Saudi technology buff lives his dream

Ali Al-Suhaibani with one of his drones.
Updated 20 December 2016

Saudi technology buff lives his dream

RIYADH: Ali Al-Suhaibani is the first Saudi to develop the RC plane hobby in the Kingdom and said that ever since he was young he had the desire to improve technologies.
“I’ve always been keen on anything mechanical or technological since childhood,” Al-Suhaibani said. “It started with bicycles, toy cars and paper planes. I used to take toys apart to see how they worked and then tried to replicate their technology. Then that evolved into larger more complex things like cars and motorcycles. Finally I settled on aircraft.” 
He added it is always in his nature to try to improve something by making it work better or be bigger.
Al-Suhaibani first saw expats flying their RC planes in the desert in Riyadh about 30 years ago and decided to buy his own RC plane and learned to fly it. He later started experimenting with building his own planes at home after one of his planes crashed and he fixed its damaged wing.
“The men I first saw flying the RC planes had formed a sort of club and so I observed them to learn more about the planes,” he said. “It was mostly my own interest that pushed me to pursue this hobby.”
He first developed RC planes similar to the ones he was flying. Then Al-Suhaibani decided to try something bigger and grander by building an F-16 model plane. After a while he got into jet engines and UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle).
Al-Suhaibani built the Typhoon, which is a 1/3 scale model of the real typhoon in shape and flying capability, to show what he is capable of building. It is a prototype with fixed landing gear.
He is now close to finishing the first version of it with retractable landing gear, more power and fixing all other bugs from the prototype.
“It happened little by little as I have always had a workshop for my planes in almost every house I’ve lived in,” he said. “So I would collect the material needed for every project and start working on them in my spare time. It started out as a hobby and then developed into a career.”
One of the projects that Al-Suhaibani is currently working on is a UAV aerial target, which is an aircraft used as a target for training purposes, that he built in his workshop at his home. He is developing it to reach certain requirements such as speed, elevation, duration, etc.


Saudi Embassy evacuates 300 tourists from Lebanon

Updated 19 October 2019

Saudi Embassy evacuates 300 tourists from Lebanon

  • The embassy said that evacuees were escorted to Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut by Lebanese security forces to guarantee their safety
  • Three Saudia aircraft were used to transport them

BEIRUT: Saudi Arabia's embassy in Lebanon has confirmed it has facilitated the “evacuation of Saudi residents and visitors” from the country.
“The evacuation operation, imposed by the security situation in Lebanon and the importance of ensuring the safety of Saudi nationals, started Saturday at 5 a.m. after the Kingdom secured three Saudia aircraft to transport them,” the embassy told Arab News.
“Three hundred people were evacuated as of Saturday afternoon, while the total number of those wishing to leave remains unclear. We have identified a hotel in Beirut as a starting point,” it added, noting that most of those who had left were tourists.
The embassy also confirmed evacuees were escorted to Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut by Lebanese security forces to guarantee their safety.
Protests broke out in Lebanon on Thursday night, and disorder has disrupted roads leading to the airport, with burning tires blocking several key routes.
On Friday, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged its citizens already in Lebanon to exercise “utmost caution.”
Egypt’s Embassy in Beirut also called on its nationals in the country to avoid protest areas, Egyptian state news agency MENA said.
“The embassy calls on all Egyptian citizens in Lebanon to avoid the areas of gatherings and protests, to be careful in their movements and to abide by the instructions of the Lebanese authorities in this regard,” MENA reported.
Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Embassy in Lebanon asked citizens wishing to travel to the country to delay trips where possible.
“The embassy also calls on citizens currently in Lebanon to take utmost care and stay away from crowds and demonstrations,” it said on social media site Twitter.
Bahrain and the UAE warned against travel to Lebanon and called on their citizens in the country to leave immediately.