Saudi Arabia leads condemnation of Houthi missile attacks on Abu Dhabi, Kingdom

Saudi Arabia leads condemnation of Houthi missile attacks on Abu Dhabi, Kingdom
The UAE’s defense ministry said earlier that it had shot down two Houthi missiles targeting the country on Monday. (File/AFP)
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Updated 25 January 2022

Saudi Arabia leads condemnation of Houthi missile attacks on Abu Dhabi, Kingdom

Saudi Arabia leads condemnation of Houthi missile attacks on Abu Dhabi, Kingdom
  • Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said the Houthis had caused destruction and death in Yemen
  • GCC said continuation of Houthi attacks reflects their rejection of all efforts aimed at bringing peace to Yemen

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry condemned “repeated” Houthi attacks on civilians and vital facilities in the south of the Kingdom and Abu Dhabi.
The UAE’s defense ministry said it had shot down two Houthi missiles targeting Abu Dhabi on Monday with no casualties reported.

The ministry affirmed its “full readiness to deal with any threats,” adding that it will “take all necessary measures to protect the UAE from any attacks.”

The shootdown of the missiles was aided by “close UAE-US cooperation,” Emirati Ambassador to the US Yousef Al-Otaiba said.

Al-Otaiba added that the “next step is to shut off financial and arms flows from their backers,” and he renewed a call for US President Joe Biden's administration to restore the Houthis to the US list of foreign terrorist groups.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with Al-Otaiba and Saudi Ambassador to the United States Princess Reema bint Bandar to discuss ways to hold the Houthis accountable, a White House statement said.

Mr. Sullivan reiterated the US’ commitment to the security of both the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the statement added.

On Sunday, two residents in Saudi Arabia sustained minor injuries after the Houthis fired a ballistic missile that fell in the industrial area of Ahad Al-Masarihah, Jazan. Another missile was intercepted over Dhahran Al-Janub on Monday.

Shortly after, the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen said a ballistic missile launcher had been destroyed in the country’s Al-Jouf governorate.

The United States Central Command said US forces at Al-Dhafra Air Base in the UAE had engaged two Houthi missiles used to attack the Gulf country in the early morning hours of Monday alongside the Emirati armed forces.

“US forces at Al-Dhafra Air Base, near Abu Dhabi in the UAE, engaged two inbound missile threats with multiple Patriot interceptors coincident to efforts by the armed forces of the UAE in the early morning hours of Jan. 24, 2022,” it said.

The Kingdom's foreign ministry said it rejects all terrorist Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the international shipping corridors in the Red Sea.

It said that the Houthi militia continues to carry out terrorist acts with the aim of destabilizing the security and stability of the region, and is wreaking havoc in Yemen resulting in the deaths of Yemenis.
The ministry urged the UN Security Council and the international community to put an end to aggressive Houthi “behavior to maintain international peace and security.”

It added that the militia’s insistence on the repeated attacks is a challenge to the international community and “a clear violation of the rules of international humanitarian law.”

It also confirms the danger of Houthi behavior to the security and stability of the region, the ministry added.

The UAE also strongly condemned the “evil” Houthi attack on Abu Dhabi with two ballistic missiles, and stressed the incident would not go without response.

“The UAE reserves the right to respond to these terrorist attacks and this sinister criminal escalation,” the country’s foreign ministry said.

The Houthi militia continues its crimes unchecked in an effort to spread terrorism and chaos in the region to achieve its illegal aims and objectives, the ministry added.

It called on the international community to condemn and completely reject these terrorist acts that target civilians and civilian facilities.

The UAE’s foreign ministry also condemned and denounced the Houthi attack on Jazan.

The ministry said the attack is a dangerous escalation and a cowardly act that threatens the security, safety, and lives of civilians.

The ministry also reiterated the UAE's full solidarity with the Kingdom in the face of these terrorist attacks, and said the security of the country and that of the Kingdom is indivisible.

The Arab Interior Ministers Council issued a statement saying it was greatly saddened by the news of the attack, which reflects the militia’s continued aggressive approach and its goals aimed at threatening security, stability and peace in the Arab region, its blatant defiance of the international community, and its rejection of all endeavors and initiatives aimed at bringing peace to Yemen.

The Arab Parliament warned of the dangerous escalation in Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia and the UAE, saying they posed a threat to the Arab national security system in general, and the Gulf in particular. It also called for the classifying the Houthis as a terrorist organization.

The Gulf Cooperation Council said the continuation of terrorist Houthi attacks reflects their blatant defiance of the international community, disregard for all international laws, and rejection of all efforts aimed at bringing peace to Yemen.

The US condemned the Houthi missile attack on the UAE and reaffirmed a policy of strengthening the defenses of the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The Muslim World League called on the international community “to take a decisive stance against these terrorist crimes that exploit the Coalition in Yemen’s commitment to Islamic and humanitarian values and international laws and norms in the face of Houthi terrorism.”

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation condemned the persistent attacks targeting populated areas and affirmed its solidarity with the Kingdom and the UAE.

Bahrain strongly condemned the Houthi attacks and affirmed its support for Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and all measures taken by the countries to maintain security and stability, and ensure the safety of their citizens and residents.
Similarly, Kuwait condemned the attacks and stressed the need for an international stance against the militia.

Egypt expressed its “strong condemnation” of continued terrorist attacks by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia.

“The Houthi militia’s continuation of these cowardly attacks against the two countries is a clear threat to their security and stability, and the safety of their citizens and residents on their lands, in addition to a grave violation of the rules of international law,” said Egypt’s Foreign Ministry.

And Cairo reaffirmed its “full solidarity” with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and its “support for all measures taken by the two brotherly countries to confront these cowardly terrorist attacks and preserve their security and stability.”

Jordan and Libya issued similar statements strongly condemning the attacks and expressing their full solidarity with Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The US mission to Saudi Arabia strongly condemned Sunday’s Houthi attack on Jazan.

“We reiterate our commitment to the security of Saudi Arabia,” the mission said.

It also called on the Houthis to “cease immediately their attacks on civilians and to engage under UN auspices to find a political solution to the conflict.”

France’s foreign ministry and Hungary said they renews their support for Saudi Arabia and the UAE and condemned Houthi attacks on the countries.
Turkey’s foreign ministry said the attacks against both countries were a clear violation of international law.


Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud receives honorary doctorate from Marymount University

Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud received an honorary doctorate from Marymount University in Virginia. (Supplied)
Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud received an honorary doctorate from Marymount University in Virginia. (Supplied)
Updated 33 min 47 sec ago

Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud receives honorary doctorate from Marymount University

Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud received an honorary doctorate from Marymount University in Virginia. (Supplied)
  • The princess thanks Marymount University for hosting Saudi students throughout the years

RIYADH: Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US, received an honorary doctorate from Marymount University in Virginia last Friday in honor of her work empowering women across sectors in the Kingdom and globally.

The president of Marymount University, Dr. Irma Becerra, presented Princess Reema with the honorary degree — her first — at the commencement ceremony.

The Saudi ambassador gave the commencement address for the College of Health and Education graduates at the university.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Princess Reema gave the commencement address for the College of Health and Education graduates at the university.

• She congratulated the graduates and thanked the university for hosting Saudi students throughout the years.

In her address, she congratulated the graduates and thanked the university for hosting Saudi students throughout the years.

Princess Reema, who graduated from George Washington University with a degree in museum studies, has an extensive career working towards the empowerment of women in both the private and public sectors.

From 2007 to 2015, she was CEO of Alfa International Co. Ltd. — Harvey Nichols Riyadh, a multi-brand luxury retail company. During her time in this position, she commissioned the study “Obstacles for Women in the Workplace.” The study set the tone for female inclusion in retail and resulted in the opening of the first workplace nursery.

In 2013, she founded Alf Khair, a social enterprise aimed at elevating the professional capital of Saudi women through a curriculum developed to enable financial self-sufficiency.

In 2016, Princess Reema left the private sector to begin a career in public service as vice president of women’s affairs at the Saudi General Sports Authority, where she developed policies and programs that benefited women and children throughout Saudi Arabia.

In 2018, she was also appointed president of the Mass Participation Federation, making her the first woman to lead a multi-sports federation in the Kingdom, a role she occupied until her appointment as Saudi ambassador to the US.


Lights, cameras, action… and more besides, at the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo

Lights, cameras, action… and more besides, at the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo
Updated 17 May 2022

Lights, cameras, action… and more besides, at the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo

Lights, cameras, action… and more besides, at the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo
  • Developers and manufacturers in the entertainment sector are showcasing innovative, cutting-edge products and services during the event in Riyadh
  • It is taking place alongside the Saudi Light and Sound Expo, the first dedicated event in the Kingdom for professional lighting and audio equipment

RIYADH: The Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo and Summit began in Riyadh on Monday, alongside the Saudi Light and Sound Expo, the first dedicated event in the Kingdom for professional lighting and audio equipment.

The three-day dual event at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center showcases thousands of cutting-edge products and solutions for the entertainment sector, and offers professionals in the leisure and entertainment sector the chance to discover new products, learn about the most exciting innovations in the sector, network and do business with vendors.

The international exhibitors are presenting a wide range of products and services, including thrill rides, playground equipment, arcade machines, food and beverage equipment, professional lighting rigs, sound systems, event technology, security tools, and marketing solutions.

Attendees can experience a variety of fun events and activities while engaging with local, regional and global entertainment communities at the Amusement Services International pavilion during the expo, where the line-up includes virtual reality experiences, the latest video and arcade games, and carnival attractions, to name but a few.

Among the technology on show is the 3Motion simulator, which uses hydraulic actuators with precise control to deliver the same dynamic feedback you would get when driving a real racing car. Meanwhile SODIKART, a leader in the karting industry, presents its latest products and services, including a kart simulator.

Matt Wells, the CEO of Frontgrid, which owns ParadropVR, a virtual reality flying experience, told Arab News: “I am very happy to be here having a great time at the SEA summit and looking forward to working with the people here.”

In March, Frontgrid announced an exclusive distribution partnership with ASI to support the continued growth and success of ParadropVR. ASI is now Frontgrid’s distributor across the Middle East, including in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE, and in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco.

Marloes Knippenberg, the CEO of lifestyle operator Kerten Hospitality is appearing as a panelist at the summit.

“The world has really changed; consumer behavior has changed a lot,” he told Arab News. “More than 60 percent of the Saudi population is under 35 and the expectations from them as consumers has really changed.

“When you look at this conference, at the perfect timing, I think never was there so much conversation like today, with a lot more opportunity for the hospitality sector in the entertainment segment. There are a lot more expectations and I am looking forward to it.”

The SEA and SLS expos were expected to attract more than 10,000 visitors. In addition to the exhibitors showcasing business opportunities, entertainment options, innovations, and technology, there are also sessions to discuss trends and future visions within the industry, and networking events.

The inaugural SLS Expo, meanwhile, offers businesses and developers the chance to show off their products and services through specially staged laser, light and sound shows.

RS Research and Strategy will share insights from its Voice of The Market research, conducted on behalf of the expo, to offer a deeper understanding of the factors that can help generate opportunities, or create challenges, for those considering entering the light and sound or entertainment markets.

Saudi Arabia has embarked in recent years on a rapid transformation that is not only economic in nature but also cultural, by identifying travel, tourism and entertainment as priority sectors as part of the nation’s Vision 2030 economic diversification initiative.

The General Entertainment Authority was founded in 2016 to organize, develop and lead the entertainment sector in the country, triggering a transformation and the introduction of a wide range of exciting entertainment options. Since then, the sector has grown exponentially in the Kingdom, helping to improve the quality of life of residents and contributing to economic development by creating investment opportunities and thousands of jobs.

The SEA expo, which was launched four years ago, is the only trade show in the country dedicated to the flourishing leisure and entertainment sectors.

“Saudi Arabia is leading the way in encouraging collaboration and action by thinking big,” said Sarkis Kahwajian, SEA Expo’s event director. “This will lead to a strong and sustainable future for the entertainment and amusement industry.

“Saudi Arabia is developing its tourism destinations, which represent great opportunities, especially since the Kingdom’s wealth of spectacular landscapes and cultural heritage is still unknown to the international traveler.”

Yael Coifman, a senior partner at Leisure Development Partners and the president of the Europe and Middle East division of the Themed Entertainment Association, said: “The goals proposed as part of the entertainment strategy for KSA are inspiring and visionary.

“We think there is real potential in this market and although some of the members are already involved in the planning, there are opportunities for many others to influence and help shape the future of the entertainment industry in the Middle East, bringing global knowledge to the region.”

One example of the ways in which the entertainment sector in Saudi Arabia is evolving was the decision by the government in 2018 to end a 30-year ban on cinemas. By the end of 2021, 45 movie theaters had opened in the country and screened more than 1,000 films. In addition, the Red Sea International Film Festival was launched in 2019 and the inaugural event took place in December last year.

It is expected that by 2030 there will be 350 cinemas and 2,500 movie screens in Saudi Arabia, and the industry will be worth about $1 billion.

The development and expansion of the entertainment sector in the Kingdom has spawned an ambitious construction pipeline of movie theaters, theme parks and sports-related infrastructure, along with the hosting of live mega events.

In addition, the great success of Saudi Seasons — an annual series of festivals across the country featuring concerts, motor racing, pop-up restaurants, auto shows and other forms of entertainment — have shown the huge demand in the sector.

The GEA has pledged to invest up to $64 billion by 2028 to develop the Kingdom’s domestic entertainment sector.

In terms of tourism, Saudi authorities plan to welcome more than 100 million visitors each year by 2030, and to this end have implemented numerous related initiatives, including an electronic visa system for citizens of 49 countries.


Saudi ministry creates ‘skill development’ strategy to enhance Saudization

Abdullah Abuthnain speaking at the opening session of the conference. (HRDF)
Abdullah Abuthnain speaking at the opening session of the conference. (HRDF)
Updated 32 min 50 sec ago

Saudi ministry creates ‘skill development’ strategy to enhance Saudization

Abdullah Abuthnain speaking at the opening session of the conference. (HRDF)
  • The ministry has established a “forecasting of supply and demand” unit within the human capacity development program, which will provide researchers with data, information and insights into labor market trends

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development is focusing on a skills strategy to improve professional standards for workers and those entering the labor market, according to Abdullah Abuthnain, the vice minister.

Abuthnain said that the strategy will benefit more than 200 professions, with skills councils establishing employment standards, as well as on-the-job training programs, in important economic sectors.

FASTFACT

The strategy will benefit more than 200 professions, with skills councils establishing employment standards, as well as on-the-job training programs, in important economic sectors.

The vice minister made his comments during the inaugural Scientific Conference for Labor Market Research, Studies and Indicators, organized by the National Labor Observatory, an affiliate of the Human Resources Development Fund, in collaboration with Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University.

Academics and professionals gathered in Riyadh on Tuesday for the First Scientific Conference for Labor Market Research, Studies, and Indicators organized by Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University.  (Supplied/HRDF)

During the opening session of the two-day conference in Riyadh on Tuesday, Abuthnain said that Saudi Arabia’s labor market is presently in “a phase of big reforms,” including eight strategic labor market themes and 25 development initiatives.

The ministry has established a “forecasting of supply and demand” unit within the human capacity development program, which will provide researchers with data, information and insights into labor market trends.

The unit identifies opportunities and challenges facing the labor market by issuing specialized reports showing future trends, he said, adding that the unit will primarily assist educational institutions in designing educational and training programs.

Abuthnain expressed optimism about the Kingdom’s labor market, which has seen “positive developments in its indicators and gains,” noting that more than 2 million Saudis now work in the private sector, “the highest figure historically speaking.”

Mohammad Aalmughaiseb, Director of Research and Studies Department at the National Labor Observatory (NLO), Dr. Abdullah Abuthnain, Vice Minister of Human Resources and Social Development for Labor, Dr. Ahmed Al-Ameri, President of Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University, Dr. Lilac Al-Safadi, President of Saudi Electronic University and Dr. Enas Al-Issa, Director of Noura University. (Supplied/ HRDF)

Economic participation has reached 51 percent, while economic participation of Saudi women has also reached 35 percent, “the highest figure historically.”

Turki Al-Jawini, director-general of HRDF, said that the fund had redesigned support programs with a focus on the impact assessment and analysis of big data; their relevance to the needs of beneficiaries; the possibility of measuring their reach, impact and efficiency; and the application of a governance model that enables the fund to adjust the design of the program to suit changing market needs.

“We at HRDF will work to develop and implement labor market policies by creating a sustainable national workforce, developing human cadres’ skills, providing them with knowledge and qualifications, and aligning them with labor market and job needs,” he said.

“We will use a strategy that prioritizes the beneficiary in the design and delivery of works and services and modernizes the human resources system by utilizing visions and sketching future labor market directions.”

Al-Jawini said that the HRDF strategy focused on three main objectives: Reducing the gap between education outcomes and labor market needs, increasing the efficiency of matching supply and demand, and enabling sustainable employment for groups facing labor market challenges.

Among the most significant problems for graduates is understanding labor market needs, linking labor market requirements with their skills, having the necessary experience, and possessing the most in-demand soft skills.

Direct coaching and mentoring for leaders comes within the framework of programs that support and empower women in the labor market, he said.

About 1,000 female leaders benefited from the programs, which helped find jobs for more than 65,000 women in private sector companies. Around 3,500 Saudi mothers benefited from Qurrah, a program that supports child care.

Al-Jawini said that about 51,000 Saudi women employees benefited from Wusool, a program that supports transport for female workers. About 7,000 job-seekers were employed in 2021, thanks to the Tamheer program, which offers female workers on-the-job training.

Mishaal Aledwani, professor of administration and educational planning at Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University, said that Saudi universities are undergoing substantial change as a result of external developments, as well as advances in technology and knowledge development.

The Saudi labor market needs skilled graduates who can work efficiently. Saudi universities face challenges maintaining their status and excellence, both locally and internationally, through the use of innovative learning methods and the provision of training programs for students, Aledwani said.

According to the former dean of the faculty of social sciences, Saudi universities’ performance in adapting graduates to the needs of the labor market is “average.”

Aledwani said that his research had revealed that one of the most significant challenges facing universities is inadequate training and qualification of students before they enter the labor market.

This includes poor coordination between universities and employers to determine the skills graduates need.

Zaid Al-Khumishi, educational supervisor at the Saudi Ministry of Education, discussed the application of artificial intelligence in human resource professional development to suit the needs of the Saudi labor market.

Al-Khumishi has worked in the education industry for almost two decades, recruiting specialists in electronic technology to build training programs employing artificial intelligence.

He suggested designing artificial intelligence-based training programs that meet the needs of the Saudi labor market and workers “by conducting a comprehensive survey of those needs and setting priorities for them to build training programs that meet those needs.”


Deal to provide healthcare services in Diriyah signed

The agreement was signed by Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of the authority, and Abdullah bin Khathlan, CEO of Riyadh Third Health Cluster
The agreement was signed by Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of the authority, and Abdullah bin Khathlan, CEO of Riyadh Third Health Cluster
Updated 11 min 55 sec ago

Deal to provide healthcare services in Diriyah signed

The agreement was signed by Jerry Inzerillo, CEO of the authority, and Abdullah bin Khathlan, CEO of Riyadh Third Health Cluster
  • Inzerillo added that both parties will work together to support the local community’s participation in international healthcare days using events and social media

RIYADH: The Diriyah Gate Development Authority has signed an agreement with the Riyadh Third Health Cluster to collaborate on the provision of healthcare and community services for residents of Diriyah.
The agreement was signed by Jerry Inzerillo, chief executive officer of the authority, and Abdullah bin Khathlan, CEO of Riyadh Third Health Cluster.
Inzerillo highlighted the importance of cooperation in joint initiatives and programs for community development in Diriyah and the necessity of collaboration to increase health awareness and the healthcare services offered in the city.
He added that both parties will work together to support the local community’s participation in international healthcare days using events and social media.
Bin Khathlan said the agreement will boost efforts to spread the culture of healthcare volunteering, adding that the Riyadh Third Health Cluster is committed to providing the best possible healthcare “in a comprehensive, sustainable way.”
The Diriyah Gate Development Authority aims to improve the quality of life within the entire Diriyah district by introducing regulations and guidelines which are designed to preserve the area unique cultural status within the Kingdom, while maintaining Saudi heritage.

 


Tabuk governor receives Hirofumi Miyake

Tabuk Gov. Prince Fahd bin Sultan meets Hirofumi Miyake, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Japan in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
Tabuk Gov. Prince Fahd bin Sultan meets Hirofumi Miyake, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Japan in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
Updated 28 sec ago

Tabuk governor receives Hirofumi Miyake

Tabuk Gov. Prince Fahd bin Sultan meets Hirofumi Miyake, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Japan in Saudi Arabia. (SPA)
  • In recent years, the bilateral relationship between Saudi Arabia and Japan has grown, especially after the launch of the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 in the year 2017

TABUK: Tabuk Gov. Prince Fahd bin Sultan received Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Japan in Saudi Arabia Hirofumi Miyake and his delegation as it visited the area.
After welcoming Miyake and his team, Prince Fahd commended the deep-rooted relations between the two friendly countries, and the joint cooperation in various areas, and both parties exchanged friendly conversations and discussed topics of common interest.
Miyake expressed his happiness at meeting Prince Fahd and praised Tabuk’s developmental progress in all crucial areas. He also presented the Tabuk governor with a memento at the end of the reception.  
In recent years, the bilateral relationship between Saudi Arabia and Japan has grown, especially after the launch of the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 in the year 2017. Many events and activities have been held recently in various Saudi cities that are rich in cultural diversity.
Despite the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, both the Kingdom and Japan have made every effort to accomplish these projects and ensure that their bilateral relations flourish.
In March, Japanese premier held talks with the Saudi leadership regarding Saudi oil output in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.