Duba-Suez ferry service resumes after 9 years

Updated 11 June 2014
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Duba-Suez ferry service resumes after 9 years

The first passenger ferry between the Egyptian city of Suez and the Saudi port of Duba resumes on June 18 after nine years, sources told Arab News recently.
The Egyptian Red Sea Authority is working with authorities in the Kingdom to have the first trip as an experiment from the newly refurbished port.
Mohammed Abdel Hamid Al-Bukhari, the previous head of the maritime transport committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the ferry would depart from Port Tawfiq in the city of Suez.
Al-Bukhari praised the Egyptians for renovations he saw during his last visit to the port, which includes a new road leading to the harbor, a pilgrims’ village and parking area for cars.
Once fully operational, the new route could see 100,000 pilgrims head to Saudi Arabia this year, said Ahmed Al-Owaifi, head of the Al-Zarqa’ tourism and travel agency.
He said it would be more affordable for pilgrims because of the rising cost of airfares between the two countries.
“It will encourage many passengers to use this port close to Cairo, in contrast to the Safaga port, which is far away,” said Al-Owaifi.
Maj. Gen. Ali Al-Sharif, vice president of the Red Sea Ports Authority, said a new ticketing system would be introduced soon, which includes internal transportation in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The Red Sea route for pilgrims and workers has been operating between Duba and Safaga. It was on this route that the Egyptian ferry Al-Salam 98 sank in February 2006, killing 1,000 passengers, mostly Egyptians working in Saudi Arabia. The disaster was one of the deadliest in modern maritime history, according to reports.
In 1991, an Egyptian ferry, Salem Express, sank in the Red Sea between Jeddah and Safaga, leading to the loss of nearly 500 lives.


KSA grants $84.7bn in aid to 79 countries: KSRelief chief

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), speaks at the University of Warsaw on Saturday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 19 min 56 sec ago
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KSA grants $84.7bn in aid to 79 countries: KSRelief chief

  • Al-Rabeeah said that KSRelief was running a program to rehabilitate Yemeni children recruited by the Houthi militias

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has given $84.7 billion in foreign aid to 79 countries between 1996-2018, according to Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief).
Al-Rabeeah highlighted Saudi Arabia’s contributions to international humanitarian and relief work, and said that the Kingdom had saved millions of people from conflicts and crises, regardless of their religion or ethnicity.
Al-Rabeeah was speaking during a seminar on the Kingdom’s humanitarian efforts at the University of Warsaw on Saturday, in the presence of Saudi Ambassador to Poland Mohammed Madani, Ambassador of Yemen to Poland Mervat Majali, and officials of the Foreign Ministry of Poland.
The royal decree establishing KSRelief was issued on May 13, 2015. Since then, it has carried out 482 projects in 42 countries worth $924,553,000. About 86 percent of the projects have been allocated to Yemen with a value of $659,271,000.
Al-Rabeeah said that the center implemented 206 projects for women worth $341,481,000, as well as 171 projects for children worth $504,962,000.
He added that the Kingdom had taken in 561,911 Yemeni refugees, 283,449 Syrian refugees and 249,669 refugees from Myanmar, the equivalent of 5.36 percent of the population of Saudi Arabia, putting it in second place internationally in terms of the number of refugees accepted.
Al-Rabeeah said that total Saudi assistance to Yemen since 2015 had reached $11.18 billion, noting that KSRelief has carried out 294 projects in Yemen in partnership with 80 UN and international and local NGOs.
Al-Rabeeah said that the response of KSRelief to the appeal by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF for $66.7 million to combat the cholera epidemic in Yemen, as well as the projects allocated by KSRelief for women in Yemen from 2015 to date, amounted to 132 projects valued at $281,457,000. There have been 136 projects for children worth $469,867,000.
He highlighted that the Saudi project for mine clearance in Yemen, “Masam,” had been conducted by more than 400 people working in 32 teams within Yemeni territory during the preparation phase, and five specialized teams for rapid intervention, benefiting 9 million beneficiaries.
The costs of the project amounted to $40 million in the governorates of Marib, Aden, Taiz and Sanaa. More than 1 million land mines had been planted in Yemen, more than the number planted in World War II, he said.
Al-Rabeeah said that KSRelief was running a program to rehabilitate Yemeni children recruited by the Houthi militias, who use them as human shields. KSRelief is rehabilitating and providing care for 2,000 children through social, psychological, cultural and sports programs.