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.” 


Al Jouf Cement names new CEO as Jamal Al Amer resigns

Al Jouf Cement names new CEO as Jamal Al Amer resigns
Updated 12 sec ago

Al Jouf Cement names new CEO as Jamal Al Amer resigns

Al Jouf Cement names new CEO as Jamal Al Amer resigns

RIYADH: Al Jouf Cement Co., a Saudi-based cement producer, has appointed Abdul Karim Al-Nuhair as its new CEO effective Aug. 21, according to a bourse filing.

Al-Nuhair will replace previous CEO Jamal bin Salem Al-Amer, who resigned on Aug. 16 to continue serving the company as president ex-executive advisor.  

Prior to joining Al Jouf, Al-Nuhair held several leadership positions in joint-stock companies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial management from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.


ACWA Power to sign $2.4bn deal with Uzbekistan for 1,500MW wind project

ACWA Power to sign $2.4bn deal with Uzbekistan for 1,500MW wind project
Updated 2 min 10 sec ago

ACWA Power to sign $2.4bn deal with Uzbekistan for 1,500MW wind project

ACWA Power to sign $2.4bn deal with Uzbekistan for 1,500MW wind project

RIYADH: ACWA Power Co. said it will sign today a $2.4 billion deal with the government of Uzbekistan for a 1500-megawatt wind project, a bourse filing revealed.


Samsung awards NEOM insurance contract to Saudi-listed Wataniya

Samsung awards NEOM insurance contract to Saudi-listed Wataniya
Updated 8 min 40 sec ago

Samsung awards NEOM insurance contract to Saudi-listed Wataniya

Samsung awards NEOM insurance contract to Saudi-listed Wataniya

RIYADH: Wataniya Insurance Co. has won an SR53.6 million ($14 million) deal to provide insurance coverage to NEOM’s tunnel infrastructure, one of the world’s largest transportation and infrastructure projects.

The Saudi-listed firm said in a bourse filing that the Contractors’ All Risk insurance contract was awarded by Samsung C&T Corp. Saudi Arabia.

In a separate filing, the insurer reported that its losses widened by 44 percent to SR37 million in the first half of 2022, as it incurred higher claims of SR199 million.


Saudi-Uzbek trade exceeds $95m in the first half of 2022

Saudi-Uzbek trade exceeds $95m in the first half of 2022
Updated 17 August 2022

Saudi-Uzbek trade exceeds $95m in the first half of 2022

Saudi-Uzbek trade exceeds $95m in the first half of 2022
  • The two countries will bolster ties further with the signing of 12 new deals this week

RIYADH: The mutual trade between Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Uzbekistan reached $95 million in the first half of 2022, a substantial increase considering that bilateral trade barely exceeded $17 million last year.

According to a joint news statement, the value is expected to grow rapidly by the end of 2022. The numbers assume significance in the aftermath of the pandemic.

In fact, the number of Uzbek companies running on Saudi funds increased from about nine to 38 in the last five years. Of the 38, 19 are sole proprietors, and the rest are joint ventures.

The two nations will bolster the ties further by signing 12 new agreements on Wednesday and Thursday when Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev visits the Kingdom.

According to an Uzbek state agency, high-level talks will take place in Jeddah, where the two nations will discuss opportunities to enhance multilateral cooperation further.

The discussion will focus on the green economy, technology and digitalization, innovations, small business and entrepreneurship. 

Following the meeting, new agreements are expected to be signed in the energy, telecommunications, agriculture, chemical and petrochemical industries, besides encouraging ties in culture, sports and education.

The Kingdom has become one of the largest foreign investors in energy infrastructure and one of Uzbekistan’s most significant developers of green energy projects.

ACWA Power’s Uzbek interests

Recently, the Ministry of Energy of Uzbekistan and Saudi energy company ACWA Power signed several investment agreements for about $3 billion.

ACWA Power will develop and operate a wind energy project with a production capacity of 1,500 MW in the Karakalpakstan region of Uzbekistan.

When commissioned, the plant will become the largest of its kind in Central Asia and one of the largest wind power plants in the world. 

FASTFACTS

• The number of Uzbek companies running on Saudi funds increased from about nine to 38 in the last five years.

• Recently, the Ministry of Energy of Uzbekistan and Saudi energy company ACWA Power signed several investment agreements for about $3 billion.

• The Saudi Fund for Development has contributed to the implementation of many projects in Uzbekistan, including funding the Samarkand-Gozar Road project, with a total value of $30 million.

ACWA Power also signed an agreement to establish the 100MW Nokus wind farm project, the first renewable energy project to be implemented in partnership with Uzbekistan’s public and private sectors.

The power generating company also won a $108 million wind contract after proposing a tariff of 2.56 cents per kilowatt-hour, the lowest in Uzbekistan.

Additionally, the Ministry of Energy of Uzbekistan signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with ACWA Power to establish a combined-cycle gas turbine power plant in Shirin, located in Syrdarya, Uzbekistan. The deal amounts to $1.2 billion.

According to the statement, these projects will contribute to achieving Uzbekistan’s national goal of raising the total renewable energy generation capacity to 30 percent by 2030.

Saudi Fund for Development

Moreover, the Saudi Fund for Development has contributed to the implementation of many projects in Uzbekistan, including funding the Samarkand-Gozar Road project, with a total value of $30 million.

The fund also contributed to 20 projects in the republic, including building pumping stations and other projects involving sewage, chemicals, mining, building materials, water and agriculture.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture of Uzbekistan, the Saudi and Uzbek delegations have discussed issues of cooperation in agriculture, including the prospects for enhancing mutual trade in agricultural products.

Both parties will likely sign memorandums of cooperation in agriculture, veterinary medicine and livestock development at the meeting.

They also agreed to deepen cooperation in the agricultural sector to enhance trade in farming, livestock and other products between the countries.

After signing the memoranda, action plans will be prepared, including specific measures and areas for developing cooperation and joint projects.

The Saudi side invited the Uzbekistan delegation to attend its most prominent exhibition of the agro-industrial complex, which will be held at the end of October in Riyadh.


American Airlines bets on supersonic travel with Boom jet deal

American Airlines bets on supersonic travel with Boom jet deal
Updated 16 August 2022

American Airlines bets on supersonic travel with Boom jet deal

American Airlines bets on supersonic travel with Boom jet deal

CHICAGO: American Airlines Group Inc. on Tuesday agreed to buy up to 20 jets from aircraft maker Boom Supersonic, becoming the second major US airline to bet on ultra-fast passenger travel in the last two years.

The deal brings Boom’s order book to 130 airplanes, including options, valued at about $26 billion, Boom Chief Executive Blake Scholl said in an interview.

The return of interest in supersonic jets comes nearly two decades after Concorde, flown by Air France and British Airways, was retired following a deadly crash and high costs of fuel and maintenance.

Last year, United Airlines Holdings Inc agreed to buy 15 Boom Overture aircraft provided they meet certain safety, operating and sustainability requirements. A similar condition was part of the American Airlines agreement as well.

American also has an option to purchase 40 more of the jets, each of which can carry 65 to 80 passengers, the companies said.

The four-engine Overture jet can fly from Miami to London in just under five hours, cutting the nearly nine-hour flight time between the cities by about half.

American Airlines spokesperson Matt Miller said it was too early to discuss ticket prices, given the aircraft isn't expected to carry its first passengers until 2029.

Supersonic jets have come under criticism from environmentalists for burning more fuel per passenger than comparable subsonic planes.

The Overture jet, being designed to run fully on sustainable aviation fuel or a blend, will be rolled out of Boom’s Greensboro, North Carolina factory in 2025, followed by test flights in 2026.

Third Bridge senior analyst Christopher Raite sounded a word of caution on Boom’s delivery target, saying the delay in conducting test flights for Boom’s other jet, the XB-1, signaled that delivery of the Overture will be delayed.