Entrepreneurs, Creatives Compete to Build 'Global Talents Platform' in Saudi Arabia

Mawhiba logo.
Mawhiba logo.
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Entrepreneurs, Creatives Compete to Build 'Global Talents Platform' in Saudi Arabia

Mawhiba logo.
Mawhiba logo.

Around 100 talented young men and women, and entrepreneurs from 30 countries will gather in Jeddah to compete for building a global platform for talents. Launching from Saudi Arabia, the platform aims to grow a global community of creatives, and establish a future trend that inspires dreamers around the world.

Under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba), organizes the second edition of the Global Conference for Giftedness and Creativity 2022, on December 10.

It brings together the young and creative minds from around the world in a “Journey Toward the New Future.”

Mawhiba Secretary-General Amal Al-Hazzaa said that “the second edition of the conference aims to anticipate the future, profiting from the leading position of the Kingdom in human development and support of talented youth.”

The talented participants were selected from 30 countries around the world to work on forward-thinking solutions that address global challenges, improve people’s lives, inspire and empower the talented youth worldwide to shape a new future, and create a global platform to develop and manage expertise, talents.

The unique event brings together talented and creative youth from around the world to help build a platform that provides solutions for the challenges of sustainable development.

When built, this platform will serve as a pioneering model of collective thinking that empowers the young generation to build the new world.

Over 100 talented young men and women from around the world will partake in the conference. Some are still students, others have already got their degrees from the best 50 universities in the world. The talents will be overseen by experts specialized in creativity and technology, and will work in groups divided based on talents and specialties.

The conference hosts national and international inspiring speakers, CEOs, and pioneers from different sectors. It also features workshops, discussion panels, and talent shows that target policy and decision makers, entrepreneurs, and international experts.

The Global Conference for Giftedness and Creativity 2022 includes an “idea-thon,” aimed at developing a global platform that empowers talents from around the world to find solutions for the different challenges that face the communities of the future.

The to-be-developed platform aims to attract and develop talents, and produce sustainable innovative solutions to the future global challenges.

The Global Conference for Giftedness and Creativity, organized by Mawiba, was held for the first time in 2020 on the sidelines of the G20 Summit hosted by Riyadh at the time. Back then, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques directed to hold the conference every two years to help create future horizons, emphasize the potentials of the talented youth in the face of global challenges, create efficient solutions, and expand the scope of the global cooperation through active partnerships to grow a human capital capable of facing the developments and challenges.



Pet Dogs Bring Both Joy and Worry to Displaced Gaza Teenager 

Displaced Palestinian teenager Hassan Abu Saman holds his dog on a beach, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, February 20, 2024. (Reuters)
Displaced Palestinian teenager Hassan Abu Saman holds his dog on a beach, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, February 20, 2024. (Reuters)
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Pet Dogs Bring Both Joy and Worry to Displaced Gaza Teenager 

Displaced Palestinian teenager Hassan Abu Saman holds his dog on a beach, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, February 20, 2024. (Reuters)
Displaced Palestinian teenager Hassan Abu Saman holds his dog on a beach, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, February 20, 2024. (Reuters)

Keeping three dogs while living in a tent on a beach in Gaza complicates an already difficult situation, but the smile on teenager Hassan Abu Saman's face when he pets the animals shows that it's worth the trouble for him.

A passionate dog lover since childhood, he had 16 of them before the Israel-Hamas war that has devastated the Gaza Strip, but managed to take just three of them, Mofaz, Lucy and Dahab, when he fled his home in Al-Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.

"When things settled, I was able to secure a car to go and get the rest, but when I got back, I did not find any of them, they were lost. I went back a second time to look for them and found the house bombed," said Abu Saman, 17.

He is one of the estimated 1.5 million Palestinians crammed into Rafah in southern Gaza, close to the boundary with Egypt, to escape from Israel's military onslaught -- although Israel has said it was planning a ground offensive there too.

Abu Saman is living in a sprawling tent camp in a beach area on the outskirts of Rafah, along with family members and the three dogs, who follow him everywhere he goes. They are popular with camp children who take turns stroking them.

Abu Saman referred to the dogs as "my friends from another kind" and spoke about them as he would about people.

"He has been feeling so down because of the war," he said of Mofaz, the largest of the three.

Finding enough food was a problem for dogs as well as humans, and Abu Saman said Lucy and Dahab had lost weight because they usually ate a special kind of dog food that was no longer available.

The future was uncertain for the teenager, his family and his beloved pets.

"If we were to return, the house is flattened. He does not have a house or anything," he said, referring to Mofaz, who he was stroking while talking.

The war was triggered by Hamas militants who attacked southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and taking 253 hostage, according to Israel.

Vowing to destroy Hamas, Israel has responded with an air and ground assault on Gaza that has killed more than 29,000 people, according to local health officials. It has also displaced most of the population of 2.3 million, caused widespread hunger and reduced much of the territory to rubble.


NEOM Celebrates Student Excellence and Innovation in Chicago

High-performing students from the Tabuk region have been honored by NEOM at a special event held in Chicago, US. (SPA)
High-performing students from the Tabuk region have been honored by NEOM at a special event held in Chicago, US. (SPA)
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NEOM Celebrates Student Excellence and Innovation in Chicago

High-performing students from the Tabuk region have been honored by NEOM at a special event held in Chicago, US. (SPA)
High-performing students from the Tabuk region have been honored by NEOM at a special event held in Chicago, US. (SPA)

High-performing students from the Tabuk region, on scholarship at US universities, have been honored by NEOM, the sustainable regional development taking shape in northwestern Saudi Arabia, at a special event held in Chicago, US, according to a press release from NEOM.
Led by NEOM CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr, the occasion celebrated the educational achievements of the 130 participants in NEOM’s 2023 Scholarship Program, which sponsors Tabuk students who pursue their tertiary studies, as well as seek valuable work experience abroad, SPA said on Wednesday.
From the 2023 cohort, 118 students made their way to Chicago, where they were feted for their educational accomplishments. Forty-nine of the students were honored for their academic excellence or innovative contributions. The event enabled students to showcase their achievements, connect with NEOM leaders and discuss future collaboration.
This most recent activity of the annual scholarship program built on the success of last year's gathering in Washington, D.C. This year’s Chicago event featured three presentations by students, which offered insights and perspectives into the key NEOM projects of Trojena, Oxagon and ENOWA.
Notable figures from NEOM, including Founding President of NEOM University Professor Andreas Cangellaris, head of Health and Wellbeing Dr. Mahmoud Alyamany, and head of NEOM Digital Media Academy Nada Alshaibani, attended the event alongside the NEOM CEO.
Al-Nasr said: "This event celebrates the remarkable achievements of our scholarship recipients. NEOM takes great pride in being a catalyst for these bright, young minds by fostering academic excellence and vital community involvement. In addition to their studies, the students take part in field trips and internships at NEOM offering them invaluable practical exposure to our diverse sectors and operations. We aim to cultivate a generation that not only excels in their respective fields but actively contributes to Saudi Vision 2030 – building a dynamic society, fueling economic prosperity and shaping an ambitious nation."
The NEOM Scholarship Program targets Saudi students and high-achieving school leavers. Since its inception in 2019, the program has supported 740 undergraduate students and recent graduates.
Students enrolled in the program study at renowned institutions in Saudi Arabia, UK and US. Upon completing their studies, scholarship recipients are offered positions within NEOM's sectors, their knowledge and skills aligned with the expertise required for NEOM's future development.
The initiative underscores NEOM's commitment to nurturing talent, driving innovation, and building a dynamic workforce to realize the ambitious goals of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030.


UK's Prince William: ‘Too Many’ Have Been Killed in Gaza Conflict

Britain's Prince William, The Prince of Wales, listens as he visits the British Red Cross at its headquarters in London, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024. (AP)
Britain's Prince William, The Prince of Wales, listens as he visits the British Red Cross at its headquarters in London, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024. (AP)
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UK's Prince William: ‘Too Many’ Have Been Killed in Gaza Conflict

Britain's Prince William, The Prince of Wales, listens as he visits the British Red Cross at its headquarters in London, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024. (AP)
Britain's Prince William, The Prince of Wales, listens as he visits the British Red Cross at its headquarters in London, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024. (AP)

Britain's Prince William called on Tuesday for an end to the fighting in Gaza, saying the "sheer scale of human suffering" had brought home the need for peace in an enclave "where too many have been killed".

In an unusually direct intervention for a member of the royal family, William, the heir to the British throne, said it was critical that aid got through to those sheltering in Gaza, and that Hamas must release the hostages.

"I remain deeply concerned about the terrible human cost of the conflict in the Middle East since the Hamas terrorist attack on 7 October. Too many have been killed," William said in a statement.

In 2018, William became the first senior British royal to make an official visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories, and since then, he has followed the region closely, his office said.

Kensington Palace added that Britain's foreign office had been briefed about William's statement before he made it.

"Sometimes it is only when faced with the sheer scale of human suffering that the importance of permanent peace is brought home," he said.

The 41-year-old visited the British Red Cross headquarters in London on Tuesday to hear about their work supporting people affected by war in the Middle East.

"I, like so many others, want to see an end to the fighting as soon as possible," he said. "There is a desperate need for increased humanitarian support to Gaza. It’s critical that aid gets in, and the hostages are released."

Next week, William is due to visit a synagogue where he will hear from young people who are involved in tackling hatred and antisemitism. Last year was the worst on record for cases of antisemitism in Britain, according to a Jewish advisory body.

With his father King Charles currently absent from official public duties as he undergoes treatment for cancer, William has been expected to take on more high-profile engagements.

In general, British royals avoid making statements on political issues, but before his father became king, he spoke out on matters close to his heart.

Charles has called the attacks in southern Israel "barbaric acts of terrorism". He has also made a plea for greater religious tolerance at a time of "international turmoil".

Global calls for an end to the fighting in Gaza have mounted in recent weeks, as Israel prepares to expand its ground assault in the southern city of Rafah, where more than 1 million of the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza have sought shelter.

More than 29,000 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict, according to local health authorities, since Israel launched an assault on the enclave following an attack by Hamas which killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and seized 253 hostages. 


Saudi Arabia Launches Rainwater Harvesting Project to Rehabilitate 620,000 Hectares of Land

The project will use rainwater harvesting techniques to improve vegetation cover in nine regions across the Kingdom. (SPA)
The project will use rainwater harvesting techniques to improve vegetation cover in nine regions across the Kingdom. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia Launches Rainwater Harvesting Project to Rehabilitate 620,000 Hectares of Land

The project will use rainwater harvesting techniques to improve vegetation cover in nine regions across the Kingdom. (SPA)
The project will use rainwater harvesting techniques to improve vegetation cover in nine regions across the Kingdom. (SPA)

The National Center for Vegetation Development and Combating Desertification (NCVC) launched a major project to rehabilitate 620,000 hectares of degraded land in Saudi Arabia, reported the Saudi Press Agency on Tuesday.

The project will use rainwater harvesting techniques to improve vegetation cover in nine regions across the Kingdom.

It will involve studying the feasibility of implementing rehabilitation projects in three main climatic regions, continental, coastal, and mountainous, and identifying the target areas, the appropriate rainwater harvesting techniques, and the activities to be carried out in each region.

NCVC will also collect climate and hydrological data, study topographic and survey maps, and analyze satellite imagery. Field visits will be conducted to collect soil and water samples, carry out field measurements and laboratory analyzes, and identify the drainage network of the main basins in the study areas.

The project is expected to yield several outputs, such as uncovering the root causes and severity of land degradation, cataloging existing plant species and their numbers, recommending suitable plant types for restoration and their optimal propagation methods, calculating the seed or seedling needs for designated areas, identifying ideal planting times, establishing the desired ratio of plants not good for grazing to those good for grazing, and determining rainfall patterns, water requirements, and areas targeted for cultivation.

The project will also determine the most effective rainwater harvesting system for each site.

The project is part of NCVC's efforts to combat desertification and improve the environment in Saudi Arabia. It is aligned with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to achieve sustainable development and protect the environment.

Rainwater harvesting is a technique used to collect and store rainwater for later use. The project will use a variety of rainwater harvesting techniques, including making use of dams, reservoirs, cisterns, and wells.


Working from Home has Many Benefits, New Study Confirms

Mark Berkley and Susan Halper Berkley work from home due to COVID-19 restrictions in Maplewood, New Jersey, March 18, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)
Mark Berkley and Susan Halper Berkley work from home due to COVID-19 restrictions in Maplewood, New Jersey, March 18, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)
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Working from Home has Many Benefits, New Study Confirms

Mark Berkley and Susan Halper Berkley work from home due to COVID-19 restrictions in Maplewood, New Jersey, March 18, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)
Mark Berkley and Susan Halper Berkley work from home due to COVID-19 restrictions in Maplewood, New Jersey, March 18, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)

Working from home allows people to eat more healthily, feel less stressed and have lower blood pressure, according to a recent study.

The study, led by researchers at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and King’s College London, considered 1,930 academic papers on home working, teleworking and other types of hybrid work, reported The Guardian.

The team found that working from home allows people to eat more healthily, feel less stressed and have lower blood pressure, as well as making them less likely to take time off sick, tend to work longer hours and to work evenings and weekends.

“The effects of working from home on health were clearer in this study. The transition to home working during Covid was linked with an increase in intake of vegetables, fruit, dairy, snacks, and self-made meals; younger workers and females benefited the most in terms of healthier eating,” the researchers wrote in their paper, which was published in the Journal of Occupational Health.

Most of the reviewed papers also showed that people working from home felt more stable, calmer, and more productive and creative.

Yet, remote workers are also more likely to eat snacks, drink more, smoke more and put on weight, the study found.

Prof. Neil Greenberg, a psychiatrist at King’s College London and one of the study’s authors, said the study showed that workers and employers needed to start considering home working with the same seriousness as they did office working.

Refusing the working from home options will mean that talented employees may find other jobs, and makes companies less flexible in the event of future crises, such as another health emergency or strikes or severe weather conditions that prevent people from reaching their offices, he added.


Walkman Use Brings Old Memories Back

Various models of Sony Walkman audio players are displayed at an exhibition marking the 40th anniversary of the iconic device, in Tokyo on July 10. BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP
Various models of Sony Walkman audio players are displayed at an exhibition marking the 40th anniversary of the iconic device, in Tokyo on July 10. BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP
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Walkman Use Brings Old Memories Back

Various models of Sony Walkman audio players are displayed at an exhibition marking the 40th anniversary of the iconic device, in Tokyo on July 10. BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP
Various models of Sony Walkman audio players are displayed at an exhibition marking the 40th anniversary of the iconic device, in Tokyo on July 10. BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP

In 1989, jewelry maker Tiffany & Co and electronics company Sony released a silver-plated Walkman (complete with a fitted wooden box) to celebrate 10 years of the portable cassette player. Only 250 were made at the time, according to The Guardian.

Several decades on, and long since the cassette Walkman began its slide into obsolescence – outpaced first by the cumbersome Discman and the vibe-less MiniDisc player, then lapped by the iPod and iPhone – you can still find some of these items selling in auctions for hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds.

One of the Tiffany Walkmans, originally presented to the Who, was later sold by the ex-wife of the band’s late bassist John Entwistle on a 2011 episode of the US TV show Pawn Stars. After some haggling, the traders at Gold & Silver Pawn in Las Vegas agreed to pay $1,250 for it.

“This is one of those weird things that I think someone’s willing to buy just to say they have it,” Pawn Stars’ Corey Harrison said.

But who would spend thousands on a tape player in the age of Spotify and YouTube, when virtually all your entertainment needs can be concentrated into one device in your pocket? “Time can make easy fetishists of us all,” remarked the culture writer Niko Stratis on seeing news stories reporting that branches of Urban Outfitters in the US were selling iPods for $350 (not far off the price they were on release in the early 2000s). There is plenty of such backward-gazing trading to be found online: eBay seller Retrogadgets-UK offers a “factory-sealed” third-generation iPhone “sold for collectors only” listed at £2,499.99.”

US brand Retrospekt sells all manner of refurbished old tech. “Our mission is to give you a product with years of history that works like it was made yesterday,” it declares.

Elsewhere you can find camcorders and digital cameras, VHS and DVD players, “vintage” Game Boys and everything, including the soundtrack to classic teen soap Beverly Hills on cassette (yours for £15.39) and a surprisingly large number of Walkmans.


Somali Street Artist Attracts International Art Institutions with her Works

The deep blue color palette, punctuated by jewel-toned accents. (Nicola Vassell Gallery)
The deep blue color palette, punctuated by jewel-toned accents. (Nicola Vassell Gallery)
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Somali Street Artist Attracts International Art Institutions with her Works

The deep blue color palette, punctuated by jewel-toned accents. (Nicola Vassell Gallery)
The deep blue color palette, punctuated by jewel-toned accents. (Nicola Vassell Gallery)

Uman is not a fan of traveling. “I’m more of a fan of the destination. If I could just be beamed somewhere, I would be so happy,” the artist said, smiling behind sunglasses on a cloudy afternoon in London.

Migration and movement have played a major role in her life, and within her work. Born in Somalia in 1980, Uman and her family left their home there when she was nine years-old as a result of the Somali Civil War, later relocating to Denmark when she was 13, according to CNN.

In the 2000s, she moved to New York City, where she would sell her artwork on the streets in and around Union Square.

Since 2010, she’s been based upstate, away from the hustle and chaos. “I felt like the city was not very conducive to my creativity,” she told CNN in an interview. It’s her studio — “my fortress,” as she calls it —she feels most at home, happiest and freest.

This sense of freedom is conveyed in Uman’s latest work, currently on display at Hauser & Wirth London. Titled “Darling sweetie, sweetie darling,” the new exhibition is a kaleidoscopic world of color, drawing in influences across cultures, space and time.

Seven large-scale paintings adorn the walls of the gallery’s white cube layout, all exuberant explosions of color, calling back to Uman’s childhood.

“I grew up in a very condensed place. Most of my memories are of Kenya and (there), everything was just sensory. And I think that’s part of what comes out in my work,” said Uman, whose first solo exhibition opened in 2015 in New York.

Though distinct, the works are connected in various ways. Motifs recur, such layered geometric shapes, or the circular spirals reminiscent of the Arabic calligraphy Uman studied as a child. The paintings share a similar deep blue color palette, punctuated by jewel-toned accents. For Uman, these hues represent the expansive skies of her home and studio.

She emphasizes her approach to painting is guided solely by her intuition and instinct, and is a constant process of reapplying, reassessing and being guided by her mood on any given day.

“I never, ever plan it. I can only say it’s just a feeling, an emotional reaction, to my environment, reactions to my dreams and how I see the world, she said.


Astronomers Find What May Be the Universe’s Brightest Object with a Black Hole Devouring a Sun a Day

An undated handout photo made available by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) shows an artist's impression of the record-breaking quasar J059-4351, the bright core of a distant galaxy that is powered by a supermassive black hole (issued 19 February 2024). (EPA/ESO/M. Kornmesser / Handout)
An undated handout photo made available by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) shows an artist's impression of the record-breaking quasar J059-4351, the bright core of a distant galaxy that is powered by a supermassive black hole (issued 19 February 2024). (EPA/ESO/M. Kornmesser / Handout)
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Astronomers Find What May Be the Universe’s Brightest Object with a Black Hole Devouring a Sun a Day

An undated handout photo made available by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) shows an artist's impression of the record-breaking quasar J059-4351, the bright core of a distant galaxy that is powered by a supermassive black hole (issued 19 February 2024). (EPA/ESO/M. Kornmesser / Handout)
An undated handout photo made available by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) shows an artist's impression of the record-breaking quasar J059-4351, the bright core of a distant galaxy that is powered by a supermassive black hole (issued 19 February 2024). (EPA/ESO/M. Kornmesser / Handout)

Astronomers have discovered what may be the brightest object in the universe, a quasar with a black hole at its heart growing so fast that it swallows the equivalent of a sun a day.

The record-breaking quasar shines 500 trillion times brighter than our sun. The black hole powering this distant quasar is more than 17 billion times more immense than our sun, an Australian-led team reported Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy.

While the quasar resembles a mere dot in images, scientists envision a ferocious place.

The rotating disk around the quasar's black hole — the luminous swirling gas and other matter from gobbled-up stars — is like a cosmic hurricane.

“This quasar is the most violent place that we know in the universe,” lead author Christian Wolf of Australian National University said in an email.

The European Southern Observatory spotted the object, J0529-4351, during a 1980 sky survey, but it was thought to be a star. It was not identified as a quasar — the extremely active and luminous core of a galaxy — until last year. Observations by telescopes in Australia and Chile’s Atacama Desert clinched it.

“The exciting thing about this quasar is that it was hiding in plain sight and was misclassified as a star previously,” Yale University's Priyamvada Natarajan, who was not involved in the study, said in an email.

These later observations and computer modeling have determined that the quasar is gobbling up the equivalent of 370 suns a year — roughly one a day. Further analysis shows the mass of the black hole to be 17 to 19 billion times that of our sun, according to the team. More observations are needed to understand its growth rate.

The quasar is 12 billion light-years away and has been around since the early days of the universe. A light-year is 5.8 trillion miles.


Design Space AlUla Celebrates Architectural Designs

Design space AlUla celebrates architectural designs. (SPA)
Design space AlUla celebrates architectural designs. (SPA)
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Design Space AlUla Celebrates Architectural Designs

Design space AlUla celebrates architectural designs. (SPA)
Design space AlUla celebrates architectural designs. (SPA)

Design Space AlUla gallery, located in the heart of AlJadidah Arts District, has become a focal point for wide-ranging design initiatives, in line with AlUla's goal to support the Kingdom's thriving arts and culture scene, including students, design experts, and enthusiasts, SPA said on Monday.
Opened on February 15, Design Space AlUla hosts exhibitions in a contemporary building surrounding a luminous courtyard. The building, designed by the Italian studio Gio Forma, and inspired by the ancient, textured brick buildings commonly used in the surrounding buildings in AlJadidah neighborhood, is made of Corten steel (weathering steel), glass, and polished concrete.
Through a series of exhibitions and workshops overseen by Design Space AlUla's curator Eng. Sara Ghani, the gallery aims to get in touch with local and international design experts, and emerging designers, to discuss design principles and the stages of creative design. The space allows for the display of architecture, urban planning, production, and graphic design.
The gallery's opening exhibition, "Mawrid: Celebrating Inspired Design", is accompanied by a busy program of cultural and dialogue events. Mawrid, which will run until June 1, is the first exhibition among a series that will show.
The exhibition also explores the visual identity of Design Space AlUla, which was designed by Clara Sancho Studio and 29Letters design studio, and was inspired by AlUla's unique architecture.
Meanwhile, an exhibition designed by Atelier Brückner, a German architecture firm, takes the visitors on a sensorial trip through designs inspired by AlUla as well, bringing various designers' works in a captivating spatial narration.
The second edition of AlUla Design Award finalists are also participating in the exhibition.
According to Ghani: "Design Space AlUla celebrates AlUla's natural history and cultural heritage and enables a sustainable future rooted deep within the place. Our ambition is to support the design sector and provide resources for designers to explore and experiment. We aim to make this space a place that enables visitors to search, explore, and communicate with the stages of AlUla's design trip.
AlUla is creating an archive for all the creative projects, acting as a source of design inspiration and a compendium of local design initiative


Dry Weather Hampers Mass Christmas Island Crab Migration 

The annual red crab migration on Christmas Island in 2022. (Parks Australia/Reuters) 
The annual red crab migration on Christmas Island in 2022. (Parks Australia/Reuters) 
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Dry Weather Hampers Mass Christmas Island Crab Migration 

The annual red crab migration on Christmas Island in 2022. (Parks Australia/Reuters) 
The annual red crab migration on Christmas Island in 2022. (Parks Australia/Reuters) 

Unusually dry weather has delayed the annual migration of millions of Christmas Island red crabs from the island's interior to the sea where they mate.

There are over 100 million red crabs on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, much of which is designated as a national park. The crabs are unique to the island and protected by Australian law.

Authorities say "exceptionally dry" conditions have put a dampener on this season's migration, where the mass of red crabs usually blocks off traffic in a normal year.

"In the last 12 months, we got about half our average rainfall for that period of time, and that was enough to make the island look extremely desperate, dry and dusty," said Brendan Tiernan, the threatened species field program coordinator for Parks Australia.

"And it kept the crabs from migrating."

This year is the first time the crabs have migrated as late as February since Parks Australia started tracking migration in the 1980s, he added.

The migration sees the crabs journey from the interior of the island to the ocean, where they mate. The females then stay behind in burrows near the ocean to hatch their eggs and the males return inland.