MoU signed to raise efficiency at King Fahd Causeway

The King Fahad Causeway has enjoyed a steady growth in passenger and cargo movement, with the annual increase in passenger numbers estimated at 7 percent over recent years. (SPA)
Updated 18 November 2019

MoU signed to raise efficiency at King Fahd Causeway

  • The MoU with Mashroat reflects the importance of the causeway between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain as a vital infrastructure link enhancing the economy and population movements in the region

RIYADH: The National Program to Support the Management of Projects in Public Entities (Mashroat) and the King Fahd Causeway Authority (KFCA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to raise the efficiency of KFCA’s facility and asset management as well as its overall operation and maintenance practices as it embarks on ambitious plans to build a second causeway linking Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
Based on the joint agreement, Mashroat will support KFCA to introduce an advanced and effective corporate model in accordance with international best practices to enhance efficiency and transparency in its facility and asset management.
The MoU includes technical support to be provided by Mashroat to improve KFCA’s operation and maintenance portfolio. This will cover bridges, columns, administrative and investment buildings, backup power plants and water treatment plants at the new causeway.
Mashroat is the government arm enabling infrastructure projects. It provides consultancy and technical support to government agencies in project management, operations and maintenance in order to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the national infrastructure, as well as ensuring the projects are in line with global best practices and meet the aspirations of Vision 2030. 
The MoU with Mashroat reflects the importance of the causeway between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain as a vital infrastructure link enhancing the economy and population movements in the region.
To cope with increasing demand, a parallel 25 km bridge with additional lanes for vehicles, trucks and two railway tracks is planned and KFCA has already signed contracts with a number of international companies to move into the transitional phase.
Director general of Mashroat Ahmed Al-Balawi said: “We are delighted to have signed an MoU with KFCA as they embark on construction plans for a second much-needed transport connection between the Kingdom and Bahrain. Our role will be to help them benefit from global standards and enhance the facility and asset management operation.
“Our partnerships represent positive progress toward achieving facility management at an international level and raising the overall efficiency and sustainability of major infrastructure projects.”
KFCA CEO Emad Almohaisen said: “We welcome this new partnership with Mashroat to ensure the highest international standards are met during construction. We will benefit from Mashroat’s experience in raising efficiency in facility and asset management and across our operation and maintenance portfolio.
“Mashroat will also help us standardize procedures and processes to enhance efficiency, effectiveness and governance in our corporate management, in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plans.”
The King Fahad Causeway has enjoyed a steady growth in passenger and cargo movement, with the annual increase in passenger numbers estimated at 7 percent over recent years, which has led to plans for a second transport link.


Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

Updated 25 January 2020

Saudi Arabia’s AlUla provides a perfect ‘Corner of the Earth’ for Jamiroquai to shine

  • “I was transported into a completely different world”: Jay Kay

ALULA: British band Jamiroquai thrilled a delighted audience at Maraya Concert Hall in Saudi Arabia on Friday night during a show packed with hits.

In a first for a venue more used to hosting opera and classical concerts, the British funk/acid jazz outfit had fans dancing along to the music.

The show, at the distinctive, mirror-covered concert hall in historic AlUla, was part of the second Winter at Tantora festival. It opened with “Shake It On,” followed by the hit singles “Little L,” “Alright,” and “Space Cowboy.” By this time the crowd was well and truly warmed up, and “Use the Force” got them on their feet.

“The song seemed to resonate with everyone” Jay Kay told Arab News in an exclusive interview after the show.

During the gig, Kay dedicated the 2002 song “Corner of the Earth” to AlUla, which he described as a “magical and wonderful place, which is absolutely stunning.” The opportunity to perform there was “an honor and privilege” he added. He also thanked “Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman for his vision, and Prince Badr for making this happen and the great hospitality.”

After a further selection of singles and album tracks, the show ended on a high with a quartet of hits — “Cosmic Girl,” “Virtual Insanity,” “Canned Heat” and “Lovefoolosophy.”

Kay praised the Maraya Concert Hall as “a brilliant place to play.” He admitted that initially he was a little worried when he saw it because he was under the impression it would be an outdoor venue. However, any concerns he had were gone by the time the first sound check was done.

“I was transported into a completely different world; the acoustics were unbelievable, like being in a German concert hall,” he said. “It is obviously very well thought out and that’s what makes it so good. The sound was fabulous — I never looked at my sound guy once.”

Jamiroquai’s music videos often feature Kay in super cars, of which he owns many, and he revealed that he would love to shoot such a promo in AlUla.

“In reality, I’m desperate to get in one of the dune buggies, and would kill to have a (Ariel) Nomad and have a go in one in AlUla, where it’s supposed to be driven, for a day or five and dune bash, which is such a rare thing for us in England,” he said.

The singer also said he wants to bring his family to AlUla, which has become a hub for culture and creativity in Saudi Arabia.

“I would like to come out with my family and my youngest, who is called Talula, so hopefully we can have Talula come to AlUla, which would be wonderful,” said Kay.

He added that he was looking forward to exploring the area on Saturday, before leaving the country, but added: “I’m sure you can never have enough time to see everything there is to see.”