Riyadh to host drone summit next month

The summit will be held in the Saudi capital on April 22. (SPA)
Updated 29 March 2019

Riyadh to host drone summit next month

  • The summit will be divided into four sessions, with the first dealing with changing regulations and legislation to foster innovation

RIYADH: The Kingdom will host the first Saudi Drone Summit and Expo next month in Riyadh, focusing on “advancing surveillance, security, efficiency and operations.”

The two-day event will open on April 22, giving a platform to key decision-makers from across Saudi Arabia to discuss key technological advancements, and to view the latest products made in the country’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) sector.

The summit will be divided into four sessions, with the first dealing with changing regulations and legislation to foster innovation.

The second session will focus on how to incorporate drone technology into national security strategies, and will present multiple case studies of similar programs in other nations.

The third is dedicated to the industry’s general global outlook, visualizing a new world of UAV-based personal travel and goods transportation, and will also focus on how drones can be used in sectors from construction to health care.

Finally, the fourth session will highlight progress in the local industry, explaining UAV innovation and the nature of operating drones on a practical level.

Experts will attend the summit from across the world, and it comes in the aftermath of the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) recently publishing its new policy for private drone usage in the Kingdom.

A recreational drone permit will now cost citizens SR250 ($66.66) the GACA announced in January, and applicants will require a national identity card or iqama, and the name and serial number of the model in question.

Commercial permits, meanwhile, will set businesses back SR500, and applicants will also have to complete a GACA-approved training course.


Saudi housing program allocates monthly record 21,000 building plots

Updated 53 min 20 sec ago

Saudi housing program allocates monthly record 21,000 building plots

  • Riyadh received the largest issue of free lands

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Housing allocated a monthly record of 20,907 plots for residential property building during October, according to official figures.

Riyadh received the largest issue of free lands under the ministry’s Sakani program at 4,443, with Makkah second on 2,797 and Eastern Province getting 2,205.

A statement from program officials said October had seen the biggest batch of land distribution across the Kingdom in preparation for the construction of housing units by beneficiaries, a situation made possible due to the electronic streamlining of the application process.

Other parts of the Kingdom to receive land allocations were Qassim (2,140), Madinah (2,058), Asir (1,665), Najran (1,301), Jazan (1,258), Hail (1,192), Northern Borders (809), Al-Baha (542), Jouf (420), and Tabuk (77).

“This comes as a continuation of the housing support Sakani provides throughout the Kingdom,” the statement said. “The handing of free lands will continue at the ministry’s branches, with areas ranging between 450 and 527 square meters each.”

It added that beneficiaries could complete procedures and choose appropriate housing plans online by visiting https://sakani.housing.sa/plans-map.

“Free lands are one of the options provided by the program. Beneficiaries may also apply for villas among the ministry’s projects, buy an under-construction residential unit in partnership with the private sector, buy a finished housing unit off the market, or acquire a 100 percent subsidized profit mortgage for landowners.”

Phase three of the 2019 Sakani program includes 200,000 housing and financing options, among them 50,000 free lands, 50,000 housing units in cooperation with the private sector, and 100,000 subsidized mortgages for the beneficiaries of the Real Estate Development Fund (REDF) in partnership with banks and financial institutions.