Launch event held for Saudi Arabia’s Ad Diriyah Season

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The launch event was held under the patronage of GSA Chairman Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal. (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)
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The launch event was held under the patronage of GSA Chairman Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal. (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)
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The launch event was held under the patronage of GSA Chairman Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal. (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)
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The launch event was held under the patronage of GSA Chairman Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal. (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)
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The launch event was held under the patronage of GSA Chairman Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal. (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)
Updated 07 October 2019

Launch event held for Saudi Arabia’s Ad Diriyah Season

  • The month of world-class sporting, entertainment, musical and cultural events will begin on Nov. 21

AD DIRIYAH: The Saudi General Sports Authority (GSA) organized a launch event on Sunday for the month-long Ad Diriyah Season, which begins on Nov. 21.

The season will include world-class sporting, entertainment, musical and cultural events hosted in Ad Diriyah.

The launch event was held under the patronage of GSA Chairman Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal.

“Hearts will beat faster, pulses will race, rivals will battle each other, and thousands will be entertained in the cradle of modern Saudi civilization, Ad Diriyah, where our nation began,” he said. 

“Today, a year after organizing Formula E, our ambitions have become bigger, as have our dreams.”

The Formula E racing championship of electric cars will return for this year’s Ad Diriyah Season.

There will be back-to-back races on Nov. 22 and 23, with Porsche and Mercedes competing for the first time.

“Clash on the Dunes,” the first world heavyweight boxing title fight in the Kingdom, will be held on Dec. 7.

The current unified world heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua, the 2012 Olympics gold medalist, will go head-to-head in a revenge clash of epic proportions.

The first professional tennis tournament to be staged in Saudi Arabia will be held on Dec. 12-14.

Through a knockout tournament, three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland will battle it out against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, Belgium’s David Goffin and Italy’s Fabio Fogini. Four more competitors will be announced at a later time.

The Ad Diriyah Equestrian Festival will see the world’s best equestrian athletes compete in two weekends of elite sportsmanship. The tournaments will be held on Dec. 12-14 and 19-21.

Saudi and international contestants will compete as they collect points to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

For the first time in Saudi Arabia, women will be able to participate in the equestrian race. “We participate in Europe all the time. This time we’re doing it in our country, on home ground, in international show-jumping,” said Saudi equestrian Sara Baban.

Ad Diriyah Season will also include concerts, cultural festivities, and food and retail experiences.

The names of singers who will perform have not yet been revealed, but music fans should reserve Nov. 22-23 and Dec. 6, 13 and 14 in their diaries for concerts.

“Where else in the world can you find this epic blend of the past, the present and the future?” said Prince Abdul Aziz.

“Last year, we opened the door to international travelers through our sporting visa program. Now the Kingdom has launched general tourist visas, so our arms are open and our welcome has never been warmer. Come witness history in the making.”


Ex-Lebanese PM warns warring politicians must compromise to ‘save’ country

Updated 36 min 15 sec ago

Ex-Lebanese PM warns warring politicians must compromise to ‘save’ country

  • “All officials must find a common ground of understanding to form a government as soon as possible.”

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s former premier Tammam Salam has appealed for politicians to put aside their differences in order to “save” the crisis-hit country.

In his first statement since the start of civil protests which have led to the collapse of the Lebanese government, the 74-year-old ex-prime minister said: “All officials must find a common ground of understanding to form a government as soon as possible.”

After meeting with the highest Maronite religious authority in Lebanon, Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi, Salam warned that “the situation is difficult, in crisis, complicated, and requires rising above (ourselves), sacrificing, and finding solutions to save Lebanon.”

His comments came as the tug of war between opposing Lebanese political parties intensified on Thursday amid an announcement from the leader of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), Gebran Bassil, that his party would not participate in the formation of the next government.

Binding parliamentary consultations are set to take place next Monday to name a new prime minister following the resignation of Saad Hariri from the post on Oct. 29.

The FPM is the largest Christian bloc in the Lebanese Parliament and an ally of Hezbollah, but the participation of Bassil has been a point of disagreement with caretaker PM Hariri. 

Bassil announced his decision after holding talks on Thursday with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, and later his parliamentary bloc.

Former MP Faris Saeed told Arab News: “Everyone is trying to evade responsibility for what is happening in the country, and the result is the collapse of the state. Everyone is looking for a scapegoat. Bassil’s move is an act of cowardice to evade responsibility.

“I expect that parliamentary consultations will take place and a prime minister will be assigned, but the prime minister will not be able to form the government.”

Lebanon is facing an acute economic crisis following weeks of demonstrations throughout the country sparked by the government’s decision to increase taxes in a bid to reduce the deficit in the state budget.

President Michel Aoun and his ally, Hezbollah, have insisted on forming a technopolitical government, while protesters want a rescue government with no links to the former administration.

The Sunni authority in Lebanon, Dar Al-Fatwa, had announced that its only candidate to head the government was Hariri but FPM MP Salim Aoun criticized the stance. He said: “They left us with two options as MPs for naming the PM: Either Saad Hariri or no one.”

Meanwhile, activists claimed protesters’ tents in Riad Al-Solh Square in Beirut had been damaged in an “organized attack.”

And tensions boiled over in the Mount Lebanon Palace of Justice after prosecutor Ghada Aoun ordered the detention of the director general of the Traffic, Trucks and Vehicles Management Authority, Hoda Salloum, for alleged “bribery, forgery, waste of public money, illicit enrichment, and job obligation breaches.”

Future Movement MP, Hadi Hobeich, reportedly entered judge Aoun’s office and accused her of being “militia-like” over a matter that was “not judicial but purely political.” He said the purpose of arresting Salloum was to “replace her with an employee affiliated with the FPM.” Hobeich later apologized for his actions which he described as a “mistake.”

The Supreme Judicial Council announced that Judge Aoun would be referred to the judicial inspection.

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