Five rare whales found on the Red Sea shores of Al-Qunfudah

Bryde’s whales are very rare in the Red Sea due to the fact that they remain in tropical and temperate waters throughout the year. (Supplied)
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Bryde’s whales are very rare in the Red Sea due to the fact that they remain in tropical and temperate waters throughout the year. (Supplied)
Five rare whales found on the Red Sea shores of Al-Qunfudah
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Updated 17 April 2022

Five rare whales found on the Red Sea shores of Al-Qunfudah

Bryde’s whales are very rare in the Red Sea due to the fact that they remain in tropical and temperate waters throughout the year. (Supplied)
  • The discovery is part of an exploration trip with 126 researchers to study marine life

JEDDAH: The National Center for Wildlife announced on Saturday that five rare whales have been spotted on the Red Sea shores near Al-Qunfudah, located in the Tihamah region, Makkah province.

The observation and documentation of these whales is part of the Red Sea Decade Expedition, a 19-week exploration trip that has brought together 126 researchers to carry out scientific research activities and study marine life.

The NCW tweeted: “A Bryde’s whale (Balaenoptera edeni brydei) breathing about 60km off the shores of Al-Qunfidah. These whales are very rare in the Red Sea. Five whales were documented during #RSDE.”

RSDE is being carried out in cooperation with NEOM, Amaala Project, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, King Abdulaziz University and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

Dr. Mohammed Ali Qurban, CEO of the NCW, explained that the trip aims to present a clear vision of the Red Sea environment, studying mammal species, biodiversity and environmental characteristics including the physical and chemical ones. The trip will also present the biomass of coral reefs, seagrass, sea turtles, and other creatures that abound in the Red Sea.

The trip will provide the first comprehensive survey of previously unstudied areas in the entire expanse of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba in the north. It also promises to produce professional documentaries and informative materials on different Red Sea areas.

Bryde’s whales are very rare in the Red Sea due to the fact that they remain in tropical and temperate waters throughout the year. They are usually confused with sei whales as they share many morphological similarities.

Bryde’s whales are a group of whales that include the balaenoptera brydei, the largest form found worldwide in warm temperate regions and tropical waters, and the smaller Balaenoptera edeni brydei, which is restricted to the Indo-Pacific.

Earlier this month NCW revealed some of the rare species found during the RSDE discovery journey, including the whale shark, Ryncodon Typus, one of the largest creatures in the Red Sea, with a length of 10 meters.

Another is the dugong, an endangered marine mammal. There are thought to be about 2,000 left in the Red Sea, and RSDE surveys will help in finding out how accurate that number is.


Jeddah to host 2nd Saudi International Maritime Forum in November

Jeddah to host 2nd Saudi International Maritime Forum in November
Updated 14 sec ago

Jeddah to host 2nd Saudi International Maritime Forum in November

Jeddah to host 2nd Saudi International Maritime Forum in November
  • Event will be attended by experts in maritime security from around the world
  • The event was a continuation of the Kingdom’s contribution to promoting international peace and security

RIYADH: The 2nd Saudi International Maritime Forum will be held in Jeddah from November 15-17.
Organized by the Royal Saudi Naval Forces and held under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the event aims to provide a platform for the exchange of views on how best to ensure maritime safety in a rapidly changing global environment.
Titled “Protecting Marine Units and Vital Coastal Sites Against the Threat of Unmanned Systems,” the forum will highlight the threat of such systems and present ways in which they can be dealt with.
Thanking the crown prince for his sponsorship of the event, RSNF Commander Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Ghufaili said it would also discuss the role individual nations and international organizations have to play in maintaining maritime security.
The event was a continuation of the Kingdom’s contribution to promoting international peace and security, he added.
“It also aims to enhance the role of the RSNF in cooperation with marine environment authorities at the national level, and what naval forces of brotherly and friendly countries are doing to support regional and international efforts, ensure the safety of maritime traffic and contribute to sustaining the global economy,” Al-Ghufaili said.
Military specialists and experts from the fields of technology, industry and academia will take part in a series of workshops during the forum, which will also be attended by representatives from government ministries and organizations and international corporations.
The event will also provide a platform for companies from around the world to display their latest equipment, technologies and systems related to maritime security.


Saudi, Costa Rican foreign ministers discuss ways to strengthen relations

Saudi, Costa Rican foreign ministers discuss ways to strengthen relations
Updated 10 August 2022

Saudi, Costa Rican foreign ministers discuss ways to strengthen relations

Saudi, Costa Rican foreign ministers discuss ways to strengthen relations

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan received a phone call on Wednesday from his Costa Rican counterpart, Arnoldo Andre Tinoco.
During the call, they reviewed bilateral relations and ways to enhance them in all fields to serve the aspirations of the two countries.
They also discussed the latest regional and international developments, and issues of common interest.


Authorities foil attempts to smuggle 70 tons of drugs into Saudi Arabia, 70 held

Authorities foil attempts to smuggle 70 tons of drugs into Saudi Arabia, 70 held
Updated 10 August 2022

Authorities foil attempts to smuggle 70 tons of drugs into Saudi Arabia, 70 held

Authorities foil attempts to smuggle 70 tons of drugs into Saudi Arabia, 70 held

RIYADH: Authorities in Saudi Arabia have arrested 70 people accused of trying to smuggle close to 70 tons of the stimulant khat and 618 kg of hashish into the Kingdom, news agency SPA reported on Wednesday.

Col. Misfer Al-Quraini, a spokesperson for the General Directorate of the Border Guard, said land patrols thwarted multiple smuggling attempts in the Najran, Jazan and Asir regions.

Of those arrested, 33 were Saudi citizens, 20 were Ethiopian and 17 were Yemeni nationals, he said.

Initial legal procedures against the suspects had been completed and the contraband had been passed to the relevant authorities, he added.

 

 


Bangladesh extends support for Saudi Arabia’s Expo 2030 bid

Bangladesh extends support for Saudi Arabia’s Expo 2030 bid
Updated 16 min 47 sec ago

Bangladesh extends support for Saudi Arabia’s Expo 2030 bid

Bangladesh extends support for Saudi Arabia’s Expo 2030 bid
  • The ambassador presented the letter to the Saudi minister during a meeting at the foreign minister’s office in Riyadh on Wednesday

RIYADH: Bangladesh Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Mohammed Javed Patwary delivered a letter from President of Bangladesh Mohammed Abdul Hamid expressing the country’s support for the Kingdom’s bid to host Expo 2030 in Riyadh.

The letter was delivered to King Salman through the Bangladesh ambassador and Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan.

The ambassador presented the letter to the Saudi minister during a meeting at the foreign minister’s office in Riyadh on Wednesday.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the Saudi bid in October last year and the formal application was submitted in December during a virtual meeting of the Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions.

The Kingdom has already won significant backing for its expo bid.

In November, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation pledged its support for the Saudi application.

Saudi Arabia’s bid is based on the theme “The Era of Change: Leading the Planet to a Foresighted Tomorrow.”

If the Kingdom is successful, the expo will take place in Riyadh from Oct. 1, 2030, to April 1, 2031.

Saudi Arabia has received a number of international endorsements and emerged as a strong contender.

There are five stages to the candidature process, which will culminate in a vote in late 2023.

During the meeting the Bangladesh ambassador and the Saudi foreign minister discussed cooperation between the two countries, and exchanged views on regional and international issues.

Patwary also reiterated Bangladesh’s fraternity and solidarity with the Kingdom.

The Saudi foreign minister voiced his satisfaction over the relationship between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, and said that he was looking forward to deepening the relationship further.


Rock stars: Saudi climbers chase a new high in NEOM

Rock stars: Saudi climbers chase a new high in NEOM
Updated 10 August 2022

Rock stars: Saudi climbers chase a new high in NEOM

Rock stars: Saudi climbers chase a new high in NEOM
  • The single-pitch routes, near NEOM, have become a favorite destination for a fast-growing and tight-knit group of climbers and adventurers
  • Wide variety of rock types in Saudi Arabia could play a huge role in attracting overseas climbers

JEDDAH: Saudi climbing enthusiasts in search of a “new high” have been gathering in the desert near NEOM to try out 100 new routes opened late last year as part of Rise 100, the Kingdom’s first climbing festival.

The single-pitch routes have become a favorite destination for a fast-growing and tight-knit group of climbers and adventurers.

Single-pitch climbing routes are up to a half-rope length (about 30 meters) with an anchor at the end, and are accessible to climbers of all abilities.

Rise 100 last December set the stage for NEOM’s diverse adventure sport offerings, which are designed to encourage greater environmental awareness, educating thrill-seekers beyond just the sport.

Now indoor climbing gyms are opening around the country, while a growing number of events bring international and local climbers together.

The result is a fast-growing community of young, but highly committed, climbers.

Abdul Rahman Abughazala, a 25-year-old mechatronic engineer, said that after developing an interest in the sport in college, “it took over my life.”

The young adventurer’s day now revolves around climbing.

New routes opened in NEOM “mean a lot to the climbing community,” he added.

“Newer climbers can experience different rock types and styles of climbing that are absolutely beautiful. And it is easier for Middle Eastern climbers from the north to visit Saudi and try climbing here,” he told Arab News.

Bolting more routes around the Kingdom will offer climbers more exposure and variety as they learn how to deal with different climbs and rock types.

Pioneering Saudi climber Faisal Al-Dosary said that hard granite rock gave Tanomah, a popular climbing destination in the Kingdom’s southwest, an advantage.

“Granite is stronger and more difficult to break,” he said.

“In NEOM, they are a bit closer to sandy rock, which makes them fragile. Fortunately, the routes are safe because they are bolted extremely deep. These kinds of differences will ensure that the climbers will be able to deal with any type of rock around the world.”

Abughazala agreed that the wide variety of rock types in Saudi Arabia could play a huge role in attracting overseas climbers to the Kingdom.

Al-Dosary, who was part of a team that worked together to open the first dedicated indoor climbing center in Saudi Arabia, said that it is encouraging to see so many younger climbers joining the sport.

“It is a skill that we need to develop at an early age, and it helps with flexibility and strength,” he said.

Follow this path, the climbing veteran said, “and we will have Olympic-level climbers.”

Abughazala said that he is excited about the future “because I know our potential, and I know that it is just a matter of time until our community thrives.”

Growth in the sport will also lead to greater environmental awareness and have “a big impact on the perception of nature,” he said.

“As climbers and nature lovers, leaving the place as it is, or in even better condition, is as important as the action of climbing. It is every single person’s job to care for it as much as the workers or the government body around the area.”

Climbers believe the NEOM routes are merely the start for Saudi Arabia, with the Kingdom’s desert areas and mountains destined to attract climbers from around the world.