‘Virgin’ caves could be the next big tourist destination in Saudi Arabia, experts say

The Dome in Dahl Murubbeh (Courtesy: saudicaves.com)
Updated 13 November 2017
0

‘Virgin’ caves could be the next big tourist destination in Saudi Arabia, experts say

RIYADH: The Kingdom is home to great natural caves that can be prime tourist destinations and provide economic benefits, geologist Dr. Mahmoud Al-Shanty said.
Many of the Kingdom’s caves are familiar to the locals, who use them as sources of shelter and water, Al-Shanty said in a speech at the first Saudi Antiquities Forum. He indicated that experts from the Saudi Geological Survey had discovered more cavities and streams in sedimentary rocks in previously discovered caves, as well as finding new caves in many regions.
He said studies in a region of 89,000 sq km in a volcanic lava field have shown that the region consists of many lava tube caves.
In some of these caves bones, antiquities and even new living creatures were discovered that will interest archaeologists, biologists and paleontologists. It was also found that the structure of caves and cavities holds important information for climate scientists about weather patterns in the Arabian Peninsula and the process of desertification.
Al-Shanty said the scientific studies on Saudi caves have shown that when the caves are prepared and opened for tourists, they will have a great impact on the economy. A plan to prepare several caves has been developed in cooperation with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), he added.
Dr. Daniel Fisher, from the University of Michigan in the US, said modern techniques were used in discovering the biological history of elephants found on the Arabian Peninsula.
One hypothesis on the extinction of these elephants suggests that it was caused by climate change.
Dr. Iyad Zalmout of the Saudi Geological Survey revealed that he and his team collected 62 samples from An-Nafud desert, which revealed information about the prevailing environment in ancient times.
He said: “We found bones of deer, horses, giraffes, zebras, ostrich and birds, and the amazing thing is that we found bones of a giant elephant that used to live there when the region was still a green rainforest.”
Zalmout called for intensifying research and studies in this field that can eventually unveil a very important historic period of geological nature in the Arabian Peninsula.


Digital-screen buses aim to boost Saudi patriotism

Saudi Islamic Affairs organized a wide range of activities, including a display of Saudi leadership’s visuals on digital-screen buses. (SPA)
Updated 25 September 2018
0

Digital-screen buses aim to boost Saudi patriotism

  • King Abdul Aziz International Competition for Memorizing the Holy Qur’an” will be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah on Oct. 6

RIYADH: To mark the National Day, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs organized a wide range of activities, including a display of Saudi leadership’s visuals on digital-screen buses, as well as cars distributing gifts among citizens and expats in Riyadh and other cities.
Under the directives of Minister of Islamic Affairs, Sheikh Abdullatif bin Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, more than 28 million text messages are being sent through the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) to promote national values.  The move is taken in cooperation with the General Directorate for Scientific and Intellectual Awareness.
Separately, authorities said recently that “King Abdul Aziz International Competition for Memorizing the Holy Qur’an” will be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah on Oct. 6.
Commenting on the event, Al-Asheikh praised King Salman for his special care and attention for the competition. Al-Asheikh said the contest it aimed to encourage Muslims to memorize, recite and interpret the holy book. He noted that the ministry has completed its preparations to receive participants for the competition.