Saudi Arabia’s tourism body organizes ‘Tourism Diving’ event in Yanbu

festival organizers are working to enable divers to explore the abundant coral in the surrounding waters. (Shutterstock)
Updated 14 June 2019

Saudi Arabia’s tourism body organizes ‘Tourism Diving’ event in Yanbu

YANBU: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage in Yanbu launched the “Tourism Diving” festival at Masmak in Sharm Yanbu.

The event includes sea theater, art evenings, diving exhibitions, virtual reality diving, deep-water exploration, a glass submarine, deep-sea activity, as well as diving activities related to the oldest sunken ship Iona and a deep-water photography workshop.

Yanbu Gov. Saad Al-Sihaimi said that the festival, in partnership with the Saudi Water Sports and Diving Federation, aims to promote Yanbu as the capital of diving.

Al-Sihaimi indicated that festival organizers are working to enable divers to explore the abundant coral in the surrounding waters.

The establishment of the festival supports tourism as an important resource in the national economy according to the Vision 2030 reform plan. 


Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

Updated 15 September 2019

Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

  • The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen
  • ‘Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors’

BAGHDAD: Baghdad on Sunday denied any link to drone attacks on Saudi oil plants, after media speculation that the strikes were launched from Iraq despite being claimed by Yemeni rebels.
The attacks early Saturday targeted two key oil installations, causing massive fires and taking out half of the kingdom’s vast oil output.
The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war.
But the Wall Street Journal has reported that officials were investigating the possibility the attacks involved missiles launched from Iraq or Iran.
Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi on Sunday denied reports Iraqi territory “was used for drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities.”
“Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors,” he said in a statement.
“The Iraqi government will be extremely firm with whomever tries to violate the constitution.”
Iraq is home to several Iran-backed militias and paramilitary factions, placing it in an awkward situation amid rising tensions between its two main sponsors, Tehran and Washington.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo squarely accused Tehran of being behind Saturday’s operation, saying there was no evidence the “unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply” was launched from Yemen.
Iraq has called for its territory to be spared any spillover in the standoff between the US and Iran, which has included a series of attacks on shipping in sensitive Gulf waters.
Recent raids on bases belonging to Iraqi Shiite paramilitary groups linked with Iran, attributed to Israel, sparked fears of an escalation.
There have been no military consequences so far, but the strikes have heightened divisions between pro-Tehran and pro-Washington factions in Iraq’s political class.
Baghdad has recently moved to repair ties with Saudi Arabia, a key US ally — much to Iran’s chagrin.
Riyadh recently announced a major border post on the Iraqi frontier would reopen mid-October, after being closed for almost three decades.