Foreign city planning experts share their expertise at Cities Talk event in Riyadh

Majid Al-Qassabi, the minister of commerce and investment, speaks at the Cities Talk in Riyadh. SPA
Updated 05 May 2019

Foreign city planning experts share their expertise at Cities Talk event in Riyadh

  • Cities Talk is part of the activities for the Executive Master’s Program in Municipal Policies and Urban Development

RIYADH: Three international experts in the field of city planning took part in a Cities Talk event in Riyadh, during which they shared the lessons they have learned from their professional experiences and discussed the Kingdom’s development set out in Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan.

Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qassabi, who is also the acting minister of municipal and rural affairs, hosted the gathering, which was organized by the ministry in collaboration with King Saud University. Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli, the minister of environment, water and agriculture, also took part.

Cities Talk is part of the activities for the Executive Master’s Program in Municipal Policies and Urban Development. It aims to promote communication and interaction between city leaders, so that participants can benefit from international experiences of managing cities and municipal services, and motivate leaders to embrace innovation and empowerment.

Dr.  Abdullah Al-Thabit, the supervisor of the program, expressed his appreciation for the cooperation it receives from educational institutions and service sectors working to achieve the goals of municipal transformation.

Then the three experts, from the US and Austria, talked about ways in which cities can be transformed, and the Kingdom’s plans to do so.

Dr. Carl Weisbrod, a former chairman of the New York City Planning Commission and the founder of the New York City Economic Development Corp., described Saudi Vision 2030 as “one of the most ambitious visions in the world.”

Dr. Tom Murphy, the former mayor of Pittsburgh and a city-management adviser said: “The Saudis have a distinctive value and must benefit from the advantages available, using technology and innovation. They must work on new infrastructure in Saudi cities using young people’s ideas and creations, transforming them into emerging projects.”

Eugen Antalovski, the executive director of Vienna Municipality’s Urban Innovation Center, said: “Innovation, creativity, thinking, talent support and partnership between the public and private sector is crucial.”


Madinah museum showcases over 2,000 rare artifacts

Updated 23 August 2019

Madinah museum showcases over 2,000 rare artifacts

  • The museum has issued more than 44 books and publications on Madinah’s architecture

MADINAH: Dar Al-Madinah Museum offers visitors the opportunity to view historical pieces associated with the Prophet’s life. It features artifacts that capture the history, heritage, social life and culture of Madinah.

The museum’s executive director, Hassan Taher, said that it aims to promote the noble values of the Prophet Muhammad, encourage a sense of belonging and capture the history, culture and heritage of Madinah. The exhibits start with the Prophet’s life and end with the Saudi era.

Taher said: “The museum carries out specialized research in Madinah’s architectural heritage. It contains a library of relevant books, research and magazines, all of which are accessible to researchers.”

He said that the museum has issued more than 44 books and publications on Madinah’s architecture.

Taher explained that when preparing the museum’s narrative, it was necessary to reconcile temporal and spatial contexts so they created an added moral and intellectual value for the visitor.

He added: “There are around 2,000 artifacts in the museum’s exhibition halls. These include antiquities, extremely accurate models, handicrafts, manuscripts, documents, correspondence, old publications, postage stamps, photographs and artworks.”

One of the museum’s most valuable exhibits is a large collection of rare pieces associated with important moments in the Prophet’s life and the history of Madinah. 

These include various parts of the Kaaba, rare coins used in Madinah during different eras, ancient pottery, Islamic manuscripts, jewelry and collectibles from the pre-Islamic era.

Taher said that the museum has a professional team of guides who speak several languages, including English, Turkish, Urdu and Malay.