Diplomats get insider’s guide to King Abdullah Economic City future

The visit highlights the economic city’s promising investment environment and new educational projects. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 03 November 2018
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Diplomats get insider’s guide to King Abdullah Economic City future

  • Hafiz Issahaku, consul general of Ghana, told Arab News: “The trip was far beyond expectations. The visit to MBSC was the most interesting part. It offered an excellent view of the Vision 2030 objectives for this country

JEDDAH: Diplomats from more than 40 countries were shown the investment and educational advantages of King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) during a one-day visit organized by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The visit on Wednesday — the first organized by the ministry to KAEC — included commercial attaches from 42 general consulates and their spouses.
The visit highlighted the economic city’s modern services, world-class infrastructure, promising investment environment and new educational projects.
Visitors toured the city’s principal features and public facilities, including Prince Mohammed Bin Salman College (MBSC), KAEC industrial valley, King Abdullah Port and the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club.
Dr. Asma Siddiki, the interim dean of MBSC, outlined the college’s academic programs and achievements.
She highlighted the diversity of MBA students at the business school and described future collaborations with other countries through scholarships and internships.
After touring MBSC, the diplomats visited the city’s industrial valley, which is in a prime location to serve global trade on the Red Sea corridor. KAEC aims to become the new global gateway to the region.
They also visited King Abdullah Port, which is strategically located on the main Asia-Europe trunk line.
The port handled 1.2 million TEU (20-foot equivalent unit) of container traffic during the first half of 2018, a record 50 percent increase on the same period last year, making it one of the fastest-growing ports in the world.
KAEC, which occupies an area of 181 million square meters on the Red Sea coast, north of Jeddah, is expected to become one of the most important trading hubs in the Middle East and an example of the country’s commitment to private-public partnership.
Diplomats visited the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club on the beachside, an 18-hole championship golf course designed by European Golf Design and operated by Troon, the largest third-party manager of golf operations in the world.
Hafiz Issahaku, consul general of Ghana, told Arab News: “The trip was far beyond expectations. The visit to MBSC was the most interesting part. It offered an excellent view of the Vision 2030 objectives for this country.
“With such a world-class institution, the graduates the college produces will be leaders in business, innovation and entrepreneurship, and help to take the country forward.”


Misk Global Forum: UAE Higher Education Minister aces ‘job interview’

Updated 45 min 26 sec ago
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Misk Global Forum: UAE Higher Education Minister aces ‘job interview’

  • ‘You need a core major. Academic background is still important’

RIYADH: The opening session on the second day of the Misk Global Forum began with a brain teaser – how many golf balls can you fit in a school bus? – as part of a job interview, but not just with any applicant.

Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al-Falasi, the UAE’s Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, talked about higher learning and his career in the format of a job interview, conducted by moderator Razan Alayed, an advisor to the Education and Human Resources Council in the UAE.

Al-Falasi said he was surprised that even though he went to very good schools and had a PhD in engineering, he got rejected when applying to many companies because they said he was overqualified. He realized he was underqualified in consulting, so he started to work on that. His learning? “People appreciated the skills I had, not my education.”  

Still, Al-Falasi said it’s important to have a specialization in higher education. “You need a core major. Academic background is still important.”  

To be successful, he said a person needs to be confident and passionate, and that it’s important to have skills of negotiation and articulation.

“I’m not the smartest person,” he said, rather modestly. “If I have to pick one skill, it will be my capacity to adapt.”

Al-Falasi said technology is helping education evolve: “Today with technology, you can have access to the best classes in the world. Data is also important, many say. A lot of technology is built on understanding.”  

At the end of his interview, when Al-Falasi was asked about his salary expectation. Without pause, he said if it’s for a job at Misk, the figure doesn’t matter.

“We all feel very passionate and positive today, especially with what’s happening in Misk,” he said. “All eyes are on Saudi Arabia today.”