Bridge near KAIA to be removed in 2 months

Updated 01 August 2014

Bridge near KAIA to be removed in 2 months

The bridge near King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) will be removed within two months to make way for new railway tracks under the Haramain High Speed Rail Project.
“The tracks will pass through several intersections along the Haramain and Nuzha roads,” said Bassam Ghulman, project director.
“Intersections are slated for completion within the two-month timeframe with the exception of the King Abdullah intersection, which will be complete by the end of the year,” he said. “The bridge leading to KAIA shall be removed to facilitate construction work taking place in the surrounding area.”
“The bridge must be removed in this time to keep apace of the railway schedule,” said Ghulman. “A new replacement bridge, which will be built with different standards and descriptions, will also be completed at the end of this year,” he said.
“The Haramain track between Rabigh and Madinah, meanwhile, will run by the end of next year,” he said. The railway, which spans 450 km, is being developed under the guidance of the Ministry of Transport upon directives issued by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah. Work is ongoing at several intersections, including King Abdullah Street, Palestine Street, Tahlia Street and Airport Road in Jeddah.
The project includes the construction of four main stations in Madinah, King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh, Jeddah and Makkah.
Each station will include a main building, an arrival and departure halls, a mosque, a Civil Defense center, helipads, passenger waiting areas, short and long-term car parking slots, VIP halls, shops, restaurants and cafes.

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.