Saudi Arabian Ballooning Federation opens Al-Ula headquarters

Hot air balloons fly in the skies to mark the opening of SAHAB’s headquarters in Al-Ula. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 02 May 2019

Saudi Arabian Ballooning Federation opens Al-Ula headquarters

JEDDAH: The Saudi Arabian Hot Air Ballooning (SAHAB) Federation officially opened its headquarters in Al-Ula on Thursday. As part of the inaugural celebrations for the SAHAB Federation’s newly established base, seven hot air balloons captained by pilots from around the world took to the skies above Al-Ula.

The federation’s establishment follows the success of the inaugural Hot Air Balloon Festival during the  popular Winter at Tantora Festival earlier this year, when 100 balloons lit up the skies on several nights.

Winter at Tantora was a major step in the promotion of Al-Ula — widely recognized as one of the Kingdom’s most beautiful locations — as a tourism destination, and the Hot Air Balloon Festival presented a blueprint for adventure tourism in Saudi.

Amr Al-Madani, the newly appointed president of the SAHAB Federation, and CEO of the Royal Commission for Al-Ula (RCU), said in a statement, “Hot air ballooning is the perfect activity to accompany the peace, serenity and extraordinary beauty of the Al-Ula landscape. The launch of the SAHAB Federation’s headquarters in Al-Ula is a commitment to enable and grow an exciting hobby in the Kingdom. 

With a mission to develop the Saudi aerostation industry in all its forms, we look forward to providing a platform for meaningful experiences in the Kingdom’s skies for adventure enthusiasts and families alike.”

A press release from the federation claimed that its establishment will also benefit the local community “by generating new and rewarding career opportunities in the world of adventure tourism.”

The federation will work in partnership with the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee and the RCU to “develop a thriving ballooning community of hobbyists and adventure-seekers within the Kingdom and around the world,” the release continued.

WATCH: Car ploughs through Grand Mosque courtyard in Makkah, crashes into door

Updated 18 min 16 sec ago

WATCH: Car ploughs through Grand Mosque courtyard in Makkah, crashes into door

  • Police say driver in ‘abnormal’ condition

RIYADH: Video footage captured the dramatic moment a car was driven at high speed across the courtyard of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, before finally smashing into one of the doors on Friday night.

Saudi security authorities then arrested a man who was pulled from the car, state news agency SPA reported.

Reports suggest the car was driven at high speed on a road surrounding the southern square the Grand Mosque, also known Masjid Haramain, SPA added, quoting the official spokesman of Makkah region, Sultan Al-Dossari.

He said the incident happened at around 10:30 p.m..

No one was hurt in the incodent the report added.

Investigators said the driver of the car was a Saudi citizen who was “in an abnormal condition.” 

The offender is being referred to the Public Prosecution office, it said.