Experts take part in tour of Saudi Arabia’s geological treasure sites

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The Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) organized a trip to Madinah for guests of the 12th International Geological Congress. (Supplied)
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The Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) organized a trip to Madinah for guests of the 12th International Geological Congress. (Supplied)
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The Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) organized a trip to Madinah for guests of the 12th International Geological Congress. (Supplied)
Updated 10 February 2018
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Experts take part in tour of Saudi Arabia’s geological treasure sites

RIYADH: The Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) organized a trip to Madinah for guests of the 12th International Geological Congress under the title “Our Goods from Our Land.”
SGS spokesman Tareq Aba Al-Khail said that experts from the Kingdom, the US, Egypt, Greece, Italy, and France took part in the trip, and they participated in the sessions and workshops organized in cooperation with the Saudi Society for Earth Sciences.
Aba Al-Khail added that the delegation inspected the Albint dam (Dam of the Girl) in the village of Thamad in Khaybar, which is an architectural masterpiece built thousands of years ago. The length of the dam is about 170 meters, with a height of 40 meters, and it is built at the junction of two great valleys. Aba Al-Khail noted that parts of the dam previously collapsed because of an earthquake that hit the surrounding area despite being constructed of huge rocks.
He said that the delegation also visited the cave of Um Gursan in Khyber, one of the largest caves in the Arab world with a length of 1,500 meters, a maximum height of 12 meters and a width of 45 meters. The cave is about 3 million years old, and it is surrounded by a wall at the top to protect it from falling dust. There are also ladders to facilitate the smooth flow of visitors, and it contains important archaeological assets, such as human skulls and bones of predatory animals. There are writings dating back thousands of years and Aba Al-Kail noted that the cave is destined to become a tourist attraction in the future.
The trip highlighted many distinctive geological features, noting that the SGS was able to acquaint the participants with a part of the heritage of the Kingdom so they could convey images and information to their countries.
He also revealed that the SGS nominated 15 caves for the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) to convert into tourist attractions.


Pilgrims praise Saudi efforts during Hajj

Updated 21 August 2018
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Pilgrims praise Saudi efforts during Hajj

  • Pilgrims praise the organization of the Hajj ritual areas
  • Millions pass through relatively small areas to perform the rituals

ARAFAT: Pilgrims from around the world have expressed their gratitude for the services provided to them by the Saudi authorities, and praised the quality.
“Despite the small size of the holy sites area and the massive gatherings of pilgrims coming yearly to this place, Saudi Arabia has succeeded in managing the huge crowds,” said Jihad Obaid, an Iraqi pilgrim performing Hajj for the first time. The only thing he does not like is the hot weather, but the water sprinklers installed along the way have been a great help, he added.
“These sprinklers reflect how caring the Saudi government is,” he said. “We all know that man can’t control weather challenges, but the preparations made to protect pilgrims is a sign of the great efforts to help pilgrims carry out their rituals comfortably.”
Mas’ood BuHadji, from Algeria, thanked the security guards for the work they do for pilgrims.
“I would like to extend my thanks and appreciations to the security men who spare no effort in assisting the pilgrims to easily complete their rituals,” he said. “Although I am not Saudi, I feel proud of these Muslim security men, whose job here is not only to secure pilgrims a safe Hajj, but also offer them bottles of cold water.
“Hajj is now easier than ever; the Jamarat Bridge, the services and everything.”