India, UAE and UK among most searched Eid destinations in Saudi Arabia

People go for a morning walk at Lodhi Garden in New Delhi on May 21, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 22 May 2020

India, UAE and UK among most searched Eid destinations in Saudi Arabia

  • In Saudi Arabia, the top searched Eid destinations were Great Britain, the UAE, India, Egypt, Pakistan, Philippines, the US and Turkey
  • Through its maps and street view, Google has allowed users to virtually immerse themselves within their top searched destinations

 
LONDON: Despite the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus that has restricted and halted most of the world’s Eid travel plans, citizens and residents in Saudi Arabia have taken advantage of Google Map’s street view in order to quell the growing need for online exploration and virtual tourism.

In Saudi Arabia, the top searched Eid destinations were Great Britain, the UAE, India, Egypt, Pakistan, Philippines, the US and Turkey.

“Since this Eid, a time when people would often travel for fun or to see family, is different for people around the world including Saudi Arabia, we’re glad that Google Street View can help Saudis and others to continue exploring some of their favourite destinations,” William Zaki, Middle East & North Africa Imagery Operations Manager at Google, told Arab News.

Through its maps and street view, Google has allowed users to virtually immerse themselves within their top searched destinations, and visit their attractions and touristic sites, all from the comfort of their homes.

“Over the past sixty days, we’ve seen Google Search interest spike more than 700% for virtual tours globally. With Google Street View, people are able to roam streets virtually, look inside museums and even walk around some historic sites across the world,” Zaki said.

“Google Street View was initially built to help improve Google Maps and has become a fundamental part of our mapmaking. However people have grown to love using the imagery to virtually immerse themselves in new and different locations.” 


Facebook donates $2.1 million to support Lebanon

Updated 2 min 25 sec ago

Facebook donates $2.1 million to support Lebanon

  • Managing Director Facebook MENA Ramez Shehadi: We are donating more than $2.1 million to local hospitals, medical institutions and NGOs
  • Ramez Shehadi: We’re working with hospitals and local partners to launch local access to our blood donation tool — allowing donors to find nearby blood donation centers in need of support

DUBAI: Facebook is giving millions to local hospitals, medical institutions and NGOs in Lebanon to support relief and recovery efforts in Beirut following the devastating blast there.

“In support of the vital work that organizations and individuals are doing on the ground in Beirut, we are donating more than $2.1 million to local hospitals, medical institutions and NGOs to support relief and recovery efforts, $1 million of which has been matched by our community as part of a Facebook fundraiser,” said Ramez Shehadi, managing director, Facebook Middle East and North Africa.

“Moreover, we’re working with hospitals and local partners to launch local access to our blood donation tool — which allows blood donors to find nearby blood donation centers in need of support — and supporting local newsrooms impacted. We will continue to work with different organizations that are making a real difference at this critical time,” Shehadi said.

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, said in a post: “Facebook is doing what we can to help those struggling in the aftermath. Our safety check tool was activated soon after the explosion, with tens of thousands of people using it to let their friends and loved ones know they were OK. Hundreds of thousands of people visited our crisis page to get accurate information and request help, and we have seen our community come together to search for the missing and offer places to sleep to those who have lost homes. And we are launching our blood donation tool in Lebanon in partnership with local hospitals and others to point local blood donors to nearby blood donation centers.”

Additionally, the Facebook Community activated the safety check feature; and the crisis page is a resource for all those looking for help and support, from searching for missing loves ones to providing services such as blood donations.