Al-Ahsa: Home to the most prominent archaeological and historical sites in Saudi Arabia

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Al-Ahsa contains the most prominent archaeological and historical sites in Saudi Arabia. (Supplied photo)
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Updated 21 June 2019

Al-Ahsa: Home to the most prominent archaeological and historical sites in Saudi Arabia

  • City became the first in the Gulf to be included in UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network in the fields of crafts and folk art
  • It is also home to the largest oasis in the Kingdom, which has had human settlements from the Neolithic times

AL-AHSA: Al-Ahsa is an oasis rich with green spaces and water springs, and was home to many ancient civilizations, some that existed as far back as 6,000 BC.

It contains the most prominent archaeological and historical sites in Saudi Arabia, and has achieved three Arab and international accolades in the last four years.

In 2015, it became the first Gulf city to be included in UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network in the fields of crafts and folk art.

The network brings together 180 cities from 72 countries to place creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level, and to cooperate actively at the international level.

FASTFACT

 

• In 2015, Al-Ahsa became the first Gulf city to be included in UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network in the fields of crafts and folk art.

• In 2018, Al-Ahsa became the fifth Saudi site on the World Heritage List following Madain Saleh, Al-Turaif district in Ad-Diriyah, Historic Jeddah, and Rock Art in the Hail region.

• Al-Ahsa was chosen as the Arab Tourism Capital for 2019.

The second achievement was UNESCO’s designation of Al-Ahsa as a World Heritage Site in 2018, becoming the fifth such Saudi site. Moreover, Al-Ahsa was chosen as the Arab Tourism Capital for 2019 by the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism.

These achievements would not have been possible without the Saudi government’s support, and Al-Ahsa residents’ relentless efforts to maintain their cultural heritage. 

Al-Ahsa is also home to the largest oasis in the Kingdom, which has had human settlements from the Neolithic times.

Al-Ahsa Oasis includes the Jawatha archaeological site including Jawatha Mosque dating back to the Qarmatain state in the 9th century and Al-Hazm Palace.




Musicians perform at an historical site in Al-Ahsa, (Supplied photo)

Tombs can be seen in several parts of the oasis dating back to ancient civilizations.

It also features a picturesque beach, more than 30 natural springs irrigating the green oasis, and unique urban-style buildings.

Speaking at the inauguration of the 13th annual conference of the Creative Cities Network on June 2, Al-Ahsa Mayor Adel bin Mohammed Al-Mulhem said the city has strived to maintain creativity in folk arts and crafts across many projects and programs.

He underscored the importance of culture in shaping future cities, and its role in sustainable urban development.

Al-Ahsa province is considered the greenest and most fertile land in the eastern region of the Kingdom. 

Al-Ahsa gets its name from the nature of its land; in Arabic, Al-Ahsa is a plural word of “Al-Hisa” which refers to the accumulated sand with a solid base underneath. When it rains, the sand prevents the sun from drying up the water.

Decoder

AL-AHSA

Al-Ahsa, part of Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, got its name from the nature of its land; in Arabic, Al-Ahsa is a plural word of “Al-Hisa” which refers to the accumulated sand with a solid base underneath. When it rains, the sand prevents the sun from drying up the water.


Misk Initiatives Center signs 12 deals to develop youth talent

Updated 15 November 2019

Misk Initiatives Center signs 12 deals to develop youth talent

  • MoUs with top firms such as Chinese tech giant Huawei, French oil major Total open new opportunities

RIYADH: The Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Foundation Misk Initiatives Center has signed 12 memorandums of understanding (MoU) on the sidelines of the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh with local and international companies to support and develop youth talent.

Among the companies were the Chinese tech giant Huawei, the French oil firm Total, the Emirati Federal Youth Authority, and the Ministry of Economy and Planning.

The agreements stipulated joint work between the two parties in the fields of talent development in Saudi Arabia and information and communications technology, in accordance with the National Transformation Program 2020 and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

This initiative aims to find ways of cooperation and employment opportunities between the two parties.

The MoU signed between the center and the Emirati Federal Youth Authority provides for the enhancement of joint cooperation in support of youth. 

The two parties will seek to discuss future cooperation, to build a strategic partnership between the two parties in exploring potential cooperative opportunities and setting a framework for such cooperation, in addition to organizing the exchange of technologies and innovations through the joint organization of courses, forums and workshops.

The MoU aims at creating a specialized scientific dialogue between the two parties, conducting joint research at the institutes in the field of entrepreneurship and the skills of the future, considering launching joint initiatives, and examining the possibilities of cooperative programs based on the extensive experience of Misk and the Federal Youth Authority.

Misk’s Initiatives Center agreement with Total will promote joint cooperation, find training opportunities for Saudi talent at the company’s headquarters and facilities, and cooperate on educational programs that support entrepreneurship and an ecosystem for startup companies, especially in the fields of energy and technology.

The Misk Global Forum also witnessed the signing of a MoU with “Hub71” to promote learning and leadership among Saudi youth, and enhance opportunities for joint collaboration, in addition to two MoUs with 500 startups and seed stars “to promote joint cooperation between the two parties, to develop and grow the business of startups and provide them with the necessary
environment.”

Misk also signed a MoU with the Public Institution for Education and Global Leadership to promote joint cooperation and achieve the objectives of both sides, to support innovation initiatives that instill the entrepreneurial mindset of young people, as well as the establishment and organization of entrepreneurship approaches. 

Both parties agreed to focus on exploring potential collaborative opportunities related to the Entrepreneurship World Cup, and establish a competition with competitors coming from 170 countries.

Both parties also agreed to support international competitions aimed at identifying the best solutions in various fields and sectors, as well as exchanging programs on entrepreneurship and innovation.

The center has signed a MoU with the Saudi Industrial Development Fund to discuss the possibility of providing training programs and courses for the center’s employees of the Fund and the relevant authorities. In addition to discussing available opportunities for cooperative training within the Fund, and providing opportunities for participation and contribution of the Fund’s staff in Misk’s programs.

The MoU aims to explore the benefits of existing agreements between the two parties with international financial and educational institutions, in order to find opportunities that provide programs, training and educational courses, and granting cooperative trainings for Saudi youth in those global institutions.

The center also signed a MoU with the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), aiming to enhance joint cooperation on educational technology and its integration into the educational systems in the Islamic world.

An MoU with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) will enhance the cooperation between the two parties in several initiatives, including academic development, training, entrepreneurship and innovation programs.

An MoU with Endeavor Saudi Arabia will support the Kingdom’s youth, enhance their talents and potential, stimulate economic growth, and find ways of cooperation between the two parties that serve their common interests.

The center’s MoU with the Ministry of Economy and Planning aims to spread awareness, provide new information on the education and training of human resources in the administrative and economic fields, youth empowerment, and coordinate efforts to raise their abilities.

The MoU aims to create cooperative training opportunities in local and international institutions with the purpose of workforce growth in the Kingdom’s economic sector, contributing to the development of national competencies in the economy, policies and procedures, strategic planning, in addition to providing job opportunities for graduates from areas that serve the interests of both parties and support the achievement of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.