Pakistan food fest inaugurated

Updated 13 June 2012

Pakistan food fest inaugurated

The president of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) and Pakistani Ambassador Muhammad Naeem Khan jointly inaugurated a Pakistani food festival at Riyadh Palace Hotel Monday night. The food festival, the first of its kind organized by the Pakistani embassy in Saudi Arabia as part of its cultural exchange initiative, will run until Friday.
Speaking after formally cutting the ribbon to mark the opening of the festival, RCCI President Abdulrahman Al-Jeraisy said, “Pakistan is a brotherly country for Saudi Arabia, and Pak-Saudi relations have stood the test of time.” The Kingdom’s leadership and its people consider Pakistan as their second home and similarly, the sacred land of Saudi Arabia has been a second home for Pakistanis through the years, he added.
“This, in addition to the strong political and commercial relations and the religious bonds, has always kept Saudi-Pakistani relations cordial and intact,” said Al-Jeraisy. He also called on Pakistani businessmen, professionals and workers to derive benefits from the booming economy of the Kingdom. The inaugural ceremony was attended by a large number of Saudi and Pakistani officials, diplomats and other guests.
A troupe of children performed on the beats of music, which entertained the guests participating in the festival. Ambassador Khan acknowledged the assistance of various organizations and individuals in making the festival possible.
Referring to the food festival, the envoy said it was part of a series of events organized by the Pakistani embassy to showcase Pakistan’s culture. “The aim is to enable our Saudi brothers and others to directly experience Pakistan’s rich civilization and heritage,” said the envoy. “Through the food festival, we have tried to bring a representative sample of Pakistani cuisine to the Kingdom.”
He pointed out that Pakistani cuisine was a delicious blend of cooking from several regions and civilizations. It has combined local eating habits and food with those from Arabia, Persia, Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Ottoman Empire, he added.
“It is this great variety and this unique blend that has made Pakistani dishes famous all over the world,” said the ambassador. “I hope that all our guests, particularly those new to Pakistani cuisine, will enjoy the dishes on offer.” He pointed out that the Pakistani chef, Muhammad Farooq, was a well-known celebrity chef in Pakistan. “I would like to inform you that not only has he prepared scores of dishes for you, he is also ready to provide recipes and advice for making various dishes,” he said.

Height of adventure: Treading the ‘Edge of the World’ near Riyadh

Updated 19 April 2018

Height of adventure: Treading the ‘Edge of the World’ near Riyadh

  • Cliffs in Tuwaiq were formed as a result of the movement of the Arabian plate toward the northeast because of the spread of the Red Sea rift
  • Several prominent Saudi tour companies offer daylong excursions to the site

Thrill seekers and fitness gurus all over the Kingdom will be pleased to know that their choices for weekend activities have increased. 

Several tour operators in Riyadh have started offering trips to the area known as the Edge of the World, making the location more accessible than ever.

With the country’s obesity rates on the rise and many citizens growing more concerned about their physical health and stress levels, people are seeking ways to maintain their fitness without having to restrict themselves to the monotony of a gym routine.

One such solution that has steadily increased in popularity over the past year is hiking, which many have embraced as being much more exciting and fulfilling than spending hours on the treadmill. And most popular of all for hiking and other fitness activities in a natural setting is the magnificent landmark of Jabal Fihrayn, more commonly known as the Edge of the World.

Described as a “window framed by rock,” the Edge of the World offers stunning views of the valley below, a lush grove of acacia trees teeming with wildlife and vegetation. The spot is well-known for being a favorite of visiting picnickers.

Hikers can choose from several trails of varying levels of difficulty, making their way to the top of the Tuwaiq escarpment to take in the magnificent views at the top of the trail, where the colossal cliff faces drop off to reveal the dizzying height from the valley below. In addition to the rich wildlife unique to the location, you can also find samples of fossilized coral and raw mineral deposits in certain areas of the valley.

The cliffs in the areas were formed as a result of the tectonic movement of the Arabian plate toward the northeast because of the spread of the Red Sea rift situated 1,000 km to the west of Tuwaiq.

Due to the increasing popularity of the site, the authorities have built a hardtop that leads to the gates of the sites and arrangements are in place to protect the area and its natural treasures. 

Several prominent Saudi tour companies offer daylong excursions to the site. The more intrepid explorer also has the option to go alone; though past visitors recommend that solo travelers take an all-terrain, 4x4 vehicle and extra precaution. Visitors can spend the day at the site and leave before 6 p.m. (when the gates are closed for the night) or stay behind for a night of camping to enjoy the sunset and the breathtaking celestial views of a star-studded night sky.

Nora Alfard, amateur hiking enthusiast and two-time visitor to the location, was quick to offer praise about her trip. 

“The trip out there was a bit tiring, but totally worth it,” she said. “The views are stunning, and the hiking itself is not that difficult. Most people should be able to make it to the top without too much trouble.” She said she was likely to go a third time, and encouraged others to do the same.

The Edge of the World is roughly 100km northwest of Riyadh, about 1.5 hours’ drive from the capital. Visitors should be prepared for at least 30 minutes of hiking, possibly more depending on your trail and your level of fitness and experience. Previous visitors recommend bringing water and snacks, and stress the importance of dressing appropriately — hiking shoes only!


What is hiking?

Hiking means a long, vigorous walk, usually on trails in the countryside. Day hikers generally carry at least food, a map or a GPS navigation device.