High-speed Haramain train makes pilot trip

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Updated 21 November 2017
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High-speed Haramain train makes pilot trip

JEDDAH: The mega public transport project in the Makkah region on Tuesday received the first pilot trip of the high-speed Haramain train between Jeddah and Makkah, which departed from the Sulaymaniyah station in Jeddah.
Boarding the train for this first rail journey were Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, adviser to King Salman and governor of Makkah region, his deputy, Prince Abdullah bin Bandar, Minister of Transport Nabil Al-Amoudi and several officials.
Al-Faisal congratulated King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the success of the first train trip between Jeddah and Makkah. He also congratulated the Islamic world, visitors to the holy city and the Saudi people on this occasion.
“Great achievements aren’t unusual in Saudi Arabia given the leadership’s keenness on serving Islam and Muslims, as well as developing this country, which has continued to prosper and advance since the day it was united,” he said.
Al-Faisal pointed out that development of this region has given it high status at a global level, indicating that “our leadership taught us to seek the best and improve all services, especially those targeting Muslims.”
For his part, Minister of Transport Nabil Al-Amoudi said: “Given the project’s magnitude and complexity, it faced several obstacles, but it will be completed in January 2018.”
He also pointed out that there are plans to connect the train to other areas in Makkah and connect the Jeddah Islamic Port to the rail network.
The rail network contains five stations, including the Makkah station, which plays a strategic role due to its location and its representation of this mega project’s completion, said the chairman of the Public Transport Authority, Rumaih bin Mohammed Al-Rumaih.
He added: “This 503,000-square-meter station, which can accommodate 19,500 passengers per hour, is located in Al-Rusaifa at the main entrance of the city of Makkah, less than 4km from the Holy Mosque of Makkah. It also houses a modern transport center that provides buses to and from the Holy Mosque and is ready to connect to the Makkah metro network.”
The Haramain Express Train is one of the largest transportation projects in the Middle East. It is a 450km electric rail track connecting Makkah and Madinah via Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City, running at speeds of up to 300kph, and is set to carry 60 million passengers every year.
The official launch of the Haramain train will take place in 2018 and will include the launch of 35 trains, each of which with 417 seats.


Saudi Arabia to host forum to observe World Heritage Day next year

Riyadh hosts the sixth National Urban Heritage Forum in April with its focus on investment opportunities in the urban heritage. (Reuters)
Updated 4 min 30 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia to host forum to observe World Heritage Day next year

  • forum will encourage private investment to capitalize on the country’s rich urban heritage
  • Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage hosts the forum each year in a different part of the Kingdom

RIYADH: The Saudi capital will host the sixth National Urban Heritage Forum (NUHF) next April to coincide with World Heritage Day, with its focus on investment opportunities in urban heritage.

“The four-day National Built Heritage Forum will be launched in Riyadh on April 15,” said Majed Alshadeed, a spokesman for the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), on Thursday, adding that the forum will culminate on April 18, World Heritage Day. World Heritage Day is celebrated every year on April 18 with the aim of preserving the human heritage and recognizing the efforts of the relevant organizations in the field.

Organized by SCTH under the umbrella of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cultural Heritage Program, the 6th forum will encourage private investment to capitalize on the country’s rich urban heritage.

The forum will look at developing business models in the management and development of — and investment in — urban heritage sites, as well as the development of crafts and handicrafts.

The heritage forum is organized each year by the SCTH in a different province in collaboration with the relevant governorates, municipalities and local universities, following the recommendations of the first International Conference for Urban Heritage in the Islamic Countries, which was held in Riyadh in 2010.

The first session of the NUHF was organized in Makkah province, the second in the Eastern Province, the third in Madinah province, the fourth in Asir province and the fifth in Al-Qassim province.

Next year’s forum seeks to invest the expertise, knowledge and experience that the SCTH has gained and transfer it to the four economic sectors working in urban heritage. These sectors are construction, restoration and contracting, site operation, human resources development, and services and industries related to urban heritage.

The forum will include the distribution of prizes to the projects winning the Prince Sultan bin Salman Urban Heritage Awards, exhibitions, scientific sessions, workshops and business meetings with Saudi and international experts and consultants to discuss investment opportunities in urban heritage. There will also be a specialized expo for companies and institutions working in the sectors of the economics of architectural heritage, restoration and engineering consultancy.