Malaysia popular among Saudi students

Malaysia popular among Saudi students
Updated 23 April 2013

Malaysia popular among Saudi students

Malaysia popular among Saudi students

More than 30 leading universities and educational institutions from Malaysia participated in the two-day Malaysian higher education fair at the Malaysian Consulate in Jeddah, which took off Sunday.
The fair aimed to showcase the opportunities of studying in Malaysia for Saudis and expats in the Kingdom.
“We are offering a lifelong learning curve for students. There are also opportunities for advanced courses, such as Master's and Ph.D. programs,” said Ahmed Razal Chan, who works for the fair organizer Rexpo.
He said engineering, medicine and information technology (IT) are popular areas of expertise in Malaysia.
“Last year, almost 4,000 people visited the fair in two days, and we are expecting the same this year,” said Chan.
Mohammed Khalid Abbasi Abdul Razak, Malaysian consul general, said: “The universities in Malaysia are cheap in comparison to the universities in the UK and the US, but the quality is the same. Moreover, Malaysia is a Muslim country so we have halal food. We arranged a small food festival at the fair so the students can familiarize themselves with Malaysian cuisine.”
Out of a total of 80,000 students in Malaysia, almost 2,000 are Saudi and 30,000 are from other countries. Malaysian universities follow the British curriculum and are recognized worldwide. “Our target is to get more than 100,000 students in 2013,” said Razak.
He said Malaysia is a tourist country and a major educational hub with quality education in Asia.
Ali Ahmed Ali, a Yemeni national, said he was looking for information about the University of Technology, Malaysia and Malaysia University of Science to continue his education in mechanical engineering.
“My two older brothers are already studying in Malaysia so I want to complete my education there as well. I have already been to Malaysia for educational purposes, so I believe a Malaysian university would be the best,” he said.
Another student, Ahmed Al-Sayed, said he wanted to join the Malaysian University for his career in information technology (IT).

Remote travel: On the road in Namibia

Remote travel: On the road in Namibia
Updated 15 January 2021

Remote travel: On the road in Namibia

Remote travel: On the road in Namibia
  • Sparsely populated and hugely diverse, this African nation is an ideal destination for our socially distanced times

WINDHOEK: In this age of COVID-induced social distancing, the more remote the location, the better.

And Namibia is about as remote as it gets. 

That isn’t just a by-product of the global tourism downturn — this central African nation has long been a destination to explore without the crowds. Namibia is home to just 2.5 million people, but expands over 824,292 square kilometers – more than six times the size of England. This goes some way to explaining the diversity of its landscapes, from the towering sand dunes and canyons of the south, to the lush greens of the north, through the arid desert in between. 

Travellers have two main choices of transport: by plane, or by road. The former involves the hiring of a small Cessna and a pilot, hopping between five-star lodges, while the latter tends to involve a more challenging — and lengthy — trip, not least because the roads are mostly gravel, often pock-marked and uneven. The scenery can change drastically in just a couple of hours and many hours can pass between passing another vehicle.

Swakopmund is a German-inspired town. (Shutterstock)

However, car hire is cheap and easy: A brand-new Toyota Hilux, complete with rooftop tent and a cab full of essentials — table, chairs, gas stove, utensils, fridge, kettle and storage — for about $100 per day. Campsites are plentiful and well-equipped — you’ll likely get a table and shelter, sometimes your own toilet and shower. 

From the capital, Windhoek, head north on one of Namibia’s few tar-sealed roads for Etosha National Park, home to a plethora of wildlife, easily spotted around its many waterholes from the comfort of your own vehicle, as it’s a self-drive park (typical for Namibia). Seeing rhino and giraffe, or even a pride of lions, near your campsite isn’t uncommon. 

Heading south, the landscape changes abruptly from to iron-rich, rock-strewn expanses  and flat-topped mountains. This is Damaraland, and it’s worth visiting for the drive alone. On your way through, stop in at Grootberg Lodge. Set in a private concession and perched on the edge of Etendeka Plateau, the view from your stone hut is surely the best in Namibia: a green valley floor framed by a jagged canyon. A sundowner drive will take you across the mountain plateau, where you can spot elephants, oryx and springbok. 

You should not leave Namibia without making time to visit one of the world’s most remote locations, the Skeleton Coast. (Shutterstock)

You should not leave Namibia without making time to visit one of the world’s most remote locations, the Skeleton Coast. It gets its name from the whale carcasses and many shipwrecks that line its shores. 

It is largely unpopulated, hundreds of kilometers from the nearest town, and carefully protected — you’ll need a permit to get in. About 200 kilometres north of the entrance to the park, the road stops at Mowe Bay and access is restricted to rangers and those heading for Shipwreck Lodge, one of Namibia’s — if not Africa’s — most incredible accommodation offerings. It is marketed as one of the most remote lodges on the planet, and it delivers. Consisting of just 10 rooms, all designed to resemble shipwrecks, this understated luxury lodge looks out on wind-whipped dunes and thrashing seas. You can spend your days tracking elusive desert elephants through dry river beds, going in search of shipwrecks, picnicking on the beach opposite violent waves, or quad biking on untouched dunes, before tucking into an oryx fillet in the restaurant. It is a genuine once-in-a-lifetime experience, with prices likely to skyrocket in future, so there is no better time to visit.

‘Big Daddy’ is the area’s largest dune, drink in the landscape. (Shutterstock)

While it can be tempting to try your luck as a castaway here for the rest of your days, the south of the country is also worth seeing. Particularly the German-inspired town of Swakopmund, and the iron-rich sand dunes of Sossusvlei — a sharp contrast to the gleaming white dunes of the Skeleton Coast. Along the way, stop in for the best apple pie in the country at Solitaire — a strange outlier in an otherwise desolate sandscape. Though its likely been clear the entire journey, here is where you’ll truly appreciate the solitude of Namibia. Sat atop ‘Big Daddy,’ the area’s largest dune, drink in the landscape. It will be completely different after a few hours in the truck tomorrow.