Industrial partnership between KSA, France scales new heights

LOOKING FORWARD: Seated from left, Chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers Abdul Rahman Al-Zamil, Vice Minister of Finance Saleh Al-Debassy and French Ambassador Bertrand Besancenot at the forum held in Riyadh on Monday. (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)
Updated 27 July 2016
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Industrial partnership between KSA, France scales new heights

RIYADH: French Ambassador Bertrand Besancenot pledged his support for peace, stability and development of “Saudi-French friendship” at a forum on “Saudi French Military Contract” held in Riyadh on Monday.

The event held at the Ritz Carlton was patronized by the Vice Minister of Finance Saleh Al-Debassy, French Ambassador Bertrand Besancenot and Chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers Abdul Rahman Al-Zamil in the presence of representatives from more than 60 Saudi and French companies.
The Saudi Ministry of Finance and French company ODAS jointly organized the Saudi-French forum dedicated to IKIP, acronym of “In Kingdom Industrial Partnership”.
“I warmly congratulate ODAS and all the actors who dedicated themselves to this successful event and made it possible. Saudi and French representatives of your group, side by side to engage new partnership, first step for development and shared confidence. On my side, I can assure you that France will assist you all, at the threshold of this new adventure, to reach the goals you’ll set up together for peace, stability and the development of the Saudi-French friendship,” the envoy said.
Gen. Jean-Philippe Bonnet, general delegate of ODAS branch in Riyadh told Arab News that ODAS has been designated by both Saudi and French Authorities to run the contract called SFMC (as Saudi-French Military Contract) dedicated to provide the Royal Saudi Armed Forces with state-of-the-art weaponry. In that frame, more than 25 French companies are involved under the umbrella of ODAS, which plays the role of catalyst for the development of industrial cooperation within the Kingdom.
During this forum, more than 20 agreements were signed, showing the clear intention of the participants to fall within the framework of this long-lasting plan that had been disclosed recently. The French companies, under the aegis of ODAS, have presented more than 25 projects of industrial cooperation in topics as different as optics, electronics, systems integration, maintenance and training, among others.
“For sure, the SFMC running today according to the plan set up by both the Saudi and French authorities brings hope. It will allow our companies to set up new partnerships in all topics, long-lasting and fruitful, for the benefit and the diversification of the local economy and its local manpower,” Gen. Jean-Philippe Bonnet said.


Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

Masjid Quba in Madinah is a favorite destination for Hajj pilgrims, according to tour guides. Below: The Cave of Hira, Al-Baqi’ cemetery and the Prophet’s Chamber allow visitors to step back in time. (Getty Images)
Updated 15 August 2018
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Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

  • A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities
  • Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies

RIYADH: Hajj is one of the biggest dreams of every Muslim’s life, and pilgrims looking forward to their stay in Makkah and Madinah say a bucket list is the best way to plan the trip. 

Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies. Standing in the places of the Holy Prophet transports them back to the past as if they lived those incredible moments. 

A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities.

Sayed Shafei, an operation manager for City Sightseeing, a tour company in Madinah and worldwide, told Arab News: “We offer a special tour with a multilingual tour guide presented in eight languages. We also offer 24-hour tickets. We have scheduled tourism trips starting from the Prophet’s Mosque to 12 destinations every 30 minutes. The whole trip lasts for 14 hours a day.” 

Asked about the most popular requests, Shafei said: “Our customers always ask to visit Masjid Quba, the Sayed Al-Shuhada Mosque in Uhud, which is considered a vital historic landmark of Madinah, and Al-Qiblatain Mosque.” 

Most of the group’s customers are from East Asia, but many also visit from Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, Indonesia, Malaysia, the US and Europe.

Munirah Al-Jebreen, an English instructor at Princess Noura University who will perform Hajj this year, told Arab News her bucket list began with an online search. 

“I found a travel guide on Google that has all the best sites in Madinah and Makkah, so I decided to visit Uthman ibn Affan’s Farm and Well in Madinah, the Holy Qur’an exhibition, and one of the most important places I want to visit is the grave of the Holy Prophet,” she said.

The area between the Prophet’s Chamber, which holds his grave, and the Mimbar is known as the Rawdah, which is actually the Garden of Paradise. It is presently distinguished by a green carpet.

Al-Jebreen also listed some of her planned tour destinations in Makkah, including the Cave of Hira, where the Holy Prophet meditated frequently during the first 40 years of his life and the site of the first revelation. 

She will also visit Bilal Mosque and Mount Abu Qubais and, finally, will try Al-Garmushi, one of the famous traditional restaurants in Makkah.