Sandstorm hits Riyadh, rain tipped for Makkah

1 / 2
Sandstorms shrouded a number of cities in Saudi Arabia, including the capital Riyadh, in dust on Tuesday. (AN Photo)
2 / 2
Sandstorms shrouded a number of cities in Saudi Arabia, including the capital Riyadh, in dust on Tuesday. (AN Photo)
Updated 14 August 2019

Sandstorm hits Riyadh, rain tipped for Makkah

  • Rain showers with strong winds have been forecast for parts of the Madinah highlands
  • Wind speeds of up to 34 km per hour were recorded in Riyadh

RIYADH: Sandstorms shrouded a number of cities in Saudi Arabia, including the capital Riyadh, in dust on Tuesday, while rain and thunderstorms were forecast for western and southern parts of the Kingdom.

Strong, dust-laden winds and thunderstorms are likely in the Jazan, Asir, Baha and Makkah regions, including Makkah city and the holy sites, on Tuesday and Wednesday, the General Authority of Meteorology and Environment Protection said.

Widespread dust storms are predicted in Najran and parts of the central region.

Moderate to heavy thunderstorms accompanied by widespread dust will limit visibility in these regions, the meteorology authority’s website warned.

Rain showers with strong winds have been forecast for parts of the Madinah highlands, it added.

The authority said that the surface wind movement in the Red Sea is westerly-southerly to westerly-northerly at 16-38 km per hour, while surface wind movement in the Arabian Gulf is easterly-southerly to southerly at 14-36 km per hour.

A rise in humidity in the eastern region has also been forecast.

The road safety authority and Saudi Highway Security warned drivers in the Riyadh region to exercise caution due to poor visibility caused by dust.

People with respiratory problems were also advised to avoid going outside where possible because of the risks of breathing problems associated with sandstorms.

Wind speeds of up to 34 km per hour were recorded in Riyadh.

Though not infrequent at this time of year, the sandstorm brought unfavorable conditions, with a maximum temperature of 43 C and a minimum of 31 C.

Relative humidity in Riyadh was low at 8 percent.


‘Dare to dream,’ football hero Thierry Henry tells Saudi fans

Footballing great Thierry Henry thrills fans as he signs 10 footballs on stage and tosses them to the audience. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 21 October 2019

‘Dare to dream,’ football hero Thierry Henry tells Saudi fans

  • Fans got up close and personal with the former champion during a segment called the lightning round, where Henry had to answer questions in 10 seconds

DHAHRAN: Stepping onto the Tanween stage in front of a sold-out venue full of cheering fans, footballing great Thierry Henry was quick to say how “hyped” he was to meet his Saudi supporters.
As a guest and speaker at Tanween Season, the former Arsenal striker and French international faced a busy schedule on Saturday after arriving at King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran.
First, he had a “meet and greet” with fans, many wearing Arsenal shirts, which was quickly followed by a discussion of the theme for this year’s event, “Play.”
After two young footballers from Riyadh performed a series of tricks that included balancing a football on one leg, then kicking it in the air to land on their backs, Henry said: “I would have broken my back trying to do that. It’s not easy.”
On his second visit to Saudi Arabia — the first was to Riyadh last year — Henry said that he was impressed by this year’s Tanween theme since he had seen firsthand the results of a children’s quality-of-life program at Tanween.
“What I liked most was to see the smiles on the faces of those children when I was walking around the impressive building. Being able to dream is key for me, but seeing how the youngsters were interacting, and how happy they were with their families walking around, was just priceless,” he said.
Growing up, Henry’s father played an important role in his development. The footballer did not miss a beat when answering that his father was his idol. “My dad was the hardest man to please; to put a smile on his face was the hardest thing to do,” he said.
Although the footballer grew up in a “not so great” Paris neighborhood, he considered it an enriching cultural experience. “It was great for me at the time because it allowed me to travel, although I wasn’t really traveling,” he said.
France’s colonial history meant he was exposed to different cultures early in his life.
“If I going upstairs to have couscous, to the second floor to have Senegalese food, or to eat with the Portuguese downstairs, it allowed me to travel, staying where I was,” he explained.
During his talk Henry showed that his Arabic extends to common niceties such as “shukran,” “afwan” and “alsalamau alaikum.”
Having an impact on the English Premier League and his role in Arsenal’s record-breaking era almost two decades ago are more important to him that being considered the world’s best striker, he said. As for his favorite stadium, Henry was quick to choose Highbury.
Offering advice to younger Saudis in the audience, Henry urged them to face their problems calmly and cleverly.
“Don’t run away. Face it and don’t be scared to fail. Come back again, but smarter,” he said.
Fans got up close and personal with the former champion during a segment called the lightning round, where Henry had to answer questions in 10 seconds. That revealed that he has always admired Muhammad Ali as the greatest, Messi is his current favorite football player and winning the World Cup was the most memorable moment in his career.
After the talk, Henry thrilled the crowd — a reminder of his playing days — by tossing 10 footballs to lucky fans who cheered as he left the stage.