Bangladesh — a pristine beauty in South Asia

As the tourism industry develops alongside a burgeoning economy, Bangladesh is keen to welcome growing numbers of international tourists. (Supplied)
As the tourism industry develops alongside a burgeoning economy, Bangladesh is keen to welcome growing numbers of international tourists. (Supplied)
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Updated 26 March 2021

Bangladesh — a pristine beauty in South Asia

Bangladesh — a pristine beauty in South Asia
  • Attractions include nature-driven options such as beaches, green valleys and forests, along with iconic religious heritage

Bangladesh is a land of diversity, both in terms of its natural beauty and the 160 million people of different faiths who live there in harmony.

Thanks to its impeccable natural splendor, the thought-provoking ancient relics of the culture that has existed on this land for thousands of years, and the indomitable hospitality of its people, this country is an amazing tourist destination for travelers from around the globe.

Situated between India and Myanmar, and with its southern coast opening onto the Bay of Bengal, this deltaic land in South Asia is interlaced with hundreds of rivers, making for an intriguing landscape.

Bangladesh is a unique destination, with more than 700 tourist spots.

The attractions include nature-driven options such as beaches, green valleys and forests, along with man-made archaeological and historical sites, iconic religious heritage, and cultural events.

The world’s largest mangrove — the Sundarbans — is a source of great pride to the country and a hot spot for ecotourism. Spread over an area of 6,000 square kilometers of deltaic swamps, it is a sanctuary of hundreds of rare species.

Most importantly, perhaps, it is home to the royal Bengal tiger, one of the few surviving species of tigers.

Crisscrossed by innumerable rivers and creeks, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a wonderful repository of biodiversity.

On the southeastern tip of the country, Cox’s Bazar, the longest unbroken sea beach in the world, attracts tens of thousands of visitors all year round. The calm blue waters of the Bay of Bengal caress a 120 kilometer-long sandy beach that stretches along the foot of a range of picturesque green hills. Off the coast lies Saint Martin’s Island, the only coral island in Bangladesh and another popular tourist attraction.

The Chittagong Hill Tracts in the southeast offer exotic natural beauty.


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The lush green hills and sprawling valleys are often dotted with waterfalls and small lakes.

The unique lifestyle of the tribal people who live there adds to the romance of this paradise-like location.

Sylhet, in the northeast, offers sprawling tea gardens with a panoramic views that appear like a green carpet rolled out for miles and miles. Natural waterfalls in the midst of these tea garden valleys add to the scenic charm.

While natural beauty dominates the entire expanse of Bangladesh, thousands of ancient sites and relics across the country tell the story of its rich history.

These include mosques and centuries-old shrines devoted to various religions that bear witness to the religious harmony of the land.

Bangladesh has recognized that tourism is an important sector for the nation’s economic development.

As the tourism industry develops alongside a burgeoning economy, the country is welcoming growing numbers of international tourists who are increasingly choosing Bangladesh as a favored destination.

With all the beauty and attractions this country has to offer, a trip to Bangladesh is an unforgettable experience.


Curtain set to rise on new era for Saudi performing arts

Curtain set to rise on new era for Saudi performing arts
Updated 27 sec ago

Curtain set to rise on new era for Saudi performing arts

Curtain set to rise on new era for Saudi performing arts
  • The new body will provide an umbrella organization for performers while promoting new talent and expertise

JEDDAH: The curtain is set to rise on a new era for Saudi performing arts with the establishment of a dedicated theater association.

As part of the Kingdom’s cultural transformation, the new body will provide an umbrella organization for performers while also attracting and promoting new talent and expertise.

Saudi Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Ahmed Al-Rajhi said the association would bring together professionals from the worlds of theater, folk arts, circus, stand-up comedy, and dance.

Headed by Saudi actor Nasser Al-Qasabi, the association’s board of directors will include academic researcher Sami Al-Jamaan, actors Rashid Al-Shamrani, Sami Al-Zahrani, and Fatima Al-Banawi, director Khaled Al-Baz, actor and playwright Yasser Madkhali, writer Fahd Al-Hoshani, kinetic arts performer Roaa Al-Sahhaf, comedian Yasser Bakr, and Saudi ballerina Samira Alkhamis.

Performing arts has been a part of human culture down the ages and was even used as a way to inform people about the negative impact of social practices.

However, although well-represented in the West, only recently have theatrical shows and their performers been supported in the Kingdom by official bodies such as the Ministry of Culture’s Theater and Performing Arts Commission, set up under the National Strategy for Culture framework. 

In a tweet, association president, Al-Qasabi said: “I am honored to work with my colleagues in the new association to overcome difficulties and advance this lofty profession. In a few months, the work of the association will be launched, and we look forward to your participation in a new creative journey.”

Performing arts are considered to have benefits on a personal, social, and community level, with live theater helping to encourage social dialogue, highlight issues, and provide an outlet for society to find solutions to problems.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The Ministry of Culture has been behind a number of significant initiatives and organizational developments that have taken place in the Saudi theater sector this year.

• These have included the establishment of the National Theater, and subsequently the Theater and Performing Arts Commission, and partnership projects with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development to improve professionalism in the sector.

Mohammed Al-Subaih, director of the Jeddah-based Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts, described the establishment of the new association as “a most welcome move” that would offer a strong voice for performers in Saudi Arabia.

He told Arab News: “It will definitely contribute to the work of actors and performers and also bring up the level of work of Saudi theater.”

Saudi actor Abdullah Al-Sinani said: “(The association is) a wonderful step that reinforces our permanent ambition toward the status of Saudi theatrical superlatives. I wish the association and its members success in enriching the local theatrical movement.”

In a tweet, Wael Al-Harbi said: “I was honored to be chosen as a founding member of the first association for theater and performing arts.”

And Sultan Al-Bazie, chief executive officer of the Theater and Performing Arts Commission, said: “We expect the association to be an active element in the development of the sector.”

The Ministry of Culture has been behind a number of significant initiatives and organizational developments that have taken place in the Saudi theater sector this year.

These have included the establishment of the National Theater, and subsequently the Theater and Performing Arts Commission, and partnership projects with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development to improve professionalism in the sector.

In 2016, the General Entertainment Authority was formed, followed by the Literature, Publishing, and Translation Commission last year. The current registration of the Cinema Society will represent the first specialized civil body of its kind in the Kingdom concerned with the film industry.


Saudi air defenses destroy Houthi drones targeting Abha airport, Najran

Saudi air defenses destroy Houthi drones targeting Abha airport, Najran
Updated 27 October 2021

Saudi air defenses destroy Houthi drones targeting Abha airport, Najran

Saudi air defenses destroy Houthi drones targeting Abha airport, Najran

RIYADH: Saudi air defenses destroyed explosive drones by Yemen’s Houthi militia targeting Abha airport and Najran, both located in southern Saudi Arabia.
The militia has continued to target the Kingdom on a near daily basis, often selecting civilian targets in the south of the country.
Houthi attempts to target civilians has been labeled as war crimes by the Kingdom. 
The militia has attacked civilian infrastructure in the past including the international airports in Abha and Jazan.
The Arab coalition has been supporting the internationally recognized Yemeni government regain full control of the country after the Houthis seized the capital, Sanaa, in 2014.
In March, Saudi Arabia announced a roadmap called the Riyadh Initiative to halt fighting in Yemen and reopen Sanaa airport, as well as continuing talks to find a solution to the conflict. The proposal was seen as a welcome step internationally, but has been rejected by Houthi leadership.
Fighting in Marib province has claimed thousands of lives, among both government and Houthi forces. The resource-rich region has been heavily contested as the militia seek to strengthen their control of northern Yemen.
Saudi relief agency, KSrelief, has poured billions of dollars worth of aid into Yemen and has hundreds of projects focusing on food and health.
In July, The World Food Programme welcomed Saudi contributions to the fund saying humanitarian action in Yemen could not be sustained without it.


Who’s Who: Hassan Al-Shawi, director at Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Survey and Geospatial Information

Who’s Who: Hassan Al-Shawi, director at Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Survey and Geospatial Information
Updated 38 min 55 sec ago

Who’s Who: Hassan Al-Shawi, director at Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Survey and Geospatial Information

Who’s Who: Hassan Al-Shawi, director at Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Survey and Geospatial Information

Hassan Al-Shawi has been director of the licensing and permits department at the General Authority for Survey and Geospatial Information since January 2021. He has also been a member of the geospatial data governance team since September 2019.
Before joining the authority, he was a manager at the department of photogrammetry and aerial survey from March 2020 until January 2021. He prepared the rules and conditions for issuing permits for photogrammetry and aerial surveys, panoramic photography, similar technologies and marine hydrographic surveys and their guidelines.
He was a manager of the technical affairs department at the General Administration of Map Production from October 2020 until January 2021, a secretariat member of the National Geospatial Center from October 2019 until August 2020, and was a member of the development team at the General Authority for Survey and Geospatial Information from September 2019 to February 2020.
Before that, he was a surveying engineer in the General Administration of Map Production at the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs from January 2019 to September 2019, and project manager at Aerial Imaging Saudi Arabia Co. Ltd. from August 2018 until June 2019.
He was also a surveyor at Badan Agricultural & Contracting Co. Ltd from December 2017 until June 2019, and a surveyor at Al Fozan Trading & General Construction Co. from April to October in 2015.
He specializes in strategies, policies and rules governing the survey and geospatial information sector, stimulating investment, raising spending efficiency, monitoring and supervision, and creating, producing and analyzing geospatial data.
Al-Shawi has more than seven years’ experience and knowledge in implementing strategies, programs and organizational projects to improve the national geospatial infrastructure.
He has experience dealing with diverse systems that contribute to raising the quality of life in the economic, social, environmental and strategic aspects of the transition to digital twinning, smart cities, ecological balances and harmony between the components of the national data infrastructure. He has also managed operational projects of photogrammetry and aerial and ground surveys.
He is a member of several advisory and executive committees and has represented the General Authority for Survey and Geospatial Information at the Council of Ministers.
Al-Shawi holds a bachelor’s degree in surveying engineering. He is completing a master’s degree at King Saud University in geospatial information systems.


Saudi-French relationship rich, long-standing and based on trust, says envoy

Saudi-French relationship rich, long-standing and based on trust, says envoy
Updated 27 October 2021

Saudi-French relationship rich, long-standing and based on trust, says envoy

Saudi-French relationship rich, long-standing and based on trust, says envoy

The deep relationship between France and Saudi Arabia is rich, long-standing and based on trust, Ludovic Pouille, the French ambassador to the Kingdom, said on Tuesday. The nations have forged partnerships at all levels based on mutual interests and a common view of international issues, he added. “We feel the energy in all our partnerships that revive French-Saudi cooperation in all fields included in the Saudi Vision 2030,” Pouille said. On the opening day of the fifth Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, the ambassador said the event has become a benchmark for assessing the quality of other investment forums worldwide. He added that its international scale has contributed to the opening up and promotion of the Saudi economy to a global audience of international investors in a bid to achieve the objectives Saudi Vision 2030.


Saudi authorities foil port drug-smuggling bid

Saudi authorities foil port drug-smuggling bid
Updated 26 October 2021

Saudi authorities foil port drug-smuggling bid

Saudi authorities foil port drug-smuggling bid

RIYADH: Saudi authorities have foiled an attempt to smuggle 5,246,000 amphetamine tablets through Jeddah’s Islamic Port.

Maj. Raed Al-Najidi, spokesperson for the Saudi General Directorate of Narcotics Control, said the pills had been hidden inside crates of grapes intended for distribution throughout the Kingdom.

A Syrian and two Jordanians were arrested in connection with the incident.

The drugs seizure was carried out as part of a coordinated operation between the directorate and the Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority.

Saudi border patrols in Jazan, Najran, and Asir recently thwarted attempts to sneak more than one ton of cannabis and 66 tons of qat into the Kingdom.

And in May, Saudi authorities foiled a plot to smuggle almost 1,000 kilograms of hashish into the country through its southern borders. Twenty-four people — 18 Ethiopians, four Yemenis, and two Saudis — were arrested.