Asir ‘could be hotspot for global tourism,’ say travel bloggers

Asir ‘could be hotspot for global  tourism,’ say travel bloggers
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YouTuber and blogger Joshua Van Alstine. (Photo supplied by: Laura Alho)
Asir ‘could be hotspot for global  tourism,’ say travel bloggers
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Travel blogger Paris Verra.YouTuber and blogger Joshua Van Alstine. (Photo supplied by: Laura Alho)
Asir ‘could be hotspot for global  tourism,’ say travel bloggers
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YouTuber and blogger Joshua Van Alstine. YouTuber and blogger Joshua Van Alstine. (Photo supplied by: Laura Alho)
Asir ‘could be hotspot for global  tourism,’ say travel bloggers
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Instagram and travel blogger Paris Verra.
Asir ‘could be hotspot for global  tourism,’ say travel bloggers
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Paragliding is among the attractions for thrillseekers in addition to bungee jumping, ropes course, slingshot and paintballing. (Photo courtesy: @AlsoudahSeason)
Updated 04 September 2019

Asir ‘could be hotspot for global tourism,’ say travel bloggers

Asir ‘could be hotspot for global  tourism,’ say travel bloggers
  • Flower Men Festival a hit with visitors
  • Season ends Aug. 31

AL-SOUDAH: Asir province has the potential to become a hotspot for international tourism, according to bloggers who were impressed by the events and activities on offer at Al-Soudah Season. Joshua Van Alstine, who shot to fame in Saudi Arabia with his YouTube videos, said the public and private sector were taking advantage of the area’s potential and would develop it to accommodate demand.
 Van Alstine and his wife, who hails from the southwestern city of Tanomah in Asir, were driving to Abha from Riyadh and were invited to explore Al-Soudah Season.
“I loved it, I am so glad I accepted the invitation,” he told Arab News. “The best part of visiting Al-Soudah was trying out the bungee jumping.”
He also met his wife’s relatives. “We had dinner with them, they came to visit us in Al-Soudah and I gave them a tour and they really liked it. They could not believe this was happening in the region and I could not either. This is something so special, even as an American and we have had these events for years back home, this to me is something incredibly special.”
Al-Soudah has other attractions for thrillseekers in addition to bungee jumping. There is a ropes course, a slingshot, paintballing and paragliding.
Slightly more leisurely activities include trekking, cycling, enjoying performances of a local dance, and learning more about the distinctive traditions of the region’s Flower Men, a tribal group famous throughout the Kingdom for their floral crowns who live high up in the mountains.

I loved it, I am glad I accepted the invitation. The best part of visiting Al-Soudah was trying out the bungee jumping.

Joshua Van Alstine, YouTuber and blogger

“They did a great job,” said Van Alstine. “I am sure they had a lot of challenges moving up and down the mountain area into that valley. There are not that many places where you can walk into a town and see people singing, dancing and that is what happened when we visited. We walked into this old school village and people were laughing, dancing and the smell of food ... it was kind of like a barbeque.”
Travel blogger Paris Verra, who also visited Al-Soudah, said the region’s people were hospitable and welcoming. “The place is unreal, the beauty is just incredible,” she told Arab News. “Coming here I feel safe and there are many misconceptions of coming to Saudi Arabia. If people would open up there are so many great things about this country in general, especially in this region.”
Verra experienced four seasons in one hour. “I mean, it was like eating lunch in the clouds. Then there was rain, then there was thunder, and then clear blue sky ... and the Flower Men festival is on a whole different level.”
Al-Soudah Season runs until the end of the month and its programs are held across seven locations. The main area, called The Hub, is suitable for families. There is also the Kids Zone, where the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation is holding educational workshops at the House of Qatt.
It is one of 11 festivals being held across the Kingdom to promote the country as a global tourist destination.
It also seeks to contribute to achieving goals within the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan, which aims to improve the quality of life, raise living standards, and create career and investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia.


Houthi drone falls on school in Saudi Arabia's Asir region, no injuries reported

Houthi drone falls on school in Saudi Arabia's Asir region, no injuries reported
Updated 11 min 49 sec ago

Houthi drone falls on school in Saudi Arabia's Asir region, no injuries reported

Houthi drone falls on school in Saudi Arabia's Asir region, no injuries reported

ASIR: A Houthi booby-trapped drone fell on a school in Asir but no injuries were reported, the General Directorate of Saudi Civil Defense reported on Sunday.

The Civil Defense said it had received reports of a projectile launched from Yemen by the Houthi militia towards one of the Aseer region’s governorates that turned out to be a drone that had fallen on a school.


KSRelief performs dozens of heart surgeries in Mauritania

KSRelief performs dozens of heart surgeries in Mauritania
Updated 13 June 2021

KSRelief performs dozens of heart surgeries in Mauritania

KSRelief performs dozens of heart surgeries in Mauritania

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) has performed 33 open heart surgeries and 50 cardiac catheterization procedures  in Mauritania since the start of the year. 

The operations were carried out by KSRelief volunteers as part of a project with the Muslim World League (MWL). 

The project helped low-income patients by diagnosing and treating cardiovascular conditions. 

KSRelief currently has 14 food security and health initiatives in Mauritania including leading first aid training and providing food baskets.


Saudi crown prince extends condolences to Kuwaiti counterpart for death of Sheikh Mansour

Saudi crown prince extends condolences to Kuwaiti counterpart for death of Sheikh Mansour
Updated 13 June 2021

Saudi crown prince extends condolences to Kuwaiti counterpart for death of Sheikh Mansour

Saudi crown prince extends condolences to Kuwaiti counterpart for death of Sheikh Mansour

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed his “sincere condolences” and sympathy to his highness Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Crown Prince of the State of Kuwait, after the passing of Sheikh Mansour Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah.

In a phone call on Sunday the crown prince of Saudi Arabia said he prayed for  forgiveness and mercy on behalf of the deceased. 

On Friday, King Salman and the crown prince extended their condolences in a phone call to the emir of Kuwait.


Saudi Arabia announces 19 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 19 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 13 June 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 19 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 19 more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 448,093
  • A total of 7,572 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 19 deaths from COVID-19 and 1,017 new infections on Sunday.
Of the new cases, 344 were recorded in Makkah, 198 in Riyadh, 155 in the Eastern Province, 84 in Asir, 68 in Madinah, 60 in Jazan, 23 in Najran, 18 in Hail, 10 in Tabuk, 10 in Al-Baha, five in the Northern Borders region and two in Al-Jouf.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 448,093 after 1,133 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 7,572 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.
Over 15.6 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.


Saudi Arabia’s Tawakkalna app operating in 75 countries worldwide

Saudi Arabia’s Tawakkalna app operating in 75 countries worldwide
A man displays his details on his mobile phone using the Tawakkalna app as he enters a mall in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (REUTERS)
Updated 13 June 2021

Saudi Arabia’s Tawakkalna app operating in 75 countries worldwide

Saudi Arabia’s Tawakkalna app operating in 75 countries worldwide
  • An app launched last year by Saudi authorities to help track coronavirus infections is available in 75 countries worldwide
  • The Tawakkalna app was recently updated to show someone’s COVID-19 health status, showing them to be vaccinated or infected, and now functions as a “passport”

JEDDAH: Countries in the first phase of the app’s international availability include: Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Algeria, Sudan, Somalia, Morocco, Tunisia, Djibouti, Libya, Egypt, Mauritania, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, South Africa, Lebanon, Nigeria, India, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Bangladesh, Portugal, Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Norway, Austria, the US, Japan, Greece, Spain, Estonia, Italy, Ireland, Iceland, Brunei, Belgium, Poland, Germany, Singapore, Switzerland, France, Finland, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Canada, Latvia, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Malta, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Netherlands, Maldives, and Azerbaijan.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs office in Jazan temporarily closed the Budaiya Mosque in Abu Arish governorate after it was confirmed that the imam had COVID-19.

Field teams undertook preventive and precautionary measures, including sterilization operations and comprehensive maintenance, in preparation for reopening the mosque and receiving worshippers at a later date.

The ministry noted the keenness of worshippers and their active role in reporting mosques that did not comply with health and safety instructions and failed to implement preventive measures.

FASTFACTS

464,780 Total cases

446,960 Recoveries

It asked everyone to report future similar incidents by calling 1933.

Saudi Arabia on Saturday reported 16 more coronavirus-related fatalities, taking the overall death toll to 7,553.

There were 1,077 new cases, bringing the total number of infections 464,780. There are 10,267 active cases, of which 1,562 are in a critical condition.

Of the newly recorded cases, 348 were in Makkah, 225 were in Riyadh, 149 were in the Eastern Province, and 69 were in Madinah.

Authorities said a further 906 patients had recovered from the disease, increasing the total number of recoveries to 446,960.

The country has so far carried out more than 20.27 million PCR tests, with 75,059 carried out in the past 24 hours.

Testing hubs and treatment centers set up throughout the country have dealt with hundreds of thousands of people since the onset of the pandemic.

Taakad centers provide COVID-19 testing for those who show no or only mild symptoms or believe they have come into contact with an infected individual.

Tetamman clinics offer treatment and advice to those with virus symptoms such as fever, loss of taste and smell, and breathing difficulties.

Appointments for both services can be made via the ministry’s Sehhaty app.

Saudi Arabia has vaccinated 15,633,787 people to date.