Riyadh gears up for Atif Aslam, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan on stage 

Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan to perform in Riyadh season on October 25. ( Courtesy General Entertainment Authority, KSA )
Updated 21 October 2019

Riyadh gears up for Atif Aslam, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan on stage 

  • Two of Pakistan’s most famous singers are set to perform in the Saudi capital on Oct. 25
  • Both artists have also received immense fame across the border, and have millions of Indian fans

ISLAMABAD: The South Asian diaspora in Riyadh is gearing up to welcome two famed vocal talents from Pakistan, Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, in the Saudi capital on Oct. 25.
The news was reported in a Twitter post on Saturday, by Saudi Royal Court Adviser, Turki Alalshikh, who serves as Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority in the Kingdom.
“For our Indian and Pakistani brothers and sisters in Riyadh, Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan will be waiting for you on the 25th of October,” the post said.

Most recently, Aslam sang a haunting rendition of famed Pakistani Qawali master, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s ‘Wohi Khuda Hai’ on the popular music platform, Coke Studio. Since it premiered last week, the song and video has amassed 13 million views.
Aslam remains one of the most revered stars out of Pakistan’s music scene and has enjoyed immense success across the border in neighboring India as well, where the singer’s crooning voice is a favorite for Bollywood soundtracks. Pakistan and India have an almost identical spoken language.
Khan, like Aslam, is also a hugely popular artist out of Pakistan and has received similar appreciation in India where he has sung for notable films. A nephew of the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, he performed his uncle’s original song, ‘Afreen Afreen,’ in 2016, and it remains the highest viewed video out of Pakistan and Coke Studio, at 288 million views.
Both artists have frequently been praised for their talents, and the work they produce which bridges distances through music between bitter rivals Pakistan and India.
Currently, roughly 250,000 Pakistanis live in Saudi Arabia with nearly a million calling the UAE home.

Emirates resumes Pakistan flights for passengers with negative COVID-19 tests

Updated 16 min 8 sec ago

Emirates resumes Pakistan flights for passengers with negative COVID-19 tests

  • Passengers must carry a negative COVID-19 test report from a lab approved by the airline
  • In late June, Emirates suspended its Pakistan flights after some passengers tested positive

ISLAMABAD: Emirates has resumed services to Pakistan after a brief suspension last month, and made coronavirus clearance obligatory for all passengers.

In a statement on Wednesday, the airline said that travelers coming from Pakistan must carry a negative COVID-19 report from a laboratory approved by the airline, where they ought to present their booking reference and passport copy.

They must take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test up to four days before departure and present their test result at the time of check-in. 

“Passengers will bear the cost of PCR test and certificate,” the airline clarified.

On June 24, Emirates suspended its Pakistan services after some passengers who traveled to the country tested positive for the coronavirus in Hong Kong.

Farhan Ahmed, chief executive of Blue Wings travel agency in Islamabad, told Arab News that Emirates had requested all travel consultants to inform passengers traveling from Pakistan that they would be able to board within 96 hours after receiving negative test results.

In June, Pakistan witnessed a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases. As of Thursday, more than 217,800 people were known to have contracted the disease, with over 4,300 new infections reported in the past 24 hours, Health Ministry data showed.

Nearly 4,500 Pakistanis have died from the virus and 2,700 are in critical condition. Over 104,600 are known to have recovered.