Jeddah airport ranked the ‘worst in facilities’

Jeddah airport's Haj Termminal.
Updated 17 October 2016
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Jeddah airport ranked the ‘worst in facilities’

JEDDAH: King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah (KAAI) topped the list of the worst airports in the world for 2016, says the website “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports,” which evaluates the overall airport experience based on the views of passengers.
The website recently announced the list for the worst 10 airports around the world. Every year, the website conducts a survey of the services offered for passengers who spend extended periods within the airports’ premises, and the comfort and sleeping accommodations provided for them.
The Jeddah airport jumped to the No. 1 spot on “Worst Airports in the World” list. All aspects of the terminals need serious improvement. “Though JED continually promises that ‘next year’ travelers will see a new terminal, clean toilets and more amenities, a semblance of organization has yet to appear. Instead, when the passengers arrive at Jeddah’s Haj Terminal, they walk into a terminal where cleanliness is but a mythical concept,” according to the website.
The website said, the place is said to be staffed by a team of immigration officers described as “careless,” “arrogant” and “rude,” and amenity-wise, the terminal is devoid of restaurants, shopping and entertainment.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said Jeddah airport’s southern terminal was originally designed to receive 6 million passengers, while now it receives 17 million passengers. Therefore, it is necessary to build anew airport in Jeddah.
Media and Public Relation Department at GACA Abdullah Al-Kharif said that the website of “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports” was a personal blog of sleeping experiments in airports, and then it was transformed to a website of evaluating airports in the world. The website’s classification is not based on specific standards to evaluate airports.
Speaking to Arab News, Al-Kharif said that a delegation of experts will visit international airports in upcoming weeks to evaluate these airports. Al-Kharif, however, said feedback is important to improve services at Saudi airports.
The evaluation focuses on specific factors concerning the airport experience such as hygiene issues and cleanliness, the services and facilities provided, customer service, comfort, sleeping areas and restaurants, dining options and cleanliness in toilets.
Juba International Airport in South Sudan came second on the list of the worst airports, followed by Port Harcourt International Airport, Nigeria and Tashkent International Airport in Uzbekistan.


Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

Updated 26 June 2019
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Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

  • 40 works by Edvard Munch go on display for first time in Middle East

DHAHRAN: A dynamic Saudi cultural center is to showcase the works of one of the world’s most famous painters in an exhibition-first for the Middle East.

Forty pieces by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, best known for his iconic “The Scream” painting, will go on public display at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).

The special exhibition, titled “Landscapes of the Soul,” is the latest in a series of high-profile cultural events to be staged at the showpiece exhibition in Dhahran.

Developed by Saudi Aramco with the aim of stimulating knowledge, creativity and cross-cultural engagement, Ithra’s theater, museum, exhibition hall and art gallery complex forms a key part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan to promote culture and entertainment.

The Munch exhibition, which runs until Sept. 3, portrays the artist’s personal life experiences of misery, love, despair, loneliness and reflections of the soul, through his distinctive works.

“It is such an honor to host and introduce to Saudi Arabia, and indeed, the Middle East, the work of the world-renowned artist Edvard Munch,” Rania Biltagi, Ithra’s head of communications and partnership, told Arab News.

Munch’s (1863-1944) original exhibition has been located in Oslo, Norway since 1963, and the Saudi display is being staged in Ithra’s Great Hall in partnership with the Munch Museum in Norway.

As well as a lithograph version of his most famous painting “The Scream,” other works on show will include “Summer Night. The Voice,” 1894, “Self-Portrait,” 1895, and “The Sick Child,” 1896.

“A moment that stood out from the opening was when speaking to a couple visiting the exhibit, they mentioned that they were Norwegian and working in Saudi,” Biltagi said. “They explained that they had never had the chance to visit the Munch Museum in their homeland and what an unexpected pleasure it was to be able to see Munch’s work in Saudi.”

Biltagi added that the event epitomized the aim of Ithra in providing a platform to bring together cultures as well as people.

The center, featured in Time magazine’s list of the world’s top 100 places to visit, is a pioneer on the Kingdom’s culture and arts scene, organizing a variety of events, performances, programs and experiences to suit all ages and backgrounds. Previous exhibitions have included a focus on Saudi contemporary art, Leonardo da Vinci, and installations symbolizing creativity and innovation.