Diriyah, Jewel of the Kingdom: Celebrating 5 years of a painstaking restoration plan at Diriyah

Diriyah will be an iconic tourist destination, says DGDA Group CEO Jerry Inzerillo. (Supplied)
Diriyah will be an iconic tourist destination, says DGDA Group CEO Jerry Inzerillo. (Supplied)
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Updated 06 August 2022

Diriyah, Jewel of the Kingdom: Celebrating 5 years of a painstaking restoration plan at Diriyah

Diriyah will be an iconic tourist destination, says DGDA Group CEO Jerry Inzerillo. (Supplied)

The Diriyah Gate Development Authority is celebrating its fifth anniversary.

Once complete, the Diriyah restoration project will feature some of the world’s most luxurious restaurants and hotels, built in traditional Najdi architectural style, alongside conservation areas and cultural venues.

Curved along the outskirts of Riyadh, and formed on an oasis that split from the banks of Wadi Hanifah, Diriyah’s mud-brick walls once housed a thriving desert city that was a powerhouse of culture and commerce.

Diriyah’s At-Turaif district, with its famous citadel, was the original seat of power for the Kingdom’s Al-Saud family. In 1727, the city was named the country’s capital, laying the foundations for what would later become a unified Saudi Arabia.

In 2010, almost three centuries later, the ruins of At-Turaif were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Then, in July 2017, the area became the subject of a painstaking restoration plan aimed at bringing its historical legacy back to life.

In his special column to celebrate the 5th anniversary, Jerry Inzerillo, the group CEO of the DGDA, said: “Nothing compares to the scale of what King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are doing in Saudi Arabia.”

He thanked the crown prince for his dynamic vision that has allowed Diriyah to advance to its current stage. “As we stand at the threshold of opening this autumn, Diriyah will stand as a global cultural and commercial gathering place by virtue of the Kingdom’s leadership,” he said.

According to Kiran Haslam, the organization’s chief marketing officer, what is magnificent about the authority is the authenticity of the experiences it will offer.

“It’s a big project, it’s a complex project, but it’s one which is always rooted in humanity, culture, and interaction. That’s what really sets the project apart,” he said.

Highlighting examples of the authority’s attention to detail during the development of Diriyah, he said: “It’s sort of the humanity which is linking all the projects, all of those experiences, all of those locales and initiatives. And the entire project in itself is human scale.”

In Inzerillo’s words: “It will be an iconic tourist destination and be synonymous with where the Kingdom and wider Arabian Peninsula’s story began.”


Saudi water safety body launches new training programs

Saudi water safety body launches new training programs
Updated 10 sec ago

Saudi water safety body launches new training programs

Saudi water safety body launches new training programs
  • Water safety is a global concern, with one person drowning every two minutes around the world

MAKKAH: The Saudi Life Saving Federation has introduced two initiatives to help reduce drowning cases in the Kingdom.

The federation’s chief, Ahmed Al-Shammari, said that the programs will focus on training and qualification.

He said that the federation will introduce a six-day, 50-hour training program for men and women, after which trainees obtain an international rescuer certificate through which they can work in Saudi Arabia and in all member states of the International Life Saving Federation (ILS).

He added that another program will allow Saudis who qualify in international courses to submit them through the federation’s “rescuer” platform. A theoretical and practical evaluation process is then carried out. Once cleared, rescuers will obtain official certificates.

Al-Shammari said that the Saudi Life Saving Federation has provided its services to over 500 beneficiaries and works to increase community awareness on water safety through social and traditional media.

Water safety is a global concern, with one person drowning every two minutes around the world.

Al-Shammari told Arab News: “We regret the drowning cases occurring in several Saudi cities,” adding that avoiding these incidents is an integrated societal responsibility and everyone must join hands to prevent drowning cases.

He said that a society-wide response is what the federation works for through training, rehabilitation and a legislative calendar that benefits every rescuer, citizen, and resident, allowing them to obtain official certificates when they are available to train.

Al-Shammari said that the federation, established in 2019 by Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, was certified by the ILS in 2020.

“We need a wide media mobilization to raise awareness about the importance of rescue and water safety. We aim to train the largest number of qualified lifeguards,” he said, noting that the federation has recently been granted seven seats at the ILS in Belgium.

Al-Shammari noted: “We focus on providing theoretical and practical qualifications by offering a range of courses for beginners working in water bodies, swimming pools and beaches, and contributing to the development of technical standards and regulations with all relevant authorities. We are currently working with the relevant authorities on forming a national committee to set national policies to prevent drowning cases.”

He stressed that work is currently underway to develop rescue sports competitions in various regions to prepare for the Kingdom’s representation in upcoming international forums.


KSrelief holds joint meeting with UNHCR, WHO in Poland 

KSrelief holds joint meeting with UNHCR, WHO in Poland 
Updated 1 min 48 sec ago

KSrelief holds joint meeting with UNHCR, WHO in Poland 

KSrelief holds joint meeting with UNHCR, WHO in Poland 
  • The officials also discussed several issues regarding refugees, including the humanitarian response to Ukrainian refugees fleeing to Poland and neighboring countries

WARSAW: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) held on Tuesday a joint meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. 

The meeting took place in Poland in the presence of Saudi Ambassador to Poland Saad bin Saleh Al-Saleh; Advisor at the Royal Court and Supervisor General of KSrelief Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Rabeeah; Advisor to the High Commissioner and Regional Representative of the UNHCR Khaled Khalifa; and WHO Representative for Poland Dr. Paloma Cuchi. 

During the meeting, Al Rabeeah praised the strong strategic partnership between the three organizations, adding that their humanitarian and relief projects have benefited millions around the world, according to SPA. 

He also said he hoped to expand their cooperation to reach even more people, SPA reported. 

Meanwhile, Khaled Khalifa praised the aid provided by the Kingdom to refugees in various countries around the world, while WHO’s Poland representative said Saudi Arabia’s efforts have greatly impacted the lives of millions. 

The officials also discussed several issues regarding refugees, including the humanitarian response to Ukrainian refugees fleeing to Poland and neighboring countries. 


Saudi Arabia reaffirms full support for the stability of Yemen

The session was chaired by King Salman at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah. (SPA)
The session was chaired by King Salman at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah. (SPA)
Updated 09 August 2022

Saudi Arabia reaffirms full support for the stability of Yemen

The session was chaired by King Salman at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah. (SPA)
  • Cabinet appreciated UN’s efforts for a ceasefire in Yemen

JEDDAH: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday reaffirmed the Kingdom’s firm support for all action that can help to guarantee the security and stability of Yemen and its people.

The session was chaired by King Salman at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah. According to Issam bin Saad bin Saeed, the member for Shoura Council affairs and acting minister of media, the Cabinet members expressed their appreciation for the efforts of the UN to improve the adherence to the ceasefire in Yemen, in line with the Saudi initiative, announced in March last year, to end the crisis in the country and reach a comprehensive political resolution.
The ministers also expressed their hopes that the Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum, which is being organized by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center in partnership with the UN and will take place in February, will contribute to efforts to find innovative and practical solutions that can help provide humanitarian aid to the highest standards and achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

FASTFACT

The ministers also expressed their hopes that the Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum, which is being organized by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center in partnership with the UN in February.

Ministers also reiterated the Kingdom’s assertion, made this month during the 10th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, of support for international efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and place its nuclear facilities under a comprehensive system of safeguards under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The council said it considers the stability and balance of oil markets as one of the pillars of the Kingdom’s energy strategy.
It described oil as an important element in supporting the growth of the global economy, as reflected in Saudi Arabia’s pivotal role in establishing and maintaining the OPEC+ agreement on production quotas. Members stressed the importance of full compliance with those quotas by all OPEC+ member nations.
The council session concluded with the approval of a number of decisions. The chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence was tasked with negotiating with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development a draft administrative agreement between Saudi Arabia and the bank on a multi-donor trust fund for a digital development partnership.
The minister of energy and the minister of tourism were asked to draft and sign a cooperation agreement between their ministries and their counterparts in Thailand in the fields of energy and tourism.
A memorandum of understanding on labor cooperation between the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development and Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population was approved, as were two MoUs for cooperation in the transport and logistics sector between the Kingdom’s Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services and the French Ministry of Ecological Transition. Ministers also approved an MoU for cooperation between the Saudi General Authority for Statistics and the British Office for National Statistics.

 


National Cybersecurity Authority launches CyberIC to develop sector in Saudi Arabia

National Cybersecurity Authority launches CyberIC to develop sector in Saudi Arabia
Updated 09 August 2022

National Cybersecurity Authority launches CyberIC to develop sector in Saudi Arabia

National Cybersecurity Authority launches CyberIC to develop sector in Saudi Arabia
  • The CyberIC program is designed to develop the skills of more than 10,000 Saudis and stimulate the wider domestic cybersecurity sector
  • The program offers courses that include virtual exercises so as to ensure that participants are ready to confront the most significant cybersecurity challenges

JEDDAH: The National Cybersecurity Authority on Monday announced the launch of a new program, CyberIC, to develop the cybersecurity sector in Saudi Arabia.

The program is aimed at developing the capabilities of cybersecurity specialists working with national authorities and stimulating the domestic cybersecurity ecosystem by increasing the development and localization of cybersecurity products, services and solutions.

The CyberIC program is designed to develop the skills of more than 10,000 Saudis and stimulate the wider domestic cybersecurity sector in line with international best practices.

The first phase of the program includes a number of initiatives, such as providing training for employees of national authorities working in cybersecurity and related fields and accelerating cybersecurity activities to stimulate the sector.

It will also include the launch of the second version of the cybersecurity challenge and offer programs for chief information security officers in cooperation with prestigious international universities in the field.

To ensure participants are ready to confront the most significant cybersecurity challenges, the program offers courses that include virtual exercises that simulate real cyberattacks and incidents.

The program is based on six main tracks: innovation and entrepreneurship, cybersecurity officers, cybersecurity trainers, fresh graduates, cybersecurity specialists and law enforcement agencies.

It will support the growth of the cybersecurity industry in the Kingdom by helping more than 60 national cybersecurity startups. Forty have already been launched, while the other 20 will be established through the cybersecurity challenge.


Saudi Arabia demands halt to Israeli attacks as three more Palestinians die in raid

Saudi Arabia demands halt to Israeli attacks as three more Palestinians die in raid
Updated 10 August 2022

Saudi Arabia demands halt to Israeli attacks as three more Palestinians die in raid

Saudi Arabia demands halt to Israeli attacks as three more Palestinians die in raid
  • At a Cabinet meeting in Jeddah chaired by King Salman, ministers urged the international community to assume its responsibilities and exert all efforts to end the conflict

RAMALLAH: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday demanded international action to halt deadly attacks by Israeli armed forces on the Palestinian people.

At a Cabinet meeting in Jeddah chaired by King Salman, ministers urged the international community to assume its responsibilities and exert all efforts to end the conflict.

The Saudi call came as three Palestinians were killed and 40 injured in an Israeli raid in Nablus in the northern West Bank, and 17-year-old Moamen Jaber died from his wounds in hospital in Hebron after being shot by Israeli soldiers in earlier clashes in Bab Al-Zawiya.

The four deaths brought the number of people killed this year by Israeli forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to 130.

"From Nablus to Hebron, after Gaza and Jenin, the occupation continues to commit its open crimes against our people in all the occupied territories,” Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said.

Tuesday’s deaths came after elite Israeli forces surrounded a house in the old city of Nablus in the early morning, closing in on Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Fatah, and at least one other member of the group, named as Islam Sabbouh.

After Nabulsi refused requests to surrender, Israeli forces opened fire and struck the house with Matador anti-armor missiles, killing the men inside. Another Palestinian, 16-year-old Hussein Jamal Taha, was also killed.

Thousands of Palestinians took part in the three funerals, the largest in Nablus for 20 years.

Violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces broke out across the West Bank, wounding at least 20 civilians, most young men. A general strike was called in a show of mourning.

Nabulsi had survived several previous attempts to arrest or assassinate him over the past five months.

The new attack came less than 48 hours after Israel suspended its military operations in the Gaza Strip, which claimed the lives of 46 Palestinians, and injured more than 300 civilians, including women, children and the elderly.

Nabil Aburudina, spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority, condemned the killings in Nablus and said the Israeli occupation was approaching a comprehensive confrontation with the entire Palestinian people through its aggression.

Aburudina said the Israeli government was not interested in achieving peace and stability, and was working to shed Palestinian blood to achieve gains in Israeli internal politics.

He said the US delegate to the UN, by emphasising Israel’s right to defend itself, supported the Israeli narrative, which was unacceptable because Israel was the aggressor. If this aggression continued against the Palestinian people, it would ignite violence across the region, he said.

Taysir Nasrallah, a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council and a prominent leader in Nablus who attended the funerals on Tuesday, told Arab News that mourners chanted slogans calling for revenge against Israel.

Nasrallah said: “It seems that Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid started his electoral campaign early by killing the largest number of Palestinians, which would enable him to obtain the largest number of votes.”

The Palestinians believe that the recent Israeli military escalations in Jenin, Gaza and Nablus are linked to the Israeli election campaign, with votes scheduled to take place on Nov. 1, and that Lapid, who lacks the military experience of his strongest rival, Benjamin Netanyahu, wishes to appear to voters as capable of dealing militarily with the Palestinians.

“We believe that there are electoral goals for this unprecedented military escalation against the Palestinians, and this confirms that Israel’s leaders have no project towards the Palestinians other than killing,” Nasrallah said.

He called on the PA to take a decisive decision to end its relationship with Israel.

“The new Palestinian generation does not believe in the approach of negotiations, which has not brought any result to the Palestinians for 27 years except by increasing settlements, killings and destruction against the Palestinians. Therefore, the Palestinian Authority must take a decisive decision to completely end the relationship with Israel, regardless of the results of this decision,” he said.

Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti told Arab News that the Israel crimes would lead to a comprehensive Palestinian popular uprising.