Commodore, Royal Saudi
Al-jawhara in Arabic means jewel and this is exactly what Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah wanted to give the Saudi youth, a state-of- the-art football stadium at King Abdullah Sports City, which the Saudis named Al-Jawhara. The stadium is constructed in Jeddah to replace the old one. King Abdullah ordered to build a new stadium and Saudi Aramco was tasked to supervise and construct the stadium. On May 1, 2014 the stadium was officially opened and the final of the King’s Cup — a prime competition in Saudi sports — was played between Al-Ahli team from Jeddah and Al-Shabab team from Riyadh. The stadium was packed with 60,000 spectators. King Abdullah, Crown Prince Salman, Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin and a large number of top officials and dignitaries attended the match. The first half ended 2-0 for Al-Shabab and after the first half, the official opening ceremony was launched with the national anthem, verses from the Holy Qur’an followed by speeches by Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi and Prince Nawaf bin Faisal, head of General Presidency of Youth Welfare. The match was not only a sports event but also showed the deep relations between the ruler and the ruled when few words were exchanged between King Abdullah and a young boy who was chosen to participate in the opening ceremony. Then the second half began and finally the match ended with 3-0 for Al-Shabab. At the end of the match, King Abdullah gave the trophy and medals to both teams. Last Thursday night was a night of celebration for all Saudis and especially the youth. The stadium’s beauty is breathtaking and it has been built in about a year. It reflects the iron will of the Saudi youth working at the Saudi Aramco and other Saudi companies who worked day and night to complete the project on time. The stadium was a joint venture of Al-Muhaidib Contracting Company and BESIX Construct. King Abdullah Sports City’s main stadium will be reserved for football matches and there are other buildings attached to it for smaller and indoor sports events. At the end of the day, this facility will be an entertainment facility where the youth can spend their time in a healthy manner. Now, the stadium can also be used as a tourist attraction for people who live in Jeddah or outside. In order to attract more visitors, construction of an amusement part in the vicinity of the sports city will be a good idea. One day before the King’s Cup final match, another sport event was taking place in Dammam. It was a schools sports competition. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, minister of Education and Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif inaugurated the event. The government is making all-out efforts to promote sports activities at all levels across the country. Written by Abdulateef Al‐Mulhim. Bride of the Red Sea Gets a Precious ‘Jewel’ reprinted with permission of Arab News and Abdulateef Al‐Mulhim.