Saudi Arabia to build 9 desalination plants on Red Sea

A worker stands at a desalination plant in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Reuters)
Updated 22 January 2018
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Saudi Arabia to build 9 desalination plants on Red Sea

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia plans to build nine desalination plants for more than 2 billion riyals ($530 million) on the Red Sea coast, its environment minister said on Sunday.
The plants will have capacity of 240,000 cubic meters of water per day and will be completed in less than 18 months, Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli wrote in a Twitter post.
The project, which the minister said was ordered by King Salman in a royal decree, will help government-owned Saudi Saline Water Conversion Corp. (SWCC) raise production efficiency and cut operating and capital costs, Fadhli added.
He gave no details on funding.
Saudi Arabia said in 2016 it planned to use public-private partnerships (PPP) with local and foreign companies to fund infrastructure projects.
In August, it said it would develop resorts on about 50 Red Sea islands, completing the first phase of that project — which is backed by its Public Investment Fund (PIF) — in the fourth quarter of 2022.
($1=3.75 Saudi riyals)


Mosque of Bones: Evidence of Prophet Muhammad’s era

Updated 41 min 11 sec ago
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Mosque of Bones: Evidence of Prophet Muhammad’s era

  • In the 9th year after Hijrah, as the Prophet Muhammad was on his way to battle, he marked the Qibla using bones because he could not find rocks or blocks.
  • To mark the occasion, the area’s residents built a mosque on that spot and named it Masjid Al-Izam.

JEDDAH: Masjid Al-Izam (Mosque of the Bones) is a historic mosque in Al-Ula governorate, located 300 km north of Madinah.
In the ninth year after Hijrah (the emigration of Makkah’s Muslims to Madinah), as the Prophet Muhammad was on his way to battle, he marked the Qibla (the direction in which Muslims should pray) using bones because he could not find rocks or blocks.
To mark the occasion, the area’s residents built a mosque on that spot and named it Masjid Al-Izam.
It was made of stone, and mud was used to cover its walls, but it has undergone several restorations.
“Mention of the mosque can be found in many renowned scientific sources,” Abdullah Kaber, a researcher in Madinah’s development authority, told the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
He said Masjid Al-Izam has attracted the attention of King Salman, who is focused on restoring a number of historic mosques across the Kingdom.
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) is planning to develop tourism in Al-Ula since it houses many historical sites and relics.