Saudia Cargo launches expansion projects for Riyadh and Jeddah airports

Saudia Cargo launches its new terminal projects for King Abdul Aziz International Airport and King Khalid International airport, under the patronage of Minister of Transport Dr. Nabil Al-Amoudi. (supplied)
Updated 11 September 2018

Saudia Cargo launches expansion projects for Riyadh and Jeddah airports

  • Shipping company aims to double capacity in next two years, and is about to join SkyTeam, the global airlines alliance
  • On August 25, 2018, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Saudia Cargo’s parent company, operated 711 flights, the highest number in one day since the launch of the airline

JEDDAH: Saudia Cargo on Monday officially launched expansion projects for its facilities at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah and King Khalid International airport in Riyadh. The projects, under the patronage of Minister of Transport Dr. Nabil Al-Amoudi, are an important part of the Saudi shipping company’s transformation initiative, Strategy 2020, which aims to double cargo capacity and enhance the business’s capability to support the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

The launch ceremony, in Jeddah, was attended by President of the General Authority for Civil Aviation Captain Abdul Hakim Al-Tamimi, and Governor of the General Customs Authority Ahmed Al-Haqbani, along with other officials, clients and guests.

Fawaz Al-Fawaz, the chairman of Saudia Cargo, said the projects aim to achieve a qualitative leap in the level of logistics services provided by the business. He added that the company has developed a clear strategy to face any challenges by developing its infrastructure and work environment, and strengthening cooperation with partners and agents to increase the company's share of global shipping traffic.

He said that as a result of these efforts, in 2017 revenues increased by 10.9 percent and cargo transported by 12.6 percent in comparison with the previous year. Moreover, the tonnage growth hit a record high of 72 percent, while the number of stations increased to 63 internationally and 25 internally, in addition to the many stations served by road freight.

Omar Bin Talal Hariri, the CEO of Saudia Cargo, said that the company aims to increase capacity at King Khalid International Airport to 530,000 tons a year, and the size of its facility there to 75,000 square meters.

The capacity at King Abdul Aziz I|international Airport will increase to 820,000 tons in a 131,000-square-meter facility. The expansions will be supported by a number of development programs and advanced logistics solutions.

As part of its attempts to expand shipping services through alliances, Hariri added that Saudia Cargo will this year join SkyTeam, the global airlines alliance.

This will unlock broad new areas for the company to develop its business and services and expand its network of stations around the world, he added. It will also increase transit traffic, connecting the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa.

The company will also work on restructuring its network of flights to suit the nature of the markets it serves and the needs of valued customers, and enhancing cooperation with parent company Saudi Arabian Airlines to take advantage of the capacity available on domestic and international flights.

Saleh Al-Jasser, the director general of Saudi Arabian Airlines, said that “this step coincides with the peak of operations to transport pilgrims who are currently returning home to more than one hundred domestic and international stations. Saturday, August 25 recorded the highest number of flights in one day since the establishment of Saudi Arabian Airlines, when it reached 711 flights.”


Global stars shine at Saudi leisure forum

Updated 14 October 2019

Global stars shine at Saudi leisure forum

  • “It (Saudi Movies) will bring Saudis closer to the world and the world closer to Saudi,” Shahrukh Khan 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia took another step toward establishing its place on the global entertainment map with a major industry event in Riyadh on Sunday.

The Joy Forum19 brought together entertainment promoters and pioneers from around the world, along with global stars such as Indian actor and film producer Shah Rukh Khan; Hong Kong martial artist, actor, film director Jackie Chan and Belgian actor and martial artist Jean-Claude Van Damme.

The event was organized by the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), which signed several important agreements on the day, including a financing guarantee program for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Participants are ushered in on the first day of the Joy Forum19 event in Riyadh. (AN photo by Noor Nugali)

“Our message is for both, locally and internationally. Me and my generation suffered a lot, we had lots of time on our hands,” GEA chairman Turki Al-Sheikh said at the event.

“Today you are witnessing things we have never had in Saudi Arabia. We have 300,000 visitors to our events, and our sales have hit 80 percent.

“Saudi Arabia has never seen anything like Riyadh Season, we have over 400 sponsors, which is unprecedented.”

Al-Sheikh announced that the authority had named a stadium after singer Mohammed Abdo, the “Artist of Arabs,” and another after Abu Baker Salim, the father of Khaleeji music. 


READ MORE: Three MoUs signed at opening day of Joy Forum19 in Riyadh



Drunken master

The actors expressed what it meant to be movie stars and how wide-reaching their influence could be.

Jackie Chan recalled that when he was a new actor, he often acted like a drunken fighter until he realized that he has a responsibility towards younger fans. 

Jackie Chan: no longer a "drunken master". (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)

“All over the world I keep drinking and fighting (in films).  I realized that I made drunken master cool — so I stopped,” he said. One of Chan's most popular movies was the 1978 action comedy martial arts film "Drunken Master".

“When you’re 20 you don’t have this inner thought — anything that makes the audience laugh you do, but later on especially (when I went) to Africa so many years ago — they started doing the drunken style — the children look up to me. So, I realized we have a responsibility to the children so all those years I corrected those actions: no dirty comedy words or action,” he said.

He attributed his awareness in being responsible for the content he produces to the fans. “I’m really thankful to the fans in making me a good actor.”

Chan spoke about his experience in acting martial arts in both the United States and Asia. “I realized we have two different markets one for America another for Asia. They are totally two different things.”

The safety measures the US takes for stunts is very impeccable making sure of the wellbeing of the actor comes first. However, in Asia it’s a different story, “In Asia when I want to do a stunt, I roll, jump (and then go to the) hospital, he said laughingly.

“It’s so difficult sometimes in the USA so many rules- Jackie Chan movies: NO RULES!” he said and received applause from the audience.

 

Good start

Jean Claude Van Damme gave a shout out and a big thank you to all his “brother and sisters from Saudi Arabia,” He said he got a royal treatment fit for “Kings and Queens”. He went on to reveal that his hotel room at the Ritz Carlton Riyadh was so big he could easily “roller-skate” in it.

Jean Claude Van Damme: "Let's do a movie together". (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)

“I’m honored to be invited here. I know it’s your first time to do this event, but I know it will have a very bright future and I hope next year you will invite more people,” he said.

He said he may not be a “good talker” but expressed his joy at being in Saudi Arabia saying. “I’m happy to be here and I hope to have more connection later with the audience.”

Van Damme remarked how that in every country in the world you have treasure actors and movies with different cultures, “In the Middle East I don’t know what the taste will be, but I know they love American, Asian and Indian movies. They have a broad taste. (Saudi Arabia) should do a movie with all of us together!”

 

Crossing barriers

Sharukh Khan emphasized the importance of every country telling their story through movies; “As long as we are telling the story in whatever language it doesn’t matter. Cinema crosses all barriers.”
 

Shahrukh Khan: "I'd audition for a Saudi movie". (AN photo by Noor Nugali)

With the opening of Saudi Arabia to the world and Cinemas, he said, “I can’t wait to talk about the Saudi films...It will bring Saudis closer to the world and the world closer to Saudi.”

“The stories that you tell should talk about goodness and people should be engaged with the content and it should bring them together. People want to laugh and sadly have to cry, to be entertained and to feel.”

Sharukh noted that Saudi Arabia has started to make movies and he’s watched the King Faisal movie, "Born a King". 

“You’ll always find gems in all movie industries and I think there’s are gems in Saudi and as a matter of fact one of the things I’d like to do is audition for a Saudi movie … Please give me an opportunity!” he said, eliciting a thunderous applause from the audience.


Red carpet

Abdulaziz AlMuzaini, co-founder and CEO of the Saudi Arabian Myrkott Animation Studio; gave a heartfelt thanks full of gratitude to King Salman and the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, saying: “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have dreamed of this moment or this panel.”

Some of the celebrities invited to the event walk the red carpet. (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)

Lebanese actor Wahid Jalal, who was the voice of Long John Silver in Treasure Island, came onstage for the opening of the event. “Children love heroes and they try to imitate them,” he said. 

He also delighted the crowd by performing Silver’s famous laugh.

Some of the celebrities who walked down the red carpet were American actor Jason Momoa, star of Aquaman; Amr Adeeb, Balqis Fathi, Yusra, Boosy Shalabi, Lojien and Aseel Omran, Mohammed Hamaki, Nawal AlZoghbi, Talal Salama, Ahlam Al-Shamsi, Hussain AlJismi, Suad Abdulla, Ibrahem Alharbi, Tariq Alali and Abdulnaser Darweesh.

The gala dinner hosted 500 guests and was a private event, but the red carpet captured the essence of where Saudi is moving to culturally.