Makkah to host 4-day economic forum starting March 23

Participants attend the Makkah Regional Economic Forum (MREF) in Jeddah in this May 6, 2018 file photo. On March 23, 2019, the second MREF will open with the theme "The Road to an Urban Future, Invest in Makkah." (AN file)
Updated 19 March 2019
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Makkah to host 4-day economic forum starting March 23

  • This year’s forum will focus on urban development, public services and infrastructure, transport and logistics, and innovation in Hajj and Umrah
  • Some of this year’s topics will be highlighted at next year’s G20 Summit hosted by Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Under the patronage of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, the second Makkah Region Economic Forum (MREF) kicks off on Saturday at Jabal Omar Hotel.
The four-day event is organized by the Makkah governorate and the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in collaboration with the Makkah and Taif chambers of commerce and industry.
Under the title “The Road to an Urban Future: Invest in Makkah,” this year’s edition will focus on four main topics: Urban development, public services and infrastructure, transport and logistics, and innovation in Hajj and Umrah. 
The MREF will also shed light on unique new investment opportunities in the Makkah region.
Hisham Al-Falih, head of the forum’s executive committee, said the MREF aims to encourage local and international business investments in the region’s development projects.
“The main themes to be discussed at this year’s edition … are designed to integrate with the economic issues that were discussed during the meetings of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, which was held in January,” he said. 
Some of this year’s topics will be highlighted at next year’s G20 Summit hosted by Saudi Arabia, he added.
The main topics of the MREF’s panel discussions will include housing, hospitality, business development, and development of the Makkah region’s unplanned neighborhoods.
Last year’s edition offered investment opportunities worth more than SR280 million ($74.6 million) and attracted nearly 7,500 people, paving the way for major investment projects in the region. 
The first MREF saw the participation in panel discussions of eight ministers, a group of economic leaders and VIPs from around the world.
 

 


Saudi Arabia urges global community to deter maritime trade disruptions

Updated 5 min 41 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia urges global community to deter maritime trade disruptions

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday that Iran’s interception of commercial vessels, including its seizure of a British tanker, in Gulf waters was a violation of international law and urged the global community to deter such actions.
“Any disruption of the freedom of international maritime traffic is considered a violation of international law and the international community must do what is necessary to reject it and deter it,” the Saudi cabinet said in a statement carried on state media.
Iran said on Friday it had seized Britain’s Stena Impero tanker, which had been heading to a port in Saudi Arabia and suddenly changed course after passing through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf.
Britain described the seizure as an act of “state piracy” and called for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the world’s most important oil artery.