Saudi environment ministry completes olive project

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has announced it has successfully produced more than 30 varieties of olives trees from different countries. (File photo / SPA)
Updated 31 August 2018
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Saudi environment ministry completes olive project

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has announced that the Camel and Pasture Research Center in Al-Jouf, represented by the Olive Research Unit, has successfully produced more than 30 varieties of olives trees from different countries.
The ministry said the success was “achieved due to the suitability of the Kingdom’s environmental conditions, where some of the varieties gave high productivity.”
It said intensive agricultural techniques were introduced in 2006, which proved successful and has been expanded for large enterprises and companies, adding the most modern methods of harvesting were also introduced.
The center’s Olive Research Unit was launched in 2002, with the establishment of a hereditary complex containing more than 30 varieties from the most famous olive producing countries, including Spain, Italy, Greece, Syria, Jordan, Tunisia, Turkey, and Morocco. 
The top nine categories were then selected due to their high productivity and quality.
The center produces high quality seedlings of different olive varieties, which it distributes to olive-producing farmers at nominal prices in an effort to support the industry, as olives are a widespread food security crop and an important source of healthy fats in nutrition.
Olives are grown in confined areas between latitudes of 30-45 degrees and Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that benefits from the the climate of the Mediterranean basin, particularly the northern regions of Al-Jouf, Tabuk and Hail and the southern regions of Al-Baha and Asir, where olive trees have been regarded as a blessing since ancient times.
Olive growth is suitable for mild temperates in the winter and hot temperatures in the summer.


Kareem Shamma, Qiddiya Investment Co. executive

Updated 11 min 21 sec ago
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Kareem Shamma, Qiddiya Investment Co. executive

  • Shamma has spent decades working in the Gulf Cooperation Council states
  • Shamma holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s in concrete structures from Imperial College London

Kareem Shamma has recently been appointed as the chief development officer of the entertainment, sports and cultural destination of the Qiddiya Investment Co. (QIC).

Qiddiya, which is due to open by the end of 2022, is expected to be the world’s largest entertainment city by 2030. It is located around 40 km from the center of the capital.

Shamma has spent decades working in the Gulf Cooperation Council states, with periods in Bahrain and the UAE, as well as in the UK. He started his professional life in Saudi Arabia, where he spent several years as an engineer working on Riyadh’s ring road network, including the construction of a number of its bridges and underpasses.

Shamma was the CEO of Bawabat Al-Shamal Real Estate Co. WLL (BASREC) in Qatar for seven years, between 2012 and 2019. He was responsible for delivering one of the region’s largest entertainment, hospitality and retail projects at the time.

He was regional director of URS Scott Wilson in Bahrain for two years between 2009 and 2011. He also worked for other companies in Bahrain. Shamma holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s in concrete structures from Imperial College London.

“I spent my early career in the Kingdom developing key infrastructure, as the capital city grew and the Kingdom developed. To come back a second time and work on this extraordinary project is a chance of a lifetime,” Shamma said of his new role.

Qiddiya’s chief administration officer, Abdul Aziz Al-Remaihi, said: “We welcome Kareem back to Riyadh. He has a wealth of experience that will help us to create the capital of entertainment, sports and the arts here in the Kingdom.”