Dr. Al-Rabeeah meets Polish ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah holds talks with Robert Rostek in Riyadh. (Supplied)
Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah holds talks with Robert Rostek in Riyadh. (Supplied)
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Updated 06 June 2023
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Dr. Al-Rabeeah meets Polish ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah holds talks with Robert Rostek in Riyadh. (Supplied)
  • Rostek praised KSrelief’s role in providing aid to needy people around the world

RIYADH: Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, met with Robert Rostek, the ambassador of Poland to Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh on Tuesday.

During their meeting at KSrelief’s headquarters in the capital, they discussed cooperation and coordination on humanitarian and relief issues.

Rostek praised KSrelief’s role in providing aid to needy people around the world, which has ensured the center a prestigious international status in the field of humanitarian work.

 


Jeddah governor meets Gambian consul general

Jeddah governor meets Gambian consul general
Updated 03 October 2023
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Jeddah governor meets Gambian consul general

Jeddah governor meets Gambian consul general

Jeddah Gov. Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Jalawi on Sunday met the Consul General of Gambia Abdullah Conte in the Red Sea port city.

At a separate meeting, in Riyadh, Saudi Deputy Minister for International Multilateral Affairs Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Rassi received the Malaysian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Datuk Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah.

During the two meetings, all sides discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern and ways to further strengthen relations.
 


Tourism boom for Saudi Arabia with 58% growth in arrivals in 2023, ranks 2nd globally

Tourism boom for Saudi Arabia with 58% growth in arrivals in 2023, ranks 2nd globally
Updated 04 October 2023
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Tourism boom for Saudi Arabia with 58% growth in arrivals in 2023, ranks 2nd globally

Tourism boom for Saudi Arabia with 58% growth in arrivals in 2023, ranks 2nd globally
  • Riyadh hosted World Tourism Day on Sept. 27-28, reflecting the Kingdom’s commitment to the global tourism sector

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has been ranked second globally in terms of tourist arrivals during the first seven months of 2023, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The Kingdom saw a 58 percent growth in tourist numbers up to the end of July, according to the Ministry of Tourism, compared to the same period in 2019.

The data was sourced last month from the UN World Tourism Organization and came from the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.

Riyadh hosted World Tourism Day on Sept. 27-28, reflecting the Kingdom’s commitment to the global tourism sector.

Saudi Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb said that the achievement “would not have been possible without the support of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and the Crown Prince,” the SPA reported.

Al-Khateeb added that the ranking strengthened the country’s status as a global tourist destination and that the substantial rise in arrivals reflected the confidence travelers had in the variety and quality of tourism options available within the Kingdom.


Saudi nomad publishes book on 400-day adventure around the world

Saudi nomad publishes book on 400-day adventure around the world
Updated 03 October 2023
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Saudi nomad publishes book on 400-day adventure around the world

Saudi nomad publishes book on 400-day adventure around the world

RIYADH: In a world of routine and conformity, it takes a free spirit to break away from the chains of convention and embark on a journey of self-discovery. Rakan Al-Mogbil, a nomad from Saudi Arabia, is one such individual who chose to abandon the comfort of his settled life and explore the world in 400 days.

Al-Mogbil, who is showcasing his first book “Lost on the Map” at the Riyadh International Book Fair, told Arab News: “Being here is amazing because I get to tell my story at one the biggest book fairs in the Middle East.”

Speaking about the premise of his book, he said: “’Lost on the Map’ is a true story about how I sold my car and (left) everything behind just to travel and explore the world. I traveled more than 400 days in a row without coming back to my country and visited more than nine countries.”

Al-Mogbil said that leaving behind his family, job and possessions was challenging — and with a mere $800 monthly budget. Despite the obstacles, Al-Mogbil embraced a life of constant movement, seeking to unravel the mysteries of different cultures and landscapes.

“I did a lot of hitchhiking between countries. I traveled 1,500 km from Bangkok in Thailand to Malaysia with only hitchhiking.”

Being on a tight budget, Al-Mogbil did not use any costly means of transport, such as busses, rental cars or airplanes.

His journey included some bumps along the way: “Some people in some countries threatened me. I’m not going to mention more, but you’re going to find out in the book.”

Through encounters during his travels, he has come to recognize the common thread that binds humanity despite any superficial differences. “I always say travel for the people, not the places, because people will leave, but the places will remain,” he said.

“One of the stories is about my time in Mexico where I lived on a ranch for three months and found a lot of similarities between Mexican and Arab cultures.”

He said that Mexicans’ hospitality and kindness is similar to Arabs.

Al-Mogbil discovered his love for traveling by chance: “After I traveled to South Africa to study English, I fell in love with traveling just as COVID-19 hit and I had to go back home to Saudi Arabia.”

However, once the travel restrictions eased, he drew up a plan: “I then decided that I was going to quit my job, sell my car, and just continue exploring because there are always places in the world to see.”

He said that one day he hopes to translate his book into other languages such as English and Spanish.


Omani literature, culture in the spotlight at Riyadh International Book Fair

Omani literature, culture in the spotlight at Riyadh International Book Fair
Updated 03 October 2023
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Omani literature, culture in the spotlight at Riyadh International Book Fair

Omani literature, culture in the spotlight at Riyadh International Book Fair
  • Oman is ‘guest of honour’ country at the RIBF 2023

RIYADH: The Riyadh International Book Fair, or RIBF 2023, is attracting thousands of visitors daily. It offers its audience millions of books, new titles and manuscripts, as well as a space for intellectual and cultural dialogue.

Omani literature and culture is in the spotlight this year as the sultanate is the “guest of honour” country.

Oman’s pavilion reflects the cultural exchange and cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the sultanate. It represents its national culture, books and manuscripts, showcasing the distinctiveness of Omani culture.

The RIBF was launched by the Saudi Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission at its new headquarters at King Saud University on Sept. 28 and will continue until Oct. 7. It attracts publishers, intellectuals and content creators from all over the world.

Hassan Al-Matrooshi, cultural expert at the Omani Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, and a member of the Omani delegation, told Arab News: “This is a very important opportunity to be here in this big cultural event. This is one of the biggest and most important book fairs around the Arab world. So it’s an important opportunity to be here showing a lot of our cultural aspects, like poetry, novels, history and so many other things, also our arts and music.”

The Omani participation as a guest of honor was an affirmation of the rapprochement between the two countries, and an embodiment of the distinguished cultural relations and issues of concern to Arab culture and thinkers, Al-Matrooshi said.

“This comes within the framework of the deep, long and strong brotherly relationships between Oman and Saudi Arabia. It builds up and enhances all the cultural cooperations between the two countries. There are a lot of things we are aiming to achieve through this platform,” he said.

“Oman actually has been participating for a long time, but this year it’s our first time to be a guest of honor, which is very important.

“This is an opportunity to build up on what has already been built up through history, through a long experience,” Al-Matrooshi said.

“And this definitely will help to strengthen cultural exchange, cultural relations between the two countries. We have a lot to give to each other. Saudi Arabia is a great country with a huge history and civilization. Oman also has great history, culture, heritage. We have a lot of things in common; we speak the same language, share the same heritage, and we live in the same region. We have the same religion. So we feel here we are in our country. There are a lot of things that we can give, and there are a lot of things we can also gain from this opportunity,” he said.

“There are publishers and some official establishments (participating). Of course, the main organizer is the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, but we also have here the Ministry of Tourism and Heritage, Ministry of Auqaf and Religious Affairs, Sultan Qaboos University Cultural Club. As you see, there are a lot of establishments, official and also private publishers here, around ten publishers exhibiting their books.

“There is a huge amount of visitors and also publishers coming here, that is encouraging.

“The princes, high officials to intellectuals, poets, writers, all sorts of visitors. So this is an opportunity for them and us,” he said.

“Due to similarity we visit each other, every year we receive thousands of our Saudi brothers in Muscat and in Salalah during tourist season.

“We are having a lot of Saudis present on our occasions, cultural and tourism. I am still inviting them to come and see Oman and discover the beauty, the culture of Oman, and the history of their brotherly country to further deepen our ties.”

Al-Matrooshi said that visitors had flocked to the Oman pavilion after the opening last Thursday to see the rare manuscripts, art exhibition, musical shows and VR presentation on display.

The pavilion exhibits a collection of rare manuscripts that reflect Omani cultural history and the sultanate’s role in the Arab world, the connections among Arab countries and people throughout history, and their civilizational role in advancing humanity and serving scientific and cultural purposes.

The Omani pavilion displays diverse aspects of thought, culture, literature, art and heritage, and presents poetry evenings and art shows in which Omani novelists and intellectuals take part.

The pavilion is hosting a folkloric Omani group that performs popular arts, reflecting the diversity and richness of the country.

The outdoor area hosts theater shows featuring Saudi and Omani performances.


GCC secretary-general meets EU ambassador to Saudi Arabia ahead of ministerial meeting in Oman

GCC secretary-general meets EU ambassador to Saudi Arabia ahead of ministerial meeting in Oman
Updated 03 October 2023
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GCC secretary-general meets EU ambassador to Saudi Arabia ahead of ministerial meeting in Oman

GCC secretary-general meets EU ambassador to Saudi Arabia ahead of ministerial meeting in Oman
  • Relations between the two parties were reviewed at the meeting

RIYADH: The secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council met the EU’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday at the headquarters of the GCC in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Jassem Mohamed Albudaiwi and Christophe Farnaud discussed the agenda of the joint ministerial meeting between the GCC and the EU, which is scheduled to take place on Oct. 9-10 in Oman.

Albudaiwi said the GCC countries and the EU were always seeking to increase cooperation and develop relations, a statement read.

Relations between the two parties were reviewed at the meeting, while progress in implementing the strategic partnership between the sides, and the joint work program 2022-2027 were also subjects of discussion.