Saudi Arabia declares war on child abuse

Updated 19 November 2014

Saudi Arabia declares war on child abuse

The Council of Ministers on Monday passed a bill to protect children’s rights, including the right to have uninterrupted education.
The Cabinet also decided to establish a sports federation — Saudi School Sports Federation — and entrusted the Supreme Committee for Education Policy to set out its rules and regulations.
The new law protects children below 18 from all forms of abuse. It stresses children’s rights established by the Shariah and international regulations and conventions.
“The new law considers a number of actions as an abuse or neglect of a child’s right including causing interruption of his or her education, ill-treatment, harassment, exploitation, use of abusive words, and discrimination against the child for any ethnic, social or economic reason,” a Cabinet statement said.
“The law obliges anyone who see a case of harm or neglect to the child to inform competent authorities about it immediately,” said the Cabinet, which was chaired by Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin.
The Cabinet approved an agreement with Algeria for the extradition of accused and convicted felons. It also endorsed a customs cooperation agreement with Morocco. It approved the arrangements and controls for members of the board of the Saudi Organization for Certified Valuators attending the board’s meetings.
Earlier, Prince Muqrin briefed the Cabinet on the results of an emergency GCC summit, which was held in Riyadh on Sunday under the chairmanship of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
The Cabinet said the summit was aimed at consolidating the spirit of sincere cooperation and strengthening the unity of GCC countries. It commended the decision of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain to send back their ambassadors to Qatar.
The Cabinet was briefed on the talks held by King Abdullah with President Fuad Masum of Iraq.
It welcomed the results of G-20 summit, where Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, headed the Kingdom’s delegation.
The Cabinet stressed the content of the Kingdom’s speech at the summit, which stressed the importance of world peace to boost global economic growth.
Prince Salman said Saudi Arabia would continue to play an effective role in the G-20 to promote international economic progress and stability realizing the interest of all.
“Such an effective participation in G-20 is also essential to protect the interests of Arab and developing countries,” the crown prince said.
The Cabinet praised King Abdullah’s support for the King Abdul Aziz International Qur’an Competition at the Grand Mosque in Makkah with the participation of 159 contestants from different countries.
Referring to the inauguration of Gulf Cup tournament in Riyadh, the Cabinet welcomed all participants in the tournament.
The Cabinet reviewed the result of an OIC ministerial meeting in Morocco on Al-Quds and Palestine and stressed the need for a unified Islamic position and collective action by the Islamic countries to end the Israeli occupation of the occupied Palestinian territories, and gain full recognition of the State of Palestine.
The council listened to a report on the 4th ministerial forum on gas which was organized by the International Energy Forum and the World Federation of Gas in Mexico while emphasizing Saudi Arabia’s efforts to stabilize international oil market.
The Cabinet expressed its pride over the tangible progress achieved by the Kingdom in the Human Development Report for United Nation Development Program for 2014, which showed Saudi Arabia’s global ranking jumped from 57 in 2013 to 34 this year. Saudi Arabia achieved second place among the Arab and Gulf countries and 10th in G-20.
The Cabinet reshuffled the Appeals Committee for Securities Disputes for three years, appointing Naqa bin Khaled Al-Otaibi from the Bureau of Experts at the Council of Ministers as its president.
The Cabinet appointed Bandar bin Mohammed Jamil Ahmed Mahmoud ambassador, Adnan bin Mohammed Al-Essa minister plenipotentiary, Abdullah bin Abdul Rahman Al-Dakhil minister plenipotentiary at the Foreign Ministry; Ahmed bin Ibrahim bin Mohammed Al-Hujairi deputy Jeddah mayor; Khalid bin Mohamed Al-Aqeb director general of the Madinah governor’s office; Abdulaziz bin Fahd Al-Zamam assistant mayor in Northern Border Province; Mohammed bin Mohammed Al-Ruwaigh secretary of the Riyadh Provincial Council and Abdullah bin Ali Juwair legal adviser at the Ministry of Justice.

Saudi rural tourism recovers after months of forced isolation

Updated 11 July 2020

Saudi rural tourism recovers after months of forced isolation

  • Saudis turn to domestic traveling and flock to their nation’s cooler cities and rural areas

TAIF: As Saudi citizens turn to domestic tourism in the country’s summer resorts, adapting to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, rural areas have become targeted by local tourists wishing to get away from the soaring temperatures in most of the Kingdom’s cities.

Visitors are now choosing cold Saudi cities instead of Europe, which they are accustomed to visiting, such as Taif, Al-Baha, and Abha.

COVID-19 has postponed all plans to travel abroad, and attention has now focused on domestic tourism amid strict health protocols in parks, gardens and recreational areas.

Walid Al-Hamidi, vice president of the Tourism Development Council, confirmed to Arab News that Asir, with its facilities and attractions, was ready to receive summer visitors from across the country.

He said that under the directives of Asir's governor, who supervises all activities and events directly and constantly, many committees had been formed to prepare a successful summer tourism season, to optimize the opportunity and allow people to enjoy the exceptional ambiance of Asir.

“A comprehensive tourism plan was set up two years ago, which resulted in a successful Al-Soudah Season with the support of Asir’s Investment Authority,” Al-Hamidi added.

He noted that Asir’s directives aimed this year to build an exceptional tourism model that meets optimal health standards in dealing with COVID-19.

The model is supported by the “Nashama Asir” team — consisting of 4,000 volunteers — who have been trained for months and have all the necessary skills to make the season successful. Their work will continue until the end of the pandemic and throughout the summer.

“Everyone is ready at public facilities, gardens and parks, to serve tourists,” he said, adding “tourists coming from all the over the Kingdom will be welcomed with smiles, enhanced services, and warm welcomes.”

Dr. Sami Al-Obaidi, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Taif, told Arab News that the tourism sector was the economic backbone of any country or city.

He said that Taif was considered one of the most important tourist cities, given its many attractions  that made it top of any list of places to visit in the Kingdom.

“Suspending travel abroad, and limiting tourism … due to the coronavirus pandemic, makes us, as officials and citizens in Taif, well placed for a beautiful and safe tourism season for Taif’s citizens and visitors,” said Al-Obaidi.

“Meetings are held around the clock, headed by Saad Al-Maimouni, the governor of Taif, with the participation of the relevant authorities.”

He expected all sectors, especially tourism, hospitality and a few other businesses in Taif, to recover to some extent during this season, especially now tourists have already started flocking to the region, with numbers set to increase over the coming weeks.