Diriyah Gate Development Authority to deliver first phase assets early 2022

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Updated 23 September 2021

Diriyah Gate Development Authority to deliver first phase assets early 2022

Diriyah Gate Development Authority to deliver first phase assets early 2022
  • Exclusive interview with DGDA’s Group CEO part of Arab News coverage for Saudi National Day

RIYADH: Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA), the entity tasked by the Saudi government to redevelop the ‘Birthplace of the Kingdom’ into a world class destination, has revealed it shall be completing and delivering its first phase assets by early 2022.

“Everybody get ready because early in the new year of 2022 we will deliver our first assets in this progressive rolling master plan,” Jerry Inzerillo, DGDA’s Group CEO told Arab News in an exclusive interview marking the newspaper’s special Saudi National Day coverage.

“This is a very exciting time, and we feel very privileged, very honoured to walk in the footsteps of such a great King and such a great Crown Prince,” he added.

Opening to the public in early 2022, the $50 billion giga project will contain some of the world’s most luxurious restaurants and hotels. All structures are built in traditional Najdi architecture style to preserve the kingdom’s rich heritage and the sentimental, historical value of the area. Diriyah is renowned globally for being home to the UNESCO listed -- and highly acclaimed -- At-Turaif District.

The first phase of the Diriyah Gate’s masterplan will revolve around Wadi Hanifah and Bujairi Terrace. Wadi Hanifah will contain many major parks and will undergo renovations to enhance the natural beauty of the area.

“A tremendous amount of the infrastructure will be done such as the planting of 22,000 trees, sidewalks and streetlamps too. Now you see people jogging, running, and on bicycles,” Inzerillo stated.

Inzerillo highlighted that each year DGDA will continuously add assets that will be open for the public to enjoy. Bujairi district will contain 18 new restaurants, of which several will be Michelin star listed, while others will offer delicious, local Saudi delicacies.

In line with the Kingdoms Vision 2030 of sustainability and enhancing quality of life, thousands of underground parking spaces will be built to accommodate all local and international visitors.

People will have the opportunity to explore Wadi Hanifah and Bujairi and enjoy the many walking trails, expanded picnic tables, and family gathering areas.

“We are seeing great enthusiasm from the international community on visiting the Kingdom. We were doing 55,000 visas a week prior to COVID thanks to the leadership of his Excellency Ahmed Al-Khateeb and the Ministry of Tourism,” Inzerillo stated.

Marking Saudi National Day, Arab News – in partnership with DGDA – produced a special souvenir edition of the newspaper which will be printed across the Kingdom and beyond. Arab News will also launch a digital, interactive Deep Dive called Diryiah: Past, Present and Future. The Deep Dive will contain multimedia files, interactive maps and timelines, as well as exclusive interviews and footage.

“Every National Day, Arab News aims to stand out by shedding light through its special coverage on different aspects of Saudi Arabia’s history, heritage, hopes and aspirations. This year, we are very proud of the outstanding work our team has done to finally tell the breath-taking story of the Kingdom’s birthplace” said Faisal J. Abbas, Editor-in-Chief of Arab News.

“There is no doubt that Diriyah is a showpiece of what the kingdom’s Vision 2030 is all about: embracing the world and preserving our heritage at the same time. We invite everyone to check out our coverage to understand why there is only one Diriyah,” he concluded.

The Arab News Deep Dive Diryiah: Past, Present and Future is available in English, French and Japanese below or via www.arabnews.com/Diriyah

Diriyah, past, present and future
On Saudi Arabia’s 91st National Day, the birthplace of the Kingdom continues to make history

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Attempt to smuggle Captagon pills into Saudi Arabia thwarted

Attempt to smuggle Captagon pills into Saudi Arabia thwarted
Updated 27 sec ago

Attempt to smuggle Captagon pills into Saudi Arabia thwarted

Attempt to smuggle Captagon pills into Saudi Arabia thwarted
  • More than 5.2 million pills were found hidden in a consignment at Al-Haditha crossing on Friday
  • Port authorities said the pills were found “crushed” and hidden in a consignment of “carbonate powder” bags

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority has prevented an attempt to smuggle Captagon amphetamine pills.

More than 5.2 million pills were found hidden in a consignment at Al-Haditha crossing on Friday.

Port authorities said that after an inspection of a suspicious truck and its cargo, the pills were found “crushed” and hidden in a consignment of “carbonate powder” bags.

One person was arrested by the General Directorate of Narcotics Control. The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority confirmed that it is continuing to tighten control over the Kingdom’s imports and combat smuggling attempts.


Saudi Arabia announces one more COVID-19 death in record low

Saudi Arabia announces one more COVID-19 death in record low
Updated 22 October 2021

Saudi Arabia announces one more COVID-19 death in record low

Saudi Arabia announces one more COVID-19 death in record low
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 537,208
  • A total of 8,774 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced one death from COVID-19 and 51 new infections on Friday.

Of the new cases, 13 were recorded in Riyadh, 11 in Jeddah, three in Makkah, two in Qatif, two in Dhahran, two in AlUla, and two in Hafar Al-Batin. Several other cities recorded one new case each.

The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 537,208 after 59 more patients recovered from the virus.

A total of 8,774 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.

Over 45 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.


Who’s Who: Abdulrahman Al-Nimari, chief information security officer at KSA’s Rock Solid Group

Who’s Who: Abdulrahman Al-Nimari, chief information security officer at KSA’s Rock Solid Group
Updated 22 October 2021

Who’s Who: Abdulrahman Al-Nimari, chief information security officer at KSA’s Rock Solid Group

Who’s Who: Abdulrahman Al-Nimari, chief information security officer at KSA’s Rock Solid Group

Abdulrahman Al-Nimari has been the chief information security officer at Rock Solid Group since August.

A cybersecurity expert and regular conference speaker, he has more than 25 years of experience in the information technology and cybersecurity sectors.

At RSG, he is responsible for developing and implementing a strategic, long-term information security strategy and roadmap to ensure that data assets are adequately protected.

He has been an independent cybersecurity architect and consultant since 2019.

From September 2017 to June 2019, he was lead cybersecurity systems architect for ManTech International Corp. where he was in charge of developing security strategies and utilizing new technologies to enhance security capabilities and implement improvements.

Between March and August 2017, he held the position of chief enterprise security architect at Security Matterz.

Al-Nimari was technical manager and senior security consultant at Riyadh Business Machines from August 2013 to February 2017, and an IT manager at the Ministry of Education between January 2008 and July 2013.

During his time with the ministry, he also worked as cybersecurity team leader on a major education system project and was a network and system administrator and supervisor.

He gained a bachelor’s degree in English from Umm Al-Qura University.

Al-Nimari has headed numerous cybersecurity initiatives and projects for government and private-sector bodies.

He pointed out that all members of society had a duty to be aware about cybersecurity. “It is our role to participate in protecting the cyberspace of our beloved Saudi Arabia,” he said.


Saudi FM discusses Iran nuclear talks with EU envoy — statement

Saudi FM discusses Iran nuclear talks with EU envoy — statement
Updated 22 October 2021

Saudi FM discusses Iran nuclear talks with EU envoy — statement

Saudi FM discusses Iran nuclear talks with EU envoy — statement

CAIRO: Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud discussed the Iran nuclear talks with the European Union envoy coordinating talks on reviving the Iran nuclear deal, Enrique Mora, the Saudi Foreign ministry said on Thursday.
“They discussed developments regarding the Iranian nuclear program talks, and international efforts to ensure that Iran does not violate international agreements and treaties in this regard,” it added in a statement.


‘Open library’: Tourists in AlUla glimpse distant past in Ikmah’s ancient inscriptions

‘Open library’: Tourists in AlUla glimpse distant past in Ikmah’s ancient inscriptions
Updated 22 October 2021

‘Open library’: Tourists in AlUla glimpse distant past in Ikmah’s ancient inscriptions

‘Open library’: Tourists in AlUla glimpse distant past in Ikmah’s ancient inscriptions

ALULA: Imagine stepping back into a time before cell phones, emails, or even paper. During this era, documenting important moments was simplified to sketching on rocks.
This is Ikmah mountain, or the “open library” as it is referred to by AlUla’s locals. AlUla was a highlight on the trading route many took through the Arabian Peninsula. Travelers stopped at the mountain to document their stories or carve their names for those who came after them.
“We call Ikmah the ‘open library.’ If you want to know why it has this name, have a look around for a few seconds and you will see inscriptions all over the mountain,” Amal Aljahani, an expert Rawi storyteller, told Arab News.

Ikmah has over 500 inscriptions from the Dadan and Lihyan civilization. The earliest texts from the mountain have been studied and translated by historians and archeologists and have been dated back to the ninth and 10th century B.C. 
The languages in the mountain include Aramaic, Thamudic, Dadanitic, Minaen, Nabatean, Greek, Latin, and Arabic. An important area for historians, Arabic linguistics experts, and archaeologists, the mountain offers a look back into the pre-Arabic era.
Tourists from the Kingdom and international visitors gather for hours to sit in front of the high peaks and observe the delicate techniques of the ancient language that turned into the modern Arabic letters we know today.

Some inscriptions were written by the region’s professional scribes while others were merely sketches by travellers and locals passing by years ago.
Many of these messages differed in meaning, some surviving inscriptions are names written in the ancient Arabic text, but many involve tales of the ongoing events of the local community.
These inscriptions described the kings who ruled the land, the religious beliefs of the people, and sometimes notes for other visitors.
Ikmah held a high place in the hearts of the locals and travelers. It was a sacred ground for pagan worship and sacrifice along with documentation.  One of the inscriptions on the mountains was written by a woman named “Mirwa,” who carved her name into the rocks and detailed an offering she made to her deity.

“The woman used to come here and give her deity offerings to bless her and her children. The inscription says the deity blessed her and her children. Those are the kinds of things the people wrote here on this beautiful mountain,” Aljahani said.
Mirwa returned to add another inscription that her prayers were answered and her sons were blessed.
Some of these inscriptions are personal, while others are names or drawings of animals and musical instruments.
The oldest inscription in the Islamic era — known as the Naqsh Zuhayr — and the earliest glimpses into the Arabic language are documented on the east side. The inscriptions date back to 644 A.D.
The mountain hosts different inscription methods, Aljahani said, such as “carving inside the alphabet to be clearer.”
He added: “The second way is what we call the 3D way. It is the hardest method. They beautifully carved in between the alphabet letters using sand stones for the message to be clearer.”
In 2017, the Royal Commission of AlUla closed the mountain to begin preparation for the public to visit. Ikmah is now prepared and open to the public under the commission’s supervision.

 

The rebirth of AlUla
Hegra, ancient city of the Nabataeans in Saudi Arabia’s historic AlUla Valley, is emerging from the mists of time to take its rightful place as one of the wonders of the world
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