Fire damages six buildings in Jeddah’s historic center

This combination image from pictures shared on Twitter shows fire devouring adjacent buildings in Jeddah's Al-Balad district and firefighters at work. (Twitter photos)
Updated 16 August 2017
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Fire damages six buildings in Jeddah’s historic center

JEDDAH: A fire took hold of six buildings, three of which collapsed completely, in Jeddah’s historic center Tuesday, forcing 60 people to evacuate, officials said.
“Rescue teams managed Tuesday evening to evacuate about 60 people to safe areas, while firefighters extinguished the blaze that broke out at the front of six buildings, all of which were populated and within the historic area,” Col. Saeed Sarhan, civil defense spokesman in the region of Makkah, said.
Engineer Sami Nawar, mayor of the Al-Balad district, said that the affected buildings included those by the names of Al-Qumsani, Al-Ashmawi and Abdel-Aal. The names of the other affected buildings were not immediately released.
More than a dozen firefighting and rescue teams from Jeddah’s General Directorate of Civil Defense helped in battling the blaze.
By 10 p.m., firefighters managed to contain around 80 percent of the blaze, according to Nawar.
“According to preliminary information available to investigators, the fire broke out in a four-story brick building made of mud and coral limestone drawn from the Red Sea and roofed with wood. The flames extended to two other buildings within the area through wooden beams at the front of the buildings. The two buildings later collapsed,” Nawar said.

The emergency response teams rushed to the scene of the fire as soon as the incident was reported, however, witnesses said the teams were delayed due to the lack of space between buildings in the area.
The buildings in the immediate area were evacuated to ensure the safety of the neighborhood’s residents and firefighters combed the affected buildings — including those which had collapsed — to ensure no one was left inside, Sarhan said.
The Saudi Red Crescent Authority established a medical screening area close to the site in anticipation of any injuries that could have occurred during the attempt to battle the blaze. In addition, security patrols, police and the traffic department are working together with the civil defense teams to secure the area.
Sarhan confirmed that the incident did not result in any injuries or loss of life.
Jeddah’s governor, Prince Mishaal bin Majed, is in touch with the director of Jeddah’s General Directorate of Civil Defense regarding the matter.
Al-Balad is the historic center of Jeddah and the primary gateway to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.


Riyadh Eid festivities draw more than 1.5 million visitors

Updated 19 June 2018
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Riyadh Eid festivities draw more than 1.5 million visitors

  • The diversity of events the municipality provided this year offered plenty of choice to the capital’s residents and visitors.
  • The garden of King Fahd Library which received visitors over the three days of Eid witnessed interactive and entertainment shows.

JEDDAH: Riyadh municipality Eid Al-Fitr activities attracted more than 1.5 million visitors, residents and citizens over the three-day holiday.
The diversity of events the municipality provided this year offered plenty of choice to the capital’s residents and visitors.
The municipality hosted 200 functions in 30 different locations across the city. It distributed thousands of presents, balloons and candy to children to encourage them to attend Eid prayers and to bring joy to their hearts.
Riyadh’s Eid festivities in Qasr AL-Hokm included the Saudi traditional folk-dance show, activities and competitions for children, as well as folk arts and poetry shows.
The garden of King Fahd Library which received visitors over the three days of Eid witnessed interactive and entertainment shows, as well as artistic activities and sports competitions.
Riyadh municipality organized five theater shows for men and women, including two for men: Shekka Wa Noss, and Tersam Al-Wahch; two plays for women: Banat Al-Social and Umm Suwaileh Al-Sawaqa, and an open play, Al-Qarya Al-Maghdoura.
Riyadh municipality also organized three theater shows for the blind and deaf.
“Al-Qarya Al-Maghdoura” (The Betrayed Village), the first open-theater show in the Kingdom, was held in the showroom of Al-Jazeera neighborhood. It was written, directed and played by Saudis.
The municipality allocated several events and locations for the participation of humanitarian organizations by receiving them and setting private seats for them, in coordination with the Saudi Association for Deaf.
It also organized a special program to entertain women and children over the three days of Eid. The events for women included plays, free drawing and coloring sessions, artifacts and competitions.
Carnival marches were launched in the north and west of Riyadh, by 300 cartoon characters and featured the participation of touring folk groups, along with a solidarity march with soldiers, as well as classic car shows.
The capital’s residents and visitors enjoyed fireworks that lasted 10 minutes and colored the sky of Riyadh at King Fahd International Stadium, a location near King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) and a location near Wadi Leban Bridge in west Riyadh.