Company created to undertake development efforts at holy sites in Saudi Arabia

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman chairs a board meeting of the Royal Commission for Makkah City and Holy Sites at Al-Safa Palace. (SPA)
Updated 04 June 2019

Company created to undertake development efforts at holy sites in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman chaired a board meeting of the Royal Commission for Makkah City and Holy Sites on Monday at Al-Safa Palace, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The board approved a strategic plan for the holy city of Makkah and holy sites. It also ordered the start and preparation of the plan’s details, programs and partnerships.

It approved the establishment of a holy sites development company, and for the company’s headquarters to be in Makkah.

The company will act as the main developer and operator for creating and increasing capacity at the holy sites in order to serve the growing numbers of worshippers.

The board approved a regulation to address undeveloped areas in Makkah, and reviewed proposals on transport and endowment funds concerning the holy city.

The executive director of the Royal Commission for Makkah City and Holy Sites, Abdulrahman bin Farouk Addas, said the decisions and directives were in line with the wishes of King Salman and the crown prince to establish a sustainable future for Makkah and the holy sites, to provide the best possible services to worshippers and to enrich the quality of life in Makkah.


Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

Updated 25 January 2020

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

  • “I was transported into a completely different world”: Jay Kay

ALULA: British band Jamiroquai thrilled a delighted audience at Maraya Concert Hall in Saudi Arabia on Friday night during a show packed with hits.

In a first for a venue more used to hosting opera and classical concerts, the British funk/acid jazz outfit had fans dancing along to the music.

The show, at the distinctive, mirror-covered concert hall in historic AlUla, was part of the second Winter at Tantora festival. It opened with “Shake It On,” followed by the hit singles “Little L,” “Alright,” and “Space Cowboy.” By this time the crowd was well and truly warmed up, and “Use the Force” got them on their feet.

“The song seemed to resonate with everyone” Jay Kay told Arab News in an exclusive interview after the show.

During the gig, Kay dedicated the 2002 song “Corner of the Earth” to AlUla, which he described as a “magical and wonderful place, which is absolutely stunning.” The opportunity to perform there was “an honor and privilege” he added. He also thanked “Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman for his vision, and Prince Badr for making this happen and the great hospitality.”

After a further selection of singles and album tracks, the show ended on a high with a quartet of hits — “Cosmic Girl,” “Virtual Insanity,” “Canned Heat” and “Lovefoolosophy.”

Kay praised the Maraya Concert Hall as “a brilliant place to play.” He admitted that initially he was a little worried when he saw it because he was under the impression it would be an outdoor venue. However, any concerns he had were gone by the time the first sound check was done.

“I was transported into a completely different world; the acoustics were unbelievable, like being in a German concert hall,” he said. “It is obviously very well thought out and that’s what makes it so good. The sound was fabulous — I never looked at my sound guy once.”

Jamiroquai’s music videos often feature Kay in super cars, of which he owns many, and he revealed that he would love to shoot such a promo in AlUla.

“In reality, I’m desperate to get in one of the dune buggies, and would kill to have a (Ariel) Nomad and have a go in one in AlUla, where it’s supposed to be driven, for a day or five and dune bash, which is such a rare thing for us in England,” he said.

The singer also said he wants to bring his family to AlUla, which has become a hub for culture and creativity in Saudi Arabia.

“I would like to come out with my family and my youngest, who is called Talula, so hopefully we can have Talula come to AlUla, which would be wonderful,” said Kay.

He added that he was looking forward to exploring the area on Saturday, before leaving the country, but added: “I’m sure you can never have enough time to see everything there is to see.”