Haramain train stations to open by end 2017

The stations can't start operating before the railway does, a project official said.
Updated 27 September 2016

Haramain train stations to open by end 2017

RIYADH: The Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) has revised its plans to open new stations in Jeddah, King Abdullah City and Madinah on commercial basis pending full operation of Haramain Railway project by the end of 2017, local media reported.
It is too early to decide whether the stations will operate commercially before the practical operation of the railway project is revised, as it will require maintenance and cleaning costs, a project official told Aleqtesadiah daily.
“Operating the stations will constitute a financial burden on the project management because the key customer, passengers, has not come yet,” he was quoted as saying.
Renting stores and restaurants at Madinah and Rabigh stations and opening them to the public before the train project is operational violates contracts signed with the Spanish consortium, he said.
He said the Spanish consortium will be fully responsible for operation and maintenance of the project over 12 years starting 2017.
He denied works on the project have slowed down, adding that all the project contracts would be completed by the end of 2017.
The railway project will see 35 passenger cars on two-way trips every half an hour between Makkah and Madinah, he said.
Journeys between cities will take different times, as follows: Makkah-Jeddah 21 minutes, Jeddah-King Abdulaziz Airport 14 minutes, King Abdulaziz Airport-Rabigh 36 minutes, Rabigh-Madinah 61 minutes.

Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

Updated 21 August 2019

Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

  • The website of a cryptocurrency company is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal
  • The Singapore-based company uses the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree

JEDDAH: Fraudsters are trying to lure victims into investing in a “virtual currency” with false claims that it is linked to the Saudi riyal and will be used to finance key projects, the Saudi Ministry of Finance warned on Tuesday.

The website of a cryptocurrency company in Singapore is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal, using the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree. Its “ultimate goal” is to finance NEOM, the smart city and tourist destination being built in the north of the Kingdom, the company claims.

“Any use of the KSA name, national currency or national emblem by any entity for virtual or digital currencies marketing will be subject to legal action by the competent authorities in the Kingdom,” the ministry said on Tuesday.

The fraudsters were exploiting ignorance of how virtual currencies work, cryptocurrency expert Dr. Assad Rizq told Arab News.

“A lot of tricks can be played,” he said. “Some of these companies are not regulated, they have no assets, and even their prospectus is sometimes copied from other projects.

“They hype and pump their project so the price goes up. Inexpert investors, afraid of missing out, jump in, which spikes the price even higher. Then the owners sell up and make tons of money.

“Cryptocurrencies are a risky investment for two reasons. First, the sector is not yet fully regulated and a lot of projects use fake names and identities, such as countries’ names or flags, to manipulate investors.

“Second, you have to do your homework, learn about the technology. And if you still want to invest, consider your country’s rules and regulations.”