Saudi Arabia and Qatar were drawn in the same group for the 2019 Asian Cup, increasing the ongoing political edginess to a tournament eight months away. Since June, tournament host the United Arab Emirates along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt have severed all ties — including travel — with Qatar after accusing the country of supporting terrorism, which the state vehemenly denies. Saudi Arabia and Qatar, host of the 2022 World Cup, were drawn on Friday in Group E beside North Korea and Lebanon. Saudi Arabia is one of five teams in the expanded tournament that is focused on the World Cup in Russia. Asian Cup titleholder Australia faces Syria, a team the Socceroos defeated in a World Cup playoff in October, as well as Palestine and Jordan. Four-time champion Japan has been drawn with Uzbekistan, Oman and Turkmenistan. Iran, at 36, the highest-ranked Asian team in the FIFA rankings, has drawn Iraq, Vietnam and Yemen. The Philippines, making its debut in a tournament that … [Read more...] about Saudi Arabia, Qatar draw same Asian Cup group as Gulf rift remains unsolved
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Saudi Arabia will employ French expertise to set up a national opera and orchestra, under an agreement signed Monday during a visit to Paris by the kingdom's modernising Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The deal will see the Paris Opera company help the ultra-conservative Islamic nation produce its own classical music and shows, a further sign of Prince Mohammed's desire to change the image of his homeland. He has already announced the lifting of a ban on women driving, the re-opening of cinemas for the first time in over three decades and new mixed-gender concerts, despite opposition from religious hardliners. The kingdom also revealed Monday that it would enter short films at the Cannes cinema festival for the first time and send an official delegation to the celebration of often edgy and subversive silver-screen art on the Riviera this May. "I cannot think of a better partner for culture and art than France," Saudi Culture Minister Awwad Alawwad told AFP. Prince Mohammed, 32, was … [Read more...] about Saudi Arabia seeks French help for music, opera and cinema
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri has landed in Saudi Arabia for the first time since he announced his resignation from Riyadh. The Lebanese leader, who also holds Saudi citizenship, is expected to hold talks with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during the trip.Hariri's spokesperson issued a brief statement on his latest visit, saying he was touring Riyadh after being invited by the Sunni kingdom, a regional heavyweight in the Middle East. The exact agenda of Hariri's trip is still unclear.His visit also comes ahead of three major donor conferences which are set to take place in Europe in the coming months in support of Lebanon, with all the summits requiring Riyadh's backing.In November last year, Hariri dropped a bombshell while he was in Saudi Arabia by saying that he was stepping down as Lebanese prime minister, an announcement which sent shockwaves across the volatile Middle East region.There have been widespread reports since then that Riyadh had … [Read more...] about Will there be another ‘positive shock’ as Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri visits Saudi Arabia?
Home / News / UK and world by Press Association February 12, 2018, 11:32 am FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmail Sign up to our Daily newsletter Vue International is making its first foray into the Middle East just months after Saudi Arabia lifted its 35-year ban on commercial cinemas. The company has paired up with Abdulmohsin Al Hokair Holding Group – best known for constructing and operating a raft of leisure and hospitality centres – to launch 30 multiplex cinemas across the country over the next three years. The proposed joint venture will see Vue establish cinemas in some of Al Hokair’s existing sites as well as new developments – with the first cinema expected to open its doors as early as this year. The Saudi Arabian firm currently owns and operates three shopping centres, 79 entertainment centres and 45 hotels in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Egypt. The partnership is the result of a number of … [Read more...] about Vue International to bring screens to Saudi Arabia after 35-year cinema ban ends
Think Saudi Arabia and the image that comes to mind is one of palm trees, deserts and camels. However, one region of the Middle Eastern country witnessed a temporary change of scenery following a snow storm. The mountainous region of Tabuk in northwestern Saudi experienced snow fall on 26 January and families from the nearby city and towns drove out to enjoy the rare treat. The peak of the Al-Lawz Mountain was dusted in white and many took the opportunity to go sledding and organise bonfire picnics. This region receives light snowfall annually but it tends to melt within a few hours, causing sludge to form on the roads. Arab News reported that the Red Crescent, Civil Defense and the Border Guards along with local traffic and security agencies were monitoring the area to manage crowds and respond to emergencies. Hussein Al-Qahtani, spokesman for the General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection, told the Saudi Press Agency that the cold front would continue into next … [Read more...] about Photos: Rare winter storm blankets desert region in Saudi Arabia in snow