Saudi Arabia eyes global tie-ups to tap $20bn in cultural opportunities

In the wake of the G20 meeting last year, Saudi Arabia added culture to the forefront of its investment agenda. (Social media)
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In the wake of the G20 meeting last year, Saudi Arabia added culture to the forefront of its investment agenda. (Social media)
In the wake of the G20 meeting last year, Saudi Arabia added culture to the forefront of its investment agenda. (Social media)
2 / 2
In the wake of the G20 meeting last year, Saudi Arabia added culture to the forefront of its investment agenda. (Social media)
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Updated 02 August 2021

Saudi Arabia eyes global tie-ups to tap $20bn in cultural opportunities

In the wake of the G20 meeting last year, Saudi Arabia added culture to the forefront of its investment agenda. (Social media)
  • Public-private partnership seen as a means to increase sector’s contribution to GDP

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia is seeking partnership with global partners including leading international museums as it sees its culture sector generating $20 billion in revenues and creating 100,000 jobs, while contributing 3 percent to its gross domestic product (GDP), a senior official said.

In the wake of the G20 meeting last year, Saudi Arabia added culture to the forefront of its investment agenda. The Ministry of Culture, which was established three years ago in the hopes of promoting cultural growth and supporting Vision 2030, sees that the sector has already attracted the interest and engagement of private companies both locally and abroad, Rakan Altouq, general supervisor for culture affairs and international relations, said in an interview on Sunday.

In addition to the public sector, the private sector is a vital contributor to cultural development and Saudi Arabia will benefit from this new strategy, as it will lead to an increase in its economy. As part of the Ministry of Culture, all 16 sectors with 11 dedicated commissions are engaged now to prepare the groundwork for economic activity. 

The Cultural Development Fund, created by the Ministry of Culture last year, is also a vital tool for bridging the financial gap that exists between public and private sector funding for cultural programs. By using the Cultural Development Fund, a bridge of capital will be provided, he said. Through Invest Saudi and the Shareek program that has been announced across the private sector engagement in Saudi Arabia, all of the targets they have developed cannot be achieved without private capital, and they are contributing to creating the right conditions for capital to invest in the culture sector.

Altouq said that the culture sector should not be evaluated in the same way as other more publicly owned sectors. Nonprofit organizations conduct many private activities, such as the visual arts sector, in the country. Further opportunities exist for establishing infrastructure in digital platforms; such investments have already been initiated by media and other regional companies. 

In the museum sector, the ministry has held numerous discussions with its partners around the world. Soon, the dedicated museum of Saudi Arabia will launch its strategy and seek partnerships with other museums around the world. The Museum Commission will launch its own communication strategy in the coming months to further develop that.

In the national cultural strategy, three main aspirations are outlined: Culture as a way of life, culture as an economic growth tool, and culture as an exchange mechanism among cultures.

As a first step, culture has been developed as a lifestyle in Saudi Arabia through connecting local communities to ensure that all citizens and residents have access to an extraordinary range of diverse cultural offerings in the region while preserving the rich cultural heritage. As for the culture for economic growth, culture will be seen in creative industries, which will allow Saudi Arabia to witness an increase in its GDP by 3 percent by 2030. Lastly, culture for global exchange is engaging the Kingdom and participating in international platforms such as the G20 and UNESCO.     


Several Apple, Tesla suppliers suspend production in China amid power pinch

Several Apple, Tesla suppliers suspend production in China amid power pinch
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 15 min 33 sec ago

Several Apple, Tesla suppliers suspend production in China amid power pinch

Several Apple, Tesla suppliers suspend production in China amid power pinch
  • Concraft Holding Co Ltd, a supplier of speaker components for Apple's iPhone and which owns manufacturing plants in Suzhou city
  • Foxconn had to "adjust" a small part of its capacity there, which includes the manufacture of non-Apple notebook computers

Several Apple and Tesla suppliers have suspended production at some Chinese factories for a number of days to comply with tighter energy consumption policies, putting supply chains at risk in the peak season for electronics goods.


Two major Taiwanese chipmakers, however, said their China facilities are operating as normal.


The development comes as tight coal supplies in China and toughening emissions standards have triggered a contraction in heavy industry in several regions, dragging on the country's economic growth rate, analysts have said.


Apple supplier Unimicron Technology Corp late on Sunday said three of its China subsidiaries stopped production from midday on Sept. 26 until midnight on Sept. 30 to "comply with the local governments' electricity limiting policy".


The Taiwanese maker of printed circuit boards said it did not expect significant impact as other plants would make up production.


Eson Precision Ind Co Ltd, an affiliate of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (Foxconn), in a statement said it suspended production from Sunday until Friday at facilities in the Chinese city of Kunshan.


Concraft Holding Co Ltd, a supplier of speaker components for Apple's iPhone and which owns manufacturing plants in Suzhou city, said it would suspend production for five days until noon on Thursday and use inventory to meet demand.


Chipmakers United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd told Reuters there was no impact at their China plants.


"UMC's Hejian fab in Suzhou is currently running at full capacity utilization of 80,000 plus wafers per month," said the Taiwanese firm, whose clients include Qualcomm Inc.


Two people familiar with the matter told Reuters that facilities in Kunshan of contract manufacturer Foxconn have seen a "very small" impact on production.


Foxconn had to "adjust" a small part of its capacity there, which includes the manufacture of non-Apple notebook computers, one of the people said, adding that the company has not seen any impact at other major production hubs across China.


The second person said the company had to move some of the Kunshan workers' shifts in late September to early October. Foxconn, a major Apple supplier, declined to comment. 


Citi launches Bahrain tech hub to develop its digital platforms

Citi launches Bahrain tech hub to develop its digital platforms
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 36 min 54 sec ago

Citi launches Bahrain tech hub to develop its digital platforms

Citi launches Bahrain tech hub to develop its digital platforms
  • Under the plan, Citi will hire at least 100 people in coding-related roles each year over the next 10 years
  • Tamkeen will subsidise a portion of the salaries and cover training costs locally and abroad

Citi launched a global technology hub at its Bahrain offices, the first of its kind in the region and with the aim of employing 1,000 coders over the next decade.


The hub, based at Citi's Bahrain premises, was set up in partnership with Tamkeen, a government-funded labour fund, and Bahrain's Economic Development Board (EDB), which are also investing, a Citi executive said.


Under the plan, Citi will hire at least 100 people in coding-related roles each year over the next 10 years.


The new hires will initially work on two of the bank's main platforms, Citi Velocity and Citi FX Policy, said Ala'a Saeed, Citi FX's global head of electronic platforms and distribution.


"Selecting our two flagship systems to develop out of here in Bahrain is a huge endorsement of the talent and the calibre of people that we've found here," he said.


Tamkeen will subsidise a portion of the salaries and cover training costs locally and abroad, said Tamkeen Chief Executive Hussain Mohammed Rajab, without disclosing figures. Bahrain, where Citi has operated for 50 years, has sought to market itself as a financial technology hub for the Middle East and North Africa in a bid to revive its reputation as a regional banking and business centre.


The heavily indebted state, which does not have the oil or gas resources of its Gulf neighbours, received a $10 billion bailout in 2018 from some of its Gulf allies to avoid a credit crunch.


EU gas output to jump by 25% on Turkish discovery

EU gas output to jump by 25% on Turkish discovery
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 48 min 22 sec ago

EU gas output to jump by 25% on Turkish discovery

EU gas output to jump by 25% on Turkish discovery
  • The natural gas field will provide nearly a third of Turkey’s domestic needs by 2027

The European Union will see its gas production capacity increase by 25 percent with a new Turkish discovery in the Black Sea, Bloomberg reported.

The natural gas field will provide nearly a third of Turkey’s domestic needs by 2027, Bloomberg added, citing Energy Minister Fatih Donmez.

The initial production from the new field will be 3.5 billion cubic meters of gas annually starting from 2023, Donmez told Bloomberg. 


ADNOC raises over $1.1 bn as it completes book-building for drilling unit IPO

ADNOC raises over $1.1 bn as it completes book-building for drilling unit IPO
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 46 min 34 sec ago

ADNOC raises over $1.1 bn as it completes book-building for drilling unit IPO

ADNOC raises over $1.1 bn as it completes book-building for drilling unit IPO
  • The offering was oversubscribed, with total gross demand amounting to more than $34 billion
  • ADNOC will continue to own an 84 percent majority stake in the unit

State oil giant Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) has completed bookbuilding for the initial public offering (IPO) of ADNOC Drilling, raising more than $1.1 billion, it said on Monday.


The offering was oversubscribed, with total gross demand amounting to more than $34 billion, it said in a statement.


"Upon settlement, ADNOC Drilling's IPO will be the largest ever ADX (Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange) listing, further bolstering the UAE and Abu Dhabi's equity capital markets," it said.


A tranche for United Arab Emirates retail investors was set at 10 percent and a tranche for local, regional, and international institutional investors at 86 percent, with the remaining 4 percent to be allocated to ADNOC employees and UAE retirees.


Listing is expected on Oct. 3, ADNOC said.


ADNOC will continue to own an 84 percent majority stake in the unit, while Baker Hughes will retain its 5 percent shareholding. Helmerich & Payne will hold 1 percent through its IPO cornerstone investment.


ADNOC increased to 11 percent of share capital the size of the IPO, it said this month, because of oversubscription. It had previously targeted a minimum stake of 7.5 percent.


The sale is the second public flotation of a company owned by the Abu Dhabi oil major after the 2017 listing of ADNOC Distribution, the largest operator of petrol stations and convenience stores in the UAE.


ADNOC and Saudi Aramco, in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, are seeking to raise cash from outside investors as part of plans to diversify sources of income in their oil-reliant economies.


Dubai’s SHUAA to complete $2.7bn London property deals ahead of prices uptick

Dubai’s SHUAA to complete $2.7bn London property deals ahead of prices uptick
Updated 27 September 2021

Dubai’s SHUAA to complete $2.7bn London property deals ahead of prices uptick

Dubai’s SHUAA to complete $2.7bn London property deals ahead of prices uptick
  • The company is making the investment as property prices in the centre of the UK’s capital are predicted to increase by seven percent in 2022

DUBAI: Asset management and investment platform SHUAA Capital is planning to complete and deliver 2 billion pounds ($2.7 billion) worth of property developments in London within the next eight months as the UK capital braces itself for post-pandemic growth.

It plans to do so through its subsidiary Northacre, which is currently building two mix-used properties in the British capital - No. 1 Palace Street and The Broadway, SHUAA said in a statement. Both projects are located in prime locations in Central London, offering views of Buckingham Palace, as well as other iconic landmarks such as the Big Ben. 

“The significant growth of SHUAA’s real estate portfolio in the UK reflects its effective strategic vision to create opportunities that deliver long term value with high returns,” its chief executive officer of real estate, Walid El-Hindi, said. 

The company is making the investment as property prices in the centre of the UK’s capital are predicted to increase by seven percent in 2022, according to analysis by property market insight company Knight Frank.

The firm has also revealed that August saw the number of international buyers and tenants searching for UK property reaching its highest level since before the pandemic.

Northacre will unveil the first show apartment in The Broadway in October, and it will also launch a 116,000 square foot commercial space, as well as a 27,000 square foot retail space that will house wellness activities. 

Group CEO of SHUAA said: “As major investors in the prime London property market, we are delighted that the fruits of our long-term vision are now becoming a reality.”