Saudi tourism chief: Japanese people interested in learning ‘world’s cultures’

Prince Sultan bin Salman visits the “Roads of Arabia” exhibition in Tokyo. (SPA)
Updated 10 May 2018
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Saudi tourism chief: Japanese people interested in learning ‘world’s cultures’

  • Naruhito welcomed Prince Sultan and expressed appreciation for the role played by the Kingdom at regional and international levels
  • Prince Sultan also visited the “Roads of Arabia” exhibition at the National Museum in Tokyo

JEDDAH: Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito received Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), at his palace in Tokyo on Thursday.

Naruhito welcomed Prince Sultan and expressed appreciation for the role played by the Kingdom at regional and international levels.

Prince Sultan conveyed the greetings of King Salman to the leadership of Japan, wishing the Japanese people progress and prosperity, and expressing keenness to consolidate bilateral relations between the two countries.

Prince Sultan also visited the “Roads of Arabia” exhibition at the National Museum in Tokyo. He said that King Salman has been supporting the archaeology sector in the Kingdom since its establishment 50 years ago.

Prince Sultan said that more than 250,000 people had visited, the largest turnout for any touring exhibition at the museum.

The exhibition’s next stop will be in Greece, in the middle of summer, following an invitation from Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos during his visit to the Kingdom.

The exhibition will also visit Abu Dhabi, at the invitation of the UAE government, before moving on more countries.

Prince Sultan said that Japanese people were very cultivated, aware and interested in learning about the world’s cultures, and those of the Arabian Peninsula in particular.

He said that the SCTH is currently working on more than 230 tourist and heritage projects and is coordinating with its partners on transport services and airports.

The Kingdom had been supporting and developing the tourist sector with billions of dollars, he said, in line with the strategy of developing national tourism advanced by the SCTH and adopted by the state in 2005.

Prince Sultan said that the Kingdom was experiencing high tourist growth and was considered one of the fastest-growing states in the region in hotel room numbers, which had increased by 6,000. This figure is expected to double in the next 10 years, he said.

 


Steps taken to meet growing demand for Muslim holy water

Updated 4 min 40 sec ago
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Steps taken to meet growing demand for Muslim holy water

  • Saudi government takes special measures to ensure uninterrupted supply of the water to the Two Holy Mosques
  • Zamzam water is drawn from a 30-meter well in the basement of the Grand Mosque in Makkah

JEDDAH: The very mention of the word “Zamzam” evokes a feeling of awe in the hearts of the faithful. Zamzam water is considered holy in Islam. 

It is found in a 30 meter well in the basement of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, about 20 meters east of the Kaaba. The water is believed to possess healing qualities, and is treated with reverence by all Muslims.

The Saudi government takes special measures to ensure there is an uninterrupted supply of the water to the Two Holy Mosques all year round, and to pilgrims during the Hajj and Umrah seasons.

In addition to the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Zamzam Water Project, the Zamzam bottling plant operates with a separate mission under the United Office of Zamazemah in Makkah.

Zamzam water is produced by the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Zamzam Water Project, which is operated by the National Water Co., and whose new bottling plant can produce up to 30,000 liters per hour.

The construction of the new plant began in 2014. Originally consisting of two production lines, a third was added in 2017, which massively increased production capacity. With the water being dispensed into 200 milliliter bottles, it means that the plant can produce well in excess of 150,000 bottles per hour. 

The bottles are then distributed to pilgrims upon arrival in Makkah, and, under the Zamzam Water Additional Services program, are also made available near the central area of Makkah’s Grand Mosque and in other holy places, such as Mina and Arafat. 

Two further expansion phases are currently underway at the site, which also houses its administrative center, including the management and marketing departments.

Two weeks ago, meanwhile, the Saudi Shoura Council approved a new project proposal by Arbab Al-Tawaif Establishments. The project will aim to enhance the competence of employees in Hajj and Umrah services. 

It will also look to restructure Arbab Al-Tawaif, and transform its establishments from individual institutions into companies, working to ensure they provide better standards of service to pilgrims from outside Saudi Arabia.