Young men rent flats to smoke shisha

Updated 29 August 2014

Young men rent flats to smoke shisha

The shisha ban in Jeddah cafes has contributed to the rise in prices of small flats which are now in demand by Saudis to smoke shisha.
Shishas have been banned on health grounds, alongside other forms of smoking, with the Health Ministry campaigning for tougher measures against the habit for years.
Several Saudis have since found alternative locations such as small flats to smoke shisha, far from the prying eyes of the inspectors.
“There is a high turnout of Saudi youth willing to rent small flats. This has contributed to a rise in rents by up to 30 percent,” Abdullah Al-Gharbawi, a former member in the Real-Estate Committee of Jeddah Chamber for Commerce and Industry, told Arab News.
“I rented a small flat to smoke shisha and watch football with my friend,” Fahad Al-Murshedi, a young Saudi man told Arab News.
“There is no place in Jeddah for Saudi youth to meet with their friends. Most of the Jeddah cafes have been closed by municipal authorities. Therefore, I have rented a small flat with my friend to smoke shisha and have tea to spend our leisure time,” said Abdul Aziz Mubark.

ThePlace: Saudi Arabia’s ‘vegetable basket’

Updated 14 min 28 sec ago

ThePlace: Saudi Arabia’s ‘vegetable basket’

  • Qassim in central Saudi Arabia hosts more than 8 million palm trees, which produce 205,000 tons of high quality dates every year

Al-Qassim is known for its agricultural value to Saudi Arabia. Due to the province’s fertile farming land, it is widely referred to as the Kingdom’s “vegetable basket.”

As the lushest part of the country, it is responsible for most of the Kingdom’s agriculture. Al-Qassim boasts the largest number of greenhouses in Saudi Arabia, producing a wide range of agricultural produce, including dates. 

The province hosts more than 8 million palm trees, which produce 205,000 tons of luxury dates annually that are exported regionally and internationally.

The capital of Al-Qassim, Buraidah, hosts a yearly date festival that is attended by many people, including those from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, who stock up on dates.

Al-Qassim’s farms and orchards attract nature lovers and city dwellers who wish to relax amid its palms and scenery.

These orchards have recently become an attraction for nature lovers, along with anyone who wants to get away from it all and relax. With greenery and tall palm trees surrounding the fields, Al-Qassim’s natural beauty, environmental splendor and fresh water make it the perfect destination.

Visitors come from all over to enjoy the magnificent views and get away from the dull routine of life. They are transported back in time by the simplicity showcased in the orchards by the farmers’ mud houses, and the work these laborers do from dawn until sunset, relying on authentic and traditional agricultural methods.

As well as being a tourist attraction, Al-Qassim is also known for the quality of its product. With so many farms and orchards in the region, and thanks to the fertility of its soil, a wide variety of crops can be grown, including wheat, dates, fruits and vegetables, which are sold across the Kingdom. • Photo by Saudi Press Agency