AlUla Citrus Festival spotlights agricultural riches

The Royal Commission for AlUla launched the third AlUla Citrus Festival on Friday. This event takes place during the harvest season and showcases various types of citrus fruit grown in AlUla farms. (SPA)
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The Royal Commission for AlUla launched the third AlUla Citrus Festival on Friday. This event takes place during the harvest season and showcases various types of citrus fruit grown in AlUla farms. (SPA)
The Royal Commission for AlUla launched the third AlUla Citrus Festival on Friday. This event takes place during the harvest season and showcases various types of citrus fruit grown in AlUla farms. (SPA)
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The Royal Commission for AlUla launched the third AlUla Citrus Festival on Friday. This event takes place during the harvest season and showcases various types of citrus fruit grown in AlUla farms. (SPA)
The Royal Commission for AlUla launched the third AlUla Citrus Festival on Friday. This event takes place during the harvest season and showcases various types of citrus fruit grown in AlUla farms. (SPA)
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The Royal Commission for AlUla launched the third AlUla Citrus Festival on Friday. This event takes place during the harvest season and showcases various types of citrus fruit grown in AlUla farms. (SPA)
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Updated 06 January 2024
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AlUla Citrus Festival spotlights agricultural riches

AlUla Citrus Festival spotlights agricultural riches
  • AlUla’s plains and valleys are home to more than 200,000 citrus trees spread over 800 hectares

ALULA: The Royal Commission for AlUla launched the third AlUla Citrus Festival on Friday. This event takes place during the harvest season and showcases various types of citrus fruit grown in AlUla farms.

The festival spans two weekends, Jan. 5-6 and Jan. 12-13, highlighting AlUla’s agricultural significance. Farmers have the opportunity to present AlUla’s diverse citrus fruit varieties in an agricultural and economic celebration, during which locals share their products.

Following the commission’s vision aligned with Saudi Vision 2030, RCU recognizes the significant role of the agricultural sector in supporting economic opportunities, enhancing competitiveness among producers, promoting agricultural development, creating more opportunities for locals, and providing a distinctive experience for AlUla’s visitors by exploring the agricultural sector, a prominent tourist attraction in the province’s present and future.

AlUla’s plains and valleys are home to more than 200,000 citrus trees spread over 800 hectares, making citrus fruits the second most important crop after date palms, which represents 30 percent of the Kingdom’s total production of different types of citrus fruit, according to approximate numbers released by RCU.

Some of the most prominent citrus varieties in AlUla include oranges, sweet lemons, citrons, sweet oranges, mandarins and clementines. The festival serves as a vibrant market for local producers, selling about 15,000 tons of their crops annually.

This year’s festival includes display stands for productive families and farmers and different interactive activities for the residents and visitors to engage with food and beverage providers in AlUla. Local farmers will be invited to showcase their best products and compete for a variety of prizes.

The event also includes live cooking shows, which were very successful in 2023 when they featured renowned chefs preparing a range of healthy and delicious dishes of fruits and citrus varieties.


Saudi defense minister discuses military escalation in region with US counterpart

Saudi defense minister discuses military escalation in region with US counterpart
Updated 5 sec ago
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Saudi defense minister discuses military escalation in region with US counterpart

Saudi defense minister discuses military escalation in region with US counterpart

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman discussed the military escalation in the Middle East on Sunday with his US counterpart during a phone call.

The call comes after Iran launched a wave of missiles and attack drones against Israel overnight Saturday to Sunday.

Prince Khalid and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also discussed efforts to contain the crisis while upholding international peace and security.

The officials also reviewed their strategic defense partnership and explored ways to further enhance it, the Kingdom’s defense minister said in a post on X. 


Saudi artist seeks to beat limitations and transcend comfort zones

Saudi artist seeks to beat limitations and transcend comfort zones
Updated 5 min 15 sec ago
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Saudi artist seeks to beat limitations and transcend comfort zones

Saudi artist seeks to beat limitations and transcend comfort zones
  • Ali Alhammadi has been passionate about visual arts since childhood

JEDDAH: Ali Alhammadi, a Saudi 32-year-old visual artist from Aldawadmi in Riyadh, has carved out a remarkable pathway in the world of art since his professional debut in 2017.

Passionate about visual arts since childhood, Alhammadi’s artistic inspiration was ignited by the “Saudi renaissance” in line with Vision 2030, prompting him to embark on a creative expedition to express his perceptions through the canvas.

Alhammadi told Arab News that his art philosophy is about breaking invisible limitations and transcending comfort zones, drawing inspiration from the evergreen landscapes he encountered during camping trips with his father in the Riyadh desert.

Passionate about visual arts since childhood, Ali Alhammadi’s artistic inspiration was ignited by the ‘Saudi renaissance’ in line with Vision 2030. (Supplied)

“During every spring season, me and my father used to go camping in the outskirts of Riyadh, when the desert turns green for a couple of months, where all the magical inspiration happens.”

Through his landscapes and abstract pieces, Alhammadi delves into his feelings, insecurities and aspirations, painting a narrative that speaks volumes.

“I use my art to express both happiness and sadness, and sometimes I start a painting with an idea in mind, but then I end up with a new one,” he said.

Ali Alhammadi, Saudi artist

One of Alhammadi’s pioneering techniques, “Invisible Limitations,” challenges traditional conceptions and societal norms, symbolizing the potential within, and beyond self-imposed boundaries. He said that his work reflects a realization that limitations are merely illusions.

“Our comfort zone sometimes restricts our ability to be inspired and inspire others. That’s why I decided to paint the Invisible Limitations theme.

“As I matured, I realized that most of these limitations don’t exist ... our limitation is the sky.”

Passionate about visual arts since childhood, Ali Alhammadi’s artistic inspiration was ignited by the ‘Saudi renaissance’ in line with Vision 2030. (Supplied)

Alhammadi’s artistic evolution has been influenced by his participation in prestigious exhibitions such as The Stars Exhibition at the German Embassy in Saudi Arabia and the second Riyadh Season Exhibition.

These platforms not only showcased his talent but also provided a catalyst for his creative development, empowering him to delve deeper into his cultural roots while embracing global influences.

Navigating between diverse cultural landscapes, Alhammadi, based between Liverpool and Riyadh, seamlessly fuses vibrant hues and styles, blending Saudi heritage and international artistic trends.

His experiences abroad have expanded his artistic horizons, inspiring him to create artworks that resonate with a global audience while retaining a distinctive Saudi essence. “Now that I have found my theme and art style, I believe that this phase will take me to different phases in my professional art career,” he said.

Looking toward the future, Alhammadi envisions his artwork evolving to explore the intricacies of human and cultural relationships, going deeper into themes that resonate with universal emotions and experiences. “Human and cultural relationships is something I’m keen on expressing through art,” he said.

His participation in international and local events such as the Founding Day in Liverpool and the National Day in London has not only spotlighted his talent but also enriched his artistic narrative with a tapestry of diverse influences.

For aspiring visual artists embarking on their creative odyssey, Alhammadi offers this advice: “Stay true to your vision, embrace your unique style, and let your art tell your story.”

 


Saudi authorities crack down on drug offenders in Jazan

Saudi police have arrested individuals carrying prohibited drugs. (SPA)
Saudi police have arrested individuals carrying prohibited drugs. (SPA)
Updated 15 min 43 sec ago
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Saudi authorities crack down on drug offenders in Jazan

Saudi police have arrested individuals carrying prohibited drugs. (SPA)
  • Authorities apprehended a citizen with 71 kg of hashish hidden in a vehicle in Al-Dayer governorate

RIYADH: Saudi authorities recently made several drug-related arrests and confiscations in operations in the Jazan region, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

In the Al-Dayer governorate of Jazan, Border Guards thwarted an attempt to smuggle 175 kg of narcotic qat.

The guards also apprehended three Yemeni nationals attempting to smuggle 60 kg of qat in Jazan.

In another incident, land patrols in the Jazan region arrested a citizen for selling qat plants hidden in his vehicle.

Authorities also apprehended a citizen with 71 kg of hashish hidden in a vehicle in Al-Dayer governorate.

Border Guards patrols in the Al-Arda governorate in the Jazan region intercepted the smuggling of 160 kg of qat.

Preliminary legal procedures have been completed for all the individuals involved and all seized items have been handed to the authorities.

The Saudi government urges anyone with information related to suspected smuggling operations or customs violations to call the confidential hotline 1910, the international number +966114208417, or to email [email protected].

Tips received relating to smuggling and breaches of common customs law are treated with strict confidentiality. Financial rewards are offered for valid tips.

 

 


GCC, Uzbek officials meet ahead of ministerial meeting

GCC head, Jasem Albudaiwi, is pictured with Uzbekistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bakhtiyor Saidov in the capital Tashkent.
GCC head, Jasem Albudaiwi, is pictured with Uzbekistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bakhtiyor Saidov in the capital Tashkent.
Updated 14 April 2024
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GCC, Uzbek officials meet ahead of ministerial meeting

GCC head, Jasem Albudaiwi, is pictured with Uzbekistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bakhtiyor Saidov in the capital Tashkent.
  • Officials discussed preparations for the second ministerial meeting of the Strategic Dialogue between the GCC and Central Asian countries

RIYADH: The secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Jasem Albudaiwi, met Uzbekistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bakhtiyor Saidov in the capital Tashkent on Sunday.

During the meeting, they discussed preparations for the second ministerial meeting of the Strategic Dialogue between the GCC and Central Asian countries.

The meeting, scheduled to be held on April 15 in Tashkent, will gather ministers of foreign affairs from the GCC and Central Asian countries.

Albudaiwi said GCC countries attach great importance to their relations with Central Asian nations, stressing that holding the joint ministerial meeting less than a year since their first summit is a testament to these countries’ keenness to advance relations at all levels and in all fields.

According to Albudaiwi, discussions are expected to focus on political coordination and collaboration in investment and economy, mainly digital economy, and green energy security and use.


Saudi officials attend meeting of auditors in Tanzania

The meeting was attended by Dr. Hussam bin Abdulmohsen Al-Anqari, the president of the General Auditing Bureau.
The meeting was attended by Dr. Hussam bin Abdulmohsen Al-Anqari, the president of the General Auditing Bureau.
Updated 14 April 2024
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Saudi officials attend meeting of auditors in Tanzania

The meeting was attended by Dr. Hussam bin Abdulmohsen Al-Anqari, the president of the General Auditing Bureau.
  • IIA is looking forward to expanding its work in developing professional standards and raising awareness of the roles of the internal audit profession

RIYADH: The board of directors at the Institute of Internal Auditors has convened its second meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

It was attended by Dr. Hussam bin Abdulmohsen Al-Anqari, the president of the General Auditing Bureau and chairman of the board of directors at the Saudi Institute of Internal Auditors, and other members of the board at the IIA.

The meeting looked at the notable activities of the current year and discussed agenda items. Several recommendations and decisions were made.

The body is looking forward to expanding its work in developing professional standards and raising awareness of the roles of the internal audit profession.

It aims to keep up with the world’s technical and professional advances, and progress the development of the profession and its practitioners.

It also bids to develop future strategies that will lead the field toward broader horizons in line with ongoing technological developments.

The IIA has served as the world’s premier professional reference for all aspects of the internal audit profession since its establishment in 1941.

Headquartered in Florida, the organization is tasked with providing comprehensive educational and professional development opportunities; establishing professional practice standards and guidelines; administering certification programs; conducting research; and disseminating and enhancing knowledge related to internal audit and its appropriate role in oversight, risk management, and governance for practitioners and stakeholders.