Riyadh Travel Fair spotlights diverse tourism offerings

Riyadh Travel Fair spotlights diverse tourism offerings
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Visitors at Riyadh Travel Fair held from May 27 to 29 with Turkiye booth in background. (AN photo/ Rashid Hassan)
Riyadh Travel Fair spotlights diverse tourism offerings
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Visitors at Riyadh Travel Fair held from May 27 to 29 with Turkiye booth in background. (AN photo/ Rashid Hassan)
Riyadh Travel Fair spotlights diverse tourism offerings
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Lead actors from popular Turkish series Kuruluş Osman at Turkiye booth at Riyadh Travel Fair held from May 27 to 29. (AN photo/ Rashid Hassan)
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Updated 30 May 2024
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Riyadh Travel Fair spotlights diverse tourism offerings

Riyadh Travel Fair spotlights diverse tourism offerings
  • Egypt, Georgia, Turkiye and more attract Saudi tourists
  • The fair serves as a platform for tourism products, services and investments, attracting leading global companies in the field

RIYADH: Top tourism companies showcased their destinations to the Saudi market at the Riyadh Travel Fair, which ended on Wednesday.
Held from May 27-29 at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center, the event drew top travel and tourism firms from Saudi Arabia, the GCC and wider world.
The fair serves as a platform for tourism products, services and investments, attracting leading global companies in the field.
This year, Riyadh welcomed 250 exhibitors from 23 countries, including 13 tourism boards. New exhibitors included Georgia, South Korea, Egypt, Russia, and the cities of Almaty, Sarajevo and St. Petersburg.
Rusudan Kokoladze, a senior specialist from Ajara’s department of tourism and resorts, told Arab News: “This is the first time we are participating in the fair, and what we are looking for is to expand our relations with Saudi Arabia and increase the number of Saudi tourists to Georgia, one of the target countries for Saudis who want to see the picturesque beauty and coastline of the Black Sea.
“There is a direct flight to Batumi, so it’s really easy, accessible and safe to travel. It has UNESCO World Heritage sites, national parks and attractive greenery, which makes it a popular tourist destination,” she added.
Elene Gogelia, chief coordinator of the brand development department at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, told Arab News: “Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we had 10,000 visitors per year from Saudi Arabia. Of course, the response from year to year has been very positive with an increase in the number of tourists.
“After the pandemic, this is the first year (2024) when in the first quarter alone we have hosted 6,000 Saudi travelers. This is an increase of 28 percent compared to the same time last year.”
She added that Saudi travelers are interested in the Black Sea coast resorts as well as winter ski resorts.
Mohamed El-Sherbeiny, general manager of the International Tourism Office at the Egyptian Tourism Authority, told Arab News: “We are excited to be here; Saudi Arabia is the third biggest market for Egypt. Last year, we received almost 1 million tourists from the Kingdom. We aim to continue the growth rate this year as well, reaching 20 percent more than last year.
“We believe we could achieve it because there is great interest from Saudi travelers to explore more of the northern coast in Egypt during the summer, as it is a wonderful place to relax.”
He said that Riyadh is now a hub for tourists, and “to showcase Egypt at the RTF is interesting.”
Faruk Caluk, senior adviser for tourism development at Visit Sarajevo, told Arab News: “Saudi Arabia is a very important market for Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a lot of Saudi visitors come to our country. Earlier, we had visa issues, but now it’s solved and open for Saudi citizens, so we expect more visitors this year, and the RTF is a good opportunity.”
The Turkiye tourism and travel groups hosted a large delegation of hospitality partners at the fair. Additionally, the lead actors from popular Turkish series “Kurulus Osman” made an appearance — Orhan (Emre Bey), Cerkutay (Cagri Sensoy), and Holofira (Ecem Sena Bayir), as well as Gunkut Alp (Hakan Serim) from “Dirilis: Ertugrul.” The stars interacted with fans, sharing details about their work.
The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation also took part in the fair. With 17 participants representing nine companies, Visit Maldives showcased the country as a premier travel destination to the Saudi market.


Saudi medical team performs brain surgery on Turkish pilgrim

Saudi medical team performs brain surgery on Turkish pilgrim
Updated 7 sec ago
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Saudi medical team performs brain surgery on Turkish pilgrim

Saudi medical team performs brain surgery on Turkish pilgrim
  • 70-year-old Turkish female Hajj pilgrim suffered a hemorrhage

RIYADH: A Saudi medical team from the neurosciences center at King Abdullah Medical City performed a complex brain operation on a 70-year-old Turkish female Hajj pilgrim who had suffered a hemorrhage, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

The team acted quickly to relieve pressure on the woman’s brain, drilling a hole in the skull and inserting a drainage tube.

X-rays identified an arteriovenous malformation in a critical area of the brain, which was treated using advanced medical techniques. There were no complications.

When the patient regained consciousness she was able to be taken off the respirator.

Her health is gradually improving, and plans are being made to allow her to complete Hajj with full medical supervision.


 


Hajj pilgrims from around the world celebrate Eid Al-Adha at the holy sites

Hajj pilgrims from around the world celebrate Eid Al-Adha at the holy sites
Updated 21 min 14 sec ago
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Hajj pilgrims from around the world celebrate Eid Al-Adha at the holy sites

Hajj pilgrims from around the world celebrate Eid Al-Adha at the holy sites
  • Abdullah, a pilgrim from Egypt, told Arab News: “Praise be to God, this is our first hajj and thankfully it went smoothly”

MAKKAH: Hajj pilgrims, hailing from various corners of the globe, embarked on a profound journey from Muzdalifah to Jamarat on Sunday, culminating in a joyous celebration of Eid Al-Adha.

The diversity of languages, cultures, and backgrounds present at Jamarat showcased the universal appeal of Islam and the importance of coming together in shared faith.

Eid Al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice in English, has its roots in the story of the Prophet Ibrahim, who God instructed in a dream to sacrifice his son, Ismail, as a test of faith.

The diversity of languages, cultures, and backgrounds present at Jamarat showcase the universal appeal of Islam. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

As he was about to make the sacrifice, God intervened and sent the Angel Gabriel with a ram to be sacrificed instead.

Devoted individuals, who traversed vast distances to partake in the sacred pilgrimage, unite in shared reverence and harmony to mark the significant occasion.

Abdullah, a pilgrim from Egypt, told Arab News: “Praise be to God, this is our first hajj and thankfully it went smoothly.”

Abdullah said that he and his mother went to Arafat, and from Arafat to Muzdalifah, then on to Mina. “We came to Jamarat here, and thank God everything went well.

“Honestly, it is an indescribable feeling for someone experiencing it for the first time. It is a blessing from God that he brought us here, and may he grant us this opportunity every year,” he said.

As his son was cutting his hair, Suleiman Ali, a 70-year-old pilgrim from Indonesia, told Arab News that he is blessed to be spending Eid Al-Adha in Makkah with his family.

“The first time I performed Hajj was in 1993, and I never thought God would bless me with another chance but with my family this time.”

Asma, a pilgrim from India, told Arab News it is her first time in Saudi Arabia and performing Hajj.

“I am happy to be here with my parents, my husband, my brother-in-law, and his wife,” she said.

“It is a very emotional journey for us because we always dreamed of celebrating Eid Al-Adha here.”

Asma said that they still have not performed their animal sacrifice but they are excited to do so.

The annual pilgrimage to Makkah and the holy sites brings together people from all walks of life, breaking down barriers and fostering a sense of unity among believers.

The diversity and unity among pilgrims serve as a poignant reminder of the universal bond that transcends geographical borders and cultural differences.

 


1bn liters of water pumped on Arafat Day

1bn liters of water pumped on Arafat Day
Updated 57 min 46 sec ago
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1bn liters of water pumped on Arafat Day

1bn liters of water pumped on Arafat Day

MINA: The Saudi National Water Company has reported that the amount of water that was pumped and distributed to Makkah and the holy sites on Arafat Day reached around 1 billion liters.

It added that the holy sites consumed 286 million liters, while over 704 million liters were distributed through Makkah’s public water systems.

It said the distribution was supported by the supervision and follow-up of the company’s engineers and supervisors from the working areas covering Makkah and the holy sites.

The company said its operations and water supplies work were in accordance with the plans set in advance to serve pilgrims. These plans included pumping water to the holy sites and the Grand Mosque’s facilities 24/7, in addition to maintaining pumping 21 hours per day for the neighborhoods in Makkah.

It emphasized the absence of any disruptions to its operations, affirming that field teams were always ready to handle and address any emergency.

The company said it carried out about 4,840 laboratory tests on Arafat Day to ensure the quality of water provided to pilgrims.


Saudi crown prince receives Eid Al-Adha greetings from Bahraini king

Saudi crown prince receives Eid Al-Adha greetings from Bahraini king
Updated 16 June 2024
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Saudi crown prince receives Eid Al-Adha greetings from Bahraini king

Saudi crown prince receives Eid Al-Adha greetings from Bahraini king
  • King Hamad lauded the exceptional organization witnessed during this year's Hajj season

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received a phone call on Sunday from Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa during which they exchanged with them Eid Al-Adha greetings, Saudi Press Agency reported.
King Hamad lauded the exceptional organization witnessed during this year's Hajj season, which facilitated pilgrims performing their religious rituals with safety and ease.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed his gratitude to King Hamad for his noble sentiments, asking God to accept the pilgrims’ Hajj and good deeds.


Hajj pilgrims reach Jamarat Bridge

Hajj pilgrims reach Jamarat Bridge
Updated 16 June 2024
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Hajj pilgrims reach Jamarat Bridge

Hajj pilgrims reach Jamarat Bridge
  • It is here Muslims believe devil tried to talk Prophet Ibrahim out of submitting to God’s will
  • Pilgrims then return to Makkah to do Tawaf, circumambulation of Kaaba

RIYADH: Hajj pilgrims on Sunday reached Jamarat Bridge as they advanced through Mina for the final rite, the stoning of the devil, on the first day of Tashreeq.

It is here that Muslims believe the devil tried to talk the Prophet Ibrahim out of submitting to God’s will. On the 10th day of Dul Hijjah, Hajj pilgrims collect small stones that they throw at three pillars in the Jamarat Al-Aqaba, representing the devil.

Huge crowds lined up to perform the rite, many holding umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun. The pilgrims say “Allah-u Akbar” (“God is the greatest”) each time they cast a pebble.

Pilgrims can stone the pillars any time from midday to midnight on the day of the ritual.

After finishing the ritual, male pilgrims traditionally shave or cut their hair and change out of their ihram. Women cut a lock of their hair.

The ihram symbolizes equality, religious unity and the pursuit of spiritual renewal.

Security guards sprayed the pilgrims with water as they braved searing heat to reach the Jamarat complex. Temperatures as high as 45 degrees Celsius have been recorded at the Hajj this year.

The pilgrims will then return to Makkah to do Tawaf, the circumambulation of the Kaaba.

Junaid Nizami, a pilgrim from Pakistan, told Arab News that he was impressed by the arrangements in place to ensure the safety of pilgrims.

“My experience in Jamarat was good and they prepared very well for the pilgrims. Also, the system (is created) in a way where no one can clash with each other. There are police, medical staff and helpers who are supporting the people.”

After dawn prayers, when pilgrims leave Muzdalifah and proceed to Jamarat to take part in the stoning rite, women and older pilgrims can delegate this responsibility to a male in their spiritual journey.