ThePlace: Uqair, the first seaport in the Arabian Gulf

Uqair was the first seaport in the Arabian Gulf. (King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives)
Updated 16 October 2018

ThePlace: Uqair, the first seaport in the Arabian Gulf

  • Uqair is the site of numerous historic meetings between the founding king and foreign diplomats and the place in which he conducted negotiations with international political forces in the region
  • Uqair’s importance started to diminish in 1957, when the construction of the port in Dammam and the railway began

The King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives (Darah) has documented the history of the port of Uqair in Al-Ahsa governorate, the first seaport in the Arabian Gulf. 

When the Kingdom was established, Uqair was its economic gateway, and the main port through which to access the east and the middle of the country. Its historic position was strengthened due to the political agreements established during the reign of King Abdul Aziz.

The foundation reviewed the political, commercial, military and intellectual impact of the port, which was the site of numerous historic meetings between the founding king and foreign diplomats and the place in which he conducted negotiations with international political forces in the region.

With the transformation of commercial routes after the discovery of oil in Abqaiq and Dhahran, Uqair’s importance declined as modern paved roads and more-modern ports close to the oil fields and commercial markets in the Eastern Province were developed.

According to the foundation, Uqair’s importance started to diminish in 1957, when the construction of the port in Dammam and the railway began, and routes began to open up through which it was easier to transport workers to oil sites. 

However, as a tourist destination, Uqair is one of the most beautiful coastal locations in the Kingdom. Uqair boasts a diverse range of geographical features, and several important islands, including Zakhounia and Al-Futtaim. 

Moreover, the beach of Uqair, which is about 65 kilometers from the city of Hofuf, attracts a lot of visitors from different regions of the Kingdom, especially from Al-Ahsa, the Eastern Province and the Riyadh region.

The customs building at the port of Uqair has been registered in the national antiquities register, and the warehouses, customs and port buildings have been restored. 

 


Passionate Saudi musicians Jwa ready to take the world by storm

The group has plans to perform in Jordan, Egypt, Dubai and Bahrain, as it awaits the release of its first album before exploring new horizons. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 19 February 2020

Passionate Saudi musicians Jwa ready to take the world by storm

  • Jwa’s first album is due to be released on Feb. 25
  • The word “jwa” in Arabic means the “highest levels of passion and love,” which embodies how the quintet feel about Indie music — the thing that brought them together

RIYADH: The music scene in the Kingdom is exploding, with young, talented Saudis taking full advantage of the developments in the country by showcasing their talent.
 In a limited time, young Saudi musicians have proven that they are equal to any other young cohort of musicians anywhere in the world.
 One of those talents is a young band from Dhahran, Jwa. Currently performing locally in Riyadh, Jeddah and other cities in the Eastern Province, the group has plans to perform in Jordan, Egypt, Dubai and Bahrain, as it awaits the release of its first album before exploring new horizons.
 The band, formed in 2018, is composed of Methgal Al-Shammari on drums, Mohammad Al-Nahas (bass and vocals), Arkan Al-Zahrani (guitar), Mansour Al-Gallaf (guitar) and Fawaz Baasem (keyboard).
They have had two local hit singles, “Ya Safina” and “Min Jadeed.” Methgal and Mohammad, the founders of Jwa, say that at first they “performed at numerous local events and parties” across the Kingdom. It did not take them long to become popular among Saudis.

FASTFACTS

• Jwa was formed in 2018.

• Since its launch it has two local hit singles.

• The band’s first album is due to be released on Feb. 25.

The word “jwa” in Arabic means the “highest levels of passion and love,” which embodies how the quintet feel about Indie music — the thing that brought them together.
However, they have faced many challenges in the last two years. Methgal and Mohammad said initially a “lack of support for independent bands” and “weakness of the nurturing music environment” within the country halted their progress.
However, due to the steps taken by the General Entertainment Authority, bands like Jwa have become able to make their voices and music heard. In the future, they are looking to go international, to “make their band known not only to different regions of Saudi Arabia but also abroad to gain more momentum and attraction.”
Jwa’s first album is due to be released on Feb. 25.