Saudi Arabia’s KAUST startups win top prizes

Updated 12 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s KAUST startups win top prizes

JEDDAH: Startups from the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) have taken top prizes in the Kingdom’s recent entrepreneurship competitions.
Leading the way was KAUST startup Sadeem, a wireless sensor system for flood monitoring. After winning Best Global Startup award and clinching $100,000 in prize money at GITEX Future Stars, the startup has won first prize at the ArabNet Riyadh and most recently, the Best Entrepreneur Award from Oqal.
“These wins reflect six years of hard work. The cash prizes have allowed us to enhance each department of the company and deliver our first pilot projects,” said Sadeem co-founder Esteban Canepa.
Startups from both of the KAUST accelerator programs are also showing promise.
Quantum Solutions, a nanotech developer of quantum dots for LCD displays, LEDs and solar cells, won first place at the MIT Enterprise Forum’s Startup Smart event in Riyadh. Another KAUST startup, Al Maha Systems, a livestock tracking system for farmers, recently won the first prize in the innovation competition from the Small and Medium Enterprise Authority (Monshaat) at the Asbar Forum.
Empowering entrepreneurs is part of the university’s commitment to developing a culture of innovation and fueling the growth of the SME (small and medium enterprises) sector in Saudi Arabia.
“KAUST supports early-stage startups in the Kingdom to explore, test and build their business ideas,” said Kevin Cullen, vice president for KAUST Innovation and Economic Development. “In addition, the KAUST Research & Technology Park hosts a growing number of early-stage startups and SMEs. We support entrepreneurs throughout their entire lifecycle, from idea to market.”


Hajj Ministry: More than 7.46m Umrah visas issued so far

Updated 25 May 2019
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Hajj Ministry: More than 7.46m Umrah visas issued so far

  • The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan
  • The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience

RIYADH: The number of Umrah visas issued this year has reached 7,463,259, of which 6,964,943 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom, according to data provided by the Hajj Ministry.
There are 925,246 pilgrims still in the Kingdom, with 679,929 in Makkah and 245,317 in Madinah, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Most pilgrims — 6,185,504 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 671,356 entered by land and 108,083 arrived by sea.
The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan (1,530,855) followed by Indonesia (934,827), India (635,675), Egypt (524,728), Algeria (353,425), Yemen (323,083), Turkey (300,517), Malaysia (26,9554), Iraq (268,179) and Jordan (194,908).
The weekly data also included the number of Saudi staff within Umrah companies and institutions. They are 10,852 Saudis including 8,978 males and 1,874 females.
Developing Hajj and Umrah organizations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government.
The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience.