Saudi tourism events and festivals help generate jobs, revenue

Saudi tourism events and festivals help generate jobs, revenue
The events are expected to attract a total of more than 12.5 million visitors, and to help create more than 91,000 temporary jobs.
Updated 05 August 2017

Saudi tourism events and festivals help generate jobs, revenue

Saudi tourism events and festivals help generate jobs, revenue

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is witnessing remarkable growth in tourism events and festivals which, together, attract millions of visitors, help to generate revenue, and create temporary job opportunities for citizens, according to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH).
Over the course of this summer, the SCTH, in cooperation with tourism development councils and municipal authorities throughout the country, will have staged more than 113 tourism festivals.
Those festivals, the SCTH media department said on Friday, involve “more than 820 activities including cultural, heritage, sports, adventure, environment, entertainment, and shopping events,” adding that those events are expected to attract a total of more than 12.5 million visitors, and to help create more than 91,000 temporary jobs.
A recent SCTH report revealed that — between 2005 to 2016 — 730 festivals were held in the Kingdom, which, in total, attracted more than 85 million visitors, including 28 million tourists.
According to the report, those festivals generated over SR8 billion ($2.133 billion), and helped create more than 86,000 temporary jobs, 70 percent of them for young people.
The hospitality sector has also recorded remarkable growth, according to the report. The total number of hotels in the Kingdom rose from 1,465 in 2014 to 1,582 in 2016. A further 42 hotels are expected to open this year, while 219 hotels are currently under construction.
Since supervision of the accommodation sector shifted to the SCTH in 2009, the number of licensed tourist accommodation facilities has multiplied from 1,402 to 6,527 in 2016, registering a growth rate of just over 365 percent.
As part of its drive to develop the tourism sector and help diversify its economy, the Kingdom this week launched a huge Red Sea tourism project that aims to develop 50 islands and other coastal areas into luxury resorts, set against the backdrop of the ancient ruins at Mada’in Saleh, a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Kaaba and Grand Mosque fragranced 10 times a day

Kaaba and Grand Mosque fragranced 10 times a day
Updated 14 April 2021

Kaaba and Grand Mosque fragranced 10 times a day

Kaaba and Grand Mosque fragranced 10 times a day
  • Perfuming the Grand Mosque and the Kaaba is seen as an act of service and reverence for Islam’s holiest site
  • Sixty incense burners are used daily to burn 60kg of oud in the mosque

MAKKAH: The Grand Mosque and Kaaba are perfumed with high quality fragrances ten times a day, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Fragrance is applied to the Kaaba and is used in the mosque more regularly during special occasions such as the holy month of Ramadan, days of Hajj and on Fridays.
Perfuming the Grand Mosque and the Kaaba is seen as an act of service and reverence for Islam’s holiest site and those visiting it.
It aims to provide an atmosphere of spirituality and holiness to the thousands of people who visit, pray and perform Umrah pilgrimage at the mosque.
Sixty incense burners are used daily to burn 60kg of oud in the mosque, a practice that signals veneration for the holy site.
There is a huge importance placed on cleanliness and smelling good in Islam and Muslims apply perfume to prayer mats, prayer clothes, rosaries and burn incense in mosques.


Saudi Arabia announces eight more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces eight more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 14 April 2021

Saudi Arabia announces eight more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces eight more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 385,441
  • A total of 6,781 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced eight deaths from COVID-19 and 929 new infections on Wednesday.
Of the new cases, 443 were recorded in Riyadh, 172 in Makkah, 130 in the the Eastern Province, 30 in Madinah, 26 in Asir, 24 in Tabuk, 22 in Jazan, 22 in Hail, 11 in the Northern Borders region,11 in Najran and six in Al-Jouf.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 385,441 after 806 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 6,781 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.
Over 6.5 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Saudi Arabia to date.


King Salman offers Ramadan wishes, orders best services for pilgrims

King Salman offers Ramadan wishes, orders best services for pilgrims
Updated 14 April 2021

King Salman offers Ramadan wishes, orders best services for pilgrims

King Salman offers Ramadan wishes, orders best services for pilgrims

RIYADH: King Salman on Tuesday offered his best wishes to the Muslim world on the first day of the fasting month of Ramadan. 
The comments came as the king chaired the weekly government meeting virtually. 
He also instructed that pilgrims be given the best possible services during the holy month, which for a second year will be observed under strict protocols to help curtail the spread of the coronavirus. 


Saudi Culture Ministry issues guide to acquiring national artworks

Saudi Culture Ministry issues guide to acquiring national artworks
Updated 14 April 2021

Saudi Culture Ministry issues guide to acquiring national artworks

Saudi Culture Ministry issues guide to acquiring national artworks
  • The guide consists of six main chapters, and also includes methods for maintaining and restoring art

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture has published a guide for government agencies and institutions wishing to acquire artworks created by Saudi artists.
The guide falls under the framework of a royal order directing government agencies to acquire national artworks and handicraft products for their headquarters, according to a directory prepared by the culture ministry.
Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan said the order, which was based on directives from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, provided the greatest support for the visual arts sector in the Kingdom, and for the nation’s artists.
He said the guide provides basic information, including the processes of procurement, acquisition, art collections, restoration, maintenance and preserving the integrity of artworks, in a way that guarantees the creation of a national art market and fosters relations between the artist and the buyer.
The guide consists of six main chapters, and also includes explanations on the importance of respecting intellectual property rights.


Nazaha oversees 176 arrests in Saudi corruption crackdown

Nazaha oversees 176 arrests in Saudi corruption crackdown
Nazaha has continued to ramp up crackdowns on corruption, fraud and bribery in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
Updated 13 April 2021

Nazaha oversees 176 arrests in Saudi corruption crackdown

Nazaha oversees 176 arrests in Saudi corruption crackdown
  • The pair had opened commercial records and bank accounts before handing them to expatriates in return for a monthly fee

JEDDAH: Saudi authorities have arrested 176 citizens and expatriates, including government ministry employees, for alleged involvement in corruption.
In a statement, the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) said those arrested include employees of the defense, interior, national guard, finance, health, justice, municipal, rural affairs and housing, education, transport, information, and human resources and social development ministries, as well as workers from Saudi Customs, the General Authority of the Red Crescent and the National Water Co.
Charges leveled against the employees cover bribery, abuse of power and forgery charges. They were arrested in 971 inspection raids carried out by Nazaha teams in the last month.
Arrests were made following investigations into 700 people suspected of corruption. Nazaha said that legal procedures are being completed before the accused are referred to courts.
The authority called on Saudis to report suspicious activities involving financial or administrative corruption by contacting the toll free number 980, the email @nazaha.gov.sa or the fax number 0114420057.
Nazaha has continued to ramp up crackdowns on corruption, fraud and bribery in the Kingdom over the past year. Recent activities include the arrest of 65 Saudis and expats in February this year, 48 of whom were government employees from seven different ministries. Charges included bribery, abuse of influence and power, as well as fraud and forgery.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Arrests were made following investigations into 700 people suspected of corruption.

• Charges leveled against those arrested include bribery, abuse of power and forgery charges.

“Nazaha is standing up against financial and administrative corruption,” Majed Garoub, a lawyer, told Arab News. “The crackdown on corruption is a reality and we’re witnessing its success every time we hear the good news of these arrests.”
In March, two Saudi citizens were sentenced to 28 years in jail and fined up to $3.47 million after an investigation exposed their roles in an organized crime gang that laundered money overseas.
The pair had opened commercial records and bank accounts before handing them to expatriates in return for a monthly fee. They allowed expats to invest in their commercial unit, use their bank accounts, and deposit money they had obtained illegally and transfer it abroad.
In November last year, Nazaha arrested 22 people after seizing more than SR600 million ($160 million) in what was described as “the largest case of corruption in the Kingdom.”