Riyadh ‘rocks’ as fireworks light up skyline

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The fireworks display was organized as part of Riyadh Season, which aims to promote the Kingdom as a major tourism hub. (Photo/Supplied)
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The fireworks display was organized as part of Riyadh Season, which aims to promote the Kingdom as a major tourism hub. (SPA)
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The fireworks display was organized as part of Riyadh Season, which aims to promote the Kingdom as a major tourism hub. (SPA)
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The fireworks display was organized as part of Riyadh Season, which aims to promote the Kingdom as a major tourism hub. (SPA)
Updated 30 November 2019

Riyadh ‘rocks’ as fireworks light up skyline

  • Visitors, including citizens and expatriates with family and friends, gathered around the skyscrapers well in advance of the display

RIYADH: Riyadh Season delivered the “wow factor” for a large crowd of onlookers with a spectacular fireworks display at the Saudi capital’s iconic Al-Faisaliah Tower.

Visitors, including citizens and expatriates with family and friends, gathered around the skyscraper well in advance of the display on Thursday night and began applauding loudly as the fireworks illuminated the skyline.

Iffat Aabroo, who brought her children to see the show, told Arab News: “One of our friends saw the fireworks last week and was amazed, so we came here and saw this wonderful moment. We really enjoyed it.”    

Another visitor, Abdullah Al-Suwailem, said: “It was a wow moment. We had great fun and really enjoyed the dazzling moment. Riyadh Season rocks.”

BACKGROUND

• Featuring 100 lavish events and more than 3,000 activities, the season brings people from all over the Kingdom to 12 locations in the capital.

• Displays also take place at the Kingdom Tower, the Boulevard Zone and Janadriyah Heritage Village.

The five-minute fireworks display was organized as part of Riyadh Season, one of 11 Saudi seasons that aim to promote the Kingdom as a tourism hub and improve residents’ quality of life.

Large turnout

Displays also take place at the Kingdom Tower, the Boulevard Zone and Janadriyah Heritage Village. Riyadh Season has been extended to late January 2020 due to high demand and the large turnout for events.

Announcing the extension, General Entertainment Authority Chairman Turki Al-Sheikh recently said: “We have reached 7.6 million visitors in a month for Riyadh Season, and under the crown prince’s directives, we’re extending the season until late January.”

The season began on Oct. 11 and was scheduled to end on Dec. 15.

Featuring 100 lavish events and more than 3,000 activities, the season brings people from all over the Kingdom to 12 locations in the capital.


Startup of the Week: A Saudi Eco-friendly food waste startup brings value-added benefits

KAUST has been highly supportive of Carbon CPU, both technically and financially. (Supplied)
Updated 21 January 2020

Startup of the Week: A Saudi Eco-friendly food waste startup brings value-added benefits

  • Aldrees: “Over 90 percent of food waste in Saudi Arabia is dumped into landfills”
  • Carbon CPU’s technology uses a specially developed, eco-friendly reactor to help convert food waste into fatty acids

Carbon CPU is a biotechnology startup specializing in turning food waste into fatty acids for use as livestock nutrients.

Launched through the post-graduate startup accelerator program (TAQADAM) of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the venture was co-founded by Bin Bian, Jiajie Xu, Yara Aldrees, Sara Al-Eid and Prof. Pascal Saikaly.

The idea behind the enterprise began to take shape in 2018. Al-Eid said: “Our aim was to recycle food waste into value-added products in a manner that matched the Saudi Vision 2030 strategy.”

Similar to most countries, Saudi Arabia has a food waste problem, but Carbon CPU thought of utilizing it in a way that caused less harm to the environment and also benefitted the animal feed industry.

“Over 90 percent of food waste in Saudi Arabia is dumped into landfills,” said Aldrees. “This produces a lot of gas, including methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and cycloaromatics, and contributes to global warming and air pollution.”

Water and soil were also being contaminated through leachate production, she added. “We’re trying to solve those issues, too.”

 

The team found that animal farms often struggled to provide enough feed nutrients for livestock such as cows and sheep. Al-Eid said there was a huge shortage of fatty acids, which are used as livestock nutrients and were in high demand from farmers.

“We’re trying to help animals live longer and be more nutritious,” she added.

Carbon CPU’s technology uses a specially developed, eco-friendly reactor to help convert food waste into fatty acids.

“We produce fatty acids from the food waste, extracting them through a liquid-liquid extraction system. The fatty acid oils are then used to help animal feed, as well as the feed and chemical industries,” said Xu.

KAUST has been highly supportive of Carbon CPU, both technically and financially, added Bian. “KAUST, especially the Environmental Biotechnology Lab led by Prof Pascal Saikaly, provided us with the facilities to set up our reactors. The KAUST Innovation and Economic Development department and the Entrepreneurship Center also gave us a lot of guidance on how to push our technology into the market.”

The startup initially faced many challenges that KAUST helped to resolve. As individuals coming from backgrounds mainly in engineering and science, the team lacked the know-how in business that its project needed.

“KAUST made up for our lack of business thinking through training on how to solve business issues and create business modules and find the right customers for our product,” said Bian.