Saudi Arabia Breathes Life into Newcastle Tourism

Newcastle: The City of Bridges (Shutterstock)
Newcastle: The City of Bridges (Shutterstock)
TT

Saudi Arabia Breathes Life into Newcastle Tourism

Newcastle: The City of Bridges (Shutterstock)
Newcastle: The City of Bridges (Shutterstock)

In a monumental occurrence within the sports world, the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) finalized its acquisition of Newcastle Football Club on October 7, 2021, for an astounding £240 million.

 

Saudi Arabia saw in this move a tremendous opportunity to restore the glory of one of England’s most prestigious clubs, which clinched the English Premier League title in seasons spanning from 1904 to 1909 and last claimed it in 1926.

 

The club has also lifted the FA Cup on six occasions but has failed to secure any official championships since their FA Cup triumph in 1955.

 

Two years after the club’s ownership transferred to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the renowned “Black and White Army,” also known as the Magpies, is reclaiming its glory. This week, they reached the cup final for the first time in 47 years, securing a spot in the Champions League.

 

With hopes set high, the city of Newcastle, along with its residents, anticipates a promising future encompassing sports, economic growth, and tourism.

 

Saudi Arabia's involvement has played a pivotal role in breathing new life into this northeastern English city, propelling it towards the status of an appealing destination for tourists hailing from the Gulf nations and beyond.

 

Presently, diligent endeavors are in progress to establish state-of-the-art training facilities, accompanied by significant investments in the construction of opulent hotels.

 

This ambitious development plan not only aims to elevate the city’s allure but also holds the potential to generate a multitude of employment opportunities for both local inhabitants and surrounding communities.

 

Newcastle, often hailed as the “City of Bridges,” owes its title to an impressive assortment of seven bridges, each boasting a distinctive and diverse design. Among these architectural marvels, the Tyne Bridge claims the status of an iconic landmark.

 

Moreover, Newcastle is renowned for its vibrant nightlife, rivaling that of London. It is also celebrated as a city with prestigious universities, particularly in the field of medicine. Institutions such as Newcastle University and Northumbria University attract students from all corners of the globe, including Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.

 

The people of Newcastle are widely known for their remarkable hospitality but speak a dialect that can be quite challenging even for native English speakers, as it incorporates terms not found in the English dictionary.

 

Newcastle also became renowned for its coal trade, serving as a prominent industrial hub for coal mining and exporting it to London and neighboring cities. Additionally, the city played a pioneering role in shipbuilding, engineering, weapon manufacturing, and even witnessed the birth of railways.

 



India’s Monsoon Rains a Fifth Below Normal So Far

Indian commuters use umbrellas during a hot afternoon in Kolkata, India, 14 June 2024. (EPA)
Indian commuters use umbrellas during a hot afternoon in Kolkata, India, 14 June 2024. (EPA)
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India’s Monsoon Rains a Fifth Below Normal So Far

Indian commuters use umbrellas during a hot afternoon in Kolkata, India, 14 June 2024. (EPA)
Indian commuters use umbrellas during a hot afternoon in Kolkata, India, 14 June 2024. (EPA)

India's monsoon has delivered a fifth less rain than normal so far this season, the weather department said on Monday, in a worrying sign for the vital agricultural sector.

Summer rains, critical to economic growth in Asia's third-largest economy, usually begin in the south around June 1 before spreading nationwide by July 8, allowing farmers to plant crops such as rice, cotton, soybeans, and sugarcane.

India has received 20% less rainfall than normal since June 1, according to data compiled by the state-run India Meteorological Department (IMD), with almost all regions except for a few southern states seeing shortfalls and some northwestern states experiencing heat waves.

The rain shortfall in soybean, cotton, sugarcane, and pulses-growing central India has risen to 29%, while the paddy-growing southern region received 17% more rainfall than normal due to the early onset of the monsoon, according to the data.

The northeast has received 20% less rainfall than normal so far, and the northwest some 68% less.

The lifeblood of the nearly $3.5-trillion economy, the monsoon brings nearly 70% of the rain India needs to water farms and refill reservoirs and aquifers.

In the absence of irrigation, nearly half the farmland in the world's second-biggest producer of rice, wheat and sugar depends on the annual rains that usually run until September.

"The monsoon's progress is stalled. It has weakened. But when it revives and becomes active, it can erase the rain deficit in a short burst," an IMD official told Reuters.

The official sought anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Heat wave conditions are likely to prevail in northern states for a few more days, but temperatures could start coming down from the weekend, the official added.

The maximum temperature in India's northern states is ranging between 42 and 47.6 degrees Celsius (107.6 to 117.7 degrees Fahrenheit), about 4-9 C above normal, the IMD data showed.