RIYADH: Saudi Arabia recorded 9 new COVID-19 related deaths on Friday, raising the total number of fatalities to 6,168.
The Ministry of Health reported 178 new cases in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 361,903 people have now contracted the disease.
Of the total number of cases, 2,920 remain active and 376 in critical condition.
#الصحة تعلن عن تسجيل (178) حالة إصابة جديدة بفيروس #كورونا الجديد (كوفيد19)، وتسجيل (9) حالات وفيات رحمهم الله، وتسجيل (207) حالة تعافي ليصبح إجمالي عدد الحالات المتعافية (352,815) حالة ولله الحمد. pic.twitter.com/bh3oBGBUVV
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 44 infections, followed by Makkah with 31, Madinah with 31, the Eastern Province with 29 and Asir with 9 cases.
The ministry also announced that 207 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 352,815.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 79.5 million people globally and the death toll has exceeded 1.74 million.
Diriyah Gate Development Authority to deliver first phase assets early 2022
Exclusive interview with DGDA’s Group CEO part of Arab News coverage for Saudi National Day
Updated 4 sec ago
RIYADH: Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA), the entity tasked by the Saudi government to redevelop the ‘Birthplace of the Kingdom’ into a world class destination, has revealed it shall be completing and delivering its first phase assets by early 2022.
“Everybody get ready because early in the new year of 2022 we will deliver our first assets in this progressive rolling master plan,” Jerry Inzerillo, DGDA’s Group CEO told Arab News in an exclusive interview marking the newspaper’s special Saudi National Day coverage.
“This is a very exciting time, and we feel very privileged, very honoured to walk in the footsteps of such a great King and such a great Crown Prince,” he added.
Opening to the public in early 2022, the $50billion giga project will contain some of the world’s most luxurious restaurants and hotels. All structures are built in traditional Najdi architecture style to preserve the kingdom’s rich heritage and the sentimental, historical value of the area. Diriyah is renowned globally for being home to the UNESCO listed -- and highly acclaimed -- At-Turaif District.
The first phase of the Diriyah Gate’s masterplan will revolve around Wadi Hanifah and Bujairi Terrace. Wadi Hanifah will contain many major parks and will undergo renovations to enhance the natural beauty of the area.
“A tremendous amount of the infrastructure will be done such as the planting of 22,000 trees, sidewalks and streetlamps too. Now you see people jogging, running, and on bicycles,” Inzerillo stated.
Inzerillo highlighted that each year DGDA will continuously add assets that will be open for the public to enjoy. Bujairi district will contain 18 new restaurants, of which several will be Michelin star listed, while others will offer delicious, local Saudi delicacies.
In line with the Kingdoms Vision 2030 of sustainability and enhancing quality of life, thousands of underground parking spaces will be built to accommodate all local and international visitors.
People will have the opportunity to explore Wadi Hanifah and Bujairi and enjoy the many walking trails, expanded picnic tables, and family gathering areas.
“We are seeing great enthusiasm from the international community on visiting the Kingdom. We were doing 55,000 visas a week prior to COVID thanks to the leadership of his Excellency Ahmed Al-Khateeb and the Ministry of Tourism,” Inzerillo stated.
Marking Saudi National Day, Arab News – in partnership with DGDA – produced a special souvenir edition of the newspaper which will be printed across the Kingdom and beyond. Arab News will also launch a digital, interactive Deep Dive called Diryiah: Past, Present and Future. The Deep Dive will contain multimedia files, interactive maps and timelines, as well as exclusive interviews and footage.
“Every National Day, Arab News aims to stand out by shedding light through its special coverage on different aspects of Saudi Arabia’s history, heritage, hopes and aspirations. This year, we are very proud of the outstanding work our team has done to finally tell the breath-taking story of the Kingdom’s birthplace” said Faisal J. Abbas, Editor-in-Chief of Arab News.
“There is no doubt that Diriyah is a showpiece of what the kingdom’s Vision 2030 is all about: embracing the world and preserving our heritage at the same time. We invite everyone to check out our coverage to understand why there is only one Diriyah,” he concluded.
The Arab News Deep Dive Diryiah: Past, Present and Future is available in English, French and Japanese via www.arabnews.com/Diriyah
Saudi air defenses destroy three Houthi drones headed towards Khamis Mushait
Updated 21 September 2021
RIYADH: The Arab Coalition announced on Tuesday the successful interception and destruction of three bomb-laden drones launched by the Iran-backed Houthi militants in Yemen that were headed for Khamis Mushait in Saudi Arabia.
The Coalition stated that it is taking measures to protect citizens and civilians in the area in accordance with international humanitarian law.
How Saudi Arabia is initiating action on greenhouse gas emissions reduction
At UNGA, Saudi Arabia will show it is a leader in the global campaign for energy sustainability
The Kingdom has a big environmental responsibility as a major player in global energy markets
Updated 21 September 2021
DUBAI: Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the energy minister of Saudi Arabia, set out the Kingdom’s position on climate change loud and clear at the Future Investment Initiative forum in Riyadh earlier this year.
“We are long believers in the Paris Agreement and are doing everything in our power to achieve it,” he said, before issuing a challenge to other countries to match the Kingdom’s ambition in the campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thereby mitigate global warming.
“Whatever we will do in the Kingdom will support emissions reduction, and we are doing it willingly because the economic benefits (from new energy technologies) are clear. We will enjoy being looked at as a reasonable and responsible international citizen because we will be doing more than most European countries by 2030 to combat climate change,” he said.
That message — Saudi Arabia will be a leader in the global campaign for energy sustainability — will be hammered home at the continuing 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where climate change and sustainability are bound to be key issues.
The UNGA meetings are an opportunity each year to monitor progress on the UN’s sustainable development goals, the set of 17 policy objectives put in place in 2015 as a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all,” and intended for full implementation by 2030.
That time frame coincides with Saudi Arabia’s own Vision 2030 strategy, itself designed to transform the Kingdom and diversify its economy away from oil dependency. Sustainability is a vital part of the Vision 2030 plan.
The message will be driven home in New York, and next month in Glasgow when the COP26 summit takes crucial decisions on the next phase of implementation of the Paris Agreements.
Saudi Arabia’s position on climate change is long-standing and clear: The Kingdom shares the concern of the rest of the world that global warming presents a risk to humanity if allowed to go unchecked. Moreover, as a major player in global energy markets, Saudi Arabia has a big responsibility for protecting the planet.
But, precisely because of its role as a leading energy producer, the Saudi position is far more nuanced than some in Europe and North America who have turned against hydrocarbon fuels in any form.
One Saudi policy adviser told Arab News: “We reject the false choice between preserving the economy and protecting the environment. We view the rising global demand for energy products as an opportunity to re-imagine the future of energy globally, and through the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, we aim to pioneer this future.”
That thinking is behind many of the energy policy initiatives that have emerged from Riyadh over the past couple of years. Prince Abdulaziz has long been an enthusiast of sustainability and energy efficiency, and the drive toward a comprehensive policy on climate change has been given new impetus since he was appointed energy minister two years ago.
Central to the Kingdom’s strategy on climate change is the concept of the circular carbon economy (CCE) — a framework for tackling climate change while continuing to enjoy the benefits of economic growth driven by oil and gas, the most efficient and powerful energy sources mankind has ever developed.
CCE is based on the principles of the 4Rs — to reduce, reuse, recycle and ultimately remove harmful CO2 and other emissions from industrial processes and the atmosphere.
The Kingdom has a longstanding policy of aiming to reduce greenhouse gases through energy-efficiency programs that target travel, industry and construction. Saudi oil is already one of the “cleanest” crudes in the world, as measured by independent scientists.
Saudi Aramco also has a big R&D program in place to develop more energy-efficient motor engines. Hydrocarbon products are reused and recycled across the Kingdom’s industrial sector.
Saudi Arabia long ago ceased the practice of gas flaring, which is still common practice in many oil-producing countries.
One of the persistent features of the Kingdom’s energy policy has been to use hydrocarbons and their byproducts as non-fuel ingredients in the chemical and other manufacturing industry, and this trend has accelerated since the merger between Saudi Aramco and SABIC, the petrochemicals giant.
Most climate experts agree that it is the fourth R — remove — that is the most challenging, but also potentially the most effective in lowering greenhouse gas emissions and slowing climate change to the 1.5C global temperature increase the Paris Agreement requires by 2050.
Saudi Arabia has a headstart in technologies linked to carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS), which aims to prevent CO2 from escaping into the atmosphere, either by reusing it in industrial processes such as building materials or storing it in secure “sinks” such as old oil reservoirs and other natural locations.
The Kingdom has also been funding R&D into direct air capture (DAC), which some climate scientists see as the long-term “silver bullet” in combating climate change. If CO2 can be successfully removed from the air on a global scale, that would go a long way to solving the problem of global warming.
However, until the technology is proven and widely available, there are other techniques that can be implemented to ameliorate airborne carbon. Again Saudi Arabia has been at the forefront with its Saudi Green Initiative, which envisions the planting of 10 billion trees in the Kingdom over the next two decades as part of a wider Middle East Green Initiative that will eventually see a total of 50 billion trees planted in the region.
When he launched the initiative earlier this year, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “As a leading global oil producer, we are fully aware of our responsibility in advancing the fight against the climate crisis, and that just as we played a leading role in stabilizing energy markets during the oil and gas era, we will work to lead the coming green era.”
The other major plank of the Saudi Green Initiatives is a commitment to lift the proportion of renewables in the Kingdom’s domestic energy mix to 50 percent by 2030, replacing oil as an energy-generating fuel, with the balance to come from natural gas.
The Kingdom has already begun this program, with big wind and solar projects announced earlier this year to generate electricity from renewable sources.
The jewel in the crown of the Saudi sustainability strategy is the NEOM megacity under construction in the Kingdom’s northwest, which will have a zero-carbon footprint, with all its power and water needs satisfied by non-hydrocarbon sources, notably “green” hydrogen.
All the Saudi mega-projects of Vision 2030 also have sustainability at the heart of their plans.
Saudi Arabia is already a pioneer in developing hydrogen fuels, and last year exported the first shipment of “blue” ammonia — a much cleaner fuel that is a byproduct of the oil and gas industrial process — to Japan for use in that country’s electricity generation industry.
An alliance with Germany was announced this year to study and develop hydrogen fuels, combining Saudi energy expertise with German engineering and technological prowess.
Nobody in New York — or Glasgow next month — is underestimating the scale of the climate challenge ahead, but Saudi Arabia has shown, and will continue to show, that a responsible approach to the problem can be adopted without totally abandoning the power and efficiency of hydrocarbons.
The Kingdom is winning allies in this challenge. At last year’s G20 summit of world leaders, the CCE framework promoted by Saudi Arabia was adopted unanimously as the preferred global methodology for combating global warming.
Saudi Digital Library offers week of free database access
The Library won the best provider of information services and resources for higher and post-secondary education at the Global Exhibition for Education Supplies and Solutions GESS 2019
Updated 21 September 2021
JEDDAH: The Saudi Digital Library at the Ministry of Education announced the launch of a week-long free access initiative at the Kingdom level for 16 databases that provide digital information sources.
The step is to mark the Kingdom’s 91st National Day on Sept. 23, and is in cooperation with a number of Arab and foreign publishing houses.
The databases will be available for free for a week from Sept. 19.
All beneficiaries of library’s services are invited to access the link through the Saudi Digital Library portal.
The digital library has helped reduce the burden on the budgets of universities and government and private sectors, and this amount of digital information sources has assisted Saudis and expats residing in the Kingdom.
Among the library’s most important initiatives are the scientific theses project, the scientific journals project, a digital library project for Arabic books and a knowledge library project for students of general education.
During the COVID-19 pandemic period, the Saudi Digital Library succeeded in launching a comprehensive and free access initiative to a number of digital databases, in cooperation with a number of Arab and foreign publishing houses.
The digital library has a wide range of periodicals, tools and information bases.
According to the latest statistics, the library contains 169 international and Arab databases covering various academic disciplines, including 450,000 digital books, 60,000 scientific journals, and 9 million papers of research and conference papers.
The Library also contains 5,224,410 university theses, 3,061,669 scientific reports, 7 million multimedia materials that include scientific images and films in various disciplines, and more than 12 million scientific materials in the information assets owned by the library.
The number of beneficiaries from this Informatics gathering exceeded 65 entities and more than 300 global publishers, accessing its services through the portal on the internet in both Arabic and English.
More than 1.6 million students and postgraduate researchers have benefited from the digital library services, as have 71,000 faculty members in 55 public and private universities and colleges, more than 180,000 on scholarships, as well as 20 government agencies and institutions.
The digital library has won several awards, including the Arab Federation for Libraries and Information “I know” award for outstanding projects in the Arab world in 2010, and the Knowledge Summit Award in its fifth session from the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Knowledge Foundation 2018 for its contribution to the transfer and dissemination of knowledge.
The Library also won the best provider of information services and resources for higher and post-secondary education at the Global Exhibition for Education Supplies and Solutions GESS 2019.
The free access initiative includes the Taylor & Francis database for millions of press articles, the Science Book Gateway database that provides reliable scholarly references in several fields and the Al-Manhal Database that provides access to thousands of digital publications from leading Arab universities, research centers and scientific communities.
Other databases in the library include ProQuest, Wiley, EBSCO, ACM, Springer Nature, Science Direct, IGI, Encyclopedia Britannica, OECD, the integrated Arabic database “Marefa,” CABI, AskZad and JOVE.
The Saudi Digital Library expressed its thanks and appreciation to the publishers who made the free service available in the Kingdom.
Acting governor of Saudi Arabia’s Jazan receives commander of region’s security forces
The governor ordered the bodies under the responsibility of the forces to continue to abide by the security and safety requirements, and he wished the forces’ members every success in their work
Updated 21 September 2021
JAZAN: Jazan Acting Gov. Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz bin Mohammed bin Abdulaziz received the commander of the region’s Facilities Security Forces, Brig. Gen. Khalid Al-Dossari, in his office on Monday. Prince Mohammed received a report on the missions and achievements of the forces, highlighting the support they receive from the Saudi leadership.
This includes the human cadres and military equipment they need to carry out the role they were entrusted with in terms of maintaining the security of the Kingdom’s key facilities. The governor ordered the bodies under the responsibility of the forces to continue to abide by the security and safety requirements, and he wished the forces’ members every success in their work. The meeting was also attended by the undersecretary of the region’s principality, Dr. Abdullah Al-Saqr.