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.


‘Davos in the Desert’ brings 150 global leaders to Riyadh

Updated 16 October 2018
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‘Davos in the Desert’ brings 150 global leaders to Riyadh

  • The Future Investment Initiative (FII) runs from Oct. 23 to 25
  • The three key themes of this year’s event are investing in transformation, technology as an opportunity, and advancing human potential

RIYADH: The Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia has revealed the program for a high-profile gathering of global leaders, business chiefs and innovators in Riyadh next week.

The Future Investment Initiative (FII) runs from Oct. 23 to 25 with US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde among those scheduled to take part.

More than 150 speakers from 140 different organizations have confirmed their attendance for the event which was hosted for the first time a year ago and was quickly dubbed “Davos in the Desert” — a reference to the annual World Economic Forum hosted each year in the Swiss resort.

The three key themes of this year’s event are investing in transformation, technology as an opportunity, and advancing human potential.



“FII is a global platform focused on identifying future economic trends and opportunities, defining the future of industries and discussing how investment can contribute to overall global prosperity and development,” the PIF, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, said on Monday.

“Ten years on from the global financial crisis, the world is undergoing a period of large-scale economic and technological transformation. FII will convene global leaders, investors and innovators to discuss how businesses, governments and global institutions can work together to drive long-term growth and prosperity.”

The next installment of FII will include a panel called “One World” — a look at how leaders from business and government develop a collective vision for the future.

Other sessions cover digital currencies, capital flows, market drivers, immersive technology, sustainability and giga-projects such as NEOM, the vast development announced at last year’s FII.