Saudi camping: exploring the untamed beauty surrounding Riyadh

The rainy season in Riyadh announces with it winter and the start of the camping season. (Visit Saudi/Supplied)
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The rainy season in Riyadh announces with it winter and the start of the camping season. (Visit Saudi/Supplied)
Saudi camping: exploring the untamed beauty surrounding Riyadh
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The kingdom’s diverse landscapes and warm hospitality, the country welcomes all visitors to connect with nature. (Haifa Alshammari)
Saudi camping: exploring the untamed beauty surrounding Riyadh
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Reef Shaqra provides camping supplies such as food and spices organized and ready to be used. (Haifa Alshammari)
Saudi camping: exploring the untamed beauty surrounding Riyadh
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The kingdom’s diverse landscapes and warm hospitality, the country welcomes all visitors to connect with nature. (Shutterstock)
Saudi camping: exploring the untamed beauty surrounding Riyadh
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Reef Shaqra provides camping supplies such as food and spices organized and ready to be used. (Haifa ALshammari)
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Updated 05 December 2023
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Saudi camping: exploring the untamed beauty surrounding Riyadh

The rainy season in Riyadh announces with it winter and the start of the camping season. (Visit Saudi/Supplied)
  • Adventurers and nature lovers should not miss these spots during winter

RIYADH: Camping in Saudi Arabia provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the beauty of the vast wilderness. The desert, with its mesmerizing dunes stretching as far as the eye can see, offers a serene setting for those seeking solace away from the bustle of city life.

Camping offers an unforgettable experience for adventurers and nature enthusiasts. With the Kingdom’s diverse landscapes and warm hospitality, the country welcomes visitors to connect with nature and forge lasting memories in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula.




The rainy season in Riyadh announces with it winter and the start of the camping season. (Visit Saudi/Supplied)

From late October to early February, the rainy season in Riyadh announces with it winter and the start of the camping season.

During this time of the year, people flock to the desert, spending time with family, friends and loved ones, enjoying the beautiful warm weather away from city life and hectic schedules.

For those interested in camping, it is recommended to start with a visit to Reef Shaqra.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Reef Shaqra and Al-Rimaya are local store for camping supplies.

• Rawdat Khuraim is a popular spot about 110 km from Riyadh.

• King Salman Park, great for family picnics, is 40 km to the northeast.

Reef Shaqra is one of the local stores providing camping supplies — from food to spices to grilling tools, all organized perfectly and ready to be used.

Al-Rimaya is another excellent store to visit prior to a camping trip. The store, opened 25 years ago, specializes in camping and outdoor equipment such as tents, portable fire pits and camping fridges.

They also offer a service where they prepare the vehicle with all the necessary equipment for enthusiasts who spend days in the desert.




The rainy season in Riyadh announces with it winter and the start of the camping season. (Visit Saudi/Supplied)

“Recently, we have been seeing women customers more than men, not only buying camping equipment but also requesting car preparations,” said Sultan Abdulaziz, one of the store workers.

“There are many accessories we offer, like attaching tents to the car. The tent will be set perfectly to your car where you won’t need to prepare it by yourself every time you go on a trip.”

Rawdat Khuraim is 110 km from the capital and one of the well-known camping sites in the region.

Recently, we have been seeing women customers more than men, not only buying camping equipment but also requesting car preparations.

Sultan Abdulaziz, Al-Rimaya staff

The beautiful landscape has been transformed into a reserve to preserve its innate beauty. The area is not completely a desert but more of a green landscape due to the rains during the season.

Another popular destination close to the city is King Salman Park, 40 km to the northeast. It is a family picnic area, with facilities provided to create a safe and comfortable camping experience.

For those who have more of an adventurous spirit and love to spend a camping trip in complete isolation, the locations can be endless. Since the country, generally speaking, is known for being mostly desert, visitors can find camping spots almost everywhere.




Al-Rimaya sells supplies and also prepares the vehicle with equipment necessary for a trip to the desert. (AN photo by Haifa Alshammari)

There is nothing better than gathering around the campfire for a delicious meal. Dishes include mandi, kabssa and jamriyah, with kunafah among the recently trending meals.

With fine food and the allure of the stars in a dark sky, the music of oud sets the perfect atmosphere. Among activities young people enjoy are oud playing around the fire. Some musicians even offer services for music sessions during the camping trip.

As the popularity of camping in Saudi Arabia continues to grow, tour operators, officials and local communities are actively promoting responsible and sustainable practices.

 


Diriyah Co. signs $2bn contract for Wadi Safar 

Diriyah Co. signs $2bn contract for Wadi Safar 
Updated 9 sec ago
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Diriyah Co. signs $2bn contract for Wadi Safar 

Diriyah Co. signs $2bn contract for Wadi Safar 
  • Deal includes equestrian club, polo grounds, luxury resorts
  • Jerry Inzerillo: Wadi Safar will be one of the most beautiful residential developments in the world

RIYADH: Diriyah Co. has signed a $2 billion contract with Urbacon Saudi Co. and Al-Bawani Group to develop the Wadi Safar project, including the Royal Diriyah Equestrian and Polo Club and several luxury hotels.

“Today is a very big day,” Diriyah Co. Group CEO Jerry Inzerillo told Arab News. “It is unusual for development companies worldwide to sign $2 billion contracts, but this is a giant construction package for our Wadi Safar, which will be one of the most beautiful residential developments in the world,” he said.

The MoU was signed on Wednesday at the DGDA headquarters in Riyadh by Inzerillo, Urbacon Trading & Contracting President Ramez Al-Khayyat, and Al-Bawani Group CEO Fakher Al Shawaf.

“Wadi Safar will be home to the Royal Diriyah Equestrian and Polo Club, a Greg Norman-designed 27-hole golf course, and 10 spectacular resorts,” Inzerillo said. “Four of these resorts are included in this package: Aman, which will be one of the most beautiful Amans in the world, Oberoi, a spectacular hotel operator from India, Faena from Argentina and Miami, and Chedi from the Far East. These four resorts are beautiful.”

The CEO said that Wadi Safar “will be one of the greatest luxury residential high-end developments in the world, with a $2 billion package.”

Inzerillo said that last week they signed another $2 billion package for their multi-use northern district, which will include King Salman Library, King Salman University, and Diriyah Square.

“And before December, we will be issuing additional contracts with big numbers close to this as well,” he said. 

“This indicates that Diriyah is moving full speed ahead to realize Vision 2030. Diriyah will be finished in time for Expo 2030 Riyadh, which will be the greatest expo in the world.”

Located west of Diriyah, Wadi Safar aims to be a residential cultural hub offering the world’s finest experiences in polo, luxury hotels, and golf courses.

Mohamed Saad, president of Diriyah Co., highlighted the significance of the new partnership: “This is the main construction of many assets in Wadi Safar, including the Royal Diriyah Equestrian and Polo Club, which will be the largest equestrian polo club in the region. This will also include a range of hotels: Amaala Resort, Six Senses, and Chedi.

“Everything we do has to go back to the roots and culture of Diriyah. We are designing all of our buildings and assets to present and celebrate the legacy, culture and heritage of Diriyah,” he said. 

Saad highlighted that assets would open gradually each year, and by 2030, all of Diriyah’s assets would be operational.

“We have already delivered the golf course at Wadi Safar and will soon invite people to play on it,” he said.

He said that the Wadi Safar hotels would gradually begin opening in 2026.


MoU to drive job creation, training in Saudi hospitality 

MoU to drive job creation, training in Saudi hospitality 
Updated 21 min 30 sec ago
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MoU to drive job creation, training in Saudi hospitality 

MoU to drive job creation, training in Saudi hospitality 
  • MoU focuses on improving hospitality services in Jeddah’s historic Al-Balad district
  • Collaboration will create local jobs and develop a skilled workforce in the fields of hospitality, heritage tourism, and tourist guidance

RIYADH: The Ministry of Tourism and Al-Balad Development Co., a Public Investment Fund subsidiary, signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday to collaborate in empowering national human capital in the tourism sector.

The MoU focuses on improving hospitality services in Jeddah’s historic district, Al-Balad, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The collaboration will create local jobs and develop a skilled workforce in the fields of hospitality, heritage tourism, and tourist guidance.

The agreement, signed by Al-Balad Development Co. CEO Jamil Ghaznawi and the ministry’s acting Undersecretary for Tourism Human Resources Development Hind Al-Zahid in the presence of Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb, stipulates a collaborative effort to harness shared resources and expertise.

The partnership aims to empower Saudi nationals through comprehensive training, education, and job opportunities.

The initiative aligns with the Kingdom’s National Tourism Strategy, which seeks to attract 150 million visitors annually by 2030 and create 1.6 million tourism-related jobs.


Saudi Arabia welcomes statement on agreement between Yemeni parties to lift economic sanctions

Yemen’s government and Houthis agreed to increase the frequency of Yemenia’s flights from Sanaa to Jordan from 1 to 3 a day.
Yemen’s government and Houthis agreed to increase the frequency of Yemenia’s flights from Sanaa to Jordan from 1 to 3 a day.
Updated 24 July 2024
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Saudi Arabia welcomes statement on agreement between Yemeni parties to lift economic sanctions

Yemen’s government and Houthis agreed to increase the frequency of Yemenia’s flights from Sanaa to Jordan from 1 to 3 a day.
  • Yemen’s government and Houthis agreed to increase the frequency of Yemenia’s flights from Sanaa to Jordan from one to three a day and to introduce other flights

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia welcomed on Wednesday a statement issued by the UN’s special envoy for Yemen about an agreement between the country’s internationally recognized government and the Houthis to lift economic sanctions.

Hans Grundberg, the UN’s special envoy for Yemen, said on Tuesday that both parties agreed to ease economic hostilities by canceling their most recent actions taken against banks in areas the other controls and pledged to halt all such measures in the future.

They also agreed to increase the frequency of national carrier Yemenia’s flights from Sanaa to Jordan from one to three a day and to introduce daily flights from the capital to Cairo and India. In addition, the two sides will hold discussions about administrative, technological and budgetary issues related to the airline.

The Kingdom affirmed its continued support for Yemen, its government, and people, and its keenness to encourage efforts to reduce escalation and maintain calm.

The Kingdom hopes the agreement will contribute to dialogue between the Yemeni parties under the auspices of the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen to discuss all economic and humanitarian issues in order to reach a comprehensive political solution to the Yemeni crisis within the framework of the road map to support the peace process in Yemen.


Camel culture comes to life at Jeddah Season 

Camel culture comes to life at Jeddah Season 
Updated 24 July 2024
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Camel culture comes to life at Jeddah Season 

Camel culture comes to life at Jeddah Season 
  • Special pavilion highlights camels’ economic, cultural significance in Saudi society
  • Through illuminated murals and interactive touch screens, visitors are invited to delve into history

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Culture is bringing the “Year of the Camel” to life at Jeddah Season 2024 with a dedicated pavilion offering visitors an immersive experience of these iconic animals.

From life-size camel sculptures to interactive displays, the pavilion in City Walk, one of the Jeddah Season zones, showcases the camel’s enduring significance in society, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Through illuminated murals and interactive touch screens, visitors are invited to delve into history and understand why 2024 was designated as the “Year of the Camel.”

These displays offer insights into the objectives behind honoring camels, and are provided in Arabic and English to provide access for a global audience.

The pavilion provides historical inscriptions dedicated to the animal, and the vast camel-related vocabulary in the Arabic language, the SPA stated.

One of the highlights of the pavilion is audio of camel sounds, each with its own name. These hold special significance in the daily lives of those who have long cherished the companionship of these remarkable animals.

The displays showcase the economic importance of camels, their role in ensuring food security, and the unique capabilities that have cemented their place in Saudi Arabia culture.


Design program for architects wraps up in Riyadh

Design program for architects wraps up in Riyadh
Updated 24 July 2024
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Design program for architects wraps up in Riyadh

Design program for architects wraps up in Riyadh
  • A presentation showcased the journey of the participants during the program and highlighted the activities they took part in
  • Commission CEO Sumayah Al-Solaiman delivered a speech highlighting the commission’s “unwavering commitment” to investing in the development of Saudi architects and designers

RIYADH: The Architecture and Design Commission concluded the first Design Leadership Program with a ceremony in Riyadh attended by architecture and design experts, as well as program participants.

A presentation showcased the journey of the participants during the program and highlighted the activities they took part in, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

Commission CEO Sumayah Al-Solaiman delivered a speech highlighting the commission’s “unwavering commitment” to investing in the development of Saudi architects and designers.

Improving the skills of Saudis in the industry will allow them to become influential leaders, she added.

The developer of the Creative Leadership Course at the Future London Academy, Matt Hexemer, said in a speech that the Saudi program is a “pioneering initiative” that nurtures the Kingdom’s talents and fosters creativity.

Dialogue sessions were held at the ceremony, led by prominent speakers including Sarah Fayad, strategy and urban design senior manager at The Line in NEOM; and Ali Al-Shuaibi, president and founder of BEEAH Planners, Architects and Engineers Co.

The commission launched the program in May to cultivate the leadership skills of architects and designers, bolster their capacity to lead projects, and foster an environment that promotes collaboration in the local architecture and design community.