ThePlace: Al-Maqar palace in the Asir region is an architectural marvel

Updated 08 December 2018

ThePlace: Al-Maqar palace in the Asir region is an architectural marvel

  • There are 20 places to enter the palace, and the structure of the building has seven domes each representing the continents of the world

Al-Maqar palace in the Asir region is an architectural marvel. It looks like a fictional palace come to life from the pages of a fantasy book. It erupts tall and beautiful in an otherwise subtle city.
The palace is illuminated with lights that make it appear to glow. As Asir is a cold region, in the winter fog looms around the castle, adding to the dreamy view.
After marveling over the beauty of the exterior, visitors can enjoy the inside of the place. It took 35 years to build and used more than two million natural stones from the mountains of the Asir region in its construction.
A citizen inspired by Andalusian palaces built it and collected Islamic artifacts dating back to the Abbasid, Umayyad and Ottoman periods.
To some the interior may look more like a private collection than a museum, with 16 million Islamic decorations gathering dust on the shelves. The artifacts were collected by Mohammed Al-Maqar Al-Shehri, who traveled the world finding items to add to his collection.
Considering what it has to offer, the museum does not get as much recognition as it should.
There are 20 places to enter the palace, and the structure of the building has seven domes each representing the continents of the world. The museum itself stands on 365 columns, each dedicated to each day of the year.
The attention to detail in the museum is outstanding. Each floor is dedicated to the era from which the artifacts are from, making it a rare Saudi landmark in the 21st century.
The museum is home to many Islamic manuscripts on medicine, astronomy and mathematics. It also has the first record of the handwritten manuscript of the Qur’an. In addition, there are a few thousand manuscripts to view.
The museum opens a window on Islamic and Arabic history and takes the visitor on a journey back in time.


Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

Updated 21 August 2019

Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

  • The website of a cryptocurrency company is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal
  • The Singapore-based company uses the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree

JEDDAH: Fraudsters are trying to lure victims into investing in a “virtual currency” with false claims that it is linked to the Saudi riyal and will be used to finance key projects, the Saudi Ministry of Finance warned on Tuesday.

The website of a cryptocurrency company in Singapore is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal, using the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree. Its “ultimate goal” is to finance NEOM, the smart city and tourist destination being built in the north of the Kingdom, the company claims.

“Any use of the KSA name, national currency or national emblem by any entity for virtual or digital currencies marketing will be subject to legal action by the competent authorities in the Kingdom,” the ministry said on Tuesday.

The fraudsters were exploiting ignorance of how virtual currencies work, cryptocurrency expert Dr. Assad Rizq told Arab News.

“A lot of tricks can be played,” he said. “Some of these companies are not regulated, they have no assets, and even their prospectus is sometimes copied from other projects.

“They hype and pump their project so the price goes up. Inexpert investors, afraid of missing out, jump in, which spikes the price even higher. Then the owners sell up and make tons of money.

“Cryptocurrencies are a risky investment for two reasons. First, the sector is not yet fully regulated and a lot of projects use fake names and identities, such as countries’ names or flags, to manipulate investors.

“Second, you have to do your homework, learn about the technology. And if you still want to invest, consider your country’s rules and regulations.”