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.


King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed ‘lend new dimension to unification’

Millions of citizens plan to celebrate the Saudi national day on Sunday. (SPA)
Updated 23 September 2018
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King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed ‘lend new dimension to unification’

  • More than 900,000 fireworks will light up the sky from 58 locations across the Kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s National Day, celebrated every year on Sept. 23, has come a long way in broadening the concept of unification over the years.
Though the National Day meant unifying disparate sheikhdoms under the nation’s founder, the late King Abdul Aziz, its implications across the political, socioeconomic and cultural spectrum have not been lost on successive rulers.
It was King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who fine-tuned the definition of unification as an operating philosophy. This is why millions of citizens plan to celebrate the Saudi National Day on the streets on Sunday.
The capital city, along with other Saudi cities, will witness fireworks and the unfurling of the largest national flag. More than 900,000 fireworks will light up the sky from 58 locations across the Kingdom.
Car owners, limousine drivers and young Saudi motorcyclists said that they planned to go for drives, particularly on the fashionable streets of the capital city, to celebrate. Grocery shops, stationery shops and vendors were selling bunting, flags, banners and pictures of national heroes.
“We went around the city to see the lighting and fireworks,” said Saleh Al-Omri, a local pharmacist. “Green and white balloons fill either sides of Riyadh streets,” he said.
In his National Day congratulatory message, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, said: “The wise policy of the leaders of this country contributed to peace, security and stability.”
Fakhr Al-Shawaf, chief executive of Al-Bawani Contracting Co., said: “We are celebrating the 88th anniversary of our unification, a day when the late King Abdul Aziz established the Saudi nation.”
Ali Al-Othaim, a member of Riyadh Chamber’s board of directors, said: “The Kingdom is on the path of comprehensive economic and social development under Vision 2030.”
Shafik Namdar, a taxi driver, said that he had bought an SR10 flag for his car and planned to work and also drive with his friends to look at the city and its landmark buildings.
Several young boys, including Arslan, 12, and Mishal, 14, said that they had bought bunting, badges and flags to decorate their houses. They planned to celebrate with a special meal at home with relatives, before going into the city streets for dance and music. Some of them had plans to organize celebrations in public parks.