Saudi land borders opened for families of citizens

Saudi policemen man a checkpoint in the King Fahd main street in the capital Riyadh. (AFP)
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Updated 25 August 2020

Saudi land borders opened for families of citizens

  • Total coronavirus cases in Kingdom reach 308,654

JEDDAH: The Saudi General Directorate of Passports has opened four land border crossings into the Kingdom for families as part of an easing of restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

Officials on Monday announced that citizens, their non-Saudi families (spouses and children), plus drivers and housemaids would now be allowed through selected crossings as long as preventive measures were maintained.
Applications, including documentary proof of family connections, could be made through individual Absher accounts for Saudi border entry at Al-Khafji, Al-Rakii, the King Fahd Causeway bridge, or Al-Bathaa.

HIGHLIGHTS

Citizens, their non-Saudi families (spouses and children), plus drivers and housemaids would now be allowed through selected crossings.

Non-Saudi companions would need to have a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result showing negative for COVID-19 taken within 48 hours of travel. All individuals entering the country would also have to undergo isolation on arrival.
Meanwhile, the Kingdom recorded 42 new COVID-19-related deaths on Monday, raising to 3,691 the total number of people who have so far died from the disease in Saudi Arabia.
There were 1,175 new cases reported in the country, meaning 308,654 people had now contracted the disease.
According to the Saudi Ministry of Health, 84 of the newly recorded cases were in Makkah, 60 in Hail, and 58 in Jeddah.
In addition, 2,745 more patients had recovered from COVID-19, taking the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 282,888.


Saudi investors share expertise on Saudi corporate VC opportunities

Updated 46 min 41 sec ago

Saudi investors share expertise on Saudi corporate VC opportunities

JEDDAH: The two-day Step Saudi 2020 event featured two prominent Saudi figures in the field of investment on the second day.
Hashim Al-Awadi, CEO of Tech Invest, and Salman Jaffery, chief investment officer at Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures, both shared their expertise, with the latter saying it is more beneficial for corporations to start a venture capital (VC) arm than invest from their current mergers and acquisitions arm (M&A).
Managing partner at Class 5 Global, Zach Finkelstein, who moderated the session on the second day of the event, said the San Francisco-based venture fund invested in a number of companies in the Middle East.
“The Middle East is particularly interesting to us, and in the past, our partners have invested in such regional companies as Careem. We’re excited to explore the development of the corporate VC space and how it can impact places like Saudi Arabia,” he added.
When asked why a corporation should start a VC arm instead of investing from an M&A team, and why have a separate corporate Venture Capital arm in the first place, Jaffery answered that “it brings faster results.”
“I think the easiest answer to that is just speed and agility,” he said. “Getting that response quickly to the market. VC deals can take weeks or months whereas an M&A transaction can take up to a year or longer, and also similarly, if you’re trying to then come out of it, it’s harder to come out of a joint venture agreement or an M&A as opposed to a VC.”
Al-Awadi explained his opinion a traditional VC perspective, and said: “We like the fact that corporations can invest from both their M&A arms and their VC arms if they have them.”
He highlighted that VC arms can invest in a greater variety of companies. “You have the intelligence, you know the market and if you’re looking at specific technology where we don’t have a lot of expertise we trust that you (other venture capitalists) know the market and you can evaluate that technology better to see if it has the capability and potential for growth or not.
“Eventually, you do have an M&A arm that will provide an exit for us, for an incentive for this company to work hard to grasp the intention after having been invested in by the VC arm of this big corporate to maybe look into making a partial agreement or complete acquisition, which really adds an incentive for the company to grow and attracts other investors and also attracts talent to join the company and help it grow even more.”
He said both the VC and M&A arm are important for company growth. “We tend to look at corporate investors through both arms as complementary to what we do when we have both of them around.”
The Kingdom has obtained a high reputation among investors internationally through the years, especially after the economic and social reforms of Saudi Vision 2030.
Step Saudi is home to the Kingdom’s best entrepreneurs, investors, creatives and digital enthusiasts. The last edition of Step Saudi featured four content tracks, more than 100 startups and over 1,500 attendees.