Popular safari attraction to extend beyond Riyadh Season 2021 

The safari zone, one of 14 in the Riyadh Season, is a special destination characterized by environmental biodiversity and rare, endangered animals. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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The safari zone, one of 14 in the Riyadh Season, is a special destination characterized by environmental biodiversity and rare, endangered animals. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
The safari zone, one of 14 in the Riyadh Season, is a special destination characterized by environmental biodiversity and rare, endangered animals. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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The safari zone, one of 14 in the Riyadh Season, is a special destination characterized by environmental biodiversity and rare, endangered animals. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
The safari zone, one of 14 in the Riyadh Season, is a special destination characterized by environmental biodiversity and rare, endangered animals. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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The safari zone, one of 14 in the Riyadh Season, is a special destination characterized by environmental biodiversity and rare, endangered animals. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
The safari zone, one of 14 in the Riyadh Season, is a special destination characterized by environmental biodiversity and rare, endangered animals. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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The safari zone, one of 14 in the Riyadh Season, is a special destination characterized by environmental biodiversity and rare, endangered animals. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
The safari zone, one of 14 in the Riyadh Season, is a special destination characterized by environmental biodiversity and rare, endangered animals. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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The safari zone, one of 14 in the Riyadh Season, is a special destination characterized by environmental biodiversity and rare, endangered animals. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
The safari zone, one of 14 in the Riyadh Season, is a special destination characterized by environmental biodiversity and rare, endangered animals. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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The safari zone, one of 14 in the Riyadh Season, is a special destination characterized by environmental biodiversity and rare, endangered animals. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
The safari zone, one of 14 in the Riyadh Season, is a special destination characterized by environmental biodiversity and rare, endangered animals. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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The safari zone, one of 14 in the Riyadh Season, is a special destination characterized by environmental biodiversity and rare, endangered animals. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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Updated 10 November 2021

Popular safari attraction to extend beyond Riyadh Season 2021 

The safari zone, one of 14 in the Riyadh Season, is a special destination characterized by environmental biodiversity and rare, endangered animals. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
  • The zone’s capacity has been increased by 40 percent to allow 2,500 to 3,000 people in the park
  • Open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, tickets for the 11-hour day cost SR55 ($14.60)

RIYADH: Riyadh Safari is back for a second time as part of Riyadh Season’s events and activities that began on Oct. 20, with plans to extend it long after the season is over.

“We were told Riyadh Safari would be a sub-zone, they thought there wouldn’t be any traffic, but since the second week of season one we were running fully booked every day,” said Abdulrouf Ghurab, Wildlife Parks director.

Since becoming a main zone, Ghurab believes Riyadh Safari will be extended for three to four months past the six-month Riyadh Season.

The zone, one of 14 in the season, is a special destination characterized by environmental biodiversity and rare, endangered animals, including giraffes, ostriches, pigmy hippos, bengal and white tigers, ligers, a golden tiger — one of 34 remaining in the world — African lions, Asian elephants and Arabian oryxes.

“There is a big difference between 2019 and 2021 in terms of the experience itself and the attractions,” he said. “Since Riyadh Safari’s first season, we’ve been focusing on how to have something unique.” 

The zone’s capacity has been increased by 40 percent to allow 2,500 to 3,000 people in the park, according to the director. 

Open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, with the safari tours closing at 5 p.m, tickets for the 11-hour day cost SR55 ($14.60), available on the Riyadh Season mobile application.

Visitors can begin their journey with an open-air tour of the animal conservation area, located 80 km west of the capital, where they can observe wild animals at close quarters but from a safe enclosure behind the partition of the safari unimogs — specially designed desert terrain vehicles, the first of their kind in the region.

Private jeep tours for the safari are a new addition as well.

Ghurab assured Arab News of the high standard of measures the park takes to keep its visitors safe.

“We have the double gate between each enclosure, we have the electric fence and also we have snipers, and jeeps inside the cages that can push the animals away — and Alhamdulilah (thank God) everything is running smoothly.” 

For families and individuals, Riyadh Safari offers a number of daily shows, water games at the lake, carnival games and theater performances, in addition to an aviary with more than 250 rare birds, a pet farm, and 24 cafes and restaurants with indoor and outdoor seating.

“Now you can spend around six to eight hours doing a lot of stuff (at the park),” Ghurab told Arab News. 

Notable areas to visit are the 13-meter tree tower, where visitors can take selfies or view the entire park using the telescopes located there. This is in addition to the farm, a petting zone for visitors to interact with some of the more friendly animals such as llamas, goats, chickens — and even lion and jaguar cubs under the close supervision of their trainer.  

With winter approaching, the weather on a typical day is now perfect for families to spend an entire day outside.


Saudi defenses destroy ballistic missile fired at Khamis Mushait

Saudi defenses destroy ballistic missile fired at Khamis Mushait
Updated 5 sec ago

Saudi defenses destroy ballistic missile fired at Khamis Mushait

Saudi defenses destroy ballistic missile fired at Khamis Mushait

RIYADH: Saudi defenses destroyed a ballistic missile fired at the city of Khamis Mushait, the Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen said on Friday.

More to follow...


Female artists craft tributes to agate in new exhibition at Scitech

Female artists craft tributes to agate in new exhibition at Scitech
Updated 21 January 2022

Female artists craft tributes to agate in new exhibition at Scitech

Female artists craft tributes to agate in new exhibition at Scitech
  • ‘The Agate’ features 70 artworks and runs until January 27

ALKHOBAR: It’s been said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but a new exhibition at the Sultan bin Abdulaziz Science and Technology Center suggests that agate is the gemstone that best symbolizes femininity.  

“I see agate (as representing) the inner beauty of a woman,” Saudi artist Esmat Mohsen Almohandis, the curator of the exhibition, which is called “The Agate,” told Arab News. Since most women are fond of jewelry, agate seemed like a good theme for an exhibition of the work of female artists, she explained.

According to the International Colored Gemstone Association, “Agate was highly valued as a talisman or amulet in ancient times. It was said to quench thirst and protect against fever. Persian magicians used agate to divert storms.” In Arabian folklore, agate is said to contain healing properties and bring power to its wearer.

The exhibition, hosted by Scitech in partnership with Alwan Al-Sharqia, consists of 70 paintings, all by female artists. Most of the artists are from Saudi Arabia, but a few are from neighboring Arab countries.

One of the participants, Hind Al-Tharman, used sustainable material in her work. “Since the theme of the exhibition was the agate stone and women, I used agate as the lip color of the woman in (my) painting,” Al-Tharman told Arab News. “My piece was not painted on canvas but on wood — on a table I already had. It can be turned into a table again or be displayed as a painting on the wall. I like to use recycling and to provide options.”

The paintings on show, if viewed in order, collectively tell a story of feminism and folklore by using fragmented storylines to build a narrative showcasing various milestones from many women’s lives, from marriage to motherhood, but also depicting the trials and triumphs of living in the era of COVID-19.

Much like the gemstone for which it is named, the exhibition is both beautiful and valuable.


Saudi and Egyptian armed forces conclude joint exercise

The Royal Saudi Land Forces conclude the Tabuk 5 joint exercise with the Egyptian Armed Forces in the northwestern region. (SPA)
The Royal Saudi Land Forces conclude the Tabuk 5 joint exercise with the Egyptian Armed Forces in the northwestern region. (SPA)
Updated 21 January 2022

Saudi and Egyptian armed forces conclude joint exercise

The Royal Saudi Land Forces conclude the Tabuk 5 joint exercise with the Egyptian Armed Forces in the northwestern region. (SPA)

RIYADH: The Royal Saudi Land Forces and the Egyptian Armed Forces concluded a joint exercise in the Kingdom’s northwestern region, the defense ministry said on Thursday.
The Tabuk-5 maneuvers, which began on Jan. 6, were concluded in the presence of the commander of the northwestern region, Maj. Gen. Hussain bin Saeed Al-Qahtani, and a number of senior officers of the RSLF and the Egyptian armed forces.
The exercises concluded with participating forces carrying out a number of combat scenarios, which they were trained on during the exercise.
Special forces carried out parachute landings and free-jumping using helicopters to clear and storm the fortified sites. The armored divisions carried out support operations using live ammunition for light and heavy weapons.
Maj. Gen. Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Khashrami, director of the exercises, said the drill was one of the most important, due to the diversity and nature of the participating forces.
He emphasized its benefits to both forces in refining their combat skills and raising their readiness, while praising the high proficiency of all the operations assigned to them during the exercise.
The Tabuk-5 exercise aimed to unify military approaches and exchange training expertise between the armed forces of both countries.


KSrelief continues aid projects in Yemen, Sudan

KSrelief continues aid projects in Yemen, Sudan
Updated 21 January 2022

KSrelief continues aid projects in Yemen, Sudan

KSrelief continues aid projects in Yemen, Sudan
  • KSrelief has implemented 1,814 projects worth more than $5.5 billion in 77 countries

TAIZ: The mobile nutrition clinics of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center in Al-Khawkhah district, Yemen, have continued to provide treatment services.

In one week, the clinics received 6,978 patients with various health conditions in different clinics and departments and provided them with necessary medical services. The clinics also provided 2,614 individuals with various medications.

The center distributed more than 42 tons of food baskets in Al-Shamaitain district of Taiz governorate, benefiting 1,723 people.

Yemen is among the top beneficiaries of KSrelief assistance. In total, the center has implemented 644 projects in Yemen at a cost of $3.9 billion.

Meanwhile, KSrelief has continued distributing food and shelter aid to those affected by the floods and the neediest families in Sudan. The center distributed more than 28 tons of food baskets in Sennar state, benefiting 5,700 people.

Worldwide, KSrelief has implemented 1,814 projects worth more than $5.5 billion in 77 countries, carried out in cooperation with 144 local, regional and international partners since the inception of the center in May 2015.


Saudi decision to resume in-class education praised

Saudi decision to resume in-class education praised
Updated 21 January 2022

Saudi decision to resume in-class education praised

Saudi decision to resume in-class education praised
  • The ministry said that elementary and kindergarten students in all the regions of the Kingdom would begin returning to school from Sunday

RIYADH: UNICEF has praised Saudi Arabia’s decision to reopen its schools for kindergarten and elementary students.

Jumana Haj Ahmad, the agency’s deputy representative for the Gulf area, said it was an important step, adding that during the COVID-19 pandemic schools should be the last to close and first to reopen.

Ahmad’s remarks came during a visit to the Kingdom’s Satellite Broadcasting School, where Education Ministry’s Undersecretary for Public Education Mohammed bin Saud Al-Migbel gave a briefing on how lessons delivered by the facility were recorded and supervised. He also gave a presentation on the Madrasati and Rawdati platforms.

Ahmad said that Saudi Arabia’s provision of online education through the two platforms and the EIN channels was worldleading. She also noted the Ministry of Education’s efforts to ensure children’s psychological and social growth, and programs to protect them from abuse.

The ministry said that elementary and kindergarten students in all the regions of the Kingdom would begin returning to school from Sunday.

Schools in remote areas would be the first to open as there were fewer coronavirus cases there, it said.