Bahraini culture, crafts on show at Taif festival

The Bahraini pavilion houses popular markets, products and authentic restaurants reflecting Bahrain’s culture and heritage.
Updated 14 August 2019

Bahraini culture, crafts on show at Taif festival

Bahrain is participating in the 13th Souk Okaz, part of Taif Season, with a pavilion that reflects the country’s culture and includes a variety of traditional performances. 

Covering an area of 6,000 square meters within the "Arab Neighborhood," the Bahraini pavilion houses popular markets, products and authentic restaurants reflecting Bahrain’s culture and heritage.

The pavilion also offers live demonstration of traditional shipbuilding crafts and showcases different aspects of the pearl-diving profession. Visitors can also enjoy traditional local cuisine, with the aromas making them feel as if they are wandering through alleys in Bahrain itself.

The Souk Okaz festival is hosting 11 Arab countries to share their cultural and social heritage within the “Arab Neighborhood” event.

It has 200 shops selling pottery, silverware, glassware, wall arts and historical manuscripts, as well as textiles, handicrafts and leather goods. The market also includes restaurants and cafes.

Souq Okaz was famous for hundreds of years — predating Islam — it may go back more than 1,500 years.

SAGIA, Xylem ink $50m MoU to advance water security

Updated 05 December 2019

SAGIA, Xylem ink $50m MoU to advance water security

Water technology firm Xylem has signed an MoU with the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), representing an investment of $50 million. The agreement aims to expand Xylem’s manufacturing footprint into the Kingdom, and to better serve its portfolio of customers in Saudi Arabia and across the region.

Under the MoU, Xylem will work with SAGIA to develop and localize advanced water and wastewater products and technologies to address water challenges in Saudi Arabia, as well as increase its footprint of service points and rental fleets across the Kingdom. A core objective of the MoU is to accelerate adoption of digital water solutions and optimize utility networks across the Kingdom.

The proposed multimillion-dollar investment will not only help build a vibrant local supply chain, but also see Xylem bringing additional commercial opportunities into the Kingdom, with the wider aim of improving water solutions locally. The agreement is in line with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 to promote economic diversification through investments in localization that will also contribute to the export of “Made in Saudi” products across the world.

The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative (FII), commonly known as the “Davos in the Desert,” by Ibrahim A. Al-Omar, governor of SAGIA, and Steven Leung, senior vice president and president, emerging markets of Xylem, in the presence of senior officials of both entities and Frank Ackland, managing director Xylem Middle East.

Al-Omar said: “As Saudi Arabia welcomes investors and decision-makers from across the globe to this annual global investment platform, the agreements exchanged here reflect the strength and diversity of the economy. Under Saudi Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia is undergoing an ambitious program of economic reform, and the world is taking notice. This month, Saudi Arabia climbed 30 places in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report, becoming the most improved economy globally. The indicators are
clear: Saudi Arabia is not only open for business, it’s the economy of the future.”

Leung added: “As Xylem continues to lead the water sector’s digital transformation globally, this MoU presents an opportunity to leverage our market-leading portfolio and application expertise to advance water security in Saudi Arabia. Through our investment of $50 million, and with our strong presence in Saudi Arabia, backed by our dedicated office and team, we are committed to creating in-Kingdom value through our investments and partnerships. We are thankful to SAGIA for the opportunity to directly contribute our expertise to the development vision of the leadership, as the Kingdom embarks on its ambitious transformation program.”