As the virtual doors open for the biggest event of the year in Saudi Arabia, the G20 Riyadh summit, media outlets are gearing up to share the deliberations and outcomes of the conference with the world.
As well as a dedicated summit microsite for media engagement and activations, an International Media Center (IMC) has been set up at the Crowne Plaza Riyadh RDC Hotel and Convention venue.
At a press briefing on Monday, Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qassabi, the Saudi minister of commerce and acting minister of media, said that the Kingdom welcomed having a physical media presence at the summit.
“The Kingdom opened its heart before it opened its doors to the media and welcomed the presence of the media physically within the health protocols,” he added.
The Saudi G20 Presidency is taking all precautionary measures to ensure that guests have safe and secure access during the summit including putting in place a range of health protocols and social distancing to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In line with Ministry of Health protocols, the IMC has been limited to accommodating a maximum of 200 locally based media delegates, allowing appropriate workspaces, briefings, and interview rooms.
“This is a valuable opportunity to get to know the Kingdom and its potential,” Al-Qassabi said.
The minister added that as part of summit preparations for supporting the media, a special committee had been established which among other things had put together a schedule of meetings, briefings, and discussion sessions to take place between media delegates and G20 ministers and leaders.
The Saudi G20 Presidency is providing a free service for the satellite, fiber, and digital distribution of the G20 Leaders’ Summit live broadcasts as well as TV studios and editing suites from Nov. 15 to 22.
Facilities at the IMC include workstations and cubical desks that can accommodate more than 100 people, press conference and interview rooms, and a host broadcast center. Sky News, Bloomberg Asharq, and Al Arabiya will be just some of the channels broadcasting live from the summit.
The host broadcast center offers hi-tech studios housing the latest cameras, sound systems, and lighting which media outlets can use for free. There are also translation and interpretation rooms complete with monitors and recording equipment.
The IMC has interpreters that can translate more than 20 languages, and an elevated position for TV coverage and interviews takes in the whole G20 summit stage.
In addition, high-speed Wi-Fi, prayer rooms, an information desk, and catering services will be available in the center throughout the day.
“We have made a heritage and welcome program for those who want to move around the Kingdom, and we are present in the coming days,” said Al-Qassabi.
A media lounge includes a station where visitors can sample traditional Arabic coffee from all regions of the Kingdom, along with a Ministry of Culture tent offering an insight into the experiences of Saudi Arabia.
A special library lounge, set up by the G20 Education Program, also appears in the media center where guests can relax between sessions reading books about the Kingdom.
The main decorative theme of the center is around authentic Saudi heritage with a modern twist, incorporating throughout the whole area Sadu geometrical prints, a traditional embroidery reflecting the Saudi culture and identity.
The Sadu is also the logo of this year’s Saudi G20 Presidency and the main stage is filled with photos of the best Saudi landmarks from all of the regions of the Kingdom.