Saudi beekeeper becomes internet celebrity

1 / 3
Zuhair Fatani loves working with bees and points out that while they might appear scary, they are very good for humans. (Reuters)
2 / 3
A Saudi man with his body covered with bees poses for a photo in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia on September 11, 2018. (REUTERS)
3 / 3
A Saudi man with his body covered with bees poses for a photo in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia on September 11, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 15 September 2018
0

Saudi beekeeper becomes internet celebrity

  • Bee stings and the honey they produce are very beneficial to the body and can help cure many diseases

MAKKAH: A Saudi beekeeper has become an internet celebrity after images showing him standing covered in a swarm of thousands of bees went viral on social media.
Zuhair Fatani, a member of the Saudi Beekeepers’ Committee, said he managed to last for 80 minutes with about 49 kg of bees completely covering his entire body. He was stung several times and his breathing was affected during the experience, which would be the stuff of nightmares for most people.
“The stings focused on my feet,” said Fatani. “I was barely breathing and it was hard for me to stay standing. I could not last more than 80 minutes and I could not speak because of all the bees in my mouth. It led to me suffering from muscle tension and inflammation of my respiratory tract.”
Despite this, he loves working with bees and points out that while they might appear scary, they are very good for humans.
“Bee stings and the honey they produce are very beneficial to the body and can help cure many diseases,” he said.
When Fatani, who works at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, started working with bees he had only three hives but now has 30, which can produce 800 kg of honey. He travels the country searching for the best flowers for the bees to feed on and ways to protect them from heat waves and cold weather.
“I acquired scientific knowledge and practical experience from specialists in Taif,” he said. “Agricultural engineers also taught me about the principles of beekeeping and the best valleys, flowers and fruits for the production of honey.”
He carries a camera in his car at all times to record the moments when bees swarm his body, and said that the photos that have gone viral on social media were actually taken 12 years ago.


Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea project ensures protection of ecology

The project will provide visitors with a uniquely diverse, immersive experience while setting new standards in sustainable development and positioning Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map. (SPA)
Updated 23 January 2019
0

Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea project ensures protection of ecology

  • Master plan preserves 75% of the islands for conservation
  • The first phase of the development, scheduled for completion in 2022, includes 14 luxury and hyper-luxury hotels providing 3,000 rooms across five islands

JEDDAH: Plans to develop one of the world’s most ambitious tourism projects in Saudi Arabia, have been given the green light. The Red Sea Development Co. (TRSDC), which is leading the luxury leisure project, has received final approval from its board of directors for the program’s master plan.
The tourism project, drawn up in partnership with global design firm WATG and engineering giant BuroHappold, will incorporate state-of-the-art building design concepts from some of the world’s top architectural firms and is expected to create up to 70,000 new jobs.
The first phase of the development, scheduled for completion in 2022, includes 14 luxury and hyper-luxury hotels providing 3,000 rooms across five islands and two inland resorts on the Kingdom’s west coast. Phase one will also include marinas, leisure and lifestyle amenities and an airport to serve the destination.
As part of the planning process, major environmental studies were carried out to ensure that the area’s sensitive ecology was protected both during and after completion of the development.
The final master plan, which preserves some 75 percent of the destination’s islands for conservation and designates nine islands as sites of significant ecological value, required several redesigns to avoid potential disruption to endangered species native to the area.
John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC, said: “The design concepts that we have presented to the board will provide visitors with a uniquely diverse, immersive experience while setting new standards in sustainable development and positioning Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map.
“With the master plan approved, we are now identifying investors and partners who are interested in working with us on realizing the objectives of the project and who share our commitment to enhance, not exploit, the natural ecosystems that make the destination so unique.”
The approved master plan will steer the development of 22 of the 90-plus islands at the destination, providing up to 10,000 hotel rooms across island resorts, mountain retreats and desert hideaways. The location will also offer luxury residential properties and a wide range of commercial, retail and recreational facilities.
The master plan is underpinned by an extensive smart destination management system that will support a wide range of personalized products and services designed to appeal to the modern luxury traveler.
TRSDC employed the world’s first destination-scale computer simulation techniques, created in Saudi Arabia, to assess the impact of the development and future tourism on the environment. The resulting plan now targets a 30 percent net increase in biodiversity over the next two decades, a conservation equivalent to designating the site as a marine protection area.
Technology also underpins the destination’s sustainability initiatives, with a suite of sensors and monitoring devices in place to track and measure variations in environmental factors such as water salinity, temperature, visibility and tidal flows.
“The leadership of the Kingdom has shown great foresight in its insistence on balanced development of this pristine destination,” said Pagano. “Our plan not only envisions a stunning luxury destination, it also takes tangible, measurable steps to enhance that destination for future generations to enjoy and cherish.”