Afforestation technologies forum to be held in Riyadh from May 29-31

Update Afforestation technologies forum to be held in Riyadh from May 29-31
The International Exhibition and Forum on Afforestation Technologies will be held in Riyadh from May 29-31. (Supplied)
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Updated 16 May 2022

Afforestation technologies forum to be held in Riyadh from May 29-31

Afforestation technologies forum to be held in Riyadh from May 29-31
  • Event aims to provide a platform to encourage combating desertification and increasing vegetation cover
  • Exhibition will welcome companies to display the latest technology and innovation in combating desertification

RIYADH: A forum and exhibition on afforestation technologies will be held in Riyadh from May 29-31, Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

The International Exhibition and Forum on Afforestation Technologies will be held under the patronage of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center.

The event aims to provide a platform to encourage government agencies, semi-governmental organizations, companies, and non-profit organizations to join as active stakeholders to combat desertification and increase vegetation cover.

Saudi Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdulrahman Al-Fadley thanked Prince Mohammed for sponsoring the event and said it is part of the Kingdom’s efforts to promote vegetation which is the main pillar of the National Environment Strategy.

The strategy is a roadmap to realizing the aspirations of the Saudi Vision 2030 regarding the protection and development of the environment.

He also highlighted the crown prince’s efforts to promote vegetation cover locally, regionally and internationally through ambitious initiatives including the Saudi Green Initiative, the Middle East Green Initiative, the Global Initiative on Reducing Land Degradation, and the International Coral Reef Initiative.

The latter two initiatives were included in the declaration of environment ministers during Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 in 2020.

The CEO of the National Center for Vegetation Development and Combating Desertification, Dr. Khalid Al-Abdulqader, said the exhibition and forum will feature several comprehensive and integral aspects related to forestry and technologies to combat desertification.

These include afforestation, combating desertification, irrigation techniques, water sources and technologies, nurseries, environmental waste recycling, soils, environmental monitoring and protection, development and investment of forests and parks, and plant pest control.

Al-Abdulqader said the exhibition will welcome local and international companies to display the latest technology and innovation in combating desertification and mitigating its effects, and developing and protecting vegetation.

It will also build bridges of communication between experts, major investors, company heads, decision makers, technical solution providers and academics, researchers specializing in the environment sector, and climate experts.

He added that it will also identify leading models around the world to benefit from and attract global expertise appropriate to the Kingdom’s environment.

Dr. Sattam Al-Mojil, assistant professor of environmental engineering at King Saud University, told Arab News that Saudi Arabia had made great efforts to increase vegetation cover over the past three years “through the organizational and executive aspects.”

Several initiatives by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing, as well as by development authorities, had contributed to the planting of millions of trees and shrubs, whether in municipal areas or outside of these, he said. This was while increasing reliance on treated water for irrigation in addition to using the best practices to provide for water needs.

Al-Mojil, who is also head of the technical team for green buildings and sustainability at the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization, said that initiatives in recent years had contributed to an increase in vegetation cover and wooded areas.

He said that this had achieved many goals, including eliminating gas emissions, reducing temperatures and reducing the impact of dust storms. It had also contributed to the role of afforestation of valleys and forests in increasing rainwater use and in providing a suitable environment for marine organisms through mangrove cultivation.


Saudi women participating in Makkah’s General Cars Syndicate for the first time

Women are now part of the General Syndicate of Cars for the first time, and the are proud and honored to work during Hajj.
Women are now part of the General Syndicate of Cars for the first time, and the are proud and honored to work during Hajj.
Updated 8 min 19 sec ago

Saudi women participating in Makkah’s General Cars Syndicate for the first time

Women are now part of the General Syndicate of Cars for the first time, and the are proud and honored to work during Hajj.
  • ‘Our leadership has made it possible for women to work, especially in all government sectors’

MAKKAH: Women will be part of the General Cars Syndicate in Makkah for the first time since it was set up nine decades ago.

The syndicate is an executive body that arranges and organizes pilgrim transportation through affiliated companies.

I am grateful that women now have more professional opportunities to participate and serve during Hajj.

Binan Basnan, Customer service specialist - General Syndicate of Cars

Khadijah Fida, a journalist and content creator at the syndicate, said: “A lot of women have been assisting with work for Hajj in the Kingdom for decades. I saw my father’s work in this sector, along with my brother and husband, and today I have also participated in it. Our leadership has made it possible for women to work, especially in all government sectors, and play an active role in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

(From L to R) Binan Basnan, Mervat Habhab & Khadijah Fida. (Supplied)

“Today, I represent the General Cars Syndicate in the media, public relations, creating quality material, and monitoring the successes of the transport information center during Hajj. I am proud and honored to be a woman from Makkah who works in the syndicate that greatly and actively contributes to the success of Hajj and the safe transport of pilgrims.

The syndicate is always working on creating and establishing an institutional framework for this association that has made a dramatic difference in transport in Makkah.

Khadija Fida, Journalist and content creator - General Syndicate of Cars

“We experience Makkah’s Hajj and Umrah seasons, and the syndicate is always working on creating and establishing an institutional framework for this association that has made a dramatic difference in transport in Makkah to bring comfort to pilgrims who (earlier) struggled on dirt roads to reach Makkah.”

Mervat Habhab, a customer service specialist at the syndicate’s information center, said that women’s roles had become more noticeable and significant.

“It is my mission to interact and address the situation of every beneficiary, based on their needs, and transport them to the relevant departments for a quick response and intervention. It is an honorable and wonderful mission to contribute to the service of pilgrims when those services were limited to men. In this prosperous era and these blessed days, I have the opportunity to play an important and active part as a woman from Makkah who loves God and her homeland.”

Habhab added that government support motivated them to improve their work performance every year.

Binan Basnan, another customer service specialist at the syndicate, said: “I am proud and honored to work in a great institution such as the General Cars Syndicate that serves pilgrims on their Hajj journey through receiving their inquiries and complaints. I am grateful that women now have more professional opportunities to participate and serve during Hajj. I hope to be rewarded (by God) and thank our government, which gave us these great opportunities.”


Guests of God Service Program seeks to enhance pilgrims’ Hajj experience

Saudi Arabia has launched an app called Smart Pilgrim for convenient ways of making Umrah ritual bookings. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia has launched an app called Smart Pilgrim for convenient ways of making Umrah ritual bookings. (SPA)
Updated 19 sec ago

Guests of God Service Program seeks to enhance pilgrims’ Hajj experience

Saudi Arabia has launched an app called Smart Pilgrim for convenient ways of making Umrah ritual bookings. (SPA)
  • The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has integrated smart systems to promote the safe travel of pilgrims during their stay in the holy cities to ensure they perform their religious rituals easily and safely

RIYADH: The Guests of God Service Program, which was inaugurated by King Salman in 2019, is one of Saudi Arabia’s key reform plans as part of its Vision 2030.

It seeks to host large numbers of pilgrims, facilitate their access to the Two Holy Mosques, ensure they have access to high-quality services through the most advanced technology, and enhance their cultural and spiritual experience.

It also seeks to ensure that pilgrims safely return to their countries of origin after completing all their rituals.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has integrated smart systems to promote the safe travel of pilgrims during their stay in the holy cities to ensure they perform their religious rituals easily and safely.

The first phase of smart systems went live in 2019 to assist pilgrims in their movement and safety.

Since then, the ministry has collaborated on digital transformation with technology firms and strategic partners to promote the application of smart solutions and facilitate the smooth implementation of all services.

It has also adopted an e-bracelet program for the safety of all pilgrims, which stores vital data and gives them support.

Ministry under-secretary Mohammed Al-Bijawi said: “We have performance indicators that show our complete readiness to provide an outstanding experience for pilgrims.”

The Kingdom has also launched an app called Smart Pilgrim for convenient ways of making Umrah ritual bookings, even by overseas pilgrims.

“We were keen to use technology in the Hajj and to use the smart card to contribute to the movement of pilgrims and the speed of access to their sites, and it will be applied in this year's Hajj,” said Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq Al-Rabiah.

 


King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman congratulate President Biden on July 4th celebrations

King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman congratulate President Biden on July 4th celebrations
Updated 56 min 15 sec ago

King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman congratulate President Biden on July 4th celebrations

King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman congratulate President Biden on July 4th celebrations
  • President Biden is expected to make a trip to Saudi Arabia later this month

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have congratulated US President Joseph Biden on the upcoming July 4th Independence Day, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The King and crown prince expressed their heartfelt wishes for the President's health and happiness, as well as continued prosperity for the US.

The King also praised the countries' bilateral relations and the progress they are making in all fields.

President Biden is expected to make a trip to the Kingdom later this month.


Campaign to welcome Hajj pilgrims in their language launched

Campaign to welcome Hajj pilgrims in their language launched
Updated 03 July 2022

Campaign to welcome Hajj pilgrims in their language launched

Campaign to welcome Hajj pilgrims in their language launched
  • 100 guides across the mosque are available to communicate fluently with pilgrims in 23 languages

RIYADH: The President of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais launched the “We welcome you on the ground in your languages” campaign for Hajj pilgrims on Sunday.

The campaign aims to guide pilgrims at the Grand Mosque in Makkah in their own languages so that they can communicate effectively and without hassle. 

100 guides across the mosque are available 24 hours a day to communicate fluently with pilgrims in 23 different languages. 


New lake park in Historic Jeddah highlights cultural destination

The project is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 goals of cultivating environmental projects. (Supplied)
The project is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 goals of cultivating environmental projects. (Supplied)
Updated 03 July 2022

New lake park in Historic Jeddah highlights cultural destination

The project is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 goals of cultivating environmental projects. (Supplied)
  • Jeddah’s historical district was placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2014, presenting a vivid recreation of life in the past

JEDDAH: The Jeddah historic district program has launched a new lake park — “Lake Al-Arbaeen” — launched in the historical district of Jeddah as an exclusive cultural destination.

The project is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 goals of cultivating environmental projects and improving the quality of life within the city’s historical area.

Several artistic sculptures from throughout the world are placed within the park. Visitors can stroll through historical architecture, natural scenes, cultural events, sports tracks, local restaurants and souqs that highlight the city’s heritage.

Jeddah’s historical district was placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2014, presenting a vivid recreation of life in the past.

Founded in the 7th century C.E., Al-Balad once served as a center of trade and commerce for Jeddah. But most of the ancient walls that surrounded the town, and the souq within it, became weathered and were eventually torn down as centuries passed.

As wealth from oil began to flow into the Saudi economy and the country began a march toward modernity, many people moved out of the cramped spaces of Al-Balad, leaving its more palatial homes and buildings to slow dilapidation.

There are more than 450 buildings within the historical walls of the city, 56 of which are in urgent need of repair.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has pledged SR50 million ($13.33 million) to support the restoration of these buildings as they represent a major part of the Kingdom’s ancient heritage and are a significant tourist site.