ThePlace: The Farasan Islands in southwestern Saudi Arabia

The Farasan Island Marine Sanctuary, supervised by the Saudi Wildlife Authority, is home to the Arabian gazelle. (Photo: Getty images)
Updated 03 November 2018

ThePlace: The Farasan Islands in southwestern Saudi Arabia

  • The Farasan Island Marine Sanctuary, supervised by the Saudi Wildlife Authority, is home to the Arabian gazelle

The Farasan Islands comprise 84 coral islands that form an archipelago in the Red Sea, about 50 kilometers off the shore of Jazan in southwestern Saudi Arabia. Although lacking in vegetation and greenery, the islands are beautiful nonetheless. Originally inhabited by fisherman and pearl divers, they are now a protected area that serves as a natural reserve for Arabian Gazelles.
With its historical sites, remote, unspoiled beaches and rich marine fauna, the Farasan Islands are now a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. In particular, they are often described as a divers’ paradise, as the Red Sea is home to some of the most beautiful aquatic life on the planet, and the islands offer the best diving locations in Saudi Arabia.
For those who prefer to remain on dry land, the islands offer not only a beautiful landscape but also a historically rich site to explore. They contain, for example, beautiful Turkish artifacts carved out of stone, including the doors of mosques and other remnants.
Another reason the islands are so popular with tourists is the weather, which is moderate all year long. The serenity of the peace and quiet, meanwhile, makes it easy for visitors to relax and forget about their normal busy lives in polluted and noisy cities, at least for a while.
The Farasan Island Marine Sanctuary, supervised by the Saudi Wildlife Authority, is home to the Arabian gazelle. The islands are also important breeding sites for seabirds, migratory birds and shorebirds. All the islands are low lying, though the two largest islands have a broken terrain of small hills, gullies and craggy coastal cliffs.
Whether you go diving or snorkeling, or just explore the rich history and wildlife of the islands on foot, you are sure to make some wonderful memories. Other fun activities include boating and fishing, making the islands a must-visit destination for everyone, whatever their interests.


Preventive protocols issued as Saudi Arabia moves to relax curfew further

Updated 30 May 2020

Preventive protocols issued as Saudi Arabia moves to relax curfew further

RIYADH: As Saudi Arabia moved closer to Phase 2 of the gradual relaxation of coronavirus lockdown rules, the Ministry of Interior announced precautionary measures and preventive protocols for several sectors to follow.

The preventive protocols, prepared by the Ministry of Health,  covers the period from 8 Shawwal to 28 Shawwal 1441 in the Hijri calendar, corresponding to May 31 to June 20, 2020 in the Gregorian calendar.

A ministry official said the protocols are provided for mosques;  the public; petroleum, petrochemical and gas and other industries; malls and retail centers, home delivery service, among others.

The preventive protocols can be found at: https://covid19awareness.sa/archives/5460.

The MOI urged all citizens, expatriates and concerned authorities "to implement these procedures and abide by their provisions in order to preserve the safety of all".

Also on Saturday, the acting minister of economy and planning, Mohammad bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan, said the gradual lifting of the curfew "represents a new stage in the face of the global pandemic crisis and towards a gradual return to economic activities in the Kingdom to its normal levels."
 
"The decisions were taken after continuous coordination between the Ministry of Health and the concerned authorities, relying on a focused plan that seeks to balance between procedures for reopening economic activities and maintaining the stability of health and social conditions," said Jadaan, who is also the Kingdom's minister of finance.

Al-Jadaan highlighted that the government has increased – during the last period through the state’s general budget – spending on urgent and necessary requirements to face the crisis.

It has significantly strengthened the financial allocations for the Health and related services sector.

The government also launched urgent support initiatives to mitigate the impact on the private sector, supporting the economy and to preserve the jobs of citizens in economic establishments, he said in a statement carried by the SPA.