Forum explores Makkah’s investment potential

Makkah Gov. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal and Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih sign a memorandum of understanding to start implementing the early stages of the ministry’s Al-Faisaliah Solar Energy Project. (SPA)
Updated 25 March 2019

Forum explores Makkah’s investment potential

  • Pilgrimage services, solar power infrastructure and private investment on top of agenda

MAKKAH: The second Makkah Economic Forum kicked off on Saturday at the Hilton Jabal Omar, led by the governor of Makkah, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal.
Prince Khalid welcomed delegates, including government ministers, business figures and other members of the royal family, to the forum, which runs until March 26.
He then chaired a ministerial session held to discuss housing, hospitality, business development and infrastructure in Makkah, attended by the ministers of commerce and investment, justice, labor and social development, housing and Hajj and Umrah.
The president of the forum’s executive committee, Dr. Hisham Al-Faleh, stressed that the committee was keen to focus on sustainable development programs, and on building a solid foundation for an integrated partnership between the public and private sectors in line with Vision 2030 to strengthen the local economy.
Prince Khalid also signed four memoranda of understanding (MoU) on the forum’s opening day, the first of which concerned establishing the Islamic World Center in Al-Faisaliah Project.
The second MoU, signed on behalf of the Makkah Region Development Authority with the minister of energy, industry and mineral resources, Khalid Al-Falih, agreed to start implementing the early stages of the ministry’s Al-Faisaliah Solar Energy Project, including the installation of 2,600 MW of solar power capacity across the region.
Prince Khalid signed the third MoU with the minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Mohammed Salih Bentin, over operating responsibilities for the Pilgrims Oasis complex in Makkah, and the fourth with Ibrahim Al-Omar, governor of the SAGIA, to promote domestic and foreign investment in the region.
Operating along this year’s theme, “Road to an Urban Future: Invest in Makkah,” the four-day event focuses on urban development, public services and infrastructure, transport and logistics, and innovation around the Hajj and Umrah.


Passionate Saudi musicians Jwa ready to take the world by storm

The group has plans to perform in Jordan, Egypt, Dubai and Bahrain, as it awaits the release of its first album before exploring new horizons. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 19 February 2020

Passionate Saudi musicians Jwa ready to take the world by storm

  • Jwa’s first album is due to be released on Feb. 25
  • The word “jwa” in Arabic means the “highest levels of passion and love,” which embodies how the quintet feel about Indie music — the thing that brought them together

RIYADH: The music scene in the Kingdom is exploding, with young, talented Saudis taking full advantage of the developments in the country by showcasing their talent.
 In a limited time, young Saudi musicians have proven that they are equal to any other young cohort of musicians anywhere in the world.
 One of those talents is a young band from Dhahran, Jwa. Currently performing locally in Riyadh, Jeddah and other cities in the Eastern Province, the group has plans to perform in Jordan, Egypt, Dubai and Bahrain, as it awaits the release of its first album before exploring new horizons.
 The band, formed in 2018, is composed of Methgal Al-Shammari on drums, Mohammad Al-Nahas (bass and vocals), Arkan Al-Zahrani (guitar), Mansour Al-Gallaf (guitar) and Fawaz Baasem (keyboard).
They have had two local hit singles, “Ya Safina” and “Min Jadeed.” Methgal and Mohammad, the founders of Jwa, say that at first they “performed at numerous local events and parties” across the Kingdom. It did not take them long to become popular among Saudis.

FASTFACTS

• Jwa was formed in 2018.

• Since its launch it has two local hit singles.

• The band’s first album is due to be released on Feb. 25.

The word “jwa” in Arabic means the “highest levels of passion and love,” which embodies how the quintet feel about Indie music — the thing that brought them together.
However, they have faced many challenges in the last two years. Methgal and Mohammad said initially a “lack of support for independent bands” and “weakness of the nurturing music environment” within the country halted their progress.
However, due to the steps taken by the General Entertainment Authority, bands like Jwa have become able to make their voices and music heard. In the future, they are looking to go international, to “make their band known not only to different regions of Saudi Arabia but also abroad to gain more momentum and attraction.”
Jwa’s first album is due to be released on Feb. 25.