Saudi residents are set for a new December-to-March adventure, offering 300 touristic experiences in 17 destinations

Saudi residents are set for a new December-to-March adventure, offering 300 touristic experiences in 17 destinations
After a tough year, many are excited about the new season. (ticketingboxoffice.com)
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Updated 12 December 2020

Saudi residents are set for a new December-to-March adventure, offering 300 touristic experiences in 17 destinations

Saudi residents are set for a new December-to-March adventure, offering 300 touristic experiences in 17 destinations
  • The season will include several Umrah packages, which can be viewed on ticketingboxoffice

JEDDAH: The Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) announced the start of its latest season of adventures on Dec. 10, which will continue until March 2021, offering 300 touristic experiences in 17 destinations in the Kingdom with the involvement of 200 private sector establishments.

Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb said that the winter season is an extension of the efforts of the Saudi tourism system with its partners in the state and private sectors.
He promised that the lineup of activities will provide a wonderful tourism experience, through which visitors get to enjoy the great winter climate and the geographical diversity of the Kingdom.
The minister also reassured visitors that the STA is extremely keen on coordinating with health authorities to implement precautionary measures against COVID-19 in order to ensure a safe tourism experience.
Meanwhile, STA CEO Fahd Hamidaddin said: “The authority’s efforts and initiatives are continuous with the launch of the Saudi winter season under the slogan ‘Winter is Around You’.”
He noted the important role the media would play in reflecting the positive image of the tourism potentials for the Kingdom: “We count a lot on the creativity and efforts of the media to present the bright image of what the Kingdom has to offer; its charming nature and rich cultural heritage, the generosity and hospitality of its people, and its many landmarks, sites, and destinations that contribute into make the Kingdom a unique experience for all.”
After a tough year, many are excited about the new adventure.
“With the tough year behind us, it was interesting to see what Saudi Arabia had to offer,” said 34-year-old Sawsan Khalid M. told Arab News. “My husband was keen on going on a trip this year no matter what. We were afraid at first, with the pandemic and all, but the relevant authorities wouldn’t have announced any tourist opportunities without ensuring our safety. We’ve gone this far and it feels like a gift.”

HIGHLIGHT

The destinations are split into 5 categories — 3 historical destinations, AlUla, Diriyah, Al-Ahsa; 4 marine destinations, Yanbu, Umluj, Jazan, KAEC; 4 city destinations, Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Alkhobar, 3 cold destinations, Tabuk, Al-Jouf, Hail; and 3 mountainside destinations, Taif, Al-Baha, Asir.

“My family, as with everyone in the country, has faced some of the most difficult months,” added Sawsan’s husband Mohammed Al-Ghamdi. “The Kingdom has so much to offer and it was nice seeing Al-Baha included as it’s still unexplored territory for many.”
Al-Ghamdi who grew up in the region but lives in Jeddah, considers it a hidden gem. He said that there is so much to see and do and it’s a great opportunity to go, especially given that the guides will all be Saudi. “This is for all Saudis and residents alike, we have so much to show.”
Mariam Al-Harbi, a 28-year-old private sector worker, said, “I think the winter season will be delightful. I still haven’t looked through the entire program but the activities are so diverse — camping, hiking and snorkeling. It’s got an agenda for families or a group of friends, so that’s an added bonus. I’m thinking of taking my younger brother hiking. He’s a very active fellow and we have always wanted to try it, so why not start locally?”
The Arabian Winter destinations are split into five categories: Three historical destinations, AlUla, Diriyah and Al-Ahsa; four marine destinations, Yanbu, Umluj, Jazan and King Abdullah Economic City; four city destinations, Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Alkhobar, three cold destinations, Tabuk, Al-Jouf and Hail; and three mountainside destinations, Taif, Al-Baha and Asir.
The tourist experience will cover campsite adventures, local cuisine, hiking, relaxation, beach activities and rural and adventure activities.
The season will also include several Umrah packages, which can be viewed on ticketingboxoffice.com, allowing pilgrims to choose from the SR500 ($133) Umrah experience, a five-day Umrah package for SR3,649 or three-day package for SR2,699. In the packages, visitors get a variety of stops to check out alongside their pilgrimage stop in Makkah.
Jeddah packages include a three-day “nature breeze” with a price tag of SR3,946 that covers a tour through the city’s heritage sites, a winter at Jeddah package for SR3,950, a two-day trip between Jeddah and Taif for SR1,799 and lastly, a six-day tour to discover the Sarawat Mountains for SR3,799, where visitors can experience the wilderness, local cuisine and hike through the lush green mountains of the western region.
Riyadh packages similarly include a three-day city tour for SR2,185-2,699, one-day adventures such as hiking winter camp visits, the desert experience and many more activities. The three-month event will also include a multi-city tours between Al-Ahsa, Riyadh, Hail and Qassim costing SR4,099-4,699.


DiplomaticQuarter: Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan discuss strengthening ties

DiplomaticQuarter: Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan discuss strengthening ties
Updated 25 February 2021

DiplomaticQuarter: Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan discuss strengthening ties

DiplomaticQuarter: Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan discuss strengthening ties

RIYADH: Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Shahin Abdullayev recently held a meeting with the joint Saudi-Azerbaijani Parliamentary Friendship Committee of the Shoura Council in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The meeting was held under the co-chairmanship of Dr. Faiz Al-Shehri, member of the Shoura Council and head of the committee, and examined various ways to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in various fields, especially at the level of parliamentary relations between the Shoura Council and the Azerbaijani parliament.
Abdullayev wished the council success in its new session and expressed his appreciation for the Kingdom’s policies to enhance security, peace and stability in the Gulf region and beyond.
Al-Shehri ran through the Shoura Council’s organizational structure, and highlighted the importance of the diplomatic role played by parliamentary friendship committees.
Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan celebrated the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic relations in February 2017.
The then-Azeri Ambassador in Riyadh Rasim Rzayev said at the time: “Azerbaijan and the Kingdom, two brotherly Muslim countries, have unique commonalities of a historical, religious and political nature.”
 


Eastern Province governor receives Netherlands ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Eastern Province governor receives Netherlands ambassador to Saudi Arabia
Updated 25 February 2021

Eastern Province governor receives Netherlands ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Eastern Province governor receives Netherlands ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif met Janet Alberda, ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Saudi Arabia, in Dammam on Wednesday.
During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations between the two countries and issues of common interest, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Alberda highlighted the development that the Eastern Province has been witnessing, and wished further progress and prosperity for the Kingdom.
The meeting was attended by the Saudi Honorary Consul to the Kingdom of the Netherlands Sulaiman Al-Suhaimi.
Also on Wednesday, Prince Saud received the regional director of Al Arabiya channel, Mohammed Al-Hekmi, accompanied by a number of employees.
Prince Saud praised the role of the media in highlighting the societal and development accomplishments of the Kingdom in general and the Eastern Province in particular.
The media played an influential role and was an important means of communication, he said.
Earlier, Prince Saud met the US consul general in Dhahran, Nicholle Manz-Baazaoui. Issues of common interest and ways to promote relationships between the two countries were discussed.
Prince Saud stressed the solid ties between the two countries and their common vision on various topics.
He also highlighted the two countries’ joint work toward achieving security and peace in the region and the world, as well as their economic and cultural cooperation.
 


Who’s Who: Tareq Al-Sadhan, CEO of Riyad Bank

Who’s Who: Tareq Al-Sadhan, CEO of Riyad Bank
Updated 25 February 2021

Who’s Who: Tareq Al-Sadhan, CEO of Riyad Bank

Who’s Who: Tareq Al-Sadhan, CEO of Riyad Bank

Tareq Al-Sadhan has been president and CEO of Riyad Bank since April 2019. Before that, he served as the bank’s senior executive vice president from January 2018 to March 2019.
Al-Sadhan worked with KPMG Saudi Arabia, where he spent 18 years rising through the ranks to become one of the youngest partners in the firm’s history.
He was CEO/managing partner and chairman of the advisory committee during his last five years at the company.
Before his current position, Al-Sadhan worked in the Kingdom’s public sector in roles such as adviser to the chairman in the Saudi Fund for Development, acting director general at the General Authority for Zakat and Tax, and deputy governor for supervision at the Saudi Central Bank.
Al-Sadhan holds a bachelor’s degree in administration science from King Saud University, majoring in accounting (1997), and a master’s degree in business management from Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees, France (2007).
He gained a diploma in international business from the University of Edinburgh in 2006, and a diploma in leadership development and strategy from INSEAD in 2010.
Al-Sadhan is a member of the 2020 World Economic Forum’s Stewardship Board for the Middle East and North Africa, and a fellow of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants.
He has been an audit committee member at the Public Investment Fund since March 2019, and an advisory board member at Mastercard since March 2018.


Saudi Prince Khalid bin Salman discusses defense relations with UK

Saudi Prince Khalid bin Salman discusses defense relations with UK
Updated 25 February 2021

Saudi Prince Khalid bin Salman discusses defense relations with UK

Saudi Prince Khalid bin Salman discusses defense relations with UK
  • Prince Khalid bin Salman held a phone call with British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace

RIYADH: Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman held a phone call with British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace to discuss defense relations between both countries. 

“Had a good call with the United Kingdom Defense Secretary Ben Wallace to discuss defense relations between our two friendly countries, and our common interests in achieving regional and international stability,” Prince Khalid tweeted Wednesday.

In an interview last year with Al Arabiya, Wallace said the UK’s relations with Saudi Arabia are not restricted to selling weapons, but a strong defense partnership.


KSrelief launches medical campaign in Djibouti

KSrelief launches medical campaign in Djibouti
Updated 25 February 2021

KSrelief launches medical campaign in Djibouti

KSrelief launches medical campaign in Djibouti

DJIBOUTI: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) has launched a voluntary medical campaign for specialized surgeries in Djibouti.

The center’s medical team has to date performed 41 urinary tract operations on children in the east African country and provided the necessary treatment for 60 other cases.

The health initiative is part of Saudi Arabia’s relief and humanitarian efforts, through the center, to help crisis-hit countries and the suffering of people around the world.