140 Saudi bright young things shortlisted from 13,000 applicants

Saudi students sit for their final high school exams in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah. (AFP)
Updated 02 May 2018

140 Saudi bright young things shortlisted from 13,000 applicants

  • Qimam Fellowship to select around 50 students for mentorship program in May
  • Female students account for 59 percent of around 140 students shortlisted

LONDON: The Qimam Fellowship, a scholarship program for Saudi students backed by corporations including Al Tayyar Travel Group, Careem, McKinsey & Company and Cisco, has completed its inaugural round of shortlisted candidates.

The fellowship program, formally launched in February, interviewed more than 140 candidates, selected from over 13,000 applicants. Interviews were conducted by more than 50 leaders from the public and private sectors, Qimam said in a statement on Wednesday.

Interviewed candidates will be informed of the outcome of the interview process and next steps on May 10, the organisation said. Approximately 50 candidates will be chosen as “Fellows” in the first round.

“The level of candidates in the interview stage was outstanding,” said Qimam’s founder and CEO Annas Abedin.

“Although the Qimam Fellowship is still in its first year, the high number of applicants and the wide range of their impressive accomplishments underscores the outstanding academic and creative potential of youth in Saudi Arabia.”

Shortlisted students were selected from over 40 universities, and are enrolled in disciplines including medicine, engineering, business and management, and media. Female candidates made up 59 percent of those selected for the initial round.

Candidates participated in two in-person interviews in Riyadh, and were quizzed on their academic and non-academic accomplishments, initiatives, and social responsibility activities.

Those conducting the interviews came from organizations including Al Khaleejiah Advertising and Public Relations, Al Tayyar Travel Group, Careem, Cisco, Bab Rizk Jameel, General Electric, Saudi Arabian Mining Company Ma’aden, McKinsey & Company, STC, Rocket Internet, Pearson, OQAL, Aberkyn and Smaat.

“We look forward to playing a role in creating new opportunities for Saudi’s next generation of business leaders, especially as we stand at such a transformative moment in the social and economic evolution of the Kingdom,” said Tom Isherwood, a Dubai-based partner at McKinsey & Company.

The Qimam Fellowship was founded with the aim of empowering “the most promising and distinguished university students in the country to achieve their full potential,” providing selected students one-on-one mentorship from senior public and private sector leaders and leadership training by professionals from renowned companies.

“We were delighted to learn about the impressive accomplishments of Qimam applicants, including the filing of patents, the receipt of prestigious national and international awards, the launch of successful companies and initiatives, and others,” said Abdullah Al-Dawood, CEO of Al Tayyar Travel Group.

“These achievements demonstrate the impressive innovative spirit of Saudi Arabia’s youth and promise a great future ahead.”


UAE to impose 50% tax on soft drinks in health drive

Updated 21 August 2019

UAE to impose 50% tax on soft drinks in health drive

  • The 50% tax on soft drinks and 100% on vaping products start Jan. 1, 2020
  • The government says the taxes are necessary to help persuade people to make healthier choices

DUBAI: The UAE government has announced new taxes of up to 100 percent aimed at vaping and soft drinks, in a bid to reduce the consumption of unhealthy products.

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, the new list of taxable products will include sugary and sweetened soft drinks, as well as powders that can be used to make drinks, and electronic smoking devices.

A statement on state-run news agency WAM said the step is aimed at reducing “consumption of unhealthy goods and modifying consumers’ behavior.”

The Cabinet decision, will add a 50 percent tax on soft drinks with added sugar, in form of a liquid, concentrate, powders, extracts or any product that may be converted into a drink.

Vaping devices and the associated products will be taxed at 100%. (File/Shutterstock)

“The decision also requires manufacturers to clearly identify the sugar content in order for consumers to make sensible healthy choices,” the statement read.

The cabinet also announced the introduction of a 100 percent tax on electronic smoking devices - irrespective of whether they contain nicotine or tobacco - and the liquids used in the devices.

The UAE government first introduced a tax on specific goods deemed harmful to human health in 2017.