Saudi hiking team travels 300,000 km to discover heritage sites

Saudi hiking team travels 300,000 km to discover heritage sites
Al Hada Mountain, Taif, Saudi Arabia taken during sunset. (Shutterstock)
Updated 13 December 2017

Saudi hiking team travels 300,000 km to discover heritage sites

Saudi hiking team travels 300,000 km to discover heritage sites

JEDDAH: The Saudi Arabia Hiking Team has traveled more than 300,000 km to introduce the world to the Kingdom’s mountains and mountaintops.
The team consists of 15,000 members, among whom are Europeans, Americans and Asians keen to learn about Saudi Arabia’s heritage.
The founder of the Saudi Arabia Hiking Team, Ali Al-Qahtani, told Arab News that the team is a national initiative launched in 2014 with the aim to raise the Saudi flag on, and introduce the world to the country’s historical and heritage sites.
The hiking team has produced a complete ecosystem of health, fitness, sports, and awareness-raising messages for protecting the environment, promoting teamwork, and gaining positive qualities from climbing mountains and discovering new places, according to Al-Qahtani.
He said: “We are a sports, tourism and cultural group with 15,000 members and a large audience from across the Arab World and the Arab Gulf States.”
“We perform our activities in 16 locations across Saudi Arabia, and among our team members are physicians, engineers and teachers,” Al-Qahtani continued, then added: “We promote this sport for the noble messages it conveys, especially the protection of public properties.”







Al-Qahtani said the hiking team works with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) to organize Live Saudi trips. “We organize more than six events every day and ‘Do Not Leave an Impact’ leadership workshops, in addition to studying historic and archaeological routes to ensure their environmental safety before the team members and tourists walk through them.”
He pointed out that the team identifies dangerous places, how dangerous they are, the number of participants, and sorts participants based on their participation levels— beginner, intermediate, or advanced.
“The Saudi Arabia Hiking Team has carried out more than 400 trips across the Kingdom, the Arab Gulf States, and most countries around the world. Our most recent trip was in China,” he explained.
The Saudi hiking team’s chief said: “We aim to bring tourism from abroad to inside the Kingdom, and there are planned adventures for advanced participants that include spending a whole day climbing high mountains, where we experience the diverse geographies of different locations.”
He highlighted that there is also a separate women-only team with great goals to promote tourism. “The women’s team started training and is successfully advancing,” he said. “They also participated in the UAE’s 45th National Day.”
The route length for beginners and the elderly is 3 km, while for intermediate participants, it is 20 km, and the route for advanced trips is 50 km, explained Al-Qahtani.
“The latest advanced trip was in Al-Rayth, where we used ropes and thankfully successfully completed it,” he added.
Al-Qahtani urged all adventurous youths to join the Saudi Arabia Hiking Team, pointing out that the team proudly documents its trips and enjoys good media coverage, as well as safety and tracking of routes, in addition to focusing on general health and weight loss.


Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 7 sec ago

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths
LONDON: Saudi Arabia announced five deaths from COVID-19 and 331 new infections on Wednesday.
Of the new cases, 134 were recorded in Riyadh, 66 in the Eastern Province, 46 in Makkah, 10 in Asir, 10 in Madinah, six in Najran, six in Hail and five in Jazan.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 369,277 after 351 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 6,510 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.

Saudi FM Faisal bin Farhan says Kingdom stresses on significance of bolstering joint Arab action

Saudi FM Faisal bin Farhan says Kingdom stresses on significance of bolstering joint Arab action
Updated 17 min 31 sec ago

Saudi FM Faisal bin Farhan says Kingdom stresses on significance of bolstering joint Arab action

Saudi FM Faisal bin Farhan says Kingdom stresses on significance of bolstering joint Arab action

Saudi FM Faisal bin Farhan says Kingdom stresses on significance of bolstering joint Arab action


Saudi health minister: COVID-19 vaccines will be available at pharmacies for free

Saudi health minister: COVID-19 vaccines will be available at pharmacies for free
Updated 2 min 30 sec ago

Saudi health minister: COVID-19 vaccines will be available at pharmacies for free

Saudi health minister: COVID-19 vaccines will be available at pharmacies for free
  • Part of efforts to expand the ongoing inoculation campaign

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia will provide coronavirus vaccines at pharmacies across the kingdom for free, the country’s Minister of Health Dr. Tawfik Al-Rabiah told Al Arabiya.

This comes as part of efforts to expand the ongoing inoculation campaign and facilitate access to vaccine cites, he added.

More than 100 vaccination facilities have opened around the country since Saudi Arabia began its nationwide vaccination campaign on December 17.

Saudi Arabia’s Food and Drug Authority is currently evaluating a number of COVID-19 vaccines in a bid to expand the vaccination process in various regions of the Kingdom, which are taking place at a high rate.

The Ministry of Health indicated that the vaccines currently approved in Saudi Arabia or those currently being evaluated are approved for use starting from the age of 16 or 18 years.

Saudi Arabia has announced on Tuesday plans to expand vaccination centers across the Kingdom, health spokesman Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly said.

However, pregnant women and children will still not be permitted to receive the coronavirus vaccine as further studies have not been completed yet, Al-Aly added.

The Minister of Health also announced that COVID-19 vaccines will be a pre-requisite for health workers participating in the Hajj season 2021.

“A vaccination committee must be formed for the Hajj and Umrah season, on which they have adopted the compulsory reception of the COVID-19 vaccine for participating healthcare workers,” he said.

Saudi Arabia has recently launched drive-through vaccine centers in Riyadh, Makkah, Madinah and Abha. Individuals wishing to receive the jab must first register through the official Sehatty app.

The Kingdom vs. COVID-19
How Saudi Arabia acted swiftly and coordinated a global response to fight the coronavirus, preventing a far worse crisis at home and around the world
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Preventive measures, Tawakkalna app help slash Madinah COVID-19 cases by 86%

Preventive measures, Tawakkalna app help slash Madinah COVID-19 cases by 86%
Updated 03 March 2021

Preventive measures, Tawakkalna app help slash Madinah COVID-19 cases by 86%

Preventive measures, Tawakkalna app help slash Madinah COVID-19 cases by 86%
  • Tawakkalna was launched last year to help track coronavirus infections

RIYADH: Strict health and safety measures and a dedicated app to stop the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are being hailed for helping to push down the number of virus cases in the Madinah region by more than 86 percent.

Officials said the implementation of precautionary and preventive rules alongside the effective use of Saudi Arabia’s official Ministry of Health-approved Tawakkalna app had been major contributors toward combating the outbreak.

“Digital applications and artificial intelligence proved to be one of the most successful approaches both regionally and globally (in tackling COVID-19),” said ministry spokesman, Dr. Mohammed Al-Abdulaali.

The app was launched last year to help track COVID-19 infections and has since been developed and updated to function as a COVID-19 passport that users produce to confirm their health condition in order to gain access to workplaces, shops, and malls.

In the space of two months, it had played a key role in slowing the spread of the virus in the region, Al-Abdulaali added in report by state news agency SPA.

He pointed out that the Madinah region had been going through a critical period in which the number of infection cases had significantly increased.

“This came as a result of some public negligence in observing the preventive measures and precautions; particularly, the lack of adherence to quarantine in addition to social gatherings,” the SPA report said, adding that this had led to a sharp rise in the number of daily cases, prompting the rollout of the Tawakkalna app.

Following two months of strict enforcement of preventive measures and the promotion of the app, infection rates in Madinah fell significantly.

Al-Abdulaali urged the implementation of preventive measures in all regions as a “collective community response” to fighting COVID-19 and encouraged citizens to use Tabaud, a bluetooth-based app that notifies individuals if they come into contact with other infected people.

The Kingdom vs. COVID-19
How Saudi Arabia acted swiftly and coordinated a global response to fight the coronavirus, preventing a far worse crisis at home and around the world
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Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone fired towards southern Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone fired towards southern Saudi Arabia
Updated 03 March 2021

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone fired towards southern Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone fired towards southern Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: The Arab coalition fighting the Houthi militants in Yemen said it has destroyed a drone launched by the Iran-backed group towards the southern region of the kingdom, state news agency SPA reported on Wednesday.
“The joint coalition forces were able this morning to intercept and destroy a ‘booby-trapped’ drone launched by the Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militia in a systematic and deliberate manner to target civilians and civilian objects in the southern region,” the statement said.