KAUST honors 243 students at graduation ceremony

The university’s first honorary doctoral degree was conferred upon Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi, former chairman of the KAUST board of trustees and former minister of petroleum and mineral resources.
Updated 17 December 2018
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KAUST honors 243 students at graduation ceremony

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) awarded 243 master’s degree and Ph.D. candidates with their diplomas during its ninth commencement ceremony on the KAUST campus on Friday. 

The ceremony was presided over by members of the KAUST Board of Trustees, including Board Chairman Khalid A. Al-Falih, minister of energy, industry and mineral resources and chairman of Saudi Aramco, and attended by senior KAUST leadership and faculty members. 

Commencement 2018 highlights included the official inauguration of KAUST’s third president, Dr. Tony Chan, and conferral of the university’s first honorary doctoral degree to Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi, former chairman of the KAUST board of trustees, former minister of petroleum and mineral resources and commencement 2018 speaker. The event also included remarks by 2018 student speaker and KAUST Ph.D. graduate Nada Aljassim, the first KAUST Gifted Student Program participant to receive her Ph.D. from the university. 

In his chairman’s address, Al-Falih said the event was “an occasion … to mark a number of milestones and celebrations … In the past year alone, KAUST has … achieved important advances in research, education, innovation and talent, all while making an impact … in Saudi Arabia and globally.” 

“KAUST has taken its place on the world’s scientific and academic landscape,” Al-Naimi said. “Ideas and innovations (from KAUST) … make a difference when they soar above our nation and around the world.” 

“As a university, we are looking forward to our next decade,” said President Chan, a member of the university’s Board of Trustees for seven years. “In my new position, I am really looking forward to the opportunity and challenge and becoming engaged with Saudi society in general.” 

President Chan noted one aim of his presidency is “to align KAUST’s mission with the Kingdom’s priorities — and in particular Vision 2030. The Kingdom is moving to diversifying the economy and toward innovation and technology, which align with KAUST.” 

Chan said: “We have formed a NEOM Center of Excellence at KAUST with the express purpose of working together with NEOM. One of our senior faculty members, Professor Carlos Duarte, is on the advisory board for the Red Sea Project. We have a KAUST Red Sea Research Center and we are located next to the Red Sea, which is a treasure for the Kingdom. We consider it one of our missions to support the projects going on in the Kingdom.” 

“KAUST is still very young, but we see ourselves as contributing to the innovation and economic development of the country and the development of human talent,” he added.


Fine watchmaking expo returns to Saudi Arabia

Updated 19 March 2019
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Fine watchmaking expo returns to Saudi Arabia

Annual horology exhibition Salon des Grandes Complications (SDGC) is returning to Saudi Arabia for the third year in a row, with shows in both Jeddah and Riyadh. The event will showcase the latest masterpieces from some of the most celebrated watchmakers in history. The fine watchmaking exhibition will kick off in Jeddah at the Hilton Hotel April 8-11, and then move to Al-Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh April 15-18.

Salon des Grandes Complications debuted in Dubai in 2014, later branching out to Saudi Arabia due to high demand and the appreciation of exceptional timepieces in the Kingdom. 

Saudi Arabia is a key Middle Eastern market for watchmakers — last year saw a year-on-year increase in the import of Swiss watches by 6 percent, and this figure is only expected to increase with the introduction of new policies. 

The capital city of Riyadh is home to over 10,000 watch collectors while Jeddah on the other hand, is Saudi Arabia’s commercial hub, with almost as many horological aficionados estimated to live there. 

Designed to offer a platform for Maisons and enthusiasts to convene, Salon des Grandes Complications creates opportunities for knowledge to be exchanged and collectors to discover — often for the first time in the region — limited editions, the newest launches and unique rarities. 

Among the international brands that will be present at the 2019 edition are Bell & Ross, Blancpain, Breguet, Breitling, Fabergé, Girard-Perregaux, Greubel Forsey, Harry Winston, Montblanc, Rudis Sylva, TAG Heuer, Ulysse Nardin and Zenith. 

With the introduction of several new brands, there will be a more diversified display of timepieces, from innovative novelties to classic creations, grand complications and high jewelry timepieces. Also new to this year’s edition will be a private majlis (a gathering place for social events), where special talks will be hosted by various brands and experts will share their personal insights into modern day horology. 

SDGC has successfully attracted over 80 international Swiss, German and Italian brands during the past five years.

The event will be held alongside the 10th annual Jewellery Salon 2019, a well-established jewelry exhibition in the Kingdom.

SDGC 2019 will be held in partnership with Bentley Motors and with the support of the Embassy of Switzerland in Saudi Arabia.

The event will be open free of charge to all professional visitors from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.