ACWA wins largest water desalination plant

ACWA wins largest water desalination plant
The water purchase agreement was signed by Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley, minister of environment, water and agriculture and chairman of Water and Electricity Company (WEC).
Updated 31 December 2018

ACWA wins largest water desalination plant

ACWA wins largest water desalination plant

ACWA Power, a developer, owner and operator of power generation and water desalination plants, has won the largest independent water desalination plant, Rabigh 3 IWP — further expanding its desalination capacity in Saudi Arabia. The water purchase agreement was signed by Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley, minister of environment, water and agriculture and chairman of Water and Electricity Company (WEC), as WEC will act as the off-taker of the project.

Amongst 55 expressions of interest and five bidders, ACWA Power submitted the lowest tariff at $0.53/m3 and was selected to develop the desalination plant alongside the Saudi Brothers Commercial Company (SBCC) in Rabigh.

Rabigh 3 IWP will utilize reverse osmosis (RO) technology to yield a capacity of 600,000 cubic meters a day. The innovative design of this plant ensures the highest efficiency, reliability and availability for any comparable plant in the world. The water output will cater to the water demand of Makkah and Jeddah. This will ensure consistent and reliable water supply to the citizens of the two cities, especially during peak periods of demand such as Ramadan and Hajj.

Chairman of ACWA Power Mohammed Abunayyan said: “We take extreme pride in securing another milestone in the Kingdom that contributes to the welfare of Saudi Arabia’s economy and its citizens. As a private company, we work continuously to guarantee the right investment is being injected in the Kingdom through private-public partnerships to achieve the ambitious goals of the Saudi Vision 2030. 

“Rabigh 3 IWP will deliver potable water at the lowest cost achieved to date for RO while consuming the least amount of power for each cubic meter of water produced and is consequently another important step in elevating living standards in the Kingdom. Rabigh 3 IWP will contribute to economic progress and increased employment opportunities, helping the Kingdom reach the highest levels of prosperity.”                                                                                                                          

Managing Director of ACWA Power Thamer Al-Sharhan said: “We are delighted to add another flagship project to our Kingdom’s portfolio, proving our consistent support to the Saudi economy and its people. The world’s largest reverse osmosis desalination plant validates the thesis that a local developer places the interests of the home country as its utmost priority, offering the lowest tariffs without compromising on reliability of water supply, all the while ensuring affordable clean water access to the citizens of Makkah Al-Mukarramah and Jeddah. We take pride in setting the direction and being a strong driver of the progressive vision of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” 

The Rabigh 3 IWP is being procured under a 25-year build-own-operate (BOO) contract and will commence commercial operation on Dec. 31, 2021.


200 F&B outlets to serve visitors at Expo 2020

200 F&B outlets to serve visitors at Expo 2020
Updated 03 August 2021

200 F&B outlets to serve visitors at Expo 2020

200 F&B outlets to serve visitors at Expo 2020

Visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai are invited to enjoy a world of cuisine where taste knows no borders — a foodie’s paradise featuring internationally acclaimed restaurants and local favorites, superstar chefs and Expo-exclusive eateries.

In keeping with its promise to be the most inclusive World Expo ever, Expo 2020 Dubai is bringing cuisines to suit every palate and budget, from old classics to new innovations, street bites and gourmet delights, presenting flavors and experiences that will be remembered for a lifetime from more than 200 food and beverage outlets.

Marjan Faraidooni, chief visitor experience officer, Expo 2020, said: “It’s universally agreed that one of the best ways to discover a country is by sampling its cuisine, and at Expo 2020, visitors are able to eat their way around the world without leaving the UAE.

“Many of the 191 participating countries will also be serving authentic dishes and drinks at their pavilions.” The lineup, revealed two months before Expo’s doors open, features more than 20 award-winning chefs representing restaurants that have earned Michelin stars — the global hallmark of fine dining and culinary excellence. These include American “Gypsy Chef” David Myers, who will combine classic American fast food with an international influence at Adrift Burger Bar, and celebrated Armenian-American chef, Geoffrey Zakarian, who is set to debut The National Bar and Dining Rooms — his vision of a grand café, offering modern bistro cuisine from breakfast to dinner. Both restaurants are new concepts making their debut at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Lifestyle guru Matthew Kenney will wow diners with renditions of American, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors as he brings three plant-based restaurant concepts from the US, while Mory Sacko will employ his skilled French techniques to create his signature African-Japanese fusion cuisine.

Expo 2020 Dubai will celebrate its homegrown hotspots while also introducing internationally-acclaimed restaurants, including famed Italian restaurant Scarpetta, which launches its first-ever Burrata Bar at Expo, and David Thompson’s Thai street food chain Long Chim, which means “come and taste” in Thai.

Local favorites span cuisines from India to Ireland, and include classic UAE brands such as Arabian Tea House, Al-Farwania, Dampa Seafood Grill, Lebanese stalwart Al-Reef Bakery, and Hanon Feras Sweets, renowned for its traditional Middle Eastern dessert, kunafa. The six-month spectacle will also feature Pakistani street food go-to Ravi Restaurant, Maraheb Yemeni Restaurant, Chicken Tikka Inn, and Sarouja Restaurant and Café, a popular Syrian and Mediterranean spot.


Saudi Arabia among top 7 entrepreneurial nations

Saudi Arabia among top 7 entrepreneurial nations
Updated 03 August 2021

Saudi Arabia among top 7 entrepreneurial nations

Saudi Arabia among top 7 entrepreneurial nations

The Prince Mohammed Bin Salman College of Business and Entrepreneurship (MBSC) along with the Babson Global Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership recently released the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Kingdom of Saudi Arabia National Report 2020-21. The GEM report, which charts levels of entrepreneurial motivation and activity across the globe, ranked Saudi Arabia among the top 7 countries out of 44 nations, positioning the Kingdom among the world’s most elite entrepreneurial nations.

The report charts the Kingdom’s progress in setting the stage for entrepreneurial opportunities and culture. Ninety percent of Saudis surveyed in the GEM report agree or strongly agree that it is easy to start a business, placing the Kingdom in top position among GEM economies. Further, experts surveyed rated both the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the response of entrepreneurs first among GEM economies. And in another first, Saudi Arabia is now the only nation among 23 high-income GEM economies with higher startup rates for women than men.

Across the globe, entrepreneurs reported a worsening income due to the pandemic, and this was also true in Saudi Arabia. Yet, despite the turbulent context, Saudi Arabia’s total rate of startup activity increased from 14 percent of the population in 2019, to 17 percent in 2020. Coupled with this, Saudi Arabia reported the highest rate of market confidence, with 80 percent seeing opportunities to start a business as a result of the changes brought about by the pandemic.

The report reveals that total entrepreneurial activity in Saudi Arabia has increased by 24 percent compared to 2019, regardless of the pandemic’s profound impact on entrepreneurship. The Kingdom recorded a 65 percent increase in business ownership over the past three years. The report also shows that more than 90 percent of adults see entrepreneurship as a favorable career choice, and a third of Saudis are keen on launching a business within the next three years.

Fahd Al-Rasheed, vice chairman of MBSC’s board of trustees, and president of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, said: “Our ambition stated in Vision 2030 is for Saudi Arabia to be a world-leading entrepreneurial nation, and with our shared efforts and confidence, we now proudly stand as seventh in the world in entrepreneurial competitiveness. From government, to nonprofits, universities, companies and youth, our country is being energized by an entrepreneurial spirit and mindset. I particularly want to recognize and celebrate the entrepreneurs propelling our country’s tremendous performance, and I invite all Saudis to take pride in this collective excellence and recognition.”

Saleh Ibrahim Alrasheed, governor of the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha’at), said: “Saudi Arabia’s steady improvement on the NECI over the past five years is testimony to the success of the Kingdom’s efforts to nurture a thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem in line with the goals of Vision 2030. At Monsha’at, we are proud of our contributions to this achievement through our endeavors aimed at providing support for SMEs and developing the sector in accordance with the best standards.”

Professor Zeger Degraeve, executive dean, MBSC, said: “As testified by the successive GEM Saudi Arabia reports, Saudi Arabia has been building a solid foundation for a robust entrepreneurship ecosystem over the past few years.” 

This strong footing enabled the Kingdom to remain resilient even in the face of extreme challenges stemming from the pandemic and provide required support for SMEs and startups.”


‘Polish Table’ highlight of pavilion at Expo 2020

‘Polish Table’ highlight of pavilion at Expo 2020
Updated 03 August 2021

‘Polish Table’ highlight of pavilion at Expo 2020

‘Polish Table’ highlight of pavilion at Expo 2020
  • Visitors to the Poland Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai will be welcomed by a spectacular installation

Visitors to the Poland Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai will be welcomed by a spectacular installation titled the “Polish Table.” The installation will be a unique work of art, created from the raw materials characteristic of the country, such as copper, glass, wood, ceramics and carbon fibers, with the joint effort of Polish craftsmen, artists and engineers.

Moreover, a total of 150 students from top Polish universities (speaking 50 languages altogether) will be showing visitors over 2,000 square meters of the pavilion through its five zones, inviting guests to their cuisines, businesses, achievements and tourist attractions. Outside the pavilion, a kinetic sculpture representing hundreds of migrating birds from Poland all the way to the Arab countries, emphasizes the pavilion’s theme of “Creativity Inspired by Nature.”

“The architecture of the pavilion clearly refers to mobility: It is an open, modular structure expanding upwards, which invites visitors to rest in the shade of a wide roof and to contemplate the installations,” a statement said.

The pavilion, designed by the Warsaw studio WXCA, will be inaugurated on Oct. 1 by Polish government officials.


Innovative ‘Anghami Lab’ to be launched in Dubai, Riyadh

Innovative ‘Anghami Lab’ to be launched in Dubai, Riyadh
Updated 03 August 2021

Innovative ‘Anghami Lab’ to be launched in Dubai, Riyadh

Innovative ‘Anghami Lab’ to be launched in Dubai, Riyadh

Ahead of its historic listing on Nasdaq New York via a proposed merger with Vistas Media Acquisition Company, a special purpose acquisition company, Anghami, the Middle East and North Africa’s largest music platform, has announced the launch of an innovative entertainment venue — “Anghami Lab” — in the heart of Dubai, to be followed by Saudi Arabia’s vibrant capital Riyadh and other major cities.

Anghami has partnered with Addmind, a hospitality company, operating nine leading brands such as White, Iris and Clap across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Qatar and London, to launch the new concept. Anghami Lab will be the first to combine both online and offline worlds, bridging digital and traditional entertainment. The venue will feature a lounge, stage and studio where creators can experiment by co-creating music inspired by both Arabic and international cultures to be performed in the venue. The resulting music will be made available exclusively on Anghami. The app itself will provide unique features complementing both experiences. 

The cuisine served at Anghami Lab will be a fusion of Arabic and international recipes, embodying the essence of Anghami and providing an international taste with an Arabic flavor. 

Eddy Maroun, co-founder and CEO of Anghami, said: “We are excited to partner with Addmind to create this unique, transformational experience for our users. Addmind is a leading expert in conceptualizing and operating hospitality spaces, and this is a great opportunity to further reinforce the value we provide digitally to be converged offline in a unique user-to-guest experience.”

The first venue will open in Dubai in early 2022. Following the Dubai location, Anghami Lab will launch in Riyadh, Jeddah, Cairo, Beirut and other global cities such as London, New York and Los Angeles.

Tony Habre, CEO of Addmind, added: “Anghami is more than just a streaming platform; they have elevated the value of the music industry in the Middle East as a whole. Anghami Lab is an amazing and unique concept that embodies our rich Arab culture with an international twist — which we are thrilled to bring to fruition and scale.”

Anghami recently announced it expects to become a publicly traded company via a merger with Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc.


UAE aquarium to house region’s largest shark collection

UAE aquarium to house region’s largest shark collection
Updated 03 August 2021

UAE aquarium to house region’s largest shark collection

UAE aquarium to house region’s largest shark collection

The National Aquarium (TNA), located in Al-Qana, Abu Dhabi, will showcase an astonishing biodiversity of species when it opens its doors later this year. The largest aquarium in the region, TNA houses more than 200 sharks and rays, representing 25 different species. Teaming with marine life, the aquarium will provide guests with a remarkable opportunity to delve into a submarine world and discover the awe-inspiring variety of species found within our oceans. 

It is also the only place in the UAE to house a school of iconic scalloped hammerhead sharks. Additionally, the bull sharks will also make their debut in the region and guests will be able to see first hand what is widely considered one of the most dangerous shark species in the ocean and rivers. Other species of sharks and rays will include sand tiger sharks, lemon sharks, zebra sharks, black tip reef sharks, eagle rays, shovelnose rays, cownose rays, and freshwater rays, among others. 

Sharks are one of the most misunderstood animals in the ocean with the misperception that they are dangerous, a narrative that has been reinforced by the film industry. With their numbers dwindling due to over-fishing, the team at TNA is seeking to turn fear into fascination and educate visitors around how well these apex predators can adapt to living peacefully. Guests will be able to observe how these beautiful animals interact with other species, including TNA’s team of world-class divers. 

An unmissable highlight will be the feeding demonstrations with both sharks and rays, as well as a one-of-a-kind public “Shark Encounter.” Guests will be able to hand-feed sharks as large as two meters long, which promises to be an unforgettable experience, especially for people who have a fear of sharks.

Paul Hamilton, general manager at TNA, said: “We cannot wait for our opening this year, to reveal our array of animals and animal-related activities. In general, people have a fear of sharks and we want to celebrate these fascinating creatures that are so crucial to the health of our oceans. We are hoping that through personal interaction, the aquarium will help people overcome any fears and perceptions that they might have. Most importantly, we look forward to providing our visitors with an unrivaled and memorable edutainment experience on each and every visit.” 

TNA signed a five-year partnership with the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi in July 2020 with the aim to help create rehabilitation schemes to protect and rehabilitate wildlife in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The partnership has resulted in a large number of animals saved until today, including 200 sea turtles being successfully rescued and released.