Saudi Arabia to open sports stadiums to women from 2018

Families attend a event at King Fahad Stadium in Riyadh for Saudi National Day. (Arab News photo)
Updated 30 October 2017
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Saudi Arabia to open sports stadiums to women from 2018

JEDDAH: Women’s empowerment will take another step forward at the beginning of 2018 when families are permitted inside stadiums and other sports facilities.
It was one of a raft of decisions announced on Sunday by Turki Al-Asheikh, chairman of the General Sports Authority, aimed at supporting and stimulating the sports sector.
The authority “will start rehabilitating the main stadiums in Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah to be ready to receive families starting in 2018,” Al-Asheikh said.
The move is part of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to engage women in society as an integral part of the development process.
This month Al-Asheikh, who is also president of the Saudi Olympic Committee, appointed Princess Reema bint Bandar president of the Saudi Federation for Community Sports.
Princess Reema has also opened the new Studio 5 gym in Jeddah.  She seeks to encourage women to take exercise in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Last month, women were invited with their families to a sports stadium for the first time to attend annual National Day celebrations. Such venues had previously been male only.


ThePlace: Saudi Arabia’s ‘vegetable basket’

Updated 20 July 2018
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ThePlace: Saudi Arabia’s ‘vegetable basket’

  • Qassim in central Saudi Arabia hosts more than 8 million palm trees, which produce 205,000 tons of high quality dates every year

Al-Qassim is known for its agricultural value to Saudi Arabia. Due to the province’s fertile farming land, it is widely referred to as the Kingdom’s “vegetable basket.”

As the lushest part of the country, it is responsible for most of the Kingdom’s agriculture. Al-Qassim boasts the largest number of greenhouses in Saudi Arabia, producing a wide range of agricultural produce, including dates. 

The province hosts more than 8 million palm trees, which produce 205,000 tons of luxury dates annually that are exported regionally and internationally.

The capital of Al-Qassim, Buraidah, hosts a yearly date festival that is attended by many people, including those from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, who stock up on dates.

Al-Qassim’s farms and orchards attract nature lovers and city dwellers who wish to relax amid its palms and scenery.

These orchards have recently become an attraction for nature lovers, along with anyone who wants to get away from it all and relax. With greenery and tall palm trees surrounding the fields, Al-Qassim’s natural beauty, environmental splendor and fresh water make it the perfect destination.

Visitors come from all over to enjoy the magnificent views and get away from the dull routine of life. They are transported back in time by the simplicity showcased in the orchards by the farmers’ mud houses, and the work these laborers do from dawn until sunset, relying on authentic and traditional agricultural methods.

As well as being a tourist attraction, Al-Qassim is also known for the quality of its product. With so many farms and orchards in the region, and thanks to the fertility of its soil, a wide variety of crops can be grown, including wheat, dates, fruits and vegetables, which are sold across the Kingdom. • Photo by Saudi Press Agency