Saudi resort’s ‘mirage’ airport is no illusion

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Updated 25 June 2020

Saudi resort’s ‘mirage’ airport is no illusion

  • The airport is due for completion in 2023 and is expected to cater for 1 million travelers per year

RIYADH: Amaala, the luxury tourist destination on Saudi Arabia’s northwest coast, has unveiled plans for an international airport with a design inspired by a desert mirage.

The terminal and control tower design was developed by UK-based architectural and design firm Foster + Partners, while the airport master plan was overseen by international consultancy and engineering group Egis.

The airport is due for completion in 2023 and is expected to cater for 1 million travelers per year.

Amaala CEO Nicholas Naples said: “From design to personalization, this will be no ordinary airport. We are delighted to work with Foster + Partners and Egis on this project.”

On approaching the airport, travelers will see stunning land art from the air. Entering the terminal, visitors will be greeted with a sleek mirrored edifice rising from the desert. The structure takes its inspiration from the surrounding environment, resulting in a mesmerizing mirage effect.

A spacious courtyard will be complemented by contemporary interiors featuring unique artwork.

Among the list of amenities provided by the airport are climate-controlled hangars that will be available for private jets as well as a ground transfer service accessible from inside the arrival hangar.

Gerard Evenden, senior executive partner of Foster + Partners, said: “Responding to the surrounding landscape, the terminal building will form an exclusive gateway to the Amaala resort. The passenger experience through the entire building will be akin to a private members club — luxurious and relaxing.”

He said the airport design seeks to establish a new model for private terminals, delivering “a seamless experience from resort to aircraft.”

Jacques Khoriaty, Middle East and South Asia aviation director of Egis, said: “The airport meets the highest environmental design and sustainability standards, is operationally versatile, and incorporates the latest airport technology and best practice standards on offer.”


Global organizations commend Saudi Arabia’s role in e-learning

Updated 23 October 2020

Global organizations commend Saudi Arabia’s role in e-learning

JEDDAH: Six international organizations have completed two studies on e-learning in the Kingdom and praised its efforts in providing a rapid response, multiple options and continuous improvement during the coronavirus pandemic.
The studies involved the participation of 342,000 respondents and were conducted under the supervision of the Kingdom’s National Center for e-Learning.
The center said that the global organizations completed two comprehensive studies on the experience of public and higher education in Saudi Arabia during the pandemic, with the aim of documenting and studying the reality of the experience and coming up with initiatives to develop e-learning practices in accordance with current global practices and standards.
The studies were conducted with the participation of students, faculty members, teachers, parents and school leaders.
The number of participants in the public education study reached 318,000, while the number of participants in the higher education study reached 24,000.
The first study was prepared by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), with the participation of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Quality Matters (QM), the UNESCO Institute of Information Technologies in Education (IITE), the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA) in the US.
The second study was prepared by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with the cooperation of the Harvard Graduate School
of Education.
In the studies, reference comparisons were made with more than 193 countries. The two studies showed the Kingdom’s distinction in the diversity of options, including, for example, electronic content and satellite channels available for e-learning in public education.

NUMBER

342k

The studies on e-learning involved the participation of 342,000 respondents and were conducted under the supervision of the Kingdom’s National Center for e-Learning.

The percentage of countries that succeeded in providing these at the national level was only 38 percent.
The study conducted by the OECD and the Harvard Graduate School of Education included a comparison of the Kingdom’s response to education during the COVID-19 pandemic with 37 member states.
The results showed the Kingdom’s progress in 13 out of 16 indicators on the average of
these countries.
The study also revealed that teachers received significant support to overcome obstacles to e-learning.
The study of public education indicated that there was a clear strategy for the Ministry of Education to reopen schools in the Kingdom and address any issues.
OLC hailed the efforts of the Saudi Ministry of Education in dealing with the crisis by providing a variety of options for e-learning, and the quick response to the pandemic and immediate shift to remote instruction.
The two studies recommended 71 proposed development initiatives for public education and 78 proposed development initiatives for higher education.
The National Center for e-Learning is working in coordination with the Ministry of Education to present the initiatives and begin their implementation.
The center announced that the organizations that conducted the studies would publish their results and complete the second phase at the end of the current semester.

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