviation industry, along with delegations from more than 100 countries and organizations, are also attending the event, which takes place from Dec. 3-7.

Al-Jasser said it was the second time the Kingdom had hosted the conference, which positioned the country among leaders in the field. He also thanked the ICAO for its partnership and support in hosting the event, which is setting a new record for attendance.

He added: “This outstanding participation confirms the importance of the conference and its success in achieving its goals and in advancing the global aviation sector.”

The Kingdom’s efforts in supporting its partners across the world to grow in the transportation and logistics services sector were acknowledged, with special thanks to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Al-Jasser said that the hosting of ICAN 2023 came in light of the unlimited support the air transport sector enjoyed from them.

He added that the Kingdom’s efforts were integrated with the strategy for transport and logistics services, which aimed to connect Saudi Arabia with the rest of the world through a comprehensive, diverse and innovative transport network in accordance with the National Aviation Strategy.

The minister added that the Kingdom was intent on strengthening its cross-border relations, and that the hosting of ICAN 2023 embodied the commitment toward dialogue, and the exchange of experiences and cultures, to work to build a united and cooperative global aviation sector.

He indicated that the agreements and partnerships made at the conference would have a positive effect on the sector.

The opening ceremony announced Malaysia as the ICAN 2024 host and featured cultural performances, in the presence of Al-Jasser, GACA President Abdulaziz Al-Duailej, ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano, and heads of civil aviation authorities from various participating countries.

The GACA president said that the National Aviation Strategy aims to underline the Kingdom’s pioneering role in the field of civil aviation in the Middle East region, by attracting investments worth $100 billion and creating an exceptional travel experience for more than 330 million passengers annually by 2030.

The plan covers airports, airlines, aircraft and air service facilities, including air freight and logistics services, and offers travelers more than 250 destinations through 29 airports, with two global hubs in Riyadh and Jeddah.

This will significantly increase the volume of air freight from 0.8 million tons to 4.5 million tons by 2030, according to the GACA.

Al-Duailej noted that the GACA, as a strategic regulatory body, contributed to preparing the market by providing appropriate regulatory conditions and economic reforms to attract investment and provide growth opportunities throughout the Kingdom.

In addition, this initiative contributed to increasing competitiveness and transparency, providing more options for travelers, while achieving sustainable growth.

The GACA last November issued a new regulation to protect the rights of travelers to ensure that they received care, support and compensation for any difficulties faced on flights.

The GACA president added that the authority was keen to contribute, through its various efforts, to creating a safer and more sustainable global civil aviation system.

The authority would welcome communication, cooperation, and the exchange of experiences with various concerned parties, to build sustainable and advanced aviation systems in the Kingdom and other countries.

Sciacchitano said that the ICAN had succeeded, since its launch in 2008, in hosting more than 5,000 bilateral meetings, which had resulted in the signing of nearly 4,000 agreements and memorandums of cooperation with 160 participating countries.

He added that this year’s edition had attracted more than 95 countries and had more than 700 participants, while expectations were that the number of meetings during the event could exceed 485.

Ministers and heads of civil aviation authorities visited an exhibition which accompanies the conference. It showcases existing and future projects within the sector, and the opportunities offered, including in areas such as air mobility, space, sustainability, and advanced technologies.

The ICAN event, which is the largest of its kind for negotiating and discussing air transport affairs, aims to keep pace with rapid developments in the global air transport industry.

The conference will also witness the establishment of a ceremony to distribute the Facilities Award, hosted by the GACA, and concludes on Dec. 7, International Civil Aviation Day.

 

 


Saudi Arabia’s Mawhiba, MoC commission launch youth creative writing scheme

Saudi Arabia’s Mawhiba, MoC commission launch youth creative writing scheme
Updated 03 December 2023
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Saudi Arabia’s Mawhiba, MoC commission launch youth creative writing scheme

Saudi Arabia’s Mawhiba, MoC commission launch youth creative writing scheme
  • The commission, operating under the ministry, plays a pivotal role in identifying and fostering talent, aligning its efforts with Saudi Vision 2030

JEDDAH: A new initiative to develop the creative writing skills of young Saudi students has been launched by the King Abdulaziz and his Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity, known as Mawhiba, in collaboration with the Saudi Ministry of Culture, represented by the Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission.

The “Generation of Literature” initiative is targeting exceptionally talented middle school students, underscoring the significance of nurturing and harnessing their innate talents, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

With a focus on broadening knowledge of genres including science fiction, detective stories, children’s tales, short stories and essays, the initiative has enlisted more 150 students from regions across the Kingdom.

FASTFACTS

• The ‘Generation of Literature’ initiative has enlisted more 150 students from regions across the Kingdom.

• The nine-week program will be conducted both in person in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dhahran, and virtually.

• It will focus on broadening knowledge of genres including science fiction.

The nine-week program will be conducted both in person in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dhahran, and virtually, ensuring equal opportunities for students across Saudi Arabia.

The commission, operating under the ministry, plays a pivotal role in identifying and fostering talent, aligning its efforts with Saudi Vision 2030.

By empowering gifted students in the realm of creative writing, the authority aspires to create an inspiring environment that nurtures talent and creativity, and encourages literary expression among students.

Mawhiba delivers multiple enrichment programs for promising students, providing them with advanced scientific knowledge and experiences that both challenge and refine their abilities.

Mawhiba’s programs also promote efficiency and readiness, helping students take part in scientific and practical experiences rooted in international methodologies.

Students are prepared for programs sponsored by Mawhiba, both within and outside the Kingdom.

The “Generation of Literature” initiative is carefully tailored to align with the literary fields and genres suitable for the targeted age group.

 


Empowering loved ones with disabilities

Empowering loved ones with disabilities
Updated 7 sec ago
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Empowering loved ones with disabilities

Empowering loved ones with disabilities
  • Fifth annual forum for ‘Families of Persons with Disabilities’ is underway in Dammam

DAMMAM: To coincide with International Day of Disability, Dammam launched the fifth annual forum for “Families of Persons with Disabilities” on Saturday with the slogan “economic growth.”

Under the patronage of Prince Saud bin Nayef, emir of the Eastern Province, who was on hand to personally lend his unwavering support to the hosting association “Liajlehu,” the event, that kicked off on Dec. 2, will conclude on Dec. 4.

With 50 speakers on stage — experts and specialists from around the Kingdom and the region — and seven academic talks, as well as numerous opportunities for dialogue and knowledge exchange, the forum serves as a support for families to empower their loved ones with disabilities.

HIGHLIGHT

This year, the emphasis was on using the latest developments in creativity, innovation and technological advancements to help elevate the economic growth for these families and for the entirety of the community.

This year, the emphasis was on using the latest developments in creativity, innovation and technological advancements to help elevate the economic growth for these families and for the entirety of the community.

Up the vast flights of stairs leading up to the Eastern Province municipal building’s hall — or through a wheelchair accessible path to the side — booths were set up to guide visitors to the various ways in which they may solicit more information to offer support and services to aid families who include a disabled person in their household.

The forum included practical ways for families to uplift their loved ones with disabilities and to offer a greater quality of life for them.

Speakers included Lamya Abdulaziz AlOmair, the head of AI and bioinformation at King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, who spoke about how we should not let “fear of failure” stop us from experimenting with AI and using available tools such as ChatGPT to help communicate complex medical advancements.

She reminded the audience that some disabilities are physical and some are invisible and we should be mindful of each when considering the best method to support families.

Day one focused on the economic growth potential for those with disabilities with experts presenting their findings and recommendations.

Day two focused on investments and included a workshop on how art could be used as a healing tool and as a profession for those with disabilities. In the exhibition space outside the auditorium, artists with disabilities created art live and happily chatted with spectators as they passed by.

Day three will focus on talks to help families secure a more economically-stable future for their families.

In an attempt to make the forum inclusive, it is free to attend and a live sign language interpreter is on stage to immediately translate spoken words.

The live stream also includes closed captioning and the building is wheelchair accessible.

 


Tuwaiq Academy launches technical training for 3k Saudis

The campaign aims to empower employees, university students and graduates, and general education students. (SPA)
The campaign aims to empower employees, university students and graduates, and general education students. (SPA)
Updated 53 sec ago
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Tuwaiq Academy launches technical training for 3k Saudis

The campaign aims to empower employees, university students and graduates, and general education students. (SPA)
  • Abdulaziz Al-Hammadi said that acquiring and developing technical skills is important to keep pace with the development of future jobs

RIYADH: The “Tuwaiq Is Your Destination” campaign, launched by Tuwaiq Academy, is calling for 3,000 Saudis in prominent technical fields to register for more than 150 professional programs and camps.

The campaign is being held at the academy’s headquarters in partnership with major international partners.

It aims to empower employees, university students and graduates, and general education students. Skills will be taught in programming, cybersecurity, AI, cloud computing, user experience and interface design, virtual worlds, digital design and fabrication, game development and programming, and robots and drones programming. Registration and information can be found at tuwaiq.edu.sa.

Abdulaziz Al-Hammadi, CEO of Tuwaiq Academy, said that acquiring and developing technical skills is important to keep pace with the development of future jobs. About 15,000 people have graduated from the academy through more than 500 technical programs and camps, he added.