Saudi tourist visas expanded under agency’s review

A woman takes a selfie as she stands next to a camel during King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Rimah Governorate, north-east of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in this January 19, 2018 photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 02 April 2018
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Saudi tourist visas expanded under agency’s review

RIYADH: A review of tourist visa regulations has been completed by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), together with the interior and foreign ministries.
The SCTH said in a statement that it reviewed the regulations with relevant government institutions, investors and workers in tourism and transport, and groups of service providers through a series of intensive meetings and workshops.
The new visa regulations had been submitted to the relevant government authorities for approval, it said.
Visa requirements had been arranged with government and private agencies, and an integrated electronic system developed under the supervision of a team headed by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
The SCTH acted on the basis of a national tourism development strategy, approved in 2005, to develop and expand tourist visas that previously had been granted on a limited scale.
The National Transformation Program 2020 also adopted the tourist visa as one of the “initiatives of high economic feasibility.”
Prince Sultan bin Salman, president and chairman of the board of the SCTH, told AFP earlier this year that the Kingdom had affirmed its commitment to local values and culture — the most important attractions as it strives to attract tourists.
“The Kingdom is the cradle of Islam and the direction toward which all Muslims face in their prayers, and it has the honor to serve them, leaning on a legacy of civilizational, natural, cultural and tourist wealth and generous and welcoming people,” he said.


Saudi Aramco recognized as a leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Updated 22 January 2019
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Saudi Aramco recognized as a leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

JEDDAH: Saudi Aramco’s Uthmaniyah Gas Plant (UGP) has been recognized by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a “Lighthouse” manufacturing facility and a leader in technology applications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 
Saudi Aramco is the first energy company globally to be included in this select group of manufacturing sites. The plant is also the only facility in the Middle East to be recognized by WEF. 
The announcement was made ahead of WEFs annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
The gas plant is one of the world’s largest gas processing plants and was commissioned in 1981 as part of Saudi Aramco’s Master Gas System to process associated gas from oil wells. 
The use of drones and wearable technologies to inspect pipelines and machinery has helped cut inspection time by 90% in this industrial facility.
“The recognition of the Uthmaniyah Gas Plant demonstrates Saudi Aramco’s shift to transform and adapt in the rapidly changing global energy landscape. Uthmaniyah is only one part of our large integrated energy value chain where IR 4.0 technologies are playing a critical role to enable significant capital and operational efficiencies,” said Amin H. Nasser, Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Aramco.
The seven new facilities join nine other “Manufacturing Lighthouses” which WEF unveiled in September 2018. The 16 factories were selected from an initial list of 1,000 manufacturers based on their successful implementation of cutting-edge technologies of the future that drive financial and operational impact.
The “Lighthouse” program was conducted by WEF in collaboration with McKinsey during a year-long study. A study team visited UGP in Saudi Arabia and performed a thorough audit.