Saudi Arabia’s Royal Commission for Al-Ula hosts scholarship summit

The summit will bring together students, families and key partners of the program, whose aim is the long-term sustainable development of Al-Ula. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 28 March 2019

Saudi Arabia’s Royal Commission for Al-Ula hosts scholarship summit

  • Program provides opportunities in prestigious universities in US, UK and France

AL-ULA: The Royal Commission for Al-Ula is hosting a summit for its scholarship program, which gives successful applicants from the Saudi governorate the opportunity to pursue degrees at prestigious universities and academic institutions in the US, the UK and France.

The summit will take place in Paris (March 27-28), London (March 29-30) and Los Angeles (April 5-6). 

It will bring together students, families and key partners of the program, whose aim is the long-term sustainable development of Al-Ula. 

It also aims to equip students with the skills necessary to diversify the Saudi economy and build a vibrant and robust tourism and leisure sector.

The 165 students currently enrolled in the program left Saudi Arabia for the US, the UK and France in September 2018 to obtain diplomas, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in subjects including agricultural techniques, history, archaeology, tourism and hospitality. 

The summit will facilitate engagement and networking between the commission, students and key partners, and will feature speeches and interactive sessions.

“The skills and knowledge that our students are acquiring will be of utmost importance for the development of Al-Ula and the achievement of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 (reform plan), said Abdullah Khelaiwi, head of economic and social development at the commission.

“I am proud of the students, who are not only gaining a world-class education, but also actively engaging in new cultures and broadening their horizons,” he added.

“This summit is an excellent opportunity for the students to meet one another, network and learn more about their chosen country’s history and culture. It will be the first of many.”


AI technology to dominate Saudi Arabia’s jobs, says futurist

Ian Khan
Updated 2 min 47 sec ago

AI technology to dominate Saudi Arabia’s jobs, says futurist

  • The summit is part of Saudi Arabia’s plan to become a leader in AI technology and drive discussions and partnerships between local and international stakeholders in the AI field

RIYADH: Artificial intelligence (AI) technology will take over most blue- and white-collar jobs in Saudi Arabia’s offices, factories and even hospitals, a top futurist told a forum in Riyadh.
Ian Khan was speaking at the the Futuristic Advancement Forum, which explored the latest technological trends being incorporated into the workplace to lift training and employee performance.
Khan, who is an emerging technology expert, said that the Kingdom was working to advance itself on a global level but that everything had to happen inside the country.
“The youth have to be empowered, people need to see where they are going, there has to be a vision,” he told delegates. He also spoke about how Saudi Arabia was heading into an era where AI technology would take over a majority of blue- and white-collar jobs in offices, factories and hospitals.
“Their jobs are going to be automated … In March, Saudi Arabia is organizing the world’s largest artificial intelligence conference right here in Riyadh. The Kingdom is also pushing toward this direction because AI creates a lot of actions and does other things for us generally.”
The Global AI Summit, organized by the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority, will bring together stakeholders from the public sector, academia and the private sector. The summit is part of Saudi Arabia’s plan to become a leader in AI technology and drive discussions and partnerships between local and international stakeholders in the AI field.
Khan said there were three types of technology that people should learn about and see how they affected lives and businesses. The first was blockchain technology as it brought a lot of peace of mind. “It brings a lot of satisfaction and a lot of trust to the equation to the challenge that you have in your business, in your organization and that’s what blockchain is all about,” he explained. The second was machine learning that had the ability to provide some sense of freedom from everyday tasks that could easily be done by AI, while the third type was to know and understand more about 5G technology. Khan described it as “a fair technology that makes everything connect together. It’s the glue that binds everything together … it’s a life-changer.”

Other speakers at the event include global and local entrepreneurs, experts and technology specialists such as Dr. Elsa Sotiriadis, author and bio futurist, Dr. Mounira Jamjoom, who is CEO of Emkan Education and the Aanaab e-learning platform, and Sami Al-Hussayen, who is co-founder of RWAQ.org.
Rajaa Moumena, who is founder and CEO of the Future Institute, which is the official sponsor for the event, opened the forum. “Investing, building and developing humans is the best investment for the present and the future,” she said. “To improve thinking, work and ability, to be in the ranks of the developed world.”
She added that success stories always began with a vision and that the most successful visions were built on the youth. Young people were considered to be one of Saudi Arabia’s strengths and they were at the heart of the country’s Vision 2030 reform plan, which was also the inspiration behind the forum and its aim to create a hub for knowledge sharing and ideas exchange on training trends, Moumena said.