Al-Ahsa Safari team answers Saudi Arabia’s call of the wild

Al-Ahsa Safari team answers Saudi Arabia’s call of the wild
1 / 2
The highlight of the trip is Al-Asfar Lake, which is located in the heart of the desert. (SPA)
Al-Ahsa Safari team answers Saudi Arabia’s call of the wild
2 / 2
The highlight of the trip is Al-Asfar Lake, which is located in the heart of the desert. (SPA)
Short Url
Updated 06 January 2021

Al-Ahsa Safari team answers Saudi Arabia’s call of the wild

Al-Ahsa Safari team answers Saudi Arabia’s call of the wild
  • Al-Ahsa is widely considered to have the greenest and most fertile land in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, while also housing prominent archaeological and historical sites

JEDDAH: Safari trips will feature among more than 300 tourist packages offered as part of the Saudi winter season campaign.
The campaign will continue until the end of March under the slogan “Winter is Around You,” with packages available through the Visit Saudi website and app.
Tourist packages are provided by more than 200 tourism agencies.
With 100 members, the Al-Ahsa Safari team is promoting tourism in the Eastern Province by focusing on the desert experience, exploring the region’s heritage and monuments, and sharing its diverse natural attractions and climate.
Leader of the Al-Ahsa Safari team, Yasser Al-Sari, said that among the highlights is Al-Asfar Lake, which is located in the heart of the desert and is about 25 km in length.
“The lake is surrounded by large green areas, with palm trees overlooking it from a distance. It attracts many species of migratory birds in both winter and summer. It also attracts thousands of tourists from inside and outside the Kingdom,” he said.
Following the launch of the Saudi winter season campaign, the Al-Ahsa Safari team is receiving up to five requests every week to organize wild safari trips.
Trips range from half-day explorations to overnight camping.
Al-Sari said that the colder weather makes the experience more distinctive, with visits to natural and archaeological sites, including Al-Asfar Lake, Al-Fanajeel Desert, Samman Desert, Hozoum Al-Shouaib, Jabal Al-Arba’a, Al-Bassal Plateau and the Empty Quarter.
Safari trips also offer fun experiences and an opportunity to explore Al-Ahsa’s landmarks, an especially attractive option for domestic tourists.
Prices vary according to services provided, including transport, desert camps (locally known as “kashta”), horse and camel rides, archery, sand skiing, paragliding, and four-wheel-drive photography expeditions into the dunes.

HIGHLIGHTS

• With 100 members, the Al-Ahsa Safari team is promoting tourism in the Eastern Province by focusing on the desert experience, exploring the region’s heritage and monuments, and sharing its diverse natural attractions and climate.

• Tourist packages are provided by more than 200 tourism agencies.

Safari trip operators are committed to implementing all preventive measures adopted by the Ministry of Tourism in coordination with the Ministry of Health and the relevant authorities to ensure the safety of workers and participants, and to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Al-Ahsa is widely considered to have the greenest and most fertile land in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, while also housing prominent archaeological and historical sites.
In 2015, it became the first Gulf city to be included in UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network in the fields of crafts and folk art.
The network brings together 180 cities from 72 countries to place creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level, and to cooperate actively at the international level.
The second achievement was UNESCO’s designation of Al-Ahsa as a World Heritage Site in 2018, becoming the fifth such Saudi site.
Moreover, Al-Ahsa was chosen as the Arab Tourism Capital for 2019 by the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism.
Many Saudi regions are rich in diverse natural environments that offer tourists unique safari trips during winter.
Launched by the Saudi Tourism Authority in more than 17 destinations in the Kingdom, the Saudi winter season campaign seeks to shed light on these regions in order to attract tourists during the Hijri mid-year holidays.


Overdue business rents waived by Saudi court

Overdue business rents waived by Saudi court
If a contract obliges one of the parties to carry out a task, which cannot be completed on time due to the pandemic, the court can temporarily suspend the implementation of the obligation. (SPA)
Updated 54 min 1 sec ago

Overdue business rents waived by Saudi court

Overdue business rents waived by Saudi court
  • The new regulations cover construction contracts, supply contracts, and the like, which have been affected by the pandemic

RIYADH: The General Assembly of the Saudi Supreme Court has ordered the waiving of overdue rents on businesses hit by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, and called for a review of such contracts between tenants and owners.

The steps have been taken in view of the circumstances caused by the pandemic, wherein an obligation or contract cannot be implemented without unusual losses.

The president of the Supreme Court, Khalid bin Abdullah bin Muhammad Al-Luhaidan, approved the decisions backed by 32 members of the assembly, Okaz newspaper reported.

Authorities have set conditions that have to be met before a case can be considered for review under the new regulations.

If a contract was concluded before the commencement of the preventive measures announced in the wake of the pandemic, then the impact was direct and unavoidable. If in such a case, an affected party was not compensated or did not reach a deal to mitigate the impact of the health crisis, then it qualifies for a review and the new regulations will then take effect, said legal sources.

The Supreme Court said a competent court will issue its verdict based on facts and circumstantial evidence, and may order amendments to a contract.

It also said the new provisions will be applicable to tenancy contracts and movable properties affected by the pandemic.

It clarified that if, due to the pandemic, a tenant was unable to use the leased property, in whole or in part, the court would reduce the rent as much as the usually intended benefit was reduced.

A lessor, meanwhile, does not have the right to terminate the contract if a tenant is late in paying rent for the period during which it was impossible to fully or partly use the property due to the pandemic.

HIGHLIGHT

The Supreme Court said a competent court will issue its verdict based on facts and circumstantial evidence, and may order amendments to a contract.

The new regulations also cover construction contracts, supply contracts, and the like, which have been affected by the pandemic.

If the pandemic causes an increase to the cost of materials and labor wages, etc., the court shall increase the value of the contract while ensuring the obligor can afford to bear the expense. The obligee, upon increasing the obligation, has the right to request the termination of the contract. If the increase in the cost of materials is temporary, the court reserves the right to temporarily suspend the contract.

If the pandemic causes a shortage of material in the market, the court can reduce the quantity to the extent it deems sufficient to protect the obligor from harm.

Moreover, if the shortage of materials is temporary, the court can temporarily suspend the contract if the person obligated to it is not severely affected by this suspension. If he is harmed, he may request termination of the contract. If the materials were not available at all, leading to the impossibility of implementing the contractual obligations or some of them, the court will terminate the clauses that are impossible to implement upon the request of one of the parties to the contract.

If a contract obliges one of the parties to carry out a task, which cannot be completed on time due to the pandemic, the court can temporarily suspend the implementation of the obligation. If the other party fears unusual damage due to the suspension, he may request termination of the contract.

In addition, the court also stressed the need to carefully assess the damages on a case-to-case basis, and that one or more experts should do the assessment. While assessing damages, it should be made clear what losses were incurred directly due to the pandemic and had nothing do to with seasonal upswing in certain activities.

The Supreme Court explained that a court is bound, when considering cases arising from contracts and obligations affected by the pandemic, not to apply penalty clause or fines in whole or in part — depending on the case.

In the event that a contract includes a clause of exemption from liability for one of the contracting parties when an emergency or force majeure occurs, the condition has no effect, and the party that breaches the obligation must provide evidence that the pandemic was the reason for the breach.

The affected contracts that are not covered by the provisions of this principle shall be subject to the legal and statutory litigation principles, said the court.

Commenting on the decision, Talal Albotty, the regional director of the Central Region, Salama Insurance Co., said there is a type of insurance called “suspension of operations” because of continuous epidemics, and falls under property insurance.

“This type of insurance can be found in European countries and some Asian countries but it is not applicable in Saudi Arabia,” he told Arab News. “The insurance against projects does not exist because when the project stops, insurance stops.”

Regarding the rise in prices of commodities, or the increase in prices because of pandemics and suspension of imports, a condition must be added stating that the value of property or project must increase by 10-25 percent, he added.

“Now most reinsurance companies around the world stopped offering insurance related to pandemics and contagious diseases in most countries, including COVID-19, because their impact was huge and the companies sustained huge losses,” he said.

Saudi lawyer Reem Alajmi said the resolution aims to treat and remedy the losses incurred by parties to the contract in terms of obligations.

“The parties could not fulfil their obligations because of a lack of sufficient resources or suspension of working hours during the pandemic. Fulfilling the obligation fully or partially was difficult because COVID-19 pandemic was a force majeure,” she told Arab News.

According to Alajmi, the effects or damage caused by the pandemic must not be covered by other laws. “Proving the occurrence of damage is the responsibility of the plaintiff and the defendant based on evidence submitted to the court,” she added. “The contracts and obligations are amended accordingly.”