Al-Ahsa: Innovatively preserving heritage among UNESCO creative cities

Special Al-Ahsa: Innovatively preserving heritage among UNESCO creative cities
UNESCO designated Al-Ahsa as a World Heritage Site in 2018, becoming the fifth Saudi area to receive the accolade. (Saudi Tourism photo/File)
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Updated 21 April 2022

Al-Ahsa: Innovatively preserving heritage among UNESCO creative cities

Al-Ahsa: Innovatively preserving heritage among UNESCO creative cities
  • Creative Cities Network was created in 2004 and includes around 250 cities around the world

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ahsa has been named as one of the most creative cities in the world for the economic development of its arts and crafts by the world’s heritage body UNESCO.

The city, of 1.3 million people in the southeast of the Kingdom, has been included in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

UNESCO said: “The city has an ancient tradition of handicrafts, considered as both cultural and social practices passed on from one generation to the next. Around 50 expressions of crafts and folk art have remained throughout the city’s history and bear witness to Al-Ahsa’s scenic wealth, including textiles from palm trees, pottery, weaving and joinery.”

Al-Ahsa, which also has one of the largest palm tree oases in the world, hosts 36 weekly open markets and stages several festivals a year.


Read More: The seven GCC cities listed on UNESCO Global Creative Network — WCID 2022


These include the National Festival for Heritage and Culture Janadriya, which attract more than 68,000 visitors a year, according to the UN body.

It also hosts the We all are Producers Festival, the Harjer Market and the Okaz Annual Market for Innovation and Creativity.

The chairman of the Archeology and Heritage Society in the Eastern Province, Saud Al-Gosaibi, said in an interview with Arab News: “A lot of people from throughout Saudi Arabia have moved to the area and have enriched the city through their knowledge and backgrounds, which produces a lot of unique culture.”

He added that the discovery of oil and gas in the neighboring cities of Alkhobar and Dammam has opened up several business opportunities and has marked Al-Ahsa out as a strategic location, that attracts new traders and merchants.

Al-Gosaibi said this influx of new traders has lifted competition in the region causing creative businesses to raise their standards.

He said: “That has opened up opportunities in the Eastern Province and all of Saudi Arabia so traders have extended their businesses to other areas. Some have moved to other areas, and some have stayed in Al-Ahsa.”




Saud Al-Gosaibi

The chairman added: “There are a lot of plans, in terms of investments that are going to come to the area, and I think tourism will be a big part of the industrial base here in Al-Ahsa, as well as other areas such as construction and other areas, resulting from the improved business environment.”

In an interview with Arab News, the secretary general of Al-Ahsa’s Chamber of Commerce, Ibraheem Al-Shek Mubarak, said: “Crafts and folk art make a considerable contribution to the city’s economic development.

The city has implemented a specific National Project for Artisans and Handicrafts, as well as a Human Resources Development Fund aimed at reshaping the crafts and folk art sector.”

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was created in 2004 and includes around 250 cities around the world that work to “place creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans.

Crafts and folk art make a considerable contribution to the city’s economic development.

Secretary General of Al-Ahsa’s Chamber of Commerce, Ibraheem Al-Shek Mubarak

UNESCO designated Al-Ahsa as a World Heritage Site in 2018, becoming the fifth Saudi area to receive the accolade following Madain Saleh (2008), the Tarif neighborhood in Diriyah (2010), Al-Balad, Jeddah (2014) and the rock art in the Hail region (2015).

Moreover, Al-Ahsa was chosen as the Arab Tourism Capital for 2019 by the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism.

The region contains prominent archaeological and historical sites — some that date back to 6,000 B.C. — and has achieved several Arab and international accolades.


TASI dips following the Fed’s hefty interest rate hike: Opening bell

TASI dips following the Fed’s hefty interest rate hike: Opening bell
Updated 15 sec ago

TASI dips following the Fed’s hefty interest rate hike: Opening bell

TASI dips following the Fed’s hefty interest rate hike: Opening bell

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s main index fell in the wake of the Fed’s sharp interest rate hike and forecast of further and faster increases.

The Tadawul All Share Index sank 2.15 percent to start the week at 11,214, while the parallel market Nomu fell 0.96 percent at 20,069.

Saudi oil giant Aramco started with a 1.39 percent decline, while Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. collapsed 4.73 percent.

The Saudi National Bank, the Kingdom’s largest lender, decreased by 3.01 percent, while Saudi British Bank declined by 1.27 percent.

The Kingdom’s largest valued bank Al Rajhi Bank edged down 3.20 percent, while Alinma Bank fell 2.99 percent.

Abdulmohsen Alhokair Group for Tourism and Development fell 4.89 percent, after inviting its shareholders to vote on reducing its capital to SR315 million ($84 million).

National Gypsum Co. led the fallers with a 4.51 percent decline, while Hail Cement Co. led the gainers with a 4.58 percent increase.


Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Sunday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Sunday
Updated 25 min 45 sec ago

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Sunday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Sunday

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s main index dipped during its last trading session last week in anticipation of another large rate increase by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday.

The Tadawul All Share Index dropped 0.37 percent to end at 11,461, while the parallel market Nomu rose 0.23 percent at 20,265.

Tadawul was closed on Thursday in observance of Saudi National Day.

During Thursday’s session, most Gulf stock markets ended in red, following the Federal Reserve's sharp hike in interest rates and forecasting further and faster increases.

Dubai's main share index dropped 0.8 percent, while Abu Dhabi’s index remained unchanged.

In the same direction, the Qatari benchmark retreated 0.9 percent, Bahrain's main index retreated 0.2 percent, and Kuwait's main index retreated 0.7 percent.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt's stock index fell by 0.2 percent.

Stock News

Saudi Steel Pipe Co. has sealed a deal worth SR150 million ($40 million) with Saudi Aramco to supply steel pipes.

Arabian Pipes Co. also won a deal with Aramco for the supply of steel pipes worth SR155 million.

Albabtain Food has set its IPO price range at SR68-77 per share as it begins the book-building period.

Gulf Union Al Ahlia Cooperative Insurance Co. has appointed Aljazira Capital as its Financial Advisor for the proposed merger with Al Sagr Cooperative Insurance Co.

The Capital Market Authority approved Raydan Food Co.’s proposal to reduce its capital from SR338 million to SR158 million.

Following receiving the CMA’s approval, Abdulmohsen Alhokair Group for Tourism and Development has invited its shareholders to vote on reducing its capital to SR315 million.

Calendar

September 25, 2022
AlBabtain Food starts book-building for IPO


AlBabtain Food launches IPO at $18-21 per share today

AlBabtain Food launches IPO at $18-21 per share today
Updated 25 September 2022

AlBabtain Food launches IPO at $18-21 per share today

AlBabtain Food launches IPO at $18-21 per share today

RIYADH: Abdulaziz & Mansour Ibrahim AlBabtain Co.’s initial public offering price range has been set at SR68-77 ($18-21) per share.

The Riyadh-based firm will conduct a three-day offering period beginning Sunday, Sept. 25, and concluding on Wednesday, Sept. 28, Yaqeen Capital, its financial advisor and lead manager, said in a bourse filing.

The company, known as AlBabtain Food, is offering 544,000 ordinary shares, 16 percent of its capital, for subscription as it seeks to join the Kingdom’s parallel Nomu market.

AlBabtain Food has 11 branches spread across the Kingdom, allowing the company to provide its customers with a high level of services in the region.

 


Arabian Pipes wins $41m contract from Saudi Aramco to supply steel pipes

Arabian Pipes wins $41m contract from Saudi Aramco to supply steel pipes
Updated 25 September 2022

Arabian Pipes wins $41m contract from Saudi Aramco to supply steel pipes

Arabian Pipes wins $41m contract from Saudi Aramco to supply steel pipes

RIYADH: Arabian Pipes Co. has won an order worth SR55 million ($41 million) from Saudi Aramco to supply oil and gas steel pipes.

The company said the financial impact of the 15-month contract is anticipated during the second quarter and the third quarter of 2023, according to a bourse filing.

This marks the fourth contract that the pipe producer has signed with oil giant Aramco this year.

Arabian Pipes Co. was awarded a contract worth SR268 million from Aramco on Jan. 25. This was followed by another deal of SR100 million that it signed on May 22 with the oil giant to supply steel pipes for over 10 months.

It also announced that it won, on June 30, a contract worth SR58 million from Saudi Aramco to supply steel pipes.

The company currently has projects worth over SR800 million, which will enhance the company’s financial position and increase its sales in the upcoming period, it said.


Oil Updates — Crude down; Exxon halts activity at Texas oilfield; Argentina’s oil workers end strike

Oil Updates — Crude down; Exxon halts activity at Texas oilfield; Argentina’s oil workers end strike
Updated 25 September 2022

Oil Updates — Crude down; Exxon halts activity at Texas oilfield; Argentina’s oil workers end strike

Oil Updates — Crude down; Exxon halts activity at Texas oilfield; Argentina’s oil workers end strike

RIYADH: Oil prices plunged about 5 percent to an eight-month low on Friday as the US dollar hit its strongest level in more than two decades and on fears rising interest rates will tip major economies into recession, cutting demand for oil.

Brent futures fell $4.31, or 4.8 percent, to settle at $86.15 a barrel, down about 6 percent for the week. US West Texas Intermediate crude fell $4.75, or 5.7 percent, to settle at $78.74, down about 7 percent for the week.

It was the fourth straight week of declines for both benchmarks, the first time this has happened since December. Both were in technically oversold territory, with WTI on track for its lowest settlement since Jan. 10 and Brent for its lowest since Jan. 14.

Exxon halts activity at Texas oilfield site following worker fatality

Exxon Mobil temporarily halted maintenance at an East Texas oil drilling facility after a fatality this week, which was at least the second death this year of a contractor at one of its Texas production sites.

The incident occurred on Tuesday near Hawkins, about 110 miles east of Dallas. The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating, the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office said.

The name of the worker, an employee of Axis Energy Services, was not immediately available. The death was ruled accidental, the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post.

Argentina’s oil workers end strike after inking safety deal

Unions representing thousands of striking Argentine oil workers called off a strike on Friday afternoon that they began the day before after a meeting with business leaders ended in a deal on greater safety measures and training for employees.

The workers launched the strike on Thursday after a fire in a storage tank caused an explosion at the New American Oil refinery in the town of Plaza Huincul in western Neuquen province.

The blast left three dead and one injured.

Union leaders, representatives of oil companies, and local government officials signed a deal designed to improve “training programs and prepare active personnel and future workers on issues of on-the-job safety.”

The deal also requires spending to ensure compliance with regulations, according to a copy of the deal released by one of the unions.

Swiss to release petrol, diesel, heating oil stocks from Oct. 3

The Swiss government will release petrol, diesel, heating oil and kerosene from its strategic reserves from Oct. 3 to ensure the supply of oil products to the domestic economy, it said on Friday.

It cited limited freight capacities on the Rhine river and logistical problems with foreign rail transport for a lack of conventional supply.

The government has already effectively released fuel reserves twice this year by allowing companies required to contribute to them to underfill by almost 20 percent.

Strategic reserves, or compulsory stocks, for petrol, diesel, and heating oil cover around four and half months of normal consumption. In the case of kerosene, reserves suffice for around three months, the government said in a statement.

The ordinance releasing stocks will remain in force “for as long as the situation absolutely requires,” it said.

Compulsory stocks of petroleum products were last released in 2005, 2010 and 2019.

(With input from Reuters)