Time for family bonding



Riyadh: Rodolfo Estimo Jr. | Arab News Staff

Published — Friday 12 July 2013

Last update 12 July 2013 3:03 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

The holy month of Ramadan has begun and residents of the Kingdom’s capital have drawn up plans on what to do during the holidays, including family bonding.
“Saudi nationals keenly await the advent of the holy month of Ramadan. It gives them and their families the chance to leave the capital for other parts of the Kingdom or the option to travel to favorite destinations overseas for quality family time,” said Abu Abdulaziz who works for a publishing firm.
But while Saudis visit other parts of the Kingdom or travel to destinations like Dubai or Malaysia, many expatriates have traditionally headed for the Eastern Province for a break.
They either drive alone with their families or in a convoy to make the three-to-four hours’ drive on wide and smooth concrete roads enjoyable.
“Going out of the Kingdom on Ramadan holidays makes you feel free — free from work and free from the confines of the city where residents are cooped up, so to speak, the whole year,” said a Sri Lankan working for a local bank.
He said the fact that there’s not much to see, if any, on both sides of the road except vast expanses of desert does not matter.
“In fact, we’ve been seeing the long stretches of undulating desert on both sides of the road as we go to the Eastern Province during Ramadan holidays. Every time we look at them, there seems to be something elusively new in them,” said Nour Nodi, a Bangladeshi working for a local firm.
Once they are in Alkhobar or Dammam, they rent a flat or stay with relatives or friends. Either they eat at restaurants or cook their own food, which includes fresh fish they have bought from the market or caught at sea.
To many of them, the sea is the reason for taking the trip. In fact, those who intend to stay only for a day just pitch a tent beside their car near the seashore. They love digging for shells at the water’s edge while the children splash around with abandon.
“For the kids, it is great fun to experience being close to the sea. It’s there, where the idea of learning how to swim starts. I’m sure it will be one of their childhood memories, which they’ll look back to when they grow up,” said Eric. P. Asi, a senior Filipino electrical engineer at a local company.
For a change, expats also go to Manama, Bahrain. Aside from enjoying the drive along the King Fahd Causeway, which links Alkhobar with Bahrain, they want to try Filipino dishes at different restaurants owned or managed by compatriots.
There are also restaurants in the Saudi capital for the Filipino community but they are fond of trying their native food if available in other countries they visit.
Others visit the malls or markets for souvenirs to buy.

“Those who have more time on their hand go to Dubai for a few days and see the famed Al Burj Tower,” an Indian working for a Saudi corporation said.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman briefed the Cabinet, on Monday, about the message he sent to the Kuwaiti emir and the messages he received from the Moroccan king and the Qatari emir.The king also spoke about the outcome of his m...
RIYADH: The Eastern Mediterranean Office (EMRO) of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday announced that the region is considered a Zika virus-free zone.Dr. Alaa Alwan, the regional director of EMRO, said that it does not mean that Middle East...
JEDDAH: The Saudi Health Council is working to establish an electronic system to prevent manipulation of sick leave holidays.Dr. Yaqoob Al-Mazrouh, secretary-general of the council, disclosed this during a seminar on Sunday. He did not elaborate on h...
RIYADH: Specialized Clinics Arabia (SCA) treated a total of 9,220 Syrians at the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan during the month of January 2016, according to Dr. Hamid Mufalana, SCA medical director.“Many of the patients were children who were given...
JEDDAH: The Jeddah police have solved the mystery surrounding the thrashing of a man by another, the video clip of which had gone viral.It was a Herculean task for the police to search for the victim, who had not bothered to lodge any complaint. The...
JEDDAH: The Cutoms Department at Yanbu’s Prince Abdul Mohsen bin Abdul Aziz Airport recently foiled an attempt to smuggle 64,165 Captagon pills found hidden in four boxes.Saad Al-Buqami, director-general of Customs at the Airport, said: “During our c...
AL-AHSA: Plans are afoot to turn the Al-Ahsa dates festival into an international event by adopting top standards in the manufacture, packaging and marketing of the product, Adel Al-Mulhim, the general supervisor of the festival, has said.Speaking du...
RIYADH: A gang comprising two women and youth has been arrested for allegedly looting cash from pharmacies and snatching women’s handbags in malls.Col. Fawaz bin Jameel Al-Maiman, police media spokesman of the Riyadh region, said the arrests were mad...
RIYADH: Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar on Sunday called for conservation of water and electricity, even as the Water and Electricity minister said Saudi Arabia will need an investment of SR500 billion for power projects over the next 10 years t...
RIYADH: More than 200,000 people accused of various crimes were investigated by the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution (BIPP) in the financial year of 1435-1436 A.H.Among the 218,000 who were investigated, around 30 percent or 65,000 were...
RIYADH: Thousands of Saudis have visited the German pavilion at the Janadriyah festival since it was opened by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman last week, in the presence of German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and German Amba...
DAMMAM: The cold wave in many parts of the Kingdom over the last week caused a decline of between 30 percent and 50 percent in farm production. This decline in turn drove prices of agricultural products at wholesale markets up by 30 percent.Farmers s...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry warned on Monday that heating devices should have a voltage of 220 volts with a capacity not exceeding 2,500 watts.The announcement was made when MCI inspectors seized more than 3,000 substandard heating...
ALKHOBAR: Nearly 100 leading figures in the government and private institutions have completed training programs specializing in integrity and anti-corruption provided by the Saafah Foundation for Good Example in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar.The secre...
JEDDAH: Iraqi authorities executed in Baghdad on Sunday a Saudi prisoner, Abdullah Azam Al-Qahtani, 35, on charges described by his family as fabricated.Al-Qahtani had spent almost 13 years in the Iraqi prisons.Rumors about the execution of Al-Qahtan...

Stay Connected

Facebook