Manama named Capital of Arab Tourism for 2020

Manama, the capital city of Bahrain, was named the Capital of Arab Tourism for 2020. Shutterstock
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Updated 31 December 2019

Manama named Capital of Arab Tourism for 2020

  • Manama has been declared as the Capital of Arab Tourism for 2020
  • It previously held the title in 2013

DUBAI: The Kingdom of Bahrain’s capital city, Manama, has been declared as the Capital of Arab Tourism for 2020.

The announcement was made during the 22nd session of the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism, which was held in Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ahsa.

It’s the second time Manama has been selected as the Capital of Arab Tourism. The city also held the title in 2013.

Indeed, there are plenty of reasons to visit Bahrain. In addition to boasting three World Heritage Sites —  including the Dilmun burial mounds, which were granted world heritage site status earlier this year— the Kingdom is home to a number of cultural and entertainment attractions that are sure to entice tourists.

In addition to being a great place to visit, the relatively small Kingdom also proves to be an ideal location for those looking to re-settle abroad for work. Last year, a report from financial services company HSBC ranked Bahrain as second-best country for working abroad.

Exploring Saudi Arabia: A journey through the lens

In 2015, Abdulaziz Aldakheel formed the Earth Aerial Documentary Team for his projects. (Photos/Supplied)
Updated 16 February 2020

Exploring Saudi Arabia: A journey through the lens

  • Abdulaziz Aldakheel flies a two-seater aircraft to take aerial shots of heritage sites of Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Abdulaziz Aldakheel, a businessman and adventurer from Madinah, flies a two-seater aircraft and takes aerial photographs of Saudi Arabia that have been creating waves on social media.
“I like to explore and document sites and everything I see from the top. As a pilot, I know how to get the best spots (to) capture a good photo from the right angle. I also know the right altitude,” he told Arab News.
“Aerial photography is unique and unlike regular photography on the ground, which everyone can do.” He said he has licenses to fly over some banned areas and zones in Madinah.
It all started in 2014, when Aldakheel set off to explore a volcano crater in Madinah. “I also took photographs, which won the admiration of many of my friends and followers on social media,” he said.
“My friends and I started to search for exotic places to explore and learn more about, and also to document them, as we all shared the belief that the Kingdom boasts exotic and great archeological sites, including Islamic and historical ones,” he added.
“We decided to form a team of professional members who are capable of making such explorations and documenting what we see. In 2015, we formed the Earth Aerial Documentary Team, the first and largest volunteer team that uses light-sport aircraft for photography.”
Some of the most aspiring photography experiences for him and his team are rare natural phenomena in desert areas across the Kingdom, such as snowfall.
“Flying is our hobby. We fly twice a week ... The Saudi deserts are the most mesmerizing during the winter. Besides, flying during cold weather is better,” Aldakheel said.
His favorite photography tools are two Nikon D850 cameras. “This type of camera is the most professional and helps you capture photos with very high precision, and zoom in and out easily while flying an aircraft,” he said.
“We fly aircraft as volunteers to serve our country and with the full support of Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman and his deputy Prince Saud bin Khalid Al-Faisal. We’re grateful for their continuously encouraging the whole team. We’re proud that they put up the photos of the team in the emirate building in Madinah. We view this as a major achievement and an inspiration that will spur us on to do more,” Aldakheel added.
“Our ambition is to get approval for other sites in the Kingdom so we can document them.” He will be documenting remote areas in the Eastern Province, the Southern Region and the Empty Quarter.
“We’re getting ready for our exhibition in Madinah, where we’ll showcase our works as well as our aircraft, vehicles, photography and camping equipment,” he said.