Museums to help realize Vision 2030

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This file photo shows Hijaz railway museum in Madinah. (SPA)
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Masmak Museum in Riyadh.
Updated 15 May 2016

Museums to help realize Vision 2030

JEDDAH: There are 132 private and public museums in Saudi Arabia and the Vision 2030 plan has rightly focused on their role in boosting tourism and putting the Kingdom in the lead among different countries.

According to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH), the most prominent among them are the National Museum and Al-Masmak Historical Museum in Riyadh.
Al-Masmak is considered one of the leading national museums because of the Al-Masmak Fort, the most important historical monument in the Kingdom. The fort occupies a prominent place in the history of Riyadh in particular and the Kingdom in general because it is connected with the epic of capturing Riyadh in the Hijri year 1319 by the late King Abdulaziz.
In the Hijri year 1400, the Riyadh Secretariat conducted a special study to renovate Al-Masmak. Later, the Ministry of Education, represented by the agency for antiquities and museums and in coordination with Riyadh Development Authority, adopted a program to transform this monument into a museum to represent the stages of establishing the Kingdom by King Abdulaziz.
The museum was opened in early 1995 under the auspices of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, who was the governor of Riyadh at that time. It is one of the largest museums in the Kingdom, located on an area of 17,000 square meters.
The museum has nine galleries, including the Man and the Universe (scientific phenomenon), Arabian Kingdoms (historic period of the Arabian Peninsula). It has a number of artifacts and statues from that era, in addition to photos and maps.
Another prominent museum in the Kingdom is Al-Haramain Museum in Makkah, which contains seven halls highlighting the cultural and historical dimension of the Two Holy Mosques. It also houses old and recent portraits and models of precious antiquities and inscriptions related to the Grand Mosque, in addition to the Kaaba kiswa and the old door of the Kaaba, the handmade fabric machine for the manufacture of the kiswa and other collectibles.
In Jeddah, the Khuzam Palace Museum was built inside the Palace of King Abdulaziz. It is one of the prominent museums in the city. The original palace was built in 1923 and was transformed to a national museum in 1995. It reflects the civilizations and historical stages of the Hijaz region.


Saudi Arabia's envoy to UK: We won’t allow Iran to meddle in region 

Updated 25 January 2020

Saudi Arabia's envoy to UK: We won’t allow Iran to meddle in region 

  • “You cannot give in to a country like Iran because they will see it as a sign of weakness,” Prince Khalid said
  • The ambassador encouraged people to visit his country before forming an opinion of it

LONDON: Riyadh does not seek conflict with Tehran but will not let “Iran’s meddling in the region” go unchecked, said the Saudi ambassador to Britain. 
“We do not seek conflict. We do not seek escalation. We have always been supporters of taking a firm stand against Iran. Our issue is not with the people of Iran, it is with the regime running the country,” Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan told the Daily Telegraph. 
“But we do not believe in appeasement. At no point in history has appeasement proved to be a successful strategy. You cannot give in to a country like Iran because they will see it as a sign of weakness.”
France, Germany and the UK, three of the signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), triggered a “dispute resolution mechanism” recently in response to Iran ramping up its nuclear program in violation of the deal.
Prince Khalid criticized the JCPOA because it does not address “all the other things that Iran” is doing in the region.
“Iran’s meddling in the region is as challenging as the nuclear program. This is why we were concerned with the nuclear deal,” he said.
The ambassador also touched on recent allegations that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in hacking the phone of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
“It is very easy for people to throw these unsubstantiated allegations against Saudi Arabia because they know that it is very difficult for Riyadh to defend itself when it does not have proper access to the details,” Prince Khalid said.
“We need to see the evidence before we make any response, because the evidence made public so far is circumstantial at best.”
Saudis do not always represent themselves well because they are “a reticent people and our culture does not push us to talking about ourselves,” he said. “We need to do a better job on showing the world who we really are.” 
The ambassador, who was appointed last year, encouraged people to visit his country before forming an opinion of it. 
“There are a lot of misconceptions about Saudi Arabia. We want people to come and see Saudi Arabia for themselves, and not rely on what they have read somewhere or heard somewhere to form their opinion of the country,” he said.
“There is plenty to see, and you will find a warm, generous and hospitable people there waiting to greet you.”