Aquarium hosts first-ever penguins in Saudi Arabia

Humboldt penguins live between 15 and 20 years, and can grow as high as 70 cm and weigh from 3.5 to 6 kg.
Updated 31 January 2018

Aquarium hosts first-ever penguins in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Monday witnessed the introduction of penguins in Saudi Arabia for the first time, at Fakieh Aquarium in Jeddah.
“We’re delighted to bring the first-ever group of penguins to Saudi Arabia,” Zaki Sadayo, executive manager of the aquarium, told Arab News at the unveiling of the new penguin tank.
Sara Al-Ghamdi, head of education at the aquarium, said the eight Humboldt penguins were born in Peru and range in age from 2 to 4 years.
Their previous home was the Parque Zoologico de Huachipa in Peru, where they were cared for from birth by zookeepers.
“Humboldt penguins live between 15 and 20 years, and can grow as high as 70 cm and weigh from 3.5 to 6 kg,” Al-Ghamdi told Arab News.
“The species is native to South America, mainly to the coasts of Chile and Peru. The aquarium has put great care and effort into designing and building a home that duplicates the penguins’ natural habitat,” she added.
“It took more than a year to create a world-class exhibit using the experience of different fields of expertise by national and international civil engineers, biologists, veterinarians and specialists in life-support systems from four continents.”
The aquarium contains more than 200 species of marine life from around the world, including sharks, stingrays, seahorses and jellyfish.
Fakieh is the only public aquarium in Saudi Arabia, offering education and entertainment programs on marine life for various age groups.
To date, the aquarium has hosted around 35,000 students from 192 schools, and more than 600 children with special needs from 10 care centers. In addition to the penguins, families can enjoy a dolphin and sea lion show every day.

Saudi Arabia, South Korea reach agreement on visas

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 16 January 2019

Saudi Arabia, South Korea reach agreement on visas

  • Cabinet OKs air transport pact with Indonesia

JEDDAH: The Saudi Cabinet met to discuss a series of national and global developments on Tuesday, in a session chaired by King Salman.

At the forefront of the agenda was the escalation in tensions between Israel and Hamas along the Gaza border, and the continuing encroachment on Palestinian land by Israeli settlers in the West Bank. The Cabinet responded by demanding that the UN Security Council intervene. King Salman also relayed to ministers the outcome of his talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which covered many regional issues.

The minister of media, Turki bin Abdullah Al-Shabanah, announced that after reviewing proposals from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a decision from the Shoura Council, a memorandum of understanding between the government and the Republic of Korea on granting visit visas had been agreed upon.

The Cabinet approved the amendment of the air agreement on regular air transport between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

The Cabinet, meanwhile, praised the progress of the 2025 Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development Program, aimed at enhancing farming techniques by promoting sustainable water and renewable energy sources.

They also discussed the framework in Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020 for building a sustainable renewable energy sector, reiterating aims to lead global renewable energy developments over the next decade, and create projects such as the wind-powered plant at Dumat Al-Jandal, as part of the King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative.

In a statement, though, Al-Shabanah said: “The Cabinet discussed the announcement made by the minister of energy, industry and mineral resources about the Kingdom’s oil and gas reserves, which highlighted the importance of Saudi Arabia as a secure source of oil supplies in the long term.”

He added, in closing, the Cabinet’s praise for the efforts of Saudi security forces in the tracking and arrest of seven people in Qatif, which foiled a planned terrorist attack.