For TRSDC, luxury tourism means preserving the Red Sea’s natural habitat

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Updated 14 June 2022

For TRSDC, luxury tourism means preserving the Red Sea’s natural habitat

For TRSDC, luxury tourism means preserving the Red Sea’s natural habitat

RIYADH: When it comes to hospitality, The Red Sea Development Co. is pulling out all stops as it is getting ready to offer guests world-class service and unmatched luxury.

It is also leaving no stone unturned in its relentless efforts to preserve and protect the rich natural habitats and endangered species on the shores and nearby islands of the Red Sea.

To accomplish this task, TRSDC has put together an ambitious master plan and invited renowned experts in ecology, marine biology and the environment to preserve the breath-taking sceneries of the Red Sea and admire the endangered species of this region.

TRSDC’s master plan predicts a 30 percent net conservation benefit in the next two decades and leaving 75 percent of the island archipelago untouched, with nine islands designated as special conservation zones. 

In addition, the company plans to power the destination with 100 percent renewable energy 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, all of which will be generated by solar and wind. 

What’s more? It is building the largest battery storage facility globally to guarantee supply at night.

Arab News spoke to three experts to get a perspective on the company’s initiatives to safeguard the Red Sea’s flora and fauna.

Lamya AlOtai, environmental impact assessment specialist, TRSDC

Lamya AlOtai revealed that her group had spotted more than 100 bird species at the monitoring site.

Some of the most frequently spotted birds fell under the high conservation priority order of the National Biodiversity Strategy of Saudi Arabia. They included crab plovers, sooty falcons and ospreys. These species exhibit unique characteristics. 

“For instance, crab plover is a lovely shorebird with an interesting breeding habit; they dig deep burrows to safeguard their young ones. They are the only wading birds to nest this way,” she said ardently.

Her dedicated consultants have identified over 1,700 crab plovers across 15 islands. These crab clovers mostly rely on crabs and the mangrove habitats in the vicinity.

“The Red Sea coast is also home to sooty falcons. They are known to live in hot arid environments, mountain cliffs, small rocky islands, and they are susceptible to disturbance.” 




TRSDC palns to leave 75 percent of the island archipelago untouched (Supplied)

Saud Almutairi, environmental planning and appraisal specialist, TRSDC

Saud Almutairi confirmed that the company is keen to double efforts to ensure that tourists enjoy the natural surroundings of the Red Sea.

“At TRSDC, we are raising the bar for regenerative tourists. We are committed to delivering a tourist destination while conserving the environment and biodiversity,” said Almutairi.

“We are utilizing the best available science and technology to study birdlife and its relationship with other environmental components,” he added.

Almutairi noticed, for instance, that the falcons tend to breed in a hot arid environment on rocky islands in the small cavities facing the sea.

“So, it gets its natural isolation from any anthropogenic activity. Therefore, we conduct several surveys to ensure that we develop certain buffer zones to protect them.”

The company has also conducted several surveys to develop specific buffer zones to mitigate and manage environmental risks.

“We have set aside certain islands and areas as conservation zones to keep our main natural assets in this area.”

Noura Islam, assistant environmental management and assessment manager, TRSDC

Noura Islam has constantly kept an eye on some endangered species in the region, especially the marine turtles.

“These species play an essential role in balancing the biodiversity of the area. They’re also known to provide nutrients to sandy beaches, and these beaches are vital for their nesting practices. At TRSDC, we are actively working toward the protection of these species. By setting aside the islands, these islands will stay pristine.”

She added: “Marine turtles are the most valuable marine species in our project. We have two species, green turtles and hawksbill turtles.”

The company has been working with local entities to protect the species.

“For example, local entities rescued two turtles on our site and sent them to an aquarium to provide them with the necessary treatment. And once they regained their health, they were released back into the sea. And this is one of our success stories of how we protect the turtles on our site.” 


Macro Snapshot — South Korea inflation at 24-year high; Australia increases interest rate again

Macro Snapshot — South Korea inflation at 24-year high; Australia increases interest rate again
Updated 13 sec ago

Macro Snapshot — South Korea inflation at 24-year high; Australia increases interest rate again

Macro Snapshot — South Korea inflation at 24-year high; Australia increases interest rate again

RIYADH: South Korea’s inflation rose to a 24-year high in June, while Australia’s central bank increased the country’s interest rate for the third month in a row. 

Inflation in South Korea

South Korea’s inflation last month hit the highest since the Asian financial crisis more than two decades ago, adding to signs of building strains on the open, trade-dependent economy and fanning expectations of a big rate hike by the central bank.

Data showed on Tuesday the consumer price index grew a slightly faster-than-expected 6 percent in June over a year earlier — the highest since November 1998 — while other data showed foreign exchange reserves shrank by the most since late 2008.

Australia ups interest rates

Australia’s central bank on Tuesday raised interest rates for a third straight month and flagged more ahead as it struggles to contain surging inflation even at the risk of triggering an economic downturn.

Wrapping up its July policy meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia lifted its cash rate by 50 basis points to 1.35 percent, marking 125 basis points of hikes since May and the fastest series of moves since 1994.

“The Board expects to take further steps in the process of normalizing monetary conditions in Australia over the months ahead,” said RBA Gov. Philip Lowe in a statement.

Japan’s service sector

Japan’s services sector activity expanded at the fastest pace in over eight years in June as the easing of coronavirus curbs boosted sentiment among businesses such as those in tourism.

The pick-up in activity is welcome news for a government betting on domestic demand to put the world’s third-largest economy firmly on a recovery track and help overcome production pressures on the country’s manufacturing industry.

The final au Jibun Bank Japan Services purchasing managers’ index rose to a seasonally adjusted 54, marking the fastest pace of expansion since October 2013.

That was stronger than May’s final 52.6 growth, though it remained below a 54.2 flash reading for June released last month.

Wages in Japan

Japan’s real wages extended a decline in May to post the biggest year-on-year drop in nearly two years, government data showed on Tuesday, as consumer inflation hovering near a seven-year-high outpaced nominal wage growth, reducing households’ spending power.

Higher living costs amid low-wage growth are likely to curb Japan’s consumption-led economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Inflation is also a top issue for voters in an upper house election on Sunday, although Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s ruling party is likely to increase the number of seats it holds, according to an opinion poll published on Monday.

 

 

 

With input from Reuters


India In-Focus — Shares end lower; Rupee hits record-low; Twitter pursues judicial review of Indian content takedown orders

India In-Focus — Shares end lower; Rupee hits record-low; Twitter pursues judicial review of Indian content takedown orders
Updated 11 min 26 sec ago

India In-Focus — Shares end lower; Rupee hits record-low; Twitter pursues judicial review of Indian content takedown orders

India In-Focus — Shares end lower; Rupee hits record-low; Twitter pursues judicial review of Indian content takedown orders

MUMBAI: Indian shares closed lower on Tuesday, giving up more than 1 percent gains made during the day, as investor sentiment soured in global markets, while the rupee hit a fresh record low on concerns of a bigger current account deficit.

The NSE Nifty 50 index ended down 0.15 percent at 15,810.85, while the S&P BSE Sensex dropped 0.2 percent to 53,134.35. Both the indexes had gained over 1 percent in morning trade.

The slide in the value of the Indian rupee continued on Tuesday, and it closed at 79.37 against the US dollar on June 5. 

India to address volatility of Indian rupee against dollar

India is trying to “address volatility” in the Indian rupee that has tumbled to record lows against the dollar in recent weeks, a government official said on Monday, amid concerns of a widening trade deficit and sell-off of assets by foreign investors.

The rupee has plunged 6 percent against the dollar this year, weighed down by broad strength in the greenback and as investors retreated from the domestic share markets.

Twitter pursues judicial review of Indian content takedown orders

Twitter is seeking to overturn some Indian government orders to take down content, a source familiar with the matter said, in a legal challenge which alleges abuse of power by officials.

The US social media company's attempt to get a judicial review is part of a growing confrontation with New Delhi over content regulation. Twitter was warned by India's Information Technology Ministry of criminal proceedings if it did not comply with some orders.

Twitter has been asked by Indian authorities over the past year to act on content including accounts supportive of an independent Sikh state and on dozens of tweets that were critical of the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

India's IT ministry did not immediately respond on Tuesday to a request for comment about Twitter's legal move.

(With inputs from Reuters) 


Saudi Al-Khaleej Training acquires 60% of Al-Faisaliah schools for $16m

Saudi Al-Khaleej Training acquires 60% of Al-Faisaliah schools for $16m
Updated 47 min 26 sec ago

Saudi Al-Khaleej Training acquires 60% of Al-Faisaliah schools for $16m

Saudi Al-Khaleej Training acquires 60% of Al-Faisaliah schools for $16m

RIYADH: Saudi Al-Khaleej Training and Education Co. has acquired a 60 percent stake in Al-Faisaliah National Schools Co.

The acquisition deal is worth SR60 million ($16 million) and is subject to obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals, according to a bourse filing.

Listed on Saudi Arabia’s main stock index TASI, Al-Khaleej Training narrowed its net losses by 33 percent to SR5.09 million during the first quarter of 2022, down from SR7.6 million in the same period a year ago.

 


China In-Focus — Stocks unchanged; China touts Afghan trade plans; major pipeline launched in oil hub Shandong

China In-Focus — Stocks unchanged; China touts Afghan trade plans; major pipeline launched in oil hub Shandong
Updated 52 min 38 sec ago

China In-Focus — Stocks unchanged; China touts Afghan trade plans; major pipeline launched in oil hub Shandong

China In-Focus — Stocks unchanged; China touts Afghan trade plans; major pipeline launched in oil hub Shandong

RIYADH: China stocks closed roughly flat on Tuesday as concerns over the worsening COVID-19 situation offset optimism from recovering services activities in the country.

The blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 0.1 percent at 4,489.54, while the Shanghai Composite Index ended flat, at 3,404.03 points.

China touts Afghan trade and investment plans

China’s ambassador touted trade and investment plans for Afghanistan on Tuesday, in what was a public endorsement for doing business in the Taliban-controlled country after an earthquake drew attention to the humanitarian consequences of Western sanctions.

At a rare press conference alongside the Taliban administration’s acting minister for disaster management, Ambassador Wang Yu announced $8 million in aid for relief from the June 22 earthquake that killed more than 1,000 people.

“Besides emergency humanitarian aid, after the political changes last year and after the earthquake, we also have long-term economic reconstruction plans,” he said. The priority would be trade, followed by investment, as well as agriculture.

No country has formally recognized the Taliban, who seized power last year after the US and its allies withdrew troops following 20 years of war.

China port group launches major pipeline in oil hub Shandong

China’s Yantai Port Group has started pumping oil into a newly expanded crude oil pipeline that connects the port of Yantai to a group of independent refineries in the country’s refining hub Shandong, state media reported on Tuesday.

The 370-kilometer pipeline, with an annual transport capacity of 20 million tons which equals 400,000 barrels per day, is solely invested by Yantai Port Group, a unit of provincial government-backed Shandong Port Group.

The new line, linking Yantai with the city of Weifang, adds to an existing parallel 650 km pipeline connecting Yantai with Zibo, bringing total transport capacity to 40 million tons annually, or 800,000 bpd.

About 10 independent refineries are linked to the two pipelines, according to Shandong-based commodities consultancy JLC.

As part of commodities logistics operations, Yantai Port also operates a 300,000 ton crude oil terminal and a 3.6 million cubic-meter crude oil tank farm.


Saudi Aramco signs 55 deals in a major expansion of its industrial investment program

Saudi Aramco signs 55 deals in a major expansion of its industrial investment program
Updated 05 July 2022

Saudi Aramco signs 55 deals in a major expansion of its industrial investment program

Saudi Aramco signs 55 deals in a major expansion of its industrial investment program

RIYADH: Saudi Aramco has signed 55 agreements across sustainability, digital, industrial, manufacturing and social innovation sectors, as part of a major expansion of its Namaat industrial investment programs. 

Growing from 32 to 55 investments since last year, Namaat supports industrial investment partnerships to create jobs for Saudis and to contribute to national growth and capacity building, according to a statement.

“Namaat enables Aramco to be a catalyst for change across the Kingdom’s economy, while maintaining our reliability as a global energy supplier at a time of market uncertainty,” Ahmad Al-Sa’adi, Aramco senior vice president of technical services, said. 

Bolstering Aramco’s long-term growth strategy and the Kingdom’s expanding energy and chemicals value chains, the agreements include:

Honeywell, to establish a joint venture to develop and implement digital technology solutions across industrial facilities.

Armorock and AlKifah Precast, to establish a joint venture to localize the use of polymers in concrete production.

Shell & AMG Recycling and United Company for Industry, the signing of the Vanadium concentrate sales agreement, enabling the construction of an in-Kingdom metal reclamation and catalyst manufacturing facility. 

In addition to the Saudi-owned conglomerate Al Rushaid Group’s agreement between ARPIC, Samsung, and Aramco to create a National Engineering, Procurement and Construction joint venture in Saudi Arabia. 

The new EPC joint venture aims to increase Saudization levels and deploy leading construction technologies in alignment with the Saudi Aramco Namaat program.