Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

The Yemeni warring parties agreed to swap 1,081 prisoners: UN envoys | Instant News


Martin Griffiths, United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen speaks at the closing plenary of the fourth meeting of the Oversight Committee on the Application of the Prisoner Exchange Agreement in Yemen, in Glion, Switzerland, 27 September 2020. REUTERS / Denis Balibouse

GLION, Switzerland (Reuters) – The warring parties in Yemen have agreed to swap 1,081 prisoners and detainees during talks in Switzerland, United Nations Special Envoy Martin Griffiths said on Sunday.

The Iran-aligned Houthi group will release 400 government prisoners, including 15 Saudis and four Sudanese, while the Saudi-backed government will release 681 Houthi fighters, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

“I urge the parties to immediately move forward with the release and not try hard in building this momentum to immediately agree to the release of more prisoners,” Griffiths told reporters.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Aziz El Yaakoubi in Dubai; Edited by Catherine Evans

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In Saudi Arabia, surge in domestic travel helps tourism rebound | Instant News


Saudi Arabia is bracing for a rapid rebound in tourism and has not revised its visitor targets for 2021 despite the coronavirus pandemic, Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb said. As the government prepares to reopen its borders to foreign tourists in January, the kingdom is using its presidency of the largest economies in the Group of 20 to facilitate the resumption of global travel, Al-Khateeb said in an interview on Saturday. “If countries open their borders today, we will be able to run fast, and that is the plan,” said Al-Khateeb, a key adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “We believe people want to travel and they will continue to do so. travel, but we need countries to coordinate their actions. “The pandemic forced Saudi Arabia to close its borders in March, thwarting the government’s ambitions to expand its travel industry six months after allowing vacationers to visit the country for the first time. While the number of visitors international markets fell, a domestic tourism boom exceeded official forecasts and helped offset that decline, he said Economic diversification Tourism is an important part of Saudi Arabia’s plans to diversify the economy. The oil-dependent economy. The virus has devastated industry around the world, with the World Travel and Tourism Council predicting the loss of 100 million jobs. Official tourism targets for next year remain unchanged, Al- Khateeb, and the government still plans to expand the sector to represent 10% of economic output by 2030. “We have built the ecosystem, we have the international countryside s ready, we have developed the visitor experience and we are ready to capture the numbers that we have promised to capture, ”he said. Al-Khateeb told Reuters in April that Saudi tourism could decline as much as 45% this year. With pleasure travel so new – the government granted around 500,000 visas before its borders were closed – tourism consists mainly of Islamic religious pilgrimages, which were suspended in March. Since then, an increase in domestic travel that has been 50% greater than officials predicted has helped save businesses and jobs, Al-Khateeb said. Ten sites where the government has chosen to promote summer travel generated 8.6 billion riyals ($ 2.3 billion) from June 25 to August 31, a 31% increase over last year Al-Khateeb said. The occupancy rate of hotels on these sites has risen to around 80% over the summer, down from just 5% earlier in the pandemic, he added. A $ 4 billion tourism development fund established by the government in June signed its first deal a few days ago and has “five more projects in the works before the end of the year,” Al-Khateeb said. The fund has agreed to work with Al Oula Group will finance the development of a five-star hotel operated by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Inc., as part of a 40,000 square meter project on the waterfront of the city of Khobar. The country launched its first cruise last month – although the maiden voyage was halted after a suspected case of the coronavirus. Crossings have since resumed. Saudi Arabia has reported around 330,000 cases of the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. Daily new cases are down 90% since the June peak. The death rate, although still relatively low, crept up, reaching 1.4% on Saturday, up from 0.5% in May Subscribe to the Mint’s newsletters * Enter a valid e-mail address * Thank you for you be subscribed to our newsletter.



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Saudi Arabia announced to resume visa services from the Karachi consulate | Instant News


KARACHI: Saudi Arabia has announced to resume visa services from its consulate in Karachi from September 28, ARY NEWS reported on Wednesday.

A leaflet issued from the consulate said that upon returning to duty, they would start issuing regular work visas, iqama and re-entry visas.

“For visa re-validation, the applicant must submit his passport along with other documents,” it said and then asked the applicant to approach the relevant official for a refund of the visa fee.

It is important to mention here that Saudi Arabia has withdrawn forbid on international flights arriving from Pakistan after successfully bringing the coronavirus outbreak under control.

In NOTAM (Notice to Airmen), the government of Saudi Arabia has banned all flights arriving from India, Brazil and Argentina for failing to control the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We cannot risk the lives of our citizens by allowing flights from India, Brazil and Argentina,” NOTAM wrote. Meanwhile, the Kingdom has lifted travel restrictions from Pakistan after successfully containing the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

Read more: Saudi Arabia announced it was lifting restrictions on COVID-19 travel

Saudi Arabia has decided to lift travel restrictions in the kingdom from January 1, 2021, which were imposed earlier due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to local media reportThe kingdom’s interior ministry has announced that the airport, port and border routes will be operational from January 1.

Saudi nationals will be able to freely enter and exit the kingdom while citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council stated.

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Riot Game Cancels Saudi Tech City Sponsorship After Fan Reaction | Instant News


The Riot Game has ended LEC League of Legends Tournament sponsorship deals with the Saudi Arabian NEOM technology megacity project less than 24 hours afterwards agreement was announced due to a fan counter attack.

The sponsorship deal was announced yesterday for widespread criticism from fans, and even those who worked at LEC, with some of the league’s leading figures and casters who condemned Riot for working with the Saudi Arabian project. The reaction is increasing given that the last LEC broadcast was the theme of pride and the LEC logo was changed to a color of pride. Saudi Arabia is known for having harsh laws against LGBTQ + people.

As a result of anger around the deal Riot Games announced early this morning that they had canceled the deal with NEOM effective immediately.

“As a company and as a league, we know that it is important to recognize when we make mistakes and work quickly to fix them,” Alberto Guerrero, Director of Esports, EMEA at Riot Games said in a statement. “After further reflection, while we remain strongly committed to all of our players and fans around the world including those living in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, LEC has ended its partnership with NEOM, immediately effective. In an effort to expand our esports ecosystem, we are moving too fast to strengthen this partnership and cause a rift in the communities we want to grow. Although we missed our own expectations in this regard, we are committed to reexamining our internal structure to ensure this does not happen again. “

Although this news will no doubt be welcomed by fans who oppose the deal, he has left many questions as to how this could be resolved to completion without questions raised internally about the deal. The LEC and League of Legends scenes are always pro LGBTQ + rights and position themselves as supporters of many things opposed by Saudi Arabia. It is rather unsettling that none of these issues appear to have been raised when the agreement was resolved.

I contacted 10 LEC teams to ask for comments shortly after the agreement was announced. SK Gaming declined to comment. Excel Esports, Team Vitality, Fnatic, G2 Esports, Mad Lions, Rogue and Schalke 04 did not respond before being published. Misfits gave no statement before publication.

The Astralis Group, which has an LEC team, Origen, gives the following statement.

“We cannot comment on internal discussions with the tournament and stakeholders, but we have an open and constructive dialogue and always make our position clear. Astralis Group has invested significantly in creating strong organizations and business models in the developing global entertainment industry and we are building high-performance teams based on a set of clear values ​​that include healthy, inclusive, and positive lifestyles. We strongly believe that esports is for all and as an industry we all have to work to make it that way. Our players are a global role model for millions of fans and viewers and when we have some of the strongest and most exposed team brands, we have a great responsibility in what we say, do and signal. This applies to everyone on esports at all levels. “

With the LEC deal now canceled all eyes turn to the organizer of the Blast esports tournament who also signed an agreement with NEOM this week. While the reaction to the Blast agreement was lacking, this is most likely until the announcement became less publicized. Blast did not respond to requests for comment before being published.

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Myntra jumped into the Middle East, looking for online fashion opportunities for $ 28 billion | Instant News


developing in the international market. The fashion retailer owned by Walmart has penetrated into the Middle East and launched Fashion brands exist. The Bengaluru-based company has partnered with leading regional e-commerce platforms, noon.com and namshi.com to offer Indian brands to millions of fashion buyers in the region.

Both Noon and Namshi are part of the Emaar group, a conglomerate located in the UAE, known for developing the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall. Noon is a horizontal e-commerce platform with offers in various categories. Namshi is a vertical platform, with a main focus on fashion in the premium segment. Brands that have been launched during the day include Dressberry, Mast & Harbor, Moda Rapido, Here & Now, Sztori and HRX. Namshi will register for Dressberry, Mast & Harbor, Wrogn and HRX, for the next few weeks.

These brands and styles are chosen based on regional trends and consumer preferences.

“The Middle East is actually similar to India 3-4 years ago, in terms of the e-commerce market. This is a $ 8 billion market that is expected to grow around $ 28 billion in the next 3-4 years, “Amar Nagaram, CEO, Myntra, said in an interview. “We look forward to 5X growth from partnerships over the next two years. will continue to explore new markets to build an internationally reputed brand and expand its global consumer base, “he said.

Myntra’s research identifies high-level potential channels throughout the world that offer significant opportunities in segment. Among these, the Middle East stands out in terms of audience demographic profile, very high cellular penetration, similarities in fashion preferences and large populations of Indians.

READ ALSO: Myntra sold 10 million items during the largest fashion sales event in India

E-commerce is valued at $ 8.3 billion in 2017 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and this is expected to grow at a strong rate (more than triple) in 2022 to reach $ 28.5 billion, according to research by Bain & Company and Google.

The average internet penetration rate in this region is very high (around 70 percent). For certain countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the number reaches 90 percent according to various industry sources.

Early last year, when Myntra wanted to go international, Walmart helped companies take advantage of the e-commerce market in Canada.

“I don’t think a player of that size would allow us to do a trial. Walmart really gave us space and a platform to experiment which gave us a lot of learning. This helps us understand the international market, “Nagaram said. “Now with Noon and Namshi, from day one, we talked about scale,” he said.

With Myntra Fashion Brands entering the Middle East, the company mostly bets on the casual clothing category, which forms the majority of businesses in its domestic market. This is also in tune with the latest trends that indicate recent changes towards T-shirts, comfort pants and active clothing, encouraging focus in the same category. This shift in trend was driven by major changes in lifestyle, due to the ongoing pandemic.

Myntra fashion retailer plunges into the Middle East market.

Partnering with leading regional e-commerce platforms, Noon and Namshi.

Myntra expects 5X growth from partnerships over the next two years.

E-commerce in the Middle East and North Africa is expected to grow to $ 28.5 billion in 2022 from $ 8.3 billion in 2017.

More than 75 percent of the styles exported by Myntra to this market were developed in India.

Last year Walmart helped Myntra take advantage of the e-commerce market in Canada.

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