US missions resume consular services

Updated 24 March 2015

US missions resume consular services

The US diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia will resume full consular services on Sunday, following a weeklong closure amid reports of “heightened security concerns” against Western targets.
The opening of the US Embassy and its consulates in Jeddah and Dhahran was confirmed by Stewart Wight, a spokesman of the US Embassy, on Saturday.
Speaking to Arab News, Wight said: “The US Embassy and its consulates will offer regular consular services as of March 22.”
The embassy has announced that the consular section will resume services for American citizens and will be functioning as usual for both Americans and non-Americans.
Asked about the issuance of visas to Saudis and expatriates, Wight said: “Regular consular services will be offered.”
Additionally, all those who have appointments for visa and US citizen services should plan to come in as scheduled.
Visa services are available Sunday to Thursday (excluding holidays), and by appointment only.
Non-immigrant visa interviews are conducted from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., while immigrant visa interviews are conducted from 12.30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
The US Embassy and its consulates in Jeddah and Dhahran are closed during Fridays and Saturdays as well as on US and Saudi holidays.
A US national must make an appointment online for all routine US citizen services, including passport application services, request for consular report of birth abroad, notarial services, and questions regarding federal benefits. Persons without an appointment are not admitted for routine services.

Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

Updated 20 October 2019

Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

  • Development will protect endangered hawksbill turtle, while coral research could help save the Great Barrier Reef

RIYADH: Key ecological targets are driving Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea tourism megaproject, its leader has told Arab News.

The development will not only protect the habitat of the endangered hawksbill turtle, but could also save coral reefs that are dying elsewhere in the world, said Red Sea Development Company Chief Executive John Pagano.

The project is taking shape in a 28,000 square kilometer region of lagoons, archipelagos, canyons and volcanic geology between the small towns of Al-Wajh and Umluj on the Kingdom’s west coast.

One island, Al-Waqqadi, looked like the perfect tourism destination, but was discovered to be a breeding ground for the hawksbill. “In the end, we said we’re not going to develop it. It shows you can balance development and conservation,” Pagano said.

Scientists are also working to explain why the area’s coral reef system — fourth-largest in the world —  is thriving when others around the world are endangered.

“To the extent we solve that mystery, the ambition would be to export that to the rest of the world,” Pagano said. “Can we help save the Great Barrier Reef or the Caribbean coral that has been severely damaged?”


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