Lebanon in power deal with Jordan

Lebanon in power deal with Jordan
The deal is expected to supply Lebanon with two hours of power a day. (AFP)
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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.”


Saudi Arabia has its own unique food heritage, says Culinary Art Commission CEO Mayada Badr

Saudi Arabia has its own unique food heritage, says Culinary Art Commission CEO Mayada Badr
Updated 27 min 4 sec ago

Saudi Arabia has its own unique food heritage, says Culinary Art Commission CEO Mayada Badr

Saudi Arabia has its own unique food heritage, says Culinary Art Commission CEO Mayada Badr

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has its own unique food heritage and there is no necessity to copy from other regions, according to Mayada Badr, CEO of the Culinary Arts Commission. 

“We want to do a lot more in Saudi cuisine. We have our own heritage and we don’t want to copy it. We are using what we have,” she said. 

While speaking at the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh on May 24, Badr revealed that several young Saudi nationals are entering the culinary art sector. 

According to Badr, international brands have made their presence felt in the Saudi market along with local brands, which is ultimately resulting in healthy competition in the food and beverage industry. 

Talking about the impact of Vision 2030 on the F&B sector, she added, “With Vision 2030, we Saudis decided to share more than ever. You go to those tiny towns and you feel welcomed. They share food and you get exposed to all sorts of traditional food.” 


UK lawmakers criticize ‘absence’ of Afghan evacuation plan

UK lawmakers criticize ‘absence’ of Afghan evacuation plan
Updated 58 min 34 sec ago

UK lawmakers criticize ‘absence’ of Afghan evacuation plan

UK lawmakers criticize ‘absence’ of Afghan evacuation plan
  • The committee criticized the Foreign Office for the “total absence” of a plan for evacuating Afghans

LONDON: Britain’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was a “disaster and betrayal” hampered by a lack of leadership from senior politicians and civil servants, the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said in a report released Tuesday.
The committee criticized the Foreign Office for the “total absence” of a plan for evacuating Afghans who supported the UK mission despite knowing for 18 months that such an evacuation might be necessary.
This was compounded by the fact that there seemed to be no clear lines of leadership among political leaders, with decisions made on the basis of “untraceable and unaccountable political interventions,” the committee said in its report.
“The fact that the Foreign Office’s senior leaders were on holiday when Kabul fell marks a fundamental lack of seriousness, grip or leadership at a time of national emergency,” the committee said.
The report was based on an eight-month inquiry during which the committee heard testimony from 20 witnesses and reviewed written evidence from 36 organizations.


PIF’s ROSHN plans to put downtown Jeddah on the map

PIF’s ROSHN plans to put downtown Jeddah on the map
Updated 31 min 8 sec ago

PIF’s ROSHN plans to put downtown Jeddah on the map

PIF’s ROSHN plans to put downtown Jeddah on the map

DUBAI: ROSHN, a real estate company owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, has charted out master plans to develop downtown Jeddah, revealed Amr Khashoggi, chairman of Amkest Group.

Deprived neighborhoods in Saudi Arabia’s coastal city are undergoing significant redevelopment after decades of relentless urbanization.

Jeddah’s municipal authorities are clearing districts and squatter settlements where planners say substandard infrastructure, crime, and disease are blighting the lives of roughly half a million people.

“Today, if you drive around in those areas, you will find flatlands available for development,” said Khashoggi on the sidelines of the Top CEO event in Dubai.

The area includes the historical region of the city, and Jeddah Islamic Port, the biggest gateway for Saudi Arabia’s imports and exports, with 75 percent of the country’s exports and inbound transshipment going through it.

“The biggest cost of development is the cost of land, and that’s available already, so it’s going to be easier for companies like ROSHN to come and develop high-quality housing and commercial investment,” he said.

Jeddah is also seeing other significant developments in the central of the city, led by Jeddah Central Development Company, including the coastal part known as the Jeddah waterfront. The area recently hosted Formula One, the highest class of international car racing.

“It will be a good area for people to entertain,” he said.

The city’s rebirth has led to a surge in demand for real estate and resulted in increasing prices.

“The demand is there, but the question is whether people can afford it or not,” said Khashoggi.

Banks today are contributing by offering mortgages in more accessible ways than before, which will help close the gap.

“We are in the building material business, and we see that the demand is increasing; many contractors have been awarded jobs,” he said.

To Khashoggi, the challenge today for the construction sector is not finding new projects; the challenge is finding enough labor.

There is a labor shortage; many have gone home during COVID-19 and never returned.

Amkest Group was founded by Amr Khashoggi in 1983, investing in sectors of landscaping, information technology, transportation, telecommunications, and building materials.

 


Saudi stocks flat as traders remain cautious: Opening bell

Saudi stocks flat as traders remain cautious: Opening bell
Updated 24 May 2022

Saudi stocks flat as traders remain cautious: Opening bell

Saudi stocks flat as traders remain cautious: Opening bell

RIYADH: The Saudi stock market opened flat in early trade on Tuesday morning as traders remained cautious.

Both the main index, TASI, and the parallel market, Nomu, were flat at 12,247 and 22,363, respectively, as of 10:09 a.m. Saudi Arabia.

The shares of Amana Cooperative Insurance Co. gained 7.08 percent, leading the gainers in the market.

Al Moammar Information Systems Co. fell 6.12 percent to lead the laggards, after the firm has reported a 50 percent drop in quarterly profit.

Saudi Aramco, the largest player on the Saudi oil market, opened today’s trading down 0.89 percent.

Both L'azurde Co. for Jewelry and Kingdom Holding Co. gained 0.24 percent and 1.65 percent, respectively, as they reported profits for the first quarter of 2022.

The Alhokair Group rose 0.75 percent after reporting its losses narrowed by 48 percent in the first quarter.

In the financial sector, the Kingdom’s largest valued bank Al Rajhi edged down 0.33 percent, while the Saudi National Bank gained 1.03 percent.

From the pharma sector, Aldawaa Medical Services Co. fell 0.26 percent, while Nahdi Medical Co. opened unchanged.

The energy market saw Brent crude trade at $112.03 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate crude reached $108.96 a barrel, as of 10:09 a.m. Saudi time


Gigi Hadid begins filming second season of Netflix show ‘Next in Fashion’

Gigi Hadid begins filming second season of Netflix show ‘Next in Fashion’
Updated 24 May 2022

Gigi Hadid begins filming second season of Netflix show ‘Next in Fashion’

Gigi Hadid begins filming second season of Netflix show ‘Next in Fashion’

DUBAI: Part-Palestinian catwalk star Gigi Hadid has begun filming the second season of Netflix’s “Next in Fashion” alongside British TV personality Tan France, nearly five months after the model revealed her exciting new role to fans.

Ahead of the new season, which does not have a release date, Hadid took to Instagram to share her excitement over the forthcoming episodes and gush about her co-host, calling the British reality television star her “brother” and stating that shooting the new show together has been “a joy of my life.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid)

The 27-year-old posted a carousel of photos on Instagram, which included a snap of her posing with France and reading the “Next in Fashion” script.

“Can’t believe we’re almost a month into making a new season of @nextinfashion. Want to say, with only a couple weeks left, that shooting this show alongside my brother @tanfrance has been a joy of my life,” the US-Dutch-Palestinian model captioned the post. “I can’t wait for you all to meet these designers — an amazing, talented, sweet, cool, deserving group of humans and for them to share themselves and their creations with the world! We have so much in store for you,” she added.

The first season of the fashion competition show, which premiered in January 2020, featured 18 designers who faced weekly design challenges to win a $250,000 prize and a chance to have their collection sold on Net-a-Porter.

France also recently lauded his “Next in Fashion” co-host and dubbed her an “amazing mom.”

In a conversation with Us Weekly, the host said he has received many parenting tips from the supermodel, who welcomed a baby girl with former One Direction star Zayn Malik, in 2020.

He told the publication: “She’s one of my closest friends. I love her so much.

“It makes the show really, really fun,” added France. “It’s probably the best time I’ve ever had on a show.”

The 39-year-old continued: “She’s an amazing mom. I’ve gotten so many tips from her,” adding that he “of course” has met her daughter Khai.