Spanish king keen on boosting Saudi trade ties

Spanish King Felipe VI speaks at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday. (AN photo)
Updated 17 January 2017
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Spanish king keen on boosting Saudi trade ties

RIYADH: Spanish King Felipe VI expressed Monday his country’s desire to bolster economic, trade and investment relations with Saudi Arabia.
Speaking at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), the visiting king said that bilateral relations between the two countries rest on a long-standing historical and cultural base.
Saudi Arabia and Spain are already established trading partners, with Spain ranking third among the biggest European importers from the Kingdom, King Felipe VI said at the chamber.
The king said that the presence of many Spanish companies and their contribution to developmental projects in the Kingdom is proof of the technical experience of the Spanish companies.
He voiced the desire of Spanish companies to contribute to the objectives set under the Vision 2030 reform plan and the National Transformation Program.
The success achieved by the Spanish companies in implementing developmental projects in the Kingdom is considered a stimulus to implement more projects, the king underscored.
Ahmad Sulaiman Al-Rajhi, chairman of the board of directors of the RCCI, said the Spanish king’s visit will give a boost to Saudi-Spanish relations.
“Saudi (Arabia’s) business sector appreciates the level of relations between the two countries, thanks to the support of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and King Felipe VI,” he said.
The Spanish king earlier paid a visit to the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE), where he was welcomed by the city’s president, Hashem Abdullah Yamani.
During the meeting they discussed various aspects of mutual cooperation in the field of the peaceful use of atomic and renewable energy.
The visiting king, accompanied by Minister of Culture and Information Adel Al-Toraifi, was briefed on K.A.CARE’s programs in the field of sustainable energy.


Saudi Commission for Tourism completes training for Hajj guides

Muslim worshippers perform prayers around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Makkah on August 15, 2018, prior to the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city. (AFP)
Updated 17 August 2018
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Saudi Commission for Tourism completes training for Hajj guides

  • A license takes any traditional work to a professional level, and hosting pilgrims must be included in this initiative, as part of Vision 2030
  • We must look at tourism as an industry through which we present our vision, our goals and our ambitions

MAKKH: In a breakthrough initiative for Tawafa institutions, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has completed the training of 135 male and female Tawafa guides — religious guides for Hajj pilgrims — who have obtained tour guide licenses.
The training is the first step in a program that will enable national Tawafa establishments to obtain tour guide licenses. The ceremony for the first of the tour guides to graduate from the training course took place in Makkah on Tuesday, at the National Tawafa Establishment for Pilgrims of Arab Countries (ARBHAJ).
SCTH Director-General Dr. Hisham bin Mohammed Madani said the commission has honored more than 135 male and female “Mutawwifs,” or guides, from ARBHAJ under the partnership between the SCTH and the ARBHAJ to train Tawafa guides to obtain tour guide licenses.
Madani said this is the first phase of an initiative to train guides at all Tawafa establishments, introducing pilgrims to a new concept by helping them visit all historical and archaeological sites and museums in Makkah after performing Hajj rituals.
“Tour guides are more and more dynamic and effective in the tourism industry, and have become an important and effective source of historical information,” he said and added that the tour guide now also functions as an ambassador for the authentic culture of the Kingdom, reflecting its cultural, natural and historical heritage.
Licensing Tawaf guides as tour guides, Madani said, will enrich the tourist experience in the holy capital.
The SCTH chief noted that the city is rich with myriad cultural treasures that need someone to showcase them for tourists.
“We at SCTH presented our experience in qualifying accredited tour guides and we look forward to improving tourism outputs to match the reality and requirements of the new phase,” he said. “In order to reach this goal, we are collaborating with all partners to reach satisfactory results to deal with all nationalities, tongues and cultural backgrounds from all parts of the world with satisfaction, love and positivity.”
“We must look at tourism as an industry through which we present our vision, our goals and our ambitions. Makkah is the holy city that every Muslim looks forward to visiting after hearing about its great heritage. Our role is to provide knowledge and keep abreast of the tourist vision by qualifying and training tour guides, equipping them with the necessary skills and qualifications and honing their skills through required training programs. To this end, all partners must join their efforts and collaborate together to reach the desired goals.”

Initiative
Dr. Abdul Fattah bin Suleiman Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, said that the ministry is implementing an initiative to provide a professional license for everyone working at Hajj, not just in Tawaf.
He said: “A license takes any traditional work to a professional level, and hosting pilgrims must be included in this initiative, as part of Vision 2030, to focus on enriching the pilgrims’ experience, and not only on increasing their numbers.”
Mashat said it was important for pilgrims’ journeys to be coupled with trips to historical and archaeological sites. “We rely on male and female Tawaf guides to organize well-thought-out trips for the pilgrims so that they can enjoy all the historical and archaeological sites and landmarks in Makkah,” he added.