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Tuesday 11 October 2016
On Monday 9 Muharram 1438 (10 Oct), the Kiswa has been lowered down to its normal position as Hajj season is ending.
A new line of embroidery as added for the first time to embellish its Yemeni corner.
For the first time, the Kaaba now has its Yemeni corner embellished with a golden line. The Kaaba – a cube - has four corners, with the its northern corner known as the “Iraqi corner,” the western as the “the Levantine corner,” the southern as the “the Yemeni corner,” and its Black Stone is placed in the eastern corner of the structure.
Oct 12, 2016
MAKKAH – Cutting of rocks from Makkah mountains for development projects in the holy city would have at least 10 dangerous consequences, according to a scientific study conducted by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Institute for Haj and Umrah Research.
Dr. Turki Habeebullah, head of environment and health research at the institute, said the breaking of rocks would have a negative impact on the city’s ecology at short-term as well as long-term. “Firstly, it will lead to landslide, damaging nearby buildings,” he pointed out.
Speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette, he said such landslides would also endanger lives of people in the neighborhood. “The use of explosives and heavy equipment for breaking rocks would create minor tremors, which would have a destructive impact with the passage of time.”
The razing of mountains to level the land and blocking of natural flood path would have a negative effect on the movement of surface water at times of heavy rains.
New pathways created by torrential floods would endanger lives of residents and change the region’s hydrology, he added.
The unloading of unwanted rocks in a haphazard manner would create geotechnical dangers and increase the level of dust and pollutants in the air, Habeebullah said. “It will also lead to the spread of radon gas, which is a reason for developing lung cancer,” he added.
The health hazard from radon does not come primarily from the gas itself but rather from the radioactive products formed in the decay of radon. Lung cancer is the only observed consequence of high-concentration radon exposures.
“Sound pollution is another problem caused by rock breaking,” Habeebullah said, adding that it would affect the lives of people in the neighborhood, especially students at schools and patients at hospitals.
“The total or partial removal of mountains for leveling the ground would affect the city’s ecological balance and damage its historical value,” he pointed out. He also cautioned authorities against the use of substandard equipment used for breaking rocks in the region.
Wednesday 12 October 2016
MADINAH: Prince Sultan bin Salman, head of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH), announced that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has adopted the plan to renovate a number of historic mosques in Madinah.
The renovations are an extension of ongoing efforts to renovate and revive a number of historic mosques through the Kingdom, he said.
The announcement came during Prince Sultan’s speech at a workshop on the care and rehabilitation of historic mosques held on Monday night in Madinah, under the auspices of Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman, who is also chairman of the National Tourism Commission in the region. The workshop was attended by Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, head of the General Presidency of the Two Mosques, and was organized by the SCTNH in partnership with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call, and Guidance and the Heritage Charity Foundation.
Prince Sultan also announced the establishment of a fund for renovation of historic mosques in Madinah that will allow every citizen to participate in the process. He confirmed that King Salman given great importance to historic mosques and has emphasized that any renovation projects launched in areas like Historic Jeddah, central Riyadh, and Historic Dariyah give considerable importance to the renovation of historic mosques.
“The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques — may God bless him — has given utmost importance to the care of mosques, and generally national heritage, as evidenced by the number of projects launched, such as Iman Turki bin Abdullah Mosque,” he said. “These efforts confirm his belief that mosques are a path to history and a place for people to come together, as does the state’s adoption of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques project for care of the national heritage. The SCTNH also confirms its concern with historic mosques through its foundation of a program for
care and rehabilitation of historic mosques as part of the Urban Heritage Center, and its partnership with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs in this regard.”
“The care and attention to historic mosques began in the era of founder King Abdul Aziz and has continued throughout the eras of subsequent leaders,” said Prince Sultan, noting that Madinah saw the first of these projects.
He expressed appreciation for the initiative of Prince Faisal bin Salman to support the renovation of Al-Ijabah Historic Mosque, as well as the initiative of the General Presidency of the Grand Mosque and Prophet’s Mosque Affairs to renovate a number of historic mosques in Madinah.
He also praised the donations of citizens and businessmen in Madinah to support the renovation of 14 historic mosques. He said the purpose and message of these efforts is not merely the renovations and rehabilitation of mosques, but rather to bring to life back to these historic mosques as central pillars in the community and to appreciate the role of these mosques in national unity.
Prince Sultan also highlighted other examples of efforts toward this cause, such as King Salman’s donation of funds and resources to renovate Al-Hanafi Historic Mosque in Old Jeddah, as well as his special support of the program to renovate mosques in Old Dariyah, which includes 34 mosques. He also referred to the reopening of Al-Shafie Mosque in Old Jeddah after completion of the renovation project supported by the late King Abdullah.
At the time, an announcement was made for establishment of a fund to support renovation of historic mosques in Jeddah, said Prince Sultan, noting that efforts are currently underway to renovate Al-Memaar Mosque in Old Jeddah at the expense of the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Endowment.
He also confirmed efforts are underway to renovate Othman bin Affan historic mosque in Old Jeddah, in addition to a number of other mosques.
Prince Sultan urged citizens to participate in the renovation program, stressing the important role of these historic mosques in the community. “I urge citizens, on behalf of this country’s leadership, to participate in the renovation of these mosques, as statistics show there are thousands of mosques in the Kingdom that are abandoned and this is not acceptable to us as Muslims, as we must care for mosques before our own homes.”
The imam of Qubaa Mosque, Sheikh Saleh Al-Maghamsi, said in his speech that historic mosques in Madinah are unique and distinct in terms of their historic national identity, noting the ties of kings of this country to mosques and their attention and care of them as pillars of the community. He said care toward historic mosques is care and attention toward the Ummah.
Prince Sultan bin Salman has donated for support of renovation of two historic mosques, including Al-Anvaraf Mosque in Madinah and Al-Sakhra Mosque in Al-Ola, while Prince Faisal bin Salman also donated support to renovation of Al-Ijabah Mosque in Madinah.
During the workshop, a number of attendees also donated in support of renovation efforts. A cooperation agreement was signed between the Tourism Development Council in Madinah and the Madinah Development Commission to renovate a number of mosques. Fourteen mosques are set to be renovated, while work in another 53 mosques in Madinah will begin in line with available funding and support.
October 15, 2016
Hyderabad: Royal Embassy Saudi Arabia has made Health Insurance obligatory for all passengers irrespective of type of visa they are applying for. Even if one is getting transit visa then also he has to produce heath insurance certificate.
This health insurance certificate can be obtained only through Enjaz Banking Services of Saudi Embassy, for which one has to pay a fee of 254 American dollars (approximately Rs 17400).
Insurance amount has to be paid with visa fee.
No application for visa can be accepted without said insurance certificate from October 17 onwards.
and here: http://life-in-saudiarabia.blogspot....uired-for.html
Oct 27, 2016
Jeddah — Umrah and Haj pilgrims may also have to pay the premium for mandatory health insurance.
The Council of Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI) is studying the possibility of including pilgrims in the insurance scheme, CCHI Secretary General Muhammad Al-Husain told Saudi Gazette here on Wednesday.
The Council of Ministers’ decision issued on March 3, 2014, had exempted from mandatory health insurance Haj and Umrah pilgrims, diplomats and visitors to foreign missions and international organizations for the purpose of diplomatic work as well as guests of the State.
Al-Husain also said that sponsors will have to provide domestic workers with medical insurance.
Visitors to Saudi Arabia will be asked to select a health insurance policy of their choice when applying for the visa at the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and pay online.
Asked about the amount of premium to be paid, Al-Husain said that applicants will be offered various choices by the seven licensed insurance companies.
CCHI started applying the mandatory medical insurance scheme on visitors from all countries early this year. However, visitors from Egypt, India and Pakistan were left out. They will be included in the insurance scheme by the end of this year.
Al-Husain, was speaking at a meeting with health service providers at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday, said that there are 27 insurance companies in the Kingdom and 3,700 Hospitals.
Yet the sector still has room to develop.
“We need the number of current beds available to be doubled by 2020 to meet the demand,» he said.
However, starting from 2018 no new hospitals can be established unless they obtain international certificates.
28 Oct, 2016
Saudi Arabia has allegedly intercepted a ballistic missile launched from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen towards Islam's holiest city of Mecca, Saudi state media reports.
According to the Saudi-led coalition, Houthi rebels launched a Scud missile from Saada province towards Mecca at 21:00 local time (18:00 GMT) on Thursday. The Saudi air defense system was able to intercept and destroy the missile 65 kilometers (40 miles) from the target site. Saudi authorities said the missile caused no damage.
Major General Ahmed Asiri, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, accused Iran and Hezbollah of supporting the rebels and training them to use technology which enables them to launch such attacks. Asiri also announced retaliatory strikes against the Houthis.
The Houthis confirmed the launch of a Scud-type ballistic missile known as Burkan-1 into Saudi Arabia via Saba news agency, but said the projectile was targeting the kingdom’s busiest airport in Jeddah – not Islam’s holiest city, which lies just over 60 kilometers (37 miles) away.
This is not the first time that Houthi rebels have been accused of firing missiles into the vicinity of Mecca. Earlier this month, a ballistic missile launched from Yemen targeted a Saudi airbase in Taif, located outside the Muslim holy city. Sporadic rocket attacks on Saudi Arabia continue as the coalition upholds its military campaign in Yemen.
Tensions escalated in Yemen after Shia President Saleh was deposed in 2012 and replaced by Saudi-backed Sunni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Saleh’s Houthi supporters, aided by Iran, eventually seized the capital city Sanaa in 2014 and advanced towards the south, seizing large parts of Yemen and sending Hadi into exile.
In March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition responded with airstrikes in order to stop Houthi advances and reinstate Hadi back into power. The Houthis and their allies hold most of Yemen’s northern half, while forces loyal to Hadi share control of the rest of the country with local tribes.
Up to 10,000 people have so far been killed since the fighting began, including 3,800 civilians, according to UN estimates.
Mecca is the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad and the Muslim faith itself. Only Muslims are allowed in the city, with millions arriving for the annual Hajj pilgrimage to attend the central Masjid al-Haram (Sacred Mosque) which surrounds the Kaaba, Islam’s most sacred shrine.
Friday, Oct 28, 2016
RIYADH - Yemeni rebels have launched one of their longest-range strikes against Saudi Arabia, firing a ballistic missile that was shot down near Mecca, the Saudi-led coalition fighting them said on Friday.
The coalition has been carrying out a bombing campaign against the rebels since March last year and there have been strikes towards the bases from which the raids have been mounted.
Saudi Arabia has deployed Patriot missiles to intercept the rebel fire.
Huthi rebels launched the missile "toward the Mecca area" on Thursday evening from their Saada province stronghold just across the border, a coalition statement said.
"The air defence was able to intercept and destroyed it about 65 kilometres (40 miles) from Mecca without any damage." The rebels' sabanews website said they fired a ballistic missile towards King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, west of Mecca.
Mecca lies more than 500 kilometres (more than 300 miles) from the border.
It is the second time this month that the rebels have fired a missile of that range.
On October 9, the coalition said it had intercepted a missile near Taif, the site of a Saudi airbase some 65 kilometres (40 miles) from Mecca.
That launch came the day after a coalition air strike killed more than 140 people attending a wake for the father of a rebel leader in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, prompting threats of revenge.
In a separate incident on Thursday, rebel fire hit a two-storey residential building in the Saudi border district of Jazan but there were no casualties, the civil defence agency said.
RIVA KSA is currently handling all aspects of RIVA’s involvement in the expansion of the Holy Haram in Mecca. RIVA KSA performs the installation, operation, and maintenance of elements such as the Moveable and Fixed Skylights, Linear Luminaires, Mashrabiyas that are made entirely of Aluminum with the look of solid wood, Acoustic Ceiling and roller Shutter Gates, Foldable Partitions and Gates, Automated Glass Gates, Screens, Balustrades and Specialized Glass Facades. RIVA KSA is also involved in the design, engineering and construction of these elements.
RIVA KSA has a task force of 250 employees on site in Mecca.
The Movable Skylights are huge retractable roofs on top of the South Elevation of the new Expansion of the Holy Haram in Mecca and come up with even a whole set of superlatives: 28m in length, 17m in width, an elaborate construction of stainless steel and glass weighing 300 tons and a total of eight carriers which lift and move the complete roof structure in a most impressive and yet delicate way at the same time
The Movable Skylights are truly one of the highlights of the range of services by RIVA. 54 nodes of solid cast steel retain 237 distinctly interconnected stainless steel profiles to yield an exceptional roof construction which supports multi layered laminated insulation glass panes.
Hundreds of glass prisms are attached on top of glass panes and nodes breaking the incident sunlight into its spectral colors. Underneath the roof construction, gilded blinds face the stainless steel profiles.
This semi-shell shaped roof is located on a 7m high balustrade on top of a nearly 70m high edifice and ventilates an imposing atrium spanning several floors.
The Movable Skylights are built at the highest level comprising multiple safety sensors and is also capable of smoke extraction in case of a fire alarm.
Altogether twelve Movable Skylights are installed on the roof of the South Expansion buildings. They are all to be opened and closed individually or simultaneously by a central control room.
In contrast to the Movable Skylights, the Lower Skylights of the Haram Expansion Building of the Holy Mosque in Mecca turn out smaller in size and cannot be opened. Nonetheless, the Lower Skylights are a masterpiece of its own.
Designed, constructed and built at the same high levels of RIVA’s quality, these fixed skylights let natural sunlight in the atrium beneath. 58 single panes of multi layered laminated insulation glass are supported by a rigid base frame which in turn bears a cleverly thought out construction out of stainless steel profiles.
All components are processed and refined perfectly, gilded covers and additional glass prisms embellish the Lower Skylights to an immaculate appearance.
Twenty fans in each skylight care for sufficient ventilation. Always combined in pairs, the fans are placed in five boxes at each long side under the skylight. The box covers are opened by powerful actuators, allowing the fans to ventilate the atrium in a very efficient way. Of course, the powerful ventilation feature is also meant for forceful smoke extraction in case of an emergency.
The complete luminaire construction, starting with the substructure including the electrical equipment right through to the gilded decorative plate has been designed, manufactured and assembled by RIVA. This system comes in numerous versions and variations depending on the distinguished applications
Cornice Lightings are powerful single LED lights, which are connected and controlled by a DALI controller. These lighting systems are completely manufactured and tested in Germany. Assembled in groups of 12 lighting fixtures on panels of stainless steel, they are deployed in particular as wall lightings.
Mashrabiya Made of Aluminium
In the style of a traditional Arabic oriel, which are projecting windows enclosed with carved wood lacework, RIVA has accomplished to manufacture oriels that are made completely of Aluminum and still look as if they are of solid wood.
Intricately machined aluminum components form the body of these oriels. To achieve the convincing appeal of a traditional wooden assembly and therewith integrating seamlessly into the surrounding architecture, while taking advantage of the durability and structural stability of an aluminum construction, each part is individually coated using a specialized coating technique.
RIVA uses its trademark Teflon-based coating system in combination with water transfer printing using custom-built equipment to apply a wood grain effect to components larger in size than technically feasible before.
Using this technique and equipment, virtually any design can be applied to nearly any surface or material allowing for limitless freedom in architecture and design of modern metal structures.
Foldable Partitions and Gates
RIVA designs and manufactures sliding doors and gates in all conceivable dimensions, designs and performances.
The Foldable partitions consist of individual leaves made of aluminum, which interact in an ingenious way during an opening and closing process: when opening, the seemingly solid wall splits up into its single leaf units and folds them behind one another in order to stow them in a designated room hidden from view.
The dimensions of the largest already implemented solutions range up to 5m in height and 10m in width.
To ensure highest safety standards and rigidity all leaves are interconnected with a tongue and groove system when closed. Yet the custom-designed mechanism is engineered in a way that manual operation of even the biggest gates is possible in case of an emergency or power outage.
Each leaf is milled from a single plate of aluminum to achieve the perfect precision and quality of the structure we are aiming at.
Automated Glass Gates
Another highlight by RIVA are innovative solutions for swing leaf gates. RIVA offers two swing leaf gates and four swing leaf gates in dimensions difficult to imagine. With heights up to 7m and widths up to 14m these gates are mightily impressive.
One single gate leaf weighs up to five tons, for this reason powerful custom made motors are needed to ensure precise and smooth actuation.
RIVA has developed a security and safety concept for its gates and doors, to ensure perpetually safe operation. A weighing scale, touch and pressure sensitive sensors, state-of-the art camera technology and sophisticated control software warrant a reliable and secure opening and closing – the safety of man and machine is always granted.
The gates come in various types, sizes and designs, every gate embraces the nest materials of stainless steel, Aluminum and laminated safety glass, refined with gilding, patented Teflon-based coatings or simply state-of-the-art surface treatment technology.
Façade Elements and Screens
Ornamental façade elements fulfill several functions. The most essential purpose of a façade is to protect the structure behind, whether it is a plain wall or an opening such as ventilation outlets or small rooms for loudspeaker systems. However, the most obvious reason for cladding an edifice with appropriate façade elements are their beautiful and pleasant appearances.
RIVA is manufacturing high class façade elements and screens by milling the most elaborate ornaments from solid blocks of Aluminum and stainless steel in Islamic architectural and decorative styles. Following century-old historic patterns, RIVA transfers the legacy of Islamic art into state-of-the-art façade technology in a level that has no equal.
By exploring the limits of size and level of detail of the facades, RIVA masters any challenges whatsoever and is always committed to find the best solution. RIVA’s unique and impressive machinery park enables manufacturing one-piece Aluminum façades with 16m in length and 2.2m in width from a single solid Aluminum block. This is a worldwide unique characteristic of RIVA’s services.
The façades are combined with insulated glass panes, gilding or printed-on designs and are protected against environmental influences by the most innovative coating and varnishing methods
The balustrades that are installed at the expansion of the Holy Haram in Mecca usually come in three different types. Either containing glass panes, accurately manufactured and highly ornamented Aluminum screens, or a mixture of both glass and Aluminum between two balusters.
Specialized Glass Façades
The glass façade structures RIVA engineered for the North Bridges of the Shamiyah Expansion Project are quite unique in several different ways.
The sheer size of the individual insulated glass panes is beyond comparison to date. The 9m high glass façade is comprised of some of the biggest shaped and tempered insulated glass panes of this quality in the world. It is held by a supporting structure which is also made of glass giving it a lightness and elegance that is second to none. Additionally, each glass pane is completed with an elaborate ornament design accentuating the architecture
The glass fins, giving the façade structure the required stiffness and safety, are themselves unprecedented. Comprised of five individually shaped, tempered safety-glass panes that are laminated together. Each glass fin is fitted with milled blocks made of titanium that are joined to the glass fin during the process of lamination. These then inseparable titanium blocks hold the point holders that connect the glass panes to the fins.
All glass façade elements for the North Bridges are constructed at the highest stage. Even the frames are an engineering feat by themselves. Milled with highest precision from massive solid aluminum blocks, they contribute to the quality and the exclusiveness of this project. All aluminum frame elements as well as the nearly 9m long transom beam forming the base office façade element are varnished with a special Teflon-based coating making the surface particularly durable and nearly impervious to pollution and staining.
Below the tall glass façade elements, each arch of the North Bridges is equipped with eight pivoting windows, which are designed to function automatically, controlled by the building management system. These pivoting windows are designed so that they add to the lightweight appearance of the façade elements. They are engineered in an exceptional way and as a result they work without any frames in between the eight individual windows.
The mechanical system hidden in the transom beam underneath operates the windows in such a synchronized method, so each window – when closed – is connected to the adjacent ones and thus forming a weather tight seal.
Custom-engineered to exceed all requirements
All components RIVA is supplying for the Shamiyah project are custom-engineered and manufactured exclusively for this project in order to meet the unequalled standard of quality and durability appropriate for a project like this.
Nov 9, 2016
MAKKAH — The floors of the tents in Mina will be covered with ceramic tiles under a three-year project which began before the beginning of last year’s Haj season.
So far about 30 percent of the floors have been covered with ceramic tiles under contracts being financed by the Public Investment Fund of the Finance Ministry.
The first phase of the project covered locations specified for external pilgrims. The locations included the Jamarat area, the Wadi (valley), Al-Shuabateen and east of Mina sector.
Sources said the project has been assigned to two national companies responsible for the maintenance of the holy sites.
The two companies will install ceramic tiles in an area of 120,000 square meters.
Prior to last Haj season, 30% of the old air conditioners in the tents at Mina were upgraded.
The tents, which measure 8 meters by 8 meters, were permanently constructed by the Saudi government in the 1990 and were upgraded in 1997 to be fireproof.
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.