ThePlace: Hail’s rock art

Hail rock art. (Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage)
Updated 16 October 2018

ThePlace: Hail’s rock art

  • It includes two components: Umm-Sinman mountain in the city of Jubbah, and Al-Manjoor and Raat at Shuwaymis
  • This site was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2015

Preserved history enhances the image of a country. It is a treasure the value of which cannot be measured in financial terms. Saudi Arabia has a rich history, preserved in the tales of the many communities that have lived in the region throughout the centuries, and the artifacts they left behind. After long being ignored, many Saudi historical sites have been rediscovered in recent years, attracting curious minds from all over the world.

One such site that encapsulates history is the rock art in the Hail region. It includes two components: Umm-Sinman mountain in the city of Jubbah, and Al-Manjoor and Raat at Shuwaymis. The sites contain some of the best examples of Neolithic rock art. The petroglyphs — images created by carving away part of the rock — include images of the men and women from an era dating back as far as 10,000 years, providing clues to their activities, hairstyles and clothing. Differences in social status is also suggested by a few large figures wearing unique ornamentation, and there are images of animals and hunters.

All of this helps us to understand the past and make connections to modern-day cultural norms that might have originated in that era. These petroglyphs are very well executed and detailed and must have taken a considerable amount of time and effort to carve.

The Om Sinman Mountain site, near the city of Jubbah, is the better known of the two sites. There are relics there that suggest there was once a river in the southern part of the Great Narfoud that was a source of fresh water for the people of the area.

In 1879, Lady Anne Blunt, the daughter of Lord Byron, summed up the location and its rich array of ancient art in her quote: “Jubbah is one of the most curious places in the world and to my mind one of the most beautiful.”

This site was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2015, and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage has made further efforts since 2016 to preserve the site, such as increasing the buffer zone, repainting and refurbishing the petroglyphs and developing a monitoring system.

Saudi Arabia already has five sites already on the World Heritage List — Al-Ahsa Oasis (added in 2018), Al-Hijr Archaeological site (Madain Saleh) (2018), At-Turaif District of Ad-Dir’iyah (2010), Historic Jeddah (2014) and the rock art of the Hail Region (2015) — and is working to double that number by 2030.

The rock art site is a great resource to help us understand the significance of life and appreciate the fact that the imprints of people endure through the generations, and also to awaken a sense of belonging, as such culturally rich places help to tell an epic tale of the journey of humans as citizens of the world.

Finance officials meet to map out Saudi Arabia’s budget plans

Updated 19 April 2019

Finance officials meet to map out Saudi Arabia’s budget plans

  • Finance representatives of 150 government bodies meet for the Budget Forum 2020

RIYADH: Saudi finance chiefs have kicked off a major conference in the capital aimed at mapping out the Kingdom’s budget requirements.
Around 300 specialists representing 150 government bodies met at the InterContinental hotel in Riyadh for the Budget Forum 2020.
Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan welcomed delegates to the second edition of the gathering organized by the Saudi Finance Ministry under the slogan “Partnership and Empowerment.”
Al-Jadaan said the ministry was focused on “partnership and commitment,” and sought to share the challenge of developing an effective budget to achieve the Kingdom’s ambitious goals.
“We are also committed to empowering financial leaderships to learn about the ministry’s programs and projects and provide training and qualification opportunities to the best international standards,” he added.
The finance chief said the budget planning process required the collaboration of multiple authorities and a clear strategy based on transparency. 
Items up for discussion at the forum included financial planning in governmental bodies, automation, and the promotion of revenues and efficient spending.
Finance Ministry steering committee chairman, Abdul Aziz bin Saleh Al-Freih, stressed the importance of the forum in getting the ball rolling at an early stage on formulating a general state budget.
Workshops were held on the sidelines of the conference focused on empowering government organizations, and a training program on financial planning and income estimations was also staged.