Envoys get insider’s guide to Saudi Arabia’s busiest port

The diplomats during their visit at the Jeddah Islamic Port on Tuesday. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 28 November 2018
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Envoys get insider’s guide to Saudi Arabia’s busiest port

  • Envoys were briefed on the port’s significance in the region
  • The diplomats’ visit began with a tour of the X-ray cargo screening Station at the port.

JEDDAH: Diplomats from about 40 countries were given a first-hand view of Jeddah Islamic Port’s most important features and recent developments during a visit organized by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.

The visitors included consuls, deputy consuls and commercial attaches from consulates in Jeddah City. 

Envoys were briefed on the port’s significance in the region and its operational capabilities in regional and international maritime transport.

Jeddah Islamic Port is one of the most important economic facilities in Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea region. More than 65 percent of commercial ocean cargo in the Kingdom passes through the port. It is located in the middle of an international shipping route linking East and West, and is the largest and busiest port in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The Kingdom has spent billions of dollars developing the port as a fully automated terminal with first-class facilities and equipment designed to meet the highest international standards. The investment supports Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 goals to increase efficiencies using “innovative” technology solutions.

The diplomats’ visit began with a tour of the X-ray cargo screening Station at the port.

Mohammed Al-Ghamidi, the X-ray terminal operating system director, introduced the visitors to the role of the station in detecting illegal materials smuggled through containers, such as drugs and explosives. 

 “About 2,500 to 3,000 containers pass through the inspection process each day at Jeddah Port,” Al-Ghamidi said. 

The delegation also visited the Red Sea Gateway Terminal, which has an annual capacity of 2 TEU. 

Hamdi Nadhrah, head of business development and marketing at the terminal, said: “The Red Sea Gateway Terminal is the first BOT (build-operate-transfer) project in the Kingdom and began in 2007. The private sector built the whole terminal and the channel at a cost of SR2.5 billion ($666 million).

“The terminal started fully operating in 2009 and completed its expansion plan by the end of 2017. Now we have a capacity of 2.5 million containers per year.”

Nadhrah emphasized the diverse environment of the company.

“We’re proud of having more than 20 nationalities working here. We look at ourselves as a multinational company with a lot of expertise. In addition, we were the first company to hire Saudi women in Jeddah Islamic Port.”

Rashid Al-Oraimi, Oman’s consul-general, told Arab News: “It was a successful and well-organized visit. We were introduced to important commercial landmarks in the city. 

“There is considerable trade cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Oman, especially since both countries are members of the same system that strongly link them, the Gulf Cooperation Council,” he said. In 2017, about 94,500 tons of goods were exchanged between Saudi Arabia and Oman through Jeddah Islamic Port.


Formula E’s Felipe Massa races ‘fastest animal on planet’ in Saudi Arabia

Updated 10 December 2018
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Formula E’s Felipe Massa races ‘fastest animal on planet’ in Saudi Arabia

  • ABB FIA Formula E Championship listens to fans by pitting Gen2 car and Felipe Massa in race against a peregrine falcon in Saudi Arabia
  • Spreading his wings for the first time in Formula E machinery, 90-kilometers south-west of the Ad Diriyah, Massa’s mirrors loomed large with the claws of the peregrine falcon

RIYADH: Formula E driver Felipe Massa behind the wheel of a Gen2 racing car has gone up against a peregrine falcon in a straight fight in Saudi Arabia to outrun the fastest animal on the planet.

It’s not the first time the fully-electric Formula E car has been pitted against a member of the animal kingdom, with reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne racing a cheetah on the Western Cape of South Africa last year.

Narrowly edging out the fastest land mammal in 2017, Formula E fans asked for a re-match — but this time together with more stern competition. Listening to the feedback of fans on social media, it was the turn of the peregrine falcon, capable of reaching speeds in excess of 350 km/h (217 mph) when diving through the skies above Saudi Arabia.

Massa was in the Kingdom ahead of the 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E-Prix, which will see the racing legend line-up on the Formula E starting grid for the first time on December 15 at the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site on the outskirts of Riyadh.

For the battle of man and machine vs the natural world, the winged predator was trained to set its sights on a different kind of prey roaming through the desert — with a lure attached to the roll hoop of the advanced new-look Gen2 car.

Spreading his wings for the first time in Formula E machinery, 90-kilometers south-west of the Ad Diriyah, Massa’s mirrors loomed large with the claws of the peregrine falcon. But did he manage to shake off his opponent?

To watch Felipe and the falcon in flying formation, visit — https://youtu.be/ERxeaV60_7g

Felipe Massa, VENTURI Formula E Team driver, said: “It was an incredible experience for me to race against the fastest member of the animal kingdom — it’s not something I will forget in a hurry. I like the fact that this idea came from the fans, and Formula E listened and accepted the challenge.

“The footage from the drive is very special and it was a privilege to take part. I’m looking forward to returning to Ad Diriyah and to start racing. It’ll be my first race in Formula E and I’m eager to get behind the wheel again. I’ve missed racing and this series has shown to be one of the most competitive out there.”

The 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E-Prix is the opening round of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship and the competitive debut of the Gen2 car and VENTURI Formula E Team driver Felipe Massa.

As well as Formula E action, exciting fan zones, entertainment and cultural attractions, plus unique dining and retail experiences will be awaiting ticketholders at Ad Diriyah, across three days, starting December 13.

That evening, December 13, will see Enrique Iglesias and Jason Derulo kick off the first of three incredible nights of music concerts for fans. The following day, December 14, Arab music legend Amr Diab and globally-renowned pop band Black Eyed Peas will delight the audience. And, on December 15, race day, following the exhilarating 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E Prix, US smash hit OneRepublic and superstar DJ/producer David Guetta will bring the event to an electrifying finale.

Only fans holding tickets will be able to access the entire Ad Diriyah site, including all the action, fun, and thrilling complimentary concerts.

Tickets are on sale at http://fiaformulae.com/Ad-Diriyah and are also available at Point of Sale units at Riyadh Park Mall, Oud Square and Doos Carting (only Grandstand tickets from Doos) and Seven Car Lounge.