Fingerprints must for a Saudi visa

Updated 22 November 2012

Fingerprints must for a Saudi visa

Saudi Arabia yesterday announced its plan to take fingerprints and other biometrics of foreigners visiting the country on entry, Haj and Umrah visas, through specialized agents in their respective countries.
The measure will not be applied on people holding diplomatic and special passports, said Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja while explaining the Cabinet decisions.
The Cabinet approved amendment of Article 4 of the Cabinet's decision No. 202 on 22/6/1430H as follows: “Fourth: 1- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the competent offices accredited by the Kingdom's missions abroad, is to take the necessary measures to obtain biometrics (fingerprint, picture or others) for visa applicants to enter the Kingdom including Haj and Umrah pilgrims.”
The ministries of Foreign Affairs and Interior will coordinate to implement the decision, the Cabinet said.
“The measure does not apply on holders of diplomatic and special passports according to the measures concerning it, unless that was an implementation of the reciprocal treatment principle or necessitated by the Kingdom's national interest,” the Cabinet said.
The Council of Ministers urged the Foreign Ministry to give a report on implementing the decision during the second year. “The Ministry of Haj is to coordinate with the Interior Ministry to benefit from the biometrics to verify identities of pilgrims,” it added.
Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, chaired the meeting. At the outset of the meeting, Prince Salman and other ministers praised God for the success of the surgery, which Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has undergone at King Abdulaziz Medical City, praying to God to preserve the king and bestow upon him good health and quick recovery.
The Cabinet commended the decisions of the extraordinary meeting of the Arab League Council to discuss the repercussions of the Israeli aggression on Gaza, stressing the Kingdom's condemnation of these attacks and its call for the UN Security Council to be more stringent and assume its responsibilities to compel Israel to stop the attacks on the besieged innocent people of Gaza.
The Cabinet reviewed the efforts exerted to discuss the latest developments in Syria, including the 2nd Joint Ministerial Meeting for Strategic Dialogue between the Gulf Cooperation Council states and the Russian Federation; the Arab Ministerial Committee on the situation in Syria; and the 2nd Arab-European Meeting at level of foreign ministers.
The Cabinet expressed the Kingdom's appreciation for all those efforts, looking forward to more efforts in the unification of the international will to tackle the Syrian crisis and provide the necessary support at political, security and humanitarian areas for the Syrian people and to achieve their legitimate aspirations.
Khoja said the Cabinet expressed the Kingdom's appreciation of the Djibouti Declaration issued by the 39th session of OIC foreign ministers, which stressed the principles contained in the interfaith and intercultural dialogue initiative of King Abdullah and welcomed the king’s initiative to establish a center for dialogue among Islamic sects.
The Cabinet lauded the signing of GCC security agreement by interior ministers of the six-member group, stressing that this step is important for enhancing security cooperation and coordination in the interest of the GCC states and peoples.
The Cabinet authorized the crown prince or his deputy to discuss and sign with the Korean side a draft agreement for defense cooperation. It authorized the president of General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) to discuss and sign with the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL) a draft agreement between the GACA and the EUROCONTROL regarding air navigation service fees.
The Cabinet endorsed a GCC Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee's decision exempting the goods belonging to people with special needs from custom duties.

LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

Updated 15 December 2019

LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

  • Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one

RIYADH: Renowned Italian restaurant Madeo has opened up in Al-Murabba for Riyadh Season. 

The pop-up has started brightly, and head chef Gianni Vietina invited Arab News to sample the menu and chat about his experience.

Vietina, in Saudi Arabia for the first time, said that he loved the location he had set up in, and was very happy to be opening up in the Kingdom. 

“The location is gorgeous. At night, with all the lights on, the music going, it’s very nice.”

Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one and that the response was even better than he had expected. 

“Like anything new, you have quests, you have problems. Up to now, we’re doing pretty good. We are up and running. We’re comfortable now, which is a shame as we’re leaving pretty soon,” he said.

He added that he would repeat the experience in a heartbeat if he could: “They were nice enough to ask me to stay in Saudi a little longer, but I can’t. I need to go back home. But I would love to come back.”

He said that while he was not planning to open up a permanent restaurant in Saudi Arabia, he would not rule it out completely.  “I’ve been offered options, and friends have offered to show me locations while I’m here, but I can’t do it right now, I just opened a new restaurant two months ago,” he said.

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like.”

Gianni Vietina, Head chef of Madeo

The pop-up’s menu contains most of what the original restaurant offers, including his ever-popular penne amadeo and spaghetti bolognese, with the chefs using a combination of imported and locally sourced ingredients. 

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like,” he told Arab News.

For the pop-up, Vietina has stuck to using halal and alcohol-free ingredients. 

“It was challenging at the beginning. But the bolognese at Amadeo doesn’t contain pork, and I realized after we tried cooking without wine that almost nothing changed. I actually prefer it,” he said.

Madeo is a favorite of Saudis visiting Los Angeles, with Vietina going so far as to describe the restaurant as a “Little Riyadh” on most evenings between July and September. 

He even recognizes some of the customers who have come into the Riyadh pop-up, and always stops over to greet them.

Upon sampling the menu, it’s easy to see why the food at Madeo has remained popular all these years. 

The eggplant parmigiana is a perfect blend of crusty cheese and silky smooth eggplant, with hints of basil and rosemary. 

The bolognese is rich, meaty and decadent, without being too heavy and greasy. And the penne Amadeo, which Vietina has been eating since his childhood, is a timeless classic of crushed tomato, basil, finished off with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano for a creamy, rich flavor.