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EcoSikh President Highlights Urgency of Grassroots Initiatives

The 850th “Sacred Forest” with 1,313 trees of native species was completed on Guru Nanak’s Birthday in Ludhiana, a city with several environmental problems, Singh said…reports Asian Lite News

Washington-based EcoSikh has planted 850 “Sacred Forests” ahead of the COP28 Climate Summit to spread the message of combatting climate change through environmental action.

EcoSikh’s President Rajwant Singh said that the “Sacred Forest” initiative was an effective way to promote climate solutions through ecological restoration while highlighting the Sikh faith’s tenets of respecting and nurturing nature.

EcoSikh has been invited to a forum on “Urban Wisdom: Indigenous Knowledge and Governance of Future Cities” on the sidelines of COP28 — the organisation’s programme of working with governments and faith groups to promote environmental action to raise awareness of and find solutions to climate change, Singh said.

On the urgency for grassroots initiatives, especially by faith groups, he said, “We all need to take action urgently in response to devastating rising temperatures. We cannot wait for some entity or government to find solutions to the ecological disasters we are facing.”

The 850th “Sacred Forest” with 1,313 trees of native species was completed on Guru Nanak’s Birthday in Ludhiana, a city with several environmental problems, Singh said.

EcoSikh, founded in 2009 in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme as the Sikh community’s response to climate change, has chapters in India, Ireland, the US, Canada and the UK.

ALSO READ-Saudi Minister on India Visit

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Saudi Minister on India Visit

This visit aims to achieve significant advancements in streamlining procedures, enhancing services, and outlining comprehensive plans for hosting pilgrims…reports Asian Lite News

Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah will begin his official visit to India today as part of a series of international tours aimed at showcasing Saudi Arabia’s unwavering commitment to serving Umrah performers and visitors.

This visit aims to achieve significant advancements in streamlining procedures, enhancing services, and outlining comprehensive plans for hosting pilgrims and Umrah performers, aligning closely with the outlined objectives of “Saudi Vision 2030”, as per an official release.

During the visit, Al-Rabiah will engage in high-level discussions with the top leaders and prominent figures in the Hajj and Umrah services sectors, primarily strengthening coordination and collaboration.

The discussions will especially focus on facilitating the smooth travel of Indian guests to the revered two Holy Mosques, underscoring the commitment to providing convenient and efficient services.

To further streamline processes for Indian Umrah seekers, an inaugural exhibition for the Nusuk platform and the Tasheer e-visa-issuing centre will be organized during the visit. This initiative highlights the dedication to providing seamless and user-friendly services for Umrah performers from India.

A distinguished delegation comprising senior officials from the Ministry and representatives from the private sector and associated entities will accompany Al-Rabiah on his visit.

The visit aims to introduce the array of facilities available to the guests of Allah from India, emphasising the distinctive benefits of the electronic Umrah visa and the Nusuk platform and reinforcing the commitment to providing exceptional services, as per the release.

According to the official release, these international visits reflect the ministry’s and its partners’ continuous efforts in the Hajj ecosystem to establish robust communication channels and foster cooperation with countries worldwide. The primary objective of these trips is to showcase the exceptional services provided by the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to Umrah seekers and visitors coming to the Kingdom.

Moreover, the initiatives seek to facilitate and enhance the procedures for those travelling to Makkah and Madinah, aligning with the government’s steadfast commitment to creating the best possible experience for the guests of Allah.

The collective aim is to bring about a qualitative and unique transformation in the Umrah and visitation experience, further underscoring Saudi Arabia’s enduring dedication to serving the pilgrims and visitors with excellence and unparalleled hospitality, the release said. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Saudi Extends Term of $3B Deposit to Pakistan

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NEOM Unveils Exclusive ‘Siranna’ Escape

With a focus on fostering original thinking and relaxation, Siranna will offer visitors and residents the opportunity to escape the noise and disruptions of everyday life…reports Asian Lite News

The NEOM Board of Directors has introduced Siranna, a distinctive tourism retreat and the newest destination revealed by the sustainable regional development unfolding in the northwest region of Saudi Arabia.

Siranna is a space where elegant and innovative living meets to facilitate a lifestyle without compromise. Situated on the Gulf of Aqaba coastline, this ultra-luxurious destination will be home to a 65-key hotel, as well as 35 exclusive residences.

The destination offers uninterrupted views of the Red Sea, with its tiered design offering diverse views and perspectives. Emerging from the rugged coastal terrain, the hexagonal pillars are distinctive, yet complementary to the surrounding mountains and flora. Arriving via waterborne transportation to the secluded bay, guests will journey through the natural rock formations before reaching the enchanting entrance of the property.

With a focus on fostering original thinking and relaxation, Siranna will offer visitors and residents the opportunity to escape the noise and disruptions of everyday life and surround themselves with like-minded people in an effortlessly chic setting.

A signature beach club, spas, and state-of-the-art wellness facilities will be on offer for visitors to unwind. Those seeking a connection with the landscape during their stay will enjoy the winding discovery trails via foot or horseback to explore where the sea, mountain, and wadi meet. Sophisticated dining and entertainment options will also satisfy a wide range of tastes and interests among guests.

The guiding principle underpinning the development is to ensure minimal intervention in nature, where thoughtful and deliberate techniques will be used to preserve the surrounding landscape. The architecture will pay homage to the heritage of the local area and seamlessly blend into the adjoining mountain and wadi.

Siranna is another example of NEOM’s uncompromising efforts to create spaces in nature that support sustainable future living and nurture creativity, whilst offering the ultimate luxury hospitality experience.

Aligned with NEOM’s commitment to conservation, Siranna will complement its coastal location and be delivered sustainably. News of the development follows the recent announcements of Leyja and Epicon, which are also sustainable tourism destinations located in the Gulf of Aqaba.


NEOM is an accelerator of human progress and a vision of what a New Future might look like. It is a region in northwest Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea being built from the ground up as a living laboratory – a place where entrepreneurship will chart the course for this New Future. It will be a destination and a home for people who dream big and want to be part of building a new model for exceptional livability, creating thriving businesses and reinventing environmental conservation.


NEOM will include hyperconnected, cognitive cities, ports and enterprise zones, research centers, sports and entertainment venues and tourist destinations. As a hub for innovation, entrepreneurs, business leaders and companies will come to research, incubate and commercialize new technologies and enterprises in groundbreaking ways. Residents of NEOM will embody an international ethos and embrace a culture of exploration, risk-taking and diversity.

ALSO READ: Saudi Extends Term of $3B Deposit to Pakistan

ALSO READ: Saudi FM, Blinken discuss Gaza truce, relief efforts

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Bits Pilani Alumnus Sandhya Prakash’s Book Is Now No 2 In Gender Studies On Amazon

Sandhya Prakash unveils a riveting tale of resilience in her first book as debut author of “Shifting Sands of Saudi” .

Debut-making Indian Author Sandhya Prakash (Iyengar ) launches her first book on life in the Arab World . “Shifting Sands of Saudi” . It’s an expatriate’s account of life in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s .A resident of the Middle East for over two decades and now returned to  Bangalore, a  thought Leader, champion of sustainability and environmental issues, alumnus of BITS Pilani ,  TEDx speaker, 

Entrepreneur and Singer, known for her storytelling prowess and her ability to transport readers to diverse and engaging worlds, Sandhya unveils a riveting tale of resilience in her first book as debut author of “Shifting Sands of Saudi” .

Sandhya is famous for her work with individuals, companies and communities to help them fix the foundation and get the right product market fit. She has a background in management studies, 25+ years of work experience in the middle east in trading, software and sustainability, launching 8 companies, expert in Energy Sustainability and Management and she is a licensed Energy Healer.

Her  work of fiction, “Shifting Sands of Saudi.” Set against the backdrop of 1990s Saudi Arabia, this  captivating novel delves into the challenges faced by the protagonist, Saakshi, as she navigates the  complexities of the era. “Shifting Sands of Saudi” is a compelling narrative that offers a poignant glimpse into the life of  Saakshi, a woman determined to overcome the societal restrictions and the watchful eyes of the  Muttawas in Saudi Arabia. In this 212 page novel, Sandhya weaves multiple incidents across timeline in 1990s

“Shifting Sands of Saudi” is a must-read for those who appreciate gripping short stories of personal  triumph, set against the backdrop of a unique and culturally rich environment.

ALSO READ: Goa’s First Mainstreet Art Festival: A Feast for the Senses

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Saudi Trio Clinches Coveted Rhodes Scholarships

This year’s Rhodes Scholarships for Saudi Arabia mark a unique occasion, acknowledging a third recipient due to exceptional circumstances…reports Asian Lite News

In a momentous achievement for Saudi Arabia, Haifa Alarrafah, Mohammed Alwelyee, and Yosef Bukhari have secured the prestigious Rhodes Scholarships for the upcoming academic year. The triumphant trio is set to commence fully funded post-graduate studies at the University of Oxford in October 2024, joining an international cohort of over a hundred Scholars.

Established in 1903 and anchored at the University of Oxford, the Rhodes Scholarship stands as the world’s oldest and most esteemed graduate fellowship. The philanthropic initiative began in Saudi Arabia in 2018 with a generous contribution from Mr. Muhammad Alagil, followed by a second in 2020 from Abdulrahman Alagil Sons, co-founders of Jarir Bookstores. These endeavors, in collaboration with the Saudi Ministry of Education, align with Vision 2030, emphasizing education as a pivotal element for the nation’s future.

This year’s Rhodes Scholarships for Saudi Arabia mark a unique occasion, acknowledging a third recipient due to exceptional circumstances. The scholarships aim to empower exceptional students from across the Kingdom, providing them with the resources to contribute significantly to Saudi Arabia’s goals under Vision 2030.

Known for its rigorous selection process, the Rhodes Scholarship identifies individuals not only for their academic prowess but also for their exceptional character, leadership qualities, and commitment to addressing global challenges. The selected Scholars become part of a lifelong community committed to making a positive impact on the world.

Meet the Distinguished Scholars:

  1. Haifa Alarrafah:
    • Clinical psychologist holding a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Psychology from Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University.
    • Holds a clinical license post-internship at King Abdulaziz Medical City and King Abdullah’s Specialized Children’s Hospital.
    • Dedicated volunteer for Ehtiwaa, a non-profit organization providing essentials to those in need.
    • Pursuing the MPhil in Development Studies at Oxford.
  2. Mohammed Alwelyee:
    • Senior at Boston University, majoring in biomedical engineering with a concentration in nanotechnology.
    • Engaged in research on strategies for neural tissue regeneration post-traumatic central nervous system injury.
    • Interned with PricewaterhouseCoopers on the Saudi healthcare system.
    • President of the Boston University Saudi Cultural Club.
    • Enjoys football, hiking, and rock climbing.
    • Pursuing the MSc in Engineering Science at Oxford.
  3. Yosef Bukhari:
    • Holds an Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences in Political Science from the University of Ottawa and an MA in International Affairs from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.
    • Currently serving as a Political Officer at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C.
    • Founder and co-president of the Abqar Art Collective based in Saudi Arabia, showcasing a passion for art and literature.
    • Intending to pursue the DPhil in International Relations, focusing on nuclear deterrence and nuclear force structuring.

Dr. Elizabeth Kiss, CEO of the Rhodes Trust, expressed excitement for this year’s Rhodes Scholars, highlighting their potential to make a global impact. Professor Christian Sahner, National Secretary of the Rhodes Scholarships for Saudi Arabia, commended Haifa, Mohammed, and Yosef for their remarkable achievements and anticipated positive contributions.

The Rhodes Trust remains steadfast in its commitment to diversity and inclusivity, continually expanding the Rhodes Scholarship to include Global Scholarships and new constituencies. Applications for the 2025 Rhodes Scholarships are scheduled to open in June 2024, providing opportunities for aspiring scholars worldwide. For more information, visit

For media inquiries, please contact Babette Littlemore, Director of Communications:

About the Rhodes Trust and Rhodes Scholarships: The Rhodes Trust, an educational charity based at the University of Oxford, strives to forge brighter futures for individuals and the world. Established in 1903, the Trust offers a family of global fellowship programs, including the Rhodes Scholarship, producing over 8000 scholars from 50 countries. Generous contributions from benefactors worldwide support these programs, allowing exceptional individuals to serve at the forefront of various fields.

ALSO READ-Saudi Arabia Hosts 57-Nation Summit, Bringing Together Iran and Arab Leaders

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Saudi Arabia Hosts 57-Nation Summit, Bringing Together Iran and Arab Leaders

Israel launched its offensive after surprise; cross-border attacks by Hamas left 1,200 people dead and took 230 hostages…reports Asian Lite News

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in their first public appearance together in 11 years at a summit convened by Saudi Arabia on the Israel Hamas war where Arab and Muslim leaders from 57 nations condemned what they called Israeli “war crimes” in Gaza where innocent Palestinians civilians had lost their lives.

The summit highlights the first trip by an Iranian leader to Saudi Arabia in 11 years after the two countries restored diplomatic relations in March. Raisi shook hands with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Speaking at the summit, Raisi said that all attendees had gathered there on behalf of the Islamic world to “save the Palestinians”, the media report said. 

“We have gathered here today to discuss the focus of the Islamic world, which is the Palestinian cause, where we’ve witnessed the worst crimes in history… today, is a historic day in the heroic defence and support of Al-Aqsa Mosque,” he added.

Opening the summit, the Saudi Crown Prince said the Kingdom “categorically rejects” the war to which Palestinians are being subjected. Saudi Arabia is a close ally of the US sharing interests on oil production and is instrumental in playing a great role in hostage negotiations with Egypt, US, Qatar.

“This summit is being held under exceptional and painful circumstances,” he said. 

“We categorically reject this brutal war that our brothers and sisters are being subjected to in Palestine… we renew our demand for an immediate cessation of military operations.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the US “bears responsibility for the absence of a political solution” as it has the most influence on Israel.

The Saudi Prince’s extraordinary diplomatic push in organising the summit of arab nations and Muslim leaders that drew out the Iranian President for the first time out of Tehran, gathered 57 leaders, who demanded that the UN Security Council take a “decisive and binding decision” to impose a ceasefire and Israel’s expanded ground invasion was hurting innocent civilians, media reports said.

“We condemn the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip, the war crimes and the barbaric, brutal and inhumane massacres committed by the colonial occupation government against the Palestinian people, including in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. We demand it be stopped immediately,” a resolution adopted at summit said.

The summit demanded the entry of humanitarian aid convoys to help relieve the stress of the people remaining in the combat zones in the Gaza enclave, CNN reporting on the summit said.  

Some 7,00,000 people have fled the war torn zone including foreign nationals and injured civilians that have crossed the border across Rafah crossing into Egypt.

Large number of civilians still remain in Gaza as the Hamas is preventing their exit to use them as human shields as IDF forces its entry into Gaza city through their expanded ground invasion, media reports said.

“Protection from cycles of violence and wars will not be achieved without ending the Israeli occupation… we hold Israel, the occupying power responsible for the continuation and aggravation of the conflict as a result of its aggression against human rights,” the resolution emphasised.

Israel launched its offensive after surprise; cross-border attacks by Hamas left 1,200 people dead and took 230 hostages.

Iran backs the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah, which has engaged the Jewish nation in daily cross-fire Israel’s northern border with Lebanon. It also backs Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have been firing missiles towards Israel, and maintains strong ties with Hamas. 

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad also attended the summit, a further sign of Syria’s rehabilitation among Arab states, following his participation at a regional meeting in May. 

In his remarks, Assad criticized normalization agreements between Arab countries and Israel. 

“More hands extended by us equals more massacres against us,” he said.

Qatar’s head of state, Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, also criticized the international community for failing to “stop war crimes and massacres” in Gaza.

Qatar has brokered indirect negotiations between Hamas and Israel over the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas, humanitarian aid into the besieged Gaza strip, as well as a possible ceasefire. 

Arab-Islamic summit has rejected justifying Gaza war as Israeli self-defence

Riyadh hosted leaders from Iran, Turkey, Syria, Palestine and other countries to discuss the Israel-Gaza war. 

In the opening remarks, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman called for an immediate cessation of military operations in Gaza and the release of all captives and prisoners. 

“This is a humanitarian catastrophe that has proved the failure of the international community and the UN Security Council to put an end to Israel’s gross violations of international humanitarian laws, and prove the dual standards adopted by the world,” he said.

ALSO READ-Macron urges Israel to stop bombing Gaza

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Riyadh To Host Meet on Gaza

Saudi Arabia’s Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih indicated the imminent arrangement of both an emergency Arab summit in Riyadh and an Islamic summit in the coming days…reports Asian Lite News

Saudi Arabia is all set to facilitate diplomatic discussions by hosting key summits involving Arab and Islamic nations to address an ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, according to Khalid Al-Falih, the Kingdom’s investment minister.

Speaking at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore, Al-Falih indicated the imminent arrangement of both an emergency Arab summit in Riyadh and an Islamic summit in the coming days. These discussions align with an earlier announced meeting by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) set to take place to address the conflict on Sunday.

However, a statement from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday detailed the postponement of a third meeting initially planned for the weekend, bringing together leaders from the Arab League and the African Union.

This delay aims to prioritize the focus on the other two summits, which are part of Saudi Arabia’s leadership objective to steer these diplomatic gatherings toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict, as expressed by Al-Falih.

Additionally, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is anticipated to participate in the OIC summit hosted in Saudi Arabia, according to reports by Etemadonline news. Al-Falih also mentioned plans for a summit involving African nations, yet a specific date for this gathering was not disclosed. These efforts demonstrate a concentrated and multilateral approach towards seeking resolutions and fostering dialogue among nations affected by the conflict.

Jordan rejects talks on post-war Gaza plans

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi has declined any potential talks on post-conflict scenarios in Gaza, describing such discourse as “unrealistic and unacceptable,” the media reported.

He made the remarks on Wednesday during a seminar attended by journalists and writers in the capital Amman, where he reaffirmed Jordan’s priority of calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, Xinhua news agency reported.

Safadi stressed on Jordan’s unwavering position against any “fragmented solutions” to the Gaza crisis.

He warned that dealing with issues in Gaza separately from that in the West Bank would “play into Israel’s hands,” which could potentially undermine the Palestinian cause and the Palestinians’ aspirations for statehood.

The Minister called for a comprehensive approach to the Palestinian cause, advocating for a political and just peace that ensures Palestinian rights and the establishment of their sovereign state based on the two-state solution.

Safadi reiterated the kingdom’s firm rejection of any forced displacement of Palestinians from their lands, equating it to “declaring war against Jordan that would be forcefully countered”.

40K People Moved to Southern Gaza

 The UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) said that since the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) created periodic evacuation “corridors” earlier this month, at least 40,000 people have walked from northern Gaza to the besieged enclave’s southern regions.

The IDF has repeatedly called on civilians to move south of Wadi Gaza — a waterway bisecting the center of the enclave — as it intensifies its assault on Hamas in Gaza City and northern Gaza.

The UNRWA said that UN monitors and NGOs are providing water and biscuits to evacuees just south of the Wadi Gaza.

For a fifth consecutive day on Wednesday, the Israeli military opened the “corridor” along the main traffic artery, Salah Ad Deen Road, for residents to leave the north between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., which was then extended by an hour, as people were still moving southwards.

It is estimated that about 50,000 people evacuated during the day, the largest number since the corridor opened, bringing the estimated figure since November 5 to 72,000.

Most evacuees move on foot and those who use vehicles leave them at the southern edge of Gaza city at the Al Kuwaiti roundabout.

The evacuees then walk 4-5 km down the corridor, with an estimated distance of up to 20 km for those traveling farthest, according to the UNRWA.   

Since the war broke out on October 7, about 1.5 million people in Gaza have been internally displaced, according to the UN agency.

Of them, nearly 725,000 are sheltering in 149 UNRWA facilities; 122,000 in hospitals, churches and public buildings; 131,134 in 94 non-UNRWA schools, and the remainder with host families. 

ALSO READ: UAE Expedites Gaza Hospital Construction

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Indian Embassy Celebrates Sanskritotsava in Riyadh

Ambassador Suhel Ajaz Khan, in his opening address, underscored the profound cultural significance of Sanskrit…reports Asian Lite News

The Embassy of India in Riyadh hosted a unique and culturally significant event titled “Samskritotsava” on November 5 as part of “Pravasi Parichay,” celebrating the timeless elegance of the Sanskrit language and acknowledging the efforts of the Indian community in preserving this linguistic treasure in Saudi Arabia.

The event was a one-of-a-kind occasion, conducted entirely in Sanskrit, paying homage to the language that embodies India’s ancient wisdom, civilization, history, and traditions. The Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia proudly announced this distinctive celebration, a collaboration with Samskrita Bharati, to promote and honor the rich heritage of Sanskrit.

Ambassador Suhel Ajaz Khan, in his opening address, underscored the profound cultural significance of Sanskrit. He emphasized its revered status worldwide as a sacred and spiritual language and highlighted the event’s potential to inspire others to learn and practice Sanskrit.

The “Samskritotsava” featured a variety of performances by the Indian community in Saudi Arabia, all eloquently presented in Sanskrit. The program included Abhinaya Gheetam, Gana Geetam, Subhashita Natakam, Prachanna Vesham, and more, offering a captivating glimpse into the versatility and cultural richness of the language.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a fervent supporter of ancient Indian languages, including Sanskrit, recently emphasized the importance of this language. He described Sanskrit as not only a repository of traditions but also as a language that defines India’s progress and identity. During his address at Tulsi Peeth in Madhya Pradesh’s Chitrakoot on October 27, PM Modi stressed that Sanskrit has been the mother of several languages and has stood the test of time, remaining untainted by the passage of centuries.

ALSO READ-Goyal Commends Indian Businesses in Riyadh

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India, Saudi Boost Ties with Food, Pharma Cooperation

The project which will consist of multimodal network including rail and waterways is said to be gamechanger in facilitating trade and other economic activities…reports Mahua Venkatesh

Enhancing trade and investments in the area of food and drugs will be the next focus for India and Saudi Arabia as the two nations shift gears in cementing ties. Saudi Food and Drug Authority’s (SFDA), CEO Hisham bin Saad Aljadhey, who participated in the World Food India Conference 2023 in New Delhi, met Union Minister Piyush Goyal to discuss ways to increase imports of Indian drugs and food items into the Kingdom. Aljadhey has had a packed schedule in New Delhi.

The official held discussions on the quality and safety of medicines with the director of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), besides meeting a host of companies which deal in food, pharmaceutical products and medical devices to get a better picture on the challenges faced by them in investing in the Kingdom.

India and Saudi Arabia– one of India’s key export markets for pharmaceutical products– have deepened economic and cultural ties in the last few years.

While Saudi Arabia is critical for India’s energy requirements, food security is Riyadh’s thrust.

By 2030, the Kingdom, home to 2.8 million Indians, is hoping to have 12 million visitors from India.

With growing ties, the two nations are now focused on boosting multimodal connectivity.

The proposed India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) Project, signed at the G20 Summit in New Delhi, holds significant geopolitical and economic implications for India and the Gulf region.

The project which will consist of multimodal network including rail and waterways is said to be gamechanger in facilitating trade and other economic activities.

Recently, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Port, commonly known as Dammam Port, was added to the to India Gulf Express Freight Service route connecting with India’s Nhava Sheva, Mundra and Mangalore, an exercise that will boost trade in the region. The port is already a part of India- Saudi-Iraq service route started by the Singapore operated Bengal Tiger Line. Later this year, the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is slated to start a liner service from Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Islamic Port which will connect Mundra and Nhava Sheva in India.

“Connecting ports and a shared thrust on developing and leveraging the economies between the Gulf and India will go a long way,” a foreign policy watcher told India Narrative.

In July, Saudi Arabia based Muslim World League Secretary General Mohammad bin Abdulkarim al-Issa visited New Delhi. Addressing a large gathering at the India Islamic Cultural Centre, he spoke of India’s unity. He also underlined how the Muslim community in the country had a sense of national pride. “They are proud that they are Indian nationals and they are proud of their Constitution,” he said.

Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman undertook a state visit to India just after the G20 summit in New Delhi.

Last month, Goyal was in Saudi Arabia to participate in the seventh edition of Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia is one of India’s most important strategic partners. The trade between the two countries reached an all-time high of $52.75 billion in FY 2022-23. Sources said that India is now planning to hold a track 1.5 dialogue with the six member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries later this year at a time when New Delhi is looking to ink a free trade agreement at the earliest with the GCC bloc, headquartered in Riyadh.

India’s role in enhancing Saudi Arabia’s digital infrastructure and economy will also be critical as the Kingdom lays the Vision 2030 aiming to increase non-oil GDP to 50 per cent.

But not just economic and trade integration, India and Saudi Arabia are also connecting culturally.

ALSO READ-Saudi Looks to Invest in $30B IPL, Says Report

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Saudi Looks to Invest in $30B IPL, Says Report

The talks were held when the Saudi Crown Prince visited India in September for the G20 Summit held under India’s Presidency…reports Asian Lite News

Saudi Arabia has expressed interest in buying a multibillion-dollar stake in the Indian Premier League (IPL), international cricket’s most lucrative event, following a string of investments that have upended professional sports, including football and golf, a media report said.

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s advisors have spoken to Indian government officials about moving the IPL into a holding company valued at as much as $30 billion, Bloomberg reported.

The talks were held when the Saudi Crown Prince visited India in September for the G20 Summit held under India’s Presidency, the report said.

Saudi Arabia proposed investing as much as $5 billion into the league and help lead an expansion into other countries, the report said.

As per earlier reports, the IPL ecosystem value has risen from Rs 87,000 crore to Rs 92,500 crore, marking an increase of around 6.3 per cent, as per a report by D&P India Advisory Services.

In USD terms, this translates to a growth from $10.9 billion to $11.2 billion, representing an increase of approximately 3.3 per cent.

The league has always been a spectacle of cricket, business and entertainment. This year was no exception, as the league continued to captivate audiences, both on television and digital platforms, the report said.

According to the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India, the IPL telecast on the Star Sports Network attracted a staggering 505 million viewers with an impressive watch time of 427.1 billion minutes. On the digital front, JioCinema reported that 449 million viewers tuned into its platform, with over 126 million viewers choosing connected TV options to savour the IPL action.

ALSO READ: Saudi Launches Fundraising Campaign for Gaza