Exploring Saudi Arabia on two wheels with Alhasan Dabbagh

Alhasan Dabbagh rides to entertain and educate others about his motorcycle lifestyle and to show them the country’s landscapes and hidden treasures. (Instagram)
1 / 5
Alhasan Dabbagh rides to entertain and educate others about his motorcycle lifestyle and to show them the country’s landscapes and hidden treasures. (Instagram)
Alhasan Dabbagh rides to entertain and educate others about his motorcycle lifestyle and to show them the country’s landscapes and hidden treasures. (Instagram)
2 / 5
Alhasan Dabbagh rides to entertain and educate others about his motorcycle lifestyle and to show them the country’s landscapes and hidden treasures. (Instagram)
Exploring Saudi Arabia on two wheels with Alhasan Dabbagh
3 / 5
Alhasan Dabbagh rides to entertain and educate others about his motorcycle lifestyle and to show them the country’s landscapes and hidden treasures. (Instagram)
Exploring Saudi Arabia on two wheels with Alhasan Dabbagh
4 / 5
Alhasan Dabbagh rides to entertain and educate others about his motorcycle lifestyle and to show them the country’s landscapes and hidden treasures. (Instagram)
Exploring Saudi Arabia on two wheels with Alhasan Dabbagh
5 / 5
Alhasan Dabbagh rides to entertain and educate others about his motorcycle lifestyle and to show them the country’s landscapes and hidden treasures. (Instagram)
Short Url
Updated 17 March 2022

Exploring Saudi Arabia on two wheels with Alhasan Dabbagh

Alhasan Dabbagh rides to entertain and educate others about his motorcycle lifestyle and to show them the country’s landscapes and hidden treasures. (Instagram)
  • Dabbagh is prepared for all kinds of weather surprises as he tours the Kingdom, whether it is rain, thunder, blinding fog, or even sandstorms

RIYADH: People ride motorbikes for the adrenaline rush and the feeling of the wind in their hair, but for Alhasan Dabbagh it is a chance to discover the wonders of Saudi Arabia.
His content reaches more than 100,000 followers on social media. His travels and adventures are not for financial gain but to entertain and educate others about his motorcycle lifestyle and to show them the country’s landscapes and hidden treasures.
“Because of the pandemic, I decided to ride my bike and go on trips around the Kingdom to explore the many cities and towns, and I’m so grateful as the things I saw were amazing and I know I wouldn’t be able to discover them without my bike,” Dabbagh told Arab News.
“I traveled around the Kingdom and went to places like AlUla, Assoudah, Wadi Lajb in Jazan, Edge of the World in Riyadh, and Al-Disah in Tabuk. Al-Disah is a beautiful place located in Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Nature Reserve. I wouldn’t have gotten there if I hadn’t started touring around on my bike.”
Dabbagh said his journeys were meaningful because they had allowed him to discover places and meet local people in different regions who had shown him great hospitality and kindness.
“I went to a place called Mount Shamanseer, two hours north of Jeddah. The place has spectacular canyons and you can gaze far into the horizon, surrounded by magical mountains all around. Finding such natural beauty, so close to my hometown, but I never thought of discovering it.”
Dabbagh is prepared for all kinds of weather surprises as he tours the Kingdom, whether it is rain, thunder, blinding fog, or even sandstorms.

He put on a thrilling show for his social media followers during a sandstorm in Riyadh, riding his bike in the streets even as the city was buffeted by strong winds and cloaked in orange skies.
But he said it was important for people to ensure they were riding safely at all times in all types of conditions.
“We wear full safety gear to protect against accidents, but this gear changes depending on the weather. For instance, we wear light mesh clothing for summer days, rain gear when it’s wet, and winter clothing when it’s cold. Sometimes the weather changes during the course of a trip, like riding from Jeddah to Abha in the south. We always need to adapt and be well prepared.
“Touring for thousands of kilometers is an adventure and you will always face challenges such as finding gas stations, coming across rough terrain, flat tires, and sudden changes in weather conditions. Sometimes this can be tough as you get stuck for hours or get lost when Google maps don’t work.
“However, you learn to deal with such ordeals as they are part of the adventure. With this mindset and realistic expectations of the unexpected scenarios, I chose to predominantly travel with a small group of friends who are like-minded and share similar interests.”
The Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation has supported the country’s motorcyclists by organizing events and giving people licenses.
Some groups have been officially set up under the federation’s umbrella and taken part in National Day parades or charity events. For these occasions, motorcyclists are issued with federation permits and are escorted by police with the all clear to go on the road in bigger groups.
Dabbagh hopes to open a motorcycle school and business to help grow a thriving culture for motorcyclists in Saudi Arabia.
“Motorcycles have helped me find myself, discover new places, and meet many wonderful people all around the Kingdom. I have built memories of a lifetime that one day I hope to tell my grandchildren.”


Taif in driving seat to promote Saudi tourism: Development fund executive

Taif in driving seat to promote Saudi tourism: Development fund executive
Updated 17 sec ago

Taif in driving seat to promote Saudi tourism: Development fund executive

Taif in driving seat to promote Saudi tourism: Development fund executive
  • Taif is a popular summer destination for local and regional tourists drawn by its pleasant weather, hiking trails, picnic spots, and rich history.
  • The city is also known for agri-tourism, and its rose production has earned it the title City of Roses

JEDDAH: More than 200 business leaders on Monday attended a Saudi Tourism Development Fund event aimed at promoting investment opportunities.

The fund’s first roadshow, Discover Beyond Taif, was held at the city’s Iridium Hotel.

Located 1,879 meters above sea level in the Makkah region, Taif is a popular summer destination for local and regional tourists drawn by its pleasant weather, hiking trails, picnic spots, and rich history. The city is also known for agri-tourism, and its rose production has earned it the title City of Roses.

Khalid Al-Sharif, the fund’s associate director of coverage of large institutions, said: “The Tourism Development Fund was established in 2020, and since then the Kingdom has gone through a huge transformation in the tourism industry.”

He noted that Taif had been selected to stage the fund’s first roadshow because of its strategic location.

“It has been one of the hotspots of tourism in the Kingdom for a long time. We believe our presence here is very important to introduce our services and ourselves to the people in Taif, and the people interested in investing in Taif,” he added.

The fund provides guidance and financial support to those interested in investing in the city.

“We believe that both options are very important for investors so we can support them from the beginning. If you have just a small idea, we will help you develop this idea to see it into reality,” Al-Sharif said.

Financial backing can be provided through direct funding, guarantees, or direct equity.

The TDF works with partners including the Arab National Bank, and Riyad Bank, in addition to government bodies such as Kafalah and Monsha’at.

“We all have the one same objective that is to promote tourism in Saudi Arabia and invest in tourism in Saudi Arabia. And since we are in Taif, we need to invest in Taif and take advantage of the amazing weather, geography, great people, and the close distance to Makkah.

“Taif is one of the main destinations that will drive the tourism industry in the Kingdom. Mountain resorts can also be leveraged on due to the weather. We are also looking to have a wellness resort in the near future as well.

“The fund’s strategy is aligned with the Kingdom’s strategy, with Vision 2030. It is in alignment with the national tourism strategy, to increase the number of visitors up to 100 million by 2030, in addition to increasing the GDP (gross domestic product) contribution and the job creations that are derived from the tourism industry,” Al-Sharif added.


Saudi FM pays condolences to slain Abe Shinzo in meeting with Japan FM

Saudi FM pays condolences to slain Abe Shinzo in meeting with Japan FM
Updated 27 September 2022

Saudi FM pays condolences to slain Abe Shinzo in meeting with Japan FM

Saudi FM pays condolences to slain Abe Shinzo in meeting with Japan FM
  • Japanese FM Hayashi Yoshimasa expressed his appreciation for Saudi’s presence at the ceremony

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud paid his heartfelt condolences over the passing of former Prime Minister ABE Shinzo during his meeting with Japan Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa on Tuesday.

Prince Faisal is in Japan to attend Abe’s state funeral, which took place earlier this morning. During the two officials’ meeting, Yoshimasa expressed his appreciation for Saudi’s presence at the ceremony.

He also expressed his intention to “firmly develop the diplomatic legacy inherited from former Prime Minister Abe and strengthen the strategic partnership between Japan and Saudi Arabia,” according to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Kingdom’s FM reaffirmed his hopes for further strengthening the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

They also exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine and the international oil market. Yoshimasa thanked Prince Faisal for supply of oil from Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi FM said the Kingdom is committed to assuring a stable supply of oil to Japan.

The two ministers also agreed to further promote cooperation in moving towards the realization of carbon-neutrality through the utilization and promotion of clean energy.

Originally published in Arab News Japan


KSRelief launches humanitarian campaigns in Yemen, Lebanon and Pakistan

KSRelief launches humanitarian campaigns in Yemen, Lebanon and Pakistan
Updated 27 September 2022

KSRelief launches humanitarian campaigns in Yemen, Lebanon and Pakistan

KSRelief launches humanitarian campaigns in Yemen, Lebanon and Pakistan
  • KSRelief’s Project Masam has so far dismantled 359,626 mines since its inception
  • KSRelief’s 8th and 9th aid planes arrived in Karachi

DUBAI: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) launched on Saturday a campaign to combat malaria in Yemen.
KSRelief’s aid efforts were carried out by its implementing partner, the World Health Organization, according to a report by state agency SPA.
The relief organization also dismantled 763 mines across Yemen in one week. These included 93 anti-personnel mines, 335 anti-tank mines, 333 unexploded ordnance and 2 explosive devices.
KSRelief’s Project Masam has so far dismantled 359,626 mines since its inception.
The humanitarian center also extended its relief efforts to Lebanon by distributing 300 food baskets to refugees and host communities in the country.
This came within KSRelief’s project to provide food security for Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
Meanwhile, the relief center’s teams have worked tirelessly to support people affected by the floods in Pakistan.

KSRelief has lately sent its 8th and 9th aid planes to Karachi, carrying 60 tons of shelter materials and food baskets for 8,424 beneficiaries.

The aid, which comes as part of the air bridge that the center has earlier established for flood-hit communities, will be distributed across Pakistan based on the need.

On Saturday, as many as 1,520 food baskets were distributed in the Sindh and Punjab provinces, benefiting 10,640 people, reported SPA.


Popstar Jason Derulo lauds AlUla’s unique ‘blend of worlds’

Popstar Jason Derulo lauds AlUla’s unique ‘blend of worlds’
Updated 27 September 2022

Popstar Jason Derulo lauds AlUla’s unique ‘blend of worlds’

Popstar Jason Derulo lauds AlUla’s unique ‘blend of worlds’
  • Singer says Saudi Arabia becoming world’s most attractive destination

ALULA: In the historical epicenter for cross-cultural exchange, between the majestic mountains of AlUla, popstar Jason Derulo took the stage to deliver a performance unlike any other at the second edition of the Azimuth music festival on Saudi National Day last weekend.

The American artist entranced the crowd with some of his most recent hits, including “Swalla” and “Jelebi Baby,” as well as some of his older fan favorites such as “Solo” and “In My Head.”

The concert took place in the same valley that hosted the contemporary art exhibition Desert X earlier this year, ensuring a special music experience for nationals and visitors alike in celebration of the Kingdom’s 92nd National Day.

American Popstar Jason Derulo performing to a Saudi audience in celebration of the 92nd National Day at the Azimuth festival in AlUla, which took place from Sept. 22-24. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

“Any time you can come to a place and have an experience … it makes the show so much better because it’s something that’s completely different that you can’t get anywhere else,” Derulo told Arab News in an exclusive interview.

Historically known as a strategic crossroads for trade and pilgrimage routes, the settlement conceals hidden gems such as the narrow valley oasis and the unique Elephant Rock. As part of the Madinah province, AlUla is a symbol of the cultural richness found throughout the eastern region of Saudi Arabia and beyond.

Any time that I can spread the word about how incredible this place is, I jump at the opportunity, and this is another one of those opportunities.

Jason Derulo

“Coming through the rock and all the sand, it’s almost like it’s a hideaway from everything, and to bring all of this luxury to the middle of the desert is unlike any other experience,” he said.

“Here you get to really see all the stars, you get to see all the rock, the mountains, you get a piece of that world. Then you bring the highest level of luxury to it and it’s just a blend of worlds that you can’t get anywhere else,” Derulo added.

American Popstar Jason Derulo performing to a Saudi audience in celebration of the 92nd National Day at the Azimuth festival in AlUla, which took place from Sept. 22-24. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

Derulo has performed throughout the region, headlining in Saudi for the first time in 2018 at the Saudia Diriyah E-Prix alongside Enrique Iglesias, The Black Eyed Peas, and Egypt’s Amr Diab.

“I’ve been performing for a very long time and I can say that this experience was unique, unlike any experience I’ve ever had. I’ve performed all over the world and even coming here today, I pulled out my phone — I was like, ‘this is amazing,’” he said.

The three-day Azimuth festival is one of several initiatives, forming part of Vision 2030, to position the Kingdom as a tourism hub.

FASTFACTS

• The American artist entranced the crowd with some of his most recent hits, including ‘Swalla’ and ‘Jelebi Baby,’ as well as some of his older fan favorites such as ‘Solo’ and ‘In My Head.’

• The concert took place in the same valley that hosted the contemporary art exhibition Desert X earlier this year, ensuring a special music experience for nationals and visitors alike in celebration of the Kingdom’s 92nd National Day.

• Jason Derulo commended the efforts made to globalize local talent and create new avenues for entertainment, recalling his performance during the professional LIV Golf tour, financed by the Public Investment Fund.

“I was actually one of the first performers, if not the first performer, that performed with an integrated crowd between men and women here, and I feel honored and blessed to be a small piece of history.”

“Any time that I can spread the word about how incredible this place is, I jump at the opportunity, and this is another one of those opportunities,” Derulo said.

“I love that people from across the world have come here and made this home because it really is a special place. They have a sense of pride, a small piece of ownership even, you would think that they were from here and they know so much about the history,” he added.

The artist believes that Saudi Arabia is on the verge of becoming one of the “biggest” attractions in the world.

“This is something that’s just starting, though people are just now starting to see it, I’m sure this has been in the works for such a long time. There’s still so much room for growth, but it’s already incredible,” he said.

Bringing in a diverse lineup of both local and international artists was a key goal for the event, collaborated by entertainment festival MDLBEAST and the Royal Commission for AlUla.

Ahmed Alammary, the Saudi DJ and chief creative at MDLBEAST, told Arab News that this celebration was a chance to create cultural exchange opportunities with international artists while also catering to a local audience.

Derulo commended the efforts made to globalize local talent and create new avenues for entertainment, recalling his performance during the professional LIV Golf tour, financed by the Public Investment Fund.

“This is becoming a melting pot, and it’s beautiful to see … I think Saudi is really pushing the envelope in terms of tourism and technology. When you think of arts when you think of entertainment, Saudi has become really high up on the list because they really took a stand and really took a giant leap in that world,” Derulo said.

 


Who’s Who: Mishaal Ashemimry, vice president of the International Astronautical Federation

Mishaal Ashemimry
Mishaal Ashemimry
Updated 26 September 2022

Who’s Who: Mishaal Ashemimry, vice president of the International Astronautical Federation

Mishaal Ashemimry

Saudi engineer Mishaal Ashemimry is the newly elected vice president of the International Astronautical Federation, becoming the first Saudi woman to hold the position after receiving 14 majority votes from international representatives.

Her role as one of the federation’s 12 vice presidents enables her to further the development of the space sector globally and consolidate the direction of the IAF.

As a Saudi woman and the first aerospace engineer in the Gulf Cooperation Council, her position strategically places the Kingdom at the forefront of the industry and highlights the country as a global leader in the field.

Since September 2021, Ashemimry has served as special advisor to the CEO of the Saudi Space Commission Mohammed Al-Tamimi, a position in which she consults on developing a national space strategy, creates and leads space programs, and advises leadership on direction and execution.

Ashemimry was previously a space nuclear technology consultant at the aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman. She also conducted research funded by the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center during her time as a research assistant at the Florida Institute of Technology

At 26 years old, the engineer was also president and CEO of her own aerospace company, MISHAAL Aerospace, established in 2010. The company developed space rockets, designed and launched its own line of cost-effective rockets titled the “M-rocket” series, completed static tests for hybrid rocket propulsion systems and provided global consultation.

In 2015, Ashemimry won the Inspirational Woman of the Year Award at the Arab Women Awards and in 2018 was awarded for her scientific achievements by King Salman.

She received her bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and aerospace engineering in 2006 and her master’s degree in aerospace engineering in 2007, both from the Florida Institute of technology.

She is a certified Nitrox, rescue and open water diver, a commercial pilot and is trained in real space flight conditions of zero-gravity.

Ashemimry is an expert in aerodynamics, missile and rocket stage separation analysis, vehicle design, wind tunnel testing, simulations and analysis, and computational tool development.