Kaaba Kiswa exhibit at Saudi Souq Okaz attracts crowds

Kiswa factory worker embroidering black cloth with gold thread. (SPA)
Updated 18 July 2017
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Kaaba Kiswa exhibit at Saudi Souq Okaz attracts crowds

JEDDAH: An exhibition of the Kaaba Kiswa factory at Souq Okaz in Taif is experiencing great attention from visitors.
The Kiswa exhibit was set up to introduce people to efforts exerted by the government of Saudi Arabia, and its great care in serving the Two Holy Mosques, and the Kaaba since the unification of this country under the founding King Abdul Aziz.
The Kiswa factory is participating in Souq Okaz this year through a unique exhibition that illustrates phases of Kiswa development through the ages until now, and the historical and religious importance of the Kaaba.
Preparing the Kiswa takes several months and needs large amounts of precious metals and pure silk. Around 170 craftsmen are involved in the process which passes through various stages until the Kiswa is ready. The Kiswa is usually placed on the Kaaba on the day of Arafat.
The wing also describes the process of making the Kiswa which uses 47 layers of natural black silk, or around 760 kilograms of raw silk which is dyed inside the factory; the textile is 37.1-mm think and lined with white cotton.
The Kiswa factory exhibition allows its visitors to observe hand embroidery with gold and silver threads which is done by a number of specialists in this field, in addition to cotton threads with various densities.


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of the Qiddiya Project

Updated 24 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of the Qiddiya Project

  • Qiddiya Project is the new entertainment, sports and cultural destination in the Kingdom
  • The first phase will be completed by 2022

RIYADH: Saudi King Salman will launch the construction of an “entertainment city” near Riyadh Wednesday, authorities said, part of a series of multi-billion dollar projects as the Kingdom seeks to diversity its oil-reliant economy.
The 334-square kilometer project in Qiddiya, southwest of Riyadh, would rival Walt Disney and include high-end theme parks, motor sport facilities and a safari park, officials say.
The facility highlights a “relentless effort to develop giga-projects that will help achieve many direct and indirect economic returns,” project official Fahd bin Abdullah Tounsi was quoted as saying in a government statement on Monday.
Qiddiya chief executive Michael Reininger said he expects the project will draw foreign investors in entertainment and other sectors, but did not specify the total cost of construction.
Such projects are the brainchild of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a self-styled liberal change agent who is the chief architect of the sweeping “Vision 2030” reform program.
Saudi Arabia has dazzled investors with several plans for hi-tech “giga projects,” funded in part by its sovereign wealth fund, but some skeptics question their viability in an era of cheap oil.
The Kingdom has unveiled blueprints to build NEOM, a mega project billed as a regional Silicon Valley, in addition to the Red Sea project, a reef-fringed resort destination — both worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
Analysts say the projects could create funding pressures at a time when the government faces a yawning budget deficit and growth in the Kingdom’s non-oil economy is only slowly gathering pace.
The reform stems partly from an economic motive to boost domestic spending on entertainment as the Kingdom has been reeling from an oil slump since 2014.
Saudis currently splurge billions of dollars annually to see films and visit amusement parks in neighboring tourist hubs like Dubai and Bahrain.
In February, Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) announced it will stage more than 5,000 festivals and concerts in 2018, double the number of last year, and pump $64 billion in the sector in the coming decade.