Saudi Civil Defense outlines camping safety as season peaks

Saudi Civil Defense outlines camping safety as season peaks
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One of the most popular winter activities, kashta — the local name for camping — is also a great way for people to get out of the house and enjoy COVID-19-free activities. (Supplied)
Saudi Civil Defense outlines camping safety as season peaks
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Photo courtesy: social media
Saudi Civil Defense outlines camping safety as season peaks
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Photo courtesy: social media
Saudi Civil Defense outlines camping safety as season peaks
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Photo/Supplied
Saudi Civil Defense outlines camping safety as season peaks
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Photo/Supplied
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Updated 09 January 2021

Saudi Civil Defense outlines camping safety as season peaks

Saudi Civil Defense outlines camping safety as season peaks
  • Campers also need to ensure good ventilation for sites containing wood or charcoal stoves, to avoid the danger posed by deadly carbon monoxide gas
  • Anyone intending to camp should make sure they have ways to dispose of their garbage

RIYADH: As winter settles across the Kingdom, and with the mid-year school break in full swing, the time is ripe to break out the camping gear and head to the desert for a good old-fashioned “kashta.”
One of the most popular winter activities, kashta — the local name for camping — is also a great way for people to get out of the house and enjoy COVID-19-free activities. In the fresh air, safely distanced from the crowds of the city, both single- and multiple-day trips are a well-loved tradition that people in the Kingdom have enjoyed for decades.
In light of camper numbers peaking in the winter, Saudi Civil Defense has outlined a number of safety requirements to follow to avoid danger and accidents.
Abdullah Al-Saadan, known on social media as Abu Sattam, has more than 20,000 followers on both Snapchat and Instagram. The avid camper told Arab News how important it was for campers to follow safety guidelines.
“A proper kashta can be done pretty much anywhere, whether it’s in a national park, or way out of the city in the wilderness. But the most important thing to remember is to be safe while you’re doing it,” he said.
According to both Al-Saadan and the Civil Defense, the key thing to keep in mind while camping is to be safe about lighting fires.
“You must never light a fire directly on the ground. Always use a brazier or a portable grill, or at the very least put down some foil on the ground,” said Al-Saadan, adding that this is “not only for safety, but also to avoid damaging the natural beauty of the campsite.”
The Civil Defense emphasized the need to bring fire extinguishers for those planning to grill food or light bonfires for warmth. The recommendation is one fire extinguisher per tent, to ensure a quicker response in case of an outbreak.
The Civil Defense also urged campers to keep family members remaining in the city informed of their location, and to camp away from valleys and select higher ground to set up on.
“The further out of the city you go, the less likely you are to encounter anyone else, but for those who want to stay closer to the city, there are locations like Al-Ammariyah or Al-Nufud Al-Kabir,” said Al-Saadan.

HIGHLIGHT

The Civil Defense emphasized the need to bring fire extinguishers for those planning to grill food or light bonfires for warmth. The recommendation is one fire extinguisher per tent, to ensure a quicker response in case of an outbreak.

He said that camping in the Najd (Central) province was bound to be safer than in other areas, such as in the southern province, as campers were unlikely to encounter wild animals, scorpions or venomous snakes.
For campers using electrical items such as heaters or air-conditioners, extra care should be taken when setting up camp. Cables should be passed through pipes to protect the wires from being cut accidentally or disrupted by rainwater. Automatic circuit breakers should be evenly distributed and allocated for each device that consumes significant electrical energy.
Lamps, when in use, should be kept away from fabrics and other materials that make up the tents. A free space should be maintained between weeds and flammable materials at a distance of not less than 3 meters.
Campers also need to ensure good ventilation for sites containing wood or charcoal stoves, to avoid the danger posed by deadly carbon monoxide gas. Fires should always be extinguished after use.
Campers are also advised to ensure the area surrounding their camps does not contain exposed or neglected wells, and to report their locations immediately if found in order for the Civil Defense to take action.
Finally, Al-Saadan said that anyone intending to camp in the Kingdom, regardless of where they pitch their tents, should always leave the campsite exactly as they found it, and if they could, in an even better condition.
“Anyone intending to camp should make sure they have ways to dispose of their garbage. Plastic plates and empty water bottles do so much damage to the environment and don’t decompose naturally,” he said. “Sometimes, they even end up being eaten by wild animals, which might even result in their deaths. The most important thing I tell my followers on social media is to clean up after themselves, so anyone that comes after them can enjoy the campsite too.”
Al-Saadan shares daily tips, safety guidelines and pictures of campsites on Snapchat and Instagram.

Decoder

KASHTA

The local term for camping, "kashta" is one of the most popular winter activities in Saudi Arabia, when people head to the desert to enjoy the fresh air, away from crowds.


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 51 min 35 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.”