Col. Turki Al-Malki named spokesman for coalition forces in Yemen

Col. Turki bin Saleh Al-Maliki. (SPA)
Updated 07 October 2017

Col. Turki Al-Malki named spokesman for coalition forces in Yemen

JEDDAH: Coalition forces in Yemen on Thursday announced the appointment of Col. Turki bin Saleh Al-Malki as their new spokesperson, replacing Maj. Gen. Ahmad Al-Assiri.
The coalition leadership said it will continue to transparently and openly communicate about its military campaign to support the legitimate government of Yemen.
Al-Malki will hold regular press conferences, and will be available to all local, regional and international media.
He was born in Taif in 1974, and received his bachelor’s degree in air sciences from King Faisal Air Academy with distinction in 1997. He earned a master’s degree in military studies in 2015.
Al-Malki undertook his studies in aviation at the American Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, where he completed training in T-34, T-39 and T-2 aircraft.
He graduated in 2000 and worked at King Abdul Aziz Air Base on F-15S aircraft in Dhahran, and at King Khalid Air Base in Khamis Mushait.
Al-Malki then worked in the planning and operations unit at air force command.
During his military service he undertook numerous courses, including in F-15S aircraft, electronic warfare, airspace management and operations, defense operations, prevention against weapons of mass destruction, international humanitarian law and armed conflicts.

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.