Sri Lanka tea meets SFDA specifications

From left: Nishanta Jayatilake, Dr. Sarath Abeysinghe and Hasitha De Alwis at the press briefing in Riyadh on Wednesday.
Updated 23 July 2016
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Sri Lanka tea meets SFDA specifications

RIYADH: Sri Lankan tea fulfils the specifications of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), a visiting island official, who was leading a delegation to the capital, said here on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference, Hasitha De Alwis, director of international promotions at the Sri Lanka Tea Board, told media that the SFDA told the visiting delegation that Sri Lankan tea is of high quality and it meets the specifications of both the SFDA and the Gulf Standards Organization.
The delegation met with the senior officials of the SFDA here on Tuesday. He said that the Kingdom imports some 36,000 metric tons of tea, which includes 5,000 tons from Sri Lanka. The major share of the Kingdom’s tea requirements are supplied by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through its Jebel Ali Free Zone, he added. The other members of the delegation included Nishanta Jayatilake, Sri Lanka Tea Board director for analytical services, and Dr. Sarath Abeysinghe, director of the Tea Research Institute in Colombo.
Sri Lanka’s major tea market includes Russia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and now China is an emerging market, he noted.
Sri Lankan tea, known for generations as Ceylon Tea, carries behind it a heritage and success story like no other. A product that began as a diversification experiment in 1867, spanning just 19 acres of land, has today surpassed all geographical borders to satisfy 19 percent of global demand. Reputed for its tea’s signature taste and aroma, Sri Lanka has become the world’s third largest tea exporter to the world, the country’s largest employer, and has the distinction of supplying tea to the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
Ceylon Tea is also the cleanest tea in the world in terms of pesticide residues, a fact confirmed by the ISO technical committee. Sri Lanka was also the first to achieve the “Ozone Friendly Tea” label recognized under the Montreal Protocol Treaty and is the proud owner of the first Ethical Tea Brand of the World recognized by the United Nations Global Compact.
Far from being just a scenic wonder, the panoramic tea gardens of Sri Lanka provide a countless number of blends and single garden teas of premium value. Most are situated at elevations between 3,000 and 8,000 feet, which span the lush mountains of the central highlands and the fertile plains of the southern inland areas of the island. Sri Lankan tea possesses unique and specific characteristics of quality and taste attributed to geographical origin and unique manufacturing practices.
Tourists and export markets alike have access to famous unorthodox variants and health beverages from Sri Lanka such as green tea, instant tea, bio tea and flavored tea.
With the development of Sri Lankan tea exports, Green Tea has acquired a commanding position in the global market. Currently, Sri Lanka exports Green Tea to more than 40 countries. The major buyers are United Arab Emirates, the Russian Federation and Jordan.


Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

Masjid Quba in Madinah is a favorite destination for Hajj pilgrims, according to tour guides. Below: The Cave of Hira, Al-Baqi’ cemetery and the Prophet’s Chamber allow visitors to step back in time. (Getty Images)
Updated 27 min 6 sec ago
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Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

  • A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities
  • Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies

RIYADH: Hajj is one of the biggest dreams of every Muslim’s life, and pilgrims looking forward to their stay in Makkah and Madinah say a bucket list is the best way to plan the trip. 

Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies. Standing in the places of the Holy Prophet transports them back to the past as if they lived those incredible moments. 

A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities.

Sayed Shafei, an operation manager for City Sightseeing, a tour company in Madinah and worldwide, told Arab News: “We offer a special tour with a multilingual tour guide presented in eight languages. We also offer 24-hour tickets. We have scheduled tourism trips starting from the Prophet’s Mosque to 12 destinations every 30 minutes. The whole trip lasts for 14 hours a day.” 

Asked about the most popular requests, Shafei said: “Our customers always ask to visit Masjid Quba, the Sayed Al-Shuhada Mosque in Uhud, which is considered a vital historic landmark of Madinah, and Al-Qiblatain Mosque.” 

Most of the group’s customers are from East Asia, but many also visit from Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, Indonesia, Malaysia, the US and Europe.

Munirah Al-Jebreen, an English instructor at Princess Noura University who will perform Hajj this year, told Arab News her bucket list began with an online search. 

“I found a travel guide on Google that has all the best sites in Madinah and Makkah, so I decided to visit Uthman ibn Affan’s Farm and Well in Madinah, the Holy Qur’an exhibition, and one of the most important places I want to visit is the grave of the Holy Prophet,” she said.

The area between the Prophet’s Chamber, which holds his grave, and the Mimbar is known as the Rawdah, which is actually the Garden of Paradise. It is presently distinguished by a green carpet.

Al-Jebreen also listed some of her planned tour destinations in Makkah, including the Cave of Hira, where the Holy Prophet meditated frequently during the first 40 years of his life and the site of the first revelation. 

She will also visit Bilal Mosque and Mount Abu Qubais and, finally, will try Al-Garmushi, one of the famous traditional restaurants in Makkah.