Saudi Arabian Military Industries and France’s Naval sign deal to build warships in the Kingdom

Saudi Arabian Military Industries and France’s Naval sign deal to build warships in the Kingdom
SAMI and French Naval Group will manufacture warships, frigates, and submarines in Saudi. Above, is an image of a Saudi amphibious hovercraft participating in military drills in 2018. (AFP/File)
Updated 18 March 2019

Saudi Arabian Military Industries and France’s Naval sign deal to build warships in the Kingdom

Saudi Arabian Military Industries and France’s Naval sign deal to build warships in the Kingdom
  • SAMI is expected to create 5,000 new jobs
  • Saudi plans to nationalize 50% of its military spending for Vision 2030

JEDDAH: A joint venture to strengthen the Royal Saudi Naval Forces is to be set up between a state-owned defense firm and a French company specializing in naval defense.
The Saudi Arabian Military Industries Company (SAMI) and Naval Group signed an agreement on the sidelines of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi.
The agreement sets out the framework for establishing the joint venture, which will strengthen the Kingdom’s efforts to localize essential industrial skills and capabilities.
SAMI aims to be one of the world’s top 25 military industry companies by 2030, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants to localize 50 percent of Saudi military spending by 2030 also.
SAMI CEO Dr. Andreas Schwer said: “Our joint venture agreement with Naval Group laid the foundation of a strategic partnership that will reinforce SAMI’s commitment to helping Saudi Arabia develop self-sufficient defense capabilities. The collaboration offers us an excellent opportunity to leverage Naval Group’s strong track record of helping its partners develop sovereign defense capabilities to create an integrated military industries ecosystem in the Kingdom.”
“Through design, construction, and maintenance activities, the joint venture will contribute significantly to further enhancing the capabilities and readiness of our Royal Saudi Naval Forces.”
Last year, SAMI signed agreements with Boeing and Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia.  
Vision 2030 is highly reliant on the contribution of SAMI to the gross domestic product (GDP). According to the vision, the plan is to nationalize 50 percent of the military spending, and increase the contribution of the private sector to the GDP by 40-65 percent.
Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia expects SAMI to contribute almost $240 million to the national GDP by 2020, and to create 5,000 new jobs.
SAMI is set to become one of the top manufacturers globally, combining the latest technologies and best expertise to produce military equipment according to international standards and aid the development of the Saudi army.
The company’s strategy is based on implementing best practices from extensive studies in the industry, and collaborating with national and international partners.
SAMI designed their areas of operation to increase profitability and nationalization of the industry.


NEOM initiative aims to help Saudi craftspeople develop their businesses

NEOM initiative aims to help Saudi craftspeople develop their businesses
Updated 11 min 14 sec ago

NEOM initiative aims to help Saudi craftspeople develop their businesses

NEOM initiative aims to help Saudi craftspeople develop their businesses
  • Craft+ runs for two weeks with the aim of empowering and supporting home businesses and micro-enterprises

JEDDAH: A new initiative in NEOM and Tabuk is providing financial support and training to help people working in the local crafts sector develop their businesses.

Craft+ was launched this month by NEOM’s Social Responsibility Program and the Dulani Business Center, a key Social Development Bank program. It runs for two weeks with the aim of empowering and supporting home businesses and micro-enterprises, and providing development and training assistance to help local craftspeople improve the efficiency of their operations and contribute to the development and sustainability of business in the Kingdom. This is in line with the aims of the NEOM megacity project and Saudi Vision 2030.

Craft sectors targeted by the initiative include embroidery and fashion, jewelry making, painting and sculpture, sadu (traditional Bedouin weaving), palm industries and the manufacturing of perfume and incense.

The program concludes with a five-day bazaar in Tabuk Park Mall that will begin on June 18 and be open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. each day. Items made by the participants will be on show to raise awareness of the importance of local crafts, and available to buy.

The initiative is taking place under the auspices of NEOM’s Social Responsibility Program, which aims to empower local communities to unlock their potential, preserve their culture and heritage, contribute to the economic growth of NEOM, and succeed in the work environment of the future. It aims to achieve this by 2025 through transformational educational and training programs, entrepreneurial and employment initiatives, and community development efforts.

NEOM also recently launched an initiative designed to provide employment opportunities for local residents, and aims to provide training and upskilling programs to at least 7,000 people by 2025. Since 2020, NEOM has also provided training in the English language and information technology to more than 1,000 residents of the surrounding areas.

The Social Responsibility Program has also organized a series of workshops, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and Think Tech, to enhance digital literacy and increase digital awareness.

In January Saudi authorities announced that a huge zero-carbon smart city will be built at NEOM in northwestern Saudi Arabia. The project, called The Line, will be home to a million people and have no cars and or roads.


Hajj without smart card, permit will not be allowed

Hajj without smart card,  permit will not be allowed
Updated 33 min 26 sec ago

Hajj without smart card, permit will not be allowed

Hajj without smart card,  permit will not be allowed
  • Permit will be matched with the electronic card and the pilgrim’s ID

JEDDAH: In an effort to ensure compliance with coronavirus (COVID-19) safety measures, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah confirmed that no one will be allowed to perform Hajj without a smart card and a documented official permit.

Dr. Abdulfattah Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, said that the permit will be matched with the electronic card and the pilgrim’s ID, noting that there is no platform to apply for Hajj except the official website of the ministry.

“Any company that offers service packages outside the ministry’s platform is violating the system,” he said. 

“At the first stages of the ‘Eatmarna’ application, we noticed some violations by some entities and individuals, but with the passage of time, community awareness began to increase.”

Mashat said this year’s Hajj will use permits through the “Absher” platform only. Information for those who purchased their Hajj packages on the ministry’s platform will be linked to Absher and their ID.

According to the deputy minister, more than 470,000 applications have been received as of Wednesday at 5 p.m. as all met the conditions of immunization and have never performed Hajj before.

FASTFACT

470K

More than 470,000 applications have been received as of Wednesday at 5 p.m. as all met the conditions of immunization and have never performed Hajj before.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah called on all domestic pilgrims connected with the ministry to adhere to health instructions to enable those wishing to perform Hajj.

The ministry said resident locations will apply visual and thermal screening procedures upon pilgrims’ entrance and movement.

The allocated hotels in Makkah and Madinah must conform to the requirements listed by the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, and other bodies concerned with monitoring the accommodation of pilgrims.

The hotels must take into account the application of precautionary measures to prevent crowding inside rooms. The hotels also have to provide catering services for each pilgrim in his room as open buffets are banned.

A health guide (or health leader) from the concerned authority will be available during the pilgrims’ presence in the Hajj areas and during their movements.

This step comes to ensure the preventive measures. Pilgrims must consult a doctor if they suspect COVID-19 symptoms to ensure his safety and the safety of others.

Regarding the procedures in the holy sites, the Two Holy Mosques, and the central area in Makkah and Madinah, social distancing will be enforced throughout the grouping of pilgrims in all Hajj stages. This is in accordance with health requirements in residential buildings and tents. Pilgrims’ bags and baggage carts will be disinfected periodically.

Security guards will facilitate the exit of pilgrims from holy sites according to the time allotted to them and will ensure adherence to the number of pilgrims allowed in one space (no more than 50 people). Seat numbers on buses will be assigned to each pilgrim during the entire Hajj trip and standing inside busses will not be allowed. There will be an empty seat assigned between each pilgrim and carrying personal carry-on baggage will be prohibited.

In the case that a passenger suspects COVID-19 symptoms, the bus will be stopped and disinfected.

The ministries of health and hajj announced Saturday that a total of 60,000 pilgrims will be allowed to perform the pilgrimage this year, which will begin mid-July.


Visitors to Saudi Arabia must complete COVID-19 registration before departure

Visitors to Saudi Arabia must complete COVID-19 registration before departure
Updated 18 June 2021

Visitors to Saudi Arabia must complete COVID-19 registration before departure

Visitors to Saudi Arabia must complete COVID-19 registration before departure
  • GACA said this protocol will help facilitate the entry procedures and reduce waiting periods at ports of entry
  • The circular was issued to all airlines in the Kingdom

RIYADH: All foreign travelers and their companions traveling to the Kingdom must complete registration for their coronavirus (COVID-19) immunization data before departure, according to a circular issued Thursday by Saudi Arabia’s Civil Aviation Authority.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said this protocol will help facilitate the entry procedures and reduce waiting periods at ports of entry.
The registration is applicable to all citizens from Gulf Cooperation Council countries, holders of new visas, residents, and their companions, both inoculated and non-vaccinated.
The move is “in line with efforts made by the Kingdom to limit the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring the safety of citizens and residents,” GACA said.


Who’s Who: Hatem Samman, head of public policy for Amazon Saudi Arabia

Who’s Who: Hatem Samman, head of public policy for Amazon Saudi Arabia
Updated 17 June 2021

Who’s Who: Hatem Samman, head of public policy for Amazon Saudi Arabia

Who’s Who: Hatem Samman, head of public policy for Amazon Saudi Arabia

Hatem Samman joined Amazon in January 2021 as head of public policy for Saudi Arabia.

His work with Saudi government agencies and key officials aims at building strong strategic socioeconomic and business relationships in the Kingdom in line with Vision 2030.

Samman previously served as a senior policy adviser at the G20 Saudi Secretariat and as chief economist and strategy adviser at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, now the Ministry of Investment.

In an earlier role, he was director and lead economist of the Ideation Center at Booz & Company’s (now Strategy &) think tank in the Middle East.

He was also vice president of credit administration at Riyad Bank, and director of regulatory affairs and strategic planning at the Saudi Telecommunications Co.

Among several other positions he has held over the years, Samman served as a fellow at the University of Minnesota and consultant at the World Bank.

He has published several academic articles in prestigious journals including the International Journal of Applied Economics and the Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, and has written commentary for several newspapers, including the Financial Times.

He is also the co-author of numerous publications, including “How to Succeed at Education Reform: The Case for Saudi Arabia” and “the Broader GCC Region” (2008), and “Meeting the Employment Challenge in the GCC: The Need for a Holistic Strategy” (2010). Samman holds a bachelor’s degree in social science and mathematics from the University of California, San Diego, and a Ph.D. in political economy and public policy from the University of Southern California.


Arab experts discuss media handling of extremism and terrorist acts

Arab experts discuss media handling of extremism and terrorist acts
Updated 17 June 2021

Arab experts discuss media handling of extremism and terrorist acts

Arab experts discuss media handling of extremism and terrorist acts

Representatives from a variety of media sectors met on Thursday to draft a code of conduct for the media’s handling of terrorist incidents and to formulate a strategy for the reporting of issues related to extremism and terrorism.

The meeting — held at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers in Tunisia — was attended by members of information ministries and heads of the security media agencies of interior ministries from across the Arab world, as well as representatives from the Arab League, the Arab Radio and Broadcasting Union, Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, and the Saudi Broadcasting Authority.

In his opening speech, Khalid Hilal Al-Maamari, the assistant secretary-general of the Arab Interior Ministers’ Council, said the meeting highlighted the importance of the media and its role in security awareness and crime prevention. He also stressed the need to establish an effective partnership between the media arms of the security services and the news media to ensure unified efforts to protect Arab countries from any possible threats, not only in terms of security, but also at cultural, social, health and economic levels.

He added that joint cooperation between the security media and representatives of the ministries of information is the best way to achieve that goal.