Samsung joins Saudi Qiddiya project

Michael Reininger, left, CEO of Qiddiya Investment Company, and Lee Young-ho, president and CEO of Samsung C&T, after signing a MoU on constructing an entertainment complex in Qiddiya. (AN Photo)
Updated 01 November 2019

Samsung joins Saudi Qiddiya project

  • The project is designed to build a mega entertainment complex that is more than half the size of Seoul and twice the size of Washington D.C.
  • The complex will feature a hotel, an outdoor entertainment facility, a motorsports center, a speed part stadium and an indoor ski center

SEOUL: Saudi Arabia and South Korea’s Samsung Group have agreed to collaborate on the Kingdom’s city development project in Qiddiya, officials told Arab News on Wednesday.
Qiddiya, located 40 km west of Riyadh, is referred to as Saudi Arabia’s future “capital of entertainment, sports and the arts.”
On Tuesday, the Qiddiya Investment Co. (QIC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and Samsung Group signed an extensive memorandum of understanding (MoU) as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan.
The MoU was signed by QIC CEO Michael Reininger and Lee Young-ho, president and CEO of Samsung C&T, a construction arm of the South Korean tech giant, at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh.
“The signing of this milestone MoU between Qiddiya and Samsung C&T, an industry leader and global pioneer, demonstrates our commitment to achieving our dual goals of creating an unprecedented destination that enriches the lives of Saudi citizens while driving social and economic diversification within the Kingdom,” Reininger said.
Kim Wan-soo, senior vice president of Samsung C&T, said the deal will further cement its strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia.
“We’re confident to leverage the full capabilities from both partners to deliver the most technologically advanced entertainment, sports and arts destination in the Kingdom,” he added.
Neither side revealed the value of the deal. The project is designed to build a mega entertainment complex that is more than half the size of Seoul and twice the size of Washington D.C., with the Saudi government investing nearly $8 billion.
The complex will feature a hotel, an outdoor entertainment facility, a motorsports center and an indoor ski center.
It is expected to attract about 17 million tourists from around the world once it is completed by 2030.
Under the MoU, Samsung C&T will collaborate on design, engineering and construction of Qiddiya’s sports complex, according to Samsung officials.
Samsung Electronics will become Qiddiya’s primary technology sponsor while building co-branding and naming rights for some of Qiddiya’ anchor facilities.
Other Samsung IT and security affiliates such as Samsung SDS will participate in the project as systems providers, the sources said.
“This is a very extensive deal to support Saudi Arabia’s up-to-date construction project, and is expected to be a stepping stone for boosting more businesses in the Kingdom and other countries in the region,” a Samsung spokesman told Arab News on condition of anonymity.
Samsung is prioritizing the Middle East, which the heir of Samsung Group has called “the land of opportunities.”
Lee visited Saudi Arabia in September to review Samsung’s ongoing construction works, including the Riyadh Metro Project.
During his stay, he met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss expanding business cooperation in various fields, including technology, construction and energy.
Lee also met in Seoul with the crown prince, who was visiting South Korea’s capital for the first time to seal business deals worth $8.3 billion.


Harassers face ‘naming and shaming’ after Saudi Shoura Council ruling

Updated 01 October 2020

Harassers face ‘naming and shaming’ after Saudi Shoura Council ruling

  • It will help eliminate harassment in workplaces and public places as well as in schools

JEDDAH: Violations of Saudi Arabia’s anti-sexual harassment laws could be punished by “naming and shaming” following a decision by the Kingdom’s Shoura Council to approve a defamation penalty.

The council voted in favor of the penalty during its session on Wednesday after previously rejecting the move in March this year.

Council member Latifah Al-Shaalan said the proposal to include the penalty was sent by the Saudi Cabinet.

Saudi lawyer Njood Al-Qassim said she agrees with the move, adding that it will help eliminate harassment in workplaces and public places as well as in schools.

“The penalty will be imposed according to a court ruling under the supervision of judges, and according to the gravity of the crime and its impact on society,” Al-Qassim told Arab News.

“This will be a deterrent against every harasser and molester,” she said.

Al-Qassim said that legal experts are required to explain the system and its penalties to the public.

“The Public Prosecution has clarified those that may be subject to punishment for harassment crimes, including the perpetrator, instigator and accessory to the crime, the one who agreed with the harasser, malicious report provider, and the person who filed a malicious prosecution lawsuit,” she added.

“The Public Prosecution also confirmed that attempted harassment requires half the penalty prescribed for the crime,” said Al-Qassim.

In May 2018, the Shoura Council and Cabinet approved a measure criminalizing sexual harassment under which offenders will be fined up to SR100,000 ($26,660) and jailed for a maximum of two years, depending on the severity of the crime. 

In the most severe cases, where the victims are children or disabled, for example, violators will face prison terms of up to five years and/or a maximum penalty of SR300,000.

Incidents that have been reported more than once will be subject to the maximum punishment. 

The law seeks to combat harassment crimes, particularly those targeting children under 18 and people with special needs.

Witnesses are also encouraged to report violations and their identities will remain confidential.

The law defines sexual harassment as words or actions that hint at sexuality toward one person from another, or that harms the body, honor or modesty of a person in any way. It takes into account harassment in public areas, workplaces, schools, care centers, orphanages, homes and on social media.

“The legislation aims at combating the crime of harassment, preventing it, applying punishment against perpetrators and protecting the victims in order to safeguard the individual’s privacy, dignity and personal freedom which are guaranteed by Islamic law and regulations,” a statement from the Shoura Council said.

Council member Eqbal Darandari, who supports the law, said on Twitter that the defamation penalty has proven its effectiveness in crimes in which a criminal exploits a person’s trust.

“The defamation of one person is a sufficient deterrent to the rest,” she said.

Social media activist Hanan Abdullah told Arab News the decision “is a great deterrent for every harasser since some fear for their personal and family’s reputation, and won’t be deterred except through fear of defamation.”

The move will protect women from “uneducated people who believe that whoever leaves her house deserves to be attacked and harassed,” she said.

“Anyone who is unhappy with this decision should look at their behavior.”