Saudi Arabia, Spain sign $2.2bn defense deal

Saudi Arabia and Spain signed six agreements to establish military, air transport and technical cooperation between the two countries. (SPA)
Updated 13 April 2018

Saudi Arabia, Spain sign $2.2bn defense deal

  • Saudi Arabia will buy five small warships from the Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia
  • The crown prince’s trip to Spain follows a two-day official visit to France and a tour of the US, Britain and Egypt

Saudi Arabia and Spain signed a $2.2 billion framework agreement on defense co-operation at a ceremony on Wednesday in the Spanish capital.

The Kingdom will buy five small warships from the Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia, Spain’s army will train Saudi military personnel and contractors will build a naval construction center in Saudi Arabia.

The deal was among a raft of agreements on business, trade and culture reached during the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Spain, which concluded on Wednesday.

Earlier, the crown prince was welcomed by Spain’s King Felipe VI at the Zarzuela Palace on the outskirts of Madrid. The king hosted a luncheon in his honor attended by senior Spanish officials and businessmen. The crown prince then held talks with Defense Minister Maria Dolores Cospedal and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Spain is a leader in sectors such as renewable energy and infrastructure, which are key to Saudi Vision 2030.

Spanish companies have already won two major infrastructure contracts in Saudi Arabia. A Spanish consortium, Al-Shoula, is building the high-speed railway linking Makkah and Madinah, and the Spanish construction group FCC leads one of three consortia building Riyadh’s rapid transit system.

Saudi capsule hotels and fire extinguishing balls employed for serving pilgrims during Hajj season

Updated 13 min 19 sec ago

Saudi capsule hotels and fire extinguishing balls employed for serving pilgrims during Hajj season

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Hadiyah Association has employed global experiences and modern technology to serve pilgrims during this year’s Hajj season by introducing the “capsule hotel” and the “fire extinguishing ball.”
Made of plastic and fiberglass, each capsule hotel room is 220-cm-long, 120-cm-wide, and 120-cm-high and is supported by a metal structure. The walls are made of fireproof environment-friendly ABS, and the doors have magnetic locks that open automatically in case of power failure.
Every capsule provides good ventilation that operate at a rate of 30 cubic meters per hour and has two fans, each of which operates at three different speeds.
The capsules are also equipped with all the necessities for ending the state of Ihram, including showers, washing basins and ironing clothes, in addition to an electric control unit, safety and comfort tools, a smoke detector, a small fire extinguisher, an electronic locker for keeping personal belongings, a digital alarm clock that also shows the temperature inside the capsule, different lighting options with special lights for reading, a television, and an ionic air purifier that produces high negative ions to eliminate germs and dust.
The capsules are opened using a magnetic card programmed for each room with a pre-determined period of use.
Another invention adopted by Hadiyah Association is the fire extinguishing ball, a device that works in a matter of three-five seconds from the instant it touches flames. The ball blasts and disperses a white cloud of dried extinguishing chemicals over an area of four cubic meters to isolate the burning substance from oxygen.
The ball also releases the sound of a 138-decibel-explosion to alert nearby people and does not pose harm to humans or the environment.
It is also lightweight (1.5 kg) and convenient for women, children, and the elderly to use.