Housing begs urgent attention, say JEF participants

Updated 22 March 2013
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Housing begs urgent attention, say JEF participants

Participants of the Jeddah Economic Forum (JEF), which ended yesterday after a three-day run, generally felt that the annual event was “interesting and highly informative.”
“Although the forum’s theme was housing, what’s strange is that a rich country like Saudi Arabia should face the housing problem, as was indicated by some speakers,” one of them said when asked to give his reaction to the forum’s three-day deliberations held at the Jeddah Hilton. “Instead, the Kingdom with its ever-growing population should focus more on urban development,” he remarked.
Adnan H. Mandoura, secretary-general of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), which organized the forum, said: “This year’s forum tackled important issues as usual. The housing issue is something that needs to be solved in the interest of citizens,” he said, referring to the forum’s central theme. “Speakers discussed the housing issue from different perspectives and we learned a lot from their experiences. I hope we will benefit from the discussion and succeed in finding a lasting solution to the problem.”
Asya Al-Ashaikh, founder and CEO of Tamkeen, said: “The fact that this year’s forum focused on housing shows the importance given to the problem. The discussion showed a collective acknowledgement from every corner that the issue needs to be tackled as early as possible.”
Djordjija Petkoshi of Takamul, the national project for corporate social responsibility (CSR), said: “The forum was very impressive. Housing is a global problem. Saudi Arabia is really trying to come out with a strategy to tackle this problem in a more holistic way.”
Antonious Hanna, deputy general manager of Cooperative Insurance Consultancy based in Jeddah, who was attending the forum for the third year in a row, said: “It’s a good opportunity to see overseas speakers at the forum, whose expertise in various fields could benefit the Kingdom. All countries in the world are facing the housing problem, including Arab countries, because of their rising population. I believe that without proper government planning it will be difficult for any country to tackle the housing problem. The forum discussion shows the intent and seriousness of the Kingdom to find a long-term solution to meet the requirements of the people.”
Tawfik Alwan, managing partner, Emesus, said the forum tackled housing, one of the most important issues. It’s a good step. However, he said: “I believe the shortage of housing could turn into crisis if the problem is not solved in all its urgency. I am happy that many businessmen, institutions, and government agencies came together during the forum to discuss the issue.”


Saudi Arabia ‘building bridges’ with space science, KACST chief tells Vienna forum

Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), speaking before the UN Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in Vienna on June 20, 2018. (SPA)
Updated 21 min 49 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia ‘building bridges’ with space science, KACST chief tells Vienna forum

  • Between 2000 and 2017, the Kingdom launched 13 Saudi satellites along with three other satellites for communication remote sensing and scientific experiment services.

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia took part on Wednesday in a UN Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in Vienna.

The Kingdom’s delegation was headed by Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST). Saudi Arabia is an important member of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
In a speech to the conference, Prince Turki bin Saud said that the Kingdom has spared no effort to get and localize the best space sciences and techniques for use in vital fields, including education, health and management of water and natural resources, urban planning, environment surveillance, and telecommunications and satellite navigation.
The Kingdom has set a sustainable program for the satellite technology and applications that focuses on qualifying Saudi scholars, engineers and specialists, and developing infrastructure to support and sustain the country’s space industry.
Between 2000 and 2017, the Kingdom launched 13 Saudi satellites along with three other satellites for communication remote sensing and scientific experiment services. By the end of 2018, the Saudi Communication Satellite KA (SGS-1) that is being developed in cooperation with the US Lockheed Martin Company will be launched. This project includes an advanced qualification of Saudi cadres in the field of satellite designing, building and experimenting.
Prince Turki said the Kingdom established the first ground station in the region to obtain high-resolution images, operated by a center specializing in remote sensing technology in KACST. Two satellites will be launched this year, followed by other satellites in coming years to meet local needs.
He said: “Our space scientific missions in the future rely on the approach of small-scale satellite use, which contributes to achieving the low-cost scientific results in comparison with the current international missions. The Kingdom is seeking though its ambitious Vision 2030 and executive programs to build bridges of cooperation with the states that share the same interests of exploring the outer space for the common good of humankind.”
Prince Turki congratulated the Kingdom at the end of his speech on the 50th anniversary of the first UN Conference on Exploration and Peaceful Uses of the Outer Space. He praised the efforts of the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Committee and thanked the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, represented by its head Simonetta Di Pippo.