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Vision 2030

Saudi female accident inspectors prepare for women driving

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s first batch of women car accident inspectors are training to respond to incidents involving female drivers, who will be allowed to drive in the kingdom starting on Sunday when a decades-old ban ends. Forty women hired by private insurance company Najm attended a celebration on Thursday in the capital Riyadh. All of them wore black abayas, the traditional loose-fitting robes, and most covered their faces with the niqab as they lined up to receive symbolic diplomas. Just days before women are set…

Saudi Arabia to host Italian Super Cup

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will host the Italian Super Cup between AC Milan and Juventus early next year, the country's sports authority said Wednesday. "The kingdom will witness early next year the final of the 2019 Italian Super Cup, which will bring together Juventus and AC Milan," it said in a statement on Twitter. The authority also posted pictures and video clips of the Saudi sports authority chief Turki Al-Sheikh and Marco Brunelli, head of the Italian professional football league, signing an agreement. Juventus last…

Saudi Arabia to host Formula E race

RIYADH: Oil-rich Saudi Arabia will host a round of the Formula E world championship for the first time next season on a street circuit in the capital of Riyadh, it was announced Thursday. The race, to be held in December, will also be the first appearance of the electric car racing series in the Middle East and the latest in a line of recent international events debuting in the kingdom following widespread reforms of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. "Bringing racing to Riyadh for the first round of the new season is…

Saudi entertainment city casts wide net for investors and contractors

RIYADH:  A new entertainment city that Saudi Arabia has started building southwest of the capital is seeking a broad range of financing from local and international sources, the project’s chief executive told Reuters. Qiddiya is one of three mega-projects managed by the kingdom’s main sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), as part of ambitious reforms aimed at overhauling the economy of the world’s top oil exporter and providing jobs for an overwhelmingly young population. The other two initiatives…

Saudi privatisation programme targets $10 billion non-oil revenues by 2020

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia aims to generate 35 to 40 billion riyals ($9-11 billion) in non-oil revenues from its privatisation programme by 2020 and create up to 12,000 jobs, according to a document published by the official news agency on Tuesday. The initiative targets 14 public-private partnership investments worth 24 to 28 billion riyals and includes the corporatisation of Saudi ports as well as the privatisation of the production sector at the Saudi Saline Water Conversion Corp (SWCC) and the Ras Al Khair desalination and…

Saudi Arabia seeks French help for music, opera and cinema

PARIS: Saudi Arabia is to use French expertise to set up a national opera and orchestra under an agreement signed Monday that underlined the "modernising" agenda of the kingdom's crown prince as he began his official trip to Paris. The deal will see the Paris opera company help Saudi Arabia produce its own classical music and shows, a further sign of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman'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…

Major plot twist for students at Saudi Arabia’s first cinema school

JEDDAH: Student Sama Kinsara adjusts her camera at Saudi Arabia’s only cinema school, her dream of seeing her work on the big screen coming into focus after the lifting of the country’s 35-year ban on cinema. “Everything is about to change,” the first-year student of “visual and digital production” at Effat University in Jeddah told Reuters. Her course is to be renamed “cinematic arts”, dropping the deceptive title employed originally to help stay under the radar of religious police and local communities opposed to…