Saudi ministry to establish factory turning palm, date waste into new products

Updated 28 October 2017
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Saudi ministry to establish factory turning palm, date waste into new products

RIYADH: The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, the National Center for Palms and Dates, and the Saudi Technology Development and Investment Company (TAQNIA), studied plans to establish the biggest regional factory to benefit from palm, date and agriculture waste.
This came during a meeting presided over by Ahmed bin Saleh Ayada, undersecretary for the ministry; Sulaiman Al-Khateeb, chairman of vegetable resources at the ministry; and Mohammed Al-Nueiran, president of the center, to study the establishment of the first regional factory to turn waste from palms and dates into products of economic value.
According to Nueiran, it is planned to establish the factory near the Qassim region, the second largest main region producing palm and date waste in the Kingdom.
The factory’s productive capacity is estimated at 300,000 tons per year of the transformed products that require 500,000 tons of palms, dates and agriculture product waste.
He said that based on the study, the project is expected to create 2,000 direct and indirect new job opportunities across other production regions in Riyadh, Madinah, Al-Ahsa and other cities.
The agriculture sector in the Kingdom produces over 1.7 million tons per year of palm, date and agricultural waste.


Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

There was an explosion of joy at the podium when Antonio Felix da Costa lifted the winner’s trophy at the conclusion of the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix on Saturday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 16 December 2018
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Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

  • Three-day event at Ad Diriyah reaches spectacular climax in an unprecedented spirit of openness

The driver with the winner’s trophy was Antonio Felix da Costa — but the real winners were Saudi Arabia itself, and more than 1,000 tourists visiting the country for the first time.

Da Costa, the Andretti Motorsport driver, won the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix in front of thousands of race fans at a custom-built track in the historic district on the outskirts of Riyadh.

But in truth, the event was about much more than high-tech electric cars hurtling round a race track — thrilling though that was. The three-day festival of motorsport, culture and entertainment was Saudi Arabia’s chance to prove that it can put on a show to rival anything in the world, and which only two years ago would have been unthinkable.

The event was also the first to be linked to the Sharek electronic visa system, allowing foreigners other than pilgrims or business visitors to come to Saudi Arabia.

Jason, from the US, is spending a week in the country with his German wife, riding quad bikes in the desert and visiting heritage sites. “I’ve always wanted to come for many, many years ... I’m so happy to be here and that they’re letting us be here,” he said.

Aaron, 40, a software engineer, traveled from New York for two days. “Saudi Arabia has always been an exotic place ... and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to come here,” he said.

About 1,000 visitors used the Sharek visa, a fraction of what Saudi Arabia aims eventually to attract. 

“Hopefully we will learn from this and see what we need to do for the future, but I can tell you from now that there is a lot of demand,” said Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, vice chairman of the General Sports Authority.

His optimism was backed by Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund and a visitor to Ad Diriyah. “Such events will attract tourists and are a true celebration for young Saudis who desire a bright future,” he said.

“The vision of moderate Islam, promoted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is important both for the region and the entire world, and its realization needs to be appreciated, respected and supported.”

The event ended on Saturday night with a spectacular show by US band OneRepublic and the superstar DJ David Guetta. “Just when you think things can’t get better, they suddenly do,” said concertgoer Saleh Saud. “This is the new Saudi Arabia, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.”