PIF to use oil platforms to attract tourists through ‘THE RIG.’ project

PIF to use oil platforms to attract tourists through ‘THE RIG.’ project
1 / 2
The RIG. project would be the world’s first tourism destination on offshore platforms. (www.pif.gov.sa)
PIF to use oil platforms to attract tourists through ‘THE RIG.’ project
2 / 2
Getty Images
Short Url
Updated 17 October 2021

PIF to use oil platforms to attract tourists through ‘THE RIG.’ project

PIF to use oil platforms to attract tourists through ‘THE RIG.’ project

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund on Saturday launched “THE RIG.”, first-of-its-kind tourism destination inspired by offshore oil platforms.

Located in the Arabian Gulf, the project will span a combined area of more than 150,000 square meters, said a statement issued by the sovereign wealth fund.

“THE RIG.” will feature a number of touristic attractions, including three hotels, world-class restaurants, helipads, and a range of adventurous activities, including extreme sports, the PIF said.

The PIF said to ensure sustainable preservation of the environment, the project will follow global standards and best practices in line with the Kingdom’s efforts to ensure preservation of environment.

The project is in line with PIF’s strategy 2021-2025 to modernize Saudi Arabia’s tourism and entertainment sectors and introduce innovative ideas to boost the number of local, regional and international tourists in the Kingdom.

Entertainment is expected to be a key driver for Saudi economic growth over the next four years.

In addition to the new entertainment centers announced by the PIF, a number of other high-profile projects are underway, including the Qiddiya Entertainment City, The Red Sea Project, AMAALA, AlUla, King Salman Park and Riyadh Sport Boulevard.

The retail and hospitality sectors are expected to benefit from the entertainment boom with total retail space in the capital expected to reach 3.5 million square meters of gross leasable area by 2024. By 2024, Jeddah’s retail market is expected to witness considerable supply growth, reaching over 2 million square meters.

As of 2019, the Kingdom received about 59 million tourist trips and these figures are expected to continue to increase to 100 million tourist trips by 2024.

The Saudi entertainment and amusement sector is forecast to be worth $1.17 billion by 2030 and grow by a massive 47.65 percent per year, according to recent industry report.

The US-based Research and Markets study said that the growth compares with just $23.77 million in 2020.


Saudi-Qatari business forum reviews economic, investment ties

Saudi-Qatari business forum reviews economic, investment ties
Updated 09 December 2021

Saudi-Qatari business forum reviews economic, investment ties

Saudi-Qatari business forum reviews economic, investment ties

Saudi and Qatari companies signed agreements in the hospitality and tourism sectors at the Saudi-Qatari Business Forum in Doha on Wednesday.

The forum was organized by the Federation of Saudi Chambers and Qatar Chamber, with participation from private and public bodies and businesspeople.

Cooperation in economic and investment fields was among a range of topics discussed.

“Although the two countries have advantages for economic integration in many industries, the volume of trade exchange is still below ambition, as official Saudi statistics indicate that the volume of trade exchange between the two countries amounted to about SR1.67 billion ($450 million) in Q3 of this year,” said Ajlan Al-Ajlan, chairman of the Federation of Saudi Chambers.

Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Tawar Al-Kuwari, the first vice-chairman of Qatar Chamber, said that the two countries have strong and distinguished relations, as the volume of trade exchange during the first nine months of 2021 reached 386 million Qatari riyals, which is an encouraging start after, despite the COVID-19 repercussions and the absence in recent years.”


Saudi Arabia and Greece sign cooperation agreement on maritime transport

Saudi Minister of Transport and Logistics Services Saleh Al-Jasser and Greek Minister of Maritime Affairs and Island Policy Giannis Plakiotakis sign an agreement. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Transport and Logistics Services Saleh Al-Jasser and Greek Minister of Maritime Affairs and Island Policy Giannis Plakiotakis sign an agreement. (SPA)
Updated 09 December 2021

Saudi Arabia and Greece sign cooperation agreement on maritime transport

Saudi Minister of Transport and Logistics Services Saleh Al-Jasser and Greek Minister of Maritime Affairs and Island Policy Giannis Plakiotakis sign an agreement. (SPA)
  • The deal includes developing commercial maritime navigation, increasing traffic of commercial ships
  • It also aims to provide facilities to maritime transport companies

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Greece on Wednesday signed a joint cooperation agreement in the field of maritime transport, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The deal was signed by Saudi Minister of Transport and Logistics Services and Chairman of the Public Transport Authority Saleh Al-Jasser and Greek Minister of Maritime Affairs and Island Policy Giannis Plakiotakis in the British capital, London.
The agreement aims to strengthen relations between the Kingdom and Greece at the strategic level and open new horizons for cooperation in various fields, especially maritime transport.
It includes developing commercial maritime navigation, increasing traffic of commercial ships to transport passengers and goods, as well as supporting and encouraging trade exchange and facilitating the requirements and procedures for accessing the ports of both countries.
The agreement also aims to enhance the exchange of expertise and technologies between companies, institutions and maritime organizations in this field.
The deal also included a mechanism for the treatment of ships of both countries when accessing their ports, stay and departure, and in cases of emergency and maritime accidents in their territorial waters.
Al-Jasser said the agreement aims to provide facilities to maritime transport companies, their ships and crews, and will mutual recognize the documents of ships and seafarers of both countries.
He said it will held develop joint investment opportunities in the field of maritime transport and logistics services to achieve strategic goals and diversify the sources of income for the total output of both countries’ economic sectors.


Biden order to make US government carbon neutral by 2050

Biden order to make US government carbon neutral by 2050
Updated 08 December 2021

Biden order to make US government carbon neutral by 2050

Biden order to make US government carbon neutral by 2050

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order to make the federal government carbon-neutral by 2050, aiming for a 65 percent reduction in planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and an all-electric fleet of car and trucks five years later.

The White House said the order shows how the government will “leverage its scale and procurement power to lead by example in tackling the climate crisis.” The order will reduce emissions across federal operations, as part of a governmentwide effort to confront climate change.

The order directs that government buildings use 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity by 2030; that the US fleet of cars and trucks become all-electric by 2035; and that federal contracts for goods and services be carbon-free by 2050.

Government buildings should be carbon-free by 2045, including a 50 percent emissions cut by 2032, Biden said.

The executive action is a part of Biden’s commitment to support the growth of clean energy and clean technology industries, while accelerating US progress toward achieving a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035, the White House said.

“The United States government will lead by example to provide a strong foundation for American businesses to compete and win globally in the clean energy economy while creating well-paying, union jobs at home,” the White House said in a statement.


US businesses advertised near-record 11 million open jobs

US businesses advertised near-record 11 million open jobs
Updated 08 December 2021

US businesses advertised near-record 11 million open jobs

US businesses advertised near-record 11 million open jobs

WASHINGTON: US employers posted 11 million open jobs in October, nearly matching a record high reached in July and a sign that companies were confident enough in the economy to expand.

The government report Wednesday also showed that the number of people quitting their jobs dropped slightly in October to 4.2 million, from 4.4 million in September, though that is still the third-highest number of monthly resignations on records dating back to 2000.

The figures from the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, or JOLTS, show that with so many companies chasing relatively few unemployed people, job-seekers have the most bargaining power they have had in at least two decades. Wages are rising at a healthy pace, particularly for lower-paid employees, though much of that bump in pay is being eroded by higher inflation.

There were just 7.4 million people counted as unemployed in October, equal to just two-thirds of the 11 million open jobs. In the two decades that the government has issued the JOLTS report, there has usually been unemployed people than available workers.


Oil steadies as investors assess omicron’s impact

Oil steadies as investors assess omicron’s impact
Updated 08 December 2021

Oil steadies as investors assess omicron’s impact

Oil steadies as investors assess omicron’s impact
  • US output up, crude stocks fall modestly

NEW YORK: Oil prices edged lower in choppy trade on Wednesday, taking a breather after gains earlier this week, as investors assessed the impact of the omicron coronavirus variant on the global economy.

The market had a muted reaction to US weekly inventory figures, which showed a smaller-than-anticipated decline in crude stocks and another bump up in overall production, giving credence to expectations that supply will increase in coming months.

Brent crude futures were down 15 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $75.29 a barrel at 10:52 a.m. EDT (1552 GMT). US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $71.94 a barrel, down 16 cents or 0.3 percent.

Brent crude prices have rebounded by over 9 percent since Dec. 1 on signs omicron has had only a limited impact on oil demand, after a 16 percent drop since Nov. 25.

“Around two-thirds of the previous price slide (has) been corrected," Commerzbank said in a note.

"There has been no noticeable slowing effect on oil demand as yet. Even aviation, the sector that should have been hit first, has seen only a marginal decrease in seating capacity.”

The emergence of the variant combined with the US decision to release inventories from its strategic reserve to knock the market back on expectations that supply would outweigh demand by the early months of 2022.

Ultimately, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies including Russia, known as OPEC+, chose to maintain its schedule of boosting supply by 400,000 barrels per day every month — despite fears that the new coronavirus variant would sap demand.

US output, meanwhile, rose to 11.7 million barrels per day in the most recent week, though weekly output figures are volatile. The US Energy Department also said gasoline and distillate inventories rose more than anticipated, while crude stocks fell by a mere 240,000 barrels, less than expected.

“The headline numbers are bearish and the market is not reacting aggressively in either direction,” said Tony Headrick, energy market analyst at CHS Hedging.

The market was also focused on the resumption of talks between Washington and Tehran over Iran’s nuclear program. Western officials have voiced dismay at sweeping Iranian demands. If US sanctions were eased, it could lead to higher exports of Iranian oil, which could add downward pressure on oil prices.

Tensions between Western powers and Russia over Ukraine also remained high after President Joe Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday that the West would impose “strong economic and other measures” on Russia if it invades Ukraine, while Putin demanded guarantees that NATO would not expand farther eastward.