Prince Sattam’s passing leaves void in Kingdom

Updated 26 February 2013

Prince Sattam’s passing leaves void in Kingdom

Riyadh Gov. Prince Sattam, 72, passed away yesterday, the Royal Court announced.
Funeral prayers for the late prince will be performed after Asr at the Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque here today.
The late Prince Sattam was appointed Deputy Governor of Riyadh in 1978. Subsequently, Prince Sattam succeeded
his brother, the then-Governor Prince Salman, who became the minister of defense, on Nov. 5, 2011.
Prince Sattam’s body will be buried at Al-Adel Graveyard in Makkah in response to his last wish, an official statement said.
Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, will receive condolences on the death of Prince Sattam at his palace in Arqa between Maghreb and Isha on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Prince Sattam was one of the senior members of the royal family and 30th son of King Abdul Aziz, the Kingdom’s founder.
He began his early education at Prince’s School in Riyadh. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of San Diego in 1965. Later, the same university given him a honorary doctorate degree in May 1975.
The prince had been in the forefront of many developmental and humanitarian activities. Some positions included chairman of insolvent prisoners release committee; deputy chairman of the executive committee of Saudization; deputy chairman of the Riyadh Development Authority; deputy chairman of the board of directors of Al-Birr charitable society in Riyadh; deputy chairman of Prince Salman Charitable Housing Program; and deputy chairman of Ibn Baz charity to help youth to get married.
He was the deputy chairman of the Charitable Society for the Care of Orphans; chairman of the local committee for gathering donations for Kosovo and Chechnya Muslims; deputy chairman of the civil defense committee; honorary deputy chairman of the patients’ friends committee in the Riyadh region; deputy chairman of the Charitable Society for the Care of Renal Failure Patients.
During his tenure, Prince Sattam attended several functions organized by government agencies. He was also popular among the government and diplomatic circles. He attended National Day celebrations of the various countries as chief guest.
A large crowd from the members of the royal family, government officials, members of the diplomatic corps and others are expected to attend the funeral today.

Saudi sources deny ‘unsubstantiated’ reports of permitting alcohol

Updated 34 min 28 sec ago

Saudi sources deny ‘unsubstantiated’ reports of permitting alcohol

  • “The leadership has made it clear from day one; it is simply not happening,”SCTH source tells Arab News
  • The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has no plans to allow the sale or public consumption of alcohol, a senior government source has told Arab News.

The official with access to relevant decision-makers categorically denied “unsubstantiated” media reports in some international and regional news outlets.

“If you read the fake news, you will notice it is all based on hearsay and tweets by accounts known to have a questionable agenda when talking about the Kingdom,” he said.

“As the country moves forward with its reform plans, we expect much speculation and attempts by critics to hold us back. And while people are allowed to speculate and criticize, their speculation should not be treated as the truth.”

A second source at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) also denied such reports. “The leadership has made it clear from day one; it is simply not happening,” he told Arab News. “I have not heard of any plans to allow alcohol in major cities, free zones or new projects.”

The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants. Any plans for the sale or consumption of alcohol would have to go through the commission for implementation. 

Saudi Arabia has witnessed substantial social reforms over the past three years, such as the curbing of the previously unchecked power of the religious police, reopening cinemas and allowing women to drive.

There has also been a major shift on previously prohibited public entertainment and gender mixing. International artists including Mariah Carey, Yanni, Andrea Bocelli, Enrique Iglesias and Black Eyed Peas have all performed.

Tourism projects have included pop-up versions of international restaurants such as Signor Sassi, Nusr-Et and Nobu. None has served alcohol.

“Officials have repeatedly said all changes were and will always be in line with Islamic teachings and traditions,” the senior source told Arab News.