Madinah’s date market bustling with pilgrims

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Pilgrims and visitors are seen at the Central Date Market near the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. (AN photo)
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Updated 17 February 2017
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Madinah’s date market bustling with pilgrims

MADINAH: Pilgrims and visitors are flocking to the Central Date Market near the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah to buy different kinds of dates, a traditional present upon returning to their countries.
An Arab News reporter saw waves of pilgrims of different nationalities at the bustling market.
The high-quality Ajwah date ranged from SR35 ($9) to SR50 per kilogram. The high-quality Anbarah cost SR40-55 per kilogram. Al-Safwi was sold at SR15-25 per kilogram. Al-Siqi cost SR15-20 per kilogram.
Date-shop owners at the market told Arab News that pilgrims who most like to buy dates are Turks, followed by Indonesians, Malaysians, Pakistanis and Gulf nationals.
Hammoud Alitha Al-Harbi, head of the Cooperative Agricultural Association in Madinah, told Arab News that Madinah is one of the Kingdom’s greatest producers of dates.
With the city attracting up to 10 million pilgrims and visitors throughout the year, it has became the main seller of Saudi dates.
There are almost 18,000 date palm farms in the country, with more than 3.5 million palm trees producing around 360 types. Of these, 20 kinds make up 70 percent of Madinah’s annual production, which reaches up to 300,000 tons, representing 32 percent of Saudi dates and generating around SR9 million in revenue annually.
Madinah produces the famous Ruthana and Rabeia varieties, as well as Ajwa, Barni, Majdoul, Anbara and Safawa, which are the most in-demand among residents and visitors.
Statistics show that each pilgrim buys an average of 5-10 kilograms of dates.


Saudi Arabia intercepts two ballistic missiles fired towards Aramco facility by Houthis

Updated 39 min 9 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia intercepts two ballistic missiles fired towards Aramco facility by Houthis

  • Yemen's armed Houthi movement fired two ballistic missiles at a Saudi Aramco facility in the southern city of Jazan
  • No casualties or damage to property was reported

RIYADH: Yemen's armed Houthi movement fired two ballistic missiles at a Saudi Aramco facility in the southern city of Jizan on Monday, but Saudi news agency SPA said both projectiles were destroyed.
The Houthis' Al-Masirah TV said they had targeted a port belonging to the Saudi state oil giant.
SPA quoted the spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition as saying the two missiles were intercepted over Jazan and their debris fell on residential neighborhoods.
"There were no casualties or damages recorded as of the time of (our) statement," Colonel Turki al-Maliki said.
Aramco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The company is building a 400,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Jazan, part of a new economic city on the Red Sea, and it is expected to become fully operational in 2019.
The United Nations says 10,000 people have died in the three-year-old war, and three out of four Yemenis need relief aid.
The coalition says the Houthis are armed and supported by Iran - charges the group and Tehran deny.Meanwhile,