Saudi Arabia’s SAMI, Navantia in SR3.7bn military deal

The signing ceremony was attended by SAMI Chairman Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Navantia S.A. Chairwoman Susana de Sarria, among other officials. (SPA)
Updated 12 September 2019

Saudi Arabia’s SAMI, Navantia in SR3.7bn military deal

  • The new contract builds on the joint venture partnership agreement signed by SAMI and Navantia last year to design and build five Avante 2200 corvettes for the Saudi navy

RIYADH: SAMI Navantia Naval Industries (SAMI-Navantia) signed a SR3.7 billion ($986 million) contract with Spanish shipbuilder Navantia to collaborate on combat system integration (CSI) on the Avante 2200 corvettes for the Saudi navy.
SAMI Navantia Naval Industries (SAMI-Navantia) is a joint venture between Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and Navantia S.A.
The contract will contribute to industry localization, transfer of technology and creating job opportunities.
It was signed at SAMI’s booth at the Defense and Security Equipment International 2019 exhibition at London’s ExCeL convention center. The ceremony was attended by SAMI Chairman Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Navantia S.A. Chairwoman Susana de Sarria, SAMI CEO Dr. Andreas Schwer and SAMI-Navantia CEO Antonio Rodriguez-Barberan.
“The partnership agreement … represents a landmark achievement for SAMI-Navantia as the company is embarking on a historic journey with the objective of helping realize Saudi Arabia’s ambitions related to localizing the military and defense industries, transferring technology to the Kingdom, and creating new jobs as envisaged in the Saudi Vision 2030 (reform plan),” said Rodriguez-Barberan.
“This offers us an excellent opportunity to capitalize on our strategic partner’s several years of experience in the design, construction and integration of warships to build our own capabilities in the domain.”
De Sarria said: “Our contract with SAMI-Navantia is proof of Navantia’s commitment to supporting Saudi Arabia in developing its industrial capabilities in the defense sector.”
She added: “This will provide a strong foundation for long-term cooperation between SAMI and Navantia.” The new contract builds on the joint venture partnership agreement signed by SAMI and Navantia last year to design and build five Avante 2200 corvettes for the Saudi navy.


Snap happy: Every face tells a story for Saudi photographer

Updated 20 February 2020

Snap happy: Every face tells a story for Saudi photographer

  • “There is something majestic about people’s faces, their expressions,” says Abdullah Al-Joghiman

DHAHRAN: Saudi portrait photographer Abdullah Al-Joghiman has a message for everybody: You are beautiful just the way you are.

If you don’t believe him, let him take your picture.

“Even if you’re not photogenic, or think you look bad in pictures, I can always turn your frown upside down,” he said.

Al-Joghiman is a full-time financial analyst for the Saudi Electricity Co., but allows plenty of time for his work as a freelance portrait and event photographer on the side.

“I started off doing landscape photography, but I love portrait photography more. Landscape photographers have to travel a lot, and I wasn’t able to commit to that lifestyle for many reasons. But since I was a child I’ve always loved taking pictures of people. There is something majestic about people’s faces, their expressions,” he told Arab News.

The 34-year-old was born in Al-Hofuf and now lives in Dammam, but his passion for photography has taken him all over the Kingdom and to other areas of the world.

Al-Joghiman at the 2018 Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai. (Supplied)

Al-Joghiman has been asked to shoot for local events such as Gamers’ Con and internationally at conventions in Kuwait, Singapore and the UAE. In 2019, he was commissioned to photograph the World Cosplay Summit in Japan, traveling with a Saudi team competing at the event for the first time.

“It was amazing, I met people from around 20 countries who came to take part,” he said. “It was a great experience.”

Completely self-taught, Al-Joghiman caught the photography bug at college and has been training himself ever since. “I’ve been dabbling in photography since high school, but I started taking it more seriously in college. I’ve been shooting professionally since 2012 or 2013,” he said.

Al-Joghiman started off humbly, with a camera-centric smartphone, but has since expanded his collection significantly, and now shoots with a variety of high-tech cameras from Sony. Now he is attracting interest from both local and international sponsors, especially in the gaming and cosplay areas.

“Cosplayers are kind of difficult to shoot because they can be perfectionists, but I love seeing the joy on their faces when they see the final pictures. That makes it worthwhile,” he said.

Al-Joghiman is happy that social restrictions on photography in Saudi Arabia are easing, allowing him to find more opportunities to do the work he loves.

“It’s difficult to take pictures of people here, especially strangers, but I can’t really blame them, considering that they are not really used to that in our culture. But things are changing and it’s much easier to be a photographer in Saudi Arabia now,” he said.

HIGHLIGHT

Abdullah Al-Joghiman has been asked to shoot for local events such as Gamers’ Con and internationally at conventions in Kuwait, Singapore and the UAE. In 2019, he was commissioned to photograph the World Cosplay Summit in Japan, traveling with a Saudi team competing at the event for the first time.

He is grateful for the Ministry of Culture’s efforts to revive the Kingdom’s art scene, and has long hoped that photography will become more regulated in the country.

“The market for photography and videography really needs to be regulated. It’s hard enough putting a price on one’s work without scoping out the competition and finding that someone else is charging thousands for just a headshot when I’m doing shoots for two or three hundred,” he said.

“I love my work, and I’d love to be able to do it for free, but at the end of the day I still need to eat,” he said.

Al-Joghiman doesn’t want to limit anyone else’s opportunities but simply wants the playing field evened out a little.

“As a photographer, I just want a fair chance for everyone. More importantly, a client should know exactly what they are paying for,” he said.

His advice to young Saudis looking to become photographers is this: “If you pursue photography, don’t worry. Just do what you love, and if people tell you that they don’t look good in pictures, convince them by taking a picture of them.”

AlJoghiman’s work can be found on Instagram and Twitter (@finalecco), and on his website, https://www.eccofantasyph.com