Saudi envoy in Manila highlights Kingdom’s policy of free jabs to all

Saudi envoy in Manila highlights Kingdom’s policy of free jabs to all
More than 800,000 Filipino expatriates in Saudi Arabia will receive a free COVID-19 vaccine, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the Philippines said. (File/SPA)
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Updated 27 March 2021

Saudi envoy in Manila highlights Kingdom’s policy of free jabs to all

Saudi envoy in Manila highlights Kingdom’s policy of free jabs to all
  • Focus on Kingdom’s initiative to inoculate all residents against coronavirus, irrespective of nationality or residential status
  • Alonto: “The Filipino labor force is an important component of Saudi Arabia’s economic recovery amid this pandemic”

MANILA: More than 800,000 Filipino expatriates in Saudi Arabia will receive a free COVID-19 vaccine as part of the Health Ministry’s drive to inoculate all residents in the Kingdom, Saudi Ambassador to the Philippines Dr. Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Bussairy said.
“The Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Manila confirms that more than 800,000 Filipinos residing in the Kingdom are included in acquiring the coronavirus vaccines for free,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
The campaign, he added, is a continuation of the Kingdom’s “great efforts and proactive steps” since the start of the pandemic and will include foreign residents, “regardless of their nationality and status of their residency without any legal consequences.”
“It is an important step in addressing the pandemic and preserving the health and safety of the citizens and residents on its lands,” he said.
Commending the Kingdom on its move, Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Adnan Alonto said: “The Filipino labor force is an important component of Saudi Arabia’s economic recovery amid this pandemic.”
“I have no doubt that the Kingdom will vaccinate all residents until herd immunity is reached and realized,” Alonto told Arab News on Saturday.
He added that the Kingdom’s vaccination process involved a “simplified, systematic and impressive set of protocols” designed to inoculate all citizens and expatriates.
“To date, almost 4 million residents have been vaccinated, and the numbers increase by the minute,” Alonto said, adding that as of March 19, the Philippine Embassy in Saudi Arabia had reported 445 active cases of COVID-19 infections among Filipinos, with 549 recoveries and 420 deaths.
“We are still trying to get data on the number of OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) who have been inoculated,” he said.
Al-Bussairy said that the “Human Health and Their Safety First” campaign launched by Saudi King Salman aims to “provide complete health care to all those infected with the coronavirus.”
He said the Kingdom had supported international efforts to combat the pandemic and had contributed to the international COVAX facility to accelerate the availability of vaccines. It has given $150 million to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization “to make it available to all countries of the world in an equitable manner,” according to Al-Bussairy.
This is in addition to the Saudi government’s support for the UN response plan to combat the pandemic and several projects supported by various UN organizations and agencies.
“The Kingdom desires to be one of the top countries in the world in performing humanitarian actions due to its concern for human rights at the international level, the most significant of which is the aid and donations provided by the Kingdom to many countries, especially those that have been greatly affected by this pandemic,” Al-Bussairy said.


Who’s Who: Hamad Al-Saghir, chief marketing and customer experience officer at NeoLeap

Who’s Who: Hamad Al-Saghir, chief marketing and customer experience officer at NeoLeap
Updated 19 October 2021

Who’s Who: Hamad Al-Saghir, chief marketing and customer experience officer at NeoLeap

Who’s Who: Hamad Al-Saghir, chief marketing and customer experience officer at NeoLeap

Hamad Al-Saghir has been the chief marketing and customer experience officer at NeoLeap since May 2021.
With the vision to be the Kingdom’s leading payment solutions service provider, NeoLeap is a licensed financial global digital solutions company, whose values revolve around inventiveness, simplicity and trust. It has recently described the Saudi market as large and promising. It has also announced that it has plans to operate beyond the borders in the near future.
With over 20 years of experience in the information and communication technology sector, strategic planning, revenue growth and organization development, Al-Saghir has successfully managed complex national ICT projects across Saudi Arabia.
As a decisive leader and member of the ICT committee at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he is focused on delivering practical outcomes that impact stakeholders across the ICT ecosystem in the country.
Prior to joining NeoLeap, Al-Saghir served for more than three years as the general manager of the business unit at Zain KSA.
He was responsible for the business-to-business unit with over 300 employees and revenue of over SR1 billion. He was also part of the executive team to develop a five-year B2B strategy and won the company’s “outstanding performance” award in 2018.
For nearly a year before that, he worked as the general manager at the International Data Corporation, the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. 
At IDC, Al-Saghir led a team of over 50 employees and reported directly to the MEA vice president.
Previously, he was the senior service sales manager at Cisco for about 11 years, beginning in 2006. There, he managed end-to-end customer experience lifecycle processes, led the development of cross-functional Cisco services team, and built trusted relationships with key public and private sector entities within Saudi Arabia.
The company selected him for the “sales champion” and the “top service manager of the year” awards in 2010.
For around two years, beginning in 2004, he was the sales and business alliance director at STC, where he built turnkey partnerships with global service providers and IT vendors.  
From 1999 to 2005, he served as the business alliance manager at Ebttikar Technology Co.
He also worked as the national sales and marketing manager at Al-Faisaliah Group, where he succeeded to achieve a sales target of SR50 million while leading the company’s sales and marketing teams.
Al-Saghir received a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1999 from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.
He also attended a sales management program at the University of Toledo, Ohio, US.


Saudi Interior Ministry’s hi-tech feats shine at Dubai GITEX Technology Week

Saudi Interior Ministry’s hi-tech feats shine at Dubai GITEX Technology Week
Updated 19 October 2021

Saudi Interior Ministry’s hi-tech feats shine at Dubai GITEX Technology Week

Saudi Interior Ministry’s hi-tech feats shine at Dubai GITEX Technology Week

DUBAI: Prince Dr. Bandar bin Abdullah bin Mishari, assistant minister of interior for technology affairs, expressed his pride in the ministry’s successes through its presence at Dubai GITEX Technology Week for the seventh year in a row. 
Prince Bandar made the remarks as he visited the ministry’s pavilion.
The ministry is participating in this year’s event under the slogan “Technical Solutions for a Safe Homeland.”
The topics covered are: Digital enablers and their role in governance to serve customers, ministry services for pilgrims, dealing with events, crises and work procedures, the future of services and security operations, and the role of modern technology in combating crime and making cities safer.
They also include the optimal use of technology through the Absher app, which allows people in the Kingdom to use a variety of government services, to help ministry staff manage resources and digitally implement internal procedures and support services for employees and the ministry’s community.
The ministry’s role in preserving the environment and its initiatives in the field of innovation are also being highlighted at the pavilion, with the topics and issues presented in interactive ways. 
The aim is to highlight the ministry’s achievements in light of the Saudi Vision 2030.
Prince Bandar toured the pavilion and was briefed on the electronic services and apps provided by the bodies and sectors participating in the pavilion, which is next to the pavilion of the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence and the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.
It comes in light of enhancing the presence of government agencies in the coming years, showing them all as an interconnected digital system in the exhibition.
This helps to highlight the level of digital maturity and harmony between all Saudi government agencies to visitors.


King Salman Center for Disability Research, Boeing to launch disability awareness program

King Salman Center for Disability Research, Boeing to launch disability awareness program
Updated 19 October 2021

King Salman Center for Disability Research, Boeing to launch disability awareness program

King Salman Center for Disability Research, Boeing to launch disability awareness program
  • Technology, education to inject affected individuals into society

RIYADH: In partnership with Boeing, the King Salman Center for Disability Research launched the Prince Sultan bin Salman Program for Education and Awareness on Thursday, which targets individuals, families, school peers, work colleagues, and spouses who live with disabilities.
The center is based on establishing the best scientific apps and programs to address disability, identify causes, allow early detection and intervention, and use research to aid prevention, care, and rehabilitation, and work to alleviate suffering and improve the conditions of individuals with disabilities.
At the outset, Prince Sultan, chairman of the board of trustees at the center, welcomed Sir Michael Arthur, president of Boeing International, and members of his delegation led by Ahmed Jazzar, president of Boeing Saudi Arabia.
Sir Arthur expressed his pleasure in seeing Boeing’s partnership with the center, which began in 2011, flourish with the launch of the program.
Prince Sultan said: “The program aims to spread awareness and educate the community, whether in educational institutions, workplaces, or public establishments, by providing specialized content on each category of disability and educating members of the community about the types of disability and its causes as well as how to deal with them and bridge the gap between individuals with disabilities and society.”

FASTFACT

Sir Michael affirmed Boeing’s commitment to Saudi Arabia’s vision and the myriad programs the country is currently developing and implementing for a sustainable and bright future ahead.

On Boeing working together with the center for the program, Prince Sultan told Arab News: “Boeing has been a partner with us for the last several years, this program is a continuation of a series of programs. This one is more about awareness, there is a lot more to come in future. Boeing is a partner that we are very proud of, and we are looking forward to further enhancing our partnership.
“It’s really important to have a partner like Boeing that can support us, help us with some of the major goals on education and awareness. So today here it’s a big privilege, because it’s an exposure that cements our relationship and moves us forward,” he added.
Sir Michael affirmed Boeing’s commitment to Saudi Arabia’s vision and the myriad programs the country is currently developing and implementing for a sustainable and bright future ahead.
“What we are witnessing today is great commitment by the Saudi leadership to raise awareness for disability research and education.” Sir Michael told Arab News, adding: “This program will prove highly beneficial for the Saudi community, and we are proud to partner with KSCDR on such influential programs.
“Boeing has been a partner with the Kingdom for over 76 years. We like to work closely with the communities where we are established. So, we are privileged to work with KSCDR because disability is such a challenge in society and if we can help with our technological contribution and on the education awareness front to help bring affected individuals into the mainstream of the society, it will be great. So we are very excited about the future of this program.”
The event concluded with Prince Sultan presenting a commemorative gift on behalf of himself and the center’s staff to Sir Michael.


Jeddah Old Town holds Red Sea Film Festival

Jeddah Old Town holds Red Sea Film Festival
Updated 19 October 2021

Jeddah Old Town holds Red Sea Film Festival

Jeddah Old Town holds Red Sea Film Festival
  • The festival aims to support and encourage the growth of the local film community

JEDDAH: Jeddah will set the world stage for the 3rd annual Red Sea Film Festival in its iconic UNESCO Heritage Site, a city with a historical thriving cultural scene.
Jeddah, the western port city, known as the “Bride of the Red Sea,” has always been a hub of diversity and inclusivity. It is a city where world cultures merge to create a unique intersection between East and West, showcasing a continuously developing identity of multiculturalism.
The Red Sea International Film Festival is an annual festival held in Saudi’s most evocative historical quarter — Jeddah Old Town — maintained to preserve the city’s rich cultural and ethnic diversity.
The film festival aims to highlight Jeddah’s cinematic presence since the 1970s and promote cross-cultural exchange while fostering the growth of the Arab film industry, positioning Saudi Arabia as a significant contributor to the international film industry.
Running from Dec. 6-15, 2021, it will support and encourage the growth of the local film community through cultivating film appreciation and enhancing industry knowledge to contribute to the development of the film industry in Saudi Arabia.
“Calling Jeddah Old Town, otherwise known as ‘Al-Balad’, our home for the Red Sea International Film Festival is really significant and means a lot to us. ‘Al-Balad’ traces back to our roots in the Kingdom, it is the jewel of Jeddah city that melds the historic with the modern in perfect harmony. It is a true honor having this UNESCO world heritage site be the hub for the region’s largest film festival that will put the Kingdom on the map of the global film stage,” said Mohammed Al-Turki, Chairman of the Festival Committee.
The festival will showcase the best films from the region and an exclusive viewing of a carefully curated selection of internationally acclaimed titles worldwide.
The festival serves as the best opportunity for Saudi youth to discover global cultures through the power of cinema and contribute to the ever-growing Saudi film industry.
As part of a community program to educate Saudi film enthusiasts on acting, directing, and producing, the Festival also launched film screenings and masterclasses.
RIFF is an opportunity to showcase the Kingdom’s attractions and offer a better understanding of the region, its culture, and its people by inviting the global community to experience the true Saudi Arabia. The Festival’s enriching cultural experience will enable guests to discover Saudi Arabia, the gracious and generous Arabian hospitality, the deep history and rich culture, the diverse and unique landscapes, and witness the positive changes happening in the country.


Riyadh’s Winter Wonderland returns on Oct. 26

Riyadh’s Winter Wonderland returns on Oct. 26
Updated 19 October 2021

Riyadh’s Winter Wonderland returns on Oct. 26

Riyadh’s Winter Wonderland returns on Oct. 26

RIYADH: Riyadh’s “Winter Wonderland” returns on Oct. 26 with a 40 percent wider space than its first edition in 2019.
Due to high demand, the GEA announced that it has increased the venue to 376,025 sq km. More than 103 games spread across six sections will be available for visitors of all age groups. The area will hold several entertainment shows, competitions, performances, and art displays.
Visitors can visit the Dream Land Carnival, the Snow Forest with an ice-skating rink right in the heart of the desert, Disney on Ice, the Magic Box area, Horror Adventures, and a circus with acrobatic music shows.
There will be 51 adult games that include the Haunted House, Sky Loop, and several international games held for the first time in the Kingdom.