Riyadh Season attracts Pakistani expatriates

Pakistani singers Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan performed in Riyadh on Oct. 25, 2019, as part of the Riyadh Season. (Photo courtesy: Supplied)
Updated 05 November 2019

Riyadh Season attracts Pakistani expatriates

  • Several travelled from afar to watch Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan live in concert
  • This year's event has attracted more than 5mn visitors since October 15

ISLAMABAD: The ongoing Riyadh Season has attracted a large number of Pakistani expatriates since it began on October 15.
This year’s event is until December 15 and will leave visitors spoilt for choice with more than 100 events and activities.
The event also saw renowned Pakistani singers Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan perform for the first time in the Kingdom and attracted a large number of fans.
General Entertainment Authority (GEA) Chairman, Turki Al-Sheikh, said that the Riyadh Season has attracted more than five million visitors thus far, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.
The GEA said that it had hit new records in terms of visitor numbers, especially over the weekend, with the footfall exceeding 200,000 on Thursday and 175,000 on Friday.
Riyadh Season is part of an initiative to transform Saudi Arabia into one of the world’s most important tourist and entertainment destinations.
Saudi Seasons is also part of the Saudi leadership’s plan to strengthen the Kingdom’s position on the global tourism and entertainment map, as well as promote entertainment within an economic system that supports Vision 2030.


Pakistani victims in fatal Madinah bus crash identified, says foreign office

Updated 3 min 45 sec ago

Pakistani victims in fatal Madinah bus crash identified, says foreign office

  • Bodies of 10 Pakistani nationals recognized through DNA samples gathered by Saudi authorities
  • Charred remains of the deceased Pakistani pilgrims buried in the Kingdom

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Thursday that the DNA verification process for all of the country’s pilgrims killed in last month’s fatal road crash while they were traveling from Riyadh to Makkah was done and their bodies had been buried in Saudi Arabia.
“Ten Pakistanis have been identified” after a rigorous process of trying to ascertain identities through “DNA matching,” the foreign office spokesman, Dr. Muhammed Faisal, told Arab News.
Explaining the hardships involved in the process, he said: “The bus driver who had a list also died and the passengers’ record was burnt.”
Investigators “traced a copy of the passengers’ list” from the relevant bus company which helped collect the data on the number of passengers, including all Pakistanis onboard, “but they were still unable to identify the corpses and required families of the deceased to help identify the victims.”
The foreign office has not revealed the identities of the Pakistanis until now, though it says “details will soon be released.”
It may be recalled that the bus caught fire after the accident and the charred bodies of passengers were found to be beyond recognition.
A team of Pakistani officials with the help of Saudi authorities worked tirelessly to identify all the victims, collecting DNA samples of the deceased pilgrims to ascertain their exact identifies.
“None of the bodies of the Pakistani victims were brought back to the country. It’s likely that all of them were buried there [in Saudi Arabia],” the spokesman said.