• Saudi Arabia vs Dubai: The 2020 Race For The World’s Tallest Tower

    It seems like Dubai is bored of smashing Guinness World Records, as flagship developer Emaar Properties announces plans to construct the world’s tallest tower, surpassing the Burj Khalifa that currently holds the current world record, but will Saudi Arabia steal the title? The race is on as property developer Emaar has announced plans to build a new tower, with an estimated cost of $1 billion, that will stand a ‘notch’ taller than 830-metre Burj Khalifa. The proposed project expects completion by 2020, which coincidentally will be the same year that Dubai will host the World Expo Trading Fair. The announcement explained that Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Valls is expected to devote

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  • Amal Clooney: Donald Trump should be challenged on his views about Muslims

    Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney says she is perplexed by the success of Donald Trump in the race for the White House. Mrs Clooney, wife of Hollywood actor George Clooney, says the front runner for the Republican presidential nomination should be challenged on his extreme views.

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  • Saudi women pin high hopes on national reform plan

    Saudi women are anticipating with high hope the launch of the National Transformation Plan. Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, is set to announce on Monday his “Vision 2030,” which is expected to set goals for the next 15 years and a broad policy agenda to reach them. Human Resources and Institutional Development consultant Amal Shirah said the transformation plan includes the Saudization of many economic sectors and fields of work. With the development of institutions such as the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation, there are now a number of new Saudi graduates with the knowledge the market needs,” said Shirah.

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  • Russia to start deliveries of S-300 missiles to Iran in coming days: agency

    Russia will begin the first shipment of its S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran in the coming days, Interfax news agency quoted a senior Russian diplomat as saying on Tuesday. "I don't know if this will happen today, but the [S-300 missiles] will be loaded [for shipment to Iran]," the agency quoted Zamir Kabulov, a department chief at the Foreign Ministry, as saying. Russia canceled a contract to deliver the advanced anti-missile rocket system to Iran in 2010 under pressure from the West following UN sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program. Tehran and Moscow have also started talks on the supply of the Russian-made Sukhoi-30 fighter jets to Iran, Hossein Dehghan said. "We have

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  • The war of words over who does Saudi Arabia's housework

    Disagreements about who should do housework blew up on Twitter in Saudi Arabia this week, and offered some insight into popular attitudes in the country. If you're a Westerner, you might think this is another story about who should load the dishwasher, or about men not pulling their weight at home. But this was a very different conversation, about where wealthy Saudi families should source their servants - from abroad, as is standard, or women from southern parts of the kingdom. It began when Haya al-Mani - one of the country's few female politicians - made an official proposal that women be given the right to drive. It's a well worn topic, but still a controversial issue in the country, and

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  • Paul Walker's daughter gets $10m settlement over crash death

    Paul Walker's daughter has reached a $10.1m (£7.2m) settlement with the estate of the man driving the car in which he and the actor died in 2013. Walker was a passenger in the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, which was being driven by Roger Rodas when it crashed. Travelling at speeds between 80 and 93 mph, the car crashed into trees and a utility pole in Santa Clarita, north west of Los Angeles. The money will be held in trust for Meadow Walker, 17. Rodas was only partly responsible for the crash, a statement from Meadow's lawyer, Jeff Milam, says. The settlement represents a "fraction of what her father would have earned as an international movie star had his life not been tragically cut short". The

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  • Daisy Ridley 'will not apologise' for her body size after Instagram criticism

    Daisy Ridley says she "will not apologise" for her body shape. She responded to an Instagram post of her character Rey, which criticised how thin she looked in Star Wars. "I can't believe the unrealistic expectations I'm setting for young girls," a speech bubble read. "Don't they know real women have curves?" She replied: "'Real women' are all shapes and sizes, all ethnicities, all levels of brave. I am a 'real woman' like every other woman in this world." Daisy deleted her initial response on the post. The actress said it wasn't her intention "for anyone to send messages to that poor person that posted the original picture". She then posted a full response on her own official account which included

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  • 9 Unexpected Reasons You Could Get Detained in Egypt

    In every country certain rules are implemented, and while no country is like its neighbours, Egypt is especially exceptional when it comes to its laws and there are some very strange things that can get you arrested here. Here are nine unexpected acts that will get you detained in Egypt. You're all probably familiar with these tales but just in case you're not, each headline will lead you to the full story with all the glorious details of what happened and how and why the people involved got into hot water... Drawing Doodles Just recently Islam Gawish was arrested for publishing a satirical doodle of President Sisi. Moral of the story: it's best to doodle flowers and rainbows, not presidents.

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  • Syria: Russia's continuing war

    All the signs are that as the partial truce in Syria fails and the peace talks falter, the Russian military and its Syrian allies are gearing up for a new offensive in and around Aleppo. Last week, the Pentagon said forces loyal to the Syrian government were beginning "to mass and concentrate combat power around Aleppo." The US spokesman said: "It is primarily [the] al-Nusra [Front] who holds Aleppo, and, of course, al-Nusra is not part of the cessation of hostilities. So it's complicated. We're watching it." As so often with recent Russian military campaigns, the media message has been at variance with the reality of events on the ground. In mid-March, President Vladimir Putin announced Russia

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  • The final American Idol has aired in the US

    American Idol is no more. The farewell season has ended and host Ryan Seacrest has signed off for the last time. Since 2002 the show's helped launch the careers of some of today's biggest artists including Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson. It was the most watched US TV show for seven years running - apparently the 2003 final had more viewers than the Oscars that year. Not bad for a format that was the brainchild of a bloke from Hastings. **** SPOILER ALERT **** We're going to reveal who has been crowned American Idol winner 2016 Idol originally began in the UK in 2001, catapulting a relatively unknown music executive, called Simon Cowell, towards his eventual world domination. Back then the

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  • How Saudi’s US-style green card system would work

    Saudi Arabia will introduce a "green card" system within five years to allow resident expatriates in the kingdom to have more rights in order to improve its investment climate, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Monday.

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  • Dubai launches $270m 'Future Fund' to shape growth

    Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has approved a strategy to invest in a ‘Future Agenda’ for the emirate, according to state news agency WAM. As part of a strategy to help shape the future of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed launched an AED1 billion ($270 million) ‘Future Endowment Fund’ to invest in innovation, and a ‘Future Cities’ programme to develop sectors deemed crucial in helping Dubai to become a ‘smart’ city, including energy, transport and infrastructure. More than 20 separate initiatives will be implemented over the coming years to improve the way Dubai functions as a city, WAM said. “Shaping the future is no longer a theoretical concept but a key factor for countries to achieve competitiveness in the global arena,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

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  • Will Egypt's Government Ban WhatsApp Over Its Unhackable Encryption?

    On Tuesday, WhatsApp announced that it was strengthening its security by introducing ‘end-to-end’ data encryption aimed at protecting users' privacy. The change is expected to be welcomed by Egyptians; however, the question on everyone’s mind is how the government will react to the added security measures. Owned by Facebook, WhatsApp released a statement explaining they have "completed the technological development of full end-to-end encryption, making it a leader in safeguarding private communications." What that means in laymen terms is that no one will be able to see your messages except for the person the message is sent to, or as WhatsApp so eloquently puts it: “Not cybercriminals. The question now is, how will the government react to the news, as the Egyptian government has already been at odds with Facebook after the company refused to give the government the ability to spy on users.

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  • Want to Start Dating?

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  • Philippine election: Democracy under threat?

    Richard Javad Heydarian is a political science professor at De La Salle University, Manila, and the author of Asia's New Battlefield: US, China, and the Struggle for Western Pacific (Zed, London). (CNN)The upcoming presidential election in the Philippines is arguably the country's most consequential in recent memory.

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  • Railway to link all six Gulf countries to create 80,000 jobs

    The GCC Railway, which link the six member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council by 2018, is expected to create more than 80,000 direct and indirect jobs, said Abdurrahim Naqi, secretary-general of GCC Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “This is a strategic and vital project for the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council,” he said. Speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette, Naqi said the project would boost the GCC economies and create more job opportunities for Gulf citizens in various sectors.

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  • Hijabi Fashion and the “Enslavement of Women”

    Last week, the social media sphere was set ablaze as French Families Minister Laurence Rossignol criticised fashion labels who produce Islamic collections, accusing them of promoting the shutting away of women’s bodies and comparing veiled women with “negroes who supported slavery.” Her comment followed Yves Saint Laurent Co-Founder Pierre Berge’s harsh criticism of the fashion chains who follow the lead of Italian designers Dolce & Gabbana, who released their hijab and abaya collection last January. "Designers are there to make women more beautiful, to give them their freedom, not to collaborate with this dictatorship which imposes this abominable thing by which we hide women and make them live

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  • Green Card: A ray of hope for expats

    Emad is an Egyptian engineer. Ahmed is a Syrian accountant. Both are very close friends and their families are like one big family. Both the friends have been living in Saudi Arabia for the past 35 years. Their children grew up together. All their childhood memories were formed in Saudi Arabia and all their friends are in this country not in their respective home countries. Interestingly, Emad and Ahmed know the Eastern Province like the back of their hands. They could easily become tourist guides who are aware about the area like natives. These two guys can easily get confused in the streets of Cairo or Damascus. In other words, Saudi Arabia is their home away from home. Unfortunately, the sword

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  • Saudi Arabia’s umrah visas can be converted into tourist visas

    Prince Sultan Bin Salman, President of Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), launched here Sunday the post-umrah program, an initiative which allows umrah pilgrims to convert their visas into tourist visas. In a press statement following the launching ceremony in Riyadh, Prince Sultan said the program aims at providing an opportunity to umrah pilgrims to see the landmarks of the country, Islamic historical sites, attractive tourist destinations and shopping centers and malls. Prince Sultan said the SCTH started the program several years ago and it took a long time to study. There were procedures that were not ready yet, like converting umrah visa into tourist visa, among other procedures.

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  • Video: 'Shut Up Your Mouse Obama' Woman Offers Saudi Arabia The Pyramids And Sphinx

    When the ‘Shut Up Your Mouse Obama’ woman became a viral sensation, we hoped her 15 minutes of fame would fade as quickly as possible. Sadly, this isn’t the case, as yesterday the embarrassing woman was once again given a mic at a pro-Sisi rally, claiming that not only should Egypt give the disputed islands to Saudi Arabia, but if King Salman asked Egypt for the Pyramids and Sphinx, that the country should give them to him. The ‘Shut Up Your Mouse Obama’ woman, aka Mona al-Beheiri, has resurfaced online in a new video that has resulted viral ridicule.

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  • 7 Things Egyptians Get Wrong About Marriage

    Egyptians value marriage above all else in life; we are somehow programmed to look forward to the day we marry, even before we start going to school! But marriage is no joke; it is serious business – literally. We rush in like fools at first then curse the day we met our spouses, which is probably why we have one of the highest divorce rates in the world. Clearly we're doing marriage wrong; here are seven ways how. Overly Lavish Weddings Hospitality and grand gestures are nice, but we Egyptians go for lavish wedding celebrations even if we can’t afford them, because God forbid your high school friends and their gossipy mothers don’t like the salmon or the valets. Better indebted than sorry!  

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