Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage uses hot springs to boost investment in medical tourism

Ghumaiga village is known for its hot springs, where many patients with skin-related illnesses travel to the village from across the Kingdom to benefit from the therapeutic features of its water. (Photo courtesy: Al Watan)
Updated 10 January 2018
0

Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage uses hot springs to boost investment in medical tourism

JEDDAH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has been pushing businesspeople to invest in medical tourism that can boost the local tourism sector.
The SCTH has established a number of facilities around the places where geothermal waters flow, with the aim of attracting investors to establish spas in more than five areas in the Kingdom.
The SCTH’s deputy president for programs and products, Abdullah Al-Murshid, told Arab News that the historical Ain Najm in Al-Ahsa is one of the most prominent touristic sites in the Kingdom.
“With its hot sulfuric water, It has long been a tourist attraction,” he said. For a long time it has been known as a place where pilgrims can gather before heading to Makkah.
As part of its plan to pave the way for investment in touristic sites, the SCTH established public facilities around the geothermal waters of Al-Dobdobah well in the Khasara area in the Eastern Province, about 50km from Hafr Al-Battin on the way to Kuwait.
“It is an artesian well that was dug 30 years ago and its sulfur-containing water flows from a depth of 2,710 meters. Its temperature is 65C and it can be made cooler by adding normal water. Some people want to use mineral water to treat rheumatism and skin diseases,” Al-Murshid said.
With 69C water, Wadi Al-Khalab hot water springs, 137m above sea level, are even hotter. The spring is some 70km southeast of Jazan province. “We have prepared the site to provide a therapeutic recreational resort that can attract tourists seeking treatment,” he added.
Some 40km south of Al-Qunfodha city in Makkah province, Ghumaiga village is known for its hot springs.
Many patients with skin-related illnesses travel to the village from across the Kingdom to benefit from the therapeutic features of its water.
There are also famous hot springs in the village of Tharban, some 100km south of Al-Mikhwah.
The water from these springs is chemically similar to those in the US, Japan, Russia, Turkey, New Zealand and East Africa.
“Patients usually associate hot springs and mud from the Dead Sea with the treatment of psoriasis. They believe these things can be a remedy for their skin problems,” Marwa Ibrahim, a specialist dermatologist, told Arab News.
The dermatologist said hot springs and Dead Sea mud are rich in minerals, salts and other materials. “These ingredients can make skin patients feel they have improved, but these have not yet been scientifically proven to be a remedy,” Ibrahim said.


KSRelief 45-vehicle aid convoy heads to Hodeidah

KSRelief General Supervisor Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah speaks to media in Riyadh on Wednesday. (SPA)
Updated 20 June 2018
0

KSRelief 45-vehicle aid convoy heads to Hodeidah

  • Al-Rabeeah said KSRelief had carried out a total of 262 aid projects in all governorates of Yemen
  • Al-Rabeeah called on international humanitarian organizations to provide relief assistance to the people of Yemen.

RIYADH: A 45-vehicle aid convoy carrying 924 tons of foodstuffs, medical and housing supplies left Saudi Arabia for the Yemeni province of Hodeidah on Wednesday.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, KSRelief general supervisor, said that 18 of the trucks were sent from Sharurah, 15 from Jazan and 12 from Riyadh.

The convoy included 595 tons of food baskets, 186 tons of dates, 95 tons of medicines, and 48 ​​tons of shelter materials, tents, rugs and blankets for the residents of the province of Hodeidah.

Al-Rabeeah said KSRelief had carried out a total of 262 aid projects in all governorates of Yemen.

He called on international humanitarian organizations to provide relief assistance to the people of Yemen.

The Arab coalition has secured all Yemeni crossings for humanitarian aid to alleviate Yemeni people’s suffering caused by violations committed by the Iran-backed Houthi militias, who have been looting humanitarian aid to Yemen, Al-Rabeeah said.

 “We have been always by the side of Yemeni civilians. Our prime goal is to alleviate the humanitarian situation in Yemen in general and Hodeidah in particular. We will use all transportation means, land, air or seaports, to help our brothers and sisters in Hodeidah,” he added. 

“We are welcoming coordination with the international humanitarian organizations to have a joint effort that will definitely pour into the civilians in Hodeidah to reduce the humanitarian crisis there as the coalition has expressed its full readiness to protect the aid and facilitate the means to reach different destinations,” Al-Rabeeah said.

Abdulsalam Babood, senior official to the Yemeni government and a member of Yemeni Relief Committee, said: “On behalf of my country and the Yemeni people, I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to King Salman and the crown prince for their unmatched generosity and unwavering support to the Yemeni civilians in terms of medical supplies and food and other needed items for survival.

“Hodeidah has been suffering from the humanitarian crisis over the past three years due to the full control imposed by the Houthi militants on them. Starvation and the big shortage in medical supplies and medications and huge environmental issues are the main struggles of the people there. International reports estimate that 61 percent of people in Hodeidah are in urgent need of essential supplies. We then put a plan to cope with this humanitarian crisis.”