Ramadan starts on July 20, says senior scholar

Updated 06 July 2012

Ramadan starts on July 20, says senior scholar

The month of fasting this year will begin on July 20 and the celebration of Eid Al-Fitr will be on Aug. 19, according to a senior Islamic scholar in the Kingdom.
Member of the Council of Senior Scholars Sheikh Abdullah Al-Manie said fasting will end on Saturday Aug. 18.
The days related to religious occasions and rites will have to be confirmed by the sighting of the new moon and royal orders.
Al-Manie added the Day of Arafat will be on Thursday Oct. 25 and the next Hijra year of 1434 will start on Nov. 15.
The tradition of the last 15 years of announcing the likely beginning of Ramadan, Eid and the Haj is to help preparations to view the new moon once the statement is made, the scholar said.
The announcement also allows sufficient time to discuss matters related to the sighting of the new moon, a local newspaper reported yesterday.
Al-Manie said: “The sun will set on the 29th day of Shawwal (the 10th Hijra month following Ramadan) corresponding to Oct. 9 at 6:23 p.m., five minutes before the moon will set at 6:28 p.m.”
The first day of Dhul Qaadah (11th Hijra month) will be Monday Sept. 17 while Dhul Hijjah will start on Oct. 17. Eid Al-Adha will be on Oct. 26, he said.


Rural tourism recovers after months of forced isolation

Updated 10 July 2020

Rural tourism recovers after months of forced isolation

  • Saudis turn to domestic traveling and flock to their nation’s cooler cities and rural areas

TAIF: As Saudi citizens turn to domestic tourism in the country’s summer resorts, adapting to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, rural areas have become targeted by local tourists wishing to get away from the soaring temperatures in most of the Kingdom’s cities.

Visitors are now choosing cold Saudi cities instead of Europe, which they are accustomed to visiting, such as Taif, Al-Baha, and Abha.

COVID-19 has postponed all plans to travel abroad, and attention has now focused on domestic tourism amid strict health protocols in parks, gardens and recreational areas.

Walid Al-Hamidi, vice president of the Tourism Development Council, confirmed to Arab News that Asir, with its facilities and attractions, was ready to receive summer visitors from across the country.

He said that under the directives of Asir's governor, who supervises all activities and events directly and constantly, many committees had been formed to prepare a successful summer tourism season, to optimize the opportunity and allow people to enjoy the exceptional ambiance of Asir.

“A comprehensive tourism plan was set up two years ago, which resulted in a successful Al-Soudah Season with the support of Asir’s Investment Authority,” Al-Hamidi added.

He noted that Asir’s directives aimed this year to build an exceptional tourism model that meets optimal health standards in dealing with COVID-19.

The model is supported by the “Nashama Asir” team — consisting of 4,000 volunteers — who have been trained for months and have all the necessary skills to make the season successful. Their work will continue until the end of the pandemic and throughout the summer.

“Everyone is ready at public facilities, gardens and parks, to serve tourists,” he said, adding “tourists coming from all the over the Kingdom will be welcomed with smiles, enhanced services, and warm welcomes.”

Dr. Sami Al-Obaidi, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Taif, told Arab News that the tourism sector was the economic backbone of any country or city.

He said that Taif was considered one of the most important tourist cities, given its many attractions  that made it top of any list of places to visit in the Kingdom.

“Suspending travel abroad, and limiting tourism … due to the coronavirus pandemic, makes us, as officials and citizens in Taif, well placed for a beautiful and safe tourism season for Taif’s citizens and visitors,” said Al-Obaidi.

“Meetings are held around the clock, headed by Saad Al-Maimouni, the governor of Taif, with the participation of the relevant authorities.”

He expected all sectors, especially tourism, hospitality and a few other businesses in Taif, to recover to some extent during this season, especially now tourists have already started flocking to the region, with numbers set to increase over the coming weeks.