flydubai to resume flights to Saudi city Qassim next month 

flydubai to resume flights to Saudi city Qassim next month 
flydubai will resume daily service to Qassim in Saudi Arabia on May 1. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 21 April 2022

flydubai to resume flights to Saudi city Qassim next month 

flydubai to resume flights to Saudi city Qassim next month 

DUBAI: Dubai's flydubai will resume daily service to Qassim in Saudi Arabia on May 1, the airline revealed in a statement. 

With the new addition, the number of destinations served by the carrier in Saudi Arabia will become eight, including AlUla, Dammam, Jeddah, Madinah, Riyadh, Taif and Yanbu. 

Flights to Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz International Airport, formerly Qassim International Airport, will operate daily from Terminal 2, Dubai International between May 1 and May 9. 

Due to the northern runway refurbishment project announced by Dubai Airport, flights to Qassim from May 9 to June 22 will be operated from Dubai World Central airport. 

Flights to Qassim will resume from Dubai International on June 23, the statement added. 


Saudi bourse crashes to 19-month low, ends at 10,185 points: Closing bell

Saudi bourse crashes to 19-month low, ends at 10,185 points: Closing bell
Updated 15 sec ago

Saudi bourse crashes to 19-month low, ends at 10,185 points: Closing bell

Saudi bourse crashes to 19-month low, ends at 10,185 points: Closing bell

RIYADH: The Tadawul All Share Index collapsed on Wednesday, losing 259.13 points — or 2.48 percent — to close at 10,185.14 points. The last time the index witnessed this level was on April 26, 2021, when the market ended at 10,231.  

The advance-decline ratio took a huge hit, with 158 stocks of the listed 219 dropped while 42 gained. The total trading turnover was SR3.68 billion ($980 million) compared to Tuesday’s SR4.96 billion. 

TASI’s steep fall was driven by the banking index, which fell 448.45 points or 3.88 percent to 11,123.58. While Al Rajhi Bank tumbled 4.88 percent to close at SR74, Riyad Bank shed 4.7 percent to SR30.40. Arab National Bank slumped 4.08 percent to SR30.55. 

The other indices that boarded the southbound bandwagon were MSCI Tadawul 30 Index, which fell by 2.99 percent, Diversified Financials by 2.77 percent, Healthcare Equipment and Services by 2.72 percent and Materials by 2.42 percent.  

According to market sources, the dampened spirit among investors could be attributed to the fear of a global economic downturn. The hunch that the US Federal Reserve could increase interest rates further, following positive US services industry data released on Monday, upset the apple cart. 

The trend is contagious as Saudi Arabia, like most Gulf Cooperation Council countries, has its currency pegged to the US dollar. Therefore, any policy move of the Fed has a direct impact on the regional markets. 

The Qatari index QE General slumped 154.24 points to close at 11,463.07, while the Abu Dhabi index FTSE ADX General declined 71.61 points to end at 10,336.34.  

Back to Tadawul, the top loser of Wednesday was Tourism Enterprise Co., which slid 5.3 percent to close at SR22.90, while the top gainer was Buruj Cooperative Insurance Co. It rose 9.61 percent to end at SR16.66. 

On a positive note, on Wednesday, Scientific & Medical Equipment House Co. bagged a medical operation project tender in the medical centers affiliated with the General Department of Medical Services at a total value of SR8.71 million.  

The project will be implemented in 14 months in four affiliated medical centers across Riyadh, Jeddah, Taif and Al-Muzahimiyah. 


Saudi Arabia’s Ajex expands its logistics services to China and Middle East 

Saudi Arabia’s Ajex expands its logistics services to China and Middle East 
Updated 26 min 12 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s Ajex expands its logistics services to China and Middle East 

Saudi Arabia’s Ajex expands its logistics services to China and Middle East 

RIYADH: Saudi firm Ajex Logistics Services has announced the launch of two new services as a part of its expansion strategy into China and the Middle East. 

The services are the AJEX international e-commerce express, known as ICX, and AJEX international express service, called IXS.  

They will provide businesses in China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain with a portfolio of express cross-border delivery services for customers.  

“Introducing ICX and IXS services in China, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain is an important enhancement to our service portfolio, driven by our customers’ requirements for speed, reliability, and transparency,” said Ajex's Chief Marketing & Experience Officer Nathalie Amiel-Ferrault.  

She added: “Saudi Arabia is the largest e-commerce market in the Middle East, and the end-consumers expect flexibility, late-night deliveries, and ease of payment, with cash-on-delivery representing more than 30 percent of e-commerce.”   

According to the report, customers will be able to send single-piece and multi-piece shipments from China to Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain in four to seven days.  

Ajex is a joint venture between Ajlan & Bros Holding and SF Express. 

For Saudi Arabia, logistics is a crucial sector to achieve its goals outlined in Vision 2030, as the Kingdom is now diversifying its economy, which has been dependent on oil for several decades.  

Earlier in October, while speaking at the Supply Chain and Logistics Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Minister of Transport and Logistics Saleh Al-Jasser said that the Kingdom is working to inaugurate 59 logistic zones to bolster supply chains and logistic services.  

In June, in an exclusive interview with Arab News, Sulaiman Al-Mazroua, CEO of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program, noted that the Kingdom’s logistics sector needs a huge investment combined between the government and private sector by 2030.  

He added that Saudi Arabia would provide the right business environment to attract world transportation companies to operate in the Kingdom, which will help the nation emerge as one of the world’s busiest logistics centers. 


Green energy exports at heart of new deal with Saudi EXIM Bank and Korea Trade Insurance Corp

Green energy exports at heart of new deal with Saudi EXIM Bank and Korea Trade Insurance Corp
Updated 37 min 19 sec ago

Green energy exports at heart of new deal with Saudi EXIM Bank and Korea Trade Insurance Corp

Green energy exports at heart of new deal with Saudi EXIM Bank and Korea Trade Insurance Corp

 RIYADH: More green energy produced in Saudi Arabia will be exported to South Korea thanks to a new agreement signed between the two countries.

 The Saudi Export-Import Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea Trade Insurance Corp which will see eco-friendly fuels, including green hydrogen and green ammonia, traded with the Asian nation, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

 As a part of the MoU, both nations will also engage in mutual information exchange on markets and projects.

 According to the report, this deal will also help Saudi’s EXIM Bank to promote the development and diversification of exports to the Republic of Korea, along with providing export financing and guarantee services, securing export credit, and aiding the entry of Saudi products into the Korean market.

 Korea Trade Insurance Corp., also known as K-SURE, is the official export credit agency of the Republic of Korea.

 In October, Saad Al-Khalb, CEO of EXIM Bank, told Arab News that it provided SR20 billion ($5.3 billion) to support the Kingdom’s exports since its establishment in 2020.

 Al-Khalb also noted that the main mandate of EXIM is to support the economy and flow of goods, trades, infrastructure and long-term projects.

 He also added that EXIM Bank always tries to ensure that no Saudi cross-border export fails due to a lack of insurance or financing.

 In May, Saudi EXIM Bank launched its five-year strategic plan, from 2022 to 2026.

 The strategy seeks to close financing gaps and reduce export risks which will help facilitate Saudi non-oil exports to reach various global markets.


UAE In-Focus – Global trade surges 19% in first 9 months of 2022 

UAE In-Focus – Global trade surges 19% in first 9 months of 2022 
Updated 37 min 1 sec ago

UAE In-Focus – Global trade surges 19% in first 9 months of 2022 

UAE In-Focus – Global trade surges 19% in first 9 months of 2022 

RIYADH: The UAE’s global trade increased by 19 percent in the first nine months of 2022, Dubai ruler Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum revealed on Wednesday. 

The country's foreign trade volume is expected to reach 2.2 trillion dirhams ($599 billion) by the end of 2022, he said in the tweet, compared to 1.9 trillion dirhams in 2021. 

The UAE's non-oil foreign trade also grew by 18.9 percent in the first nine months of 2022 year-on-year to reach 1.637 trillion dirhams, the minister of state for foreign trade Thani Al Zeyoudi tweeted on Wednesday. 

DIFC-based FinTech firms secure $559m in first 9 months of 2022 

FinTech firms based in the Dubai International Finance Center have raised as much as 2 billion dirhams during the first nine months of 2022, according to the DIFC FinTech Hive’s 2022 FinTech Report. 

In 2021, funding activity associated with finTech almost doubled. In addition to this, startups in the Middle East and North Africa region also secured $998 million in 2021, reflecting a 78 percent surge when compared to 2020 figures. 

The total number of finTech and innovation companies joining DIFC in 2022 has exceeded those that have established operations in 2021. 

ADNOC’s signs $272m worth of food catering agreements  

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company has signed food catering agreements with four UAE firms worth an accumulated 1 billion dirhams. 

Under the agreements, food catering services will be provided to all companies under ADNOC Group from 2022 up until 2027.  

The four firms are Royal Catering, Apex National Catering, National Corporation for Tourism & Hotels, and Sodexo Kelvin. 

As part of ADNOC’s In-Country Value program, over half of the value from the four contracts will be redirected into the UAE’s economy.  

Abu Dhabi Ports and African Finance Corporation sign agreement  

Abu Dhabi Ports has signed a cooperation agreement with the African Finance Corporation to address infrastructure gaps across Africa, including integrated ports, warehouses, maritime and logistics hubs. 

The agreement comes as the African Union projected that the production capacity of African ports is anticipated to hit two billion tons of goods by 2040.  

This poses a challenge for port work considering that the average waiting time for shipments currently reaches 20 days compared to the current global average of just four.  

In the past 15 years, the African Finance Corporation has invested over $10 billion in infrastructure projects in 37 African countries.


Private education in Saudi Arabia has ‘significant room’ for growth and investment, says global consulting firm

Private education in Saudi Arabia has ‘significant room’ for growth and investment, says global consulting firm
Updated 07 December 2022

Private education in Saudi Arabia has ‘significant room’ for growth and investment, says global consulting firm

Private education in Saudi Arabia has ‘significant room’ for growth and investment, says global consulting firm

RIYADH: Strong growth drivers in Saudi Arabia have resulted in the Kingdom’s education sector becoming an attractive investment opportunity, says a new report.

According to research by global consulting firm L.E.K, released at the Education Investment Saudi being held in Riyadh on Dec. 7, rapidly increasing household disposable income and growth in the youth demographic shows significant headroom for a return on investments in the Kingdom’s schools.

The analysis revealed that the Kingdom is the largest education market in the Gulf Cooperation Council region, with as many as 8.3 million students enrolled in schools and higher education facilities.

However, Saudi Arabia has a lower share of enrollment in private schools compared to other GCC countries, according to Chinmay Jhaveri, partner at L.E.K. Consulting’s Global Education Practice, adding: “This leaves significant room for growth in the region. As a part of Vision 2030, the government aims to transition to a knowledge-based economy, with education as a critical component, the market is expected to become more favorable for private operators.”

The education sector is one of the main pillars of the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan, with a special focus on enabling the private sector to play an active role in developing it.  

The significance with which the Kingdom takes education was directly reflected by the portioning the lion’s share of the country’s budget allocation for 2022 to the sector. 

Saudi Arabia’s finance ministry announced 19.37 percent of the Kingdom’s budget, or SR185 billion ($49.2 billion), would be invested in education in 2022.

“A multitude of underlying growth drivers make the KSA education landscape an attractive destination for private investors. Positive macroeconomic factors point to a bright future for the region’s education sector, with the demographic outlook suggesting a sizable market opportunity and an increase in household income, creating a demand for quality private education,” said Danish Faruqui, partner at L.E.K. Consulting, and a founding member of the firm’s Global Education Practice.