Two narcotic smugglers executed in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Customs officers display confiscated drugs found in a truck at Diba Port. (File photo: SPA)
Updated 10 January 2018

Two narcotic smugglers executed in Saudi Arabia

TABUK: The Ministry of Interior said in a statement issued today that Khalid bin Ali bin Farraj Al-Omrani, Saudi National, was executed in Tabuk Region today for smuggling prohibited amphetamine pills.
In a separate statement, the Interior Ministry said that Khaled Abdullah Mohammed Al-Zoubi, a Syrian National, was also executed in the Eastern Region today for smuggling a quantity of banned amphetamine pills.
The Ministry said that the Court convicted the traffickers; Appeal and Supreme Courts endorsed the sentences, and a royal order was issued to execute the sentences.
The Ministry of Interior affirms that the Government of King Salman is keen on combating narcotics due to their great harm to individuals and the society, warning anyone who tries to commit such actions would be punished according to Sharia.
The ministry said the Kingdom’s security authorities are capable of deterring the continued attempts to target the citizens with narcotic substances.
As part of the combating initiative, Saudi border guards have foiled several attempt to smuggle hundreds of kilograms of narcotic substances and arrested dozens of smugglers in Tabuk, Jazan, Najran and Asir regions in recent months.
Spokesman Col. Saher bin Mohammed Al-Harbi said the border guards will remain a strong, vigilant, steadfast barrier to all those trying to harm the homeland, attack its citizens and smuggle drugs.
Tabuk region is located along the north-west coast of the country, facing Egypt across the Red Sea, while the Eastern Province is the largest and third most populous Saudi province, bordering Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE.

First charity art auction in Saudi Arabia hits SR4.8 million in sales

Updated 27 June 2019

First charity art auction in Saudi Arabia hits SR4.8 million in sales

  • The event, which featured 43 works by Saudi and Arab artists, was held at historic Nassif House in Al-Balad, Jeddah
  • Tawaf around the Kaaba 2,” a painting by Saudi artist Abdullah Al-Shalty, fetched SR 650,000, the highest price paid for any single work in the auction

JEDDAH: Art for Al Balad, the first charity auction of contemporary art in the Kingdom, achieved sales of SR 4.8 million ($1.3 million) on Wednesday.

The event, which featured 43 works by Saudi and Arab artists, all of which sold, was held at historic Nassif House in Al-Balad, Jeddah, on Wednesday. It was organized by the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with auction house Christie’s.

“It was much above our expectations; we are very happy,” said Michael Jeha, chairman of Christie's Middle East.

About 200 Saudi art collectors joined artists and other members of the Saudi and international cultural communities at the event. Bidding was highly competitive, with “Tawaf around the Kaaba 2,” a painting by Saudi artist Abdullah Al-Shalty, fetching SR 650,000, the highest price paid for any single work in the auction.


• Nassif House was built in 1872. Saudi Arabia’s founder, King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, was received at this house upon his entry to the city in 1925.

• The Saudi government is keen to restore and preserve buildings with historic and cultural significance, and carries out regular renovation work.

• Al-Balad, or Jeddah historic district, is one of five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kingdom. It contains about 600 buildings that date back to the 19th century.


“Where to” by Prince Badr bin Abdulmohsen was the second-most expensive work, selling for SR 500,000, while “Witness in the Desert” by Abdullah Al-Sahikh attracted a winning bid of SR 380,000.

“It was extremely pleasing, very encouraging,” said Jeha. “The energy in the room was fantastic. The enthusiasm was very strong. I think for the very first auction, we can all be extremely pleased.”

Jeha described the growth of the art scene and culture in general in Saudi Arabia as very impressive, and said that the Ministry of Culture has developed a strong platform and program for the coming years, which will help to establish art and culture in the hearts and minds of people in the Kingdom.

The profits from the auction will help to establish a new heritage museum in Jeddah’s historic district and support The Help Center, a non-profit organization that provides customized support to children in the city with special educational needs.

The auction received donations and funding from galleries, cultural foundations, private collectors, and artists across the Arab World, the assistance of which was acknowledged by the Ministry of Culture.

“This would not be possible without the generous support of both the donors and the talented artists,” said Hamed bin Mohammed Fayez, deputy minister of culture, in his opening speech.

The ministry aspires to create and develop a cultural environment in which artists and other creatives can access a platform that celebrates a shared identity and builds understanding between people.

Speaking of the Ministry’s three main objectives in its cultural vision for 2019, Fayez said that it aims to support the nation’s cultural transformation by promoting culture as a way of life, enable the sector to contribute to the economy, and encourage international cultural exchanges.

Before the auction, the works on sale were on display to the public in an exhibition on June 23 and 24.