Sun, sand and privacy: Saudi club beefs up facilities at private women’s beach in Alkhobar

The 180 Beach Club offers spa services, including massage, pedicure and beach hairstyles. Visitors say they were attracted by the club’s ‘cool vibes.’ (Supplied)
The 180 Beach Club offers spa services, including massage, pedicure and beach hairstyles. Visitors say they were attracted by the club’s ‘cool vibes.’ (Supplied)
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Updated 15 September 2021

Sun, sand and privacy: Saudi club beefs up facilities at private women’s beach in Alkhobar

The 180 Beach Club offers spa services, including massage, pedicure and beach hairstyles. Visitors say they were attracted by the club’s ‘cool vibes.’ (Supplied)
  • Women-only club is offering more entertainment options and expanded facilities at a new location

ALKHOBAR: The city of Alkhobar in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, long known for its pristine waterfront and nearby beaches, has added to its summer attractions with the return of a private women’s beach club.

The first private women’s beach in the region was organized by 180 Beach Club in 2020. Now the club’s second season is offering more entertainment options and expanded facilities at a new location that will operate until Oct. 18.
The beach club will add to Alkhobar’s appeal as an ideal place for swimming and ocean sports, especially during summer.

Expanded facilities at the 180 Beach Club include an indoor lounge area, beach swimming area with full privacy, food and beverage, dining, blue market, DJ, live shows and beach sports.
COVID-19 precautionary measures will be maintained to ensure social distancing and sanitization.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The beach club offers 400 sunbeds in a 45,000-square-meter area.

• Tickets are sold via the Platinumlist website; no tickets at the door.

• Single ticket starts at SR150 ($40).

• Vaccination is required for entry.

May Algrainees and Dima Al-Zamil were behind the first women’s private beach in the Eastern Province.
Algrainees told Arab News that after private women’s beaches were opened in Jeddah, Eastern Province women were willing to travel there just to enjoy the full privacy on offer.
“We took the initiative for the first private women’s beach event because we know exactly what it means to Eastern Province women to enjoy summer and beach activities in full privacy,” she said.
“We wanted to be among the first to implement the project, and we are so proud of the great success we witnessed in the first season, even though the number was limited due to COVID-19 cases.”
Algrainees said that the club’s new location in AlKhobar Al-Aziziyah offers up to 400 sunbeds over a 45,000-square-meter site to keep up with pandemic precautionary measures and ensure social distancing.
The first season was held for only five days. “In the second season, there is more room and time for everyone to enjoy this summer opportunity, as the event will include all week days,” she said.
On public beaches, the dress code will be more conservative, but at private beaches, such as the 180 Beach Club, women will be able to adopt a more relaxed dress code.
The beach restricts the use of phones, cameras are not allowed, and male access is limited to boys under seven to ensure full privacy for visitors.
Ghadeer Omer, a kindergarten teacher who lives in AlKhobar, told Arab News that a seasonal private beach club in the city is “really tempting.”
“I went to the first season and was mesmerized by the fine service and professional level of privacy,” she said. “It was a joyous experience to swim with my friends wearing swimwear without being worried about anything.”
The beach club is only 11 minutes’ drive from AlKhobar city, and offers “bohemian-style” decor, a variety of restaurants, food trucks, cafes, shops, and water sports, including kayaking, pedal-boarding and snorkeling.
Beachside yoga, Zumba and Pilates sessions are supervised by experienced teachers.
“In case of emergency, we have a clinic for the beach that is part of Almoosa Specialist Hospital,” Algrainees said.
The 180 Beach Club also offers spa services, including massage, pedicure and beach hairstyles, to complement the beach experience.
Visitor Jawaher Shaheen, 17, said that she was attracted by the club’s “cool vibes.”
“It is lovely here, the view, the DJ — it is like a beach paradise in the Caribbean with all these bohemian details. And, best of all, I have the chance to get tanned the way I want.”


Ithra launches cultural and heritage programs

Ithra launches cultural and heritage programs
Updated 25 September 2021

Ithra launches cultural and heritage programs

Ithra launches cultural and heritage programs

DHAHRAN: In celebration of the 91st Saudi National Day, the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture has launched programs and activities to highlight diversity across the Kingdom.

Ithra will engage visitors through a cultural journey that embodies the unity of the Saudi people and their interdependence, from north to south and from east to west, through the Tafaseel exhibition.

The exhibition will express the diversity of fashion as part of Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage across regions, as well as telling stories about the civilizations that inhabited them.

The national day activities aim to present a collection of interactive art, performances, traditional local crafts, cultural activities, workshops, and knowledge-based games for all age groups.

The activities continue until Saturday.

 


Two Holy Mosques management trains 600 female employees

Two Holy Mosques management trains 600 female employees
Updated 25 September 2021

Two Holy Mosques management trains 600 female employees

Two Holy Mosques management trains 600 female employees

MAKKAH: The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques announced on Friday that it has so far trained around 600 female employees of its agencies or assisting agencies.

The Women’s Development Affairs Agency, led by Al-Anoud Al-Aboud, deputy president for women’s development affairs, employs 310 of those women.

Around 200 women work for the Agency for Women’s Scientific, Intellectual and Guidance Affairs, led by Noura Al-Thuwaibi.

The rest of the trained women work at the Agency for Women’s Administrative and Service Affairs, under the leadership of Kamelia Al-Daadi, the general presidency said in a statement.

 

 


Saudi Arabia joins global community to celebrate World Sign Day

Saudi Arabia joins global community to celebrate World Sign Day
Updated 25 September 2021

Saudi Arabia joins global community to celebrate World Sign Day

Saudi Arabia joins global community to celebrate World Sign Day

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia joined the international community by participating in World Sign Day, celebrated on Sept. 23.

The Ministry of Health implemented the “We Are with You” initiative to support deaf people, raising staff awareness about the deaf community. The MOH trained its staff to work with individuals who are deaf, teaching them sign language rules and basics, and helping them find ways to support deaf patients overcome challenges.

Sign language includes 35 manual symbols, each representing a letter of the alphabet, and five other symbols representing diacritics.

The Arabic language also includes numbers in its sign language system; Arabic sign language includes 53 manual symbols representing number, in single or multiple digits.

The MOH also launched the Awlawiya (Priority) Card, one of the Patient Experience Center’s initiatives to facilitate and accelerate procedures and services provided to some groups (including the deaf) inside health facilities.

 

 

Other electronic services include the Queries on Treatment Abroad Orders Service and the Mawid (Appointment) Service.

Moreover, it launched the Online Registration initiative for people with disabilities, including the deaf, through its E-Health system. The platform enables MOH officials to follow up on registration and classification electronically, as well as oversee the issuance of Transportation Discount Cards and Traffic Facilitation Cards.

The MOH linked the E-Health platform with other authorities, such as the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development and the Ministry of Education, by automating all procedures to ensure speed and uniformity of service provision. Furthermore, the ministry launched the Eshara app, which provides direct services to the deaf and hearing-impaired, and which allows them to benefit from the services offered by the 937 Service Center.

The app allows visual communication between deaf people and the remote sign interpretation communication center; the interpreter translates the signs as a third party through the digital platform by converting the sign language to spoken Arabic (and vice versa), serving as a mediator between the employee and the deaf person.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development launched a series of training programs about sign language basics in its branches in the Kingdom, trained its members and employees in all sectors to understand sign language, and raised their awareness on how to communicate with deaf people to ensure access of all services with ease.

Decoder

'We Are with You' campaign

It is the Saudi Ministry of Health initiative to support deaf people, raising staff awareness about the deaf community, teaching them sign language rules and basics, and helping them find ways to support deaf patients overcome challenges.


ThePlace: Dawqara, in KSA’s Northern Borders region, yield signs of early civilization

ThePlace: Dawqara, in KSA’s Northern Borders region, yield signs of early civilization
Updated 25 September 2021

ThePlace: Dawqara, in KSA’s Northern Borders region, yield signs of early civilization

ThePlace: Dawqara, in KSA’s Northern Borders region, yield signs of early civilization

ThePlace: Dawqara,  in KSA's Northern Borders region, shows signs of civilization during late late Roman period 

Dawqara is located 40 kilometers west of At-Turaif, near a mountain known as Aqrun or Dawqara. The site is registered in a comprehensive archeological survey program.

Rainwater accumulates on the northern side of the site and forms a large lake. The southern side is made up of volcanic rocks with many stone circles. Some stone tools have also been found.

One of the site’s most important artifacts is a square palace that was built from large volcanic stones. Its construction takes into consideration the straightness and solidity of pillars, linked by clay.

The palace’s door is located in the middle of the eastern wall and is 2.85 meters long. The palace comprises two parts. The first is a yard that constitutes the largest part of the building. The second has seven rooms on the western wall, each 4.5 meters wide.

The history of the palace is not clear, as an archeological excavation is required to extract, study and compare artifacts. 

But, according to preliminary studies, the palace was built in the pre-Islamic era and there is other evidence indicating that it was used until the Umayyad era. 


Pakistani spends four decades in service of Makkah’s Grand Mosque

Pakistani spends four decades in service of Makkah’s Grand Mosque
Updated 25 September 2021

Pakistani spends four decades in service of Makkah’s Grand Mosque

Pakistani spends four decades in service of Makkah’s Grand Mosque
  • The Pakistani worker witnessed the restoration of the Kaaba during the reign of the late King Fahd and said it was one of the most important and beautiful stages of his life
  • 61-year-old Qandal is a supervisor for sanitation work at the Grand Mosque

MAKKAH: Ahmed Khan Qandal, who came from Mandi Bahauddin in Pakistan in late 1983 at the age of 23, never thought that he would spend the next 40 years of his life in Saudi Arabia, specifically as a sanitation worker at the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
Qandal initially promised his parents he would return home as soon as possible. But Makkah and the service of the Grand Mosque kept him preoccupied as his parents have since passed on.
The years flew by and today the 61-year-old Qandal is a supervisor for sanitation work at the Grand Mosque.
His memory is made up of different Saudi events, the most important of which were the Grand Mosque’s second and third Saudi expansions projects, and the Kaaba restoration project.
“Since I came to Saudi Arabia almost 40 years ago, I felt that I was among family and I never felt alienated,” Qandal told Arab News. 
“Whenever I meet someone new, they tell me how lucky I am
to be able to serve the Grand Mosque and pray there. I was always near the Holy Kaaba and this is a great honor that only a person with a special relationship with God can have. I was blessed to be able to do this work for four decades.”
He noted that he came to Saudi Arabia during the reign of the late King Fahd bin Abdulaziz. 

“I worked in cleaning the outer courtyards, and approximately four years later, the second Saudi expansion of the Grand Mosque happened,” Qandal said. “I was a witness to how Muslims began to perform their rituals more comfortably.”
The Pakistani worker witnessed the restoration of the Kaaba during the reign of the late King Fahd and said it was one of the most important and beautiful stages of his life.
Qandal believes God chose him to witness many significant events, including the third Saudi expansion during the reign of the late King Abdullah.
Aside from his time at the Grand Mosque, Qandal also worked with a cleaning company for 11 years until he moved to the Saudi Binladin Group. Over the years, he became known for his efficiency and hard work.
Working with warm, welcoming people from all over the world is what has stuck out the most for Qandal during his time at the Grand Mosque.
“We were all loving brothers,” he said. “All the workers in the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Mosques and the Prophet’s Mosque operate as a united team to show the Two Holy Mosques in the best way possible.”
Qandal has two sons and a daughter. One of his sons works in the electrical department at the Grand Mosque and the other is with his sister in Pakistan.
He stressed that his wish is to be buried in Makkah, the city he lives in, pointing out that whoever lives in the service of the Two Holy Mosques cannot in any way feel bored or lonely.
“Happiness, love, harmony, tolerance, mercy, and peace can be found in all corners of the Grand Mosque,” Qandal said. “Where Muslims coming from all over the world come to praise God.”