World’s biggest camel fest kicks off in Rumah

Celebrating the culture and way of life of Saudi Arabia and Bedouin traditions, the festival attracts about 300,000 camels and their owners.
Updated 20 March 2017
0

World’s biggest camel fest kicks off in Rumah

RIYADH: The world’s biggest camel festival, held under the patronage of King Salman, begun on Sunday in Rumah, 120 kilometers northeast of Riyadh.
The 28-day King Abdulaziz Camel Festival will feature a camel beauty contest, with prizes amounting to a staggering SR114 million ($30 million).
The competition, having been founded in 1999 by a group of local Bedouin people, went on to receive support from the Saudi royal family. Due to its rising popularity it turned into a heritage festival, attracting people from across the GCC to travel to showcase their finest camels.
Celebrating the culture and way of life of Saudi Arabia and Bedouin traditions, today the festival attracts about 300,000 camels and their owners.
“The festival will offer a lot to the Saudis and foreigners in terms of history, heritage and entertainment,” said Dr. Talal bin Khalid Al-Tarify, spokesman of the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, here Sunday. A major award ceremony will be organized during the course of the festival.
Al-Tarify said that an exhibition has been staged on the sidelines of the festival. The “Sanam Exhibition” will shed light on the history of the camel’s role as “the ship of the desert.”
A “Camel Carnival” has also been organized in which festival visitors can learn how to ride a camel.
“Not only will the festival include initiatives to raise awareness and celebrate core regional cultural and heritage practices, but will also utilize the latest in technologies and creative concepts to offer a one-of-a-kind memorable, and fun filled festival,” Al-Tarify said.
Reflecting the uniting role the camel has played for the Kingdom throughout history, Al-Tarify said that “economically, politically, socially and within culture, camels are not only referred to throughout ancient religious texts and poetry but are a source of food, drink, transport, a trading pillar, as well as source of pride and loyal friend to man.”

Al-Tarify pointed out that camel auctioning will take place daily using pioneering equipment set within a luxurious area especially set aside for trading.
The festival will also host a mix of competitions and partnerships relating to and building awareness for the arts including a poetry competition.
“A collaboration with National Geographic will be hosting a competition for the best festival image captured,” Al-Tarify noted.


KSA’s Madinah to host 4-day international conference on ‘humanizing cities’

Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman
Updated 24 April 2018
0

KSA’s Madinah to host 4-day international conference on ‘humanizing cities’

  • The conference will review global trends in the areas of “humanization of cities” and “living cities
  • The event is being organized by the Development Authority of Madinah

JEDDAH: The First International Conference on Humanizing Cities will take place from May 7 to 10 at Taibah University in Madinah.

The event is being organized by the Development Authority of Madinah, under the patronage of Prince Faisal bin Salman, governor of Madinah region and chairman of the Development Authority of Madinah.

The conference will review global trends in the areas of “humanization of cities” and “living cities,” looking at modern ways to develop public places, city centers and neighborhoods to improve urban spaces and the quality of urban life, so that cities are more friendly and comfortable places to live.

There will be discussions of the best ways to develop cities, and of the most suitable local and international mechanisms for doing so to most benefit residents. Ways to encourage various sectors and communities to get involved in the initiatives and humanization projects will also be examined.

There will be 20 panel discussions, including presentations, case studies and open debates on the humanization of cities. The participants will include 20 international experts in the planning and development of cities, public areas and open spaces, and 27 distinguished local experts in architecture, design, planning and urban development. The speakers come from 14 countries, including Saudi Arabia, the US, Canada, the Netherlands, the UK, Sweden, Germany, Greece, Singapore, Indonesia, Bahrain, UAE, Egypt and Jordan.

A number of experts and academics will take part, including: Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, a professor at Harvard University Graduate School of Design; Charles Landry, a British planner known for his studies on creative cities; Joel Kotkin; Michael Mahaffey; Khoo Teng Chye, director of the Center for Liveable Cities in Singapore; Michael Sorkin, a professor at Columbia University in New York; Fred Kent, the founder and president of the Public Spaces Project; and Herbert Dreiseitl, director of The Liveable Cities Lab.

The conference will also feature senior officials from the Kingdom and other Gulf countries, and Saudi mayors. Directors of regional and international organizations working in the field will also take part and visit the Development Authority of Madinah to discuss the current state and future of moves to humanize cities.

Speakers will discuss a number of key themes, including the principles and practices of achieving human cities, a review of how best to manage them, and the role of local authorities, highlighting planning and design, and the part played by public areas and open spaces.

Other aspects covered by the conference include the financing and the transformation of cities to make them more suitable for all residents. The integration of environmental sustainability with humanization programs will also be discussed, as will the role of culture and education.

The conference will also present and discuss the experiences gained through the projects and initiatives that are part of the Humanization Madinah project carried out by Madinah Development Authority, which aims to make Madinah an example for the development of modern cities.

The conference is targeted at specialists in ministries and other government agencies and bodies, leaders of local administrations, and employees of non-profit organizations, private-sector institutions, universities and specialized research centers, along with other researchers and individuals interested in the field.