Abqaiq Heaven gives Friendly City a greener hue
CEO inaugurates company’s first community-based nature areas.
As part of Aramco's continuous efforts to protect the Kingdom’s biodiversity and to guarantee a greener and better future for our communities, president and CEO Amin Nasser on Monday officially launched two new facilities in Abqaiq: Abqaiq’s Heaven and the Abqaiq Nature Reserve.
Following the Green Communities program, Abqaiq’s Heaven and the Nature Reserve are novel additions to the multiple Community Services (CS) initiatives that have been developed within Aramco communities made to enhance the company’s living environment, promote environmental awareness, and improve the quality of life.
A natural paradise
Located in the heart of the Abqaiq community, Abqaiq’s Heaven is a natural paradise that holds a sanctuary of colorful birds, vibrant plants, water features, fish and turtles, striving to preserve the environment and protect the biodiversity of Abqaiq.
Surrounded by abundance of vibrant, colorful flowers and the captivating melodious sounds of birds in the morning breeze, Faisal A. Al-Hajji, executive director of CS, along with Mohammad A. Al Sultan, CS Operations general manager, and Mohammed A. Al Hajri, Southern Area CSD manager, welcomed Nasser to the inauguration tour around the beautiful entrance scenery of Abqaiq’s Heaven.
Abqaiq’s transformation through these initiatives is yet another example of Aramco’s work in the communities and areas where we operate to ensure their biodiversity and natural ecosystems are protected and preserved.
— Amin Nasser
Participants were guided to the landscaped grounds of the eastern side of the sanctuary and walked through the Path of Light, a 60 m arch with rows of carefully positioned sparkling LED lights, illuminating the pathways to the Citrus Garden, where a variety of flowers, lemon and orange trees are featured.
The journey continued to the Duck Garden, where a lovely crafted house was placed in the middle of a pond to be the new home of ducks and geese. The Flower Walk, containing more than 4,500 seasonal flowers and bounded by various trees, was the final path taken on the east side of this piece of heaven in the desert.
“We are delighted with this new addition, which will bring a new excitement to Abqaiq’s residents and ultimately contribute to improving the quality of life. It is also in line with Aramco’s contribution toward its Green Communities,” said Hajji.
On the western side of this new green space, the group headed to the Leewan, an elegant Arabic style gazebo located at the highest level of the facility. Recycled materials like palm leaves, wood, and ropes were used to build the structure of the pavilion, carefully put together in-house by the Abqaiq maintenance base crew.
Guests proceeded to witness the presentation of the specially designed aviary, haven for more than 1,500 birds, including the golden sparrow, turtle dove, fruit dove, Barbary dove, weaverbird, sandgrouse, zebra finch, diamond dove, common quail, Java sparrow, and peafowl. These birds are gathered and living peacefully in a crafted birdcage, decorated with 450 colorful handmade wood birdhouses and 300 woven small nests.
Moving through the surroundings of the sanctuary, the group admired the Heaven’s waterfall, a marvelous cascade built with rocks collected from the community itself, with its calming and peaceful sound. Right in front of the waterfall, guests encountered the Peacock Plaza, home to two stunning peacocks who live in harmony with the environment and can be found beside one of the main Abqaiq’s Heaven seating and resting areas.
About Abqaiq’s Heaven
Location: Heart of Abqaiq Community (Center/East).
Area: 12,000 square meters
Fruit and vegetables at Abqaiq Heaven and its greenhouse: Hasawi lemons, African lemons, Lebanese lemons, trangs, oranges, bumleys, clementines, mangoes, guava, local almonds, coconut palms, bananas, grapes, papayas, figs, apples, passion fruit, chico fruit, blueberries, peaches, tomatores, cucumbers, egg plant, chilis, sweet peppers, lettuce, corn, broccoli, flower plants, leafy greens, radishes, watermelon, melons, and pumpkins.
Fish and water life: About 1,500 species of a variety of aquatic creatures, including turtles, guppies, mollies, balloon mollies, gambusia, genitors, koi, pond snails, frogs, shrimp, Tilapia fish, and water plants.
Birds: About 1,300 birds are housed here, including golden sparrows, turtle doves, fruit doves, barbary doves, weaver birds, painted sandgrouse, pin-tailed sandgrouse, zebra finches, diamond doves, common qualils, peafowls, Namawqua doves, and black-ground sparrow-larks.
Mohammad F. Al-Khaldi, administrator of Abqaiq Residential and Recreation Services Division, noted that this associated Green House offers residents and visitors the opportunity to learn how to plant and harvest their own vegetables. Additionally, a gift shop will offer residents and visitors a wide range of seeds, fruits and vegetables organically produced at Abqaiq’s Heaven and Abqaiq Community Farm.
Beside the Green House, visitors met the “Happiness Fountain,” one of the two drinking water fountains positioned around the facility.
Later during the visit, the tour stopped at Flamingo Lake, which includes several species such as guppies, mollies, gambusia, genitor, koi, turtles, pond snails, frogs, and tilapia.
The launch of Abqaiq’s Heaven ended at the Dawaniya, a Saudi traditional room decorated that merges Saudi culture to the sanctuary, providing an ideal venue to host corporate and educational events for the community.
Abqaiq Nature Reserve
As part of the launch ceremony, participants enjoyed a quick video about the new sanctuary, a safe haven for Saudi Arabian Reem gazelles and ostriches, and more than 2,000 local desert trees. From gazelles and reptiles to various kinds of fish, the reserve looks to preserve the natural eco system.
The flora and fauna in these facilities are carefully preserved and closely monitored and nourished.
About Abqaiq Nature Reserve
Location: Northern Abqaiq community
Area: 135,000 square meters
Local species available: Hundreds from each type spreading because of water availability, including Calligonum Comosum, Fagonia Bruguieri, Saxaul, Zypophyllum Coccineum, Stipagrostis, Desert Hyacinth, Heliotropium Digynum, desert grass, Cyperus Conglomeratus, Erodium Laciniatum, Astragalus, Cakile Arabica, Horwoodia Dicksoniae, Convolvulus Cephalopodus, Calotropics Procera, and more.
Adopted (planted) trees from the 1 million trees initiative, including more than 2,100 trees from the following types: Tamarix Aphylla, Prosopis Koelziana, Acacia Gerrardii, Zizphus Spna-Christi, Leptadenia Pyrotechnia, and Salvadora Persica (Arak).
Local animals: Arabian tailed lizard, desert hedgehog, and Schmidt’s fringe-toed lizard.
Emigrated birds: Eastern imperial eagle, short-toed snake eagle, European bee-eater, western yellow wagtail, and Turkistan shrike.
Local insects: Painted lady, carmine darer, plain tiger, and pitted beetle.
Adopted animals: Arabian sand gazelle (Reem), ostrich, and Caspian turtle.
Fish and waterlife: Turtles, guppies, mollies, balloon mollies, gambusia, genitors, koi, pond snails, and small frogs.