Arbitration center to settle housing sector disputes

Minister of Justice Dr. Walid bin Mohammed Al-Samaani and Minister of Housing Majed bin Abdullah Al-Hogail attended the inauguration ceremony of the center.
Updated 22 October 2019

Arbitration center to settle housing sector disputes

The minister of justice, Dr. Walid bin Mohammed Al-Samaani, and the minister of housing and chairman of the Real Estate General Authority, Majed bin Abdullah Al-Hogail, officially opened the Saudi Real Estate Arbitration Center on Thursday.

The center is electronically linked to the reconciliation center in the Ministry of Justice, thus establishing the Saudi Real Estate Arbitration Center as an authorized reconciliation center. The center will also be linked to Ejar, the rental services e-network, and Etihad Mullak, the landlords’ union. The link will provide access to the beneficiaries of both Ejar and Etihad Mullak in order to ensure the validity of their data as well as including the arbitration clause in the contracts in accordance with the center’s approved regulations.

The governor of the Real Estate General Authority, Essam bin Hamad Al-Mubarak, said that the Saudi Real Estate Arbitration Center would help in reducing disputes between various real estate sector parties. He said the center aimed to reduce the time for settling disputes by following a professional approach and also through its simple and flexible electronic procedures.

Reconciliation and arbitration records will be issued electronically by specialized arbitrators, who have been certified by the Saudi Real Estate Institute.

The center also aims to make beneficiaries aware of their rights and duties and to increase the appeal of the real estate sector.

Established in 2017, the Real Estate General Authority is a Saudi government agency, which regulates rules, stimulates investment and provides consumer protection in the real estate industry in Saudi Arabia. The authority is also in charge of enhancing market transparency through publishing real estate market indicators.


Whale shark hot spot in Red Sea offers new insights

An international team of KAUST researchers studied whale shark movement patterns near the Shib Habil reef (Arabic for ‘Rope Reef’), a known whale shark hotspot in the Red Sea on the Saudi Arabian coast.
Updated 11 min 26 sec ago

Whale shark hot spot in Red Sea offers new insights

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), whale sharks are considered endangered, which means the species has suffered a population decline of more than 50 percent in the past three generations. The whale shark is only two classifications from being extinct. Improvements and conservation efforts are in place, but there is still a long way to
go to protect these gentle underwater giants.
An international team of researchers, led by marine scientists at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and including researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the US, has performed an extensive study of whale shark movement and residency using a combination of three scientific techniques: Visual census, acoustic monitoring and satellite telemetry.
Their six-year study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, tracked long-term whale shark movement patterns near the Shib Habil reef (Arabic for “Rope Reef”), a known whale shark hotspot in the Red Sea. The team monitored a total of 84 different sharks over a six-year period, and their results shed light on whale shark behaviors,
which could help to inform conservation efforts.
“The study takes years of passive acoustic monitoring data and combines it with previously published visual census and satellite telemetry data from the same individual sharks. The combined dataset is used to characterize the aggregation’s seasonality, spatial distribution, and patterns of dispersal,” said Dr. Michael Berumen, director of the Red Sea Research Center and professor of marine science at KAUST.

HIGHLIGHT

An international team of researchers, led by marine scientists at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and including researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the US, has performed an extensive study of whale shark movement and residency.

They found the aggregation to be highly seasonal, with sharks being most abundant in April and May, and that many of the sharks returned to the hot spot regularly year after year. The study also shows roughly equal numbers of male and female sharks using the site, something that could be unique to Shib Habil. These characteristics indicate that this site may serve an important function for the wider Indian Ocean population of this rare and endangered species.
“Using the combined dataset, we can show somewhat conclusively that the aggregation meets all of the criteria of a shark nursery. This is particularly relevant given that Shib Habil is the only site in the Indian Ocean to regularly attract large numbers of juvenile females. Growing late-stage adolescents of both sexes into full adulthood is critical for sustaining a species. Management of critical habitats like Shib Habil and other aggregations will likely be vital for future whale shark conservation,” said KAUST graduate Dr. Jesse Cochran, lead author of the study.
There is a combination of factors contributing to the decrease of whale shark populations world-wide, including targeted fishing, bycatch losses due to fisheries, vessel strikes from boat traffic, marine debris, and pollution.