Saudi Health Council signs agreement with the Gulf Health Council

The MoU was signed in the presence of a number of general managers and department heads at the General Secretariat of the Cooperation Council for the Arab Gulf Countries in Riyadh. (SPA)
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Updated 04 March 2020

Saudi Health Council signs agreement with the Gulf Health Council

  • MoU in setting priorities for research in the health sector to improve health sector outputs and raise efficiency was stress during the ceremony

RIYADH: The Saudi Health Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Gulf Health Council on ​​research capacity-building and on policies supporting data sharing and accessibility for health research.

The MoU was signed in the presence of a number of general managers and department heads at the General Secretariat of the Cooperation Council for the Arab Gulf Countries in Riyadh.

The Secretary-General of the Saudi Health Council, Dr. Nahar bin Mezki Al-Azemi, stressed the importance of the MoU in setting priorities for research in the health sector to improve health sector outputs and raise efficiency.

Dr. Azemi said that the Saudi Health Council is working on new regulations to improve coordination between health authorities in implementing national programs to improve health levels in the Kingdom.

He added that this cooperation with the Gulf Health Council highlights the importance of integration between government sectors and allows the sharing of experience in various fields to improve health services in the Kingdom.

For his part, Mr. Sulaiman bin Saleh Al-Dakhil, the Director General of the Executive Office of the Gulf Health Council said that the Saudi Health Council and the Gulf Health Council sought the highest level of coordination to develop health practices in all GCC countries, sharing experiences and cooperating in building research capabilities.

He said that they are working on a project to support data sharing, adding that a project will be set to prioritize research in the health sector and benefit from the experiences gained in disease records for research purposes in the health sector and health economics.
 


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.