ThePlace: Rajajil Columns, the ‘Stonehenge of Saudi Arabia’

Archaeologists believe the Rajajil Columns have stood in position since about 4,000 B.C.  (Supplied)
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Archaeologists believe the Rajajil Columns have stood in position since about 4,000 B.C.  (Supplied)
Archaeologists believe the Rajajil Columns have stood in position since about 4,000 B.C. 
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Archaeologists believe the Rajajil Columns have stood in position since about 4,000 B.C. 
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Updated 02 October 2021

ThePlace: Rajajil Columns, the ‘Stonehenge of Saudi Arabia’

ThePlace: Rajajil Columns, the ‘Stonehenge of Saudi Arabia’
  • Archaeologists understand that the site served as a burial place but others believe the columns served an astronomical purpose

The Rajajil Columns, a mysterious site located 20 kilometers south of Sakakah city, are often nicknamed the “Stonehenge of Saudi Arabia.”

The name of the site translates to “the men,” and the monument might be the oldest in the region, researchers say.

Mystery surrounding the origins of the monument has attracted significant attention and visitors from around the Kingdom. Many myths and superstitions surround the columns. Archaeologists understand that the site served as a burial place, but have yet to discover more about the importance of the columns.




Archaeologists understand that the site served as a burial place but others believe the columns served an astronomical purpose

The site consists of 50 monolithic stones that stick out of the ground at different angles. It is believed that they have stood in position since about 4,000 B.C. However, over the centuries, some have fallen to the ground.

Despite the dominant burial site theory, a competing belief proposes that the stones originally served an astronomical purpose due to the angles in which they stand in relation to the stars above, adding to the mystery of the site.

Visitors must seek prior permission from authorities before visiting the site.


All eyes on Riyadh as Imagine More season kicks off with night of music

Taking place under the title Imagine More, the event will be staged near to the extended Boulevard zone and broadcast live with more than 2,760 drones capturing every moment. (Supplied)
Taking place under the title Imagine More, the event will be staged near to the extended Boulevard zone and broadcast live with more than 2,760 drones capturing every moment. (Supplied)
Updated 11 sec ago

All eyes on Riyadh as Imagine More season kicks off with night of music

Taking place under the title Imagine More, the event will be staged near to the extended Boulevard zone and broadcast live with more than 2,760 drones capturing every moment. (Supplied)
  • An estimated 7 million people visited the first Riyadh Season in 2019

RIYADH: The Saudi capital was on Wednesday gearing up for an extraordinary evening of musical entertainment at the opening ceremony of this year’s Riyadh Season.

Taking place under the title Imagine More, the event will be staged near to the extended Boulevard zone and broadcast live with more than 2,760 drones capturing every moment.

Tickets for the ceremony, starting at 7 p.m., were sold out within one hour of going on sale and the lucky holders will be treated to a global parade including more than 1,500 costumed participants performing the traditional folkloric Samri dance.

Shows will include a Harley-Davidson custom bike display, fireworks, and a concert performed by the Cuban-American rapper Pitbull.

An estimated 7 million people visited the first Riyadh Season in 2019 and this year’s festival of activities will offer more than 7,500 events held on an area covering 5.4 million square meters.

Viewers in New York, London, Newcastle, Dubai, Kuwait, and Doha are expected to be among those watching the opening ceremony.


Saudi border patrols arrest 150 suspected drug smugglers along Yemen border

Saudi border patrols arrest 150 suspected drug smugglers along Yemen border
Updated 20 October 2021

Saudi border patrols arrest 150 suspected drug smugglers along Yemen border

Saudi border patrols arrest 150 suspected drug smugglers along Yemen border

JEDDAH: Saudi border patrols in Jazan, Najran, and Asir on Tuesday thwarted attempts to smuggle more than one ton of cannabis and 66 tons of qat into the Kingdom.

Border Guard spokesman, Col. Misfir Al-Qarni, said 150 people were arrested in connection with the smuggling bid, 47 of them Saudis, and 103 illegal immigrants of which 89 were Ethiopian, 10 Yemenis, three Somalis, and one Eritrean.

Al-Qarni said that the border guards will be not lax in carrying out their duties to confront anyone who tries to endanger the security of the Kingdom or transfer such substances through its borders illegally.

Saudi authorities, in cooperation with their UAE counterparts, recently prevented an attempt to sneak 1.5 million amphetamine pills into the Kingdom through Batha port hidden in a truck carrying grain.

A Saudi citizen, and a resident of Syria were arrested in Riyadh.

In May, Saudi authorities foiled a plot to smuggle almost 1,000 kg of hashish into the Kingdom through its southern borders. Twenty-four people — 18 Ethiopians, four Yemenis and two Saudis. were arrested. AN Jeddah


Rap star Pitbull to launch Riyadh Season with sold-out concert

Rap star Pitbull to launch Riyadh Season with sold-out concert
Updated 20 October 2021

Rap star Pitbull to launch Riyadh Season with sold-out concert

Rap star Pitbull to launch Riyadh Season with sold-out concert
  • Grand parade and fireworks display in opening ceremony of the Middle East’s largest entertainment festival

RIYADH: The Cuban-American rap star Pitbull will launch this year’s Riyadh Season festival with a sold-out concert on Wednesday that will be broadcast live.
The opening ceremony of the Middle East’s largest celebration of music, dining, and entertainment will also feature a parade and fireworks show.
The festival site covers 5.4 million square meters, divided into 14 zones — Boulevard Riyadh City, Al’Athriyah, Oasis, Combat Field, Riyadh Front, Qariat Zaman, Winter Wonderland, the Groves, VIA Riyadh, Riyadh Safari, Nabd Al Riyadh, Alsalam Tree, Almurabaa, and Khaloha.
There will be 16 events this month alone — WWE Crown Jewel on Oct. 21, Rush Gaming Festival from Oct. 22 to 26, the Crystal Maze live experience on Oct. 22, the Global Town Festival on Oct. 27, the Champions of Magic show on Oct. 27, and the Messi 10 Cirque Du Soleil show on Oct. 29.
And that’s just the start, with a total of 7,500 events, programs and activities for all age groups and interests. This year, children and fans of the nursery rhymes show CoComelon will be able to meet the characters while visiting their home, school, and farm in the Winter Wonderland zone.
Most events are free, and those that require tickets will be listed on the Riyadh Season 2021 website. Visitors must link their tickets to the Tawakkalna app, which has a new security feature to prevent tickets being misused or resold.
The entertainment sector will be a key contributor to the growth of the economy as part of Vision 2030. Riyadh Season will support the tourism and leisure sector and provide a unique experience for visitors. It continues until March 2022.


KSA’s Red Sea Film Festival opens in-person accreditation

KSA’s Red Sea Film Festival opens in-person accreditation
Updated 20 October 2021

KSA’s Red Sea Film Festival opens in-person accreditation

KSA’s Red Sea Film Festival opens in-person accreditation

JEDDAH: The 3rd annual Red Sea Film Festival has opened its doors to cinema world enthusiasts to register and receive accreditation for the inaugural in-person edition of the most anticipated cinematic event of the year.

From red carpet premieres  and concerts, an industry program, workshops, interactive community events to acclaimed festival gems and beautifully restored treasures, the festival will be held in Saudi Arabia’s most evocative historical quarter — Jeddah Old Town — from Dec. 6-15.  It is an annual festival, launched in 2019, but the past two editions were held virtually due to the pandemic.

With more than 100 films from around the world to be showcased, including the best cinematic works from the region, the festival will provide industry professionals with an exclusive opportunity to be part of a unique experience.

The festival provide a platform for Arab filmmakers and industry professionals from around the world to connect, host feature and short film competitions, and present a series of events, master classes, and workshops to support emerging talent. 


Saudi Arabia calls for greater global efforts toward disaster relief

Saudi Arabia calls for greater global efforts toward disaster relief
Updated 20 October 2021

Saudi Arabia calls for greater global efforts toward disaster relief

Saudi Arabia calls for greater global efforts toward disaster relief

NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia has urged the need for greater international efforts toward disaster relief assistance at the UN in New York.

It came as the Kingdom addressed the UN Sixth Committee, the body’s primary forum for legal questions.

The 76th session of the UN General Assembly was held Monday to discuss agenda item 87, “the protection of persons in the event of disasters.”

In a speech, Nidaa Abu Ali, a member of the Kingdom’s permanent delegation to the UN in New York, addressed item 87 as a “fundamental principle” of humanitarianism.

Abu Ali said that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic “demonstrated the fast-paced speed at which disasters occur,” urging the need for a global response framework and cooperation in disaster situations.

She added that the Kingdom is a leading country in implementing strong and immediate measures in response to emergency crises while also assisting at the international level by providing humanitarian relief and economic assistance to developing countries.

Abu Ali noted that since its establishment in 2015, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center has contributed to meeting urgent needs in cooperation with international organizations by combating disasters and food scarcity through financial and logistical support. During the Kingdom’s 2020 G20 Presidency, Abu Ali said that the most notable effort in combating the global pandemic and salvaging the global economy was the $11 billion allocated for medical support in developing countries.

On a national level, Abu Ali stressed the Kingdom’s initiative, associated with the Sustainable Development Goals, to activate a national strategy to reduce disaster risks, integrating measures into local development activities.

The strategy will aid in the reduction of risk, especially in vulnerable groups such as women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities.

In her final comments, Abu Ali urged the need to find a common legal framework to facilitate international humanitarian aid and international cooperation.

She expressed the Kingdom’s support for preparing an international legal instrument and convention to ensure the protection of people during times of disaster in a manner that does not conflict with the sovereignty or national legislation of countries around the world.