UAE firm ‘wants to use’ Saudi water saving invention

Updated 17 October 2015
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UAE firm ‘wants to use’ Saudi water saving invention

RIYADH: A Saudi inventor says that his water-saving polymer technology is now being sought by a firm in the United Arab Emirates to plant trees.
Entrepreneur Ibrahim Alalim, who is currently in the United Arab Emirates, said talks are underway with the firm, which he did not want to name at this stage.
Alalim said the United Arab Emirates was the third country in the region showing interest in planting trees using the Polykem Hydrogel PagriSAP. Once placed in soil, it absorbs water 600 times its own weight.
Alalim said that countries are showing interest because trees help counter global warming and the movement of sand carried by the desert winds. Alalim said there are also ongoing negotiations with Kuwait Petrol Company, which also wants to plant trees for the same reasons, including providing a greener working environment for its workers.
He said his company, Estefa Group, had already planted 3,400 saplings of various types in Khurais in the Eastern Province for Saudi Aramco. The saplings were for cedar, acacia, neem, jatropa and moringa trees.
He said the technology acts as a water reservoir in the root zone, provides water on demand to the crop, and helps prevent water loss due to evaporation. “The polymer helps prevent water run-off and increases survival rates, often improving economics for the farmer by reducing the use of costly fertilizer and irrigation water,” he said.
“My invention improves growth and increases the yield of plantations in clay soil deserts with both arid and non-arid soils and inside green houses.”
He said the technology increased production at a farm in Al-Baha in 2013. The farm owner, Saleh bin Abbas, used the polymer to plant 7,000 olive trees in seven varieties, and harvested 13 tons of olives after one year from three-meter-high trees, Alalim said.
He said the polymer is produced worldwide and he was willing to provide a patent for anyone interested in Saudi Arabia. He said he developed his invention during a 20-year working stint in Lausanne, Switzerland.


New technologies help increase number of flights, passengers in Saudi Arabia’s airports — GACA

Updated 24 March 2019
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New technologies help increase number of flights, passengers in Saudi Arabia’s airports — GACA

  • More than 99.86 million passengers departed or arrived through 771,828 flights in the Kingdom's international and domestic airports in 2018
  • GACA is due to host Global Aviation Summit 2019 on April 1 and 2 in Riyadh

JEDDAH: New technologies applied in Saudi Arabia's airports has contributed to aviation growth in the Kingdom and has provided solutions for passenger’s trips, air cargo and investments, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has said.

GACA earlier reported an 8 percent increase in passenger numbers and 4 percent in flight rates in 2018.

It said more than 99.86 million passengers departed or arrived through 771,828 flights in the Kingdom's international and domestic airports in 2018, compared to 92.42 million passengers on board 741,293 flights in 2017.

"The GACA is keen to adopt plans to develop the Kingdom's airports network in order to keep pace with the steady increase in air traffic, increase the reliability of services, maximize geographic coverage and enhance the contribution of the airports to the overall economic growth of the country," it said.

For example, it said, GACA provides information through technology to reduce paperwork, operating costs and streamline business processes while reducing time to address them.

Most prominent among these e-services is the “Self-Services at the Kingdom's airports” that include check-in kiosks that provide boarding passes and luggage identification cards and self-service baggage drops that allows passengers to self-check their luggage.

It also provides self-scanning devices for bags in the arrival halls, ensuring that all baggage and other cargo arrive at the airport through the installation of electronic gates for the passage of freight vehicles before being emptied into the luggage compartment. 

Electronic gates and document scanning machines ensure that a traveler's information is correct and that boarding passes, passports, national identity and residency are valid.

Other services include airport operations systems and flight information display for some domestic airports.

To ensure accuracy in the flight schedules, GACA said it is working on a project to link the Saudi Arabian Airlines traffic management system to the Airport Management System, of which 50 percent has been completed.

GACA is due to host Global Aviation Summit 2019 on April 1 and 2 in Riyadh to review the infrastructure projects for airports and smart airports, the available opportunities to operate the airports and provide advanced services and consultations in civil aviation, among others.