Saleh Al-Nuaimah, Saudi football legend

Saleh Al-Nuaimah
Updated 11 November 2019

Saleh Al-Nuaimah, Saudi football legend

Saudi fans rejoiced to see their national team’s former captain, Saleh Al-Nuaimah holding the Asian Champions League (ACL) trophy before Al-Hilal defeated Urawa Reds Diamond of Japan 1-0 in the quarter-final first leg at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh on Saturday.

The appearance of the legendary Saudi defender brought back memories of continental achievements, most important of which were in 1984 and 1988 when the Saudi team won the titles with Al-Nuaimah captaining the Saudi team both years. He also won the award for best defender in both championships.

Despite his serious nature and strong personality, he was extremely quiet and polite. For that, he won the respect of all his colleagues and rival players.

Al-Nuaimah started his football career in 1976 when he joined the Riyadh-based Al-Hilal. The team’s coach at that team was the Englishman George Smith. His first match was against Al-Qadisiyah of Alkobar, where he scored his first professional goal. In 1978, Al-Nuaimah was selected for the national team. He has a record of 150 international appearances. Moreover, he was the first Saudi player to lift the Asian cup twice. 

In 1990, Al-Nuaimah officially announced his retirement. A ceremony was held at Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium where elite Saudi and Arab footballers played a match against world stars, among whom were the Brazilian midfielder Zico and the Cameroonian star Roger Milla. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.

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.