Festivities around Riyadh Boulevard irk Hittin residents

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The disruption of the neighborhood’s daily lives prompted the hashtag. (SPA)
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The disruption of the neighborhood’s daily lives prompted the hashtag. (SPA)
Updated 22 October 2019

Festivities around Riyadh Boulevard irk Hittin residents

  • Riyadh Boulevard can hold up to 60,000 visitors, but the opening days have seen an overflow of people parking anywhere, including in front of residents’ garages and homes, blocking residents in their homes

RIYADH: The tranquility of an upper-class neighborhood in the north of Riyadh has been disrupted by the Riyadh Season and the opening of Zone 1 on Oct. 17.
After Riyadh Boulevard opened — one of the 12 zones in the season — it amassed a crowd of 1.2 million in just two days. Now residents are complaining about noise levels, overcrowding and being trapped in their homes.
Um Yousef, an elderly resident, complained: “What if an emergency arises and me or my husband need to go to the hospital? The visitors’ cars are parked right in front of ours, the streets are jampacked and we worry about our safety.”
Should Riyadh Boulevard, one of the main zones, have been constructed in the heart of a residential neighborhood?
Riyadh Boulevard can hold up to 60,000 visitors, but the opening days have seen an overflow of people parking anywhere, including in front of residents’ garages and homes, blocking residents in their homes.
Concerned about their privacy and mobility, a “suffering of Hittin residents” hashtag has been created, where residents are asking the traffic department, General Entertainment Authority (GEA), and chairman of GEA Turki Al-Sheikh to find a solution.
The disruption of the neighborhood’s daily lives prompted the hashtag. Their inability to move from their homes or return and find their parking spots taken by visitors has become a nightmare for residents.
These are some of the reactions on Twitter under the hashtag:
@LeenNaif_: “With the beginning of the Riyadh season we hope to find a solution for the residents of Hittin and neighboring neighborhoods to facilitate entry and exit easily without closing the entrances to them like other visitors. Is it acceptable that I’m at the turn-off with my road closed off and obliged to sit in the traffic jam when my house is just on the opposite side?”
@Ebtesamss: “My parents live in the neighborhood and they suffer from exiting and entering it. We are deprived of visiting them. My father is ill and needs care, he repeatedly goes to the ER. Does it make sense to close the streets and the residents cannot exercise the simplest things? The traffic department — may God strengthen them — can only implement and prevent people based on orders, while people urge them to open the roads.”
@i_Noura: “We, the residents of Hittin district, have a right in this precious homeland just as others. We must take into account the residents of the neighborhood not to restrict them and facilitate their entry and exit from the neighborhood.”
It is noticeable that after the first couple of days the chaos and hectic crowds have died down and the traffic flow has eased. However, illegal parking in front of homes and parked cars is an issue that most residents are still struggling with.


Saudi Arabian delegation holds UNESCO reception in Paris

Updated 59 min ago

Saudi Arabian delegation holds UNESCO reception in Paris

  • Session attended by permanent delegates of UNESCO member states
  • Hosted by Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh

PARIS: The permanent Saudi delegation to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) held a reception to mark the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference in Paris, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.
The session was held in the presence of the Saudi education minister and deputy chairman of the National Committee for UNESCO, Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh.
The session was attended by the permanent delegates of UNESCO member states and senior officials from the organization.
“Today, we see the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 objectives coincide with UNESCO’s mission through the Kingdom’s keenness to support educational, cultural and scientific projects around the world because of its regional and international status, and its roles in strengthening relations between Arab and Islamic countries and the global agenda for sustainable development in the organization’s educational, cultural and scientific fields, Al-Asheikh said in his speech.
He affirmed the Kingdom’s continued cooperation with UNESCO member states in the fields of education, culture and science, and its continued support for the organization’s programs.
He said the Kingdom is one of the founding members of UNESCO, and the sixth country to sign the organization’s charter, on Nov. 4, 1946, upon the directives of the late King Abdul Aziz.