KSA joins International Museum Day celebrations

Updated 20 May 2014
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KSA joins International Museum Day celebrations

Saudi Arabia joined the world on May 18 to observe the International Museum Day with a week-long celebration.
The day is observed every year in coordination with the International Council of Museums (ICoM) to highlight a specific theme and it is being celebrated at all the museums across the Kingdom including the National museum which is marking the occasion with various activities and interactive sessions.
Jamal Omar, director general of museums at SCTA said on Monday, “The Kingdom, represented by the Saudi Commission of Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), is holding the International Museum Day this week and joining the world in celebrating the occasion with various activities.”
“To mark the occasion SCTA will organize a number of lectures in the National Museum at King Abdul Aziz Historical Center in Riyadh in addition to a number of state museums across the Kingdom,” he said.
Omar further spelled out, “Since the SCTA understands the important role of museums to bridge the past with the present, it has undertaken initiatives to create a cultural shift in society’s view toward museums and the development of a museum culture by implementing the construction of five new regional museums in Baha, Dammam, Tabuk, Asir and Hail in addition to the development of six existing museums in various municipalities, besides establishing a number of specialized museums.”
“These efforts aim to link the Saudi people to their heritage and make them acquainted with the history of their country informing them on the latest archaeological discoveries that were made in their regions,” he underlined.
He further stated that the SCTA has also undertaken to establish two specialized museums: The first is the Islamic heritage museum in Jeddah inside Khozam Palace and the second is Dar Al-Qur’an museum in Madinah, in addition to developing a number of existing museums in
Al-Ula, Tem’a, Domat Al Jondal, Najran, Sebia and Al Hofuf.
He noted that the world this year is celebrating the occasion in light of the importance of cultural tourism and the role of museums in introducing tourists to the cultures of the country they visit.
According to a statement issued by the ICoM, “The world is distancing itself from traditional forms of relations, so museums should find new ways to attract visitors and make their collections more accessible in order to arouse public interest.”
Omar further said that SCTA’s celebrations will include a number of events, featuring presentations, women artisans’ pavilion and a photo gallery of past occasions held by the National museum.
A number of lectures will also be held to mark the occasion in addition to a workshop which will be attended by the owners of private museums in the Kingdom to discuss issues related to museum management and development as well as better ways to establish effective relationships between the public and the museum and appropriate means for applying the work mechanisms set by the ICoM.
The SCTA also provides private museums with operation licenses and technical and media support, he said adding that the technical support includes restoring archaeological items, museum showcasing techniques and other museum activities.
SCTA’s Tabuk branch is also showcasing some selected items from the local private museums at the Tabuk historic castle besides holding another show to propagate knowledge among the visitors of Tabuk on its tourism and archaeological sites to highlight the history of the region.
The annual celebrations were first initiated in 1977, when ICoM decided to devote a special day for museums in an attempt to enhance the relationship between the museum and the society.


Saudi Civil Defense steps up safety plan for pilgrims

Fire safety and evacuation procedures have also been shown on TV at hotels in Makkah’s central area. (SPA)
Updated 31 sec ago
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Saudi Civil Defense steps up safety plan for pilgrims

  • The department is raising safety awareness through broadcasts for residents and pilgrims on social media platforms and screens throughout the city

MAKKAH: Makkah’s Civil Defense has boosted its inspection program in the city as it works to ensure worshippers’ safety during Ramadan.
Lt. Col. Fawwaz bin Ibrahim Al-Zayidi, director of the safety department at the General Directorate of Civil Defense in Makkah, said that more than 16,300 pilgrim and visitor facilities in the city have been inspected since the start of the year, with an average of 91 daily visits.
Inspection of facilities frequented by pilgrims and Makkah’s residents have been intensified since the start of Ramadan, he said.
The department’s safety work focuses on preventive supervision of facilities and issuing of licenses. A total of 5,755 licenses have been issued since the start of the year, including 635 licenses for hotels and furnished apartments, and 228 for restaurants.
Al-Zayidi said that more than 2,140 inspections have taken place, including hotels, furnished apartments, restaurants and several businesses.
The department is raising safety awareness through broadcasts for residents and pilgrims on social media platforms and screens throughout the city.
Fire safety and evacuation procedures have also been shown on TV at hotels in Makkah’s central area.