French consul general visits factory in Makkah where Kaaba cover is made

Updated 11 October 2019

French consul general visits factory in Makkah where Kaaba cover is made

  • Kiswa cloth is made of more than 670 kilograms of raw silk, dyed black inside the complex, 120 kilograms of gold threads and 100 kilograms of silver threads
  • About 200 craftsmen and administrators, all trained and qualified Saudi nationals, are engaged in producing the majestic black cover

MAKKAH: The consul general of France, Mostafa Mihraje, visited the King Abdul Aziz Complex for Holy Kaaba Kiswa in Makkah on Wednesday, and was received by the director of the complex, Hisham Alaa Al-Din.

During the visit, Mihraje was briefed on stages of manufacturing the Holy Kaaba Kiswa and the capabilities of the modern equipment in the complex.

The making of the Kaaba Kiswa receives great care and attention from the wise leadership, with the follow-up from the president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, Sheikh Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, to provide the best services to the Two Holy Mosques and their visitors.

The Kiswa consists of five pieces of cloth — four of them cover the sides of the Kaaba and the fifth is the burqa, the door curtain. All the pieces are sewn together.

The Kiswa is embellished with inscriptions woven in black fabric threads, bearing specific verses from the Holy Qur’an.

It is made of more than 670 kilograms of raw silk, dyed black inside the complex, 120 kilograms of gold threads and 100 kilograms of silver threads.

The cost of the Kiswa is approximately SR22 million ($5.9 million).

About 200 craftsmen and administrators, all trained and qualified Saudi nationals, are engaged in producing the majestic black cover. The complex includes a vast 16-meter long weaving machine.

At the end of the visit, the consul general expressed his admiration for the care he had seen bestowed on the King Abdul Aziz Complex for Holy Kaaba Kiswa and the great developments in the service of the Two Holy Mosques, enabling pilgrims and visitors to perform their rituals in comfort

 

 

Decoder

What is the Kiswa?

It is the black curtain that is draped around the Holy Kaaba in the Grand Mosque of Makkah. The fabric is made of high-quality silk, with verses of the Qur’an woven into it in the form of gold and silver thread running across the Kaaba’s belt. Once a year during Hajj, the kiswa is replaced with a new one.


Saudi rural tourism recovers after months of forced isolation

Updated 11 July 2020

Saudi rural tourism recovers after months of forced isolation

  • Saudis turn to domestic traveling and flock to their nation’s cooler cities and rural areas

TAIF: As Saudi citizens turn to domestic tourism in the country’s summer resorts, adapting to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, rural areas have become targeted by local tourists wishing to get away from the soaring temperatures in most of the Kingdom’s cities.

Visitors are now choosing cold Saudi cities instead of Europe, which they are accustomed to visiting, such as Taif, Al-Baha, and Abha.

COVID-19 has postponed all plans to travel abroad, and attention has now focused on domestic tourism amid strict health protocols in parks, gardens and recreational areas.

Walid Al-Hamidi, vice president of the Tourism Development Council, confirmed to Arab News that Asir, with its facilities and attractions, was ready to receive summer visitors from across the country.

He said that under the directives of Asir's governor, who supervises all activities and events directly and constantly, many committees had been formed to prepare a successful summer tourism season, to optimize the opportunity and allow people to enjoy the exceptional ambiance of Asir.

“A comprehensive tourism plan was set up two years ago, which resulted in a successful Al-Soudah Season with the support of Asir’s Investment Authority,” Al-Hamidi added.

He noted that Asir’s directives aimed this year to build an exceptional tourism model that meets optimal health standards in dealing with COVID-19.

The model is supported by the “Nashama Asir” team — consisting of 4,000 volunteers — who have been trained for months and have all the necessary skills to make the season successful. Their work will continue until the end of the pandemic and throughout the summer.

“Everyone is ready at public facilities, gardens and parks, to serve tourists,” he said, adding “tourists coming from all the over the Kingdom will be welcomed with smiles, enhanced services, and warm welcomes.”

Dr. Sami Al-Obaidi, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Taif, told Arab News that the tourism sector was the economic backbone of any country or city.

He said that Taif was considered one of the most important tourist cities, given its many attractions  that made it top of any list of places to visit in the Kingdom.

“Suspending travel abroad, and limiting tourism … due to the coronavirus pandemic, makes us, as officials and citizens in Taif, well placed for a beautiful and safe tourism season for Taif’s citizens and visitors,” said Al-Obaidi.

“Meetings are held around the clock, headed by Saad Al-Maimouni, the governor of Taif, with the participation of the relevant authorities.”

He expected all sectors, especially tourism, hospitality and a few other businesses in Taif, to recover to some extent during this season, especially now tourists have already started flocking to the region, with numbers set to increase over the coming weeks.