Saudi Arabia, UK to boost cooperation in mining sector

Saudi Arabia, UK to boost cooperation in mining sector
Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral resource Bandar Alkhorayef and UK Minister for Business and Trade Kemi Badenoch. (SPA)
Short Url
Updated 26 May 2023

Saudi Arabia, UK to boost cooperation in mining sector

Saudi Arabia, UK to boost cooperation in mining sector
  • Agreement will focus on critical minerals, diversifying supply chains and helping transition to clean energy

RIYADH: Bandar Alkhorayef, Saudi Arabia’s minister of industry and mineral resources, signed a letter of intent with Kemi Badenoch, the UK secretary of state for business and trade, to enhance cooperation in the field of critical minerals.

Critical minerals, such as copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt and rare earth elements, are essential components in many rapidly growing clean energy technologies.  

The two sides seek to commit to the joint development of supply chains of minerals essential to the worldwide transition to zero carbon neutrality, Saudi Press Agency reported.  

Alkhorayef said that this step comes within the framework of boosting bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and the UK in the industrial and mining sectors, and contributes to supporting global efforts to realize a green future. 

The Saudi minister said that the two countries want to ensure the availability of minerals required for the transition to sustainable energy. 

The letter of intent will enable both countries to diversify supply chains for critical minerals used in a variety of metal-intensive industries, such as vehicle manufacture, electricity, aviation, defense and renewable energy.

It will also enable them to coordinate through international forums, collaborate with  the private sector on mineral supply chains, and explore joint investment opportunities, as well as facilitate knowledge exchange on projects related to critical minerals.

Sofia Carson dazzles in Zuhair Murad at event honoring late co-star

Sofia Carson dazzles in Zuhair Murad at event honoring late co-star
Updated 17 min 4 sec ago

Sofia Carson dazzles in Zuhair Murad at event honoring late co-star

Sofia Carson dazzles in Zuhair Murad at event honoring late co-star

DUBAI: Actress Sofia Carson cut an elegant figure in a Zuhair Murad gown as she reunited with her “Descendants” co-stars Dove Cameron and Booboo Stewart to remember one of their own.

The “Descendants” stars gathered at the second annual Cam for a Cause event in memory of their co-star Cameron Boyce, who died at the age of 20 due to an epileptic seizure.

The actress-singer showed up in a beautiful black Zuhair Murad fall 2023 draped pleated cape gown with gold button detailing.

This is not the first time Carson has worn the Lebanese couturier. Late last year, Carson attended the Global Citizen Festival in a coordinating look from Murad’s resort 2023 collection. The outfit featured an embellished crop-top and mini-skirt set with matching thigh-high leather boots.

Meanwhile, the Cam for a Cause  event, which was created by Boyce’s parents under the Cameron Boyce Foundation, was made to raise awareness and find a cure for epilepsy and SUDEP, Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy, which caused the young actor’s death in July 2019.


A post shared by Sofia Carson (@sofiacarson)

“Black-ish” star Yara Shahidi received the Cameron Boyce Foundation’s Youth Empowerment Award for her “activism surrounding STEM awareness, women’s rights, civil rights, and her countless acts of kindness toward others.”

“I met Cameron when we were 5 years old, and even then, his talent, his fearlessness and his belief in the power of his peers was evident,” Shahidi said in a statement. “It means so much to be recognized for my advocacy, and the work I continue to do to effect change. I’m grateful to my friends and family at the Cameron Boyce Foundation for thinking of me, as I will always be inspired and activated by their incredible work in the fight to end epilepsy.”

Shahidi attended the event in a black top under a stylish black coat with a jewel-encrusted leopard brooch from Cartier.

Last year, Carson paid tribute to the actor by posting a sweet pic of them together on Instagram to mark three years since he died.

In the photo, Carson could be seen hugging Boyce.

“Three years without you. I love you, forever. I miss you, forever,” Carson wrote in the caption.

Music star Dua Lipa brands UK govt ‘small-minded’ over immigration

Music star Dua Lipa brands UK govt ‘small-minded’ over immigration
Updated 32 min 22 sec ago

Music star Dua Lipa brands UK govt ‘small-minded’ over immigration

Music star Dua Lipa brands UK govt ‘small-minded’ over immigration
  • London-born singer, of Kosovo Albanian parentage, says migrants work ‘incredibly hard’
  • Home Secretary Suella Braverman previously referred to Albanian migrants as ‘criminals’

LONDON: British pop music star Dua Lipa has branded the UK government “short-sighted and small-minded” over its rhetoric toward migrants.

The singer, of Kosovo Albanian parentage, called for “more empathy” toward Albanians in an interview with the Sunday Times.

In October last year, Home Secretary Suella Braverman labeled Albanian migrants crossing into the UK illegally via small boats in the English Channel “criminals.” 

Around 16,000 Albanians made the journey in 2022, which Braverman referred to as an “invasion” of England’s south coast.

Lipa, 27, who was born in London, said: “Of course it hurt. All those words thrown around about immigrants? I always felt London was an amalgamation of cultures. It is integral to the city.

“So, when you hear the government talk about Albanians, for example, it hurts. It’s short-sighted and small-minded, but it’s the way a lot of people think.”

The singer’s parents fled their homeland in 1992 to escape the growing tensions that eventually led to war in 1998.

“No matter how we try to change the rhetoric, there will always be those who think, ‘Immigrants are coming into the country and taking jobs’,” Lipa said.

“However, immigrants who have come here have earned their keep by working incredibly hard.

“There needs to be more empathy, because people don’t leave their country unless they have to out of necessity, out of fear for their family.”

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama praised the singer during a visit to London in March, saying: “Dua Lipa is not just simply a British singer, but she’s an Albanian immigrant that has come here, as many have come, to construct, to nurse, to cook and to sing for you, and we want to make sure that this community feels not only safe but feels honored here.”

Rama, who held talks with his British counterpart Rishi Sunak on illegal migration and repatriation, added that he found Braverman’s rhetoric “very, very disgraceful.”

Japanese singer Asca, DJ Yamato perform at Jeddah’s Anime Village

Japanese singer Asca, DJ Yamato perform at Jeddah’s Anime Village
Updated 04 June 2023

Japanese singer Asca, DJ Yamato perform at Jeddah’s Anime Village

Japanese singer Asca, DJ Yamato perform at Jeddah’s Anime Village
  • Asca in Kingdom for second time following December show in Riyadh
  • DJ Yamato, first Japanese artist to collaborate with DJ Avicii, in Saudi Arabia for first time

JEDDAH: The famous Japanese singer, Asca, launched her three-day concert series in Saudi Arabia at City Walk, Anime Village in Jeddah. 

Asca, known for singing the opening theme song for the anime “Sword Art Online” and ending theme song for “Edens Zero,” performed three shows at City Walk alongside compatriot DJ Yamato, from June 1-3.

The singer, who was in the Kingdom to perform for the second time following her show in Riyadh in December 2022, said: “Jeddah’s climate is very similar to that of Japan. It was very comfortable for me personally because the temperature was similar, and the humidity was high.

“Fans also made handmade boards, jumped with us, and yelled out. Saudi Arabia is very far from Japan, but I was very happy when I thought that there were people in Saudi Arabia who supported me so much,” she told Arab News.

Asca also noted that the Kingdom’s people were more active at night than people in Japan. “I am a night person, so Saudi Arabia suits me,” she added.

DJ Yamato, the first Japanese artist to collaborate with the late DJ Avicii, was performing in the Kingdom for the first time. 

“At first, I got the impression that the audience were shy, but once they opened up to us, everyone seemed to be in a good mood. Saudi people are friendly and amazing — I had a thought that music truly connects the world together,” he told Arab News.

DJ Yamato came to Saudi Arabia along with a company called Avex Asia, which is a production company that focuses in anime, and which is in charge of the stage policy at Anime Village in Jeddah.

Saudi Yoga limber up for first-ever international championship

Saudi Yoga limber up for first-ever international championship
Updated 04 June 2023

Saudi Yoga limber up for first-ever international championship

Saudi Yoga limber up for first-ever international championship
  • Bader Al-Ghamdi, 8, is the team’s youngest athlete
  • Contest from June 8 to 10 in Kathmandu, Nepal

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s national yoga team are limbering up to participate in their first-ever international contest, the second Mt. Everest International Yoga Championship from June 8 to 10 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The team arrived on June 1 in the capital, where they are undergoing special training under the supervision of head coach Vijay Yadav, winner of more than 50 medals, including five gold, during his career.

Nouf Al-Marwaai, president of the Saudi Yoga Committee, said she was proud of the team and confident that they would outperform many other countries.

She said the team include Ahmed Shilati, Samaher Al-Malki, Jouda Sharaf, Joud Abed and Bader Al-Ghamdi, the Kingdom’s youngest athlete, at age 8.

At a press conference before their departure, Al-Malki, who is also a yoga instructor, told Arab News that the team was ready for their first international championship.

“We are ready to participate in the yoga championship in Nepal to raise the flag of Saudi Arabia. And the spread of yoga has become (important) for us. It is always better to start from a young age to practice this sport.”

The youngster Al-Ghamdi said he was looking forward to representing Saudi in the junior category and hopes to win a medal.

“I love yoga because it teaches me how to breathe, how to exercise and how to balance, and my dream is to be a professional yoga player,” said Al-Ghamdi.

At the press conference, Ahmed Al-Saadi, executive director of the Saudi Yoga Committee, said he was confident the team would perform well.

“The Saudi team has distinguished players and can help any coach in achieving good results because they have quality and intelligence,” Al-Saadi said.

“We know there will be good players at the championship. Reaching this international yoga championship (was) the target of our committee,” he added.

Before her arrival in Kathmandu, Al-Marwaai represented Saudi Arabia in the working group for civil society, C20, under the auspices of the G20 Summit to be held in India this year.

“It was an honor to be part of the International Yoga Program in India under the theme ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future Through Yoga.’ Grateful to our leadership for their unwavering support and empowerment.

“A heartfelt thank you to the Indian government and organizers for their warm reception and exceptional hospitality. Wishing the Indian presidency of the G20 all the success. Together, let’s embrace.”

Gundogan shapes ‘destiny’ with Manchester City but could still depart after Champions League final

Gundogan shapes ‘destiny’ with Manchester City but could still depart after Champions League final
Updated 04 June 2023

Gundogan shapes ‘destiny’ with Manchester City but could still depart after Champions League final

Gundogan shapes ‘destiny’ with Manchester City but could still depart after Champions League final
  • The German’s match-winning performance in the FA Cup final could prove his penultimate for Pep Guardiola’s team
  • Teammate John Stones calls his captain an ‘incredible player’ after 2 goals secured a league and cup double for City

It seems somewhat bewildering that the influential Ilkay Gundogan stands on the brink of captaining Manchester City to the greatest season in their 129-year history — and yet could leave for nothing at the end of this month.

As manager Pep Guardiola and teammates urge him to resist the intoxicating beauty of Barcelona and sign a new contract extension, the midfielder may well leave it to fate to sway the outcome of his uncertain future.

Earlier this season, Gundogan told Arab News how he felt “it’s destiny” that he has been a game-changer for the club and helped them rewrite English football’s record books.

“Sooner or later you will be regarded for the good you are doing, not just in football,” said the German, 32.

The precedent was set last season by his two dramatic late goals to inspire City’s 3-2 final-day comeback win over Aston Villa, having been 2-0 down with 14 minutes left, and clinch the Premier League title.

This season too he has shown the ability to affect games with decisive strikes or cunning, controlled performances — he provides calm amid chaos.

On Saturday, Gundogan’s two goals clinched a 2-1 win over Manchester United and an FA Cup and Premier League Double — a second for City in four years.

The first effort was an exquisite right-foot volley into the top corner after 12 seconds — the fastest in the 151-year history of the FA Cup — and then followed by an ugly left-footed finish that bounced past David De Gea.

It was a combination of grace and grit, masterful and yet messy.

These qualities are usually reserved for the sport’s best players, the ones able to define games, and those revered by their fan base and appreciated by their peers.

Gundogan does not have a catchy chant like Bernardo Silva, nor serenaded in the manner of Kevin De Bruyne, but he has been every bit as vital to City’s progress and success since he joined in 2016, while still recovering from a serious knee injury at former club Borussia Dortmund.

He does not covet attention but deserves appreciation for his contribution.

“Exceptional” is how Guardiola described Gundogan, while England defender John Stones added: “What a player. On the big occasion we’ve all seen it, he turns up and scores incredible goals.

“How he dictates everything, he’s an incredible player and incredible person.”

“He’s been incredible for the seven years he’s been here,” said De Bruyne. “In the big moments he steps up. He isn’t afraid and he scores great goals. Definitely, he should sign now.”

No one would begrudge Gundogan financial security for his family with at least a two-year deal, with his next contract also likely to be his final one at an elite European club.

And no one would begrudge him the perfect ending next Saturday either, should City claim victory in Istanbul over Inter Milan in the Champions League final to match the 1999 Treble feat of neighbors United.

“We have a chance to do something special and win the Treble and we do not want to let this opportunity pass us by,” said Gundogan. “I can promise our fans we will do everything we can to win in Istanbul.

“It’s my seventh year now. I’ve never stayed that long at a football club. So that alone shows how much I appreciate the club, how much also I feel appreciated from the fans, my teammates, it’s an absolute joy to be part of this team, to work with Pep and his staff.

“Now we want to crown it with that final. The last game of the season, a very, very special one — maybe the most special so far for us all in our careers — and obviously we want to win it.

“We know it’s going to be a very uncomfortable game, a very uncomfortable opponent. I think it’s going to be tough, but this group of players has shown already we don’t avoid the tough challenges.”

On Saturday, once Bruno Fernandes had rolled home a penalty to cancel out Gundogan’s opener, City rose to the challenge in a tense first Manchester derby cup final.

They withstood late pressure and calmed nerves with the steely defense and resilience that will be required too against Inter, as Stones added: “Our mindset and approach, our courage, was incredible. We’ve crossed this hurdle now and we can dream — hopefully we can do it.”

This Wembley showpiece was a big hurdle for City, tactically and mentally, against a United side also keen to remain the only English side to win a Treble.

But Erik Ten Hag’s side were not aggressive enough, nor able to produce the attacking quality to breach a backline that has conceded just the Fernandes spot-kick in this season’s competition.

The Dutchman said United were “broken” in defeat and he now has a difficult task to fix them.

If there is to be a takeover from Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al-Thani or INEOS CEO Sir Jim Ratcliffe, it needs to be quickly finalized by the Glazer family to aid Ten Hag’s summer plans.

It would be wrong to say United are spineless, but they need improvements in the spine of their side, from goalkeeper to striker.

Despite De Gea’s 17 clean sheets that won him the Golden Gloves award for the most in the Premier League, the Spaniard has made notable errors that have put his future under intense scrutiny — and his positioning was suspect for both goals.

Ten Hag said: “In this moment, I don’t want to talk about such issues of criticism because we played all a great season, including David De Gea.

“As a team, we didn’t do the jobs we had to do and if you want to win trophies, details in big games make the difference and it’s hard to accept, but we have to.

“Of course it’s a motivation, you have to feel it in your stomach, it hurts. It has to be fuel.”

Ten Hag will have to stoke United’s fire with new signings and, while Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount is in talks, the caliber of West Ham captain Declan Rice, Tottenham’s Harry Kane or Napoli’s Victor Osimhen should be high on the wish list.

“I have only one plan, that is to improve this club and to improve this team,” added the United boss, whose side finished third in the league and won the League Cup.

“I will fight for it. We have to work — the manager, the staff, the players, to get the progress in.”