Saudi group plans hospital, university project in Dubai

Updated 22 January 2014
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Saudi group plans hospital, university project in Dubai

Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital (DSFH), Saudi Arabia’s premier health care concept, is set to build a AED1 billion hospital and medical university project in Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park in the UAE.
Based in Jeddah, DSFH is one of the largest private hospitals in the Middle East with a total capacity of 600 beds.
The project is set for completion in 2017. The medical university will follow by mid-2019, said a DSO source
The planned university hospital will offer 4,000 new jobs for Saudis, Emiratis and others.
Mohammed Al-Zarooni, vice chairman and CEO of DSOA, and Dr. Mazen Fakeeh, president and chairman of the board of Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital, signed the agreement at the DSOA headquarters.
“In our long-standing experience with health care services in Saudi Arabia, we have seen, experienced and treated various illnesses that are peculiar to this region,” Dr. Fakeeh said after signing the agreement.
“Our guiding motto is to utilize and impart the knowledge gained over the years in the field to bring about a marked improvement in health services for residents here. By extending our reach to Dubai from our new premises at the high-tech park, we hope to provide our quality health care to a wider cross-section of GCC residents,” said the chairman.
“We have taken special care to optimally design the hospital for the convenience of patients. As one of the few teaching hospitals in the UAE, we hope to train and enhance the supply of health care professionals who can take their rightful place in the country’s medical resource pool,” Dr. Fakeeh added.
Al-Zarooni said the move to host the hospital and the medical university in DSO is in accordance with the directive of Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, to develop the medical tourism industry. The initiative is also a step forward in the implementation of the official strategy to make Dubai a hub for medical tourism,“Al-Zarooni said.
“According to recent statistics, the number of medical tourists receiving treatment is estimated to increase by 15 percent each year. Additionally, health care spending in the UAE is expected to reach AED40 billion by 2015, while medical tourists are set to cross the 20 million mark for the same period,” Al-Zarooni added.
“We are confident that their vision to create a premier medical academic institution matches and balances our efforts to provide a better quality of life to DSO’s residents,” he said.
This project will tick all the boxes through value health treatments, best medical advice, job creation and, most importantly, the creation of a dependable knowledge in the health field that will benefit this region,” he said.
The university hospital will be constructed in two phases on a 150,000 square meter land. The hospital will offer medical services with the new 300-bed teaching hospital.
Equipped to offer secondary and tertiary medical services supported by comprehensive diagnostic centers, the hospital will primarily focus on family and patient-centered services, catering to 700,000 patients per year, with an estimated 40,000 admissions and 20,000 surgical operations.
The proposed hospital will also function as a full-service medical institution, provisioned with centers of excellence in medical and surgical sub-specialties; mother and child health, cardiology and spine surgery, plastic and cosmetic laser surgery, as well as obesity management.
Named after its patron institution, the Fakeeh Medical University has been designed to complement the new hospital’s academic care delivery setup.
The university will additionally offer its students opportunities for wider exposure, through international affiliations for exchange programs with the best medical schools in the world.
In addition, Fakeeh Medical University will partner with local universities, including the Rochester Institute of Technology in DSO, American University of Sharjah, Al Ain University and Dubai Academic City to help foster collaboration among medical students, researchers and clinical care providers.
The university hospital, along with the Fakeeh Medical University, will look to offer theoretical and practical instruction in varied fields.


Oil markets jittery over lower demand forecasts

Updated 18 November 2018
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Oil markets jittery over lower demand forecasts

RIYADH: Oil prices continued to nosedive last week over demand concerns amid an outlook of a slowing global economy. The strong US dollar weighed on both oil prices and the global demand outlook. Currencies weakened against the dollar, eroding their purchasing power.
Brent was down to $66.76 per barrel and WTI dropped to $56.46 per barrel by Friday. The former came close to its one-year low as both the International Energy Agency (IEA) and OPEC released monthly reports that articulated a darkening demand outlook in the short term. This increased fears of an oil demand slowdown. Market fundamentals also suggest that price volatility is likely to remain high in the near-term, although the oil market reached a balance in early October.
OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) arrived with bearish sentiments, revising downward its oil-demand forecast for this year and next, for the fourth month in a row. It forecast that global oil demand will rise by 1.29 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2019, 70,000 less than what OPEC expected last month. The MOMR also forecast increasing non-OPEC supply growth for 2019, with higher volumes outpacing the annual growth in world oil demand, leading to an excess in supply. The report was welcomed with open arms by the IEA, which had been at least in part responsible for driving sentiment toward a bear market. Surprisingly, OPEC warned that oil demand is falling faster than expected. Necessary action is a must.
Saudi Arabia is not sitting idly by while oil markets look as if they are heading toward instability. Markets were expecting severe US sanctions on Iran, which could have resulted in supply shortages once Iran’s crude exports went to zero. The unexpected introduction of waivers to allow eight countries to continue importing Iranian oil, was however an eye-opener. Now, as the world’s only swing producer, Saudi Arabia will have to take other measures to balance oil markets and drain excess oil from global stockpiles.
Despite what some analysts are claiming, there is currently no strategy to send less oil to the US to help reduce US stockpiles. Yes, some have claimed that Saudi crude shipments to the US are at about 600,000 barrels per day this month, which is a little more than half of what was being shipped in the summer months. But the reasons for this are related to seasonally low demand, the surge in US inventories and refineries heading into their winter maintenance season. Remember that November crude oil shipments were allocated to the US refiners last month before the US waivers on the Iranian sanctions were revealed. Also, keep in mind that Saudi Arabia owns the largest refinery in the US, which has a refining capacity that exceeds 600,000 bpd.

Lurking on the horizon is the massive US budget deficit and increasing rumblings that the US economic boom is over. 

It must be noted that there is a degree of financial manipulation underway in the oil futures markets. At the moment, there are few places where quick profits can be made, so some investors moved from stocks to commodities. Now, there are downward pressures on oil prices as some commodities market traders went long on oil futures, thinking that crude prices would rise. Then these same traders shorted natural gas, assuming that with a warmer winter, prices of that fuel would fall. Unfortunately for the traders, Trump’s sanction waivers on Iranian crude oil exports and cold weather on the US East Coast, caused exactly the reverse to take place. Oil prices fell and natural gas prices rose. Traders were therefore forced to sell their assets to cover margins, pushing oil prices lower. It is expected that some hedge funds and investment funds will also be moving away from going long on oil futures and this will cause further selling.
Lurking on the horizon is the massive US budget deficit and increasing rumbling that the US economic boom is over. The US federal budget deficit rose 17 percent in the 2018 fiscal year. It is now larger than in any year since 2012. Federal spending is up and amidst US President Donald Trump’s tax cuts, and federal revenue is not keeping pace. To make matters worse, the strong US economy and interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve have boosted the dollar.
A strong dollar makes commodities such as crude oil more expensive in international markets and reduces demand. Trump wants oil to be priced as low as possible to help bolster the US economy, which is clearly under strain, and to facilitate sales of crude abroad. But with a looming global oil shortage just a few years away due to a lack of upstream investment, it is incumbent on global oil producers to consider the long term in their output decisions.

* Faisal Mrza is an energy and oil market adviser. He was formerly with OPEC and Saudi Aramco. Reach him on Twitter: @faisalmrza