Saudi crown prince winds down trip to Egypt with mosque visit

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi inspect the Al-Azhar Mosque after the first phase of restoration, funded by Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi inspect the Al-Azhar Mosque after the first phase of restoration, funded by Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi inspect the Al-Azhar Mosque after the first phase of restoration, funded by Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi inspect the Al-Azhar Mosque after the first phase of restoration, funded by Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi inspect the Al-Azhar Mosque after the first phase of restoration, funded by Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi inspect the Al-Azhar Mosque after the first phase of restoration, funded by Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi inspect the Al-Azhar Mosque after the first phase of restoration, funded by Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi inspect the Al-Azhar Mosque after the first phase of restoration, funded by Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
Updated 08 March 2018
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Saudi crown prince winds down trip to Egypt with mosque visit

CAIRO: Saudi Arabia’s crown prince wound up his three-day visit to Egypt on Tuesday with a symbolically significant visit to Al-Azhar.
Accompanied by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was given a tour of the mosque at the heart of old Cairo to see the outcome of three years of restoration work financed by a Saudi grant. Also at hand was Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb.
The mosque, built in the 10th century, is now part of a sprawling university teaching Islam as well as secular subjects and a nationwide network of schools. It is perceived to be a bastion of moderation whose teaching counters radicalism and violence.
Al-Tayeb thanked Prince Mohammed profusely for the kingdom’s help.
“This is our duty and every Saudi hopes that he can contribute, even in a simple way, to the renovation and improvement of Al-Azhar,” the Saudi heir apparent said in reply to Al-Tayeb.
The prince was given a warm welcome in Egypt, whose government views Saudi aid and investment as key to reviving the country’s battered economy. Posters featuring the prince alongside el-Sisi lined major roads in central Cairo. Pro-government television networks broadcast promotional videos about Saudi Arabia and the prince’s efforts to modernize the kingdom.
In what is perhaps a first for a Saudi heir apparent, Prince Mohammed and El-Sisi watched a play on Monday night at Cairo’s Opera House. In another first, he visited the spiritual leader of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox church, Pope Tawadros II, at the Cathedral of St. Mark in central Cairo.
He and el-Sisi traveled through one of several tunnels being built under the Suez Canal linking mainland Egypt with the Sinai peninsula. They later boarded a boat from a red-carpeted dock as an army band played marching music. The two countries have plans to build a causeway across the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba and to develop areas on both sides, including a multi-billion dollar city stretching across Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.
The prince left later Tuesday for London where he would be visiting before he travels on to Washington.


Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. (Supplied)
Updated 12 December 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s up-and-coming energy park set to transform KSA into a global industrial powerhouse

  • The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021
  • SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is fast catching up with the world’s ever-growing energy and technology scene ahead of 2030. In fact, the King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) may soon prove a global destination for energy industry investors.

The new energy city mega-project is being developed by Saudi Aramco, which received authoritization to embark on the initiative in the summer, and is operated, managed and maintained in partnership with the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON). 

With projections that the megacity will create more than 100,000 jobs, it is considered one of the most up-and-coming energy parks in the world.

SPARK will localize more than 300 new industrial services and facilities and will have specialized training centers to cater to the huge influx of manpower.

Situated in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, between Dammam and Al-Ahsa, the project will be developed in three phases. 

The first phase is scheduled for completion by 2021, while the final phase of the project is set for completion in 2035. With all this on track, the 50-square-kilometer project is poised to be a magnet for foreign and domestic investment. 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday. (SPA)

What’s more, Aramco’s espousal of SPARK will also help businesses indulge in technological development, manufacturing and exports channels and build a world-class energy supply chain. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the King Salman Energy Park at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) on Monday.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Energy Minister and Aramco Chairman Khalid Al-Falih declared SPARK a special economic zone (SEZ) in which businesses can enjoy exclusive benefits. 

“We are looking forward to collaborating with our first anchor partners at SPARK,” said Saudi Aramco President and CEO, Amin Nasser.

SPARK has already attracted investment from foreign and local companies to produce and manufacture goods and services. The first phase of the project is expected to cost about $1.6 billion. 

The park is set to attract industrial investors in the water, power, petrochemical and wastewater sectors, among others. 

Facilities at SPARK will also help investors bridge gaps in local production back home, increasing competition in the long run. 

“This energy city is exciting because it brings together a multitude of businesses,” Mark McCollum, president and CEO of Weatherford Corp, told SPARK.

“We firmly believe that collaboration and cooperation among service companies and individual providers to the energy sector is vital in breaking new ground.”

The King Salman Energy Park is also set to promote small and medium-sized enterprises. With focus on energy production, it also provides opportunities for investment in residential and commercial real estate projects.

Nasser said that the “King Salman Energy Park will spur a new era of growth for one of the Kingdom’s already thriving sectors. What’s more, it will serve as a central gateway to the region’s economies since Aramco is at the heart of the global oil and gas industry.”