Samsung joins Saudi Qiddiya project

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

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.


Saudi, UNODC officials hold talks on Riyadh Initiative to combat corruption

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets Under-Secretary-General of the UN and Executive Director of the UNODC Ghada Waly. (SPA)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets Under-Secretary-General of the UN and Executive Director of the UNODC Ghada Waly. (SPA)
Updated 7 min 23 sec ago

Saudi, UNODC officials hold talks on Riyadh Initiative to combat corruption

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets Under-Secretary-General of the UN and Executive Director of the UNODC Ghada Waly. (SPA)
  • Saudi foreign minister holds talks with UNODC executive director in Vienna
  • Head of Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority meets UNODC regional director for GCC

LONDON: Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met with Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Ghada Fathi Waly in Vienna during his official visit to the Austrian capital.
During the meeting, the two reviewed Riyadh’s initiative to establish the Global Operations Network for Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement Authorities (GlobE), which was launched on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Special session against corruption in early June.
The two sides also discussed ways to enhance joint coordination between the Kingdom and the UN on issues of common interest.
The meeting was attended by Prince Abdullah bin Khalid bin Sultan, The Kingdom’s ambassador to Austria and the permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna.
Meanwhile, Mazin bin Ibrahim Al-Kahmous, president of the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha), held talks with the UNODC Regional Director for the Gulf Cooperation Council Dr. Hatem Ali at the authority’s headquarters in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
During the meeting, they discussed ways to enhance cooperation, issues of mutual concern, and the strategic partnership between Nazaha and the UNODC.
Ali praised efforts made by the Kingdom in the field of combating corruption and promoting the principle of transparency, adding that the Kingdom has led the world by establishing the GlobE network.


France condemns Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia, concerned about human rights in Iran

France condemns Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia, concerned about human rights in Iran
Updated 54 min 17 sec ago

France condemns Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia, concerned about human rights in Iran

France condemns Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia, concerned about human rights in Iran
  • Saudi Arabia’s air defenses destroyed 17 Houthi drones launched toward the Kingdom’s southern region on Saturday
  • Rights groups said Raisi’s election as Iran’s new president was a blow for human rights

LONDON: France said it strongly condemned the Houthi drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, and called on the militia to immediately stop their destabilizing attacks in the region.
Saudi Arabia’s air defenses destroyed 17 drones launched toward the Kingdom’s southern region on Saturday, the Arab coalition said.
A booby-trapped drone targeted Khamis Mushait early in the morning before seven more targeting the southern region were intercepted in Yemeni airspace during the afternoon.
Khamis Mushait was again targeted by two drones in the evening and another drone targeted Najran late Saturday before six more were shot down near midnight.
The Arab coalition said the Houthi’s deliberate and systematic escalation against Yemen constituted a war crime, as the Iran-backed Houthis have been attacking the Kingdom with explosive-laden drones on an almost daily basis in recent weeks despite calls from the international community for a cease-fire in Yemen.
France said it was also concerned about human rights in Iran after Ebrahim Raisi has been elected as president.
President-elect Raisi, 60, won Friday’s election in which more than half the voters stayed away after many political heavyweights had been barred from running and as an economic crisis driven by US sanctions has battered the country.
Raisi, an ultraconservative cleric who heads Iran’s judiciary, will replace former President Hassan Rouhani.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch on Saturday said Raisi’s election as Iran’s new president was a blow for human rights and called for him to be investigated over his role in what Washington and rights groups have called the extrajudicial executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.
(With AFP and Reuters)


Saudi Arabia confirms 14 COVID-19 deaths, 1,212 new cases

Saudi Arabia confirms 14 COVID-19 deaths, 1,212 new cases
Updated 21 June 2021

Saudi Arabia confirms 14 COVID-19 deaths, 1,212 new cases

Saudi Arabia confirms 14 COVID-19 deaths, 1,212 new cases
  • The Kingdom says1,510 patients recovered in past 24 hours

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia recorded 14 new COVID-19 related deaths on Monday, raising the total number of fatalities to 7,691.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 1,212 new confirmed cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 475,403 people have now contracted the disease. 
Of the total number of cases, 10,584 remain active and 1,489 in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in Makkah with 376, followed by the capital Riyadh with 233, the Eastern Province with 224, Asir recorded 103, and Jazan confirmed 80 cases.
The health ministry also announced that 1,510 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 457,128.

The ministry renewed its call on the public to register to receive the vaccine, and adhere to the measures and abide by instructions.
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs carried out more than 22,000 inspection tours in mosques across the Kingdom during the past week to ensure that health and preventative measures are being implemented.
The ministry said that these monitoring tours are ongoing by mosque observers in the regions, and there are field monitoring committees working around the clock to remove all violations and take all legal measures.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 179 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 3.88 million.


Qatar receives new Saudi ambassador as the two mend ties

Qatar receives new Saudi ambassador as the two mend ties
Updated 21 June 2021

Qatar receives new Saudi ambassador as the two mend ties

Qatar receives new Saudi ambassador as the two mend ties

DUBAI: Saudi Prince Mansour bin Khalid Al-Saud has submitted a copy of his credentials to Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani to become the Saudi ambassador to Doha. 

He is the first to be reinstated by Arab states that had agreed to end a row with Qatar earlier this year. 

Al-Thani wished the new Saudi ambassador success in his duties, assuring him of all support to advance bilateral relations between the two countries to achieve closer cooperation in various fields, according to state-run Qatar News Agency. 

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain had agreed in January to end the boycott imposed in mid-2017 and restore political, trade and travel ties with Doha. Riyadh has taken the lead among the four in re-establishing relations.


Saudi Arabia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic places it at the highest ranks on international indexes

Saudi Arabia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic places it at the highest ranks on international indexes
According to ADAA, Saudi Arabia ranked among the top countries in three international indexes, among the world’s eight top countries in two indexes and among the 20 top countries in two others. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 June 2021

Saudi Arabia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic places it at the highest ranks on international indexes

Saudi Arabia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic places it at the highest ranks on international indexes
  • ADAA follows up on the Kingdom’s progress and performance through the International Performance Hub, which compares the Kingdom’s performance against 217 other countries

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has placed it at the highest ranks on several international indexes according to the National Center for Performance Measurement (ADAA) for the years 2020-2021.
According to ADAA, Saudi Arabia ranked among the top countries in three international indexes, among the world’s eight top countries in two indexes and among the 20 top countries in two others.
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), the Kingdom ranked first worldwide in the response of entrepreneurs and the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The two indexes measured the levels of entrepreneurial motivation as Vision 2030 provided an ideal and flexible business environment able to withstand challenges such as the pandemic.

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According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), the Kingdom ranked first worldwide in the response of entrepreneurs and the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kingdom has maintained its advanced position in the “food standards” indicator, where it was ranked first in 2020. This indicator is considered one of the sub-components of the “food security” index, released annually by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to measure food security in countries based on four indicators: Food affordability, availability, quality and safety, and natural resources and resilience.
“The pandemic has forced many in the food industry to rethink our strategies and elevate our standards, providing the best food quality and services for our customers,” Mohammed Saleh, a restaurant owner based in Riyadh and Jeddah, told Arab News. “Our customers always come first and the quality of food was always a top priority but now with the extra care and precautions, customer satisfaction and safety is even more important.”
“Many restaurant owners I know have put into consideration all the changes that needed to be made to ensure that both quality and safety go hand in hand,” Saleh added. “We’ll only go forward from here.”
During the peak of the pandemic, the Kingdom jumped to eighth position among 113 countries in “the national food supply sufficiency” indicator and came ahead of 105 countries in growth of production of cereals and vegetables, climbing nine spots in the indicator in comparison to 2019. In the post-harvest and pre-consumption crops’ safety indicator, the Kingdom made significant progress, ranked among the 20 top countries worldwide.
The Kingdom has also come a long way in most of the indicators of the soft power index, measured based on three key performance indicators (KPIs): Reputation, familiarity and influence, where it ranked 20th and came ahead of 85 countries in its response to the pandemic, according to the Brand Finance report.
ADAA follows up on the Kingdom’s progress and performance through the International Performance Hub, which compares the Kingdom’s performance against 217 other countries. ADAA monitors and follows up on international indicators while the hub provides an overview of the Kingdom’s performance in 700 KPIs under 12 main pillars.