Turkiye’s tourism sector pins hopes on Saudi tourist surge

Ankara’s ambassador to Riyadh, Fatih Ulusoy, speaks to Arab News. (AN photo by Rashid Hassan)
1 / 2
Ankara’s ambassador to Riyadh, Fatih Ulusoy, speaks to Arab News. (AN photo by Rashid Hassan)
The Turkish Embassy in Riyadh celebrated World Breakfast Day on Sunday. (AN photo by Rashid Hassan)
2 / 2
The Turkish Embassy in Riyadh celebrated World Breakfast Day on Sunday. (AN photo by Rashid Hassan)
Short Url
Updated 05 June 2023
Follow

Turkiye’s tourism sector pins hopes on Saudi tourist surge

Ankara’s ambassador to Riyadh, Fatih Ulusoy, speaks to Arab News. (AN photo by Rashid Hassan)
  • “Turkiye is the home of our Saudi brothers and sisters. We are looking forward to enhancing tourism, trade and economic ties”: Ankara’s ambassador to Riyadh

RIYADH: Turkiye is expecting a surge in Saudi tourists following high-level diplomatic visits between the two countries, Ankara’s ambassador to Riyadh has told Arab News.

The diplomatic steps Ankara took last last year as part of the normalization of relations with Saudi Arabia means Turkiye is forecasting more than 1 million Saudi visitors this year, said Fatih Ulusoy.

He added: “We are focusing very much on tourism. Last year after the high-level visits between Turkiye and Saudi Arabia, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the Kingdom in April and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited Ankara in June, we had around 500,000 Saudi tourists visiting Turkiye in the second half, until the end of the year.

“And this year, our target for Saudi tourists visiting Turkiye is at least 1 million. We are hoping to see Turkiye become the number one destination for Saudi tourists.”

The Turkish Embassy in Riyadh celebrated World Breakfast Day on Sunday.

“We are promoting Turkish delicacies and the Turkish breakfast. At the same time, we are focusing on tourism,” Ulusoy told Arab News.

“Turkiye is the home of our Saudi brothers and sisters. We are looking forward to enhancing tourism, trade and economic ties, and we have a lot of delegations coming in and out,” he added.

“A number of Saudi delegations are visiting Turkiye. We are very happy to boost our relations. Hopefully we will reach our targets together with Saudi brothers.”

The ambassador said: “On June 3 after the recent elections, President Erdogan started office in a big ceremony, which was attended by leaders from all around the world. We had high-level dignitaries attending it.”

Ulusoy noted that Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan was in the Turkish capital, Ankara, to attend the ceremony.

“We are very happy to see this participation,” the ambassador said, adding: “We look forward to reaching new heights in our relations with Saudi Arabia.”

Saudi tourists are traveling to a variety of locations across Turkiye, with Istanbul proving the most popular destination, Ulusoy said.

Turkiye’s Black Sea region is also popular among Saudi tourists, offering mild climates across mountains and forests. In the south, beach resorts lining the Mediterranean Sea are also a Saudi favorite.

Bursa, close to Istanbul and rich in history, offers Saudi visitors access to a range of thermal baths, said Ulusoy.

The six hot spring baths on the west side of the city and in the village of Cekirge are famed across the region for their health benefits.

“This year we are also promoting Cappadocia, a region in central Turkiye. This is a very high attraction destination for tourists from around the world. It has a very unique nature. We have boutique hotels inside the caves,” said Ulusoy.

“We hope to see our Saudi brothers and sisters in the Cappadocia region as well. We hope to see our Saudi brothers and sisters in all these destinations.”


ROSHN partners with Riyadh Book Fair 2023 as official sponsor

ROSHN partners with Riyadh Book Fair 2023 as official sponsor
Updated 6 sec ago
Follow

ROSHN partners with Riyadh Book Fair 2023 as official sponsor

ROSHN partners with Riyadh Book Fair 2023 as official sponsor
  • Company will host children’s creative workshops, two panel sessions

RIYADH: ROSHN, Saudi Arabia’s national real estate developer and Public Investment Fund-backed giga-project, is the official sponsor and partner of the Riyadh Book Fair 2023, as part of its Yuhyeek corporate social responsibility program.

The event, which runs until Oct. 8, features one of the most diverse cultural programs in the Arab world.

In addition to its sponsorship, the company will host various activities, including children’s creative workshops, alongside storyteller Ibrahim Al-Maidi and several literary guests.

The firm will also host two panel sessions with Sumayah Al-Solaiman, the CEO of the Saudi Architecture and Design Commission, as well as sponsor five publishing awards.

ROSHN’s group chief marketing and communications officer, Ghada Al-Rumayan, said: “Our dedication goes beyond business benchmarks; it’s about empowering minds, heartening experiences, and elevating the quality of life across the Kingdom.

“By ardently supporting pivotal cultural events like the Riyadh Book Fair, we’re deepening our connection with the rich cultural, artistic, and literary heritage of Saudi society.

“The event, a beacon of literature’s transformative essence, welcomes individuals from every walk of life, emphasizing the enduring allure of books in promoting personal and intellectual growth.

“With enthusiasm, we look forward to collaborating with authors, publishers, and the broader cultural and creative community, fostering a lifelong love for literature, heritage, arts, and culture,” she added.

The company has previously supported other initiatives linked to community enrichment, the arts, culture cultivation, responsible environmental practices, health and welfare enhancement, and the progression of education and innovation.

And it has collaborated with the ROSHN Saudi League, Riyadh Season, and Diriyah Biennale Foundation.
 


Saudi crown prince receives written message from Chad president

Saudi crown prince receives written message from Chad president
Updated 39 min 28 sec ago
Follow

Saudi crown prince receives written message from Chad president

Saudi crown prince receives written message from Chad president
  • Message related to bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to expand them in various fields.

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received a written message from Chad’s President Mahamat Idriss Deby relating to bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to expand them in various fields.
The message was received by Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji during his meeting with Chadian Ambassador to the Kingdom Hassan Saleh Algadam Aldjinedi on Thursday in Riyadh.
The two officials reviewed aspects of bilateral relations as well as issues of mutual interest, Saudi Press Agency reported.


World Expo 2030 host country to be elected Nov. 28

World Expo 2030 host country to be elected Nov. 28
Updated 26 min 48 sec ago
Follow

World Expo 2030 host country to be elected Nov. 28

World Expo 2030 host country to be elected Nov. 28
  • Saudi Arabia’s candidature is for a World Expo in the city of Riyadh between Oct. 1, 2030 and Mar. 31, 2031 under the theme ‘The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow’
  • Host country will be elected by member states of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) during the organization’s 173rd General Assembly on Nov. 28

PARIS: Three countries are in the running to host World Expo 2030: Saudi Arabia (in Riyadh), the Republic of Korea (in Busan) and Italy (in Rome).

The host country will be elected by member states of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) during the organization’s 173rd general assembly, taking place on 28 November.

• Saudi Arabia’s candidature is for a World Expo in the city of Riyadh between 1 October 2030 and 31 March 2031 under the theme “The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow.”

• The Republic of Korea’s candidature is for a World Expo in the city of Busan between 1 May and 31 October 2030 under the theme “Transforming Our World, Navigating Toward a Better Future.”

• Italy’s candidature is for a World Expo in the city of Rome between 1 May and 31 October 2030 under the theme “People and Territories: Regeneration, Inclusion and Innovation.”

During the 173rd General Assembly on 28 November, following Expo progress reports, each of the three candidates will make final presentations of their Expo projects.

Eligible and present Member States of the BIE, represented by government-appointed delegates, will then vote for the World Expo 2030 host country by secret ballot using electronic voting. Each Member State has one vote.

BIE rules stipulate that in the case of more than two candidates, a candidate must gather two-third of votes cast to be elected outright.

With three countries in the running to host World Expo 2030, if no candidate gathers two-third of votes cast in the first round, the third-place candidate is eliminated and the two remaining candidates will immediately move into a second round. The host country of World Expo 2030 will then be elected by a simple majority.

World Expos, officially known as International Registered Exhibitions, are global gatherings of nations addressing universal challenges of our time. These unparalleled global events offer a journey inside a chosen theme through engaging and immersive activities.

Taking place every five years and lasting up to six months, World Expos welcome tens of millions of visitors, allow countries to build extraordinary pavilions, and transform the host city for years to come.

The most recent World Expo, Expo 2020 Dubai, took place under the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” and received over 24 million visits.

The next World Expo, Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai, will take place between 13 April and 13 October 2025, under the theme “Designing Future Society for Our Lives.”

For more information on the candidature process.


Lebanese beauty queens in Riyadh speak about unique nature of Arab beauty

Lebanese beauty queens Maya Aboul Hosn and Yasmina Zaytoun are pictured in Riyadh. (AN photo)
Lebanese beauty queens Maya Aboul Hosn and Yasmina Zaytoun are pictured in Riyadh. (AN photo)
Updated 55 min 21 sec ago
Follow

Lebanese beauty queens in Riyadh speak about unique nature of Arab beauty

Lebanese beauty queens Maya Aboul Hosn and Yasmina Zaytoun are pictured in Riyadh. (AN photo)
  • Aboul Hosn will represent Lebanon at Miss Universe in El Salvador in November, competing with over 130 countries for the prestigious pageant title
  • “Because Arab women are the mix of everything: of being strong, being independent, being beautiful, being smart”: Zaytoun

RIYADH: Lebanese beauty queens Maya Aboul Hosn and Yasmina Zaytoun made a surprise visit to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday as guests at the “Arabian Roots and Routes” event hosted by the Lebanese Embassy in Riyadh.

Aboul Hosn shared with Arab News her first impressions while visiting Riyadh, this year’s host for World Tourism Day, for the first time.

She said: “I love this place. The thing I most love here are the people. They’re very welcoming and very helpful.”

Zaytoun returned only months after she attended the Forbes Middle East Women’s Summit in May, chaired by Princess Noura bint Faisal Al-Saud.

Zaytoun said: “In the past year I’ve visited so many cities and I fell in love with so many places, but it’s rare to find a city where there is a view of the future and culture at the same time.

“And Riyadh has the culture, the history, the future all at the same time.”

The women were spotted during Tuesday’s event, and Lebanese pride was in their eyes as they heard diplomats and ministers give speeches that focused on Lebanon’s natural, cultural, and historical treasures.

Zaytoun and Aboul Hosn became symbols of Lebanese beauty in the 2022 Miss Lebanon beauty pageant — the first to take place since 2018.

The crown of Miss Lebanon 2022 was given to Zaytoun with Aboul Hosn the first runner-up.

Aboul Hosn will represent Lebanon at Miss Universe in El Salvador in November, competing with over 130 countries for the prestigious pageant title.

Zaytoun took part in the 2022 edition of Miss Universe and will go on to compete in India, this time at Miss World, in December.

“Arab beauty, I can say, (is) fierce, strong and very ambitious,” Aboul Hosn said.

Zaytoun added: “What I would do is raise my voice more and more to show them who we really are, how strong we are, how ambitious we are.

“Because Arab women are the mix of everything: of being strong, being independent, being beautiful, being smart. And I really want to show this to the world.”

In the world of beauty pageants, Miss Universe and Miss World are the most iconic.

Aboul Hosn said: “I would advise them (models) to dream big. Embrace your uniqueness. And the most important thing is to break barriers and to create a world where there’s equality and everyone can achieve their dreams.

“I need to tell all the women in the world or the teenagers in the world that they are beautiful just the way they are.

“Just the way you look, with your imperfections in your face, in your body. Just love yourself just the way you are. And don’t let anyone change you.”

The beauty queens are from small towns and the odds were stacked against them rising to the top of their profession.

Aboul Hosn, 25, hails from the small village of Btekhnay in Mount Lebanon while Zaytoun, 21, comes from Kfarchouba in the southern region of the country.

Zaytoun is currently studying journalism while Aboul Hosn is a host of LBCI’s daily show “Morning Talk.”

Optimism in creating a bright future is synonymous with being Lebanese, the women said.

“Lebanon is a place where people are struggling, but they still find hope. They are fighting, but they’re still smiling and being happy,” said Zaytoun.

“The word resilience is the definition of being Lebanese.”

Aboul Hosn said: “Since I was a child I’ve had a very supportive family who always helped me to reach my goals, reach my dreams, and never prevented me from achieving my dreams.”

From Beirut to Riyadh, Aboul Hosn and Zaytoun are joining hands with Saudi women to showcase to the world a new Middle East — a region bursting with ambition, inspiration, and creativity.


Saudi Shoura Council glimpses the future at Uruguay forum

Saudi Shoura Council glimpses the future at Uruguay forum
Updated 13 min 48 sec ago
Follow

Saudi Shoura Council glimpses the future at Uruguay forum

Saudi Shoura Council glimpses the future at Uruguay forum
  • The forum aims to further the use of future data and analysis in parliamentary decision making
  • It also seeks to strengthen dialogue and cooperation between parliaments around the world

RIYADH: A delegation from the Saudi Shoura Council took part in the Second World Summit of the Committees of the Future held in Montevideo, Uruguay.
The delegation included council members Ibrahim Al-Nahas, Abdullah Al-Tawi and Latifa bint Mohammad Al-Abdulkarim.
Parliamentary representatives from around the world joined experts, and representatives of international organizations and civil society groups at the summit.
The forum aims to further the use of future data and analysis in parliamentary decision making, encouraging parliaments to develop capabilities in the field of artificial intelligence and emerging technologies.
It also seeks to strengthen dialogue and cooperation between parliaments around the world on possible future issues.
The summit discussed artificial intelligence, the challenges facing global governance, and sustainable development amid climate change and other global issues.
A series of public plenary sessions, seminars and workshops focused on AI and emerging technologies, and support for the implementation of the sustainable development goals.