‘In Saudi Arabia, one finds his soul in the desert’

‘In Saudi Arabia, one finds his soul in the desert’
1 / 9
Desert tourism will play a massive role in the growing tourism sector. (Supplied)
‘In Saudi Arabia, one finds his soul in the desert’
2 / 9
Desert tourism will play a massive role in the growing tourism sector. (Supplied)
‘In Saudi Arabia, one finds his soul in the desert’
3 / 9
In Saudi Arabia, desert adventures are gaining popularity among citizens and residents, as well as international tourists seeking the ultimate desert experience to discover the culture, customs and nomadic way of life. Desert tourism will play a massive role in the growing tourism sector. (Supplied)
‘In Saudi Arabia, one finds his soul in the desert’
4 / 9
‘In Saudi Arabia, one finds his soul in the desert’
5 / 9
‘In Saudi Arabia, one finds his soul in the desert’
6 / 9
‘In Saudi Arabia, one finds his soul in the desert’
7 / 9
‘In Saudi Arabia, one finds his soul in the desert’
8 / 9
‘In Saudi Arabia, one finds his soul in the desert’
9 / 9
Short Url
Updated 04 July 2020

‘In Saudi Arabia, one finds his soul in the desert’

‘In Saudi Arabia, one finds his soul in the desert’
  • A group of adventurers and history enthusiasts is opening new horizons for tourists in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: In our hectic world, nature escapes have become a growing trend, attracting different types of people with a range of experiences and adventures, and creating new business opportunities and nature-based adventure tourism.

Now, after months of lockdown, residents of the Kingdom are seeking new ways of experiencing life’s adventures and there is no better place than our own backyard.
In Saudi Arabia, desert adventures are gaining increasing popularity among citizens and residents, as well as international tourists seeking the ultimate desert experience to discover the culture, customs and nomadic way of life.
Delta Adventures, a Saudi-based adventure excursion business that opened in 2018, offers unforgettable adventures to the beautiful unreachable destinations in the Arabian Peninsula, including the Empty Quarter, for a varied clientele.
Though it may suggest emptiness, loneliness and a lack of basic needs, deserts are diverse and they attract different types of tourists.
Some people look to the desert for a digital detox and to escape the bustle of demanding city life, while others, such as hikers, campers and nature lovers, seek fun adventures. Deserts also offer something for archaeology and history enthusiasts.
Muhammad and Eddie, sons of Sheikh Abdullah bin Khamis and founders of Delta Adventures, were inspired by their father, a Saudi intellectual and historian who influenced the geographical and historical documentation and research of the country’s deserts.
Bin Khamis has written over 50 works of literature, poetry, criticism, and history.
“We have a long accumulated experience and knowledge about desert trips for more than 40 years, as we used to accompany our father,” Muhammad bin Khamis told Arab News.


After their father died, the two brothers continued planning trips with friends and families, as well as diplomats, and by the end of 2018 had established their company in Riyadh to provide their services to travelers and break new ground in the area of desert tourism.
Delta Adventures designs trips in accordance with their clients’ requests, and is the first in the country to specialize in organizing trips to Rub’ Al-Khali (the Empty Quarter), also known as “The Abode of Emptiness.”

BACKGROUND

● Delta Adventures, a Saudi-based adventure excursion business that opened in 2018, offers unforgettable adventures to the beautiful unreachable destinations in the Arabian Peninsula.

● Muhammad and Eddie, sons of Sheikh Abdullah bin Khamis and founders of Delta Adventures, were inspired by their father, a Saudi intellectual and historian who influenced the geographical and historical documentation and research of the country’s deserts.

The vast area of desert located in the southern half of Saudi Arabia was not unexplored until the 1930s. Though the name suggests a barren, desolate place, many explorers consider it the ultimate resemblance of nature’s sheer beauty and power.
“Considering that desert tourism is an emerging market in the Kingdom, this gives us an opportunity to invest our experience in these type of projects to develop domestic tourism,” bin Khamis said.
“We aim to take advantage of the facilities provided by the Saudi government to contribute to the advancement of this sector in the country, in accordance with Vision 2030 that aspires to make tourism revenues contribute 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.”
Desert tourism is a perfect choice for visitors looking for tranquility, rest, and connection with nature.
It will also appeal to cultural visitors as well as gastronomic and nature lovers. Delta Adventures offers a wide range of long and short trips to different destinations with natural and historical value around the Kingdom, with a wide range of prices, too.
“By the end of our trips to unreachable places, we want to make our customers permanent ambassadors of Delta Adventures in their communities,” Bin Khamis said, adding: “We have been keen in choosing diverse sites for our trips to meet all tastes and aspirations. Until now, residents in Saudi Arabia have been our main customers, and we have previously taken five ambassadors and three of their wives on a 10-day trip to the Empty Quarter.”
He added: “There is also an increasing interest in such activities from overseas tourists and citizens. This season was our biggest so far, and it is encouraging us to offer our best.”
Bin Khamis said that desert tourism will play a massive role in the country’s growing tourism sector, especially with the Kingdom’s deserts’ enchanting and diverse beauty.

Tourists are coming to Saudi Arabia, bored with the cities’ huge buildings and manifestations of civilization in their countries. They usually come wanting to see a different nat ure and live a unique experience, and this is what our wonderful desert offers them.

Muhammad bin Khamis, Delta Adventures

“Tourists are coming to Saudi Arabia, bored with the cities’ huge buildings and manifestations of civilization in their countries. They usually come wanting to see a different nature and live a unique experience, and this is what our wonderful desert offers them.”
According to Bin Khamis, desert tourism is possible over three seasons of the year and varies from one region to another. For example, the Empty Quarter trips start from the beginning of November till the end of February, while trips to the northern regions such as Hail, Al-Jawf and Al-Ula begin from mid-September to mid-May.
Bin Khamis said the spirit of adventure and exploration is part of human nature, but has shrunk in modern life.
He said that people traveling in Saudi Arabia find their souls in the silent world, far away from any polluting sight, under the deserts’ night sky.
“People have the right to fear leaving their lives’ welfare, but as the Tunisian poet Abu Al-Qasim Al-Shabbi said: ‘He who doesn’t like to climb mountains will forever live among the hollows,’” said Bin Khamis.
He added that adventure tourism is different from any other type of travel, and is a fuller experience, as it relates to suspense, enjoyment, self-exploration, and discovering and learning new things.
Bin Khamis agreed that adventure tourism had become one of the most prominent tourist trends in recent years, and is more popular among young people.
Delta Adventures welcomes anyone who is in good health to join its trips.
“We provide participants with everything from a sleeping tent and bedding for each participant, in addition to meals, refreshments, as well as care and assistance.”


What Saudi citizens need to know to travel safely

What Saudi citizens need to know to travel safely
Travelers will not be allowed into airports or planes without showing their health statuses through the government-approved health app, Tawakkalna. (Supplied)
Updated 10 May 2021

What Saudi citizens need to know to travel safely

What Saudi citizens need to know to travel safely
  • COVID-19 insurance mandatory for those under the age of 18 wishing to travel

JEDDAH: With one week to go before international travel resumes, Saudis are being encouraged to cover all the necessary basics before leaving the country.

During a joint press conference on Sunday, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) and the Council of Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI) shared new instructions and updated travel insurance policies for all Saudis wishing to travel abroad following a previous announcement stating the four categories allowed.
Ibrahim Alrwosa, GACA official spokesman, outlined the new travel procedures for citizens, health protocols followed at airports, and the shipment, transport and reception of vaccines at the Kingdom’s airports.
“After a week, our airports will witness the resuming of flights for citizens starting 1 a.m. We call on everyone to thoroughly follow the set health precautions to achieve a completely safe trip,” said Alrwosa, adding that the authority will update its safety instructions to add COVID-19 health measures in a new leaflet.
Travelers will not be allowed into airports or planes without showing their health statuses through the government-approved health app, Tawakkalna. Travelers who have received two vaccine doses, those who have completed two weeks since receiving the first jab, those who are immune by recovery no more than six months since infection and children under the age of 18 who have travel insurance obtained in cooperation with the Saudi Central Bank will be the only groups allowed to cross international borders.
Alrwosa stressed that travelers follow their country of destination’s health precautions to avoid any problems.

HIGHLIGHT

Travelers will not be allowed into airports or planes without showing their health statuses through the government-approved health app, Tawakkalna. Travelers who have received two vaccine doses, those who have completed two weeks since receiving the first jab, those who are immune by recovery no more than six months since infection and children under the age of 18 who have travel insurance obtained in cooperation with the Saudi Central Bank will be the only groups allowed to cross international borders. 

Meanwhile, CCHI spokesman, Othman Al-Qasabi, revealed that the new insurance policy will include benefits that cover the risks of COVID-19 infection, and that it is mandatory for those under the age of 18 wishing to travel.
“This is in cooperation with the Saudi Central Bank. Persons vaccinated with two doses, first dose, and immune by recovery with the required timeline, will have the travel insurance available for them, but it has been made mandatory for those under the age of 18 to reduce the risks accompanied by the virus.”
The travel insurance, which is only valid for 30 days, will cover emergency medical expenses related to COVID-19 such as emergency rooms, urgent care and transportation. It also covers quarantine-related accommodation costs, medical evacuation and issues related to canceling flights due to COVID-19 conditions.
“These new benefits have been added to the already existing travel insurance benefits.”
The council revealed that a consortium of 12 companies has been approved for people to receive travel insurance from, with Tawuniya Insurance Company chosen to lead the alliance.


King Salman appoints Abanmi as governor of Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority

King Salman appoints Abanmi as governor of Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority
Updated 10 May 2021

King Salman appoints Abanmi as governor of Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority

King Salman appoints Abanmi as governor of Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority

RIYADH: King Salman has issued a royal order appointing Suhail bin Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Abanmi as governor of the Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority, with the rank of minister, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) announced on Saturday.

The new body is a merger of the former General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT), which Abanmi headed since 2017, and the Saudi Customs, of which he was named acting governor since March.

Abanmi has worked as an executive in various private companies and government agencies, including as head of business development and manager of the Tadawulaty program, general supervisor of the Ministry of Commerce’s agency for internal trade, and member of the advisory committee for the Capital Market Authority.


Saudi crown prince allocates 20 million square meters for housing units north of Riyadh

Saudi crown prince allocates 20 million square meters for housing units north of Riyadh
Updated 10 May 2021

Saudi crown prince allocates 20 million square meters for housing units north of Riyadh

Saudi crown prince allocates 20 million square meters for housing units north of Riyadh
  • The additional lands will provide more than 53,000 various housing units
  • Riyadh aims to become one of the 10 largest economic cities in the world

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has directed the allocation of 20 million square meters for new residential land north of Riyadh.
The ownership will be transferred to the Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing, and is part of a drive to improve the housing sector and hep families, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The allocation aims to increase the residential area of ​​Al-Jawan suburb from 10 million square meters to 30 million square meters, and build up to 53,000 housing units through integrated projects, facilities and services in partnership with the private sector. This is on top of the 20,000 housing units that have already been announced.
Support for the housing sector has led to Saudi home ownership increasing from 47 percent to 60 percent in the last four years.
The Kingdom hope that figure will reach 70 percent under the Vision 2030 reform programs.
“The additional lands allocated to the housing sector north of Riyadh will provide more than 53,000 various housing units that real estate developers will work on, taking into account the quality of services that meet the aspirations of citizens,” the statement said.
The move is also in line with the city’s growth with the aim of becoming one of the 10 largest economic cities in the world and an increase in population from 15 to 20 million by 2030.
Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing Majed Al-Hogail said the housing sector contributes more than SR115 billion ($30.6 million) to GDP and provides about 40,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Riyadh’s housing sector has witnessed rapid growth over the past two years.


UAE condemns Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia’s Khamis Mushait    

UAE condemns Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia’s Khamis Mushait    
Updated 10 May 2021

UAE condemns Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia’s Khamis Mushait    

UAE condemns Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia’s Khamis Mushait    

RIYADH: The UAE repeated its “strong condemnation and denunciation” of the Iran-backed Houthi militia launching drone attacks at innocent civilians in Saudi Arabia.

The comments come after the latest attempted attack on the Kingdom’s southern regions. The Arab coalition said on Sunday that an explosives-laden drones was intercepted after it was launched towards Khamis Mushait. 

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said the latest drone attack showed Houthi's “blatant defiance of the safety of the international community and its disregard for all international laws.”

The UAE said it stands against any threat to Saudi Arabia’s security and stability.


Weather warnings issued across Saudi Arabia until Friday

Weather warnings issued across Saudi Arabia until Friday
Updated 10 May 2021

Weather warnings issued across Saudi Arabia until Friday

Weather warnings issued across Saudi Arabia until Friday
  • Civil defense warns of thunderstorms and risk of flooding in some areas

RIYADH: Weather warnings have been issued for several regions across Saudi Arabia from Monday until Friday, the Kingdom’s civil defense said on Sunday.
The authority warned of thunderstorms with moderate to heavy rain and brisk winds that may lead to torrential flows in Asir, Al-Baha, Jazan, Najran, and Makkah.
The regions of Madinah, Qassim, Hail, the Northern Borders Province, Al-Jawf, and Tabuk will be affected by moderate rain, while the Eastern Province will be affected by light to moderate rain.
The warnings were based on data from the National Center of Meteorology.
Lt. Col. Mohammed Al-Hammadi, civil defense spokesman, called on everyone to be wary of the potential dangers of severe weather conditions, to stay away from places that could flood, and to abide by the civil defense’s instructions and updates announced through media and social media outlets.