The Arena in Diriyah to revolutionize entertainment in Saudi Arabia, Gulf

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The 20,000-seat arena marks a crucial milestone in Diriyah’s transformation as a key driver in Saudi Arabia’s vision for cultural and economic growth. (Supplied)
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The 20,000-seat arena marks a crucial milestone in Diriyah’s transformation as a key driver in Saudi Arabia’s vision for cultural and economic growth. (Supplied)
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The 20,000-seat arena marks a crucial milestone in Diriyah’s transformation as a key driver in Saudi Arabia’s vision for cultural and economic growth. (Supplied)
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The 20,000-seat arena marks a crucial milestone in Diriyah’s transformation as a key driver in Saudi Arabia’s vision for cultural and economic growth. (Supplied)
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The 20,000-seat arena marks a crucial milestone in Diriyah’s transformation as a key driver in Saudi Arabia’s vision for cultural and economic growth. (Supplied)
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The 20,000-seat arena marks a crucial milestone in Diriyah’s transformation as a key driver in Saudi Arabia’s vision for cultural and economic growth. (Supplied)
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Updated 14 March 2024
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The Arena in Diriyah to revolutionize entertainment in Saudi Arabia, Gulf

RIYADH: Diriyah Co., a Public Investment Fund entity transforming Diriyah into a global cultural, historical, and lifestyle hub, on Wednesday unveiled an innovative concept design for The Arena in Diriyah at the global real estate exhibition MIPIM in Cannes.

Design of multipurpose sports, entertainment, and cultural arena, located on the outskirts of Riyadh, has been overseen by London-based HKS Architects, which said the result will be a technologically advanced, globally significant venue that embodies the essence of its surroundings, local geological formations, and culture.

The 20,000-seat arena marks a crucial milestone in Diriyah’s transformation as a key driver in Saudi Arabia’s vision for cultural and economic growth. This announcement is part of a SR236 billion ($63.2 billion) masterplan that underpins Diriyah’s development, redefining cultural and lifestyle offerings within the capital.

The 76,000-square-meter arena aims to establish itself as the premier venue in the Middle East, serving as a tourism hallmark, drawing visitors from across the globe and transforming the region’s events landscape.

Group CEO of Diriyah Co. Jerry Inzerillo said: “The Arena in Diriyah exemplifies Diriyah’s unique lifestyle offering that harmonizes community, culture, and natural connection, setting a new standard for world-class destinations rooted in Saudi heritage.”

The venue will incorporate the traditional Najdi architecture motif, reflecting centuries of heritage. It will feature a “versatile design that allows for easy configuration changes, enabling the hosting of multiple events in rapid succession,” while its “state-of-the-art design will prioritize excellent acoustics and optimal viewing angles from every seat.”

Beyond the arena, a shopping district and an outdoor plaza for performances and recreation expand the entertainment experience, according to the press release.

The Arena in Diriyah will be “one of Diriyah’s iconic assets, and integral to the unprecedented Diriyah masterplan,” aiming to enhance Saudi Arabia’s entertainment scene, in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

The venue champions a lifestyle that is “authentically Saudi,” offering a “harmonious blend of heritage and innovation, and fostering community engagement through world-class events that stimulate tourism and economic growth.”

HKS Architects lead architect Alex Thomas described the venue’s architecture as rising from the landscape like monoliths, inspired by local geological formations, and reminiscent of ancient Najdi forts and palaces.

“Captivating digital waterfalls” visually draw guests toward the vibrant and dynamic experience within, he said.

The announcement was made in the presence of UK Minister of State for Business and Trade, Lord Dominic Johnson of Lainston.


Saudi, Kosovo officials discuss parliamentary ties

Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi, Kosovo officials discuss parliamentary ties

RIYADH: The Saudi-Kosovo Parliamentary Friendship Committee, led by Khalid Al-Bawardi, the committee’s chairman and Saudi Shoura Council member, met with Kosovo’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kreshnik Ahmeti and other officials in Pristina.

Discussions aimed to boost bilateral relations and parliamentary cooperation between the Shoura Council and Kosovo Parliament, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

Faisal Hifzi, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Albania and non-resident ambassador to Kosovo, Montenegro, and North Macedonia, attended the meeting.

Additionally, the committee met with Podujeva’s Mayor Shpejtim Bulliqi and discussed cooperation in municipal affairs. The mayor praised Saudi Arabia’s environmental conservation efforts.

The Shoura Council delegation also engaged with local companies, reviewing Kosovo’s future projects and discussing opportunities for economic cooperation.


Saudi authorities arrest 17,030 illegals in one week

Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi authorities arrest 17,030 illegals in one week

RIYADH: Saudi authorities arrested 17,030 people in one week for breaching residency, work and border security regulations, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

According to an official report, a total of 10,662 people were arrested for violations of residency laws, while 4,147 were held over illegal border crossing attempts, and a further 2,221 for labor-related issues.

The report showed that among the 1,119 people arrested for trying to enter the Kingdom illegally, 71 percent were Ethiopian, 27 percent Yemeni, and 2 percent were of other nationalities.

A further 65 people were caught trying to cross into neighboring countries, and 17 were held for involvement in transporting and harboring violators.

The Saudi Ministry of Interior said that anyone found to be facilitating illegal entry to the Kingdom, including providing transportation and shelter, could face imprisonment for a maximum of 15 years, a fine of up to SR1 million ($260,000), as well as confiscation of vehicles and property.

Suspected violations can be reported on the toll-free number 911 in the Makkah and Riyadh regions, and 999 or 996 in other regions of the Kingdom.


KSrelief continues aid projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen

Updated 25 May 2024
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KSrelief continues aid projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s aid agency KSrelief  continued its humanitarian projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen.
In Sudan, the agency distributed 950 personal hygiene kits to displaced and needy families in Kosti, benefiting 5,463 individuals. In Wad Sharifi, 330 food parcels were provided to displaced families, benefiting 1,710 individuals. 
Meanwhile in Lebanon, KSrelief continued its implementation of the Al-Amal Charitable Bakery Project in Akkar and Miniyeh. The project distributed 150,000 loaves of bread daily to Syrian and Palestinian refugee families, or about 62,500 individuals.
In Yemen, 897 food parcels were delivered in Al-Abr, benefiting 6,237 individuals, as part of the Kingdom’s humanitarian initiative.
in Somalia, KSrelief continued providing medical services in collaboration with the Kidney Dialysis Center at Banadir Hospital in Mogadishu. The center catered to a total of 384 patients and assisted dialysis, medical examination and emergency sessions.


12 arrested in qat smuggling attempt in Saudi Arabia

Updated 25 May 2024
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12 arrested in qat smuggling attempt in Saudi Arabia

  • A separate smuggling attempt of 70kg of qat was thwarted in Jazan Region

RIYADH: Saudi authorities arrested 12 Yemeni nationals for attempting to smuggle 266kg of qat through the borders of Asir region, state news agency SPA reported.
The items were seized and handed over to the relevant authority, SPA said on Friday.
A separate smuggling attempt of 70kg of qat was thwarted in Jazan region. Border authorities said the suspects were arrested and the seized items were transferred to relevant authorities for further action.

Mostly chewed by users, Qat is a mild stimulant and illegal across most of the Arab world.

The government has urged citizens and residents to report any information they have regarding drug smuggling or sales to the General Directorate of Narcotics Control. Reports can be made by calling 911 for Makkah, Riyadh and the Eastern Province, and 999 for other regions. Alternatively, information can be emailed to [email protected]. All reports are treated confidentially.

 


Saudi foreign minister meets French counterpart, discusses bilateral relations and situation in Gaza

Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi foreign minister meets French counterpart, discusses bilateral relations and situation in Gaza

PARIS: Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah met on Friday with French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Stephane Sejourne in Paris.

The two ministers discussed Saudi-French relations and ways to enhance them as well as improve coordination on various issues of mutual concern.

The two officials also discussed the current situation in Gaza and its surroundings and the need to deliver humanitarian assistance to the civilians in the enclave.

The meeting was attended by Saudi Ambassador to France Fahd bin Mayouf Al-Ruwaili, Foreign Minister’s Office Director General Abdulrahman Al-Dawood and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Advisor Dr. Manal Radwan.