Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah visited three places last Wednesday in Makkah for inspection, King Faisal’s Palace, Al–Saqqaf Palace and Al-Zaher Palace.
The visits came in the light of the minister’s program of visiting cultural sites across the Kingdom, with the aim of inspecting their infrastructure and how to maintain their preservation.
The minister spoke to the people in charge of each site to consider together the kind of support that these places need.
Last April, the minister signed a memorandum of understanding with the chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, Ahmad Al-Khatib, stating that all national historical places and the archaeology sector are to be transferred to the Culture Ministry.
Royal directives are issued stating the renovating of King Faisal’s Palace and turning the palace into a national museum.
As for the other two palaces, one thing for sure is that the Ministry is keen on preserving their heritage, for Al-Saqqaf Palace has always been important for Saudis since the arrival of King Abdul Aziz to Makkah. It has been the center for government, and hosted a number of prominent guests including Hajj missions and Arab ambassadors.
As for Al-Zaher Palace, it was built back in 1946 after King Abdul Aziz returned back from his visit to Egypt, and ever since it has been one of the official palaces of the Kingdom.
This is why in preserving these palaces, a part of the Kingdom’s heritage is being preserved as well. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Saudi authorities are working hard on boosting the Kingdom’s culture, which aligns with the 2030 Vision.
“Today marks a turning point in the history of our nation,” said the Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan. “It is rare that a nation undertakes such a massive revival of its culture.”
“The transformation of arts and culture will benefit all Saudis, young and old, from every corner of our country. It will help build bridges of understanding. And for our children, we will build a Saudi Arabia where their creative spirits can flourish.” On the ministry’s Twitter account, the minister said a priority was to support Saudi talent.
‘Winter is Around You’ Campaign Sheds the Light on the Kingdom’s Desert Life
The ‘Winter is Around You’ campaign, which has been recently launched by the Saudi Tourism Authority, will highlight the stunning desert destinations and position it as the ultimate choice for winter break.
Most of the Kingdom is desert and it’s divided to three part: Al-Dahna, Al-Nafud and the Empty Quarter. In these parts, visitors can find beautiful natural oases and parks, and also those interested in hiking can get to enjoy several activities at some of the desert’s cliffs.
The campaign is also highlighting the desert camps, known as Kashtas, and shedding the light on it as a popular destination during this time of the year, it offers the perfect escape for tourists who are looking to get away from the hustle of urban life.
Other activities that suit adventure seekers are and skiing, motorbike riding and “dune bashing.” If you’re the explorer type, then you can take the time to explore and look into the history and heritage of these desert areas or try some chill activities such as camel and horse riding or camping.
The Saudi desert truly is the ideal destination for individuals, groups and family, it’s a place worth promoting for and a place deserves to have people flood to from all over the world.
See AlUla Through the Lens of Young Photographers in CaptureAlUla Photo Competition
A photography competition kicked off earlier on World Photography day and five Saudi photographers were able through their lens to showcase the beauty of AlUla.
The winner of the #CaptureAlUla Photo Competition really did a wonderful job highlighting the beauty of the area that extends to 22,561km² and include a lush oasis valley, towering sandstone mountains and historical sites.
The competition, which the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) held in co-operation with Sony Alpha, aimed to support the local talents of the Kingdom. The winners were awarded with a compact Sony Alpha 6600M camera, which has the world’s fastest Auto-focus, and a commission of 10,000 SAR from RCU.
The winners will also get to cooperate with RCU on upcoming projects, which is considered as a great opportunity for them.
Ziad Alarfaj, Sony Alpha Ambassador in KSA and another #CaptureAlUla judge commented: “The participants are all very creative, we chose those winners based on who we believe will have a brilliant future in photography. Each winner has a valuable opportunity to share their artistry with to the world, each picture was chosen not only for showcasing the beauty of its subject, but in telling the story behind it.”
Aisha Alhjairi who loves cinematography, photography and listening to classical music, earned the Design grouping. “By using pottery and dry branches, using earthy colours, and through the harmony between the elements of this artwork and the harmony of lighting in it, I wanted to show and prove that from the drought we can create an artistic picture, as beauty is created from severity, and luxury is created from simplicity,” she said while commenting on her winning image. “I made this idea specifically to show the sensual heritage (the pottery) in a different way from what is customary to touch the feelings of the recipient and bring them back to the memory.”
Check out the incredible photos and see AlUla in a different perspective through the eyes of young talents!
Saudi Arabia Ranked 6th Safest Travel Destinations in World During Pandemic
Saudi Arabia has been ranked among the six safest travel destinations during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Wego Travel Blog.
In the article “Safe Places to Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” which was published by Wego Travel Blog, the Kingdom was ranked the sixth safest country and it’s also worth mentioning that it was the only Middle Eastern country in the group.
The travel blog chose the countries according to an EU methodology for its travel risk assessment.
Australia came first first in the global safe destinations for travel during the pandemic, followed by New Zealand, Singapore, Zambia, Cuba and Saudi Arabia.
The classification comes based on the country’s ability in containing the pandemic and how efficient its health system is, regarding the number of ICUs and medical staff.