Telecom firms unmoved by boycott campaign

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People's anger can be gauged by their Tweets.
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Most customers think telecom firms are unmoved by the campaign. (SPA)
Updated 04 October 2016

Telecom firms unmoved by boycott campaign

JEDDAH: Saudi telecommunication firms face a social boycott launched by clients protesting high prices and "bad services" provided by these companies.
The boycott will cause losses that could reach up to SR50 million if the campaign continues for more than a month, according to an economist.
The boycott started at 6 p.m. Sunday and it will continue for three hours every day. All SIM card users have been requested by campaigners to switch off their phones for three hours every day.
The boycott has been seen as the first of its kind in the Kingdom. Many users of SIM cards complained of an ongoing blocking of free-call applications for smart phones and stopping provision of unlimited Internet packages.
The boycott of telecommunication services has also taken others forms. Thousands of users have unfollowed Twitter accounts of telecommunication companies to create pressure on them to reduce prices and improve services.
One of the Saudi telecommunication companies had announced that it would stop offering unlimited Internet packages, while other firms had said the service and packages would resume. The Communications and Information Technology Commission has remained silent about the decision, sparking intense debates and discussions on social media.
Telecommunication firms have maintained silence too in the face of the boycott. This has encouraged many customers to join the campaign. Most customers think telecom firms are unmoved by the campaign.
Economist Fadal Bou Al-Ainain said telecom firms would lose more than SR50 million if the boycott were to continue for more than one month. The firms review their sales reports every month to check their performance in the Saudi market.
Speaking to Arab News, Al-Ainain said this kind of boycott is happening for the first time in the Kingdom. This boycott has been organized very well and it will give highly positive results. The results would impact on the reputation of the firms.
Several sales branches of telecom firms in Riyadh witnessed a low number of visitors and clients, according to a local report. To make matters worse, the boycott comes at a time when the Saudi market is witnessing a recession.
“The boycott campaign will force Saudi telecommunication firms to review their prices and quality of services. There are no other options to avoid huge losses. Organizers of the boycott campaign succeeded in using the social networking websites to encourage users to join the campaign,” Al-Ainain added.


Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

Updated 18 October 2019

Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

  • The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date

RIYADH: More than 1,500 performers and 25 floats took part in a parade and carnival on Thursday night that officially launched Riyadh Season’s Boulevard zone. The crowds that gathered for the fun-packed event were also treated to motorcycle displays, fireworks and other surprises.

The Boulevard lit up at 9 p.m. for the start of the 90-minute event, which featured some of the international artists who will perform as part of Riyadh Season. Afterwards, the zone’s food and drink outlets, outdoor cinema and fountain shows officially opened.

The audience watched the parade, performances and displays from specially constructed stands. Food trucks offered a selection of tasty snacks, and organizers also provided prayer rooms, toilets, first-aid stations and other facilities.



In addition to the opening-night festivities, the Boulevard zone, which covers 400,000 square meters, will host a wide range of entertainment options and activities for all ages, including the outdoor cinema, restaurants, and sports, music and theatrical events. It has three main venues: The 22,000-seat Mohammed Abdu Theater, the 6,000-seat Abu Bakr Salem Theater, and the 2,000-seat Baker Al-Sheddi Theater.

The parade is just one of more than 100 events featuring local, regional and international performers taking place during the Riyadh Season festival, which continues until mid-December at 12 zones across the city: the Boulevard; the Front; Riyadh Car Show; Winter Wonderland; Riyadh Stadiums; the Diplomatic Quarter; Al-Muraba’a; Al-Malaz; Wadi Namar; Nabd Al-Riyadh; Riyadh Safari; and Riyadh Sahara. It has been organized with the support of Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority and president of Riyadh Season.

The audience watched the parade from specially built stands. (Supplied)

 

The ambitious 2019 Saudi Seasons initiative, the first of its kind in the region, was launched in February and includes 11 local seasons covering most parts of the Kingdom. Designed to promote the fledgling Saudi entertainment sector and boost tourism, it is attracting some of the biggest names in world entertainment.

The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date. It follows a folklore parade at the Mawtni (My Nation) cultural event in Yanbu to mark Saudi National Day this year, and a parade during the Jeddah Season festivities in the city’s Obhur district.