More than 1,500 camel owners gather for national fair

Camel owners arrive to take part in the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival on Sunday. (AN photo)
Updated 01 January 2018
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More than 1,500 camel owners gather for national fair

JEDDAH: More than 1,500 camel owners and more than 26,000 camels are participating in a beauty pageant, with total prizes worth SR113,600,000, at the King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival.
The festival kicks off on Monday under the auspices of King Salman in Riyadh’s southern Sayahdah district of Al-Dahnaa on the road between Al-Rumahiyah and Al-Hafna.
The official spokesman for the festival, Sultan Al-Bokomi, said this year’s festival would include 28 activities. “One of the most important additions to the festival this year is the King Abdul Aziz Camel Racing Award, where camel owners compete for the largest prize for camel racing in the world,” he said.
The first day of the festival will include the launching of new accompanying events including “Saudi Al-Arada; heritage and performance, camel species and their funny stories, panoramic dome, sand arts, recreation camp, camels’ decorative drawing and other activities,” Al-Bokomi said.
The events will also include “Al-Dahnaa Caravan, Taalil tent, Our brave soldiers, Senam exhibition, Al-Hanaa market, the heritage market, and the food tent.”
Al-Bokomi pointed out that the booklet of events can be found at alaibilfestival.com, with details of how to register in other competitions.
The official spokesman called on everyone to enjoy the festival and to feel the cultural and national values in its activities and its concepts, and also to become acquainted with the huge amount of information provided in the festival and its activities about camel heritage and the culture of the desert, the first component of Saudi culture.
The competition has become an event that people have come to expect annually during the winter over the past 15 years.
The King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives (Darah) cooperated with several relevant authorities to organize this festival, especially the Ministry of the Interior, which sets regulations and procedures. The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture also contributed in setting the regulations for the veterinary aspects to protect camels.
The Ministry of Health monitors health developments associated with this occasion, while the Arriyadh Development Authority selects the location, design and planning.
The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and Information and many other bodies are working jointly to carry out a festival that matches the position of Saudi Arabia and the size of the occasion.


Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. (Supplied)
Updated 37 min 46 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

  • The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021
  • SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is fast catching up with the world’s ever-growing energy and technology scene ahead of 2030. In fact, the King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) may soon prove a global destination for energy industry investors.

The new energy city mega-project is being developed by Saudi Aramco, which received authoritization to embark on the initiative in the summer, and is operated, managed and maintained in partnership with the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON). 

With projections that the megacity will create more than 100,000 jobs, it is considered one of the most up-and-coming energy parks in the world.

SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower.

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. 

The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021, while the final phase of the project is set for completion in 2035. With all this on track, the 50-square-kilometer project is poised to be a magnet for foreign and domestic investment. 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday. (SPA)

What’s more, Aramco’s espousal of SPARK will also help businesses indulge in technological development, manufacturing and exports channels and build a world-class energy supply chain. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Energy Minister and Aramco Chairman Khalid Al-Falih declared SPARK a special economic zone (SEZ) in which businesses can enjoy exclusive benefits. 

“We are looking forward to collaborating with our first anchor partners at SPARK,” said Saudi Aramco President and CEO, Amin Nasser.

SPARK has already attracted investment from foreign and local companies to produce and manufacture goods and services. The first phase of the project is expected to cost about $1.6 billion. 

The park is set to attract industrial investors in the water, power, petrochemical and wastewater sectors, among others. 

Facilities at SPARK will also help investors bridge gaps in local production back home, increasing competition in the long run. 

“This energy city is exciting because it brings together a multitude of businesses,” Mark McCollum, president and CEO of Weatherford Corp, told SPARK.

“We firmly believe that collaboration and cooperation among service companies and individual providers to the energy sector is vital in breaking new ground.”

The King Salman Energy Park is also set to promote small and medium-sized enterprises. With focus on energy production, it also provides opportunities for investment in residential and commercial real estate projects.

Nasser said that the “King Salman Energy Park will spur a new era of growth for one of the Kingdom’s already thriving sectors. What’s more, it will serve as a central gateway to the region’s economies since Aramco is at the heart of the global oil and gas industry.”