Saudi Arabian Airlines celebrates arrival of new Airbus jet

Saudi officials and staff of the Saudi Arabian Airlines witness the unveiling of the airlines 30th and last 144-seat A320ceo in Jeddah on Oct. 3, 2018. (Twitter photo)
Updated 05 October 2018

Saudi Arabian Airlines celebrates arrival of new Airbus jet

  • The delivery completed the deal, signed in 2015 during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to France
  • Saudia and Airbus signed a purchase deal of 50 aircraft, including 20 A330-300 regional, double-aisle jets. All 20 of the planes had arrived

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) celebrated the arrival of its 30th and last 144-seat A320ceo single-aisle plane from the manufacturers in Toulouse, France, on Wednesday. 

To mark the occasion a celebration was held at the Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI). It was attended by the consul general of France in Jeddah, Mostafa Mihraje, and the managing director of Airbus in the Middle East, Fouad Attar, along with senior Saudia officials.

The delivery completed the deal, signed in 2015 during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to France, which added more than 6 million seats on the domestic flight network. The Saudi national carrier and Airbus signed a purchase deal of 50 aircraft, including 20 A330-300 regional, double-aisle jets. All 20 of the planes had arrived by December 2017, in a record 21 months since delivery of the first plane. 


The director general of Saudia, Saleh Al-Jasser, said that the two companies have had connections with each other for more than three decades. “The connection has developed into a strategic partnership with Saudia signing a deal to receive 50 aircraft.


“These aircraft have boosted the operational capacities of Saudia and added more than 6 million seats on the domestic flights network. They have also contributed to reaching new international destinations as well as the existing destinations,” Al-Jasser said.

 He added that they will take delivery of a new 40-plane fleet of A320neo in the first quarter of 2019. “This will be a great addition to Saudia, which is witnessing a comprehensive program to modernize and develop its fleet and services to meet the aspirations of the Saudi leadership, which aims to put Saudia among the best airlines in the world,” Al-Jasser said.

 Al-Jasser told Arab News that his company is planning to jump to the Top 5 Club of the London-based international air transport rating organization, Skytrax.

 “We are looking forward to adding Saudia to the global elite airlines with a 5-star rating. This program needs a comprehensive service review of all operations beginning from pre-booking services through ground and air services up to after-flight services,” he said.

 “We are now implementing this service on a pilot basis on our Jeddah-Dubai and Jeddah-Paris flights. We will consecutively add all our international destinations,” he said, adding that their “strategic” procedure aims to obtain the Skytrax certification by the end of 2019.

 According to Skytrax ratings, Saudia is at present certified with a 4-star airline rating for its onboard products and staff services.


Diriyah Gate to be a global, historical and cultural landmark

Updated 22 November 2019

Diriyah Gate to be a global, historical and cultural landmark

  • Diriyah is home to Al-Turaif District, built in 1744 and known as one of the largest clay cities in the world

DIRIYAH: With the establishment of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA), the historical site of Diriyah will become one of the largest and most important international destinations.

The DGDA seeks to transform the site into a location to host activities and events aimed at exchanging historical and cultural knowledge through museums and venues spread throughout
Al-Turaif District.

 The DGDA aims to celebrate the people of Diriyah by telling their stories and demonstrating their social, cultural and historical the roots, as the cradle of the first Saudi state and a symbol of the beauty of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and
its people.

 Diriyah is home to Al-Turaif District, built in 1744 and known as one of the largest clay cities in the world. It was registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2010 — one of five Saudi sites listed.

Not far from Al-Turaif District is the historic Al-Bujairi District, which was a center for spreading science and knowledge during the prosperity of Diriyah, as the capital of the first Saudi state. 

Today it houses many commercial centers and cafes and is the perfect destination to experience Saudi cuisine.

One of the historical landmarks in Al-Turaif District is Salwa Palace, which is located in the northeastern part. It is the largest of its landmarks and spans over 10,000 square meters. It was founded by Imam Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed bin Saud in 1765, and is historically known as the home of the first royal family. 

The palace houses the Diriyah Museum, which presents the history and development of the first Saudi state through works of art, drawings, models and documentaries.

BACKGROUND

At the northern end of old Diriyah, the town of Ghusaybah sits atop of a plateau surrounded by the Hanifa Valley on three sides.

Salwa Palace forms an integrated architectural system with its residential, administrative, cultural and religious units.

 Al-Turaif District also includes the Imam Muhammad bin Saud Mosque, known as the Great Mosque or Al-Turaif Mosque. It is adjacent to Salwa Palace on the north side, and Imams used to lead Friday prayers there.

 To make movement between the mosque and the palace easier, Imam Saud bin Abdul Aziz built a bridge to connect them on the upper floor. The mosque houses a religious school to teach religious sciences. It was formerly the largest mosque in the Arabian Peninsula and was built to symbolize the strength and unity of the Saudi state.

 At the northern end of old Diriyah, the town of Ghusaybah sits atop of a plateau surrounded by the Hanifa Valley on three sides. It was settled by Mani’ Al-Muraydi, the oldest ancestor of the House of Saud, in the 15th century. 

Ghusaybah is a well-established location, carefully chosen for the establishment of the new governorate, and its location played a major role in the protection of Hajj convoys and trade passing through its areas of influence in Al-Arid region.

 Ghusaybah was the seat of an independent governorate before the founding of the first Saudi state. It provided protection for the northern gate of Diriyah during the campaign of Ibrahim Pasha in 1818.

 Samhan is one of the historical areas south of Ghusaybeh on a triangle overlooking the valley when it meets another tributary, the villages of Omran. It directly overlooks the districts of Qusayrin, Mrayih, and Al-Turaif. This location was important during the reign of Imam Mohammed bin Saud and his son Samhan, being a well-fortified site during the siege of Diriyah. It was selected by Imam Abdullah to be his defense headquarters.

 In the field of philanthropy, one may mention “Sabala Moudhi” which was founded by Imam Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed bin Saud, who made it a charitable endowment in the name of his mother, Moudhi bint Sultan bin Abi Wahtan, wife of Imam Mohammed bin Saud. 

It is located east of the Salwa Palace on the southeast of Al-Turaif District. It is a two-story building and was established to provide free accommodation for visitors coming to the city of Diriyah.