Saudi Qur’an and Athan contests prove a global hit

Saudi Qur’an and Athan competition, which aim to discover the most beautiful and influential voices. (Shutterstock)
Updated 12 August 2019

Saudi Qur’an and Athan contests prove a global hit

  • The competitions achieved global success during their first stage

RIYADH: Qur’an recitation and Athan competitions launched by General Entertainment Authority (GEA) Chairman Turki Al-Sheikh have achieved international success.

The competitions, which aim to discover the most beautiful and influential voices, are an innovative idea that has enjoyed a high level of positive engagement and participation from around the world.

Stories about the two contests, reviewing their details and grand prizes, were featured on the front pages of some of the world’s most respected newspapers in languages including English, French, Chinese, Spanish, Urdu, Hindi, Indonesian and Persian. This was in addition to regional coverage in newspapers in the Gulf states, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.

The competitions achieved global success during their first stage, following the GEA’s decision to extend the registration period until Aug. 18 to accommodate the large interest from participants from all over the world, which has so far exceeded 30,000 people from 162 countries.


Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

Updated 50 min 45 sec ago

Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

  • Development will protect endangered hawksbill turtle, while coral research could help save the Great Barrier Reef

RIYADH: Key ecological targets are driving Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea tourism megaproject, its leader has told Arab News.

The development will not only protect the habitat of the endangered hawksbill turtle, but could also save coral reefs that are dying elsewhere in the world, said Red Sea Development Company Chief Executive John Pagano.

The project is taking shape in a 28,000 square kilometer region of lagoons, archipelagos, canyons and volcanic geology between the small towns of Al-Wajh and Umluj on the Kingdom’s west coast.

One island, Al-Waqqadi, looked like the perfect tourism destination, but was discovered to be a breeding ground for the hawksbill. “In the end, we said we’re not going to develop it. It shows you can balance development and conservation,” Pagano said.

Scientists are also working to explain why the area’s coral reef system — fourth-largest in the world —  is thriving when others around the world are endangered.

“To the extent we solve that mystery, the ambition would be to export that to the rest of the world,” Pagano said. “Can we help save the Great Barrier Reef or the Caribbean coral that has been severely damaged?”

 

ALSO READ: INTERVIEW: Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea project to set ‘new global standards in sustainability’, says CEO