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Videos released last month show construction of the Royal Arts Complex at King Salman Park is well underway

Full steam ahead on ‘largest urban park in the world’

Saudi Arabia is forging ahead with construction of what it calls the “largest urban park in the world”, publishing videos of its first buildings under construction after a tunnel opened earlier this year.  King Salman Park in Riyadh is owned by the Public Investment Fund and was recently valued by real estate consultancy Knight Frank […]

The arts centre, designed by Tom Wiscombe, will be a futuristic building that straddles rugged mountains outside Riyadh

Futuristic architect lands arts centre in Saudi’s Qiddiya

Saudi sports and entertainment city Qiddiya is to build a performing arts centre designed by leading architect Tom Wiscombe, whose futuristic building will straddle rugged mountains outside Riyadh.  The centre will include 3,000 seats spread across three theatres including an amphitheatre with views of the capital.  Qiddiya, one of the Public Investment Fund’s giga-projects, said […]

Oman's Film City iwill provide more than 100 job opportunities for Omanis and aims to produce and export films

Oman to build $31m Film City

Oman is to build an OR12 million ($31.2 million) ‘Film City’ to boost its entertainment sector, a news report said. The project follows the outcomes of workshops held in March by the ministry of sports, culture and youth, Oman Daily Observer reported, citing a government official. The city is expected to provide more than 100 […]

Tawfik Alzaidi

Saudi director’s labour of love takes the kingdom to Cannes

For the first time a Saudi film has been selected to compete in the Cannes film festival, catapulting its little-known self-taught director into the limelight. Tawfik Alzaidi was so surprised that he’d managed to break through to the big time that he kept the news that his film Norah had been accepted for the ‘Un […]

Art NFTs Video length: 04:13

Dubai art dealer uses NFTs for fractional art ownership

A Dubai tech startup is introducing tokenisation to the art world, after the NFT bubble burst spectacularly. aims to make investing in art accessible to all by selling digitised fragments of works by artists including Andy Warhol, Banksy and Picasso, allowing for collective ownership of a masterpiece for as little as $100 a fragment. […]

Emirati director Nayla Al Khaja. Her film 'Three' is currently being shown in UAE theatres in Mandarin using's AI translation programme

Dubai startup helps AI-voice cloning take centre stage

A YouTube video released in January of Novak Djokovic shows the tennis star speaking fluent Spanish at a post-match press conference.  While the Serbian champion is renowned for speaking several languages, in this case his voice was created by an artificial intelligence tool developed by a Dubai-based startup, The original Djokovic footage was taken […]

Sylvain P. Gaillard, director of the Opera Gallery in Dubai

Art trumps diamonds when it comes to luxury investment

For Middle East investors, works of art are worth hanging on to. Artworks have more than doubled in value over the past decade, the latest edition of the Knight Frank Global Wealth Report reveals. It was a mixed year for luxury investments last year. Whisky, cars, handbags, furniture and wine lost value. Diamonds, coins and […]

The Big Time fund will be used to support pan-Arab cinema and production facilities have already been developed at AlUla

Saudi Arabia sets up Big Time film investment fund

Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority has set up the Big Time investment fund to support pan-Arab cinema, in Riyadh’s latest push to develop soft power through sports and culture. The authority’s head Turki Alalshikh said during a visit to Cairo that the entertainment authority would act as the Big Time fund’s main sponsor along with […]

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, attending the Arab Strategy Forum 2024

Dubai unveils $56bn plan to improve standard of living

Dubai has unveiled a AED208 billion ($56.64 billion) ten-year strategy aimed at making the city one of the top three in the world for standard of living. There are also plans to double the number of Emirati families and triple the number of citizens working in the private sector by 2033. “We aim to double […]

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - DECEMBER 02: Greg Silverman, Charlene Deleon-Jones and Jessika Borsiczky pose in the portrait studio during the Red Sea International Film Festival 2023 on December 02, 2023 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for The Red Sea International Film Festival)

Coming to a movie theatre near you … AlUla

It would make the perfect setting for Star Wars or Indiana Jones, but AlUla is developing production facilities that will expand its reach beyond sci-fi and desert adventure movies, making it one of the region’s prime locations for international shoots.  The tourist location in northwest Saudi Arabia is fast developing into a mini-city with an […]

Saudi artist Manal AlDowayan will represent her country at the 2024 Venice Biennale

Saudi art blooms with the kingdom’s transformation

The arts have undergone profound changes in Saudi Arabia over the past decade as the country has enacted wide-ranging reforms, according to a leading Saudi artist.  Once silenced by religious forces and a conservative culture, female artists in particular have come to the fore through a raft of government and private sector initiatives to encourage […]

U.S. actress Gwyneth Paltrow talks during an ‘In Conversation’ session at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on December 6th, 2023, as part of the 3rd edition of Red Sea Film Festival. Photo by Balkis Press/ABACAPRESS.COM

Gwyneth Paltrow slides door on films to focus on Goop

Gwyneth Paltrow has all but closed the door on her acting career, giving her more time to focus on her wellness brand Goop and to explore new countries such as Saudi Arabia, the Oscar winner told an audience at the Red Sea International Film Festival.  “For the foreseeable future I’m at Goop. I have a […]

Man watching tv and eating popcorn at home on a couch, back view

In the streaming age, the TV stays on after Ramadan

YouTube creators and streaming services are changing the face of television all over the world – but particularly in Arab countries, according to executives who attended the Red Sea Film Festival in Jeddah this month. The entertainment industry in the Middle East traditionally focused on the fasting month, when TV shows could find a captive […]

Indian composer A.R. Rahman at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah

No need to fear AI, says Indian music legend

New technologies such as artificial intelligence should be embraced, famed Indian composer A.R. Rahman said at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah this week.  “It’s not new… human beings are constantly evolving, they will rise up to something that they can do.” AI has become something of a bogeyman in people’s minds, but […]

People watch fireworks and a light show as Saudi Arabia celebrates winning its bid to host the World Expo 2030 in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia wins bid to host World Expo 2030

Saudi Arabia will host the World Expo 2030 in Riyadh, surpassing bids from Busan in South Korea and the Italian city of Rome. A total of 119 countries endorsed Riyadh’s candidacy during the 173rd general assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) held in Paris, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported. The World Expo […]

Dr Majeed Khan has been researching Saudi rock art for more than 30 years

Ancient rock art to draw modern tourists to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is funding research and excavation of the ancient rock art in its caves and mountains as it seeks to develop cultural tourism, an archaeologist has told AGBI. Dr Majeed Khan, who acts as a consultant to the kingdom’s Ministry of Culture, has been researching its petroglyphs – images carved out of rock thousands […]

The Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra during a concert held in the General Assembly Hall at United Nations headquarters

The Gulf has a rich musical heritage – it needs an audience

When the Saudi National Orchestra made its New York debut in September, a centrepiece of the 80-member ensemble was a large green oil barrel.  While serving as a wry reference to the US-Saudi special relationship, it also made a serviceable drum. For an evening, the pounding rhythms of majrour, samri and liwa brought the traditional […]