King Salman to launch 7 development and service projects in Madinah

Dar Al-Hijrah is one of the major projects under construction in Madinah. (SPA)
Updated 10 November 2017
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King Salman to launch 7 development and service projects in Madinah

MADINAH: The visit of King Salman to the Madinah region carries wide prospects for the future of the city of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The visit will launch a number of development and service projects that will support economic development in the city and enhance social and economic growth.

Madinah is undergoing many large-scale developments in accommodation, education, transport, health, and infrastructure, as well as a number of other projects that aim to provide better services for pilgrims visiting the Prophet’s Mosque.
Dar Al-Hijrah is one of the major projects under construction in Madinah, and it will include the administrative offices of Hajj missions and guides, the General Cars Syndicate, a travel agency, medical missions and a number of other services. It will also include a luggage transportation station that will enable pilgrims to check their luggage and receive it in their home countries.
The area of the Dar Al-Hijrah project is about 1,600,000 square meters, and it is a few kilometers away from the Prophet’s Mosque. The capacity of the projects is about 120,000 people, and it can be considered a small city with integrated services. The cost of the project is about SR55 billion ($14.7 billion).
Dar Al-Hijrah comprises 100 towers: 20 administrative and 80 residential towers. These towers will have comfortable and secure residences for pilgrims. There will also be 76 four-star hotels and six five-star hotels, which will offer 40,000 rooms to pilgrims from different nations. There will also be a hospital with a capacity of 400 beds to serve the project and the surrounding area. There will be a transit center to transport pilgrims to and from the Prophet’s Mosque via an elevated railway above the level of roads. The project will create 31,000 job opportunities.
The project comprises three phases. Work on the first phase, to build infrastructure, started in July 2014, while the second phase will focus on building administrative offices, as well as offices for the Ministry of Hajj and the Central Hajj Committee. The third phase will be dedicated to building residential towers.
The Haramain High-Speed Rail project in Madinah is located about five kilometers away from the Prophet’s Mosque, and it has been built on an area of 147,000 square meters. The cost of the station is SR1,545,822,769, and it is one of five stations along the line which will cover 450 kilometers ­— from Makkah to Madinah — and is expected to transport about 3 million passengers annually between Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City.
The station will be a new gate serving pilgrims after the official opening of the new Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Airport. The number of journeys will be around seven trains every hour — off Hajj season — between Makkah and Jeddah, and two journeys every hour between Makkah and Madinah, bringing the daily total number of journeys to 36, carrying around 15,000 passengers. The number of journeys may increase later on.
The Haramain rail station in Madinah includes services and facilities for passengers that have been prepared according to international standards for high-speed trains. The main building includes terminals for arrivals and departures, a VIP lounge, a mosque that can accommodate up to 1,000 worshippers, a civil defense center, a helipad, train platforms, waiting area and two car parks.
Wahat Al-Qur’an (The Oasis of the Qur’an) is another major project in Madinah. This historical, educational and cultural project, which will be built on an area of 200,000 square meters, will be like a museum and cultural center for teaching Qur’an employing state-of-the-art technology.
The project includes an exhibition hall, special teaching sections for men and women, a Qur’an library, a conference center, a research center for Qur’an studies, a research department, as well as administrative sections, a public square and gardens, a support services center, and a car park.
The king will also launch Islamic University projects, with a total cost of SR843 million; projects of General Directorate of Education in Madinah, with a total cost of SR341 million; projects for the General Administration of Water Services in Madinah, with a total cost of SR235 million; projects for Taibah University, with a total cost of SR260 million; projects for Saudi Electricity Company, with a total cost of SR1 billion; projects for Madinah municipality with a total cost of SR1 billion, as well as projects for health affairs in Madinah, with a total cost of SR500 million.


Foodex Saudi promotes Kingdom’s agriculture

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz launches the event. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 49 min 34 sec ago
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Foodex Saudi promotes Kingdom’s agriculture

  • The government has been encouraging farmers to produce organic products
  • Organic food products were noticeably present at the exhibition, proving that Saudis are reconsidering their eating habits

JEDDAH: Saudi food exports will become a major non-oil industry over the next five years, according to Prince Abdul Aziz bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz, who inaugurated the four-day 6th Foodex Saudi 2018 at the Jeddah Center for Forums and Events on Monday.
During the opening of the largest Saudi international exhibition specializing in the food sector, the prince emphasized the importance of concerted efforts and international partnerships to achieve agricultural development and sustainable food security.
He said the participation of 52 countries represented by 500 international brands reflected the position that Saudi Arabia occupied economically. “It also shows the leading role played by the Kingdom in the Middle East as the largest and most attractive market for all investors,” he said.
The prince said the achievements of food and beverage industries in Saudi Arabia during the first quarter of the current year had reached 82 percent and total funding had increased by 217 percent, according to information issued by the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources. This also revealed that total Saudi exports in the food sector during the past year amounted to SR14 billion for 2017, and the sector ranked fourth in the list of major non-oil exporting industries.
Haya Al-Sunaidi, chairwoman and CEO of Reed Sunaidi Exhibition, organizer of the exhibition, told Arab News that the launch of Foodex Saudi had seen wide participation from international brands, including the latest products in fresh, chilled and frozen foods, dairy products, food services, canned goods, meat, poultry, snacks and sweets.
“This year, we have more exhibitors than those in the last edition or any previous edition of the exhibition. We have both public and private participants,” she said.
“The government has been encouraging farmers to produce organic products. Now we can see that we are producing olive oil, a thing that I had not imagined we could really have,” she said. She added that Saudi Arabia was now exporting dates, poultry and dairy products.
However, Al-Sunaidi said Saudi Arabia was still importing 80 percent of its total food consumption, which is why she believes imported brands will not affect homegrown food production.
Organic food products were noticeably present at the exhibition, proving that Saudis are reconsidering their eating habits. Al-Sunaidi said that Saudi investors and consumers are demanding more organic food products.
Al-Sunaidi said the exhibition, which is seeing European and Asian participation, offers business networking opportunities for industry professionals working in the food and beverage sector. She added that it is also showcasing new food products entering the Saudi market for the first time.
Al-Sunaidi said that leading local, regional and international companies trust the Saudi market. “Saudi Arabia has the largest food market in both the GCC countries and the Middle East. It is also one of the world’s strongest economic and consumer powers,” she said.
“Food and beverage imports are expected to increase up to SR135 billion in 2020 compared to the present rate of SR80 billion. In addition, fast-food market volume exceeds SR5 billion per year and retail sales have surged by 66 percent,” she said.
Meanwhile, general manager of a Kenyan tea company, Naveed Ariff, told Arab News that the Kenyan tea they are promoting at the exhibition is the finest tea in the world. “Unlike any other tea elsewhere, our tea production is always fresh throughout the year, the quality is incomparable and the price is reasonable,” he said.
The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) was also present at the exhibition through its booth, which spread its awareness messages to visitors on the latest food security standards aimed at protecting consumers’ health.
The winners of nine awards for food industry innovators will be announced at the exhibition.
Thomas A. Gugler, the president of the World Association of Chefs’ Societies, has announced receiving the nominations for best cold drink, best hot drink, best dairy product, best product in red meat and chicken, best product in the bakery and confectionery sector, best product in the spices and sauces sector, best frozen or cold food product, best organic food product and best healthy food product.
He said the selected candidates were highlighted to visitors, specialists and pioneers of the food industry, and they were assigned a place inside the suite dedicated to the competition at the exhibition.
In contrast, the world’s most famous chefs are competing at the “Salon Culinaire,” held under the auspices of the World Association of Chefs’ Societies and the Saudi Chefs’ Table, during which 200 chefs from the world’s most famous hotels and restaurants compete in 17 categories.