Saudi peak is a beacon of calm among the clouds

Saudi peak is a beacon of calm among the clouds
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The mountain is part of the Hijaz range in Al-Dayer governorate, which has stepped up activities to attract winter visitors, with mountain trails, museums and rural lodges, plus the introduction of agricultural festivals highlighting products such as coffee, mangoes, and honey. (Photo by Hamid Al Alayli/Social media)
Saudi peak is a beacon of calm among the clouds
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Saudi peak is a beacon of calm among the clouds
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Updated 10 January 2021

Saudi peak is a beacon of calm among the clouds

Saudi peak is a beacon of calm among the clouds
  • Winter programs also arranged to attract visitors from around the Kingdom

MAKKAH: Tallan Mountain, the 2,200-meter peak in southern Saudi Arabia, has long attracted the interest of photographers and visitors, especially in winter when low cloud and fog create a sense of calm and seclusion.

The mountain is part of the Hijaz range in Al-Dayer governorate, which has stepped up activities to attract winter visitors, with mountain trails, museums and rural lodges, plus the introduction of agricultural festivals highlighting products such as coffee, mangoes, and honey.
But for many visiting the area, the festivals are a secondary consideration. It is the view from the top of Tallan Mountain that they want to see.
Visitors often spend hours in the cold, enjoying the solitude and escape from the hustle and bustle below, while glimpses of nearby mountains can be seen through the thick cloud.
Photographer Hamed Al-Ali told Arab News that winter temperatures rarely fall below 15 degrees Celsius, creating a moody, cloudy atmosphere across the entire governorate.
Every now and then, clusters of twinkling town lights appear through the fog — a sight rarely found in other parts of the Kingdom.
Al-Ali said that many photographers seek out the winter views from the top of the mountain.

Al-Dayer has put itself on the economic, agricultural and tourism map due to its wonderful potential.

Nayef bin Lebdah, Al-Dayer governor

“The place is charming. It looks like a painting that must be admired,” he said.
Al-Ali said that many images were popular with nature and visual arts lovers.
The Jazan region is considered one of the most beautiful in the Kingdom, and is popular with visitors and tourists due to its geographical diversity, outdoor activities and agricultural products.


Al-Dayer governorate is also famous for cultivating coffee trees. It produces high-quality Khoulani coffee, one of the world’s finest varieties. The Khoulani coffee bean is being offered to UNESCO for inclusion on a heritage list.

FASTFACTS

• Tallan Mountain, the 2,200-meter peak in southern Saudi Arabia, has long attracted the interest of photographers and visitors.

• The mountain is part of the Hijaz range in Al-Dayer governorate.

• Winter temperatures rarely fall below 15 degrees Celsius.

The Jazan Mountains are host to more than 54,000 coffee trees farmed by 600 farmers, annually producing 300 tons of their delicious beans.
The governorate celebrates its coffee trees by holding a festival attended by the governor of the region, some officials and people interested in coffee from around the world.
It is the largest mountain province of Jazan, with a population of about 100,000 spread across 420 villages.
Al-Dayer Gov. Nayef bin Lebdah told Arab News that specially prepared winter programs will appeal to visitors from around the Kingdom, with coffee festivals likely to prove especially popular.
Many events coincide with the mid-term vacation, with activities to suit families.
He said that competitiveness in all sectors has become a goal as entrepreneurs set out to provide attractive environments for visitors. Meanwhile, business accelerators aim to encourage investment in the governorate.
“Al-Dayer has put itself on the economic, agricultural and tourism map due to its wonderful potential,” bin Lebdah said.
“Agricultural activities, fishing, the pearl trade and a rich cultural heritage make this one of most beautiful and promising governorates,” he added.


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 2 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.”