Murabba Palace: The historical divan of King Abdul Aziz

Updated 25 September 2012
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Murabba Palace: The historical divan of King Abdul Aziz

The Murabba Palace played a significant role in the early history of the Kingdom as the Founder, King Abdul Aziz had the palace as his divan. The palace was the hub of all administrative decisions besides the Al-Hukum Palace. King Abdul Aziz used to receive kings and heads of state who visited him and make historical agreements at the Murabba palace.
The palace was built in 1936 when the king ordered construction of a new building complex. The old Riyadh city had become too crowded to accommodate any more buildings and the city walls had only five gates. The new palaces were built outside the city in a single compound.
These buildings were called the Murabba Complex and one of these palaces housed the king’s administrative headquarters. It was Prince Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman who first built a palace outside the city and it was named Atiqah Palace followed by Prince Saud Al-Kabeer with the construction of Al-Shamsiah Palace. Another palace built in the same period was Al-Badiah Palace as a guesthouse for visiting dignitaries.
The palace complex was built on a plot called ‘Murabba Al-Sufyan,’ which was used for farming during rainy season, according to the documents at the King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives (Darah).
The location is only two kilometers from the old city and was surrounded by gardens in the south, the Batha valley in the east, and Wadi Abu Rafie in the west and small hills on the north. Built in the Arab architectural style, the two-story palace has 32 rooms. The materials used in the construction of the palace included bricks, indigenous stones, tamarisk trunk and palm-leaf stalks.
The king’s audience hall, offices of administrative affairs, communications and guest chambers were on the upper floor while the ground floor had the offices for palace utilities, security and administration.
The major decisions taken in the palace included the setting up of a separate Ministry of Defense, launch of the Saudi Broadcasting and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, and the issuing of an independent Saudi currency.
This was also the palace where King Abdul Aziz received kings and heads of various state, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.


What to wear in 2019: The fashion trends that will dominate the next 12 months

Snakeskin is a major trend in 2019. (Getty Images)
Updated 17 January 2019
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What to wear in 2019: The fashion trends that will dominate the next 12 months

  • The top fashion trends of 2019
  • From Popcorn sweaters to patchwork pieces

DUBAI: Here are some of the top fashion trends that will rule in 2019.
POPCORN SWEATERS
One of the best ways to identify trends these days is to keep an eye on Pinterest. And pom-pom covered sweaters and cardigans — created using circular crochet bobbles known as popcorn stitches — showed a serious surge in (p)interest toward the end of 2018, with pins featuring the kitsch-y style increasing by 1,395 percent in a short space of time — according to the online bulletin board’s “Pinterest 100” report — marking it out as one of the new year’s major trends and the coolest way to stay warm in the region’s cooler months or on trips to colder climates.

RUCHING
It’s an American designer with Lebanese roots, Norma Kamali, who’s often credited with bringing gathered fabrics into the mainstream and popularizing ruching in the 1980s. In 2018, an American model with Palestinian roots — Bella Hadid — was one of numerous runway walkers sporting ruched clothes on the catwalks to promote 2019 collections. Versatile, flattering and easy-to-wear, ruching is one of this year’s most popular ways to make a silhouette sizzle.

SNAKESKIN
Forget leopard- or zebra-print. This year, for those wanting to take a walk on the wild side, the big game is snakes — at least according to several fashion tipsters (including the “Pinterest 100”) and based on the runways of the Spring/Summer 2019 shows, from Gucci’s snakeskin cami dress to Gigi Hadid walking in a snake-print skirt for Versace at Milan Fashion Week. Stay on-trend by shunning the real thing and opting for an eco-friendly faux-snake piece.

YELLOW
Just as Coldplay predicted before they blanded themselves vanilla, it’s “all yellow” this year. Marigold (or “Gen Z,” if you want to get all millennial about it) yellow, specifically, will continue to surf the wave of popularity it grabbed last year, thanks to young celebs including Millie Bobbie Brown (“Stranger Things”) and Yara Shahidi (“Black-ish”) putting it in the spotlight. But lemon yellow, too, will be brightening up the streets this year, as suggested by designers including Marc Jacobs and Chanel at their Spring/Summer shows.

NEON
If yellow isn’t quite bold enough for whatever statement you’re looking to make, you’ll be glad to hear that even-more-eye-searing color — in the form of neon — is also riding high in 2019’s trending fashion lists. After years of pastel design dominance, vibrant tones are going to be big this year. From Off-White’s combo of the snakeskin and neon trends at Paris Fashion Week to Jasper Conran’s doubling-down on neon in London, the Spring-Summer runways were full of them.

TIE-DYE
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a trend long-ridiculed as hopelessly out-of-date will one day be repurposed as bleeding-edge fashion. In 2019, it’s the turn of tie-dye. The style beloved by hippies and psychedelic-rock fans is returning with a vengeance, kickstarted by getting much love shown to it at New York Fashion Week. Admittedly, the 2019 version looks a bit tidier than the retro DIY done-in-my-bathtub styling that was popular last time around, but the kaleidoscopic, flowery patterns at its heart are straight out of the Sixties.

PATCHWORK
Forget the homely, rustic/frumpy vibe traditionally associated with patchwork — in 2019, mismatched patterns will be everywhere, from coats to shoes. High-end designers including Libertine and Isabel Marant (who went for patchwork denim — a fabric that will also be big this year) gave patchwork with a modern twist serious exposure on the catwalks at the major fashion weeks, and that’s already started to rub off on high-street retailers, ensuring patchwork blanket (!) coverage in the near future.

OVERSIZED HATS
If you follow Instagram fashionistas, then this is one trend you’ll definitely have already identified. Big (but, like, BIG) hats were all over social feeds last summer, and brands aren’t going to miss out on the chance to shift a few units this time around — meaning we’ll likely see a swing from cult status to mainstream approval for massive headwear this year.