Dramatic equestrian skills wow Abqaiq Safari Festival visitors

A daring horse rider showcases his equestrian skills at the Safari Festival in Abqaiq. (SPA)
Updated 02 January 2019

Dramatic equestrian skills wow Abqaiq Safari Festival visitors

  • Riders blasted gunpowder into the air while traveling at speed and wielded swords to pick up flaming objects from the ground

JEDDAH: Daring horse riders showcased their equestrian skills with gunpowder, fire and swords to wow visitors at the Safari Festival in Abqaiq.
The event, which is being held for the third time, highlights the Kingdom’s desert heritage and attracts visitors from throughout the country as well as from overseas.
Riders blasted gunpowder into the air while traveling at speed and wielded swords to pick up flaming objects from the ground.
They also demonstrated how the horses were trained to carry out “hit and runs” and mimic camouflage.
Daifallah Al-Otaibi, who is tasked with the equestrian section at the festival, said the strong performances were characteristic of desert fighters from the past.
Faisal Al-Otaibi, the festival director, said that the organizing committee was keen the events and attractions reflected desert heritage through close attention to detail.
He said that many visitors dressed their children in traditional clothes, adding to the festival’s air of authenticity.


Saudi housing program allocates monthly record 21,000 building plots

Updated 46 min 16 sec ago

Saudi housing program allocates monthly record 21,000 building plots

  • Riyadh received the largest issue of free lands

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Housing allocated a monthly record of 20,907 plots for residential property building during October, according to official figures.

Riyadh received the largest issue of free lands under the ministry’s Sakani program at 4,443, with Makkah second on 2,797 and Eastern Province getting 2,205.

A statement from program officials said October had seen the biggest batch of land distribution across the Kingdom in preparation for the construction of housing units by beneficiaries, a situation made possible due to the electronic streamlining of the application process.

Other parts of the Kingdom to receive land allocations were Qassim (2,140), Madinah (2,058), Asir (1,665), Najran (1,301), Jazan (1,258), Hail (1,192), Northern Borders (809), Al-Baha (542), Jouf (420), and Tabuk (77).

“This comes as a continuation of the housing support Sakani provides throughout the Kingdom,” the statement said. “The handing of free lands will continue at the ministry’s branches, with areas ranging between 450 and 527 square meters each.”

It added that beneficiaries could complete procedures and choose appropriate housing plans online by visiting https://sakani.housing.sa/plans-map.

“Free lands are one of the options provided by the program. Beneficiaries may also apply for villas among the ministry’s projects, buy an under-construction residential unit in partnership with the private sector, buy a finished housing unit off the market, or acquire a 100 percent subsidized profit mortgage for landowners.”

Phase three of the 2019 Sakani program includes 200,000 housing and financing options, among them 50,000 free lands, 50,000 housing units in cooperation with the private sector, and 100,000 subsidized mortgages for the beneficiaries of the Real Estate Development Fund (REDF) in partnership with banks and financial institutions.