Saudi Arabia turns green for 93rd National Day … and rehearses for Expo 2030

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Saudi children will be among families waving the Kingdom’s unmistakeable green flag on Saturday and getting into the National Day spirit. (AFP photo)
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In the northern province of Al-Jawf, streets and public places are adorned with green flags, national signs, colorful lights, and models on the occasion of National Day. (SPA)
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The number 93, symbolizing Saudi Arabia's 93rd National Day, is flashed in one of the skyscrapers on Riyadh's King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) beside the King Fahd Road and Northern Ring Road interchange. (SPA)
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Public roads and squares in Jeddah turned green on Friday in celebration of the Kingdom’s 93rd National Day. (SPA)
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Updated 23 September 2023
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Saudi Arabia turns green for 93rd National Day … and rehearses for Expo 2030

  • In a special edition, Arab News explains why Saudi capital is perfect venue for world fair

RIYADH: Welcome to the day Saudi Arabia turns green! Saudis will take to the flag-decked streets in their thousands today to celebrate the Kingdom’s 93rd national day.

A raft of free activities will be available for families to enjoy the day.

Among the most eagerly awaited events is the air show by the Saudi Hawks, the aerobatics team of the Royal Saudi Air Force. Pilots will take to the skies in their six BAE Hawk Mk.65A aircraft for a gravity-defying display, leaving a trail of Saudi flags in their wake.

Horse-drawn artillery and other vehicles will take part in a military march through Riyadh at 4 p.m., accompanied by musicians from the Border Guard, the National Guard, and the Royal Guard. The parade will travel from Prince Mohammed bin Saad bin Abdulaziz Road to Umm Ajlan Park in the Qairawan neighborhood.

There will also be special events at the already buzzing Boulevard Riyadh City, including fireworks, a drone show and traditional folklore acts. 




A young girl joins citizens and residents celebrating Saudi National Day at a park in the waterfront of Qatif in the Eastern Province as early as Friday. (SPA)

The celebrations are a dress rehearsal for what the Kingdom can expect if its bid to host the Expo 2030 world fair is successful. In a special edition of Arab News today, we explain why the answer to that should be a resounding “yes.”

We explore the natural, archeological and architectural wonders that define Riyadh, learn about the history of the Ardah dance, and sample the Kingdom’s coffee culture.

We unpack how Salmani architecture redefined Riyadh’s development, highlighting the capital’s megaprojects, and look at how King Salman International Airport and the Riyadh Metro are transforming the city.

Riyadh’s hospitality industry serves up what it has to offer Expo visitors, while we examine the distinctive Saudi characteristic of generosity.

We highlight Riyadh’s thriving business landscape and booming retail sector, and check its cultural pulse, including headline events such as Noor Riyadh.

And taking readers on a tour of Expo 2030 preparations, we speak to Dimitri Kerkentzes, secretary general of the Bureau International des Expositions, which will elect the host city by secret ballot in November.


45th Saudi relief plane for Gazans arrives in Egypt

Updated 8 sec ago
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45th Saudi relief plane for Gazans arrives in Egypt

  • The assistance is part of the Kingdom’s historic role of supporting Palestinian people in times of crisis

AL-ARISH: The 45th Saudi relief plane, operated by the aid agency KSrelief in coordination with the Ministry of Defense, arrived on Friday in Egypt carrying food and shelter items to be transported to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
The assistance is part of the Kingdom’s historic role of supporting Palestinian people in times of crisis.
Meanwhile, waterborne diseases are spreading in Gaza due to a lack of clean water and rising temperatures, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Gaza said on Friday.
Contaminated water and poor sanitation are linked to diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, dysentery and hepatitis A, according to the World Health Organization.
Since mid-October, following the assault on Gaza in response to deadly attacks in southern Israel by Hamas, WHO has recorded more than 345,000 cases of diarrhea, including more than 105,000 in children under 5.


Riyadh to host 2024 Saudi Water Forum

Updated 44 min 5 sec ago
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Riyadh to host 2024 Saudi Water Forum

  • The forum aims to achieve security and sustainability in the water-scarce Kingdom

RIYADH: Riyadh will host the Saudi Water Forum from April 29 to May 1 under the patronage of the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdulrahman Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley.

Water security and sustainability are two of the most important concerns being examined and discussed internationally, and are major challenges facing Saudi Arabia, given the region’s scarcity of water resources and continuous population growth.

Increasing and accelerating demands for water place great strain on Gulf states, driven by economic growth and the improvement of quality of life.

The SWF posted on X: “Sustainability of water resources is among the fundamental issues that concern countries ... How can it be enhanced in Saudi Arabia!!? Join us to explore the proposed solutions and learn about the prominent local and regional experiences contributing to enhancing the sustainability of water resources within the #SaudiWaterForum program from April 29th to May 1st, 2024, at Hilton Riyadh.”

The Ministry Environment Water and Agriculture plans to organize the SWF as one of the most important events at local, regional, and international levels, to create a meeting platform between industry leaders, experts, and key stakeholders.

The forum endeavors to gather developers, investors, scientists, and researchers in the field with the relevant official entities, represented by the MEWA, Saline Water Conversion Corp., National Water Co., Saudi Water Partnership Co., the Saudi Irrigation Organization, Water Transmission and Technologies Co., the Water Regulator, and the National Water Efficiency and Conservation Center to present strategies on achieving solutions to challenges facing the sector.

The SWF will showcase the best practices and successful experiences in developing water projects that align with the needs of the Kingdom and contribute to confronting the challenges.

Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s driest countries and the world’s third largest per capita consumer of water after the US and Canada, announced a national program for rationalizing water consumption in the Kingdom at the SWF in 2019, setting ambitious targets that include slashing usage by nearly 24 percent by 2020 and around 43 percent by 2030. 

Speaking at the SWF in 2019, Al-Fadley, officially launched the Qatrah (Arabic for ‘droplet’) program, aimed at reducing water consumption as part of the MEWA’s efforts to attain water sustainability.

Through the program, the MEWA aims to reduce daily per capita consumption from 263 liters to 200 liters by 2020 and to 150 liters by 2030.


Passports chief inspects workflow at Jeddah airport

Updated 11 April 2024
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Passports chief inspects workflow at Jeddah airport

  • Al-Yahya urged the passport officers to perform their assigned tasks with efficiency and to continue in their efforts to serve guests

JEDDAH: Director General of Passports Lt. Gen. Sulaiman bin Abdulaziz Al-Yahya recently inspected the workflow at the passport departments at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and the Umrah halls.

The inspection aimed to assess the work progress, follow up on the performance of the workers, and complete the departure procedures for Umrah pilgrims.

During the inspection, Al-Yahya congratulated and presented gifts to passengers traveling through the airport on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr.

He also urged the passport officers to perform their assigned tasks with efficiency and to continue in their efforts to serve guests.

 


Saudi foreign minister discusses Gaza in calls with US, Algeria

Updated 12 April 2024
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Saudi foreign minister discusses Gaza in calls with US, Algeria

  • Parties review regional developments

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Thursday received a phone call from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Kingdom’s ministry said.

The parties reviewed regional developments and ways to reduce the escalation of tensions in the Middle East.

They also focused on issues of common interest, most notably Sudan, developments in the Gaza Strip, and the importance of introducing more humanitarian aid to the besieged Palestinian enclave.

Prince Faisal also made a telephone call to Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Attaf to discuss regional developments and the conflict in Gaza.

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Who’s Who: Areej Al-Johani, member of the International Academic Advisory Board of the International Anti-Corruption Academy

Areej Al-Johani
Updated 11 April 2024
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Who’s Who: Areej Al-Johani, member of the International Academic Advisory Board of the International Anti-Corruption Academy

Areej Al-Johani has recently been appointed a member of the International Academic Advisory Board of the International Anti-Corruption Academy in Vienna until 2030, a term of six years.

Al-Johani is a highly accomplished professional with a distinguished career in the Saudi Arabian government.

She currently serves as the director of policies, awareness and training for the integrity department at the Ministry of Defense.

Al-Johani brings a wealth of experience in leadership, policy development, and program implementation to the role.

Her dedication to public service is evident throughout her career. She previously served as the deputy health minister’s human resources counselor for business quality.

Al-Johani also worked as general supervisor of the Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Office at the Saudi Health Ministry.

She served as director general of the ministry’s workforce planning department from April 2019 to February 2021.

Al-Johani has been a certified internal assessor at the Health Ministry for the King Abdulaziz Quality Award since 2018.

She headed the quality excellence team at the ministry’s deputyship of human resources between 2018 and 2019, and was a coordinator of the leadership renewal program in 2016.

Al-Johani worked for nearly a year in 2009 as supervisor at the learning and resource center of the Jeddah-based Al-Abnaa High School.

Al-Johani has attended various local and international training courses. She is the recipient of several prestigious professional awards and has had research papers published in various journals, and attended conferences both inside and outside the country.

Al-Johani received a bachelor’s degree in education from King Saud University in 2003. After completing a master’s degree at the University of Glamorgan, she obtained a Ph.D. in technology science from the University of South Wales.