Prestigious Saudi camel festival gets underway

The festival will run until March 20 in the southern Sayahdah district. (SPA)
Updated 07 February 2019
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Prestigious Saudi camel festival gets underway

  • King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival will run until March 20

JEDDAH: Thousands of visitors from throughout the world are expected to attend a prestigious Saudi camel festival which on Wednesday got underway near the capital Riyadh.

Under the patronage of King Salman, the third King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival organized by the country’s Camel Club, will run until March 20 in the southern Sayahdah district of Al-Dahnaa.

Camel Club Chairman Fahd bin Falah bin Hithlin thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for supporting the annual celebration of Saudi culture and heritage.

The festival, being staged on the road between Al-Rumahiyah and Al-Hafna, has revitalized tourism in the desert area which formed part of traditional trade routes across the Arabian Peninsula. 

The southern Sayahdah district is also of national historical significance, having been the gathering point for the armies of the Kingdom’s founder Abdul Aziz, as well as an important resting point for Hajj and trade caravans.

Camel owners and visitors from Arabian Gulf countries and around the globe, will flock to the sprawling festival site over the coming weeks for what has already become a highly popular fixture on the Kingdom’s events calendar. 

The festival will put the spotlight on Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage, with camels having played an important part in Arab life down the ages.

Businesses involved in the manufacture and supply of camel-related products will also be in attendance, and auctions will take place throughout the gathering. Six categories of camels, Majahim, Wadh, Shaal, Sifr, Shaqah and Homr, will participate in the Mazayen beauty contest.

The giant festival site is split into various sections including a commercial area, desert park, and village center where activities, entertainment, cultural events, traditional foods and handicrafts will be available.


Steps taken to meet growing demand of Muslim holy water

Updated 7 min 16 sec ago
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Steps taken to meet growing demand of 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.