KSA to the stars: Saudi delegation meets US tech, space companies

KSA to the stars: Saudi delegation meets US tech, space companies
MCIT delegation meeting with Omnicom Group officials. (MCIT/Twitter)
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Updated 06 May 2022

KSA to the stars: Saudi delegation meets US tech, space companies

KSA to the stars: Saudi delegation meets US tech, space companies
  • The Kingdom is aiming to improve the innovative, creative capabilities of Saudi youth
  • Information minister leads visits designed to consolidate the Kingdom’s position as a technology hub

RIYADH: A Saudi delegation led by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology is in the US to meet with major tech companies and innovation and space centers to enhance its regional role as a digital and technology powerhouse.

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Swaha led the delegation as it launched on Thursday a series of meetings with US companies. 

Saudi Arabia is a regional technology hub, with the delegation seeking to consolidate this position by inspiring the innovative and creative capabilities of Saudi youth.  

“To enhance the Saudi technology market, a number of meetings were held with companies specialized in software, financial technology and investment management,” the ministry tweeted on Thursday.

“To accelerate the growth of the digital content market in Saudi Arabia, to develop the creative capabilities of the sons and daughters of the country and support the #Ignite program, His Excellency @aalswaha meets with the CEO of @omnicom at its headquarters in New York City,” the ministry added.

Omnicom is a leading global marketing communications company providing the best talent, creativity and digital innovation in the world of integrated marketing services for more than 200 brands. Its client list includes some of the most iconic and successful brands around the world.

The meeting series aims to attract investments to the Kingdom by establishing strategic partnerships that promote and develop the digital economy, innovation and the space research-based economy in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plans.

The realization of Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to diversify the economy away from fossil fuels, will rely heavily on technological development and innovation. 

The application of scientific and hi-tech knowledge will be a significant step towards the success of the plans.

Saudi Arabia has been ranked second globally among the G20 countries in the Digital Competitiveness Report for 2021. Issued by the European Center for Digital Competitiveness, the report based its findings on data provided by the Global Competitiveness Index issued by the World Economic Forum, and the supporting data provided by the World Bank and the International Telecommunication Union.

The Kingdom advanced 20 ranks in the general index compared to the previous year and 86 ranks in the digital ecosystem axis, topping the G20 countries, and achieved third place in the digital capabilities axis among G20 countries.

This progress consolidates the Kingdom’s continuous digital leadership. It also reflects the qualitative leaps made by the Kingdom in the telecommunications infrastructure, digital capabilities development and digital mega-projects. All of these improvements have been enhanced by the ICT sector strategy 2023, which is derived from the Saudi Vision 2030.

The Kingdom’s delegations to countries such as the US reflect its determination to continue the transformation into an innovation-based economy.


Prizewinning Saudi student speaks of journey to competition success

Lama won gold at the Gulf Physics Olympiad and a bronze each at the international and Nordic-Baltic Physics Olympiads. (SPA)
Lama won gold at the Gulf Physics Olympiad and a bronze each at the international and Nordic-Baltic Physics Olympiads. (SPA)
Updated 13 August 2022

Prizewinning Saudi student speaks of journey to competition success

Lama won gold at the Gulf Physics Olympiad and a bronze each at the international and Nordic-Baltic Physics Olympiads. (SPA)
  • Lama Al-Ahdal scooped medals in Physics Olympiads and made her country proud

JEDDAH: Prizewinning Saudi student Lama Al-Ahdal, who has been scooping medals at Physics Olympiads, says her competition success motivates her to continue with her passion and achieve great things for the Kingdom.

She won gold at the Gulf Physics Olympiad, a bronze at the International Physics Olympiad, and a bronze at the Nordic-Baltic Physics Olympiad.

Al-Ahdal spoke to the Saudi Press Agency about the beginning of her journey in the Physics Olympiad through the Mawhoob Competition, which she took part in several times.

It was her participation in 2018 that led to her nomination to attend training forums, a path that would eventually lead her to victory.

“I started attending basic courses in Jeddah, through which I qualified and passed the required tests. I was nominated for the Winter Forum at Princess Nourah University in Riyadh, then trained with the physics team, from which a number of students in the Kingdom would qualify to form the Saudi team for the Physics Olympiad.

HIGHLIGHT

It was her participation in 2018 that led to her nomination to attend training forums, a path that would eventually lead her to victory.

“At the beginning of 2019, we underwent intense eight-hour training, both remotely and at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, to prepare for international competitions. I learned how to calculate the strength of the Earth's magnetic field using a string and two pieces of magnets, how electricity can be generated by heating two pieces of metal, how to measure the thickness of a candy wrapper using a laser, and other scientific experiments.

“The top five students were then nominated to represent the Kingdom, and thankfully I made it and snatched the gold medal in the Gulf Physics Olympiad, the bronze medal in the Nordic-Baltic Physics Olympiad, and the bronze medal in the International Physics Olympiad.”

Joining the Saudi physics team and undergoing training helped her to discover that physics was a beautiful subject. “I learned a lot from it and the Olympiad experience.”

Her participation increased her skills and developed her thinking by getting to know competitors from different countries.

“I also developed my time management skills since the training continued even during school days. My father and mother had a major role in helping me achieve my goals and encouraging me to try new things to gain more skills and learn more,” she said.

Setting a specific goal and working to achieve it was the most important thing that motivated her to take up the challenge and try new things.

Her father, Abdul Rahman Al-Ahdal, said his daughter’s journey was full of scientific challenges.

“She has always been a talented child and a bright student, with a  promising future ahead of her. God blessed her with a group of highly experienced trainers and supervisors. It is important to focus and draw a plan and work to achieve it.

“I thank King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity, and everyone responsible for helping the sons and daughters of the Kingdom partake in forums of creativity, innovation and scientific Olympiad, and other scientific activities.”


Visitors take a trip to Saudi Arabia’s Taif to rejuvenate in nature

The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape. (SPA)
The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape. (SPA)
Updated 13 August 2022

Visitors take a trip to Saudi Arabia’s Taif to rejuvenate in nature

The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape. (SPA)
  • The region has more than 2,000 flower farms that produce more than 200 million roses every season

TAIF: Visitors from all over the Kingdom and the Gulf are flocking to Taif this summer to get respite from the heat and rejuvenate in the region’s mountains.

The popular tourist location has a number of hotels and resorts designed and built to fit in with the natural landscape, several of which are also working farms or have beautiful gardens planted with the famous Taif roses and wild plants including basil, al-baitran, and marjoram.

Tourists and visitors can also stay in cozy, rural hostels made of old stone ornamented with carvings and sculptures of animals, where they can enjoy stunning views of the mountains and valleys of Taif, which are home to a variety of rare birds.

The city and other nearby areas such as Al-Hada and Al-Shifa are also famous for their fruits.

The region has more than 2,000 flower farms that produce more than 200 million roses every season. Taif roses have historic, economic and religious importance. The oil is used to perfume the walls of the Kaaba, which is also washed twice annually with its scented water.

Besides basking in nature, visitors to Taif can also visit museums, local markets, rose factories in Al-Shafa and Al-Hada, the cable car, a strawberry farm, the zoo, and historic castles.

 


 


Saudi forces and US marines begin joint training exercise in Yanbu

Saudi forces and US marines begin joint training exercise in Yanbu
Updated 50 min 33 sec ago

Saudi forces and US marines begin joint training exercise in Yanbu

Saudi forces and US marines begin joint training exercise in Yanbu
  • The month-long drill includes logistical exercises and operations with live ammunition

RIYADH: The Royal Saudi Armed Forces and US Marine Corps on Saturday launched a joint training exercise along the Red Sea coast in the western city of Yanbu, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense said.

The “Outrageous Anger 22” exercise was inaugurated in the presence of Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Dibais, commander of the western sector, and Maj. Gen. Paul Rock, commander of the Marine Corps at the US Central Command, as well as senior officers from the Saudi armed forces and US Army.

An inspection tour included sites where the two forces will conduct the joint operations.

Col. Saud Al-Aqili, commander of the exercise, said that it aims to rehearse implementation of bilateral operational and logistical plans, exchange expertise between the two sides, and develop complementary work with civil authorities.

Col. Matthew Hakula, commander of the US forces, said that the joint maneuvers will raise combat readiness, as well as strengthen compatibility between Saudi and US troops.

The month-long drill includes logistical exercises and operations with live ammunition.


Saudi envoy receives ambassador-designate to KSA in Dublin

Saudi envoy to Ireland Nayel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir receives Ireland’s Ambassador-designate to KSA Gerry Cunningham in Dublin. (SPA
Saudi envoy to Ireland Nayel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir receives Ireland’s Ambassador-designate to KSA Gerry Cunningham in Dublin. (SPA
Updated 13 August 2022

Saudi envoy receives ambassador-designate to KSA in Dublin

Saudi envoy to Ireland Nayel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir receives Ireland’s Ambassador-designate to KSA Gerry Cunningham in Dublin. (SPA
  • In a tweet, Al-Jubeir wished Cunningham a successful tour in Riyadh

RIYADH: Saudi Ambassador to Ireland Nayel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir received Ireland’s Ambassador-designate to the Kingdom Gerry Cunningham at the embassy’s headquarters in Dublin, Ireland on Saturday.

During the meeting, the pair discussed bilateral relations between the Kingdom and Ireland, and ways to develop ties in all fields.

In a tweet, Al-Jubeir wished Cunningham a successful tour in Riyadh.

Last week, the Saudi ambassador welcomed Adil Bannaga, ambassador-designate of Sudan to Ireland.

 


Saudi Arabia’s Ihsan revises donation charge for services

Ehsan.sa/Supplied
Ehsan.sa/Supplied
Updated 13 August 2022

Saudi Arabia’s Ihsan revises donation charge for services

Ehsan.sa/Supplied
  • The Ihsan platform is continuing efforts to develop quality services and programs to facilitate donations to beneficiaries with complete transparency

RIYADH: The National Platform for Charitable Work, Ihsan, has revised its minimum donation for Tyassarat and Forijat services to SR1 ($0.27) on its website and application.

The move aims to encourage members of society to support charitable cases as per their financial capacity.

The Tyassarat service allows donations toward citizens’ judicial bills, while the Forijat service allows contributions for those convicted in non-criminal financial cases, in order to help convicts return to their families after clearing their dues.

Previously, the minimum donation for the Tyassarat service was SR50, with the Forijat service requiring SR10.

The Ihsan platform is continuing efforts to develop quality services and programs to facilitate donations to beneficiaries with complete transparency.

Total donations received since Ihsan’s launch in March 2021 have exceeded SR2.534 billion, benefiting more than 4.8 million men and women.