1 million Saudis to celebrate Eid in Dubai

Updated 08 October 2012
0

1 million Saudis to celebrate Eid in Dubai

Elaborate arrangements are being made in Dubai to welcome over 1 million visitors from the Kingdom during the Eid Al-Adha holidays.
Ibrahim Saleh, Dubai Festival general coordinator, said organizers expect record-breaking numbers of Saudis and expatriates from the Kingdom this season.
Saleh was addressing newsmen at the Four Seasons Hotel yesterday during the launch of “Eid in Dubai” program in the Kingdom.
He said the United Arab Emirates had a similar four-day program during the last Ramadan festival. “The event drew more than 800,000 visitors from the Kingdom,” he said.
“Eid in Dubai” is a Dubai government initiative launched in 2008 by the Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment and aimed at promoting Dubai as a festive destination during the Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha celebrations. In addition, it is meant to attract families in the GCC through organizing and embracing various entertainment events that are held during Eid and highlight Dubai’s unique manner of celebrating this special occasion.
"'Eid in Dubai’ emphasizes the fact that the diverse social and cultural fabric of Dubai is as significant as its dynamic economic growth.
“The cosmopolitan city hosts more than 200 nationalities that coexist in exceptional harmony and despite different orientations and cultural backgrounds, residents and visitors in Dubai come together to share joyous moments during different festivities hosted all year round. ‘Eid in Dubai’ is another valuable addition that will enhance the spirit of the city,” Saleh said.
Traditional celebrations such as “Fuwallat Al-Eid,” as well as splendid fireworks, shopping malls and jewelry promotions, hotel packages and several international concerts contribute toward making "Eid in Dubai" a memorable time of the year, he added.
One of the highlights of this year’s celebrations is that shopping malls will be open for 24 hours on weekends during the two-week extravaganza.
Capt. Jassim Ahli from the Department of Naturalization and Residency in Dubai dispelled rumors that that his country had changed its entry visa regulations for Asian expatriates. “We will follow the prevailing regulations to give entry visas to expatriates living as residents in the GCC countries including the Kingdom.
Expatriates living in the GCC countries with certain job categories are given on arrival entry visas at the Dubai International Airport, he noted.
Saeed Al-Janahi, Emirates’ district manager in Riyadh, said: “Emirates has 17 weekly flights to Dubai. Emirates also flies to three other points in Saudi Arabia, once daily to Dammam and Al Madinah, and 19 weekly flights to Jeddah with the airline’s flagship Airbus A380.”


World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

A Saudi woman and her friends celebrate her first time driving on a main street of Alkhobar city in eastern Saudi Arabia on her way to Bahrain on June 24, 2018. (AFP / HUSSAIN RADWAN)
Updated 25 June 2018
0

World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

  • As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips
  • The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet 

JEDDAH: The world awoke on Sunday to images and video footage many thought they would never see — newly empowered Saudi women taking the wheel and driving their cars.

As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-time drivers.

The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet.

“I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and the spirit to dream,” she said.

In a tribute to Saudi female drivers, the Lebanese soprano Hiba Tawaji released a special video of a song she performed live in Riyadh at a concert last December “Today women in Saudi Arabia can legally drive their cars,” she said. “Congratulations on this achievement, this one’s for you!”

Back home in Saudi Arabia, the atmosphere was euphoric. “It’s a beautiful day,” businesswoman Samah Algosaibi said as she cruised around the city of Alkhobar. 

“Today we are here,” she said from the driver’s seat. “Yesterday we sat there,” she said, pointing to the back.

“I feel proud, I feel dignified and I feel liberated,” said Saudi Shoura Council member Lina Almaeena, one of the first women to drive in the Kingdom.

She told Arab News that the event was changing her life by “facilitating it, making it more comfortable, making it more pleasant, and making it more stress-free.”

Almaeena urged all drivers to follow the traffic and road safety rules. “What’s making me anxious is the misconduct of a lot of the drivers, the male drivers. Unfortunately they’re not as disciplined as they should be. Simple things such as changing lanes and using your signals — this is making me anxious.

“But I’m confident: I’ve driven all around the world when I travel, especially when I’m familiar with the area. It’s really mainly how to be a defensive driver because you have to be.”