Groundbreaking ceremony held for new Saudi Aramco research center at KAUST

From left, minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih, former minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and chairman of KAUST Board of Trustees Ali Al-Naimi, and president and CEO of Saudi Aramco Amin H. Nasser, in Thuwal, on Friday.
Updated 19 December 2016
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Groundbreaking ceremony held for new Saudi Aramco research center at KAUST

Saudi Aramco broke ground on the construction of a brand new, state-of-the-art research center, at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), with an expected completion date of mid-2019.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by former Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and Chairman of KAUST Board of Trustees Ali Al-Naimi, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Chairman of Saudi Aramco and Vice-Chairman of KAUST Board of Trustees Khalid Al-Falih, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco Amin H. Nasser, KAUST President Prof. Jean-Lou Chameau, and several government, academic and business dignitaries.
Al-Falih said: “Saudi Aramco and KAUST are leaders in technology development domestically and internationally. Their unique roles in developing innovative and original research is essential to the future success of the energy industry in Saudi Arabia.
“Their future joint research and development efforts, through collaboration and partnership, will help achieve the Kingdom’s strategic energy objectives and create business value in pursuit of the national objective of transition to a knowledge society, as enunciated in Vision 2030.”
“The groundbreaking (research center) marks a major milestone in the successful partnership between Saudi Aramco and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology, for the benefit of the nation as a whole,” said Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin H. Nasser.
“Our relationship started when KAUST was just an idea and today, it has grown, literally from the ground up.
A number of highly promising technologies have been produced here, such as the Saudi Aramco inspection robots, and research here has contributed to many patents.”
The facility will allow Saudi Aramco to leverage its unique position within the R&D ecosystem at KAUST to accelerate the implementation of the company’s Technology Strategy. The facility will include laboratories and offices to support research in the areas of chemicals, intelligent systems, solar energy, reservoir engineering, computational modeling, and environmental protection.
“At KAUST, we are committed to advancing science, innovation and technology through distinctive and collaborative research, which relies upon the nurturing of ideas and talent,” said KAUST President Jean-Lou Chameau. “Partnering with Saudi Aramco on this new center is the latest of a series of shared successes to foster the transition to an innovation-driven economy sustained by intellectual capital and scientific discovery.”
The new center will be an 11,300 square-meter research facility, housing 132 scientists and researchers, aimed at supporting Saudi Aramco’s upstream and downstream research domains as well as environmental protection research efforts.
“This new facility is about expanding our research needs as a business. As part of our new technology strategy we are looking to enable our research domains through capitalizing on the world-renowned scientists, exceptional facilities, and international network of academic institutions affiliated with KAUST,” said Saudi Aramco Chief Technology Officer Ahmad Khowaiter.
The facility is intended to integrate with the University community and foster strong networks with other leading R&D organizations focused on solar energy, chemicals, fuel technology, robotics, hydrocarbon recovery, computational modeling and the marine environment.


Careem honors outstanding captains in Riyadh

Updated 12 December 2018
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Careem honors outstanding captains in Riyadh

Careem held the first edition of its Captain’s Excellence Award Ceremony in Riyadh on Saturday. The event, which will be held annually, was the first-of-its-kind in the region and welcomed over 300 top-performing “captains” (Careem drivers) across the Kingdom. 

The captains were awarded based on different criteria such as: Captains with the highest number of trips, highest (customer-given) ratings and longest serving captains. Rewards were also handed out to captain ambassadors, i.e. those with the highest number of referrals and captains that were given a special shoutout on social media by customers for their dedication to their service. Several rewards were handed out along with the grand prize, a brand new car. 

Abdulla Elyas, chief people officer and co-founder of Careem, opened the event with an ode to the captains in attendance, thanking them for their service and commitment in driving impact through meaningful initiatives across the Kingdom. Some of these initiatives included the vaccination campaign in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, which helped more than 100,000 men, women and children across 17 cities get vaccinated in their own homes. Careem also collaborated with Bupa Arabia during Ramadan this year to donate clothes from customers to people in need, where over 180,000 donations were collected. 

Elyas also announced Careem’s partnership with Alwaleed Philanthropies (AP) in delivering the first installment of cars for the empowerment of people with special needs. The foundation, chaired by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, will provide a number of cars over the course of seven years to men and women of the Society for Physically Disabled Adults (Harakia) after being trained.

“Our captains are the lifeblood of our business and we wanted to celebrate these men and women for helping us achieve our mission of simplifying and improving the lives of people in the Kingdom,” Elyas said. 

“We are proud to have 395,000 ‘captainahs’ (female drivers) and captains registered with us to date in Saudi Arabia, providing over 122 million rides. This ceremony is our small way to thank them for their service and reward them for the hard work they put in every day so that people have a safe way to get around. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today” 

Muaaed Al-Saeed, a representative from the Public Transport Authority (PTA), said: “We are excited to have you all; you have overcome each obstacle you were faced with in a short span of time and for that we are extremely proud.” 

He added: “On this occasion, I convey the regards of PTA President Dr. Rumaih Al-Rumaih. The participation of myself and Majed Al-Zahrani, PTA general manager, is proof of our support to all the captains.”