US, Saudi Arabia join forces on public procurement reform

Updated 30 October 2017

US, Saudi Arabia join forces on public procurement reform

RIYADH: The US Department of Commerce, in collaboration with the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), discussed the Saudi government’s procurement system and the Kingdom’s ongoing efforts to align its procurement law with international standards.
The engagement is part of the Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) aimed at improving the business climate worldwide.
Over 130 legal professionals from the ministries of finance, energy, industry, and mineral resources, commerce and investment, the Board of Grievances, SAGIA, the Royal Commission for Yanbu and Jubail, as well as private sector attendees from various sectors of the economy participated in two-day event on Oct. 16.
During the event, US procurement law expert Charles McCarthy gave a presentation on the life cycle of a comprehensive procurement process. His presentation stressed the importance of implementing an effective bid process system, prompt payment upon completion of projects, and the submission of invoices.
Based on positive experiences in the US, McCarthy also emphasized developing and implementing a transparent, fair, and competitive bid process that meets international standards. He added that such a law is a crucial step in enabling economic growth and prosperity.
After the event, US Commercial Counselor Nasir Abbasi said: “The US Embassy extends its appreciation to all the Saudi participants in the program, and we reiterate our commitment to work with Saudi partners to continuously improve the business climate.”
The program is the latest CLDP event to occur under the overall US-Saudi partnership framework to improve the business climate in the Kingdom. In 2016, the CLDP assisted in the establishment of the Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration (SCCA) to resolve commercial disputes in a fair, transparent and efficient manner.
In September 2017, the CLDP, in partnership with the SCCA, conducted a commercial arbitration workshop and trained over 50 public and private sector legal practitioners on commercial arbitration and alternative dispute resolution methods.

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

Updated 25 January 2020

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

ALULA: British band Jamiroquai thrilled a delighted audience at Maraya Concert Hall in Saudi Arabia on Friday night during a show packed with hits.

In a first for a venue more used to hosting opera and classical concerts, the British funk/acid jazz outfit had fans dancing along to the music.

The show, at the distinctive, mirror-covered concert hall in historic AlUla, was part of the second Winter at Tantora festival. It opened with “Shake It On,” followed by the hit singles “Little L,” “Alright,” and “Space Cowboy.” By this time the crowd was well and truly warmed up, and “Use the Force” got them on their feet.

“The song seemed to resonate with everyone” Jay Kay told Arab News in an exclusive interview after the show.

During the gig, Kay dedicated the 2002 song “Corner of the Earth” to AlUla, which he described as a “magical and wonderful place, which is absolutely stunning.” The opportunity to perform there was “an honor and privilege” he added. He also thanked “Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman for his vision, and Prince Badr for making this happen and the great hospitality.”

After a further selection of singles and album tracks, the show ended on a high with a quartet of hits — “Cosmic Girl,” “Virtual Insanity,” “Canned Heat” and “Lovefoolosophy.”

Kay praised the Maraya Concert Hall as “a brilliant place to play.” He admitted that initially he was a little worried when he saw it because he was under the impression it would be an outdoor venue. However, any concerns he had were gone by the time the first sound check was done.

“I was transported into a completely different world; the acoustics were unbelievable, like being in a German concert hall,” he said. “It is obviously very well thought out and that’s what makes it so good. The sound was fabulous — I never looked at my sound guy once.”

Jamiroquai’s music videos often feature Kay in super cars, of which he owns many, and he revealed that he would love to shoot such a promo in AlUla.

“In reality, I’m desperate to get in one of the dune buggies, and would kill to have a (Ariel) Nomad and have a go in one in AlUla, where it’s supposed to be driven, for a day or five and dune bash, which is such a rare thing for us in England,” he said.

The singer also said he wants to bring his family to AlUla, which has become a hub for culture and creativity in Saudi Arabia.

“I would like to come out with my family and my youngest, who is called Talula, so hopefully we can have Talula come to AlUla, which would be wonderful,” said Kay.

He added that he was looking forward to exploring the area on Saturday, before leaving the country, but added: “I’m sure you can never have enough time to see everything there is to see.”