SR100m special fund to develop tourism in EP

SR100m special fund to develop tourism in EP
Updated 19 April 2015

SR100m special fund to develop tourism in EP

SR100m special fund to develop tourism in EP

The Investor for Securities Company is launching the first tourism fund with a capital of SR100 million at Dana Bay Resort in Half Moon Bay of the Eastern Province (EP).
The company has sold a 42,000 sq m area to the Investor for Securities Company in order to build and develop 20 chalets and set up a special tourism fund, said Abdul Mohsen Al-Rashid, chairman of Dana Bay Tourism Company.
Abdul Lateef Al-Bunaian, Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities’ (SCTA) director general for the EP, said: “The company is keen to cooperate with national companies specialized in the development of tourism projects to build chalets and develop tourism facilities at Dana Bay Resort.”
This project is aimed at increasing the flow of tourists to the EP, he said, adding that Dana Bay Resort includes a number of hotels, resorts, entertainment projects, chalets and markets.
Al-Rashid stated that the project requires an investment up to SR4 billion.
He said the company would cooperate with other national and Gulf companies to float similar tourism funds.
Al-Bunaian said: “The loans granted by the Cabinet have contributed significantly to tourism development and draw national investors to the Saudi market.”
There are 17 licensed tourist resorts in the EP; the province needs more than 30 tourist resorts to attract visitors who prefer to have their summer homes at resorts, he said.
“Investor Fund and Emerald Beach Projects reinforce tourism in the EP,” Al-Bunian emphasized, adding that the average annual growth of the Saudi tourism sector was 7 percent during the past eight years, and the total tourism expenditure is expected to reach SR 100 billion by 2019.
Asim Abu Allian, CEO of Seyada LLC, said: “The fund is the first tourism fund in the EP and the third in the Kingdom.”
This is the first cooperation between Seyada and Dana Bay, and will be followed by several financial partnerships to launch some tourism funds for developing other projects within the resort.
Dana Bay Resort offers integrated facilities, including restaurants, cafes, club, public parks, and security services, he said, adding that the implementation period is 30 months.
Khaled Al-Muhanna, vice CEO of Seyada LLC, said: “Work on the fund started in the beginning of this year, and the architectural designs began in March.”
Seyada signed a contract with an American engineering company to create designs for the project while construction works will commence in the last quarter of this year, he added.
Bassam Bode, CEO and MD of Jinan Company, said: “The agreement is one of a set of conventions with which the company aims to attract investors to develop hotel and tourism projects to create an integrated tourism city.”
He pointed out that the company recently started developing the project’s infrastructure and services.
Currently, it aims to establish a beach resort containing 110 villas with private beaches.
The project is expected to be completed at the end of next year, along with an aqua park on an area of 15,000 sqm.
The official said that the company is currently working on a design for a hotel with 180 rooms and 45 villas on the island located at the center of the project, besides many entertainment projects, so as to make Dana Bay an integrated tourism city and the first tourist destination in the EP.


WEEKLY ENERGY RECAP: Despite long-term challenges, oil prices remain in healthy range

WEEKLY ENERGY RECAP: Despite long-term challenges, oil prices remain in healthy range
Updated 24 January 2021

WEEKLY ENERGY RECAP: Despite long-term challenges, oil prices remain in healthy range

WEEKLY ENERGY RECAP: Despite long-term challenges, oil prices remain in healthy range

Oil prices have been stable since early January, with Brent crude price hovering around $55. Brent crude closed the week slightly higher at $55.41 per barrel,
while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) closed slightly lower at $52.27 per barrel.

Oil price movement since early January in a narrow range above $50 is healthy, despite pessimism over an increase in oil demand, while expectations of US President Joe Biden taking steps to revive energy demand growth are
still doubtful. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a hike in US refining utilization to its highest since March 2020, at 82.5 percent. The EIA reported a surprise weekly surge in US commercial crude stocks by 4.4
million barrels. Oil prices remained steady despite the bearish messages sent from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which believes it will take more time for oil demand to recover fully as renewed lockdowns in several countries weighed on oil demand recovery.

The IEA’s January Oil Market Report came as the most pessimistic monthly report among other market bulletins from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and EIA. It forecast oil demand will bounce back to 96.6 million bpd this year, an increase of 5.5 million bpd over 2020 levels.

Though the IEA has lowered its forecast for global oil demand in 2021 due to lockdowns and vaccination challenges, it still expects a sharp rebound in oil consumption in the second half of 2021,
and the continuation of global inventory depletion.

The IEA reported global oil stocks fell by 2.58 million bpd in the fourth quarter of 2020 after preliminary data showed hefty drawdowns toward the end of the year. The IEA reported OECD industry stocks fell for a fourth consecutive month at 166.7
million barrels above the last five-year average. It forecast that global refinery throughput is expected to rebound by 4.5 million bpd in 2021, after a 7.3 million bpd drop in 2020.

The IEA monthly report has led to some short term concern about weakness in the physical crude spot market, and the IEA has acknowledged OPEC’s firm role in stabilizing the market.

Controversially, the IEA believes that a big chunk of shale oil production is profitable at current prices, and hence insinuated that shale oil might threaten OPEC market share.

It also believes that US shale oil producers have quickly responded to oil price gains, winning market share over OPEC producers. However, even if US shale oil drillers added more oil rigs for almost three months in a row, the number of operating rigs is still less than half that of a year ago, at 289 rigs.

The latest figures from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission show that crude futures “long positions” on the New York Mercantile Exchange are at 668,078 contracts, down by 18,414 contracts from the previous week (at 1,000 barrels for each contract).