Antigua and Barbuda PM seeks Saudi investment after hurricane

Antigua and Barbuda PM seeks Saudi investment after hurricane
Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne and Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres visit Codrington on the island of Barbuda just a month after Hurricane Irma struck the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda, in this October 7, 2017 photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 21 October 2017

Antigua and Barbuda PM seeks Saudi investment after hurricane

Antigua and Barbuda PM seeks Saudi investment after hurricane

SVETI STEFAN: Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne wants Saudis to visit and invest in his hurricane-battered country.
He is considering bringing halal standards to the islands for the first time in a bid to attract more Arabs visitors.
In an interview with Arab News, he said he had seen increased Middle East interest in real estate and tourism projects in his country which is emerging from the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma.
“We are looking for high net worth individuals. We already have a lot of interest from Saudi Arabia.”
He added: “I want to encourage Saudis to invest in our safe, vibrant country. We are open arms to all cultures and want to please.
“We are open to suggestions and would look to build halal restaurants or hotels if that’s what Muslims want or need.”
Browne rejected claims that the Caribbean islands are being propped up by “passports for sale” initiatives.
He said: “I don’t see it as passports for sale. It’s an incentive for investment – it’s not a new concept. Europe has used it before. This is a competitive market.
“If one country offers citizenship as part of the investment deal – such as the US or Canada – and another country doesn’t, they (investors) won’t invest. It’s just a unique selling point.”
With many countries in the Middle East undergoing political turmoil, citizens of some countries have few visa-free travel options. As former British colonies and members of the Commonwealth, Caribbean island passports grant visa-free access to the UK and the Schengen Area, as well as numerous other countries.
The country’s citizenship by investment program (CIP) has pumped around $500 million into Antigua and Barbuda’s economy since 2014 and has helped pay for social security, cancer treatment and a new hospital, according to Ronald Sanders, Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the US.
On Sept. 6, 2017, when Hurricane Irma swept through Barbuda, Browne saw most of his country’s buildings reduced to — in his own words — “literally a rubble.” At least 60 percent of the island’s residents were left homeless because of the disaster.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Global Citizen Forum, Browne said: “Most of the impact was on Barbuda, so the economic impact on Antigua is minor. However, it’s an economic setback because the country is heavily subsided by Antigua.”
The PM said tourism and real estate are areas that he really wants to push to investors.
“We have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and the actual climate itself is about 28 degrees all year round, and it hardly rains. It’s a great country for tourism and vacationing, it’s very peaceful and we enjoy a very stable political climate.”


Saudi Arabia confirms 7 COVID-19 deaths, 799 new cases

Saudi Arabia confirms 7 COVID-19 deaths, 799 new cases
Updated 11 April 2021

Saudi Arabia confirms 7 COVID-19 deaths, 799 new cases

Saudi Arabia confirms 7 COVID-19 deaths, 799 new cases
  • The Kingdom said 548 patients recovered in past 24 hours
  • 10 mosques have been closed after 10 worshippers tested positive for COVID-19

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia recorded seven new COVID-19 related deaths on Sunday, raising the total number of fatalities to 6,754.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 799 new confirmed cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 398,435 people have now contracted the disease. 
Of the total number of cases, 8,360 remain active and 915 in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 362, followed by Makkah with 147, the Eastern Province with 138, Asir recorded 28 and Madinah confirmed 27 cases.

The ministry also announced that 548 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 383,321.
The ministry renewed its call on the public to register to receive the jab, and adhere to the measures and abide by instructions.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs temporarily closed 10 mosques in five regions on Sunday after 10 worshipers tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of mosques closed to 552 within 63 days, 526 of which have been reopened after being sterilized.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 135 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 2.92 million.


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman exchanges Ramadan wishes with Bahraini king

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman exchanges Ramadan wishes with Bahraini king
Updated 11 April 2021

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman exchanges Ramadan wishes with Bahraini king

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman exchanges Ramadan wishes with Bahraini king

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received a phone call from Bahrain’s King Hamad congratulating him on the advent of the month of Ramadan.
King Salman expressed his thanks to King Hamad for the greetings.


Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia
Updated 11 April 2021

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition destroys Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: The Arab coalition has destroyed a Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia, news channel Al-Arabiya has reported.

The coalition said the attack is a continuation of the Houthi’s “systematic and intentional hostile attempts to target civilians.”

It said the drone was fired towards Jazan in the south of the kingdom.  

The bloc said it was taking all necessary operational measures to protect civilians in accordance with international humanitarian law. 


Saudi Arabia postpones second COVID-19 dose reservations

Saudi Arabia postpones second COVID-19 dose reservations
Updated 11 April 2021

Saudi Arabia postpones second COVID-19 dose reservations

Saudi Arabia postpones second COVID-19 dose reservations
  • Due to a global shortage in vaccine manufacturing and delivery, MoH provided more room for first timers

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health (MoH) said it has postponed second dose appointments for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines in order to ensure more of the Kingdom’s residents can receive their first dose.

According to the MoH, all second dose reservations will be rescheduled as of Sunday April 11 and will resume at a later time. The ministry added that due to a global shortage in vaccine manufacturing and delivery, they’ve provided more room for first timers, especially those in high risk categories, to receive theirs.
Over 6.1 million vaccine doses have been administered in the Kingdom so far, at a rate of 175,000 daily doses, which means 17.5 percent of the Kingdom has received at least one dose.
Municipalities coordinating with relevant authorities continue to inspect commercial establishments, especially in areas known to be overcrowded across the Kingdom. Jeddah municipality, with the participation of a number of relevant authorities, closed 81 shops in Al-Sawarikh International Market in the south of the governorate, after finding multiple violations, including failure to adhere to precautionary and preventive measures among visitors, and a lack of commitment to social distancing measures.

FASTFACT

Over 6.1 million vaccine doses have been administered in the Kingdom.

The MoH reported 878 new cases of COVID-19 in the Kingdom on Saturday, meaning 397,636 people in Saudi Arabia have now contracted the disease.
The top three most infected regions were Riyadh with 410 infections, Makkah with 149 cases, and the Eastern Province with 141, while the lowest reported number of cases were in Baha, with just seven cases.
The number of active cases also rose, to 8,113 active cases in the Kingdom, 914 of them critical — a rise of 16 in the past 24 hours.
The ministry announced 578 new recovered cases, taking the total number of recoveries to 382,776. Saudi Arabia’s recovery rate has decreased to 96.2 percent.
For the first time in nearly four months, the number of deaths reported in the Kingdom rose to double digits, as 10 new COVID-19 related deaths were reported on Saturday, raising the death toll to 6,747. A total of 61,640 PCR tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, raising the total number of tests in the Kingdom to 15,738,545.


Saudi artist in the driver’s seat for new Jeddah street project

Saudi artist in the driver’s seat for new Jeddah street project
Shalimar Sharbatly will paint a new set of vehicles for the Draw a Nation initiative. (Supplied)
Updated 10 April 2021

Saudi artist in the driver’s seat for new Jeddah street project

Saudi artist in the driver’s seat for new Jeddah street project
  • Draw a Nation comes within the framework of initiatives to improve the visual appeal of Jeddah’s streetscapes

RIYADH: A Saudi abstract artist who won global recognition for her hand-painted and customized cars will paint a new set of vehicles for an extended edition of the Draw a Nation initiative after signing an agreement with the Jeddah municipality.
Shalimar Sharbatly, a pioneer of the “Moving Art” school, was responsible for both a hand-painted, customized Porsche 911, showcased at the Paris Motor Show, and a Formula 1 racer, known as “La Torq,” which was unveiled at the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix.
Both vehicles were also exhibited at the Louvre museum in Paris as part of a “Moving Art” exhibition in 2017.
However, within the Kingdom, Sharbatly is best known for the Draw a Nation initiative, which saw her showcase several of her hand-painted vehicles during last year’s Saudi National Day celebrations.
Sharbatly was inspired to upcycle old cars after witnessing an accident while driving along the beach in Jeddah. She told Arab News that painting the vehicles helped her regain a sense of purpose.

BACKGROUND

Shalimar Sharbatly, a pioneer of the ‘Moving Art’ school, was responsible for both a hand-painted, customized Porsche 911, showcased at the Paris Motor Show, and a Formula 1 racer, known as ‘La Torq,’ which was unveiled at the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix.

“I had become disillusioned with art and was lacking passion. I started painting these cars, turning abandoned vehicles that were deemed useless into vibrant and beautiful works of art that could gain a second life. I hope that when others view these pieces, they will feel the same joy I felt when I was painting them,” she said.
Draw a Nation comes within the framework of initiatives to improve the visual appeal of Jeddah’s streetscapes. The goal is to paint a number of old and abandoned cars and vehicles, turning them into works of art that enrich the city.
Ayed Al-Zahrani, undersecretary for the mayor of Jeddah for community service, said: “The community will benefit from recycling cars and turning them into artistic masterpieces displayed in public for Jeddah residents and visitors.”
The Jeddah municipality also previously launched the “Yalla Jeddah” platform, which invites innovators in all fields to address challenges facing Jeddah’s art scene.