Saudi Telecom Academy promises a new generation of digital leaders

Updated 14 February 2018
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Saudi Telecom Academy promises a new generation of digital leaders

RIYADH: A new Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) Academy opened by Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar on Sunday will turn out hundreds of specialists in digital industries and e-services.
Prince Faisal inaugurated the STC Academy for digital learning and training, one of the company’s initiatives as part of Vision 2030 and the drive to build digital skills and encourage e-services in the Kingdom.
Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Sawaha attended the opening, while STC Group CEO Khaled Biyari, delivered the welcome address.
Biyari said the new academy reflects STC’s strategy for digitization. “Our vision is to make the academy a unique hub for digital leaders and specialists in the Kingdom,” he said.
The STC chief said that the academy will train hundreds of digital leaders this year and will increase the number significantly in 2019.
The academy will help meet growing demand in areas such as cybersecurity, data analysis, modern digital technology and leadership skills. Training will be carried out in collaboration with leading academic institutions from the US and Britain, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Imperial College London, and the Michigan School of Business.
“Our mission is to enhance the role of information and communication, especially in providing digital services, innovative solutions, gaining customers’ trust and enriching society,” Biyari said.
He said that the governor’s presence at the opening event highlighted the important role the academy would play in the Kingdom’s plans for digital transformation.
In a statement to media, the governor said: “The new center has taken a significant step in developing people’s skills in line with the Vision of the Kingdom.”


Saudi Arabia greets 1.68m pilgrims, passport chief reveals

Maj. Gen. Sulaiman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Yahya speaks in Jeddah on Wednesday. (SPA)
Updated 34 min 48 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia greets 1.68m pilgrims, passport chief reveals

  • The Ministry of Interior has been working hard every year to make Hajj successful and easy by using technology to facilitate Hajj permits
  • The number of pilgrims increases annually which is a good sign of a successful Hajj

JEDDAH: More than 1.68 million Hajj pilgrims had arrived in the Kingdom by noon on Thursday, the General Directorate of Passports announced.
Maj. Gen. Sulaiman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Yahya, director general of passports, told a press conference: “Up to this moment, our air, land and sea checkpoints have warmly received 1,684,629 pilgrims from different countries of the world.”
According to Al-Yahya, 1,584,085 pilgrims have arrived by air, 84,381 entered the country via land crossing points, and 16,163 came by sea.
“Under close supervision by the minister of interior, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif, and a daily follow-up by the Makkah governor, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, we had an early plan to efficiently receive Hajj worshippers. For that reason, we have all qualified personnel and modern technology available for their service so that the arrival process is done in a short time as possible,” he said.
Al-Yahya said that well-trained staff members were present to prevent lawbreakers from entering the holy sites.
“The role of these workers is to take hold of law violators and impose penalties on them. They are working 24 hours a day. For example, a driver who illegally transports pilgrims into Makkah will be fined SR10,000 ($2,600) for every passenger he is caught transporting,” Al-Yahya said.
The violation would also bring a 15-day jail sentence.
“When the same violator commits the same felony, a SR25,000 fine will be imposed for every passenger he is carrying, in addition to two months in jail. Third-time offenders will spend six months in jail and will have to pay a fine of SR50,000,” he said.
He said that about 18 drivers have been detained following violations. Punishments will vary since some were caught using relatives’ cars.
Al-Yahya said a pilgrims’ departure plan was in place to assist worshippers in departing for their countries after their rituals have been completed.
Al-Yahya highlighted the contribution of women in the passports system during Hajj.
“We have 107 women officials working at the King Abdul Aziz International Airport. There are others in different locations, such as Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah, where 58 female agents are working.”
Al-Yahya said that the directorate is using the latest technology to counter passport counterfeiting, a growing problem around the world.
He praised the Makkah Route project, saying pilgrims had been able to enter the Kingdom with minimal delay and without complications.
Pilgrims on this route took no more than 35 minutes to leave their flights and board buses for the holy city.
“Even on their way to Makkah, they don’t need to stop at checkpoints,” he said.

‘Makkah Road’ pilgrims
Thursday morning saw the arrival in Saudi Arabia of the final flights of this year’s “Makkah Road” initiative. The project, which was implemented this year, has seen 103,057 pilgrims arrive to perform Hajj on 240 flights from Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta to Jeddah and Madinah.
Al-Yahya said that the initiative has been a huge success, and represents just one of many projects that the Supreme Hajj Committee is developing under the direction of Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif.