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Riyadh skyline. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: In a move aimed at preserving the cultural heritage of Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing has released a draft law prohibiting the naming of any public firms after the names of Saudi Kings, Crown Prince, or heads of state of friendly countries, Okaz newspaper reported.

The naming of such entities will only be permitted with the approval of the relevant authorities. This law aims to maintain the sanctity of the names associated with the nation’s history and traditions. As per the draft law, naming public facilities after Kings of Saudi Arabia, the Crown Prince or heads of state of friendly countries is not allowed, unless approved by higher authorities.

The law also forbids naming public facilities after the Three Holy Mosques and most of the 99 names of God, except for a few, such as Peace, Justice, First, Light, Truth, and King.

Every ministry and government agency must ensure that the names of public facilities are safe from religious and sectarian extremism, as well as intellectual or political orientations and criminal cases.

The draft law permits naming public facilities after the Rightly Guided Caliphs, the Prophet’s companions, Islamic religious scholars, martyrs on duty, and the most eminent Islamic scholars in the past and present.

The draft law also permits the use of national geographical places, medical terminology, and the names of national and international award winners, donors, and spatial projects. The use of the names of the Three Holy Mosques, including the Grand Mosque in Makkah, the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, and the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, is strictly forbidden.

The draft law stipulates that government agencies can sign sponsorship contracts for naming rights for a specific period of time and each ministry and government agency must create a directory of approved names, whether for existing facilities or planned ones. The agencies must also transfer Arabic names to Latin or English letters.