Saudi contractors want a slice of stadium pie

Saudi contractors want a slice of stadium pie
Updated 09 August 2014

Saudi contractors want a slice of stadium pie

Saudi contractors want a slice of stadium pie

As many as 350 Saudi contractors have urged Saudi Aramco to give them a chance to participate in the project of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for establishing 11 new stadiums across the Kingdom.
Saudi Aramco welcomed the contractors’ request and specified the areas where they can compete. It invited them to register their companies’ data on the designated website in order to test their competence and potentials.
At the same time, the National Committee for Contractors in Saudi Arabia announced that it has been assured by Saudi Aramco that Saudi contractors would be given a chance to make their contributions to the project.
The committee has confirmed that national contractors will find a favorable climate for success and achievement under the supervision of Saudi Aramco. This will qualify them to have a pivotal role in the construction process according to the required specifications.
About 800 people, including more than 350 Saudi contractors, participated in the meeting held by Saudi Aramco at the Asharqia Chamber to present the requirements of the king’s project.
Abdul Rahman Al-Otaishan, chairman of the chamber, expressed his happiness over Saudi Aramco being given the task of implementing the project. He said the company enjoyed high potential and would implement the project according to the highest technical specifications.
Motaz Al-Mashouq of Saudi Aramco said the company was proud of being assigned the task. “The project will contribute to the development of sport and youth in Saudi Arabia. We are committed to complete it in two years according to the highest international standards and specifications.”
He indicated that each of the 11 stadiums will accommodate about 45,000 spectators.
Al-Mashouq said: “Chances are open for all contractors to participate in the implementation of the project, especially that our relationship with them is getting stronger and stronger with time.”
“The projects implemented last year in the construction sector under the supervision of Saudi Aramco and executed by national contractors amounted to more than SR23 billion,” he added.
Meanwhile, the value of purchasing services that were awarded to national companies reached more than SR114 billion.
“Implementing the project of stadiums will create 10,000 jobs for Saudi youth in the construction sector,” Al-Mashouq added.
Ibrahim Al-Mowalad, project engineer at Saudi Aramco, confirmed that work offers are available for all contracting companies and Saudi consultancy offices that can carry out basic projects such as mechanical work, electrical works, sewage networks and civil work.
In addition, there will be offers for contractors who work with low-voltage systems, as also for contractors for external enclosures and steel structures, interior designs, asphalt, natural grass and tests on soil quality, processing sites, infrastructure, temporary facilities, staff housing as well as preparing offices, and security and safety services during the work on the project,” he added.
Al-Mowalad hinted that Saudi Aramco will secure needed materials for the project according to certain specifications.
Al-Mowalad gave details of work stages, the location of stadiums and time frame. “The project’s implementation time is two years according to global designs that simulates Al-Jawhra stadium at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah. The designs will go along the culture and the environment of each region,” he said.
“Specialized competent authorities will supply the necessary sites with necessary basic services such as water, bridges, roads, electricity, sewerage network and communications, which will offer more work opportunities for national contracting companies and consulting offices,” he added.
Al-Mowalad said that the stage of planning and initial designs will take between 3 to 6 months while the implementation phase will take 18 to 21 months. The construction process for the 11 stadiums will run simultaneously.
Saudi Aramco, in collaboration with local universities, will choose the designs that are compatible with the culture and history of each region that hosts one of the new stadiums.
Saeed Al-Ghamdi, representative of the contracts management at Saudi Aramco, invited Saudi contractors who would like to take part in the project to register their companies’ data on the website allocated for this purpose.
Al-Ghamdi explained the mechanism of registering on the designated website. Any contractor will be able to access the site, and know the specifications and conditions after fulfilling all the conditions and requirements of registration,” Al-Ghamdi added.


Six years on, the sound of Makkah’s Ramadan cannon is still missed

Six years on, the sound of Makkah’s Ramadan cannon is still missed
The blast of the cannon, with all its importance and beauty, became the sound of the call to prayer for the residents of the holy city. (Supplied)
Updated 38 min 11 sec ago

Six years on, the sound of Makkah’s Ramadan cannon is still missed

Six years on, the sound of Makkah’s Ramadan cannon is still missed
  • Modern technology — most notably the speakers affixed to the minarets — eventually made the cannon obsolete

MAKKAH: It has been six years since the cannon that stands atop Mount Abu Al-Madafaa in the north of Makkah has been fired to mark the holy month of Ramadan. But its sound still reverberates in the memories of many Makkans, for whom it was a means to tell the times of fasting, morning prayers, and the beginning and end of Ramadan.

For many years, those who lived near the mountain would climb to its peak to see the cannon being fired once Ramadan was announced. Throughout the holy month, shots would be fired to mark the start of iftar, sahoor, and the start of fasting.
In an interview with Arab News when the cannon was still active, Maj. Abdul Mohsin Al-Maimani — a spokesman for Makkah Police, which was responsible for guarding, maintaining and firing the cannon — noted how popular the cannon was with the public.
“When Makkah Police was founded 75 years ago, it was entrusted with the maintenance and care of this cannon. After Eid, the cannon is returned to a special department. A few days before Ramadan, it is sent back to the mountain. The powder is handled by a special team so that no one gets hurt,” he added.

HIGHLIGHTS

• For many years, those who lived near the mountain would climb to its peak to fire the cannon once Ramadan was announced. Throughout the holy month, shots would be fired to mark the start of iftar, suhoor, and the start of fasting.

• Cannon firing during Ramadan has been traced back as far as the 15th century and the era of the Mamluks.

Fahad Al-Harbi, mayor of Ray Zakhir near Mount Abu Al-Madafaa, told Arab News: “The Ramadan cannon withstood technical changes for long decades until its recent retirement. It represents ancient Makkan history. The blast of the cannon, with all its importance and beauty, became the sound of the call to prayer for the residents of Makkah.”

The cannon has stood on Mount Abu Al-Madafaa for at least a century, and ‘the people of Makkah connected their love for the holy month’ to both the cannon and the mountain.

Dr. Fawaz, Al-Dahas

For many years, he noted, the cannon was “the only means to alert people that it was time to break fast” and “added a distinct character to the holy month” that is still “treasured in people’s memory.”
According to Dr. Fawaz Al-Dahas, director of the Center of Makkah History, the cannon has stood on Mount Abu Al-Madafaa for at least a century, and “the people of Makkah connected their love for the holy month” to both the cannon and the mountain.
“In the past, it was impossible to hear the voice of the Grand Mosque’s muezzins, so the cannon performed the task on their behalf. It remained a tradition held dearly,” said Al-Dahas. But modern technology — most notably the speakers affixed to the minarets of Makkah’s Grand Mosque — eventually made the cannon obsolete.
Cannon firing during Ramadan has been traced back as far as the 15th century and the era of the Mamluks.


Saudi Arabia’s city of roses welcomes visitors

Saudi Arabia’s city of roses welcomes visitors
Taif’s pink roses have a sweet, strong aroma and it is rich in soft petals. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 16 April 2021

Saudi Arabia’s city of roses welcomes visitors

Saudi Arabia’s city of roses welcomes visitors
  • I am very happy to be working as a tour guide as I am a nature and environment enthusiast and I feel very accomplished when I am entertaining the tourists. Awad Al-Talhi

TAIF: Every year in March and April, people flock to Taif city to enjoy the fragrance of its pink roses and the captivating landscape of the Rose Festival.
The festival takes visitors to the authentic rose gardens and fruit orchards, where they can explore the stages of flower development from picking, cooking, distillation, and finally turning them into products.
It is an annual highlight for Taif farmers as they are given the chance to introduce the aesthetic identity of the city’s nature.
“I am very happy to be working as a tour guide as I am a nature and environment enthusiast and I feel very accomplished when I am entertaining the tourists,” Awad Al-Talhi, a tour guide in Abdullah Al-Talhi’s farm that was established in 2008, told Arab News.
He added: “Taif has a diverse type of topography where you can see a beautiful landscape. It boasts a range of fantastic places and mountains to discover like you would not expect in Saudi Arabia.”
Al-Talhi’s farm is soon to be certified as fully organic, he said, as they do not use any chemicals when it comes to pesticides and fertilization.
“Beside flowers, we also have 19 types of fruits including apricots, peaches, pomegranate, figs, plums, and prickly pears.”
The farm oversees a captivating landscape from the top, which visitors can enjoy as they ascend the turret, offering them a full view overlooking other farms.
The area surrounding the farm is carpeted with 11,000 saplings of pink roses in every direction as far as the eye can see, as well as the mountains and rock formations of Al-Shafa — the highest mountain in the region.
The farm is located on a mountain peak, with a cozy wooden rest house nearby for visitors to the farm.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The festival takes visitors to the authentic rose gardens and fruit orchards, where they can explore the stages of flower development from picking, cooking, distillation, and finally turning them into products.

• Rose water is the prized product among the many bounties extracted from Taif roses. It has been used for centuries, especially in the Middle East, as its components are known for making the skin smooth and soft.

Rose water is the prized product among the many bounties extracted from Taif roses. It has been used for centuries, especially in the Middle East, as its components are known for making the skin smooth and soft.
Taif’s pink roses have a sweet, strong aroma and it is rich in soft petals. It was historically known as the “Damascus Flower” after it was brought to the Hijaz region over 500 years ago.
The roses are also luxury ingredients for many international perfume brands. During the tour in the farm, visitors will have the chance to have their faces splashed with rose mist to experience the fresh essence of the scented rose water.
Taif resident Abdulaziz Al-Malky, who was part of the tour, told Arab News: “I am really surprised with the amazing view here, flowers and fruit blossoms are everywhere. I have been living in Taif my whole life and I have not been fascinated this much before.”
City visitor Salsabela Alrehaily told Arab News that it was her debut visit to a rose farm. “I went to Alshyookh farm and rose factory, which has a store and a nice seating area as well as a penthouse cafe. Every corner of that place smells amazing,” she said, adding that the workers were friendly and welcoming.
“Going to Taif for hiking is amazing. My friends and I had a lovely walk near the lake of Ward Al-Shafa farm and we have collected some wildflowers like lavender, common sage, and other colorful flowers to dry as souvenirs,” she said. “It was very peaceful and not crowded.”
Alrehaily said one of the most thrilling activities was the rose shower: “They poured a bucket of flowers over our heads, which was fun. It looks great in pictures but I underestimated how heavy roses can be.”
Al-Talhi’s farm has a rose water factory in a large stone cottage, where visitors can explore the process of cooking and evaporating a vast number of roses until they produce an aromatic oil or water.


Saudi mission launches Ramadan food programs in Thailand

Saudi mission launches Ramadan food programs in Thailand
Updated 16 April 2021

Saudi mission launches Ramadan food programs in Thailand

Saudi mission launches Ramadan food programs in Thailand

BANGKOK: Saudi Arabia on Friday launched Ramadan food programs in Bangkok.

The charge d’affaires at Saudi Arabia’s Embassy in the Thai capital, Issam Al-Jutaili, inaugurated the King Salman iftar and date distribution programs, supervised by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance.

The initiative was launched in cooperation and coordination with the Sheikhul Islam Office, the Central Islamic Council and prominent Islamic centers and associations in Thailand.

The embassy’s Islamic adviser, Dr. Youssef bin Abdullah Al-Hamoudi, said that the Kingdom this year provided eight tons of dates and nearly 5,000 food baskets. These will be distributed to around 35,000 Muslims in Thailand during Ramadan.

The program will be rolled out in 30 provinces, 990 mosques and 160 Islamic centers, associations and commissions, in line with COVID-19 precautionary measures.

Muslims who attended the inauguration of the two programs praised the Kingdom’s efforts to serve Islam and Muslims around the world. 

They extended their thanks and appreciation to the Saudi government.

 

 


Who’s Who: Wajdi Ali Sindi, director at OIC and editor in chief of OIC Journal

Who’s Who: Wajdi Ali Sindi, director at OIC and editor in chief of OIC Journal
Updated 16 April 2021

Who’s Who: Wajdi Ali Sindi, director at OIC and editor in chief of OIC Journal

Who’s Who: Wajdi Ali Sindi, director at OIC and editor in chief of OIC Journal

Wajdi Ali Sindi has been the director of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) communications and media department, and editor in chief of the OIC Journal, since December 2020.

He has considerable experience in international diplomacy, coupled with a key, leading position in the region’s media sector. He joined the OIC Secretariat in 2010 and oversaw coverage of numerous Islamic summits and conferences, the Council of Foreign Ministers, and ministerial conferences in various sectors. He also prepared the OIC media strategy that will continue until 2025, and created a number of initiatives.

Sindi believes that the work of media departments is instrumental and fundamental to building and shaping global public perceptions of international organizations that operate in a number of countries and languages across continents.

At the OIC, the role of the media department is particularly important in light of its work to achieve important objectives, such as efforts to counter extremist ideology and Islamophobia in the media.

Before joining the OIC, Sindi held leading roles with a number of local and international newspapers, including the position of acting editor in chief of Okaz in 2007. From 1992 to 2001 he worked at Al-Eqtisadiah, a newspaper he co-founded, and held the position of acting editor in chief several times.

In 2003 he was the managing editor of Al-Madina daily, and served as the regional director of Western region-based Al-Watan newspaper in 2006 and 2007. He has also founded several weekly and monthly journals.

Sindi graduated from King Abdul Aziz University with a bachelor’s degree in 1990 and subsequently completed a number of local and international professional courses.


Digital driving license service launched in Saudi Arabia

Digital driving license service launched in Saudi Arabia
A digital driving license service has been launched in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
Updated 8 min 7 sec ago

Digital driving license service launched in Saudi Arabia

Digital driving license service launched in Saudi Arabia
  • Through the service, all details can be viewed electronically through a QR code

RIYADH: A digital driving license service has been launched in the Kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The digital license was developed in collaboration with the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority and was launched through the Interior Ministry’s Absher Individuals and Tawakkalna apps.

Authorities have also launched a digital version of the Muqeem - or resident ID - for foreign workers.

The ministry’s Absher service was introduced to increase productivity and promote more efficient work practices within government departments, while at the same time raising customer satisfaction levels.

All details can be viewed electronically through a QR code. Users can also download a copy of their digital ID and driving license on a smart device for use without an internet connection.