Visitors flocking to rare bird collection in Riyadh’s Salam Park

Visitors flocking to rare bird collection in Riyadh’s Salam Park
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A visitor playing with a Parakeet Parrot in the Birds Garden, Riyadh. (Arab News)
Visitors flocking to rare bird collection in Riyadh’s Salam Park
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Three Yellow-Crested Cockatoo parrots in Birds Garden Riyadh. (Arab News)
Visitors flocking to rare bird collection in Riyadh’s Salam Park
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Scarlet Macaw Parrot in the Birds Garden, At AL-Salam Tree zone, in Riyadh. (Arab News)
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Updated 05 December 2021

Visitors flocking to rare bird collection in Riyadh’s Salam Park

Visitors flocking to rare bird collection in Riyadh’s Salam Park

RIYADH: Visitors are flocking to Salam Park’s bird garden, part of Riyadh Season’s 14 zones, where colorful exotic parrots have found a new home.

The zone, which opened on Nov. 19, has been well received by visitors, with thousands of people marveling at the winged creatures on display.

Visitors can find more than 50 different bird species in the garden, including scarlet macaws, cockatiel, white peacocks, cockatoos, pionus parrots and many more.

The owner of the garden, Ahmed Khoja, has raised and trained birds for 15 years. He told Arab News that he transformed his hobby into a business in 2016.

“We witnessed a great turnout from visitors and everyone was pleased with the efforts that we are putting in. The turnout is now huge as we get about 700 to 1000 visitors per day,” Khoja said.

“The popularity in Riyadh Season is more than expected. We have 80 to 100 visitors every 15 minutes and 100 to 300 people waiting in line to enter the garden, which is very surprising,” he added.

Mohammed Awaji, a 13-year-old parrot trainer, used the opportunity to take part in Riyadh Season and hone the skills he has developed for more than two years.

“A lot of visitors here are passionate about parrots, and I feel like this place is perfect for people with this kind of hobby. We are striving to raise more awareness about animal culture. So far, visitors are conscious and committed to precautions,” Awaj said.

He added that some of the parrot species are exotic and rare and that within Saudi Arabia, Salam Park is the only place where they can be viewed.

“Sitting on my shoulder, we have a cacatua moluccensis, one of the rarest parrots. Its price is estimated between $50,000 and $150,000. This bird is native to Indonesia,” Awaji said, describing the trained salmon-crested cockatoo perched on his shoulder.

When people enter the bird garden, they arrive among a variety of visitors, including locals, foreigners, children and people with disabilities.

Sultan Al-Otaibi, a visitor with down’s syndrome, told Arab News how excited and happy he was to touch and play with birds, and said that people with the condition are particularly fond of animals.

“The birds are so colorful and beautiful, especially the red ones, and the place is amazing. I touched all the birds. Without fear, I placed them on my arm. I want to come every day,” he added.

Manar Mohammed, a Saudi visitor, told Arab News that it was her first time seeing many of the birds within the Kingdom.

“My three-year-old daughter had so much fun here because she loves animals, and this kind of activity was much needed in Riyadh Season. The bird collection is enormous, and most of them look different to what we are used to seeing,” she said.

Mary Jane, a visitor from the Philippines, told Arab News that the Riyadh Season far exceeded her expectations and helped her feel less homesick after she reconnected with some of the native fauna of her homeland.

“I couldn’t imagine how beautiful it is. Riyadh Season met the expectations of their slogan, ‘Imagine More!’ It’s the first time I’ve seen these birds for a long time. It was nice to find this kind of activity in our second home, Saudi Arabia,” Jane said.

The garden is one of the activities included in the Salam Tree zone. Salam Tree, which means the tree of peace, is included among the free zones as part of Riyadh Season in 2021. Visitors can book tickets from Riyadh Season’s website to visit the garden.

 


Saudi Arabia leads global condemnation of Houthi attack targeting Abu Dhabi

Men stand outside a storage facility of ADNOC in Abu Dhabi, on Jan. 17, 2022. Three people were killed in a suspected drone attack on ADNOC facilities on Monday. (AFP)
Men stand outside a storage facility of ADNOC in Abu Dhabi, on Jan. 17, 2022. Three people were killed in a suspected drone attack on ADNOC facilities on Monday. (AFP)
Updated 12 min 56 sec ago

Saudi Arabia leads global condemnation of Houthi attack targeting Abu Dhabi

Men stand outside a storage facility of ADNOC in Abu Dhabi, on Jan. 17, 2022. Three people were killed in a suspected drone attack on ADNOC facilities on Monday. (AFP)
  • Saudi Arabia affirmed its full support for the UAE in the face of all threats to its security and stability
  • Other Gulf countries also condemned the Houthi attack

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned in “the strongest terms” a “cowardly terrorist attack” that targeted Abu Dhabi International Airport on Monday.

The Kingdom affirmed its full support for the UAE in the face of all threats to its security and stability.

A suspected drone attack by the Houthis targeting a key oil facility in Abu Dhabi killed three people and sparked a separate fire at Abu Dhabi's international airport on Monday, police said.

A Saudi foreign ministry statement said that this terrorist act, which the Houthis are responsible for, “reaffirms the danger of this terrorist group and its threat to security, peace, and stability in the region and the world.” 

The Kingdom stressed that it continues to confront all Houthi terrorist attempts and practices through its leadership of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen.

The Kingdom offered its sincere condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims and to the government and people of the UAE, wishing a speedy recovery to all those injured in the attack.

Gulf condemnation

Bahrain’s foreign ministry also condemned the attack and said that the “cowardly terrorist attack, which resulted in the death of three civilians and the injury of others, violates international humanitarian law and all other international laws.”

The attack “constitutes a blatant attack on the sovereignty of the UAE, reflecting the insistence of the terrorist Houthi militia to continue their cowardly criminal attacks,” the ministry said.

The ministry called upon the international community to take “necessary steps against the militia, whose hostile acts confirm that they are a terrorist organisation that poses a serious threat to the stability and security of the region.”

Kuwait also condemned the attack and the targeting of civilian areas in the UAE by the Houthi militia.

The country’s foreign ministry said the militia’s continued targeting of civilians and civilian areas and their insistence on violating international law confirms the danger of their behavior and the need for the international community to put an end to it.

The ministry said it supports any steps taken by the UAE to protect its security and stability.

Global condemnation 

Yemen’s foreign ministry said the attack shows the frustration felt by the militia after their recent losses in Shabwa, which was completely reclaimed from them last week, and the oil-rich province of Marib.

The ministry renewed its support for the Kingdom and the UAE and any measures taken by the countries to “confront these despicable terrorist acts, preserve the safety of their citizens and residents on their lands, and protect vital facilities.”

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation strongly condemned the terrorist attack and said it stands in solidarity with the UAE and supports any steps that the country takes to protect its safety.

Jordan’s foreign ministry said the country condemned “this cowardly terrorist attack” and stressed its absolute solidarity with the UAE.

“The security of the UAE is an integral part of Jordan’s security,” the ministry said.

It extended condolences to the families of the victims, and wished the injured a speedy recovery.


Saudi Arabia reports 5,505 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths

Saudi Arabia reports 5,505 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths
Updated 17 January 2022

Saudi Arabia reports 5,505 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths

Saudi Arabia reports 5,505 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 569,296
  • A total of 8,908 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced two deaths from COVID-19 and 5,505 new infections on Monday.

Of the new cases, 1,546 were recorded in Riyadh, 835 in Jeddah, 440 in Makkah, 326 in Madinah, 149 in Dammam, 117 in Al-Khobar, 115 in Taif, 102 in Hofuf, and 100 in Al-Lith. Several other cities recorded less than one hundred new cases each.

The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 569,296 after 4,349 more patients recovered from the virus.

A total of 8,908 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.

Over 54 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.


Coalition destroys 3 drones near Saudi Arabia’s southern border: state TV

Coalition destroys 3 drones near Saudi Arabia’s southern border: state TV
Updated 17 January 2022

Coalition destroys 3 drones near Saudi Arabia’s southern border: state TV

Coalition destroys 3 drones near Saudi Arabia’s southern border: state TV

DUBAI: The Coalition fighting to restore legitimacy in Yemen said Monday that it destroyed three drones launched in the direction of southern Saudi Arabia, according to Al-Ekhbariya TV.

“We have observed and are following a hostile escalation by the Houthis using drones,” the coalition said. 

The bloc said some of the bomb-laden drones were launched from Sanaa International Airport.

The US embassy in Yemen denounced the Houthi militia’s military escalation, labeling it as a destabilizing act.  
In an earlier incident claimed by the Houthis, three people were killed in an explosion and subsequent fire involving three petroleum tankers at an ADNOC storage plant in Abu Dhabi.


International ice skaters laud Riyadh Season as Cirque de Glace show draws to close

International ice skaters laud Riyadh Season as Cirque de Glace show draws to close
Updated 17 January 2022

International ice skaters laud Riyadh Season as Cirque de Glace show draws to close

International ice skaters laud Riyadh Season as Cirque de Glace show draws to close

RIYADH: One of Riyadh Season’s newest shows, Cirque de Glace, has proved a hit with audiences at the International Arena in Boulevard Riyadh City, one of the festival’s 14 zones.

Extravagant costumes, choreographed numbers, and special effects all tie together the show’s theme of the journey of human development.

Cirque de Glace performer, Alfonso Campa, told Arab News: “Cirque de Glace is an astonishing show with an amazing cast. All of the skaters are international and are all professionals performing an amazing show now in the Riyadh Season here in Saudi Arabia.”

The show’s organizers noted that Cirque de Glace was a separate French entity inspired by the Canadian circus, Cirque de Soleil. The ice show has been touring for more than 12 years around the world in 14 different countries including Saudi Arabia, India, the UK, Argentina, America, and Australia, and takes visitors on a journey through time of the planet’s evolution.

Campa from Mexico and Mery Acevedo from Argentina are two of the performers behind Flying on Ice, a figure skating duo who are the aerial performers in Cirque de Glass. The two have been performing together for more than 10 years and have brought their expertise to the ice in Riyadh.

Acevedo said: “I am a figure skater, but my main role is the aerial act with my partner, it’s a very tricky number, and people love to see skaters flying through the air.

“The audience is great, it seems like they’re really enjoying it, and just the smiles on their faces is what makes us happier and all of the work that goes into it is worth it,” she added.

The cast of 29 skaters that make up the show have been traveling around the world performing and made their debut in Riyadh Season on Dec. 27.

Campa is a fourth-generation circus performer and has been skating, juggling, and performing circus skills such as trampoline and acrobatics globally since the age of three.

On the Riyadh crowds, he said: “They get so excited when they see us flying and skating at the same time. We think the audience here is just amazing.”

Tour manager, Rob McClelland, said the show had been staged for years but due to the coronavirus pandemic many of the original cast had changed.

“We’ve been developing Cirque de Glace shows for about 12 years now, and we’ve traveled the world with our international team,” he added.

McClelland said: “Communication and equipment are the most challenging, whether that be the ice or lighting, but this has been a really good show for us here, and it’s been really easy to get on with it.

“We have taken the show to more than 14 countries, and it’s been a real pleasure to come to Saudi Arabia and Riyadh Season with the General Entertainment Authority.”

The show is in its final week as a part of Riyadh Season and Campa thanked festival organizers for their support and hospitality.

“We just want to say thank you to Riyadh Season for bringing this amazing show to audiences in Saudi Arabia, and we hope to come back soon,” he added.


King Salman Global Academy for Arabic Language implements project to strengthen language policies

King Salman Global Academy for Arabic Language implements project to strengthen language policies
Updated 17 January 2022

King Salman Global Academy for Arabic Language implements project to strengthen language policies

King Salman Global Academy for Arabic Language implements project to strengthen language policies
  • The project aims to train more than 1,000 employees in 20 ministries and government agencies, through 40 training courses

RIYADH: The King Salman Global Academy for Arabic Language has implemented a draft language policy guide for Saudi government institutions.
The move aims to activate decisions related to the language within government bodies, and to develop awareness among workers of the importance of linguistics and its connection to decisions and regulations at various levels.
It also aims to provide procedural steps and an executive working guide that preserves the Arabic language’s position in government institutions, the academy said in a statement.
The project aligns with the academy’s strategic goals, preserving the integrity of Arabic and supporting it verbally and in writing, and developing policies, strategies, plans and programs.
It includes a review of the Saudi language policy, based on various regulations and legislation, and also includes an executive guide for language editing in government institutions.
The project is one of the initiatives of the Human Capacity Development Program, one of the programs of Vision 2030, and aims to train more than a thousand employees in 20 ministries and government agencies, through 40 training courses, focused on two main topics: Writing skills for administrators and the basic rules of Arabic writing.
The two topics were chosen based on a study of specific needs in functional language situations.
The first training courses for the project have already begun, and several were held in coordination with the ministries of culture, education, and Islamic affairs. Courses last for two days, with an average of eight training hours.