Dammam, Jeddah, Alkhobar and Riyadh becoming ‘more affordable’ cities

Four Saudi Arabian cities improved their rankings in Numbeo’s mid-year assessment of Cost of Living Index. (Reuters)
Updated 04 July 2017
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Dammam, Jeddah, Alkhobar and Riyadh becoming ‘more affordable’ cities

JEDDAH: Four cities in Saudi Arabia – Dammam, Jeddah, Alkhobar and Riyadh – have become ‘more affordable’ this year, according to online database site Numbeo.
In its mid-year cost of living of assessment of 511 cities, the website ranked Dammam 344th in the list; Jeddah at 347th; Alkhobar at 353rd and Riyadh at 361st, respectively. Earlier this year, Dammam was ranked at 211th; Jeddah at 330rd; Alkhobar at 345th and Riyadh at 347th.
The higher a city’s ranking in the website’s Cost of Living Index – which excludes rent – indicates more affordability in terms of consumer good prices, including groceries, restaurants, transportation and utilities.
The index uses New York City as a bellwether for the rankings, which means if a city has a Cost of Living Index of 120, it is estimated to be 20 percent more expensive than New York, excluding the rent.
On the other hand, a city with a Cost of Living Index of 70 means it is 30 per cent cheaper to live in New York, discounting rentals.
Eight Indian cities were among the cheapest places to live, with Thiruvananthapuram taking the 511th spot; Mangalore at 510th; Coimbatore at 508th; Bhubaneswar at 507th; Kochi at 506th; Visakhapatnam at 505th; Mysore at 503rd and Hyderabad at 502nd.
Two Egyptian cities Alexandria (at 509th) and Cairo (at 504th) were also in the top ten affordable cities to live.
On the other side of the spectrum, Zurich in Switzerland was ranked as the world’s most expensive city, followed by Hamilton in Bermuda, and Zug in Switzerland.
The Alpine country’s reputation as a hotspot only for the world’s richest was cemented with six other Swiss cities closely lumped as least affordable addresses to live in: Geneva at 4th; Basel at 5th; Bern at 6th; Lausanne at 7th and Lugano at 9th. Two other European cities rounded the list with Reykjavik in Iceland claiming the eighth spot and Stavanger in Norway closing the top ten list.


Saudi crown prince signs raft of cooperation agreements with China

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman signs an agreement between the Kingdom and China in Beijing on Friday. (SPA)
Updated 23 February 2019
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Saudi crown prince signs raft of cooperation agreements with China

  • the crown prince headed the Saudi delegation at the third session of the China-Saudi Arabia High-Level Joint Committee

BEIJING: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Friday met with Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng to discuss ways of further developing relations between the Kingdom and China.

The meeting took place in the grand surroundings of the Great Hall of the People in the Chinese capital Beijing. After their talks, the crown prince headed the Saudi delegation at the third session of the China-Saudi Arabia High-Level Joint Committee which he co-chaired with Zheng.

Delegates at the meeting discussed moves to strengthen cooperation between the two countries on trade, investment, energy, culture and technology, as well as the coordination of political and security matters. The committee also reviewed plans for greater integration between China’s Belt and Road development strategy and the Saudi Vision 2030 reform program.

After agreeing on the minutes of the meeting, the Saudi royal and Zheng took part in the signing of a range of agreements, memorandums of understanding (MoU), investment projects and bilateral cooperation accords between the Kingdom and China:

The cooperation agreement in maritime transport between the Chinese and Saudi governments, signed by Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qassabi and Chinese Minister of Transport Li Xiaopeng.

MoU between the Kingdom’s Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources and the National Development and Reform Commission in China, signed by Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih and Ning Jizhe, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission.

MoU between the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Investment to form a working group to facilitate trade, signed by Abdul Rahman Al-Harbi, the Kingdom’s deputy minister of commerce and investment, and Qian Keming, Chinese vice minister of commerce.

Loan agreement between the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) and the Chinese Ministry of Finance to build and equip three hospitals in Yanbian city in Jilin Province, signed by Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir and the Chinese deputy finance minister.

Rehabilitation

Loan agreement between the SFD and Chinese Ministry of Finance to reconstruct and rehabilitate areas affected by earthquakes in Sichuan Province, signed by Al-Jubeir and the Chinese deputy finance minister.

Agreement between the Saudi Ministry of Interior and the Chinese Ministry of Public Security to cooperate in fighting cybercrime, signed Nasser Al-Dawood, undersecretary of the Saudi Ministry of Interior, and China’s deputy minister for public security.

MoU between the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia and China’s National Committee for energy to invest in renewable energy, signed by PIF head Yasir Al-Rumayyan, and the committee’s vice chairman.

Minutes of the meeting about cooperating in combating terrorism between the Saudi Presidency of State Security and Chinese Ministry of Public Security, signed by Lt. Gen. Abdullah Al-Qarni, deputy director-general of General Investigation for the Kingdom, and the Chinese minister.

MoU between the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property and the Chinese National Committee for Intellectual Property Rights, signed by Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Swailem, the authority’s executive chairman, and committee chairman Xin Xiangyu.

MoU to participate in investing in renewable energy projects, signed by the chairman of ACWA Power, Mohammed Abunayyan, and president of the Silk Road Fund, Wang Yanzhi.

Cooperation agreement for Saudi Aramco to acquire 9 percent of Chinese project Zhejiang Petrochemical, signed by Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser and Xung Wi, mayor of Zhushan.

Agreement between Saudi Aramco with NORINCO Group and Panjin Sincen to develop a fully integrated refining and petrochemical complex, located in the city of Panjin in China’s Liaoning province, signed by Nasser and Tang Yijun, governor of Liaoning province and chairman of NORINCO.