Diriyah’s JAX District granted status of industrial heritage site

JAX is home to a striking assembly of large warehouses that once formed an important industrial center in Riyadh region. (Supplied)
JAX is home to a striking assembly of large warehouses that once formed an important industrial center in Riyadh region. (Supplied)
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Updated 08 May 2024
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Diriyah’s JAX District granted status of industrial heritage site

JAX is home to a striking assembly of large warehouses that once formed an important industrial center in Riyadh region.
  • Recognition by Saudi Heritage Commission honors the district for its role in the evolution of industry in the Kingdom and its role in shaping society
  • District, named after the company that established it in the 1970s, contains a striking assembly of warehouses
  • When commercial tenants moved out of the district in the mid-2000s, artists moved in

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Heritage Commission has designated Diriyah’s JAX District, near Riyadh, as an industrial heritage site.

Its industrial days behind it, the district is now known as a creative arts hub in the heart of Diriyah, which is also where the UNESCO world heritage site of At-Turaif can be found.

The official recognition of its past role falls under the aims of the Industrial Heritage Preservation Program to protect and celebrate places of historical significance to the industrial sector in the Kingdom.

The designation highlights the district’s unique industrial architecture, officials said, and gives it a place alongside other sites in the Kingdom recognized for their roles in the evolution of industry in the country and its role in shaping Saudi society. Granting it heritage site status pays tribute to its history as a center for large-scale industrial projects and underscores its position as a national cultural landmark, they added.

JAX, named after the company that established the district in the 1970s, is home to a striking assembly of large warehouses that once formed an important industrial center in Riyadh region.

In the mid-2000s, commercial tenants started to move out and a group of graffiti artists began to use the walls of abandoned warehouses as their makeshift canvas. Young artists also established workshops and studios in the vacated spaces. In the years that followed, additional creative spaces, including art galleries, studios and cafes, were established, major cultural institutions opened, and office space was built for creative agencies that set up shop there.

JAX District now hosts numerous events, including the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale, MDLBEAST XP Music Futures, the Hia Hub fashion, beauty and style conference, and light art festival Noor Riyadh. The Saudi Arabia Museum of Contemporary Art, the first museum of its kind in the Kingdom, is also located in the district.


Saudi deputy FM participates in Sudan peace efforts meeting 

Saudi deputy FM participates in Sudan peace efforts meeting 
Updated 25 July 2024
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Saudi deputy FM participates in Sudan peace efforts meeting 

Saudi deputy FM participates in Sudan peace efforts meeting 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Waleed Al-Khuraiji participated on Wednesday in the Second Consultative Meeting Enhancing Coordination of Peace Initiatives and Efforts in Sudan, the Saudi Press Agency said.

During the meeting held in Djibouti, he reiterated the Kingdom’s continued efforts to resolve the Sudanese crisis, and its welcome and openness to international efforts and initiatives aimed at achieving peace in Sudan.

Al-Khuraiji said that the US and the Kingdom facilitated talks between the Sudanese parties in Jeddah, resulting in signing of the Jeddah Declaration to protect civilians in Sudan.

He expressed Saudi Arabia’s keenness on the return of security and stability to Sudan and urging the Sudanese parties to give priority to wisdom and self-restraint, and to show flexibility and respond to positive and humanitarian initiatives.


ThePlace: Mount Daka and Shams Al-Assil — two lookouts with a view to the Red Sea

ThePlace: Mount Daka and Shams Al-Assil — two lookouts with a view to the Red Sea
Updated 25 July 2024
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ThePlace: Mount Daka and Shams Al-Assil — two lookouts with a view to the Red Sea

ThePlace: Mount Daka and Shams Al-Assil — two lookouts with a view to the Red Sea

TAIF: In Saudi Arabia's western province of Makkah, the Mount Daka and Shams Al-Assil viewpoints overlook rare scenes of the Red Sea shore with its blue waters, which astounds tourists who also experience the divine beauty of Taif's peaks and mountains. 
At more than 2,560 meters above sea level, Mount Daka, located in the heart of Ash Shafa, can be seen from the natural viewpoint of Shams Al-Assil, from which one can observe the sparkling waters of the Red Sea. The mountain is one of the destinations that tourists and visitors seek to reach to experience its breathtaking nature. 

At more than 2,560 meters above sea level, Mount Daka is one of the destinations that nature-lovers seek to reach to experience its breathtaking nature.  (SPA)

Mount Daka's enchanting and attractive environment is replete with different kinds of wildlife that live under the shades of juniper, acacia, sidr and salam trees, and in its granite rocks. Rain and fog may form over it, and its flowers and aromatic plants are a safe haven for swarms of bees that produce honey. 
The mount is a highly sought-after spot in the Sarawat Mountains range because of its abundant land and the animals that inhabit it, including rock hyraxes, ibex, rabbits, and Arabian leopards. 

At more than 2,560 meters above sea level, Mount Daka is one of the destinations that nature-lovers seek to reach to experience its breathtaking nature.  (SPA)

Coastal mangrove-growing program in Saudi on track

Coastal mangrove-growing program in Saudi on track
Updated 19 min 13 sec ago
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Coastal mangrove-growing program in Saudi on track

Coastal mangrove-growing program in Saudi on track
  • 13m mangrove seedlings planted since launch a year ago
  • Plan for 100m trees along Red Sea, Arabian Gulf by 2030

RIYADH: The Kingdom is on track to reach its target of planting 100 million mangrove trees by 2030, in line with the Saudi Green Initiative and Vision 2030 plan.

Some 13 million mangrove seedlings have been planted since the launch of the ambitious coastal forest-cover program a year ago, the Saudi Press Agency stated recently, quoting a progress report from the National Center for Vegetation Cover Development and Combating Desertification.

Mangroves work in concert with coral reefs and seagrass beds to keep coastal zones healthy, say marine scientists. (SPA)

Most of the projects reported by the NCVC are currently being carried out along the Kingdom’s Red Sea coast, with Jazan province topping the list at 5.5 million seedlings. Makkah province followed with 2.4 million, Madinah 2 million, Tabuk 1.5 million, and Asir 1 million.

Along the Arabian Gulf coast, the Eastern Province has planted 500,000 seedlings, according to the report.

However, before the formal launch of the project along the Arabian Gulf, the center noted that 700,000 seedlings had already been planted. This included 200,000 on Ras Abu Ali Island in Jubail governorate, and 500,000 in Al-Wajh governorate.

“The project includes fencing and caring for the seedlings, to protect them from algae and seaweed, and protecting the sites from grazing and encroachment,” the SPA reported.

In addition, the NCVC and the Asir Region Development Authority launched on Wednesday a “Mangrove Restoration” program. This was to mark the UN’s International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem, which is held annually on July 26.

Mangrove planting in Asir region's Al-Barak governorate. (SPA)

Campaigners planted 500 mangrove seedlings on the beaches of Al-Barak governorate. Leading the event was Al-Barak Gov. Abdullah bin Ali bin Muhya and Mayor Nasser Saeed Al-Shahrani.

The SPA reported that the intention is to raise awareness about the importance of planting and protecting mangrove forests amidst climate change and global warming.

Mangroves, working in concert with seagrass beds and coral reefs, keep coastal zones healthy, say marine scientists.

They have been found to provide essential habitat for thousands of species, stabilize shorelines, prevent erosion and protect communities from waves and storms.

“An estimated 75 percent of commercially caught fish spend some time in the mangroves or depend on food webs that can be traced back to these coastal forests,” according to the American Museum of Natural History.

Many countries suffering from severe mangrove destruction have continued to record declines in fish stocks.


Saudi electric car consumer base growing as Kingdom aims to become a hub for the technology

Saudi electric car consumer base growing as Kingdom aims to become a hub for the technology
Updated 24 July 2024
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Saudi electric car consumer base growing as Kingdom aims to become a hub for the technology

Saudi electric car consumer base growing as Kingdom aims to become a hub for the technology

RIYADH: Hamed Al-Rafidain, who works in HR, drives a fuel-guzzling 4 X 4, as many in Saudi Arabia do — but his other car is electric.

Al-Rafidain, 39, is part of a small but growing electric vehicle consumer base in the Kingdom, which aims to become a hub for the technology.

“What drove me to buy electric was financial considerations,” said Rafidain, who spends up to SR2,000 ($530) a month on fuel for his off-road vehicle. “Maintenance costs are also lower compared to a conventional vehicle, with no oil changes.”

For a little over $53,300, he bought a BYD mostly for short trips within the capital. Driving outside Riyadh was a “gamble, especially since the infrastructure is still underdeveloped,” Rafidain said.

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the PIF, owns 60 percent of electric car maker Lucid and South Korea’s Hyundai plans a factory in the Kingdom. The Saudi brand CEER, launched in 2022, expects to start production in 2025. Eventually Saudi Arabia aims to produce 300,000 electric cars a year.

Meanwhile Chinese giant BYD is expected to dominate the Saudi market, since its global rival Tesla has no dealerships in the Kingdom.
Electric car sales tripled last year to nearly 800 and salesman Hassan Mohammed expects more this year. “More than one car brand has opened its doors in the Kingdom and now offers after-sales service, which has encouraged consumers,” he said.


Saudi leaders offer condolences to Kuwait after passing of Sheikh Jaber Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah 

Saudi leaders offer condolences to Kuwait after passing of Sheikh Jaber Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah 
Updated 24 July 2024
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Saudi leaders offer condolences to Kuwait after passing of Sheikh Jaber Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah 

Saudi leaders offer condolences to Kuwait after passing of Sheikh Jaber Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent letters of condolences to Kuwait’s Emir Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah over the death of Sheikh Jaber Duaij Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah, the Saudi Press Agency said Wednesday.

The Crown Prince also sent a separate letter to Kuwait’s Crown Prince Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah.

Sheikh Jaber died at the age of 71 and will be buried after Thursday’s Maghrib (Sunset) prayer, Kuwait’s news agency said.