‘Humongous transformation’ predicted after huge attendances at Saudi technology event

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Visitors at the first Saudi International Exhibition & Conference for IoT at RICEC.
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A session on 'Contribution of IoT' in Progress at the RICEC Riyadh.
Updated 01 February 2018
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‘Humongous transformation’ predicted after huge attendances at Saudi technology event

RIYADH: The first Saudi International Conference for Internet of Things (IoT) concluded on a high note Monday after a very successful two-day run. It offered a perfect platform for product launches and demonstrations, and enabled sponsors and exhibitors to associate their brands with cutting-edge IoT technology.
Expressing great satisfaction at the successful conclusion of the conference, IoT exhibition and conference manager Fahad Algarni told Arab News: "We are glad to see the huge response from the visitors, participants, exhibitors and sponsors.
“Seeing the huge attendances at the workshops and the conference sessions, we are planning to double the capacity next time,” he said.
“This is a good sign for us to book more halls for exhibitions and areas for conferences here at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center for the next edition. This year we booked 5,000 square meters for the event, and we will double the arrangement next year.”
The exhibition will conclude on Tuesday, he said.
Ahmed Al-Thunayan, deputy minister for technology industry and digital capacities, visited the conference on Monday and expressed his pleasure at seeing the huge response at the first IoT conference. The ministry of telecoms and IT seeks to create an effective partnership to implement the digital transformation strategy in line with Saudi Vision 2030.
He underscored that the high-speed internet through optical fiber networks will connect more than two million houses throughout cities and villages in the Kingdom as the main initiative of the National Transformation Program (NTP-2020).
Bringing the maestros in the IoT industry together at one single platform, the maiden conference has connected hundreds of people in an unprecedented way. This is just the beginning of IoT in the Kingdom and a humongous transformation is certain to take place with the way IoT is growing, he said.
Speakers and participants underlined that the Kingdom has embraced IoT and a benchmark has been set up, with the latest business trends and processes and the emerging technologies all under one roof.
Companies participating at the event included Microsoft, GE, HP, Advanced Electronics Company, Mobily, STC, Philips, Manzel Express, Oracle and Cisco.
Muhammad Ali Imran, IT solution architect at HP, told Arab News: "I have seen young people attending this event with lots of enthusiasm. This is very good from the perspective of Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to empower youth and diversify its economy and society for sustainable development.”
Alaa Obiedat, a senior technology consultant at Oracle, said the conference was "of great help to both local and international participants for proper networking and involvement in what is going on in the IT sector here.
“It will further help in increasing fostering awareness about IoT in the Kingdom, and Oracle is willing to share its expertise as a global player.”
This first IoT conference proved to be a unique platform for everything on IoT as it brought together business leaders, executives, engineers, developers and IoT visionaries who delivered exquisite content on the innovative technology in the IoT industry which is transforming business strategies and changing the way we live, work and play.
The content ranged from the effective use of technology and its evolution over the years to the shift that needs to happen in the Kingdom to keep pace with the rest of the world.
The conference was packed, with 36 expert speakers from various parts of the world.
The essence of the event was keynote presentations, case studies and panel discussions on some of the most interesting topics of IoT and its influence in the Kingdom.


Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

Updated 26 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

  • Total relief provided by the Kingdom since the war began now stands at about $1billion
  • Latest package announced by Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir at conference in Brussels

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The announcement of the latest aid package was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir on April 25 at an international conference on the future of Syria and the region, held in the Belgian capital Brussels. He pointed out that the meeting comes after the suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma, in eastern Ghouta, which killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.

“The world is facing a regime allied with terrorist militias who believe that spreading atrocities and committing crimes will bring victory to it, and that war crimes are bearing fruit,” said Al-Jubeir. “In addition to bombing civilians with explosive barrels, the policies of starvation and siege, ethnic and sectarian cleansing, and the demographic change of Syrian cities and towns, its use of chemical weapons have shocked the entire world.”

He said that the only acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis is a peaceful political resolution, and that Saudi Arabia has been working to achieve this since the crisis began, while also working with others to end the continuing human tragedy in the war-torn country.

The Kingdom has played a role in unifying the ranks of the Syrian opposition and encouraging them to speak with one voice, he added. After the Riyadh 1 Conference in 2015, Saudi Arabia hosted the Riyadh 2 conference for the Syrian opposition in November 2017, which succeeded in unifying the factions and establishing a negotiating body to take part in the rounds of talks held since then, earning praise from the United Nations.

The foreign minister also reiterated his country’s support for the efforts of the UN secretary-general’s envoy, Stephan de Mistura, to resume negotiations between all sides of the conflict.

“The Kingdom hopes that the agreements endorsed by the international resolutions on the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to its beneficiaries will be implemented throughout Syria, regardless of their ethnic, religious, sectarian or political affiliations, and calls for the speedy release of detainees and abductees and clarifying the situation of those absent,” said Al-Jubeir. “It also renews its demand to punish individuals and institutions for war crimes and to prevent their impunity.”

He added that the worsening humanitarian crisis affecting refugees inside and outside of Syria should add to the urgency of finding a political solution and resuming the negotiating process as soon as possible.

Since the war began, the Kingdom has taken in about two and a half million Syrians and treats them like its own citizens, Al-Jubeir said, providing them with free health care, work and education. Saudi universities and schools have more than 140,000 Syrian students. He added that Saudi Arabia is also supporting and helping to care for of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, in coordination with the governments of those countries. The humanitarian assistance provided so far totals about $1 billion.