Saudi transport authority gets update on Haramain railway

A view of the Haramain Railway station in Jeddah. (SPA file photo)
Updated 19 April 2019

Saudi transport authority gets update on Haramain railway

RIYADH: The Haramain High-Speed Railway linking Makkah and Madinah, and its strategic role in developing the Saudi transport industry was discussed during the monthly meeting of the Public Transport Authority at its headquarters in Riyadh.
Rayan Al-Harbi, the director general of operations and maintenance for the railway, which began operating a little over six months ago, discussed the main features of the megaproject, which is the largest of its kind in the region and the sixth-largest in the world, and how it helps to promote the transport industry in the Kingdom.
He also talked about the strategic locations chosen for the five stations served by the railway, in Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah, King Abdul Aziz International Airport and King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh. The Jeddah station is the biggest of its kind in the world, which gives the project additional value through the state-of-the-art services it provides to travelers.
Al-Harbi praised the use of technology in the railway’s operational processes and electronic services, including online reservations. The huge national project relies on a highly qualified national workforce, and many important jobs have been Saudized, he noted, from work teams and leaders to maintenance and operations staff.
He said the project is one of the largest rapid-transport projects in the world in terms of infrastructure. It includes six giant power generators and a large number of bridges that are specially designed to be safe and secure in case of sand drift or floods.
More than 700 trips have been completed and more than 300,000 passengers have traveled on the Haramain railway since it was officially opened by King Salman in Sep. 2018. It is expected to carry up to 60 million passengers a year.

G20 discusses long-term vision for the digital economy

Updated 05 June 2020

G20 discusses long-term vision for the digital economy

  • Members from G20 countries, guest countries, international and regional organizations met virtually

RIYADH: The G20 Digital Economy Taskforce (DETF) held consecutive virtual meetings on June 3 to June 4 to discuss a comprehensive approach to digital economy policymaking and the future of digitalization.

Members from G20 countries, guest countries, international and regional organizations, addressed the relevance of digitalization in maintaining business operations following the COVID-19 outbreak.


Data Flows, Smart Cities, Digital Economy measurement and Digital Security were also on the agenda as well as the Connecting Humanity 2030 initiative.

Delegates also discussed digitalization in the context of the current crisis with a long-term vision for the best use of digital tools to build economic resiliency and promote job retention.

Prior to the DETF meeting, on June 1, the Dialogue on Trustworthy AI in Pandemic Response brought together experts from both the public and private sectors, and academia to explore the optimal role of government in Artificial Intelligence.

The potential use of the technology in diverse sectors was raised, along with how AI can be an efficient tool in pandemic responses. The Dialogue also examined the G20’s role in policy discussions and the long-term inclusion of AI on the G20 agenda.

G20 Digital Economy Ministers will review and continue the work of the Taskforce at their meeting on July 22-23.