Winter at Tantora: Where heritage meets art in Saudi Arabia

1 / 4
The northern Saudi city of Al-Ula is hosting a special season of events and festivities, as the Royal Commission for the Governorate of Al-Ula has launched Winter at Tantora. (SPA)
2 / 4
The northern Saudi city of Al-Ula is hosting a special season of events and festivities, as the Royal Commission for the Governorate of Al-Ula has launched Winter at Tantora. (SPA)
3 / 4
The northern Saudi city of Al-Ula is hosting a special season of events and festivities, as the Royal Commission for the Governorate of Al-Ula has launched Winter at Tantora. (SPA)
4 / 4
The northern Saudi city of Al-Ula is hosting a special season of events and festivities, as the Royal Commission for the Governorate of Al-Ula has launched Winter at Tantora. (SPA)
Updated 30 January 2019
0

Winter at Tantora: Where heritage meets art in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The northern Saudi city of Al-Ula is hosting a special season of events and festivities, as the Royal Commission for the Governorate of Al-Ula has launched Winter at Tantora. 
The cultural festival is the first event of its kind to be held in the breath-taking UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is designed to showcase its wonders to the rest of the world.
Described as the Kingdom’s archaeological jewel, Al-Ula has been a meeting point of many civilizations. 
Its proud residents will welcome visitors to discover the depth of their culture. Winter at Tantora is a celebration of life, culture, heritage and beauty.
The vertical sandstone cliffs surrounding Al-Ula provide ample surfaces for rock art, making it one of the richer petroglyph regions in the Kingdom. 
Mount Ikma is located in the southern part of Al-Ula, with a large petroglyph panel displaying hundreds of images, including depictions of hunting scenes with humans and various animals. 
The festival’s guests can visit archaeological and heritage sites that are closed for renovation and will be open only to a select group of ticket-holders. 
Most notable among them is Madain Saleh, which in 2008 became Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
Its key features are well-preserved remains dating back to the Late Antiquity period, and 131 rock-cut tombs that are linked to the Nabatean kingdom. 
Other attractions include Al-Khoraiba site, part of the ruins of the ancient city of Dadan, which was the Dadanian kingdom’s metropolis. 
It includes archaeological sites, sculptured rocks, and inscriptions that document economic, political, religious and social activities.
Harrat Uwayrid is a 400-stone gate — thought to be used for trapping animals — with graves scattered across the lava fields. 
Another attraction is a gigantic natural sandstone rock resembling an elephant with its trunk touching the ground.
Archaeological remains dating back more than 2,000 years, and an abundance of natural attractions, make Al-Ula one of the world’s greatest undiscovered wonders.
The festival is hosted by the city’s residents and runs from Dec. 20, 2018, to Feb. 9, 2019. It includes cultural events, a spectacular equine experience, and musical performances by some of the world’s greatest artists.


Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 23 April 2019
0

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.