EP governor launches first Saudi cargo village

Updated 07 April 2015
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EP governor launches first Saudi cargo village

King Fahd International Airport (KFIA), one of the region’s fastest growing and leading international airports, Tuesday unveiled its cargo village.
The launch event was presided over by Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif, in the presence of Sulaiman Abdullah Al-Hamdan, president of the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA), royal family members, top executives of several public departments and the top management of KFIA.
The cargo village is spread over half a million square meters. More than 70 percent of goods bound for the Gulf region are destined for the Kingdom, and by facilitating operations the cargo village positions KFIA as a multi-modal shipment and clearance destination, directly serving the Eastern Province and the Kingdom.
The new facility offers direct access to Saudi Arabia and bypasses the need for cargo to transship through neighboring countries.
Al-Hamdan said: "We are delighted by the launch of the first cargo village in the Kingdom, and we believe that it will play a vital role in supporting the Saudi economy. KFIA’s cargo village offers ease of shipping and cargo services while serving as a regional hub for global companies. Most importantly, the cargo village creates new economic and employment opportunities for the Eastern Province.”
For the planning and implementation of the cargo cillage, KFIA has worked in cooperation with Saudi Customs and Changi Airports International (CAI).
The cargo village has been designed to the latest international standards and has been customized to maximize convenience for airlines and freight companies operating from KFIA. The cargo village guarantees express cargo delivery with reduced shipping times and increases cargo capacity, promising operating efficiencies for freight companies.
KFIA Director-General Yousef Al-Dhahri said: “King Fahd International Airport is proud to present to Dammam, the Kingdom and the region this dynamic facility revolutionizing the way cargo is handled in the region. With our continued partnership with Changi Airports International and their efforts, we are on track to becoming one of the region’s leading aviation hubs serving both passenger and cargo traffic. We anticipate that we will soon be starting the next phase as the demand for facilities is expected to grow strongly.”
CAI CEO Lim Liang Song lauded the close working partnership among CAI, KFIA and Saudi Customs. He said: “We are proud to be part of this partnership in bringing this innovative facility to Dammam. The cargo village will provide greater connectivity and cost efficiencies, and enhance KFIA’s position as a key regional cargo hub on the Eastern seaboard of the Kingdom.”
The two-year construction commenced in December 2012 and is now fully operational. The first of its kind for multimodal facilities in the Kingdom, the cargo village has attracted leading international and regional freight companies, such as DHL Express, NAQEL, SMSA Express, TNT and UPS, to establish express cargo clearance facilities and offices at the King Fahd Cargo Village.


GITEX Tech showcases Saudi Arabia’s regional innovation drive

Updated 33 min 22 sec ago
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GITEX Tech showcases Saudi Arabia’s regional innovation drive

DUBAI: Dubai’s GITEX Technology week showcased the region’s ability to take the lead in innovation technology, with Saudi Arabia on its way to take the driver’s seat, according to consulting firm Accenture’s country managing director in Saudi Arabia.
“Saudi Arabia will be a leader in supporting innovation and the development of new technology in the region,” Khaled Al-Dhaher told Arab News.
“I think we (Arab countries) can always complement each other in the region to make sure we have the best innovation that is relevant for us and focused on the needs of our markets,” he added.
Among the main drivers behind the Kingdom’s surge into innovation and incubation is the Center of Initiatives at Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation (Misk), which is an exclusive partner at GITEX Future Stars 2018.
Misk Innovation showcased 20 Saudi-based start-ups and incubators, ranging from 3D printing technology (SHAKL) to e-commerce (Zid) to online grocery shopping (ZADFresh).
Another prominent player from the Kingdom was the Badir Program, which helps to sustain and develop pioneering environments within the Kingdom and stays in line with following the crown prince’s Vision 2030 plan.
The plan, unveiled in 2016, is a comprehensive blueprint for the future, laying out a strategy and clear targets to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy, and develop public service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation and tourism.
“We see a big support toward start-ups in terms of seed funding, arranging funding rounds, investment funding rounds, which actually is very important to accelerate the growth of these start-ups,” Badir Program’s CEO Nawaf Al-Sahhaf told Arab News, adding: “They (start-ups) created more than 2,000 jobs in the last two years.”
The 38th annual exhibition, which kicked off on Sunday, centered around the rise of smart cities. Dubai’s government featured high-tech stands promoting the emirate’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision of a totally smart Dubai.
While Dubai is ahead of Saudi Arabia in this respect, the latter is not far behind.
“Saudi Arabia is building new cities now, and one of them is NEOM. Smart cities needs smart solutions and smart products, so Saudi Arabia is a big supporter of entrepreneurs and the private sector in order to come up with these smart solutions,” Al-Sahhaf said.
“Saudi Arabia is moving in this [Smart] direction and we are in good hands,” he added.
The Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company, Taqania, was also featured at the exhibition. Owned by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, Taqania is one of Saudi Arabia’s main proponents in a non-oil dependent Kingdom aligned with Vision 2030, and invests in technology that contributes to the country’s economic diversification.
The exhibition is split among several categories including Gulf Comms & Mobility, Global Solution Providers, Smart Workplace & Smart Homes, Value-Added Distributors, Printing & Automation, Consumer Tech, Enterprise Software, Network & Security, Future Tech and IOT Big Cloud Data.
GITEX Technology week runs from Oct. 14 to 18, with GITEX Future Stars taking place from Oct. 14 to 17.