King Salman to open a number of Ras Al-Khair projects today

Ras Al-Khair is a model of success in the establishment of giant industrial cities.
Updated 29 November 2016

King Salman to open a number of Ras Al-Khair projects today

JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman will launch on Tuesday a number of infrastructure, development and mining projects in the Ras Al-Khair Industrial City in the Eastern Province.
The launch of these projects will be yet another step in the Kingdom's march to progress. It will once again prove that Saudi Arabia — under a wise leadership and with the determination of its citizens and the integration of both the public and private sectors — is able to realize major achievements that mimic the great success stories in the oil and gas sector during the reigns of King Abdul Aziz, the founder, and his sons Saud and Faisal.
The Kingdom witnessed the establishment and development of the petrochemical sector and the establishment of the cities of Jubail and Yanbu in the era of kings Khaled, Fahd and Abdullah.
These projects, in which ministries and state institutions joined forces with private sector companies, contributed to the founding of the modern mining sector as an important pillar of Saudi industry, and a new essential tributary to the national economy with its basic and manufacturing industries.
These projects are concentrated around the industries of aluminum phosphate industries, in addition to the infrastructure projects which enabled building a world class and modern mining sector, executed according to state plans.
A strategic location was selected for the city on the east coast of the Kingdom, 80 km to the north of the city of Jubail, in order to facilitate the flow of its products to global markets.

SR130bn investments in infrastructure
Ras Al-Khair city is an economically and developmentally promising center and a model of success in the establishment of giant industrial cities which host large investment projects with their requirements for integrated services.
The volume of investments in infrastructure projects and mining industrial complexes is currently more than SR130 billion, contributing some SR35 billion to the Kingdom's gross domestic product (GDP).
Infrastructure projects and industrial mining also created 12,000 direct job opportunities, and tens of thousands of indirect opportunities for citizens, whether in factories or in infrastructure projects.
The Ras Al-Khair city projects will be a launch pad to achieve the promising goals of the sector in achieving its objectives within Saudi Vision 2030.
Development and mining infrastructure projects in Ras Al-Khair include the railway project, or what is known as the mining train; Ras Al-Khair water desalination and power plant and Ras Al-Khair port; Maaden phosphate mine in Jalamid in the northern border area; Al Ba’itha bauxite mine in the Qassim area; Maaden phosphate complex in Ras Al-Khair; and Maaden aluminum complex at Ras Al-Khair; in addition to the basic infrastructure projects implemented by the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, management and operation body in Ras Al-Khair.
The launch of these mega projects confirms the state’s determination, under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, to achieve sustainable and balanced development in all regions of the Kingdom, achieve economic diversification and establish new pillars upon which the Saudi economy can stand.
These industrial mining projects will contribute to strengthening the position of the Kingdom in world markets, as well as the private sector’s benefits of industrial integration in the sector, and exploiting investment opportunities in manufacturing industries that are supported by the availability of raw materials, infrastructure and logistics, and manufacturing complexes in the city of Ras Al-Khair.

North South Railway Line Project
The historic decision taken by the state to establish the Saudi Railway Company (SAR) to take over supervision of the implementation and operation of the North-South Railway Line Project is an important step in establishing infrastructure for the modern mining sector.
The large distance that separates the Ras Al-Khair mining city on the Arabian Gulf from phosphate and bauxite mines in both the north and center of Kingdom made a railway one of the best solutions to support the mining industry.
The railway is the most economic means of transport, and is the largest in terms of capacity, in addition to reliability for maintaining the highest security and safety standards. It is also an eco-friendly means of transport.
The SR25-billion project involves the transport of passengers and cargo, as well as the mining train through a network of 2,750 km.
The train can help Maaden Phosphate and Maaden Aluminum deliver phosphate and bauxite ore from the mines in the north and center of the Kingdom to the manufacturing areas in the cities of Ras Al-Khair.

Saudi women footballers set their sights on green goals

Updated 51 min 51 sec ago

Saudi women footballers set their sights on green goals

  • Eight female players have formed the Greens team to promote environmental causes across the Kingdom
  • The group is led by Rawh Alarfaj, who played football for 12 years

DUBAI: In the natural scheme of things, sports and environment are not easy to combine. But a group of eight Saudi women are attempting just that through their football team, the Greens.

The team’s members want to use their passion for sport to raise environmental awareness and bring about a mindset change across the Kingdom.

The Greens were established by the Saudi Sports for All Federation two months ago — specifically to promote environmental causes. The federation focuses on sports as a social, rather than professional, activity for women, men, adults, children, the elderly and people with special needs.

Leading the Greens is Rawh Alarfaj, 34, who played football for 12 years before deciding to become a coach.

“I am very passionate about sports overall, but my speciality is football and I feel I am good at it,” Alarfaj, who lives in Riyadh, told Arab News. “One of the things that keeps me going is that I am one of the founders of the Challenge Sports Club, which I manage right now.



• The Global Goals World Cup is an alternative sports tournament that creates a community and inspires and engages women from all over the world.

• A one-day football celebration was created for 30 teams in Copenhagen.

• All teams qualify by choosing and creating an action plan on how to work with one of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

“We were focused at first only on football. But from the beginning of 2017, we have also had a basketball team for women in Riyadh.”

“We run programs for everyone in society because our goal is to increase the level of public participation in sports in Saudi Arabia from 13 percent in 2015 to 40 percent by 2030, based on a study we did at the federation,” said Alarfaj.

“Today, we’re at 18 percent. The programs focus on all kinds of sports. Just days ago, in the Danish capital Copenhagen, we took part in the Global Goals World Cup, which promotes causes such as environmental ones.”

The tournament, better known as GGWC, frames the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a sport, with 30 teams worldwide competing to create the kind of world they would like to see. Each team creates an action plan with a particular global goal and strives to achieve it in their own country.

For the Greens, the focus was SDG 15: “Life on Land.” “We thought it would be a good global goal to choose right now because the issue has many sides,” Alarfaj said. “Awareness of the state of the environment is a very important topic now. So we organized a number of campaigns across the Kingdom.”

During a male professional football league game in Riyadh, Greens players distributed reusable bags as they educated the crowds about the benefits of using them instead of plastic bags.

After the event, the team — with the help of a number of young Saudis — cleaned up the stadium. They collected plastic bottles for use in building a “plastic art work” — due for completion in June — which highlights the harm they do to the planet.

The Greens promoted their cause at a football match. (Supplied photo)

The environmental protection campaign was not confined to Riyadh alone. A clean-up drive was undertaken by the Greens at a public park in Alkhobar, in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, while awareness talks were held in Jeddah about how plastic harms marine life.

“These campaigns are really important,” Alarfaj said. “A lot of young people volunteered to help us and it’s something that needs to be a part of the culture.”

Such campaigns gain the team points toward their final tournament score. “Global Goals isn’t just about football,” she said. “It’s about the SDGs and how to achieve them through sports, specifically female football. It’s very good to take part in sports for a cause and to have this culture in Saudi Arabia.”

Having taken part in the GGWC this year, the Greens hope to host the tournament in the Kingdom in a couple of years. “To win, you can’t just go out and play,” Alarfaj said. “You have to organize these campaigns and engage society in the goal you choose.

“Sports is the most peaceful activity which people can use to espouse a cause,” she said. “So I recommend that people get more engaged with sport and use it as a tool to spread awareness about different causes.”

Lujain Kashgari, 28, discovered she loved football when she was only 8 years old. She used to play the sport with her relatives as children. 

As she grew older, so did her passion for the beautiful game. “It’s my favorite hobby and biggest passion today,” said Kashgari, who was originally from Jeddah but lives in Alkhobar at present.

“My mission was to come up with an initiative that engaged the people of Eastern Province and also made a big impact on Life on Land through plastic recycling.”

A lot of young people volunteered to help – it’s something that needs to be a part of the culture.

Greens coach Rawh Alarfaj

To this end, Kashgari asked residents and communities to donate 10,000 plastic bottles to a recycling center. She also targeted children by organizing a fun learning day in the Altamimi public park, while teaching others in schools about the importance of recycling through playing a game.

“What I really liked about the GGWC is that it combines sports with humanities and a good cause,” Kashgari told Arab News. “I have learnt a lot about sustainability and simplicity, while enjoying every moment of the football tournament and scoring three goals. It was an amazing opportunity and an unforgettable experience.”

She said many Saudis lack awareness of ways to implement the specific goal of Life on Land.

“When I read about the Life on Land global goal, especially the concept of the three Rs (recycle, reuse and reduce), and looked around, even at myself, I realized that we might have known about it, but we needed a reminder,” Kashgari said.

their clean-up campaigns have attracted the interest of young Saudi volunteers. (Supplied photo)

“Even when we reached out to recycling centers, we found that they don’t really take plastic bottles unless it’s a massive amount. They don’t support communities or individuals, so I realized it’s very important that we do something about it and give it more attention.”

As a football club, the Greens were able to collect plastic bottles over a period of two weeks to recycle them. It also collaborated with five schools and two sports clubs in Alkhobar to collect 100 tons of plastic bottles, utensils and plates — the minimum required for recycling at the center.

According to Alyah Aboalola, a Greens player from Jeddah, more needs to be done for environmental protection in the Kingdom.

“I was focused more on raising awareness about the sea because local residents in Jeddah are into scuba diving as part of their interest in life under water,” Aboalola, 24, said. “There’s a lot of plastic being thrown into the sea, which affects the quality of marine life and coral life.”

Currently involved full time with a sports academy, Aboalola said she was thrilled as a Greens player to have reached the semifinals in Copenhagen.

“I’d like to do this professionally later on,” she said. “When you take part in sports, you build a community and, through it, we can do more for society. I’d like to always keep sports and environmental
causes connected.”