Camels on Eastern Province roads pose danger to motorists

Updated 23 February 2015

Camels on Eastern Province roads pose danger to motorists

Camels have become a major concern for highway drivers in the Eastern Province due to the growing number of injuries and deaths from camel-related traffic accidents annually.
Residents in the area are calling for urgent and immediate intervention from the Ministry of Transport to find solutions to reduce traffic risks caused by camels roaming and crossing major roads.
A recent report issued by the Department of Public Relations and Media and King Fahd Hospital in Hofuf indicates that the hospital receives about 40 fatal cases per month resulting from highway accidents, with the number increasing substantially during holiday, Haj and Umrah seasons.
“The continuously alarming number of accidents caused annually by camels roaming on major roadways indicates that no effective solutions have yet been undertaken to cope with this frightening issue,” said Ahmed bin Hamad Albuali, vice president of the municipal council in Al-Ahsa. “Authorities tend to intervene on a periodic basis and fail to present any sustainable and long-term solutions.”
He urged authorities to consider a study presented by Mohammed Al-Zahrani from King Faisal University, which suggests the development and use of GPS technology to identify threats and risks.
The use of this technology, which emits a warning sound to drivers when they are near camels on the roadways, was tested and proven to be successful. The GPS devices can also provide information to authorities about the location of these camels via SMS in order for them to deal with the issue, he added.
“Efforts must be undertaken to complete Al-Oqair Highway so that traffic gets equal space in both directions, removal of roadside sand during the summer period, and installation of road lights between Al-Ahsa and Qatar and Riyadh,” he said. “Camel owners should also be used to place reflective and luminous belts on camels to signal their location to drivers.”
Al-Zahrani’s study also recommends the development of mobile devices that improve communication between police departments and the General Directorate of Traffic in areas with high incidences of camel-related accidents.
Meanwhile, a number of citizens in the Eastern Province demanded from authorities to find solutions to counter the threat of roaming camels.
“Although these roads cannot be avoided as they connect the region with all others regions in the Kingdom and neighboring Gulf countries, there is still much work to be done to improve the quality of these roads and address traffic threats,” said Abdul Latif Al-Rabie, a citizen.
Another citizen, Talal Al-Thowab, said: “We do not know how long this fear and concern about the danger of these roads will last, especially as the lost lives of many innocent people could have been avoided. These roads lack many basic safety and security measures such as lighting.”
Citizens also called on the Ministry of Transport to study means of installing an iron fence and crossings along the major roads as preventative and protective measures.


Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

Updated 18 October 2019

Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

  • The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date

RIYADH: More than 1,500 performers and 25 floats took part in a parade and carnival on Thursday night that officially launched Riyadh Season’s Boulevard zone. The crowds that gathered for the fun-packed event were also treated to motorcycle displays, fireworks and other surprises.

The Boulevard lit up at 9 p.m. for the start of the 90-minute event, which featured some of the international artists who will perform as part of Riyadh Season. Afterwards, the zone’s food and drink outlets, outdoor cinema and fountain shows officially opened.

The audience watched the parade, performances and displays from specially constructed stands. Food trucks offered a selection of tasty snacks, and organizers also provided prayer rooms, toilets, first-aid stations and other facilities.



In addition to the opening-night festivities, the Boulevard zone, which covers 400,000 square meters, will host a wide range of entertainment options and activities for all ages, including the outdoor cinema, restaurants, and sports, music and theatrical events. It has three main venues: The 22,000-seat Mohammed Abdu Theater, the 6,000-seat Abu Bakr Salem Theater, and the 2,000-seat Baker Al-Sheddi Theater.

The parade is just one of more than 100 events featuring local, regional and international performers taking place during the Riyadh Season festival, which continues until mid-December at 12 zones across the city: the Boulevard; the Front; Riyadh Car Show; Winter Wonderland; Riyadh Stadiums; the Diplomatic Quarter; Al-Muraba’a; Al-Malaz; Wadi Namar; Nabd Al-Riyadh; Riyadh Safari; and Riyadh Sahara. It has been organized with the support of Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority and president of Riyadh Season.

The audience watched the parade from specially built stands. (Supplied)

 

The ambitious 2019 Saudi Seasons initiative, the first of its kind in the region, was launched in February and includes 11 local seasons covering most parts of the Kingdom. Designed to promote the fledgling Saudi entertainment sector and boost tourism, it is attracting some of the biggest names in world entertainment.

The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date. It follows a folklore parade at the Mawtni (My Nation) cultural event in Yanbu to mark Saudi National Day this year, and a parade during the Jeddah Season festivities in the city’s Obhur district.