Saudi, S. Korean experts join hands to fight MERS

Updated 16 June 2015

Saudi, S. Korean experts join hands to fight MERS

RIYADH: Health experts from Saudi Arabia and their South Korean counterparts have joined hands to combat the dreaded MERS outbreak in the Far East Asian country, where 16 people have succumbed to the contagion so far.

Five new cases were reported by the Korean Health Ministry on Monday, taking the total to 150, the largest outbreak outside of Saudi Arabia.
Jungho Lee, a senior diplomat and spokesman at the embassy of the Republic of Korea in Riyadh, told Arab News on Monday that Saudi health experts were in Seoul and were working in close coordination with local health workers to fight the disease.
“Having a sophisticated health system, Korea exports medical technologies to the Kingdom and helps in various health care projects. Now, as Saudi Arabia has accumulated solid experience and knowledge in dealing with MERS since its outbreak in June 2012, it is but natural for the Kingdom and the Republic of South Korea to strengthen collaboration in this field,” he said.
Earlier, Health Minister Khalid Al-Falih had offered help to his South Korean counterpart, Moon Hyung-pyo, in the form of Saudi health experts with experience in tackling MERS cases.
The MERS outbreak in South Korea has sparked off international concern and stalled the nation’s economy. According to the Korean ministry of finance, it has resulted in over 100,000 canceled tourist visits.
Jungho said that the Saudi Health Ministry delegation reached Seoul on June 11 and on June 12. “Experts from both the countries held a joint workshop to discuss the outbreak in Korea and the Kingdom, which has recorded the highest number of MERS cases, crossing 1,000 confirmed infections and 454 deaths till Monday.
The first MERS case was reported in South Korea on May 20, when a businessman, who had returned from a tour to the Gulf countries including the Kingdom, testing positive.
Meanwhile, a Korean citizen was hospitalized in Slovakia after being suspected of carrying the MERS virus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss the MERS outbreak in South Korea, which it described as “large and complex.”


Food of love: A guide to Valentine’s dining in Saudi Arabia

Updated 12 February 2020

Food of love: A guide to Valentine’s dining in Saudi Arabia

  • Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days for restaurant owners
  • Arab News finds out the best dining options in Riyadh and Jeddah

RIYADH: As the old saying goes, “the way to someone's heart is through their stomach,” and there is nothing better than enjoying a good meal with a loved one on a special occasion.

Although Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days for restaurant owners, it is not directly advertised in some regions of Saudi Arabia as in the past it was illegal because it was not part of traditional Saudi culture and people said that it was un-Islamic.

Previously, restaurants were also not allowed to accommodate requests of a romantic nature such as engagement proposals and wedding anniversaries with cakes and flowers, but that is changing. Many in the Kingdom now find such celebrations increasingly appealing.

Here are some of the best romantic restaurants in Riyadh and Jeddah:

Okku $$$$
Okku, the multi-award-winning Japanese restaurant and one of the best fine-dining locations in Riyadh, has a spectacular interior and provides the perfect ambiance for a romantic evening. This year it is offering a Valentine’s set menu, including elegant desserts. Okku can accommodate customers with a special seating area for two. The restaurant can also arrange for customers to bring their flowers and gifts prior to the evening to surprise loved ones.


The Globe $$$$
One of the top high-end restaurants in the center of the capital, The Globe is located at the highest point in the Al-Faisaliah Tower overlooking the beautiful Riyadh skyline. The quiet, quaint restaurant is known for its variety of food, drinks and soft music to enjoy.


Lusin $$$
With two restaurants, in Riyadh and Jeddah, the Armenian restaurant features Armenian and Arab flavors in many of its signature dishes, serving home-style meals with a lavish twist. The atmosphere is warm with soft lighting and Armenian background music providing couples with a cozy atmosphere to enjoy meals.


Agave Restaurant & Café $$$
A nice atmosphere for couples to enjoy an evening with live music and open-air seating and a stunning view of Jeddah’s coast at sunset. Agave is famous for its hospitality and celebrations, and the staff can accommodate customers with special events and surprises that turn into a fiesta. 



Shrimp Zone $$
If you are not looking for a conventional white tablecloth dinner in Jeddah, getting your hands dirty here is not an option — it’s a necessity. Though not your typical romantic joint, it’s a fun and intimate way to have a good meal with different types of seafood options, and without exceeding your budget.