Saudi tourism minister chairs UN meeting in Uzbekistan

Saudi tourism minister chairs UN meeting in Uzbekistan
Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb chaired the 119th session of the Executive Council of the UN World Tourism Organization. (SPA)
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Updated 18 October 2023
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Saudi tourism minister chairs UN meeting in Uzbekistan

Saudi tourism minister chairs UN meeting in Uzbekistan

RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb chaired the 119th session of the Executive Council of the UN World Tourism Organization.

The meeting was being held as part of the UNWTO General Assembly taking place in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, until Oct. 20.

President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev opened the assembly’s 25th session, being attended by ministers and high-level delegates from more than 150 countries.

On the sidelines of the assembly, Al-Khateeb met Moroccan Minister of Tourism, Handicrafts, and Social and Solidarity Economy Fatim-Zahra Ammor, Uzbekistan’s Minister of Ecology, Environmental Protection, and Climate Change Aziz Abduhakimov, and Argentina’s Secretary of Tourism Promotion and Deputy Minister of Tourism and Sports Yanina Alejandra Martinez.

The talks all revolved around ways to enhance cooperation, promote sustainable tourism, and implement best practices in the sector.

On Tuesday, the Saudi Ministry of Tourism extended its electronic tourist visa to six new countries, bringing the total to 63 nations.

The latest additions to the scheme are Turkiye, Thailand, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, and Mauritius. Visa holders will be allowed to visit Saudi Arabia for tourism, Umrah outside of the Hajj season, trips to see family, and various events.

The latest move is another step toward supporting Vision 2030 goals of boosting tourism’s gross domestic product contribution and creating 1 million jobs, as part of efforts to diversify the Kingdom’s economy.

The ministry introduced the e-visa in 2019, offering tourists the chance to explore Saudi Arabia’s attractions, cultural experiences, and events. In 2022, the country welcomed 94 million visitors, a 93 percent rise on 2021 figures, with a total tourism spend of $49 billion.

According to the ministry, the Kingdom was well on track to achieving its goal of 100 million visits by 2030 — with new targets currently being set.

The plan is for the tourism sector to contribute 10 percent toward the country’s GDP by 2030. Currently, travel and tourism account for 4.5 percent of Saudi Arabia’s GDP, marking an increase from three percent in 2019.


Governor of Taif meets with Saudi cultural director

Governor of Taif meets with Saudi cultural director
Updated 45 min 50 sec ago
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Governor of Taif meets with Saudi cultural director

Governor of Taif meets with Saudi cultural director
  • Prince Saud bin Nahar was briefed on SASCA’s strategy and initiatives aimed at fostering and empowering talent in the cultural and artistic fields
  • A cooperation agreement was signed between SASCA and Taif University

RIYADH: Governor of Taif Prince Saud bin Nahar bin Saud met Princess Haifa bint Abdulmohsen, the director of development and partnerships at the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts, at the governorate’s headquarters on Thursday.

The governor was briefed on SASCA’s strategy and initiatives aimed at fostering and empowering talent in the cultural and artistic fields, in line with the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

The parties were also present at the signing of a cooperation agreement between SASCA in Taif and Taif University.


Saudi FM receives phone call from Belgian counterpart

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan received a phone call from his Belgian counterpart Hadja Lahbib on Thursday.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan received a phone call from his Belgian counterpart Hadja Lahbib on Thursday.
Updated 18 April 2024
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Saudi FM receives phone call from Belgian counterpart

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan received a phone call from his Belgian counterpart Hadja Lahbib on Thursday.

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan received a phone call from his Belgian counterpart Hadja Lahbib on Thursday.

During the phone call, the two officials discussed  developments in the region, particularly developments in the Gaza Strip and efforts made in this regard.


ilmi, PNU launch museum studies program

ilmi, PNU launch museum studies program
Updated 18 April 2024
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ilmi, PNU launch museum studies program

ilmi, PNU launch museum studies program
  • New micro-credential courses open to all high-school graduates, undergraduates
  • Program includes Arabic, English, in-person, remote, long and short-term courses

RIYADH: A new museum studies program in Saudi Arabia has opened for registration, offering micro-credential and long-term courses.

It is the result of a partnership between ilmi, a center for science, technology, reading, engineering, arts and mathematics learning, and Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University.

ilmi — meaning “my knowledge” in Arabic — is a science and innovation center that aims to empower young people in Saudi Arabia.

A philanthropic NGO initiative created by Princess Sara bint Mashour bin Abdulaziz, wife of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, ilmi is incubated, supported and funded by the Mohammed bin Salman Foundation, Misk, as a subsidiary, and operates in partnership with Mohammed bin Salman Nonprofit City.

The museum studies program includes micro-credential, diploma, minor and elective courses.

It is open to recent high-school graduates and university undergraduates keen to secure entry-level positions in museums, as well as professionals seeking new skill sets and career paths.

Created by ilmi and PNU experts from Saudi Arabia and around the world, the program offers a blend of online and in-person learning, alongside Arabic and English tuition options.

Micro-credential courses will blend online and in-person learning, and are available to applicants over the age of 18.

Courses include museum impact studies, museum education and awareness, an introduction to museum technologies, fundamentals of museum management and integrating digital technology.

Courses on offer for PNU students include an introduction to museums elective and specialist minors in museums and digital technology, exhibit design and content development.

A two-year diploma in museum management will also be available for both PNU students and recent high-school graduates.

Registration has opened for the first online micro-credential course starting this month: Fundamentals of museum management.

All further micro-credential courses will take place in May and June, with the diploma, minor and elective programs starting in September at the beginning of the academic year 2024/25.

Program graduates can also apply to work alongside ilmi experts as they design and launch unique, informal learning programs across the Kingdom.

For more information and registration, click here.


KSrelief, WFP to support malnutrition treatment in Yemen

KSrelief, WFP to support malnutrition treatment in Yemen
Updated 18 April 2024
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KSrelief, WFP to support malnutrition treatment in Yemen

KSrelief, WFP to support malnutrition treatment in Yemen
  • Allocation of $4.85 million to treat malnutrition in children aged under five as well as pregnant and lactating women in Yemen
  • Agreement was signed by Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, adviser at the Royal Court and KSrelief’s supervisor general, and WFP Executive Director Cindy McCain

PARIS: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center signed a joint cooperation agreement with the World Food Programme allocating $4.85 million to treat malnutrition in children aged under five as well as pregnant and lactating women in Yemen.

The signing took place on the sidelines of the International Conference for Sudan and Neighboring Countries, which was organized by France and the EU in Paris.

The agreement was signed by Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, adviser at the Royal Court and KSrelief’s supervisor general, and WFP Executive Director Cindy McCain.

It aims to improve the nutritional situation for Yemen’s most impoverished people by providing supplements in targeted areas, benefiting 86,985 people.


Rare cameras reveal history of Saudi media at Hasma Museum in Tabuk

Rare cameras reveal history of Saudi media at Hasma Museum in Tabuk
Updated 18 April 2024
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Rare cameras reveal history of Saudi media at Hasma Museum in Tabuk

Rare cameras reveal history of Saudi media at Hasma Museum in Tabuk

RIYADH: A fine collection of rare cameras, print and audiovisual artifacts at the Hasma Museum in Tabuk offers visitors a unique experience.

Among items in the collection are vintage treasures such as old box cameras, 16 mm to 35 mm cinema cameras, underwater cameras, and flash cameras from 100 years ago.

The museum also has a display of historical audio and video equipment, while visitors can explore the earliest editions of local and other Arab newspapers.

Odeh Al-Atwi, who is from the Tabuk region, created the museum near the Hasma desert to offer a memorable experience to visitors.

Antique collector and museum owner Al-Atwi, telling the Saudi Press Agency of his journey to preserve these media artifacts in the museum, said: “It’s been a profound experience and a significant milestone in my life. The media plays a pivotal role in shaping social consciousness and documenting newsworthy events, particularly those that reverberate through the media landscape.”

Al-Atwi meticulously curated a remarkable collection of tools at his museum, providing visitors a captivating journey through the history of classic cameras, broadcast equipment, satellite linking machines and an array of visual and audio devices.

Each artifact, he said, acts as a window into the evolution of media technologies.

He expressed his gratitude to the Museum Commission for their encouragement in establishing the museum and their efforts in organizing the museum sector. Al-Atwi also acknowledged the support from the Saudi leadership, emphasizing their commitment to initiatives that benefit citizens and the nation.

The Ministry of Culture facilitates the endeavors of private museum owners by licensing their establishments through the Abdea platform. This initiative is an enabler for those in the museum sector, supporting its development and contributing to the realization of the cultural goals outlined in the Saudi Vision 2030.