PopMuse: Saudi Arabia News http://popmu.se Musings of stuff en-us Copyright 2007-2020 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Saudi specialist teams to fight locust invasion https://www.arabnews.com/node/1684006/saudi-arabia https://www.arabnews.com/node/1684006/saudi-arabia Wed, 03 Jun 2020 01:53:36 UTC Mahad at Saudi Arabia Author:�Wed, 2020-06-03 04:50 RIYADH:�The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has deployed 40 field teams to fight desert locusts. The teams will operate south of Riyadh (Wadi Al-Dawasir, Al-Sulayyil, and Al-Aflaj), southeast of Asir (Ahad Rafidah, Sarat Abidah, Wadi bin Hashbal, Tathleeth, Bisha, Tareeb, and Al-Khanqah, and their affiliated centers), Najran’s governorates and eastern desert, and the eastern Taif highlands in the Makkah region. The ministry said that the Locust Control and Migratory Pest Center is implementing efforts to fight the locust problem in targeted areas, where the extent of the risk has been assessed. Teams are specially equipped to fight the locust invasion, which began as an outbreak in Yemen, Oman and the Empty Quarter. A total of 24 pest control teams, nine exploration teams, five supervision and monitoring teams and two maintenance teams have been formed to counter the threat. Teams will be supplied with over 15,000 liters of pesticides as well as safety tools, spare parts, oil, and fuel as logistical support to aid the operation. SPA Riyadh Measures aim to reduce breeding in the regions and meet the threat of swarms crossing from Oman and Yemen. Abnormal rainfall in the south of the Arabian Peninsula has coincided with the summer migration of the locust swarms from East Africa toward southwest Asia (India and Pakistan), the ministry said.� Main category:�Saudi ArabiaTags:�Saudi ArabiaLocust KSA clears 369,000 hectares of desert locust swarmsSaudi authorities clear 6,550 hectares of desert locust swarms http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Saudi project clears hundreds of mines in Yemen https://www.arabnews.com/node/1684001/saudi-arabia https://www.arabnews.com/node/1684001/saudi-arabia Wed, 03 Jun 2020 01:47:46 UTC Mahad at Saudi Arabia Author:�Wed, 2020-06-03 04:32 RIYADH:�The Saudi Project for Landmine Clearance (MASAM) in Yemen dismantled 56 anti-tank mines, three explosive devices and 257 unexploded ordnance — totaling 316 mines — during the fourth week of May. A total of 167, 303 mines have been extracted since the beginning of the project. More than 1.1 million mines have been planted by Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen during the conflict, claiming hundreds of civilian lives. Houthis are developing anti-vehicle mines and turning them into antipersonnel explosives to intimidate and terrorize civilians. The vast number of land mines continues to pose a threat to Yemeni people. MASAM aims to dismantle mines in Yemen to protect civilians and ensure that urgent humanitarian supplies are delivered safely. In April 2019, Human Right Watch said Houthi-laid mines had killed hundreds of civilians, obstructed their movement and prevented lifeline humanitarian aid from reaching people. The Kingdom’s support for humanitarian causes around the world stems from its policy of cooperation between nations and peoples to promote world peace and preserve human achievements disregarding religion or race.� Main category:�Saudi ArabiaTags:�Saudi ArabiaYemenLandminesSaudi Project for Landmine Clearance (MASAM) Saudi Arabia calls on UN to take action on Houthi landminesYemeni army destroys 500 Houthi landmines in eastern Haradh http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Saudi Arabia remains top supporter of Yemen, says envoy https://www.arabnews.com/node/1683991/saudi-arabia https://www.arabnews.com/node/1683991/saudi-arabia Wed, 03 Jun 2020 00:54:33 UTC Mahad at Saudi Arabia Wed, 2020-06-03 03:49 JEDDAH:�Saudi Arabia, which co-hosted the UN pledging event on Tuesday, continues to remain the top supporter of the war-ravaged country with its $500 million pledge. Commenting on the event, Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al-Jaber said it was a continuation of Saudi efforts to serve the Yemeni people at all fronts — humanitarian, economic, and development. Saudi Arabia “is the biggest supporter of Yemen, with a total value of humanitarian and development aid amounting to about $17 billion,” he said. Highlighting the humanitarian role of Saudi Arabia, the envoy said that the Kingdom topped the donor countries in response to the UN humanitarian plan for Yemen in 2018 with $500 million, $750 million in 2019, and is carrying out several humanitarian initiatives and programs through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief). Al-Jaber said: “Economically, the Kingdom has provided direct support of $7.8 billion to Yemen since 2012, where it supported the Central Bank of Yemen by depositing $3.2 billion (to keep it afloat), and oil derivatives worth $4.15 billion to operate power plants over several years, in addition to $435 million for the Social Welfare Fund.” The Saudi ambassador said the Kingdom is also working through the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen to implement 175 projects and initiatives including 45 in the education sector, 18 in the health sector, 20 in the energy sector, 30 related to water, 13 in the field of agriculture and fisheries, 23 in the transport sector, and 26 in the government buildings sector.” HIGHLIGHTS The Kingdom has provided direct support of $7.8 billion to Yemen since 2012. Saudi Arabia has provided oil derivatives worth $4.15 billion to keep power plants operational in Yemen. Saudi Arabia has also pledged $25 million to help Yemen fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Through the KSRelief, Saudi Arabia is carrying out several projects in different sectors of Yemen. One of the key projects is the establishment of a prosthetics center in Yemen’s Marib and Aden to help Yemeni civilians mutilated by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia. Between January and April, 1,724 persons benefited from the center in Marib.� Some 119 prosthetic limbs were fitted to 119 patients, 44 orthotic cosmetic limbs were fitted to 28 patients, and 181 prosthetic measurement services were implemented for 178 patients. The KSRelief also provides dialysis solutions and other medications necessary for treating chronic diseases to Yemen. The center provides urgent treatment for wounded and injured Yemenis in their country, and those for whom treatment is not possible in Yemen are transferred to Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region. Main category:�Saudi ArabiaTags:�YemenSaudi Arabia Saudi Arabia pledges $500m of aid to Yemen$1.35bn raised for Yemen in virtual donors conference hosted by Saudi Arabia, UN http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Hospital drive-through in Saudi Arabia is sweet medicine for patients https://www.arabnews.com/node/1683986/saudi-arabia https://www.arabnews.com/node/1683986/saudi-arabia Wed, 03 Jun 2020 00:52:35 UTC Sajjadkk at Saudi Arabia Author:�Wed, 2020-06-03 03:39 JEDDAH:�With curfews eased across much of Saudi Arabia, vital services provided by initiatives such as drive-thru pharmacies are helping to ensure social distancing for chronically ill patients. Drive-thru pharmacy services are growing worldwide, and a number of hospitals across the Kingdom have opened centers and organized staff to serve patients amid the coronavirus pandemic. The King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Jeddah launched a drive-thru service on April 5 after a partial lockdown was ordered in the city on March 29 to prevent further spread of the virus. “The hospital serves many patients across the Western region and, due to the lockdown, they are restricted from picking up their medications unless they’re given a permit allowing them to leave their homes,” said Dr. Abdulmohsin Marghalani, director of the hospital’s pharmaceutical care division. “By establishing this drive-thru, we can lower the risk of transmission, and provide patients with their medications hassle free and in the safety of their cars.” More than 9,800 medications have been dispensed to more than 3,200 patients since April 5. Patients’ waiting times have also fallen dramatically, Marghalani said. The drive-thru pharmacy allows prescriptions to be filled quickly, with patient health and safety a top priority, he added. “Patients must go through several screening points when entering the hospital, which can uncomfortable and time consuming,” Marghalani said. Extra care is taken when preparing medications, with staff wearing protective suits. Medications are properly packaged and stored, he said. Patients who contact the pharmacy call center are provided with options allowing for delivery or pickup. Increasing numbers of patients are choosing the drive-thru service. “The situation has forced many health institutions to go ahead with emergency plans. This service is also important because you have biologics (medications developed from biological sources) and fridge items that are difficult to package and deliver through service companies,” Marghalani said. Saudi Arabia has initiated a three-phase plan to return to normal life by June 21, but procedures are subject to continuous evaluation. According to Marghalani, the service will continue so that patients suffering from chronic illnesses will no longer have to come to the hospital, take a number and wait their turn — a voice message to the call center with their name and file number will suffice. Amid the uncertainty of the pandemic, the drive-thru service is considering expanding its hours of operation, he added. Main category:�Saudi ArabiaTags:�Saudi corona virusCOVID-19Drive-thru pharmacy Saudi Arabia announces 24 more COVID-19 deathsNumber of COVID-19 recoveries in Saudi Arabia reaches 64,306 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Saudi woman’s pioneering efforts to improve mental health in KSA https://www.arabnews.com/node/1683981/saudi-arabia https://www.arabnews.com/node/1683981/saudi-arabia Wed, 03 Jun 2020 00:37:25 UTC Sajjadkk at Saudi Arabia Wed, 2020-06-03 03:28 JEDDAH:�A pioneering Saudi psychiatrist has taken on a new challenge in her professional efforts to improve people’s lives. In 2005, Dr. Haifa Al-Gahtani was the first Saudi woman to specialize in psychiatry through Saudi Aramco’s Physician Development Program. She qualified as a cognitive behavioral therapist three years later. Now she has become the first Saudi woman to be accredited as a trainer/consultant in cognitive behavioral therapy by the Academy of Cognitive Therapy in Philadelphia. This means that in addition to her role as acting head of the psychiatry department of Arabian Gulf University and running her own clinic at the Renewal and Reward Center in in Safa, Dammam. Al-Gahtani can now help to train and guide a new generation of therapists. “We have many practitioners of cognitive behavioral therapy in Saudi Arabia, but the number of trainers is quite low,” she said. “My next step is to work on increasing the number of qualified, accredited supervisors.” While there is an abundance of medical doctors in Saudi Arabia, she added, the number of qualified therapists and mental-health professionals remains comparatively low. Al-Gahtani wants to address this imbalance by improving the quality of training. “There’s not a set level that you reach and then you stop; there’s always room for improvement,” she said. “I’m working on developing more programs that suit the country’s needs with regards to therapists — specifically a collaborative effort between Arabian Gulf University and the Kingdom to train qualified mental-health professionals in psychotherapy and, particularly, cognitive behavioral therapy.” Al-Gahtani has helped to train psychologists from the Ministry of Health and at the Renewal and Reward Center, and is also training psychologists as part of the “Mubadara” program, which aims to raise the efficacy of psychological services provided in the Kingdom in the form of practical intensive training. Yet Al-Gahtani did not initially set out to become a psychiatrist. Although she felt an affinity for the subject at university, she decided to specialize in internal medicine at King Saud University instead. Later, through her scholarship with Aramco, she completed a degree in psychiatry at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. HIGHLIGHTS • Dr. Haifa Al-Gahtani has become the first Saudi woman to be accredited as a trainer/consultant in cognitive behavioral therapy by the Academy of Cognitive Therapy in Philadelphia. • While there is an abundance of medical doctors in Saudi Arabia, Al-Gahtani says the number of qualified therapists and mental-health professionals remains comparatively low. She wants to address this imbalance by improving the quality of training. • She says that her interest in behavioral therapy stems from the fact that it helps patients to help themselves. “Physicians deal with physical ailments when things go wrong, with pain and rashes, tangible things that are seen and examined,” she said. “Psychiatry is more complex, in terms of what humans are suffering from, something you see the impact of rather than the actual thing. “As an example, with depression and anxiety, or even worse stages of mental illness, you see the effects in that the individual doesn’t eat or sleep, and they lose interest and contact (with others). They become detached and withdrawn because what they’re experiencing is internal, more in the way they think and feel and interact.” She said that her interest in behavioral therapy stems from the fact that it helps patients to help themselves. They are encouraged to deal with their issues by changing the outcome of situations that have a detrimental effect on their mental stability, going through different reactions and scenarios until they develop a better coping mechanism. “Part of behavioral therapy deals with oneself having the ability to make a difference in your own life, if you’re guided and provided an opportunity to do things differently, because the only way to change something you’ve been through is to do something completely different,” Al-Gahtani said. She added that there is still a social stigma surrounding mental health, which she has come up against at times. It affects not only people suffering from mental health issues but also the professionals who help them. “What surprised me when I chose to first dedicate my study to this field was hearing things not from my family, but mostly people I worked with, who would say, ‘Why do you want with this crazy major? It’s for crazy people. No one will want to marry you,’ which is nonsense,” she said. Things have started to change, however, since she first noticed such attitudes during her studies 20 years ago. Many students she taught have gone on to pursue careers in the mental health field and attitudes towards mental illness have changed with the arrival of this younger generation, who she described as “very open.” “That’s the difference I’m interested in: To change the stigma surrounding mental illness and the profession and specialty,” Al-Gahtani said. “I urge those who are suffering in silence to seek help. There is nothing to be afraid of.” Main category:�Saudi ArabiaTags:�Saudi ArabiaSaudi womenDr. Haifa Al-GahtaniSaudi psychiatrist A Saudi woman’s journey with coronavirus diseaseHow Arab News helped support one Saudi woman’s dreams http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Governor of Saudi Arabia's Qassim province review coronavirus measures https://www.arabnews.com/node/1683976/saudi-arabia https://www.arabnews.com/node/1683976/saudi-arabia Wed, 03 Jun 2020 00:16:59 UTC Mahad at Saudi Arabia Author:�Wed, 2020-06-03 03:13 RIYADH:�Qassim Gov. Prince Faisal bin Mishaal on Tuesday reviewed the�measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) taken in the wake of easing of restrictions. He reviewed reports about the measures taken during the complete lockdown and the availability of food and essential commodities. The governor was briefed about the steps taken to ensure safety of the public and measures against profiteering and hoarding of food items. Prince Faisal praised the efforts of all government bodies and the Supreme Committee for Emergency for ensuring safety of people in the region. The committee also briefed the governor about steps taken to ensure online payment methods. The governor also lauded the level of cooperation that the people had extended to the authorities during this difficult phase. Main category:�Saudi ArabiaTags:�CoronavirusQassim Qassim governor launches Eid at Home initiativeSaudi governor opens new initiative to help coronavirus-affected families in Qassim http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Prof. Tariq Ahmed Madani, Saudi academic https://www.arabnews.com/node/1683971/saudi-arabia https://www.arabnews.com/node/1683971/saudi-arabia Wed, 03 Jun 2020 00:12:26 UTC Mahad at Saudi Arabia Author:�Wed, 2020-06-03 03:07 Prof. Tariq Ahmed Madani is head of the Infection Control and Environmental Health Unit at the Jeddah-based King Abdul Aziz University Hospital.� Madani obtained his bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery (MBBS) in 1988 at the King Abdul Aziz University’s (KAU) faculty of medicine. A year later, he joined the university as a faculty member. In 1989, his degree was approved by the Medical Council of Canada’s Evaluating Examination. He served as a medical resident at the University of Ottawa, Canada, between 1991 and 1994. Madani received a fellowship in infectious diseases from the University of Manitoba, Canada, in 1996. He served as an assistant professor at KAU from 1996 to 2001. Madani obtained certifications in internal medicine and infectious disease from the American Board of Internal Medicine in 2004 and 2006, respectively. He also obtained a fellowship in internal medicine from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and a fellowship in infectious diseases from the same institute. From 2000 to 2007, he was assigned to work as an adviser to the Saudi health minister. From 2002 to 2007, he served as an associate professor at KAU’s faculty of medicine, where he taught courses on internal medicine and infectious diseases. In April 2014, the former acting health minister, Adel Fakieh, appointed Madani as an adviser to the Health Ministry to help contain the MERS coronavirus.� He received a letter of appreciation and an award of SR100,000 ($26,666) in addition to three salaries from the late King Fahd for diagnosing Rift Valley fever in Saudi Arabia and designing a strategy to control the epidemic.� Main category:�Saudi ArabiaTags:�Who's Who Abdallah Al-Mouallimi,�Saudi Arabia’s envoy to the UN in New YorkAbdulrahman Al-Fadley, Saudi minister of environment, water and agriculture http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Saudi envoy praises Japan’s support for Donors’ Conference for Yemen https://www.arabnews.com/node/1683856/saudi-arabia https://www.arabnews.com/node/1683856/saudi-arabia Tue, 02 Jun 2020 21:08:00 UTC Sajjadkk at Saudi Arabia Author:�Tue, 2020-06-02 23:59 RIYADH:�The Saudi Ambassador to Japan, Naif bin Marzouq Al-Fahadi, commended the Japanese government for its support in aid and contributions to ease the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.� Japan has made a number of pledges in the past three years during high-level meetings to help the Yemeni people, highlighting its commitment to work side by side with Saudi Arabia and UN member states. Chaired by Saudi Arabia, the Virtual Donors’ Conference for Yemen 2020, which convened on Tuesday, saw a number of pledges made by UN members. Suzuki Keisuke, Japan’s foreign affairs minister, pledged $41.2 million in aid to Yemen at the forum.� In 2017, Japan pledged $61.7 million and provided $63.5 million in aid. In 2018, it pledged $38.8 million, but provided $57.7 million in aid. In 2019, the Japanese government pledged $52.8 million and provided aid worth $44 million.� Al-Fahadi said that the initiative to convene the Virtual Donors’ Conference for Yemen 2020 comes as a result of interest from the highest levels of the Saudi leadership in light of recent developments in Yemen, including the crisis related to the consequences of the coronavirus, and to complete the efforts of reconstruction and the establishment of stability and peace in the country. He said that that the Kingdom has provided a total of $16.95 billion since the beginning of the crisis through its relief and humanitarian arms, headed by King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) and the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen. Main category:�Saudi ArabiaTags:�Naif bin Marzouq Al-Fahadisaudi-japanYemen Saudi-Japanese training programs completedSaudi Arabia repatriates 107 Saudi citizens from Japan http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Industry experts discuss future of e-gaming in Middle East https://www.arabnews.com/node/1683851/saudi-arabia https://www.arabnews.com/node/1683851/saudi-arabia Tue, 02 Jun 2020 20:53:20 UTC daniel.fountain at Saudi Arabia Author:�Tue, 2020-06-02 23:42 RIYADH: Games developers, e-sports enthusiasts and investors gathered online on Monday for a virtual “meetup” during which they discussed e-gaming opportunities in the MENA region. Organized by the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology’s ThinkTech project, “Promising opportunities for entrepreneurs in e-gaming” aimed to highlight the important role of e-sports in the future of the gaming industry. The event was moderated by Amin El-Husseini, mobile business development and senior product manager at media company MBC Group, and the speakers included Sarah Al-Saleh, an investment associate at venture capital firm STV, Vince Ghossoub, the co-founder and CEO of Lebanese web and mobile game developer Falafel Games, and Samer Wagdy, the CEO of GBarena, an Egyptian gaming platform that helps organize and manage online gaming tournaments. Ghossoub said that developers of mobile games in the region can easily compete in the global market. “In my opinion, our arena of competition is global” he said. “Let’s say there are three or four, or even 10, developers in the region; they are not competitors in one market, they are more like small tribes competing on the edge of a large empire dominated by multinational gaming giants.” He gave a game that Falafel is working on as an example of how this global approach might work, especially when demand for additional languages is taken into consideration. “One of the new multiplayer competitive games we are releasing is a trivia quiz game,” said Ghossoub. “Look up all the best word games in the world, and they don’t have Arabic as a language. And even if they did, they cannot do the content. So you can actually compete with a subpar product but better Arabic content.” Wagdy discussed the state of e-sports in the region, and in particular how mobile games are starting to gain a foothold as most game publishers add them to their portfolios. “There’s….data to show how it can help publishers to develop their games to get more activity,” he said. He also spoke about how platforms such as GBarena can help games publishers to engage more with players, and how local publishers and developers could benefit from similar services. “We can help games publishers to increase activity and reach out to more gaming communities, which helps them to get more sponsors,” he said. “Not just the big sponsors, but small sponsors who could get into the area of gaming as well.” From an investor’s perspective, Al-Saleh spoke about the kind of investments developers can expect when pitching games. “Gaming in particular is unique,” she said. “There’s IP (intellectual property), content, and technology. There are companies that are rolling out the game, such as developers and publishers. And there are businesses that are part of the ecosystem, such as payment companies, streaming companies, and so on. Investment requirements for those companies are different.” She said that venture capitalists offer a way for games companies to secure funding for a project, but added that investors have high expectations in such situations. “Venture capital is like a marathon, and the founder and the investor are on a journey,” said Al-Saleh. “It’s a long-term endeavor, which is high-risk and high-reward. A venture-capital investor who puts money in a gaming company expects it to grow exponentially to justify the risk they take at the beginning of the journey. But not all companies are suited for that kind of investment; it really depends on the fund requirement.” ThinkTech’s goal is to foresee the future of and spread digital awareness about emerging technologies, to create a stimulating digital environment. Main category:�Saudi ArabiaTags:�Saudi ArabiaE-sportsSaudi e-sports UNICEF joins Saudi e-sports charity tournamentSaudi e-sports charity tournament aims to raise $10m for COVID-19 relief http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ New design studio aims to help residents shape future of AlUla https://www.arabnews.com/node/1683831/saudi-arabia https://www.arabnews.com/node/1683831/saudi-arabia Tue, 02 Jun 2020 19:59:19 UTC daniel.fountain at Saudi Arabia Author:�Tue, 2020-06-02 22:43 ALULA: A specialized architectural design studio has been set up for residents in AlUla as part of a major urban regeneration project for the historic Saudi city. The AlUla Design Studio (UDS), launched by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), is a new public service that aims to play a key role in helping locals shape the future development of their community. Phase one of the scheme will concentrate on regeneration in AlUla South focusing on the creation of more green spaces including parks, playgrounds, and playing fields, with the revitalized Wadi AlUla as a connecting natural thread. The RCU wants to promote AlUla town as a model of urban planning, regeneration, and quality of life in the Kingdom and the UDS initiative will provide the residents of AlUla South with the opportunity to choose property styles that suit their locality. The studio will offer those looking to build residential or commercial properties a range of design templates. Drawing inspiration from traditional Arabian architecture such as shaded inner courtyards, open rooftops, and natural light the templates can be mixed and matched to enable residents to realize their dream property. By integrating modern sustainable technologies and building materials, the designs take into account comfort and quality of life while embracing the colors of AlUla to harmonize with the area’s history, heritage, and environment. The designs also maximize the use of space on each plot of land, efficiently providing residents with homes meeting family needs and ensuring that all new buildings contribute to a more community-focused AlUla. Wider boulevards and shaded walking areas will also be created. The templates align with the new user-friendly architectural guidelines recently released for AlUla residents and landowners looking to build properties. The guidelines, which also emphasize sustainable building materials and integration with infrastructure, are available to download from the UDS website at http://uds.rcu.gov.sa. Residents can get full details on how to kick-start the development of their new home or business by visiting the website and they can appoint an architect via the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs’ Balady website as the first step in applying for a building permit. Abdul Aziz Al-Aqeel, the RCU’s chief county operations officer, said: “This is the first opportunity for the community of AlUla to build not just the homes they desire, but to shape the town around them. “The community here have long been custodians of AlUla’s history and heritage, and with the UDS tools and architectural guidelines this is an opportunity for the community to become custodians of AlUla’s future too. “This is a chance to establish AlUla as a role model in Saudi Arabia for community-guided urban planning, regeneration, and quality of life – all in line with the wider realization of Vision 2030. “The process is very easy. Residents just need to visit the user-friendly UDS website for full information and to appoint an architect via Balady. A dedicated team of experts will then advise residents and their appointed architects. Further help is also available through the RCU contact center on 920025852,” he added. Urban development of this kind is part of the RCU’s plan to improve quality of life for AlUla residents, driven by RCU Gov. Prince Badr bin Farhan. The development will encompass upgrades to telecommunications and infrastructure, including the expansion of Prince Abdul Majeed bin Abdul Aziz Airport to handle 400,000 visitors annually, improvements to local services such as doubling the number of primary and intermediate schools, a new healthcare clinic, more urban green environments, plus new playgrounds and sports fields. Stephen Murray, chief of county zoning and planning at the RCU, said: “We are committed to making AlUla a better place to live, work, and visit – for this generation and those to come. “Part of that is now in the hands of the community of AlUla as it makes use of the UDS, but at the same time we are going to be undertaking a major expansion of shared spaces in AlUla. “Supported by the regenerated Wadi AlUla, which will provide a natural, walkable town, we are developing a range of public green spaces suited to the local climate. In keeping with our new architectural guidelines, these will all be in walking distance of AlUla’s homes.” Main category:�Saudi ArabiaTags:�Saudi ArabiaAlUla AlUla cultural and heritage site to reopen in OctoberRoyal Commission for AlUla participates in ‘tourism in ancient landscapes’ virtual panel http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/