Saudi entertainment authority launches e-portal to facilitate event planners

Updated 17 November 2017

Saudi entertainment authority launches e-portal to facilitate event planners

RIYADH: The General Entertainment Authority (GEA) launched an online “License Portal” on Nov. 14 to facilitate event planners in obtaining official permissions in minimum possible time.
A four-minute instructional video is also available on the GEA’s website, www.events.gea.gov.sa. The step-by-step video contains all information about the required documents to be uploaded through the web portal. It is currently available only in Arabic.
Event planners and organizers have reacted positively to the measure. However, they said they have to wait and watch how things work, as the service is yet to be tested.
“It’s still too early to tell,” said Anwar Idriss, a media consultant and entertainment director.
“If the portal is backed up with a well-organized support team that offers assistance on an equal opportunity basis, it will solve many of the issues we currently face.” He added: “The purpose is to help organizers’ workflow, not complicate it. There are many who would like to enter the business, and are in need of guidance.”
Before the establishment of the GEA, organizers had to face several bureaucratic complications in the issuance of permissions, as various agencies and authorities used to issue permits.
However, now event planners hope that the introduction of the new service will prove to be a “one-window” operation.
A GEA spokesperson told Arab News: “It’s too soon to comment on the results ...The portal was established for event planners in the Kingdom who organize events that go along with our vision. If an event planner doesn’t qualify… the application will be rejected until all the requirements are met.”
The authority also launched an electronic “ideas portal” for the 2018 calendar year for international and national organizations and entertainment firms. The aim is to diversify and develop the entertainment industry in the Kingdom to meet international standards.
The GEA has offered all organizers to submit their ideas through http://add.roznamah.sa starting Nov.13. The ideas will be accepted until Dec. 14.


The Hajjana: heritage of Saudi Arabia’s camel riding border patrol honored

Updated 30 October 2020

The Hajjana: heritage of Saudi Arabia’s camel riding border patrol honored

The Hajjana — fearless camel riders who patrolled the Kingdom’s borders — helped pave the way for the establishment of the modern Saudi state.
Their story goes back almost 90 years when a Hajjana border patrol was established during the reign of King Abdul Aziz in 1933.
After the Kingdom’s founder reclaimed Al-Ahsa, he ordered sea and land patrols to be carried out to tighten security in the region’s border areas.
Patrols were led by camel riders, so a military sector was formed at that time known as Hajjana. Its name was derived from their means of transport — camels.
Now, nine decades later, the Camel Club has established the Royal Hajjana to commemorate the group’s distinguished cultural heritage.
Since its creation in April, the Royal Hajjana has been preparing to take part in official reception ceremonies for King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s guests as well as national festivals sponsored by the king and crown prince.
It will also perform in Saudi heritage shows and represent the Kingdom in local and international camel festivals.
Hajjana officers became famous throughout the country after acquiring their name from the “hejin,” or camel. They protected the Kingdom’s residents from the south of the Empty Quarter to north of the Nafud Desert.
One of the founding king’s priorities was to provide security and protect the nation’s borders, so the Border Guard was among the first military sectors created.
The Coast Guard’s budget also included allocations for Hajjana officers, known as the Hajjana patrol commanders, whose role was part of the Frontier Corps.
Patrols continued to operate in southern regions until recently. However, the memory of the Hajjana remains fresh in the minds of the Kingdom’s border guards.