Saudis experience the magic of Wadi Hanifa in winter

Time: 22 December 2020

The valley has water channels, green corridors, walkways, and picnic spots for visitors to enjoy the scenic beauty that includes orchards and farms. (Supplied)
  • The popular location has ready-set tables and cushions available for rent in designated spots

RIYADH: With cooler winter weather sweeping Saudi Arabia, and with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) surges putting many countries back into lockdown, people in the Kingdom are heading to open spaces so they can have fun and relax in a safe yet socially distanced way.
Camping in the Kingdom, called kahsta, often involves activities that take place throughout the day and late into the night with locals enjoying different dances, cuisines, and games to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
One of the places becoming a major attraction for young people and families to enjoy the magic of wintertime is Wadi Hanifa, which is located on the outskirts of Riyadh.
It was known in the pre-Islamic era as Wadi Al-Irdh and was renamed Wadi Hanifa after the Bani Hanifa tribe that populated the area.
The valley, which runs for a length of 120 km from the northwest to southeast, was once a waste disposal site. Now it has water channels, green corridors, walkways, and picnic spots for visitors to enjoy the scenic beauty that includes orchards and farms.
Jerry Inzerillo, who is CEO of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA), told Arab News the wadi was famous because it had what humans needed: Water, food, shelter, and shade. He said it was a place where people told stories, raised their families, and prospered together, but then people began taking it for granted.
Inzerillo said that next year there would be several new attractions opening as part of the development of Wadi Hanifa.

BACKGROUND

Camping in the Kingdom, called kahsta, often involves activities that take place throughout the day and late into the night.

“We’re putting tens of thousands of new palm trees, big parks. We’re going to have pets and horses, walking and jogging trails, cafes and restaurants and petting zoos and activities. It’s going to be so much fun to be in the wadi that there will be plenty to do.”
Afnan Ahmed, who is a frequent visitor to Wadi Hanifa, said it was a place where people could enjoy themselves in big groups.
“Recently, my friends and I have been going to Wadi Hanifa, especially when the weather has become a little cooler. We wanted a place that we can all fit in, that can accommodate us, because we are many, a place where we don’t need to make any formal reservations, a place where we can relax and have fun. I think Wadi Hanifa gained popularity, especially after COVID-19 where people can’t travel abroad, and people need somewhere to breathe as it has amazing scenery.”
The popular location has ready-set tables and cushions available for rent in designated spots. The open area overlooking the valley, and with the Riyadh skyline in the distance, can be added as a newly favored evening getaway for all.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Lama Alshethri named editor-in-chief of Sayidaty magazine

Time: 22 December 2020

Lama holds a master’s degree in marketing communications from Middlesex University in Dubai and a bachelor’s degree in translation from King Saud University. (Supplied)
  • Lama holds a master’s degree in marketing communications from Middlesex University in Dubai and a bachelor’s degree in translation from King Saud University
  • Prior to joining Sayidaty, Alshethri was the digital content manager at Hia magazine

RIYADH: The Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG) has announced the appointment of Lama Ibrahim Alshethri as editor-in-chief of Sayidaty Magazine, effective Monday, Dec. 21.

“The decision complements SRMG’s future vision of taking our titles to new levels by empowering young Saudi media leaders capable of meeting the aspiration of the new generation who are today’s biggest media consumers,” SRMG Chief Executive Officer Joumana Al-Rashed said.

Lama holds a master’s degree in marketing communications from Middlesex University in Dubai and a bachelor’s degree in translation from King Saud University.

Prior to joining Sayidaty, Alshethri was the digital content manager at Hia magazine.

This article was first published in Arab News

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French restaurants in Saudi Arabia

Time: 14 July, 2020

If a trip to France seems improbable this summer, you can always channel Parisian flair at our favorite French restaurants in the Kingdom.

  • La Cuisine

    Located in Jeddah, this dining space is one of the oldest French restaurants in Saudi Arabia. The menu boasts an array of popular French dishes, including escargot.

  • Le Traiteur

    With a menu that changes every four months, this Jeddah-based restaurant offers visitors a chance to indulge in their favorite French dishes while also trying something new.

  • Paul

    The authentic French dining bakery is mostly known for its breakfast and coffee, and features a wide selection of soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees.

  • Le Grenier a Pain

    This Riyadh-based restaurant, which opened its doors in 2018, boasts a French-inspired interior that will surely transport guests. Don’t forget to try its famous crusty baguette and cheese platter.

  • Rococoa

    Situated in Riyadh, Rococoa — a play on the words “cocoa” and “Rococo” — is part ice-cream parlour, part chocolaterie and part patisserie.

  • Verdure

    This aptly titled restaurant draws inspiration for its name from the Latin word, which means fresh and tasty food. The menu includes French-inspired dishes such as baked aubergine and brioche cake.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi Arabia permits Eid Al-Adha prayers with coronavirus measures

Time: 14 July, 2020

The Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance said it has intensified its awareness and guidance campaign to adopt preventive protocols to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Prayers will only take place in certain mosques

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia said on Monday it would permit worshippers to perform Eid Al-Adha prayers at mosques.
The Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance, Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh, directed the ministry’s branches in the regions throughout the Kingdom to provide for this year’s Eid Al-Adha prayers.
Prayers will only take place in certain mosques and ensuring they use the government’s preventative measures, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The ministry said it has intensified its awareness and guidance campaign to adopt preventive protocols to combat the spread of the coronavirus through the participation of a group of advocates and scholars, in addition to publishing what was recommended by the medical committees concerned with combating the epidemic.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Dakar Saudi Arabia 2021 participants to benefit from wide range of incentives

Time: 09 July, 2020

The Mini of Carlos Sainz crests a dune during the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia, January 16, 2020. (AP Photo)
  • Competitors will benefit from a 50 percent discount on registration fees and free fuel throughout the race
  • Dakar Saudi Arabia 2021 will see the debut of Dakar Classic, a new category for vehicles that were designed before 2000 and previously competed in Dakar

RIYADH: New additions and benefits await participants in Dakar Saudi Arabia 2021 as the Kingdom steps up preparations for its second edition of the world’s most challenging race, which runs from Jan. 3 to 15.

The Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation recently opened registration for pilots and their teams.

Competitors will benefit from a 50 percent discount on registration fees and free fuel throughout the race.

Insurance coverage upgrades and attractive registration fees in the SSV category are also among the numerous incentives.

There will also be technical support at the Dakar Service Center, where pilots can benefit from tire services provided by BFGoodrich, oil analysis at Motul and exclusive merchandise at DExT.

The countdown to Dakar Saudi Arabia 2021 started last month when organizers unveiled initial details about the new route, which will begin and end in Jeddah. A rest day is scheduled for Jan. 9 in Hail.

The official announcement also featured the new technical additions and safety regulations that will be introduced in the 43rd edition of the Dakar Rally.

Dakar Saudi Arabia 2021 will see the debut of Dakar Classic, a new category for vehicles that were designed before 2000 and previously competed in Dakar, as well as vintage cars and trucks.

New regulations will include handing out the road book just 10 minutes before the start of the race stages.

Competitors will also receive aural warnings as they approach danger zones to keep them alert and maximize their safety

The inaugural edition of Dakar Saudi Arabia saw 563 pilots from 68 countries register to compete in five categories across 7,500 km of unique terrain throughout the Kingdom’s uncharted desert.

The Dakar Rally is being staged in Saudi Arabia for the second consecutive year as part of a 10-year agreement between the Kingdom and the Amaury Sport Organisation.

This article was first published in Arab News

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