Change in Saudi Arabia is ‘profound’, Princess Reema tells Arab Women Forum

Change in Saudi Arabia is ‘profound’, Princess Reema tells Arab Women Forum
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Updated 17 May 2022

Change in Saudi Arabia is ‘profound’, Princess Reema tells Arab Women Forum

Change in Saudi Arabia is ‘profound’, Princess Reema tells Arab Women Forum
  • Arab Women Forum and Top CEO Conference and Awards bring together top business leaders
  • The two-day event this week makes a return after a two-year hiatus during the pandemic

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has millions of talented, motivated women, eager to contribute to the growth of the Kingdom, Princess Reema bint Bandar, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US said in a keynote speech delivered to the Top CEO conference at the Palazzo Versace Hotel in Dubai on Tuesday.

Speaking via video at the start of the Top CEO Conference and Awards — the first to go ahead in-person after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic — she said Saudi Arabia and the Arab world had recently experienced “profound and historic change for women in Saudi Arabia in the region.”

“We know nations cannot keep half their talent on the side lines, and still expect to grow, transform,” she explained, adding: “We have millions of talented, motivated women eager to contribute, and they are the key to social, cultural and economic progress in the Kingdom and, frankly, in the Arab world and around the world.

“As a business leader in the Kingdom, when the doors to women were just starting to open, I realized that opening the doors wasn’t enough. Women had to be prepared to take advantage of those open doors, and we have to equip them with the skills.”

Thanking the event’s CEO, Julien Hawari, for inviting her to speak, Princess Reema spoke of Saudi Arabia’s strategies in combating any uncertainties that might stand in the way of progress, and the country’s plan for economic diversification, environment sustainability, and gender diversity.

And she described the TOP CEO conference as an event that brings what she called a “remarkable group of business leaders” together. 

She praised the Kingdom for being proactive in confronting the coronavirus pandemic head on by undertaking necessary public health and economic security measures.

As a result, she said, the Kingdom was now well-positioned to emerge as a global leader, adding that she saw the Arab population in the country as young, educated, tech-savvy and, as a result of that, its markets are growing — driven by technology and innovation. 

“Under vision 2030, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s bold plan to restructure Saudi Arabia’s economy, we’re diversifying from energy dependence. We’re embracing technology and sustainable development and we’re creating an inclusive society for all and opening opportunities for young entrepreneurs,” she said.

According to Princess Reema, the country started its metamorphosis more than seven years ago, and it was still transforming itself.

“It’ll be less reset and more restart,” she said, “In part, because we’ve recently experienced profound and historic change for women in Saudi Arabia in the region,” she said.

She went on to recall how, when she was the CEO of one of the Kingdom’s retailers, her workplace was the first in the country to provide day care — something unheard of at the time.

“In Saudi Arabia, I’ve not only seen the change, I’ve lived it. I know how important it is to open the workplace to women, and not just to encourage and promote equality and equity, but to plan for it … Because we understood that even if the doors were open, we had to not just prepare the women, we had to welcome them,” she said. 

Beyond that, Princess Reema has been active with working with women to prepare them to join the workforce by offering training and financial literacy courses.

She told the audience Saudi Arabia had more women with advanced degrees than men, and that women had fearlessly entered the workforce in under a generation — with the world taking notice. Apple recently opened an all-women coding school in Riyadh, and opportunities are multiplying.

The princess explained that while the country had made great progress, there was still much to do. She said Saudi Arabia needed to continue to prioritize renewable, sustainable, tech-driven and green initiatives, so that the Kingdom could create a more resilient public sector while fostering a robust private one. 

“We ‘reset’ by championing innovation, by encouraging inclusion by creating an environment where young people have brighter futures than their parents. And that’s the future. The future we must build together, harnessing creativity and ingenuity of all of our citizens, and rewarding business leadership that values diverse and inclusive workplaces and supports the creation of innovative and creative ecosystems where everyone can participate and contribute,” she concluded.

  • Arab News is a media partner of the Arab Women Forum and Top CEO Conference and Awards

ICT infrastructure in Makkah, Madinah fully operational for Hajj with 41% rise in 5G towers 

ICT infrastructure in Makkah, Madinah fully operational for Hajj with 41% rise in 5G towers 
Updated 10 sec ago

ICT infrastructure in Makkah, Madinah fully operational for Hajj with 41% rise in 5G towers 

ICT infrastructure in Makkah, Madinah fully operational for Hajj with 41% rise in 5G towers 

RIYADH:  The Communications and Information Technology Commission, Saudi Arabia’s digital regulator, on Wednesday announced that communication infrastructure is fully operational in Makkah and Madinah and ready for this year’s Hajj.

The CITC has ensured the functioning of over 5,900 communication towers and more than 11,000 Wifi access points in the two holy cities, according to a statement. 

The number of 5G towers rose 41 percent to reach more than 2,600.

 “The Kingdom’s infrastructure readiness will not only help smooth the passage of fulfilling a lifelong dream,” said CITC Gov. Mohammed bin Saud Al-Tamimi, “it will significantly enhance their (pilgrims) digital experience.” 

 


Saudi Electricity sells entire stake of its subsidiary to the government

Saudi Electricity sells entire stake of its subsidiary to the government
Updated 29 June 2022

Saudi Electricity sells entire stake of its subsidiary to the government

Saudi Electricity sells entire stake of its subsidiary to the government

RIYADH: State-owned Saudi Electricity Co. has transferred its entire stake in the Saudi Power Procurement Co. to the government, the company said in a bourse filing.

SPPC as of today is an independent company wholly owned by the government, following completion of all legal arrangements for sale and transfer of assets, liabilities, and contracts

SPPC and SEC also signed energy conversion agreements, bulk supplies, and fuel supply novations, all effective July 1.

With that, SEC, SPPC and the Ministry of Finance signed a fuel inventory sale agreement, which stipulates that the ministry shall pay SEC its net book value for the fuel inventory.

The sale price shall be calculated based on the book value of SPPC's net assets at the end of the second quarter of 2022.

SEC does not expect the carve-out of SPPC to negatively impact its business since SPPC possesses no material tangible assets.


Red Sea Development Co.’s study reveals diversity of habitats as it calls for responsible tourism 

Red Sea Development Co.’s study reveals diversity of habitats as it calls for responsible tourism 
Updated 29 June 2022

Red Sea Development Co.’s study reveals diversity of habitats as it calls for responsible tourism 

Red Sea Development Co.’s study reveals diversity of habitats as it calls for responsible tourism 

RIYADH: The Red Sea Development Co. has revealed rich diversity of habitats, flora, and fauna in one of the world’s largest environmental surveys of wildlife ecosystems, carried along the Saudi Arabian coast.

The 11-month long study has included a number of endangered species such as the Halavi Guitarfish, Hawksbill Sea Turtle and Sooty Falcon, according to a statement. 

Released at the UN World Ocean Conference in Lisbon, the research has also included an eight-meter-high single coral colony estimated to be around 600 years old. 

Conducted from January through November 2021, it has revealed that many threatened and endangered species inhabit the area, which shows the environmental protection and regeneration efforts in the region. 

“We want to prove to the world, and our peers in the tourism industry, that creating world-class destinations can go hand-in-hand with protecting and enhancing the environment,” CEO John Pagano  said. 

“We’re challenging ourselves and others to do better and be better as global pioneers in responsible development and are issuing a call to action for tourism as an industry to step up when it comes to the impact on wildlife and biodiversity,” Pagano added. 

A lion fish observed by TRSDC scientists (Supplied)

The tourism industry places significant stress on local land and marine areas if action is not taken. 

UN Environment research shows that the growth of tourism and its impact on the environment is growing at an unsustainable rate, with a 154 percent increase in energy consumption, 131 percent increase in greenhouse gas emissions, and 152 percent increase in water consumption expected by 2050 if action is not taken.


Riyadh governor inaugurates $2bn environmental, water projects in sustainability push 

Riyadh governor inaugurates $2bn environmental, water projects in sustainability push 
Updated 29 June 2022

Riyadh governor inaugurates $2bn environmental, water projects in sustainability push 

Riyadh governor inaugurates $2bn environmental, water projects in sustainability push 

RIYADH: Some 93 environment, water and agriculture projects in Riyadh have been inaugurated by Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar.

The launch of the projects, worth over SR8.5 billion ($2.2 billion), comes to support water and environmental sustainability in line with the objectives of the Kingdom's Vision 2030, according to the Saudi Press Agency. 

The projects include the Kingdom’s largest water transmission system, the Jubail-Riyadh transmission system, with a capacity of 1.2 million cubic meters per day.

In addition to a dual transmission system, with a total length of 821 kilometers, with a total cost of over SR6.3 billion.

Implemented by the Saline Water Conversion Corp., National Water Co. and  the Undersecretary for Water, and the National Center for Vegetation Cover and Combating Desertification, the projects will contribute to the rising demand for water. 

They will also contribute to raising  operational efficiency in water transportation and distribution, enhancing environmental sustainability and increasing vegetation cover in the region. 

 


MENA Project Tracker: KSA launches Arts Valley project in AlUla; Honeywell, Anchorage to build $2bn petrochemical complex in Egypt 

MENA Project Tracker: KSA launches Arts Valley project in AlUla; Honeywell, Anchorage to build $2bn petrochemical complex in Egypt 
Updated 29 June 2022

MENA Project Tracker: KSA launches Arts Valley project in AlUla; Honeywell, Anchorage to build $2bn petrochemical complex in Egypt 

MENA Project Tracker: KSA launches Arts Valley project in AlUla; Honeywell, Anchorage to build $2bn petrochemical complex in Egypt 

RIYADH: The Royal Commission of AlUla, also known as RCU, has announced the launch of an Arts Valley as Saudi Arabia moves steadily to become a top global tourist destination, a goal outlined in Vision 2030. 

The Arts Valley, which spreads over 65 sq. km, is touted as a cultural asset of the “The Journey Through Time” masterplan launched in April, Trade Arabia reported. 

Noorah Al-Double, the CEO of the General Directorate for Arts and Innovative Industries said that these projects will transform AlUla into a pioneering international destination for arts, heritage, culture and nature by 2030. 

Honeywell and Anchorage to work on Egypt’s $2 billion Suez Canal project

US-based multinational conglomerate Honeywell and Anchorage Investments have signed a memorandum of understanding to construct the $2 billion Anchor Benitoite Petrochemicals Complex in Egypt’s Suez Canal Economic Zone, according to a MEED report.

The agreement entails that Honeywell Process Solutions will be hired as the Integrated Main Automation Contractor. 

HPS also will supply sufficient technologies to ensure operational safety and security to Anchorage Investments. 

Dana Gas halts Iraq oil field project following rocket attack

UAE’s Dana Gas has just pressed pause on its KM 250 oilfield expansion project following 3 rocket attacks near its Khor Mor Block in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, MEED reported. 

Citing a company statement to Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, Meed reported that two rockets landed very close to the Khor Mor Block on June 24 and 25. 

The report further added that there were no injuries following the attack. 

The Khor Mor 250A project is an asset to Iraqi oil production, as it has shown immense yearly growth of 552 million cubic feet of gas a day in production in comparison to its average of 450 million cubic feet of gas a day. 

Upon talks with the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Iraqi Government, more forces have been deployed to protect the facilities. 

Damac awards $168m contract to Pivot

UAE-based property development company Damac has awarded the $168.2 million construction contract for the Costa Brava cluster within its Damac Lagoons development to Pivot Engineering and General Contracting Co., MEED reported.

According to the report, the scope of work under this contract includes the construction of 976 townhouses for the project.

The project includes villas, townhouses, artificial beaches, and community facilities.