Saudi hands turn Al-Khuzama Park into the paradise of the Groves

Saudi hands turn Al-Khuzama Park into the paradise of the Groves
The Groves, one of Riyadh Season’s 14 zones, was created in only 45 days. (Supplied)
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Updated 09 December 2021

Saudi hands turn Al-Khuzama Park into the paradise of the Groves

Saudi hands turn Al-Khuzama Park into the paradise of the Groves
  • The Groves, in the Diplomatic Quarter, is set in Al-Khuzama Park, one of the famous green spaces in Riyadh at Wadi Hanifah

RIYADH: The woman behind the success of the Groves, one of the 14 zones in this year’s Riyadh Season, revealed to Arab News how she realized the project in only 45 days.

“The planning ran from January till September. We had only 45 days to put it together,” said Siham Hassanain, general manager of the Groves.

“All of the designs have been done by Saudi hands. All of the restaurants are local brands Everything you see, from lighting to construction to organizers, is Saudi. The zone was built by a local company called Zivix International Holding,” she added.

The Groves, in the Diplomatic Quarter, is set in Al-Khuzama Park, one of the famous green spaces in Riyadh at Wadi Hanifah.

“It all started in 2019, I had some work to do in the diplomatic quarter, and I entered the park and fell in love with its beauty,” she said.

Hassanain said she researched the place and found out that the park was built 38 years ago when the diplomatic quarter was established. 




The zone was built around nature so that no trees were destroyed. (Supplied)

Turki Al-Shaikh, CEO of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) and chairman of the Season, had tweeted that anyone with a new idea for Riyadh Season should present it to the authority.

“The first thing that came to my mind was Al-Khuzama Park. I didn’t expect at all, not even 1 percent, that this zone would become a reality. But I told myself I should put all of my energy in this place,” Hassanain said.

After Hassanain pitched her idea to the GEA, she was selected as one of the 20 winning initiatives for the Riyadh Season, and her concept won first place.

“When the announcement came out, I was happy and excited for the first five minutes, then the sense of responsibility kicked in,” she said.

Hassanain says the Groves is filled with trees and fields: “You can hear fountains, water, and birds. The place also has a special scent.” 




The zone contains several open spaces, including an area surrounded by palm trees where visitors can discover various activities. (Supplied)

The Groves’ logo has the four elements of life: water, air, fire, and earth, which Hassanain included in the zone as water resembles relaxation, fire action and attractions, earth food, and air resembles memories.

She faced many challenges while executing the project as everything was done by hand to make sure no plants or trees were destroyed.

She said she had a fantastic Saudi team who helped her and believed and loved the concept even more than she did. “I was anxious they were passionate, I was nervous they were enjoying it … so these feelings created a balance.”

Hassanain noted that in the past Saudi females faced some obstacles in being part of building the country. “Had it not been for the support and vision of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman this wouldn’t exist,” she said.

“If we compare the Boulevard Riyadh City zone in 2019 to the zone in 2021, you can see the big jump. We will amaze the whole world and become the first in the entertainment sector.”


Tuwaiq Mountains: The most popular sightseeing spot an hour away from Riyadh

Tuwaiq Mountains: The most popular sightseeing spot an hour away from Riyadh
Updated 12 sec ago

Tuwaiq Mountains: The most popular sightseeing spot an hour away from Riyadh

Tuwaiq Mountains: The most popular sightseeing spot an hour away from Riyadh
  • The Edge of the World, which offers an astonishingly dramatic view, is located at the end of a windy desert path that continues along the ridge of this escarpment

RIYADH: The Tuwaiq Mountains, which are said to be familiar to every citizen of Saudi Arabia, are among the most fascinating mountain ranges in the world.

This mountain range is a narrow escarpment that cuts through the plateau of Nejd in central Arabia, running from the southern border of Al-Qasim in the north to the northern edge of the Empty Quarter desert near Wadi ad-Dawasir in the south. It is located approximately 120km from the capital, with the trip taking about an hour and a half by car.

Given that this spot is particularly popular among adventurers and tourists, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman compared the disposition of the Saudi Arabian people to the Tuwaiq Mountains during his speech at the Future Investment Initiative Conference.

The Edge of the World, which offers an astonishingly dramatic view, is located at the end of a windy desert path that continues along the ridge of this escarpment.

Tuwaiq is the diminutive form of the term for collar, and the Tuwaiq Mountains were given this name because they are shaped like a 800km-long cordon that surrounds the Riyadh Region.

Visitors who come to the Tuwaiq Mountains for hiking can take various routes to reach the summit. Since the topography features sharp inclines, while the path is made of loose gravel, there is a need to climb steep slopes, and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

You can enjoy seeing camels and ancient ruins along the riverbed cutting through the valley below, as well as fossils that are a relic from back when this area used to be on the sea floor.

It usually takes 15 to 30 minutes to reach the edge of the cliff, but there are many places along the way where you can stop to enjoy the views.

Since the gates to go outside close at 6 PM, you must make sure to give yourself enough time for the way back, unless you are planning to camp overnight in the Acacia Valley.

Because you will need a high-sensitivity GPS receiver and a sports utility vehicle to access areas where you can enjoy the distinctive sunset and night sky that is full of stars, it would be ideal to join a group of multiple people traveling by car.

* This story originally appeared on arabnews.jp, read it here.


Police thwart attempt to smuggle 1 million amphetamine pills into Saudi Arabia

Major Muhammad Al-Nujaidi of the General Directorate of Narcotics Control said the drugs were found in the possession of two citizens. (SPA)
Major Muhammad Al-Nujaidi of the General Directorate of Narcotics Control said the drugs were found in the possession of two citizens. (SPA)
Updated 26 January 2022

Police thwart attempt to smuggle 1 million amphetamine pills into Saudi Arabia

Major Muhammad Al-Nujaidi of the General Directorate of Narcotics Control said the drugs were found in the possession of two citizens. (SPA)
  • Two citizens were arrested in Taif, initial legal measures have been taken against them

RIYADH: Police in Saudi Arabia thwarted an attempt to smuggle more than a million amphetamine tablets into the Kingdom, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

Major Muhammad Al-Nujaidi of the General Directorate of Narcotics Control said the drugs were found in the possession of two citizens.

Al-Nujaidi said they were arrested in Taif, initial legal measures have been taken against them and they have been referred to the Public Prosecution.


Prince Khalid bin Salman discusses cooperation with Chinese defense minister

Prince Khalid bin Salman discusses cooperation with Chinese defense minister
Updated 26 January 2022

Prince Khalid bin Salman discusses cooperation with Chinese defense minister

Prince Khalid bin Salman discusses cooperation with Chinese defense minister
  • Prince Khalid and Wei Fenghe reviewed the historic ties between Saudi Arabia and China

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman and China’s Minister of National Defense discussed defense cooperation on Wednesday.

During a virtual meeting, Prince Khalid and Wei Fenghe reviewed the historic ties between Saudi Arabia and China.

The officials also explored ways to strengthen their military coordination. 


Saudi Arabia reports 4,526 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths

Saudi Arabia reports 4,526 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths
Updated 26 January 2022

Saudi Arabia reports 4,526 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths

Saudi Arabia reports 4,526 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 617,114
  • A total of 8,927 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced three deaths from COVID-19 and 4,526 new infections on Wednesday.

Of the new cases, 1,489 were recorded in Riyadh, 472 in Jeddah, 198 in Hofuf, 194 in Makkah, 139 in Madinah, 137 in Dammam, and 119 in Jazan. Several other cities recorded less than one hundred new cases each.

The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 617,114 after 5,772 more patients recovered from the virus.

A total of 8,927 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.

Nearly 56 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.


Saudi justice minister discusses cooperation with British counterpart

Saudi justice minister discusses cooperation with British counterpart
Updated 26 January 2022

Saudi justice minister discusses cooperation with British counterpart

Saudi justice minister discusses cooperation with British counterpart
  • Al-Samaani said that the Kingdom has achieved great qualitative leaps during the past years through its transformational projects and developing and improving all sectors

LONDON: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Justice Dr. Walid Al-Samaani has met his British counterpart Dominic Raab in London to discuss ways to enhance cooperation in the judicial and justice fields between the two ministries.

Al-Samaani said that the Kingdom has achieved great qualitative leaps during the past years through its transformational projects and developing and improving all sectors.

He told Raab that “the interest and support of the Kingdom’s leadership contributed to a qualitative developmental shift in the judicial and justice sector in the Kingdom at its substantive and procedural levels,” Saudi Press Agency reported.

Al-Samaani said this included applying the concept of institutional justice, activating the specialized judiciary, supporting human rights, and digitizing judicial services in courts and notaries.

He also touched on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s recent announcement to develop the specialized legislation system through four basic systems, including the system of evidence that was issued and will be implemented soon.

“This qualitative legislative development will achieve more justice, enhance judicial guarantees, will be consistent with international conventions, and responds to the digital and economic changes the world is witnessing by developing legal and preventive tools,” he said.

A number of British judicial leaders also attended the meeting and the visit is aimed at boosting mutual cooperation between the two countries in light of a memorandum of understanding signed between the two sides.