Saudi largest sustainable tourism project to keep visitors numbers at environment-friendly levels: Official

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Updated 27 February 2022

Saudi largest sustainable tourism project to keep visitors numbers at environment-friendly levels: Official

Saudi largest sustainable tourism project to keep visitors numbers at environment-friendly levels: Official
  • ‘We are evolving naturally to become a model for regenerative tourism destinations in the world’

RIYADH: A limited number of tourists will be allowed to visit the new luxury Red Sea holiday destination to ensure preservation of the resort’s “natural treasures,” according to a top official of the company leading the development.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Najwah Hamzeh, senior smart destinations director at the Red Sea Development Co,. admitted that sustainability is costly, but lack of sustainability is even more expensive.

She said that TRSDC projects will offer both luxury and ultra-luxury offerings to tourists, and it is working to ensure that “a hundred years from now, we are going to experience exactly the same natural treasures in the Red Sea.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the Real Estate Future Forum held last week in Riyadh, the TRSDC official told Arab News: “Our offering from the beginning is luxury and ultra-luxury. It is not going to be a cheap destination.

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“We are limiting the number of tourists to the destination to keep it sustainable and to enhance the environment.”

Hamzeh noted that the company has already started research and studies to sequester carbon naturally, by creating marine algae production farms and enhancing biologically diverse habitats.

The official revealed that the company is in talks with the Saudi Transport Ministry to import and regulate electric vehicles within the luxury project site.

She told Arab News that the first resort of TRSDC would be opened in 2023. 




Najwah Hamzeh, Senior smart
destinations director, TRSDC

“The Red Sea and AMAALA project will really set new standards. We are evolving naturally to become a model or an example for regenerative tourism destinations in the world,” said Hamzeh.

Rejecting the notion of competition between giga-project developers working in the Kingdom, she said: “We actually work together. We are learning from each other. We meet at least once a month, all the giga-projects together.

“There may be some elements of competition. I don’t feel it from our side, but maybe in the development. But that is the whole idea, right? How do you build that fast.”

Hamzeh revealed that TRSDC will apply augmented and virtual reality technologies along with metaverse experience to help people visit the projects without being physically present on the site.

TRSDC is developing an area over 28,000 square kilometers on the west coast of Saudi Arabia. It recently closed a SR14 billion ($3.7 billion) term loan facility and revolving credit facility with four Saudi banks.

The Red Sea and AMAALA project will really set new standards. We are evolving naturally to become a model or an example for regenerative tourism destinations in the world

Najwah Hamzeh

The final quarter of 2023 will see the completion of the project’s first phase, which includes the building of 16 hotels with 3,000 rooms across five islands and two inland sites.

This milestone will also see the development of air, land, and sea transport hubs.

In October 2021, the company announced the signing of a deal to operate nine hotels that are set to open in the first phase, with five of them opening in 2022.

Saudi Arabia was reportedly home to over 50 natural and artificial wetlands.

While the number could be different now from almost a decade ago — due to the ephemeral and transient formation of these lands — wetlands still remain a scarcely discussed topic when compared to other environmental issues.

TRSDC, which is creating a regenerative tourism destination along Saudi Arabia’s west coast, is keen to highlight the importance of coastal wetlands.


Growth in Saudi Arabia’s liquidity slows to 7.8% year-on-year in May

Growth in Saudi Arabia’s liquidity slows to 7.8% year-on-year in May
Updated 13 sec ago

Growth in Saudi Arabia’s liquidity slows to 7.8% year-on-year in May

Growth in Saudi Arabia’s liquidity slows to 7.8% year-on-year in May

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s M3 monetary aggregate, known as “broad money,” grew in May by SR171.6 billion ($45.7 billion) from the same month a year ago to SR2.38 trillion.

M3 money supply, a benchmark indicator for liquidity in Saudi Arabia’s monetary system, increased by 7.8 percent from SR2.21 trillion in May last year, according to data published on Saudi Central Bank website on Tuesday.

The annual growth rate in May was the slowest since December 2021. It slowed down from 8.7 percent in April. 

Looking at the year-on-year changes in components of the M3 aggregate, time and saving deposits grew by SR78.3 billion to SR517.4 billion. Other quasi-money deposits and demand deposits increased by SR60 billion and SR38.4 billion to SR297.8 billion and SR1.36 trillion, respectively. Currency outside banks decreased by SR5.6 billion to SR206.6 billion over the same period.

The M3 money supply slipped 0.5 percent from its level in April. 


SAMA’s net foreign assets remain virtually unchanged at $435.5bn

SAMA’s net foreign assets remain virtually unchanged at $435.5bn
Updated 44 min 48 sec ago

SAMA’s net foreign assets remain virtually unchanged at $435.5bn

SAMA’s net foreign assets remain virtually unchanged at $435.5bn

Net foreign assets of Saudi Arabia's central bank remained virtually unchanged at the end of May, standing at SR1.63 trillion ($435.5 billion), according to a monthly statistical bulletin from the Kingdom's regulator.

The figure represents an increase of just SR289 million from April for the bank, also known as SAMA.

The institution’s total assets grew in May by SR19.2 billion to reach SR1.86 trillion. 

In April, those assets grew by 1 percent, according to data published on the bank’s website on June 28.

SAMA's deposits with banks abroad and miscellaneous assets increased by SR17.4 billion and SR12.5 billion, respectively, while the central bank's investment in foreign securities fell by SR13.4 billion to SR1.101 trillion over the same period.


Saudi Arabia fuels 34% of OPEC exports increase in 2021

Saudi Arabia fuels 34% of OPEC exports increase in 2021
Updated 58 min 51 sec ago

Saudi Arabia fuels 34% of OPEC exports increase in 2021

Saudi Arabia fuels 34% of OPEC exports increase in 2021

CAIRO: Saudi Arabia was responsible for a third of the 77 percent increase in exports from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in 2021, according to the latest figures. 

OPEC’s annual statistical bulletin showed the Kingdom contributed to 34 percent of the total rise in petroleum exports, followed by Iraq, Kuwait and the UAE — with 15, 9 and 10 percent of the total share respectively in 2021.

Production

While the overall 2021 world crude oil production rose by 0.52 million barrels per day, OPEC countries alone produced 0.7 million more barrels per day compared to the previous year.

That is a 0.8 percent rise in total world production of crude oil and a 2.7 percent rise in OPEC production, meaning non-OPEC countries saw a fall in crude oil by 0.4 percent.

Demand

World demand for oil saw an upward turn,  growing by 6.3 percent, with the primary contributors being the Americas, Europe and China.

Of that world demand, distillates and gasoline accounted for around 55.2 percent whereas Residual fuel oil requirements totaled around 6.6 percent in 2021.

OPEC and its allies struggled to meet the level of demand therefore driving oil prices higher. 

Exports

The aggregate level of crude oil exported by OPEC countries saw a decline of 0.54 bpd.

Some 9 out of the 13 OPEC members saw a drop in the level of crude oil exports in 2021. 

Of the remaining four  — Algeria, Iran, Iraq, and Libya — the latter saw the largest spike in crude oil exports compared to 2020.

Rigs and Wells

The oil exporting members saw a decline in the number of completed wells by 280, the lowest recorded number since 2017.

While OPEC countries produce around 40 percent of the world’s crude oil, the 47 active rigs added in 2021 only amount to 10 percent of the total increase in rigs compared to 2020.

The US alone built 239 of the 460 new active rigs manufactured in 2021.

World proven oil reserves reported 1.55 billion barrels indicating almost no change over the 2020-21 time period.

As for gas reserves, total world gas fell by 0.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas whereas OPEC members recorded an increase of 0.8 bcm compared to last year.


Saudi Aramco to supply fuel at lower prices to Kenyan oil firm NOCK

Saudi Aramco to supply fuel at lower prices to Kenyan oil firm NOCK
Updated 28 June 2022

Saudi Aramco to supply fuel at lower prices to Kenyan oil firm NOCK

Saudi Aramco to supply fuel at lower prices to Kenyan oil firm NOCK

RIYADH: State-owned National Oil Corp. of Kenya has signed a deal with Saudi oil giant Aramco to import fuel at lower prices than the global costs of crude, local media reported.

This comes as part of the government’s efforts to lower pump prices in the African state, Business Daily reported. 

As per the government-to-government deal, NOCK will import 30 percent of Kenya’s monthly petroleum requirements from August.

“We already signed the memorandum of understanding and the next phase is negotiating the contract terms, we are waiting on them as from last Sunday,” NOCK CEO Leparan ole Morintat told Business Daily. 

“The plan is to start trials in August, for two months and see the impact of the exclusive prices that Saudi Aramco will be giving us. Then we will fully start in October,” he added. 

The duration of the contract is not disclosed. 

Saudi Aramco will finance the shipments or provide the product with an extended credit period and the Kenyan company will pay within 60 and 90 days.


First Abu Dhabi Bank committed to facilitate $75bn for sustainable financing, says top official 

First Abu Dhabi Bank committed to facilitate $75bn for sustainable financing, says top official 
Updated 28 June 2022

First Abu Dhabi Bank committed to facilitate $75bn for sustainable financing, says top official 

First Abu Dhabi Bank committed to facilitate $75bn for sustainable financing, says top official 

RIYADH: First Abu Dhabi Bank has reiterated its commitment to lend, invest, and facilitate business over $75 billion by 2030 to activities focused on sustainable solutions as the world moves towards energy transition using green sources.   

While speaking at the MEA Energy Week, Sarah Usmani, managing director, and head of the sustainable asset and project finance at FAB, said that the bank is very keen to support the energy transition which is currently happening in the Middle East.

She said there should be a partnership between the public and private sectors to make this energy transition happen in the most efficient manner.

“Energy projects are driven by governments. However, the private sector will also play an important role in the future,” Usmani added.

She noted that the region was dependent on hydrocarbons for 100 years, “so the transition here is not easy.” 

“There is a lot to do, and lots of investments to come,” added the FAB executive.

According to Usmani, green hydrogen is going to be a huge area of growth in the region. 

She expects the hydrogen market to expand in the next two to three years.

Usmani also insisted that the willingness to support and adopt new technologies is also necessary for a sustainable future.