Focus on religion, culture, environment

Saudi Gazette report

— The royal decrees issued by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman early Saturday focus on culture, religion and environment as the Kingdom undergoes major reforms.

A royal decree announced that the Culture Ministry was now a separate entity under Prince Badr Bin Abdullah Bin Farhan.

Prince Badr was appointed in April to the board of a newly-established General Culture Authority. He already has several top positions, including governor of a commission to develop a historic tourism destination in the country›s north.

Welcoming Prince Badr’s appointment, Minister of Information Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad said that the establishment of an independent Ministry of Culture will help the development and performance of both sectors to achieve the ambitious vision of the Kingdom.

“The separation of the two sectors of culture and information under independent ministries will give them more professionalism and specialization,” Al-Awwad said.

King Salman also ordered the formation of royal commissions for the environment and Makkah city as well as Holy Sites, and an administration for preserving historical areas in Jeddah.

Maps tweeted by state media showed that six nature reserves established by the orders “to reestablish wildlife, enhance their development and promote eco-tourism” — covered some 265,000 square kilometers (65 million acres) of territory.

One of the sites is named after King Salman and another, located between the proposed NEOM business zone and a Red Sea tourism project, after Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman.

King Salman approved a proposal by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman to establish a Historical Old Jeddah Project Management that reports to the Ministry of Culture and allocate an independent budget for the project.

This major step comes within the framework of the Saudi leadership, especially the Crown Prince, to preserve heritage.

The Historic Jeddah Project is also an extension of the development of historical areas such as the Gate of Al-Dariyah and the Royal Commission for the development of Al-Ula, improving, developing, and preserving its environment and its historical value.

The Historical Old Jeddah or otherwise called the downtown Jeddah is located in the heart of present Jeddah.

Hassan Usman Author

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