Emirates says Boeing 777X talks 'work in progress'

Emirates says Boeing 777X talks 'work in progress'
Short Url
Updated 16 November 2021

Emirates says Boeing 777X talks 'work in progress'

Emirates says Boeing 777X talks 'work in progress'

Emirates has made progress in talks with Boeing on the Dubai airline's concerns over delays to the 777X jetliner but is still waiting to see when it will receive an aircraft it sees as vital to its future growth, its president said on Tuesday.


"It is work in progress...We have come to an agreement on what we think we ought to be doing collectively," Tim Clark said, adding he expected more visibility on the delayed project "in the next nine months or a year."


French construction design firm Clestra Hauserman opens regional HQ in Riyadh

French construction design firm Clestra Hauserman opens regional HQ in Riyadh
Updated 16 sec ago

French construction design firm Clestra Hauserman opens regional HQ in Riyadh

French construction design firm Clestra Hauserman opens regional HQ in Riyadh
  • Today, the Clestra Hauserman Group has offices in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman

RIYADH: A French construction and design firm opened its regional headquarters in Riyadh on Tuesday, in a 50-50 partnership deal with Saudi holding company, Zuhair Al-Habib Group.

Known internationally for their eco-friendly partitions, Clestra Hauserman’s decision to open a regional office in the capital city comes one year after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the Riyadh Strategy 2030 plan. 

“Saudi Arabia is our biggest market and as of this year I can say that 80 percent of our business comes from here,” said Farid Habbas, Middle East Director of Clestra Hauserman.

“It was a natural move for the firm that we were happy and ready for. Our firm will now have direct access to the local economy, which will help us gain financial and geographic opportunities,” he told Arab News.

Clestra Hauserman, which had been based in Dubai, joins more than 40 multinational companies that are moving to Riyadh.

The plan includes a policy stating that government and state-backed institutions will no longer sign any contracts with foreign entities from 2024 unless their regional headquarters are based in the Kingdom.

The policy, which paved way for a regional headquarters attraction program, aims to help make “Riyadh one of the ten largest city economies” in the world.

Founded in 1913, the French firm has had a regional presence for more than 40 years, specializing in the manufacture and installation of prefabricated demountable partitions. Its first project in Saudi Arabia was with Aramco in the 1970s and the firm extended its regional presence via the undertaking of airport projects and numerous educational buildings and corporate offices all over the Gulf area.

Today, the Clestra Hauserman Group has offices in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman.

“At Clestra, we develop and design our products from scratch, then completely fit out empty buildings from zero to completion,” Habbas told Arab News. “Our work extends to maintenance and after-sales services for all our clients, where we can be on-site for any adjustments needed within 24 hours.”

Habbas said what makes their products special is their move-and-removability, and likened it to the moveable block system made by Lego — the size of partitions can easily be adjusted by adding or removing panels.

“We’re not just selling a product, we’re selling a solution. We believe that Saudi Arabia is in need of the type of flexibility we can bring with our products and expertise, and not to mention the sustainable aspect of reusing our partitions again and again.”

One of their notable projects is at King Saud University, which has more than 200 kilometers of partitions made by the French firm that have been in use for more than 40 years — which speaks to the durability of the product, the secret of which lies in steel and aluminum.

Habbas added that the firm has plans to open a small factory in the first stage, followed a by a larger one in the second, in addition to carrying out workshops that aims to provide knowledge, expertise and training to employees, a move that should provide many jobs.

Fahad Al-Rasheed, CEO of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City said that by 2030 the regional headquarters program will contribute $18 billion to the local economy and create around 30,000 new jobs.

Since the announcement of the Saudi Vision 2030, as well as plans such as the Riyadh Strategy 2030 and the National Investment Strategy, the metropolis has flourished into a regional hub for businesses, trade and plentiful investment opportunities.


Lebanon in power deal with Jordan

Lebanon in power deal with Jordan
Updated 27 January 2022

Lebanon in power deal with Jordan

Lebanon in power deal with Jordan
  • The agreement is part of a wider plan to pump Egyptian gas to a power station in northern Lebanon

BEIRUT: Lebanon signed a deal on Wednesday to import electricity from Jordan through Syria after US assurances that the agreement was not in breach of sanctions against the Assad regime in Syria.
The deal is expected to supply Lebanon with two hours of power a day, double what is currently available from EDL, the state electricity generating company. Electricity from Jordan will cost Lebanon about $200 million a year.
“This is an important, historic moment for Lebanon ... not because of its impact but because of its symbolism,” Energy Minister Walid Fayad said. He said the deal was a “modest but very important agreement for the Lebanese people, who need every extra hour of electricity.”
Lebanon has not had 24-hour mains power since its civil war ended in 1990, but the country’s economic meltdown has led to power cuts of up to 23 hours a day, and most people have to rely on expensive private generators.


ANALYSIS: Lebanon’s new electricity deal with Syria and Jordan is a long way from being switched on 


The deal with Jordan was funded by the World Bank, and must be approved by Lebanon’s parliament. It is expected to be implemented in the next two months.
The agreement is part of a wider plan to pump Egyptian gas to a power station in northern Lebanon via a pipeline that runs through Jordan and Syria.
“The Jordanian electricity and Egyptian gas could provide around six hours of electricity,” energy policy consultant Jessica Obeid said.
However, she described the deals as “a quick fix that does not solve any of the sector’s problems, which are deeply rooted in politics and governance.”


Who’s coming to Saudi Arabia’s LEAP conference

Who’s coming to Saudi Arabia’s LEAP conference
Updated 27 January 2022

Who’s coming to Saudi Arabia’s LEAP conference

Who’s coming to Saudi Arabia’s LEAP conference
  • The event will host workshops and sessions based around the future of IT including, education, financial technology, electric cars and smart cities

RIYADH: Organizers of the LEAP conference in Saudi Arabia will host more than 400 speakers across six conferences during the three-day event.

Speakers will attend from a range of international and local organizations — such as Visa, Ericsson, JP Morgan, Cisco, and Huawei, as well as stc, NEOM, and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

The event will host workshops and sessions based around the future of IT including, education, financial technology, electric cars and smart cities. Other specialized sessions, called Orbital Talks, will host speakers on these specific industries and topics:

• FinTech

• Future energy

• Creative economy

• Health technology

• EduTech

• Smart cities

• Retail

• The fourth industrial revolution

There will also be a startup pitch stage that will see entrepreneurs bid to attract seasoned investors. The winner of the pitch contest will receive a cash prize for their new business.

Some of the conference star speakers include:

Börje Ekholm

• President and CEO of Ericsson

• Appointed on Jan. 16, 2017

• Board member of Alibaba, Nasdaq, Trimble, and Royal Institute of Technology

Olayan Al-Wetaid

• Group CEO of Saudi Arabia’s stc

• Has over 22 years of experience in telecom

• Has held multiple board positions across several stc subsidiaries

Roberto Carlos

• FIFA World Cup-winning football player

• Former Real Madrid player

• Launched Ginga Scout, a software system connecting players with coaches across the globe

Joseph Bradley

• CEO of NEOM Tech & Digital Co.

• Served in senior roles at Cisco Systems for over 15 years

• Also worked for C3 Communications, AT&T, and Pacific Bell

Stephen Carter

• Group CEO of Informa

• Former UK minister of communications

• His career has spanned the private and public sectors

Ahmad Al-Khowaiter

• Chief technology officer of Saudi Aramco

• Joined Aramco in 1983 and has since held various technical roles in oil and gas production

Eugene Kaspersky

• CEO and co-founder of Kapersky

• Renowned cybersecurity expert

Tony Chan

• President of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, or KAUST

• Has a PhD in computer science from Stanford University

Siim Sikkut

• Government chief information officer of Estonia

• In charge of the country’s digital government and innovation work


Iconic London store Fortnum & Mason looking to expand into Qatar in time for World Cup

Fortnum & Mason, an upmarket shop in Piccadilly that counts Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles among its customers, wants to expand into Qatar. (Shutterstock)
Fortnum & Mason, an upmarket shop in Piccadilly that counts Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles among its customers, wants to expand into Qatar. (Shutterstock)
Updated 26 January 2022

Iconic London store Fortnum & Mason looking to expand into Qatar in time for World Cup

Fortnum & Mason, an upmarket shop in Piccadilly that counts Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles among its customers, wants to expand into Qatar. (Shutterstock)
  • 315-year-old store counts Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles among its customers

LONDON: One of London’s most popular department stores is in talks to open a branch in Qatar ahead of this winter’s FIFA World Cup, according to a Sky News report.

Fortnum & Mason, an upmarket shop in Piccadilly that counts Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles among its customers, is believed to be discussing a franchise opportunity with partners in the country.

The company’s chief executive, Tom Athron, wants to continue the brand expansion which took place under his predecessor, Ewan Venters, which included a first outlet in the Gulf, in Dubai, which closed in 2017.

The 315-year-old store, which is owned by a branch of the Weston family, already has a store in Hong Kong, and partnerships in Australia and Japan.

“As part of our strategy, we are exploring opportunities to expand both online and internationally, the Gulf being a region we’d like to look at again,” a spokesman for Fortnum & Mason said.

Fortnum’s business was hit badly during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, but has seen strong growth in its online business, and the firm hopes expanding into Qatar ahead of the World Cup in November could raise the brand’s global profile.


US car makers and medical suppliers warn chip shortage will last for more than six months

US car makers and medical suppliers warn chip shortage will last for more than six months
Updated 26 January 2022

US car makers and medical suppliers warn chip shortage will last for more than six months

US car makers and medical suppliers warn chip shortage will last for more than six months

RIYADH: US businesses are worried that the global semiconductor supply shortage is set to last for at least six more months, according to report put together by the country's Department of Commerce.

The White House was urged to push ahead with a $52 billion plan previously submitted to Congress to stimulate semiconductor makers and encourage them to build factories in the US, Bloomberg reported.

The report, released on Tuesday, was based on information taken from more than 150 companies in the semiconductors supply chain, and stated that the global shortage of chips will persist until the second half of 2022 as: “there is a significant, persistent mismatch in supply and demand for chips.”

The most affected industries by the shortage include automakers, consumer electronic, medical devices, broadband, and auto industries.

Even though the government does not have many alternatives in hand to solve the current issue, US officials will focus on resolving bottlenecks in those supply chains, and investigate claims of chips price gouging for some types of semiconductors, the report said.

Average inventory level fell from 40 days to fewer than 5 days, resulting in no room for error, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a briefing with reporters discussing the findings of the report. The median demand for chips was 17 percent higher in 2021 than in 2019, coupled with disproportionate increases in supply.

Disruption in the supply of semiconductors, which plays a key factor in determining the country’s inflation level, could threaten to help swing Congress to Republican control in November’s midterm elections.

Many firms have been recently expanding their operations in the US, with Intel Corp. announcing it is building the world’s biggest silicon-manufacturing site in Columbus, Ohio, worth $20 billion, and expected to become operational in 2025.