KSA plans to be world’s most progressive golf destination

Saudi Arabia hopes to become the leading nation for golf. (File/Shutterstock)
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Updated 05 February 2020

KSA plans to be world’s most progressive golf destination

  • The Kingdom plans to become the most innovative market in the sport within the next 10 years
  • The Kingdom is aiming to have up to 27,000 registered golfers

JEDDAH: With the conclusion of the European Tour event and the inauguration of the Saudi Golf Summit at King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia is taking one of the most significant development moves in golf’s recent history.

The Kingdom plans to become the most innovative market in the sport within the next 10 years, said Majed Al-Sorour, CEO of the Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi.

“Golf isn’t just a game,” Al-Sorour told Arab News, “it is related to various sectors and it creates well-paid jobs that attract Saudis.” 

He added that golf requires commitment, dedication, self-governance, etiquette and discipline and that due to these values, he wants golf “to become part of the fabric of modern Saudi Arabia.”

The Kingdom is aiming to have up to 27,000 registered golfers and to ensure that over one million Saudi nationals have actively tried golf.

Golf Saudi wants to inspire and provide opportunities to every player regardless of ability, status or gender. 

To help develop national talents, the organization is working on establishing golfing camps for children with a minimum of one camp per week at each golf course, with each camp consisting of roughly 30 children. 

In order to achieve its plan, Golf Saudi is working in collaboration with the public and private sector, “Partnership government ministries is fundamental for progress, we are working with the ministries of transportation, education, environment and communication,” Al-Sorour said.

Majed Al-Sorour, CEO of the Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi said the Kingdom plans to become the most innovative market in the sport within the next 10 years. (AN Photo/Huda Bashata)

He continued: “We are working with giga projects and independent developers, so the nation’s golf portfolio will be stronger than ever.”

Golf Saudi has developed a tourism framework to align this strategy with tourism stakeholders in the country. Golf course development plans are reaching their latter stages at the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh and the Red Sea Project.

Moreover, other giga and mega projects in the Kingdom will also include golf facilities at Diriyah Gate and Neom.

Al-Sorour said that the national golf team is gradually improving, and he anticipated that it will be able to compete on a global level within five years: “Golfers need time for training to develop properly.”

Golf Saudi is collaborating with the Ministry of Education to include golf in the basic and higher education system.

“We cannot spread the game’s culture without cooperating with the education ministry,” said Al-Sorour.

“We are having constant meetings and trying to create a partnership to integrate golf in the school curriculum.

The European Tour event took concluded this year at KAEC’s award-winning Royal Greens Golf and Country Club. It has won a number of international awards recognizing the golf, clubhouse and luxurious facilities.

Anas Najmi, head of the quality of life sector in KAEC, told Arab News that the top factor of spreading any game is having the infrastructure and the right facilities.

“Everyone knows about golf as a widely spread game on a global level, we have tried over the past period to ensure that we have enough world-class infrastructure with the highest standards so we can host activities, tournaments and championships,” Najmi said.

KAEC, with its award-winning facilities and first-of-its-kind golf academy in the region, has been attracting more locals interested in playing golf.

“We see a trend of lots of students wanting to know more about golf and willing to learn and practice, it is a game for many ages,” Najmi told Arab News, adding: “We have a huge interest in helping visitors and golf enthusiasts.”

Naomi continued: “We are strategically positioned in the heart of a population of 10 million, the recently inaugurated train station connects the city to Jeddah, Madinah and Makkah within an hour.

“We get lots of delegations from universities and schools, both public and international.”

Saudi specialist teams to fight locust invasion

Updated 03 June 2020

Saudi specialist teams to fight locust invasion

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has deployed 40 field teams to fight desert locusts.

The teams will operate south of Riyadh (Wadi Al-Dawasir, Al-Sulayyil, and Al-Aflaj), southeast of Asir (Ahad Rafidah, Sarat Abidah, Wadi bin Hashbal, Tathleeth, Bisha, Tareeb, and Al-Khanqah, and their affiliated centers), Najran’s governorates and eastern desert, and the eastern Taif highlands in the Makkah region.

The ministry said that the Locust Control and Migratory Pest Center is implementing efforts to fight the locust problem in targeted areas, where the extent of the risk has been assessed.

Teams are specially equipped to fight the locust invasion, which began as an outbreak in Yemen, Oman and the Empty Quarter.

A total of 24 pest control teams, nine exploration teams, five supervision and monitoring teams and two maintenance teams have been formed to counter the threat.

Teams will be supplied with over 15,000 liters of pesticides as well as safety tools, spare parts, oil, and fuel as logistical support to aid the operation. SPA Riyadh

Measures aim to reduce breeding in the regions and meet the threat of swarms crossing from Oman and Yemen.

Abnormal rainfall in the south of the Arabian Peninsula has coincided with the summer migration of the locust swarms from East Africa toward southwest Asia (India and Pakistan), the ministry said.