Riyadh maritime forum discusses ways of protecting Mideast region’s sea lanes

The military Chief of Staff of Saudi Arabia, Gen. Fayyad Al-Ruwaili, opens the first Saudi International Maritime Forum in the presence of a number of leaders and heads of concerned bodies in the marine environment. (SPA)
Updated 25 November 2019

Riyadh maritime forum discusses ways of protecting Mideast region’s sea lanes

  • SAMI-Navantia launches program to train Saudi engineers

RIYADH: Riyadh is hosting an international maritime forum attended by 15 countries that will discuss the importance of securing strategic sea lanes. 

Under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the military Chief of Staff of Saudi Arabia, Gen. Fayyad Al-Ruwaili, opened the first Saudi International Maritime Forum in the presence of a number of leaders and heads of concerned bodies in the marine environment.

The three-day forum, a continuation of Saudi Arabia’s contributions to the promotion of international peace and security, will run until Nov. 26 at the Ritz-Carlton.

Commander of the Royal Saudi Navy Forces Lt. Gen. Fahd Al-Ghufaili said in his opening speech that the region is witnessing threats to sea lanes and navigation lines “which require all of us to work together to secure and enhance maritime security.”

He explained the importance of protecting strategic sea lanes and securing maritime traffic to contribute to the preservation of the global economy and combat illegal acts.

Geographically, the region is home to three straits, Bab Al-Mandab, Hormuz, and the Suez Canal, linking east with west, hence the importance of securing these routes.

Al-Ghufaili listed the threats of the maritime security in the region, which are the targeting, detention and harassment of commercial ships, the threat of closure of the straits, the use of booby-trapped boats by armed militias, increased smuggling of human beings, weapons, drugs, coal and the threat of coastal missiles to maritime traffic.

FASTFACT

The first batch of trainees includes 11 Saudi male and female engineers who recently enrolled in the SAMI-Navantia OJT program that began at Navantia’s San Fernando shipyard in Cadiz, Spain.

Saudi Public Transport Authority (PTA) Chairman Dr. Rumaih Al-Rumaih said: “We seek through the Saudi International Maritime Forum to add new emphasis on the Kingdom’s interest and keenness of its wise leadership, in comparison to the unlimited support we all experience for the maritime transport industry and to ensure their development and sustainability.”

Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Military Industries Dr. Andreas Scheuer explained that the company is going to help develop the defense forces in Saudi Arabia, and its capabilities to develop the military industry, products and services, in pursuit of achieving Vision 2030.

He said that the forum will provide a platform to share and discuss matters of high importance for the protection of strategic global maritime lanes.

International companies participated in the forum’s exhibition, which presented the latest systems, technologies and equipment in the marine environment.




Participants in SAMI-Navantia's On-the-Job Training (OJT) program will be part of the team working on the joint venture’s Avante 2200 project. (SPA)

Training program

SAMI Navantia Naval Industries (SAMI-Navantia) has launched its On-the-Job Training (OJT) program on the sidelines of the forum.

The trainees will benefit from practical experience and training as part of the team working on the joint venture’s Avante 2200 project.

The SAMI-Navantia OJT program is in line with Saudi Arabia’s vision of localizing 50 percent of its military equipment spending by 2030.


LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

Updated 15 December 2019

LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

  • Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one

RIYADH: Renowned Italian restaurant Madeo has opened up in Al-Murabba for Riyadh Season. 

The pop-up has started brightly, and head chef Gianni Vietina invited Arab News to sample the menu and chat about his experience.

Vietina, in Saudi Arabia for the first time, said that he loved the location he had set up in, and was very happy to be opening up in the Kingdom. 

“The location is gorgeous. At night, with all the lights on, the music going, it’s very nice.”

Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one and that the response was even better than he had expected. 

“Like anything new, you have quests, you have problems. Up to now, we’re doing pretty good. We are up and running. We’re comfortable now, which is a shame as we’re leaving pretty soon,” he said.

He added that he would repeat the experience in a heartbeat if he could: “They were nice enough to ask me to stay in Saudi a little longer, but I can’t. I need to go back home. But I would love to come back.”

He said that while he was not planning to open up a permanent restaurant in Saudi Arabia, he would not rule it out completely.  “I’ve been offered options, and friends have offered to show me locations while I’m here, but I can’t do it right now, I just opened a new restaurant two months ago,” he said.

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like.”

Gianni Vietina, Head chef of Madeo

The pop-up’s menu contains most of what the original restaurant offers, including his ever-popular penne madeo and spaghetti bolognese, with the chefs using a combination of imported and locally sourced ingredients. 

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like,” he told Arab News.

For the pop-up, Vietina has stuck to using halal and alcohol-free ingredients. 

“It was challenging at the beginning. But the bolognese at Madeo doesn’t contain pork, and I realized after we tried cooking without wine that almost nothing changed. I actually prefer it,” he said.

Madeo is a favorite of Saudis visiting Los Angeles, with Vietina going so far as to describe the restaurant as a “Little Riyadh” on most evenings between July and September. 

He even recognizes some of the customers who have come into the Riyadh pop-up, and always stops over to greet them.

Upon sampling the menu, it’s easy to see why the food at Madeo has remained popular all these years. 

The eggplant parmigiana is a perfect blend of crusty cheese and silky smooth eggplant, with hints of basil and rosemary. 

The bolognese is rich, meaty and decadent, without being too heavy and greasy. And the penne madeo, which Vietina has been eating since his childhood, is a timeless classic of crushed tomato, basil, finished off with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano for a creamy, rich flavor.