Saudi ministry releases Hajj e-guides in 14 languages

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Updated 02 July 2022
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Saudi ministry releases Hajj e-guides in 14 languages

  • Interactive e-manuals pave the way for ‘perfect Hajj journey’

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, in collaboration with the General Authority for Awqaf, has launched 13 detailed e-manuals offering advice to pilgrims from around the world on a variety of topics.

The guides have been released in 14 languages: Arabic, English, French, Spanish, Turkish, Russian, Persian, Urdu, Bengali, Indonesian, Malay, Hausa, Amharic and Sinhalese.

A ministry video shared on Twitter explains various features of the e-manuals and how the guides function.

“These guiding e-manuals are interactive, and include Shariah and Islamic law, procedural, organizational and health directives which pilgrims will need during their Hajj journey,” the ministry said.

“All you have to do is visit the guide website, pick the language, browse the guide you need, then you can listen or watch the available materials and download it as well.”

The video collected hundreds of thousands of views, with a number of officials commenting on the initiative.
 
Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq Al-Rabiah shared the video on his official Twitter account and wrote: “For a perfect Hajj journey, here are Hajj guides.”

In a TV interview, Hisham Saeed, assistant undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for Hajj and Umrah Services, said that the guides’ detailed explanatory infographics and images will give pilgrims an alternative to audio or written materials.

Each catalog is supported by text, images and illustrations, in addition to a set of educational videos and audio materials.
 
Topics include Hajj rituals, as well as Ihram, Mina, Muzdalifah, Arafat Day, Jamarat, Umrah, health awareness, the Grand Mosque, the Prophet’s Mosque and its services, and city landmarks of Makkah and Madinah.

The guides are compatible with all phone operating systems, IOS and Android, and can be reached by visiting guide.haj.gov.sa

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah seeks to serve pilgrims in a way that enables them to perform their Hajj rituals in the most ideal way possible. The ministry aims to facilitate the journey of pilgrims and enrich their spiritual and Hajj experiences.


Saudi camping: exploring the untamed beauty surrounding Riyadh

The rainy season in Riyadh announces with it winter and the start of the camping season. (Visit Saudi/Supplied)
Updated 3 min 2 sec ago
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Saudi camping: exploring the untamed beauty surrounding Riyadh

  • Adventurers and nature lovers should not miss these spots during winter

RIYADH: Camping in Saudi Arabia provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the beauty of the vast wilderness. The desert, with its mesmerizing dunes stretching as far as the eye can see, offers a serene setting for those seeking solace away from the bustle of city life.

Camping offers an unforgettable experience for adventurers and nature enthusiasts. With the Kingdom’s diverse landscapes and warm hospitality, the country welcomes visitors to connect with nature and forge lasting memories in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula.

The rainy season in Riyadh announces with it winter and the start of the camping season. (Visit Saudi/Supplied)

From late October to early February, the rainy season in Riyadh announces with it winter and the start of the camping season.

During this time of the year, people flock to the desert, spending time with family, friends and loved ones, enjoying the beautiful warm weather away from city life and hectic schedules.

For those interested in camping, it is recommended to start with a visit to Reef Shaqra.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Reef Shaqra and Al-Rimaya are local store for camping supplies.

• Rawdat Khuraim is a popular spot about 110 km from Riyadh.

• King Salman Park, great for family picnics, is 40 km to the northeast.

Reef Shaqra is one of the local stores providing camping supplies — from food to spices to grilling tools, all organized perfectly and ready to be used.

Al-Rimaya is another excellent store to visit prior to a camping trip. The store, opened 25 years ago, specializes in camping and outdoor equipment such as tents, portable fire pits and camping fridges.

They also offer a service where they prepare the vehicle with all the necessary equipment for enthusiasts who spend days in the desert.

The rainy season in Riyadh announces with it winter and the start of the camping season. (Visit Saudi/Supplied)

“Recently, we have been seeing women customers more than men, not only buying camping equipment but also requesting car preparations,” said Sultan Abdulaziz, one of the store workers.

“There are many accessories we offer, like attaching tents to the car. The tent will be set perfectly to your car where you won’t need to prepare it by yourself every time you go on a trip.”

Rawdat Khuraim is 110 km from the capital and one of the well-known camping sites in the region.

Recently, we have been seeing women customers more than men, not only buying camping equipment but also requesting car preparations.

Sultan Abdulaziz, Al-Rimaya staff

The beautiful landscape has been transformed into a reserve to preserve its innate beauty. The area is not completely a desert but more of a green landscape due to the rains during the season.

Another popular destination close to the city is King Salman Park, 40 km to the northeast. It is a family picnic area, with facilities provided to create a safe and comfortable camping experience.

For those who have more of an adventurous spirit and love to spend a camping trip in complete isolation, the locations can be endless. Since the country, generally speaking, is known for being mostly desert, visitors can find camping spots almost everywhere.

Al-Rimaya sells supplies and also prepares the vehicle with equipment necessary for a trip to the desert. (AN photo by Haifa Alshammari)

There is nothing better than gathering around the campfire for a delicious meal. Dishes include mandi, kabssa and jamriyah, with kunafah among the recently trending meals.

With fine food and the allure of the stars in a dark sky, the music of oud sets the perfect atmosphere. Among activities young people enjoy are oud playing around the fire. Some musicians even offer services for music sessions during the camping trip.

As the popularity of camping in Saudi Arabia continues to grow, tour operators, officials and local communities are actively promoting responsible and sustainable practices.

 


Tuwaiq Sculpture event to display works from 30 artists

Qian Sihua’s ‘Harmony in Diversity’ (2023) expresses the power of form shaped by harmony and difference. (Riyadhart)
Updated 04 December 2023
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Tuwaiq Sculpture event to display works from 30 artists

  • This includes interactive workshops, school visits and discussion sessions, covering elements of architecture, sculpture, art and design

RIYADH: The Riyadh Art program’s fifth Tuwaiq Sculpture 2024, which will be held from Jan. 14 to Feb. 24, will feature 30 prominent local and international artists who will showcase their work under the theme “Dimensions of Movement.”

The registration for the fifth edition of the event witnessed an overwhelming response, attracting more 650 applications from 80 countries. A committee of experts in art and sculpture meticulously evaluated the submissions, culminating in the selection of 30 artists representing 20 countries.

Tuwaiq Sculpture stands as a creative platform to inspire artists worldwide to craft distinctive artworks. (SPA)

The artists will create public art sculptures using stones sourced from the Kingdom, thereby enriching the cultural and artistic landscape of the capital.

FASTFACT

The artists will create public art sculptures using stones sourced from the Kingdom, thereby enriching the cultural and artistic landscape of the capital.

Marek Wolynski, lead curator of Tuwaiq Sculpture 2024, said that the fifth edition of the event will offer an immersive experience that amalgamates innovation, ambition and expansion.

He added that the event’s thematic focus on “Dimensions of Movement” mirrors the transformation of the capital through various projects under the Riyadh Art program.

The judging panel for Tuwaiq Sculpture 2024 comprises experts in the fields of art and sculpture.

Tuwaiq Sculpture stands as a creative platform to inspire artists worldwide to craft distinctive artworks.

The collaboration among artists from diverse cultures and backgrounds is integral to the event, with the fifth edition incorporating an expanded community partnership program.

This includes interactive workshops, school visits and discussion sessions, covering elements of architecture, sculpture, art and design.

 


Saudi, Malaysian firms sign strategic partnership at Halal Expo London

Updated 04 December 2023
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Saudi, Malaysian firms sign strategic partnership at Halal Expo London

LONDON: Saudi Arabia’s Halal Products Development Company (HPDC) concluded on Monday its participation in the Halal Expo London 2023, one of the most prominent global halal events.

HPDC, a wholly owned Public Investment Fund (PIF) entity, signed a strategic partnership with Malaysia’s Halal Development Corporation Berhad (HDC), to stimulate the growth of the halal industry in Saudi Arabia and globally.

According to the terms of the agreement, the two companies will exchange information on industry-leading practices and successful models of halal ecosystems.

“Through our partnerships and strategic agreements, we at HPDC strive to connect vendors, distributors, and businesses operating in the halal industry across the world,” HPDC CEO Fahad S. AlNuhait said.

“We are excited to enter into this landmark agreement which allows us to leverage shared resources to make a significant contribution to the expansion of the industry.

“With this agreement, our aim is to establish a dynamic ecosystem in Saudi Arabia that enhances the local economy, invites international investors, and increases halal trade worldwide,” he added.

The two organizations will continue to collaborate with key stakeholders in the global halal industry, and jointly work toward shaping the halal ecosystem, ensuring transparency and efficiency all the way.

“This collaboration transcends mere business alignment; it embodies a shared vision to propel the halal industry to new heights globally,” HDC CEO Hairol Ariffein Sahari said.  

“With HDC’s vast experience in building a comprehensive halal ecosystem, we will provide specialized advisory, investment strategies, innovation collaboration, technology transfer and Industry Thought Leader sharing.

“We believe HDC can provide a proven effective operational model, along with a sustainable halal ecosystem that not only brings substantial benefits to Saudi Arabia but also extends its positive impact to a global scale and beyond,” he added.


Saudi aviation strategy boosts global connectivity, official says

Updated 04 December 2023
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Saudi aviation strategy boosts global connectivity, official says

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Transport and Logistics Saleh Al-Jasser highlighted the success of the national aviation strategy in making Saudi Arabia more globally connected during the 15th International Conference on Air Services Negotiations in Riyadh.

Al-Jasser, who also chairs the General Authority of Civil Aviation, said that the strategy encompasses plans to swiftly advance the country’s air transport sector, including expanding the flight network of Saudi airports.

Speaking at a ministerial session titled “The Impact of Air Transport on Economic Development” at the ICAN 2023 of the International Civil Aviation Organization, Al-Jasser noted the development of airport infrastructure across the Kingdom. This includes the construction of new airports, such as the King Salman Airport in Riyadh, and enhancing air service levels at all airports. The focus is also on transforming the King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah into a global air service hub and increasing aircraft numbers.

He said that the ministry’s goal is to boost the transport and logistics sector’s contribution to GDP to 10 percent, viewing civil aviation as a key driver.

The session also featured discussions with Indonesian Minister of Transport Budi Karya Sumadi, the Ministry of External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation of Saint Lucia’s Alva Romanus Baptiste, and Minister of Transport of the Republic of Seychelles Anthony Gerard D’Offay. They shared insights on the role of civil aviation in economic development and global connectivity.

Al-Jasser inaugurated the 15th ICAN conference on Sunday, which was attended by key figures in international aviation. The inauguration was attended by notable figures including GACA President Abdulaziz Al-Duailej and ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano.

Al-Jasser also signed a cooperation agreement in air transport services with Minister of Transport and Aviation of Sierra Leone Fanday Turay on the sidelines of the event, which will continue until Thursday.

The agreement complements the Convention on International Civil Aviation, also known as the Chicago Convention, signed in 1944, aiming to regulate safe and efficient air transport between the two countries and enhance airline competition, safety and civil aviation security standards.

The bilateral agreement is part of Saudi Arabia’s broader strategy to establish international partnerships, sign new bilateral agreements and achieve ambitious goals in enhancing global air connectivity, with plans to become a global logistics hub and handle 330 million passengers annually by 2030.

The agreement also focuses on supporting the mutual economic interests of national airlines, enhancing their role in the air transport market of both countries, and embracing modern approaches to market entry and air transport.

This is part of a broader strategy in the civil aviation sector to forge international partnerships and sign new bilateral agreements. These initiatives are geared toward expanding the Kingdom’s global air network to 250 destinations.

 


Arab hospitality on board AROYA Cruises

Updated 04 December 2023
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Arab hospitality on board AROYA Cruises

  • First Saudi at-sea restaurant, Irth Cafe, will spotlight local cuisine

RIYADH: Cruise Saudi has partnered with the Culinary Arts Commission to launch the Kingdom’s first at-sea restaurant, Irth Cafe, aboard the AROYA Cruises ship.

Cruise Saudi, a company owned by the Public Investment Fund and specialized in developing the cruise sector in the Kingdom, announced its partnership with the aim of showcasing the authentic cuisine on board that will offer a unique experience using locally sourced and high-quality Saudi products.

CEO of Cruise Saudi Lars Clasen said: “We are proud to cooperate with the Culinary Arts Commission. The launch of the Irth Cafe and boutique on board the AROYA Cruises ship is one of the important steps to ensure that we showcase the Kingdom’s heritage and provide the best services to our guests.”

AROYA Cruises, the first-ever Saudi domestic cruise line, will make history as the first homegrown cruise brand in the Arab region. (SPA)

AROYA Cruises, the first-ever Saudi domestic cruise line, will make history as the first homegrown cruise brand in the Arab region.

The partnership will push the envelope further by highlighting its vision to provide exceptional and innovative tourism experiences to its passengers on board the vessel, which was specially designed to suit Arab tastes.

The Kingdom is distinguished by its authentic hospitality as well as its rich heritage and ancient history, which are all values to be embodied in the Irth Cafe experience.

FASTFACT

The Culinary Arts Commission will provide training to restaurant staff to ensure the provision of luxurious and authentic experiences to the ship’s passengers.

The Culinary Arts Commission will provide training to restaurant staff to ensure the provision of luxurious and authentic experiences to the ship’s passengers.

Mayada Badr, CEO of the Culinary Arts Commission, confirmed that Irth Cafe, named after the Arabic word for “heritage,” will highlight the culture behind local cuisine, noting that the existing cooperation with AROYA Cruises, a subsidiary of Cruise Saudi, is consistent with the commission’s ambitious vision of celebrating the Kingdom’s heritage and rich culture.

The commission was established in 2020 and works to platform the distinctive traditional Saudi culinary arts locally and internationally, consolidate the culture of Saudi gastronomy, transform the Kingdom into a home for distinctive experiences and advance it as a leading food destination.

Launched in 2023, AROYA Cruises is distinguished by a unique design that is in line with Arab market standards, focusing on what citizens, residents and regional tourists are looking for when selecting their next vacation destination.

The vessel promises to provide exceptional stays, from the meticulous attention within the cabins and suites to the meals and drinks that will be served during the voyage, reflecting the spirit of innovation and authentic Arab hospitality that distinguishes the Kingdom.