UNWTO praises ‘amazing’ tourism development

Updated 10 October 2015
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UNWTO praises ‘amazing’ tourism development

ABHA: The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has praised the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) for its development projects across the country.
Omar Valdez, executive head of the UNWTO’s Themis Foundation, said that his organization was also working closely with the Kingdom to host several seminars, and supports a study on using tourism to boost local communities.
The UNWTO and the Kingdom have already held joint seminars on tourism related issues in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, said Valdez recently at a seminar held here.
He said he has been amazed at the significant development in Asir since he visited three years ago. More could be done to attract mountaineers and outdoor lovers to the region’s mountainous areas, he said.
Adel Radhi, deputy minister of tourism and UNWTO consultant, said he has been involved in several projects to develop Asir as a major tourist destination, including some in Souda, Al-Habla village, Tanumah and Al-Namas.
Radhi said there should be more organized programs and trips to the region, with guides. He also urged local businesspeople to contribute by investing in hotels, restaurants and cafes needed in the region.
He also praised Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the SCTNH, for launching various tourist initiatives in the region and country, including the handicraft program.
Addis Sivash, a tourism expert with the UNWTO, said that there should be more promotion done on social networking sites, to keep the public informed of events taking place in the region.
She proposed that all programs and events should not only be held in Arabic, but also English, to attract larger numbers of local and international tourists.
The UNWTO delegation participated in the seminar on tourism developments in the region and visited various popular locations including Al-Muftaha village, Rijal village and Al-Souda park.


History of Al-Zareeb Castle in Tabuk celebrated in new study

Al-Zareeb Castle in Al-Wajih governorate in Tabuk was also used as a resting place for pilgrims traveling to Makkah. (SPA)
Updated 16 December 2018
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History of Al-Zareeb Castle in Tabuk celebrated in new study

  • The castle also includes a prayer area (musalla) and residential units surrounded by water wells
  • The city is full of historical monuments and is mentioned in the books of Arab travelers

JEDDAH: The King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives (DARAH) has published a history of Al-Zareeb Castle in Al-Wajh governorate in Tabuk, to mark the visit of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz to the region. Located 10 km east of Al-Wajh, surrounded by mountains, the castle was built in 1617 to protect pilgrims and their goods on their way to and from their Hajj journey. It was also used as a resting place for pilgrims traveling to Makkah.
It is well supplied by groundwater and is located 7.5 km from the international coastal route linking Al-Wajh and other coastal areas, such as Yanbuh, Umlaj and Duba.
The castle was built during the era of Sultan Ahmed I of the Ottoman Empire on the route of the Egyptian Hajj, that is to say the pilgrims coming from Egypt and North Africa. It was bombed during the Great Arab Revolt in 1916 and was recently renovated. Castles such as this were built in the form of the mini-city model.
The report said the rectangular castle has a set of towers surrounding the courtyards. The castle also includes a prayer area (musalla) and residential units surrounded by water wells. It is considered one of the most important remaining archaeological sites in the Tabuk region. The castle was built in stone, with an entrance on the eastern side and two ponds for water storage. Al-Zareeb castle marks the importance of castles at that time, aiding pilgrims as they traveled to the holy lands by horse and donkey. Pilgrims needed a place with water to rest and these castles allowed them to store their luggage safely.

Renovation
In the renovation work, the same types of stone and materials were used to preserve the original appearance of the castle’s exterior.
A cemetery is located to the east of the castle on a hillside. It is believed to contain the tombs of the soldiers who fought to protect the pilgrims’ route.
Al-Wajh city lies on the eastern coast of the Red Sea and is considered an important historical port, given its major role in the stimulation of trade before and after Islam.
The city is full of historical monuments and is mentioned in the books of Arab travelers, historians and even explorers such as Sir Richard Burton.