JEDDAH: The protocol for patients whose treatment requires travel outside the Kingdom has been approved by the Saudi authorities, the Ministry of Health announced on Friday.
Patients wishing to travel abroad for treatment at their own expense need to meet certain conditions set by the ministry — firstly, by obtaining an acceptance of treatment from a hospital or specialized center in a medically developed country.
Secondly, the patient’s case should be one that requires treatment abroad and cannot be dealt with in Saudi Arabia, according to a recent medical report approved by the Ministry of Health.
The case should also meet medical conditions approved by the Saudi Supreme Medical Commission to receive treatment abroad.
Patients who are referred to hospitals outside the Kingdom at the expense of the state must obtain a royal order or a resolution issued by the Supreme Medical Commission, and can be accompanied by a maximum of two people. However, the commission can decide on the number of companions based on each case.
The Ministry of Health said that it will study the applications and electronically forward those accepted to the General Directorate of Passports at the Ministry of Interior to obtain the necessary permits.
All applications can be completed digitally via the “Absher” government platform.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia announced on Friday 26 new COVID-19-related death; the death toll now stands at 4,625.
There were 472 new cases reported in the Kingdom, meaning 332,329 people have now contracted the disease. There were 12,068 active cases, and 1,043 of them are in critical condition.
According to the Ministry of Health, Makkah recorded the highest number of cases in the Kingdom with 86, while Madinah reported 46 and Dammam 32.
“Females represent 41 percent of the newly reported cases, while the elderly make up 4 percent, children 12 percent and adults 84 percent,” the Ministry of Health said.
In addition, 843 more patients have recovered from COVID-19, taking the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 315,636.
Saudi Arabia has so far conducted 6,275,557 PCR tests, with 38,698 carried out in the past 24 hours.
Who’s Who: Hisham Abdulaziz Al-Makhdoub, vice president of engineering and operations at Advanced Electronics Company
Updated 14 sec ago
Hisham Abdulaziz Al-Makhdoub is executive vice president of engineering and operations at Advanced Electronics Co., a Saudi Arabian Military Industries company.
He is responsible for all the technical and operational activities of AEC, including manufacturing, MRO, engineering, development, quality and supply chain management, and IT.
A seasoned senior technology executive with more than three decades of professional experience, Al-Makhdoub has proven expertise in strategically strengthening local high-tech capabilities, localization and technology transfer in electronics manufacturing and digital industries.
Having joined the research and development department of AEC as a project manager in 2000, Al-Makhdoub rose through the organization’s ranks during his illustrious career, serving in various roles, including director of engineering and then senior vice president of engineering and development.
Leveraging his extensive experience in strengthening indigenous capabilities, Al-Makhdoub actively contributes to AEC’s efforts to raise the Kingdom’s local capabilities in military manufacturing to 50 percent by 2030.
Before joining AEC, Al-Makhdoub held various engineering roles at the Space Research Institute at King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology, where he began his career in 1991.
Al-Makhdoub holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering (communications) from King Saud University in Riyadh.
He is an advisory board member of the College of Engineering, Prince Sultan University, and is both a leader and member of several AEC committees.
Saudi forces showcase combat readiness at Bright Star drill
Updated 24 min 14 sec ago
RIYADH: The joint military exercises Bright Star 2021 concluded at Mohamed Naguib Military Base in Egypt on Friday in the presence of the Egyptian Minister of Defense and Military Production Lt. General Mohammed Zaki, and Commander of the Royal Saudi Land Forces Lt. General Fahd Al-Mutair.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the US, the UK, Greece, Jordan, Pakistan, and Cyprus participated in the joint exercises, with another 13 states observing.
The conclusion of the exercises included simulations of combat scenarios including support operations carried out with live ammunition and airdrops of special forces and armored vehicles from combat helicopters.
Bright Star is considered one of the most important military training programs in the region, due to the diversity of participating forces and terrain.
Saudi barista Sara Al-Ali, a runner-up in the 2016 MENA Cezve/Ibrik coffee-making competition and a World Cezve/Ibrik championship finalist the same year, now owns and runs That coffee shop in her hometown Riyadh. (Supplied)
Causing a stir: A generational shift in Saudi relationship with coffee
Specialty flavors are fueling billion-dollar cafe growth as the ancient brew gets a modern makeover
Updated 18 September 2021
JEDDAH: Tea or Arabic coffee? For growing numbers of Saudis, the choice is more likely to be a latte, cappuccino, frappe or macchiato served in one of the many cafes that have popped up around the Kingdom in recent years.
In every region of Saudi Arabia today, coffee is replacing traditional beverages as a central part of the modern lifestyle.
Grabbing an early morning and lunchtime coffee has become a part of office workers’ daily routine, while others visit a cafe to enjoy their favorite cup while sitting and chatting.
• Amid growing demand for new cafes and restaurants, official statistics show that investment in the sector has reached SR221 billion ($58.9 billion), with growth rates of about 8 percent expected by the end of the year.
• Meanwhile, as coffee’s popularity soars in the Kingdom, the value of imports has risen to SR1.16 billion annually, or SR3.18 million per day, authorities say. Saudi Arabia imported about 80,000 tons of coffee in 2019-2020.
The global market is feeling the effects of this change in taste as well. According to Wail Olia, trainer and member of the Specialty Coffee Association, Saudi Arabia is among countries where consumers are developing a taste not only for robusta, the beans mainly used in instant coffee, but also the high-quality arabica bean.
Olia told Arab News that Saudi Arabia’s love of coffee goes back to the days of the Ottoman empire when coffee houses in Makkah were used as religious meeting places.
“Later, religious leaders thought that coffee was an intoxicating beverage, so the governor of Makkah ordered all cafes to close,” he said.
“Cafes are the fast-growing segment of the hospitality industry worldwide. Five years ago, in my city neighborhood in Jeddah, I could count the number of cafes on one hand. Now there are so many.”
Olia has studied and trained in Milan and Florence, and is now a certified instructor for the SCA, which allows him to teach young Saudis and share his insights into coffee — something he enjoys immensely.
As more Saudi women enter the private sector, some are deciding to work as baristas and waitresses in coffee shops.
Saudi barista Sara Al-Ali, a runner-up in the 2016 MENA Cezve/Ibrik coffee-making competition and a World Cezve/Ibrik championship finalist the same year, now owns and runs That coffee shop in her hometown Riyadh and is an authorized SCA trainer.
Coffee culture in the Kingdom is changing rapidly, she told Arab News. “Specialty coffee started only recently, but it is catching up surprisingly quickly. More coffee shops are opening. It’s at a high this year and is predicted to grow even more next year,” she said.
“As for me, specialty coffee is a product that follows quality standards at every stage of production.”
Al-Ali said that in Arab societies, coffee is part of an ancient cultural heritage.
“The big demand for coffee among all segments of our society is a healthy phenomenon and a reflection of what the Kingdom is witnessing in terms of development, prosperity and openness to different cultures,” she said.
Many Saudis are looking for innovative coffee flavors and new tastes to complement traditional styles. Al-Ali studied coffee-making in Canada after falling in love with the drink, then went to France to study further.
“It began as a habit, but after I returned to Saudi Arabia I decided to focus on coffee. The moment I made my first espresso, I realized that was what I wanted to do with my life.”
Al-Ali said that she is happy to see many cafes become places for family gatherings, business deals, or to study and even surf the internet.
Meanwhile, the growing taste for coffee in the Kingdom is also highlighting a divide between the generations when it comes to their favorite brew.
According to tea-maker Saleh Al-Husaiki, 53, older people still view Saudi Arabia as a tea-drinking nation.
I can see that the new-style coffee shops have opened side by side across the town, and more young people go to specialty cafes. But lots of people still come to us and enjoy the old tea prepared on fire.
Saleh Al-Husaiki, Tea-maker
Al-Husaiki serves the famous Taifi tea (with mint) and normal dark tea on the street, all brewed on an open coal fire.
“I can see that the new-style coffee shops have opened side by side across the town, and more young people go to specialty cafes. But lots of people still come to us and enjoy the old tea prepared on fire,” he told Arab News.
The older generation is still loyal to traditional hot drinks such as tea, Turkish coffee or espresso, according to Al-Husaiki, who is also a government employee.
“I agree that Saudis’ attitudes to coffee has changed recently with a new generation, but for me and others who belong to the old school, things are still the same — we prefer the Saudi traditional coffee, the regular black tea and the Turkish coffee,” he said.
Mohammed bin Abdul Hakim Al-Saadi, a Saudi businessman and investor in restaurants and cafes, said that the sector has fully recovered from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, thanks to various support packages provided by the government, which mounted 150 initiatives for the private sector and its workers.
Amid growing demand for new cafes and restaurants, official statistics show that investment in the sector has reached SR221 billion ($58.9 billion), with growth rates of about 8 percent expected by the end of the year.
According to recent statistics, the Ministry of Commerce has received applications for 30,000 licenses to establish cafes in the Kingdom.
Meanwhile, as coffee’s popularity soars in the Kingdom, the value of imports has risen to SR1.16 billion annually, or SR3.18 million per day, authorities say. Saudi Arabia imported about 80,000 tons of coffee in 2019-2020.
Saudi Food and Drug Authority organizes patient awareness seminars
The event tackled issues regarding the safe use of medical devices, pharmacological vigilance during pregnancy, preventative measures to reduce the need for medicine
Updated 18 September 2021
RIYADH: The Kingdom joined the world in celebrating World Patient Safety Day, marked annually on Sept. 17, with the Saudi Food and Drug Authority on Friday organizing a series of seminars that aim to raise patient awareness on matters related to health and safety.
The event tackled issues regarding the safe use of medical devices, pharmacological vigilance during pregnancy, preventative measures to reduce the need for medicine, as well as regulations related to the way information on pregnancy and lactation is written and displayed on product leaflets. The SFDA’s participation in marking this day reflects its eagerness to support public health programs and patient safety.
Experts discuss ways to end global displacement crises
Speakers from around the world addressed the session — titled “Durable Solutions: Ending Protracted Displacement in a World of Increased Complex Mobility”
Updated 18 September 2021
RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center recently organized a virtual meeting, in partnership with the Kingdom’s permanent delegation to the UN and the International Organization for Migration, to discuss ways to resolve people displacement crises.
Speakers from around the world addressed the session — titled “Durable Solutions: Ending Protracted Displacement in a World of Increased Complex Mobility” — that was held on the sidelines of the 76th gathering of the UN General Assembly in New York.
KSrelief was represented by community support department director, Dr. Hana Omar Salem Omar.