Madinah to establish new charging platforms for electric cars 

Madinah to establish new charging platforms for electric cars 
This step is among a number of initiatives to establish more power supply platforms for electric car owners. (Supplied)
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Updated 03 July 2022

Madinah to establish new charging platforms for electric cars 

Madinah to establish new charging platforms for electric cars 

The municipality of Madinah has recently signed an investment contract to establish 12 charging platforms for electric cars in an effort to promote environmental sustainability in the region. The contract was signed with engineering consultancy Al-Sharif Group Holding.

This step is among a number of initiatives to establish more power supply platforms for electric car owners, enabling them to charge their cars easily, and is part of the Kingdom’s commitment to policies that reduce carbon emissions.

In line with national efforts to localize the electric car industry in the Kingdom, the new charging platforms are expected to provide advanced services as well as improve Madinah’s urban landscape.

This project is part of a series of investment opportunities that Madinah intends to offer to the private sector in order to encourage economic diversification and new activities in the local market that can positively impact residents of the region. 

The contract was signed by the region’s Mayor Eng. Fahd bin Mohammed Al-Balishi and the CEO of Sharif X Co. for Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions, one of Al-Sharif Group Holding’s companies, Dr. Ahmed Sindi.


Japan, Jordan foreign ministers discuss Middle East peace

Japan, Jordan foreign ministers discuss Middle East peace
Updated 4 min 13 sec ago

Japan, Jordan foreign ministers discuss Middle East peace

Japan, Jordan foreign ministers discuss Middle East peace

DUBAI: Japan’s Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa met with Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi on Sept. 22.

The two officials met in New York during the United Nations General Assembly and discussed the development of the relationship between Jordan and Japan.

Minister Hayashi expressed his gratitude for King Abdullah II’s visit to Japan to attend the state funeral for former Prime Minister ABE on Sept. 27.

The two also exchanged views on Israel and Palestine, reaffirming their commitment to achieving peace in the region based on a “two-state solution.”

Hayashi said that Jordan’s role in hosting a large number of refugees is important for the stability of the region, and also explained Japan’s support this year through UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) in light of the global food and fuel price hikes that are making life more difficult for the refugees.

In response, minister Safadi appreciated Japan’s position and contribution regarding the Middle East Peace.

The ministers reviewed the Japan-Egypt-Jordan trilateral consultations on the Middle East, the second DG-level meeting of which was held this month, andwelcomed their efforts are coming to fruition and concurred to further promote cooperation among the three parties.

The ministers agreed to hold the third Strategic Dialogue between the foreign ministers in the near future to further strengthen bilateral relations and regional stability, and confirmed that they will continue to work closely together.

Originally published in Arab News Japan


UAE healthcare provider Burjeel to sell 11% stake and list on ADX

UAE healthcare provider Burjeel to sell 11% stake and list on ADX
Updated 15 min 49 sec ago

UAE healthcare provider Burjeel to sell 11% stake and list on ADX

UAE healthcare provider Burjeel to sell 11% stake and list on ADX

RIYADH: Abu Dhabi healthcare provider Burjeel Holdings said it intends to offer 11 percent of its shares in an initial public offering as it prepares to go public this year.

The company plans to sell 550.7 million shares, including 350.3 million from VPS Healthcare Holdings, which owns 79.8 percent of Burjeel.

Among the offered shares, 10 percent will be allocated under the first tranche, and 90 percent under the second tranche.

The offer period for the first tranche and the second tranche starts on Sep. 30 and will close on Oct. 4, 2022. 

Burjeel is expected to announce the final price on Oct. 5, and the shares are expected to be listed in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 10.

“Our long-term vision focused on increasing access to quality healthcare and clinical excellence across the region has driven our growth over the past 15 years,” chairman of Burjeel Holdings plc, Shamsheer Vayalil Parambath, said.

“As healthcare expenditure continues to increase across the region, Burjeel Holdings is strongly positioned to benefit through our focus on providing complex, specialized medicine for all socioeconomic groups, through a targeted, multi-brand strategy,” he added.

J.P. Morgan Securities plc has been appointed as capital markets advisor to the selling shareholder and company in connection with the offering.

“Today’s announcement builds on our partnership with IHC which will have a transformative impact for Burjeel Holdings through the addition of new capabilities, capital, and access to new markets,” Parambaths said.

Last week, International Holding Co. announced that it has purchased a 15 percent stake in Burjeel Holdings.

“The acquisition will aim to continue to scale and diversify IHC’s investment in the healthcare sector locally and regionally,” IHC said in a statement.

IHC is the largest company in the UAE by market value and it is led by Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE's national security adviser and the brother of UAE’s president.

With a network of 39 hospitals and medical centers, Burjeel Holdings is one of the leading providers of healthcare in the UAE private market with a market share of approximately 17 percent for in-patients and approximately 12 percent for out-patients.

Founded in 2007, the healthcare provider plans to invest $1 billion in Saudi Arabia by 2030 through joint ventures and public-private partnerships.


HSBC Saudi Arabia appoints new CEO amid expansion plans 

HSBC Saudi Arabia appoints new CEO amid expansion plans 
Updated 27 min 44 sec ago

HSBC Saudi Arabia appoints new CEO amid expansion plans 

HSBC Saudi Arabia appoints new CEO amid expansion plans 

RIYADH: HSBC Saudi Arabia has appointed Faris AlGhannam as the bank’s new CEO as the lender embarks on a new phase of growth in the Kingdom.

Taking up his new role on Oct. 1 upon regulatory approval, AlGhannam is currently the bank’s deputy CEO, according to a statement.

He succeeds Rajiv Shukla, who was appointed senior managing director and advisor to the regional CEO after leading HSBC Saudi Arabia as its chief since April 2019.

“I am delighted to take on the responsibilities of CEO, leading HSBC Saudi Arabia on a new phase of growth as we focus on the needs of our clients, continue our long-standing contribution to the growth and development of the Kingdom, and help to deliver HSBC’s strategy,” he said.

Founded in 2005, HSBC Saudi Arabia is a joint venture 51 percent owned by HSBC and 49 percent owned by the Saudi British Bank.


Iran says 450 protesters arrested in northern province

Iran says 450 protesters arrested in northern province
Updated 29 min 34 sec ago

Iran says 450 protesters arrested in northern province

Iran says 450 protesters arrested in northern province
  • Hundreds of demonstrators, reformist activists and journalists have been arrested during the demonstrations across the country since unrest first broke out after Mahsa Amini’s death was announced on September 16

TEHRAN: Authorities in a northern Iran province have arrested 450 people during more than 10 days of protests following a young Kurdish woman’s death in morality policy custody, state media reported Monday.
Hundreds of demonstrators, reformist activists and journalists have been arrested during the mostly night-time demonstrations across the country since unrest first broke out after Mahsa Amini’s death was announced on September 16.
Amini, whose Kurdish first name was Jhina, was detained three days before that in Tehran for allegedly breaching rules mandating hijab head coverings and modest dress.
“During the troubles of the past days, 450 rioters have been arrested in Mazandaran,” the northern province’s chief prosecutor, Mohammad Karimi, was quoted as saying by official news agency IRNA.
They “have attacked government buildings and damaged public property in several parts of Mazandaran,” he added.
Local media reported that protesters were shouting anti-regime slogans, and Karimi said they were led by “foreign anti-revolutionary agents.”
On Saturday, authorities in the neighboring Guilan province announced the arrest of 739 people, including 60 women.
Iran’s judiciary chief, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, on Sunday “emphasised the need for decisive action without leniency” against the core instigators of the “riots,” the judiciary’s Mizan Online website said.
At least 41 people have died since the unrest began, mostly protesters but including members of the Islamic republic’s security forces, according to an official toll.
Photos published Monday by the Tasnim news agency showed protesters in Qom, a holy Shiite city about 150 kilometers (90 miles) south of the capital Tehran.
Security forces have released these images of “lead instigators,” Tasnim reported, asking residents to “identify them and inform the authorities.”


Egypt’s 19th century gift to France inspires new children’s book ‘Grace the Giraffe’

Egypt’s 19th century gift to France inspires new children’s book ‘Grace the Giraffe’
Updated 39 min 8 sec ago

Egypt’s 19th century gift to France inspires new children’s book ‘Grace the Giraffe’

Egypt’s 19th century gift to France inspires new children’s book ‘Grace the Giraffe’
  • Egypt's Muhammad Ali Pasha gave female giraffe from Nubia to King Charles X
  • Paris-based couple Oliver Gee and Lina Nordin Gee took inspiration from the historical story for their children's tale

DUBAI: In 1827, the people of Paris saw the rarest of sights. The ruler of Egypt, Muhammad Ali Pasha, sent an unusual diplomacy gift to King Charles X of France: A female giraffe from Nubia, dubbed “la belle africaine,” that caused a sensation and set trends in French society.

This real-life and little-known story inspired Paris-based couple Oliver Gee and Lina Nordin Gee to create their third and latest children’s book, “Grace the Giraffe,” which will be released in October.

Paris-based couple Oliver Gee and Lina Nordin Gee created their third and latest children’s book, ‘Grace the Giraffe.’ (Supplied)

It captures a light-hearted aspect of this historical event. “A few books have been written about the giraffe, but they’re quite dry,” Oliver, an Australian, and host of The Earful Tower podcast, told Arab News.

“We thought the fun part of the story was just as much this reaction from Parisians,” he continued. “It’s a fashion story of people going crazy, where women had their hair looking like the horns or ears of the giraffe.”

Originally from southern Sudan, the giraffe was transported via the Nile and crossed the Mediterranean, landing in Marseille. “She was in a boat with a hole so her head could stick out, which is amazing,” noted Oliver.

The giraffe endured a long and arduous journey as she was walked from Marseille to Paris for weeks. She grew physically along the way, accompanied by a procession of cows that provided milk. “By the time that she was in Marseille, a giraffe hadn’t been in Europe for 300 years,” said Oliver. “So today, it would be like an alien is here.”

In Paris, the giraffe lived in a zoo for under two decades until her death. “Everybody went to see her,” said Oliver. “Even in the small cities, half the population came to see her go past. It was insane.” She achieved her own kind of celebrity, as the elegant creature appeared on fans and ceramics. Luckily, the giraffe’s body has been preserved over the years and is currently on display at a museum in La Rochelle, France.

“Grace the Giraffe” was written by Oliver and illustrated by his wife, Lina. Told in rhyming couplets with little twists in the narrative, the charming piece of work features colorful spreads of Grace’s boat journey, extraordinary procession, and whirlwind arrival in the French capital.

The news of the book’s publication has been well-received online, sparking interest from readers of all ages. “From a history perspective,” said Oliver, “it’s cool to know that children and adults will be learning about a fascinating story.”