Global pacts on green tourism vital for sustainability, hears London summit

Delegates at the RESET Sustainably Summit speak during one of the panel sessions at the Hyatt Regency Churchill Hotel in London. (AN Photo)
Delegates at the RESET Sustainably Summit speak during one of the panel sessions at the Hyatt Regency Churchill Hotel in London. (AN Photo)
Short Url
Updated 21 September 2022

Global pacts on green tourism vital for sustainability, hears London summit

Global pacts on green tourism vital for sustainability, hears London summit
  • Protecting land, sea life critical, Red Sea Development Company official tells Arab News
  • Key tool to measure economic harm of travel, hotel services launched

LONDON: Tourism and hospitality officials from around the world gathered for a summit in the British capital to explore ways to manage, operate, and develop a trusted and sustainable tourism and hospitality industry with a focus on alleviating harm to the environment.

Delegates at the RESET Sustainably: Tourism, Hospitality and Travel Summit, which was organized by UK-based hospitality and tourism development company TLC Harmony on Friday, discussed several critical sustainability issues including economic impact, biodiversity, blockchain payments, marketing, and the nature of women’s economic power in often determining the destination for holidays.

Dr. Omar Al-Attas, head of environmental sustainability at the Red Sea Development Company, said it was important to attend such summits for the purpose of sharing, inspiring, and learning at the same time.

“We are working on so many different levels, and we have achieved great levels that we would love to share with the rest of the world,” he told Arab News. “The protection of the environment of this world cannot be a mandate of one entity or one country, it is a collaborative work for all of us to be able to achieve that goal.”




Head of Environmental Sustainability at the Red Sea Development Company Dr. Omar Al-Atta said their projects ensure all the pillars of sustainability were embedded in each level. (AN Photo)

Al-Attas said he shared the efforts of the Red Sea project since its inception, which was to ensure all the pillars of sustainability were embedded in each level. The company had also commissioned several environmental studies to assess the different types of ecosystems to be able to monitor and protect them, he added.

“We have identified all the types of coral reefs, and the health and the varieties of them all around the lagoons, and very soon, we’re going to be also releasing our data related to the Amala destination,” he said, referring to the land and property megaproject that forms part of Saudi Vision 2030.

Al-Attas said they have identified more than 240 species of fish, as well as dolphins and dugongs, to ensure that the development projects do not affect “all the lovely parts of this ecosystem.” In addition to the focus on marine life, their studies have also identified more than 25,000 birds in the area.

“For the Red Sea Development Company, we made sure that we are aligned with the Saudi Vision definitely in all its pillars, when it comes to the regenerative tourism, and also touching on the environment, as well as the social implications,” he said.




Delegates at the RESET Sustainably Summit speak during one of the panel sessions at the Hyatt Regency Churchill Hotel in London. (AN Photo)

“If you talk about the Saudi green initiatives, we have now multiple initiatives within that program, from the protection of the terrestrial marine (life), where what we do as part of our monitoring system, how can we also work in (the) announcement of marine protected areas within our lagoons and beyond to help us to achieve all of these goals,” he said.

The Red Sea Development Company’s model is aligned with the Saudi government’s objectives and those of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, he said.

“We cannot work alone, we have to work together in a collaborative way and exchange information, knowledge, the efforts and achievements as well. That will help all of us reach the goals that we have put for ourselves, which is the protection of this globe and this world and also the environment as well,” Al-Attas said.

The inaugural RESET summit was held in May last year as the world was emerging from COVID-19. The tourism industry, which accounts for 10 percent of global GDP, was severely hit by the pandemic and about 200 million people lost their jobs, said Nicki Page, founder of TLC.




Founder of TLC Harmony Nicki Page spoke about the nature of women’s economic power in often determining the destination for holidays. (AN Photo)

“We felt that we needed to do something, and although we didn’t set up to make RESET a global annual event, that seems to be where it’s going,” she said, adding that this year they had speakers from around the world, including Saudi Arabia, Germany, Denmark and Guatemala.

TLC launched the Greenhouse Gas and Biodiversity Impact, or GABI, measuring tool and the Planet Tip during the summit, which support the measurement of hospitality and hotel operational delivery across the main climate impact indicators. This places a financial value of the impact per hotel room night, per diner, or per product or service.

“The tool puts an actual economic value on the harm that it has done to nature, and we simply ask that we put a little bit back, and that the ‘Planet Tip’ allows a consumer, with the business, to join together on a journey to make us good for nature, because we certainly love travel, and we certainly don’t want to stop enjoying beautiful places, and gorgeous hotels,” Page said.

She said that one of the sessions focused on women as they usually choose where the family goes on holiday and it was important to understand their role in the sustainable travel choice.

 

 

Marilu Sicoli, senior partner at London-based architectural firm Foster + Partners, spoke about the unique megaprojects that are inspired by nature they have been working on with the Red Sea Development Company since 2018.

She highlighted their work on Shourayrah Island, one of 22 out of more than 90 that is being rehabilitated as part of their master plan. She also spoke of the work done in the Southern Dunes, one of two inland hotels in the desert and close to the Red Sea, as well as progress on Ummahat Al-Shaykh, which is another resort with hyper luxury villas.

“We’ve been quite busy in that sense, and really tried to keep the vision and the light touch in all these beautiful sights,” Sicoli said.

She added that architecture as part sustainable development was “absolutely key to everything and a good design is definitely the key to succeed in this incredible, ambitious operation that the Red Sea is putting forward, so I think we’ve been very fortunate to be part of this, and our designs are definitely responding to this ambition.”


Abu Dhabi power transmission project secures $3.2bn financing

Abu Dhabi power transmission project secures $3.2bn financing
Updated 20 sec ago

Abu Dhabi power transmission project secures $3.2bn financing

Abu Dhabi power transmission project secures $3.2bn financing

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi Offshore Power Transmission Company has secured more than $3.2 billion in financing with export credit agencies and banks for an offshore electricity transmission project, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation said in a statement.

The financing is to build and operate a high-voltage direct current offshore power transmission system linking two offshore production facilities owned by state-controlled oil giant Abu Dhabi National Oil Company to Abu Dhabi’s onshore grid.

Japan Bank for International Cooperation provided $1.201 billion for the direct current transmission project. The remaining $2 billion was financed by Export-Import Bank of Korea, Mizuho, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, BNP Paribas Fortis and Standard Chartered, JBIC said in the statement on Wednesday.

“The project will receive payment of power transmission charges from ADNOC for 35 years after the construction has been completed,” JBIC said.

ADNOC and JBIC signed a memorandum of understanding in November to cooperate on decarbonization, energy transmission and energy efficiency.

JBIC said the project was in line with the United Arab Emirates’ commitment in October last year to cut carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050.


OPEC+ has begun talks on output cut for Oct. 5 meeting: source tells Reuters

OPEC+ has begun talks on output cut for Oct. 5 meeting: source tells Reuters
Updated 13 min 40 sec ago

OPEC+ has begun talks on output cut for Oct. 5 meeting: source tells Reuters

OPEC+ has begun talks on output cut for Oct. 5 meeting: source tells Reuters

DUBAI: Leading members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, have begun discussions about an oil output cut when the group meets on Oct. 5, according to Reuters.

One OPEC source told Reuters a cut is “likely” and two other OPEC+ sources said key members had spoken about the topic. 

At the group’s last meeting in September, OPEC+ members agreed to stick to their forecasts for robust global oil demand growth in 2022 and 2023, citing signs that major economies were faring better than expected despite headwinds such as surging inflation.

Oil demand will increase by 3.1 million barrels per day in 2022 and by 2.7 million bpd in 2023, unchanged from last month, OPEC said in its monthly report.

The group, which includes Russia, also agreed to reduce output by 100,000 barrels per day, with a statement saying “the production level was only intended for the month of September 2022.”


TASI extends gain as global recession fears fizzle out: Opening bell

TASI extends gain as global recession fears fizzle out: Opening bell
Updated 34 min 7 sec ago

TASI extends gain as global recession fears fizzle out: Opening bell

TASI extends gain as global recession fears fizzle out: Opening bell

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s main index rose in early trade on Thursday, extending gains from the previous session as investors brushed off fears of a global recession.

The Tadawul All-Share Index grew 1.22 percent to reach 11,306, while the parallel market Nomu started flat at 19,922, as of 10:08 a.m. Saudi time.

Saudi oil giant Aramco began with a 1.29 percent gain, while Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. climbed 1.15 percent.

The Saudi National Bank, the Kingdom’s largest lender, increased by 1.46 percent, while Saudi British Bank rose 4.18 percent.

The Kingdom’s highest valued bank, Al Rajhi, went up 0.88 percent, while Alinma Bank gained 1.57 percent.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. rose 0.34 percent, as it announced the resignation of its CEO Yousef Al-Benyan to serve as Education Minister, and appointed Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh as acting CEO.

Retal Urban Development Co. fell 0.14 percent, after it sold its 50 percent stake in a land plot in Al Khobar for SR113 million ($30 million).

Arriyadh Development Co. added 0.29 percent, after it declared a cash dividend of SR0.25 per share for the first half of 2022.

Ladun Investment Co. gained 0.78 percent, after it completed the process of acquiring raw lands in Riyadh.


Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Thursday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Thursday
Updated 29 September 2022

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Thursday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Thursday

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s main index ended higher for a second session following a sharp drop earlier in the week sparked by economic concerns.

The Tadawul All-Share Index rose 1.39 percent to reach 11,120 at the end of Wednesday, while the parallel market Nomu rose 1 percent to 19,916.

Abu Dhabi’s main followed the Saudi trend to close 0.4 percent up to 9,740 on Wednesday.

In a different direction, Dubai’s and Kuwait’s indexes ended Wednesday in red, shedding 0.9 percent and 1.51 percent, respectively.

In energy trading, Brent crude traded at $88.35 a barrel and WTI crude reached $81.34 a barrel, as of 9:15 a.m. Saudi time.

Stock news

Yousef Al-Benyan, the CEO of SABIC, has resigned after being appointed Minister of Education by Royal Decree; accordingly, Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh was appointed as acting CEO for six months effective Sep. 28, 2022.

Saudi Azm for Communication and Information Technology Co. reported SR19 million ($5 million) in profit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022, an increase of 23 percent.

Alkhorayef Water and Power Technologies Co. raised credit facilities with Saudi British Bank to SR509 million.

Sumou Real Estate Co. signed an agreement with National Housing Co. to develop an area in Dammam for a total of SR305 million.

Leen Alkhair Trading Co. was approved by the Capital Markets Authority to register and offer 958,750 shares on the Nomu-Parallel Market.

Meshkati Trading Co. received approval from the CMA to offer 900,000 shares on the Nomu-Parallel Market.

Arriyadh Development Co. has declared a cash dividend of SR0.25 per share for the first half of 2022.

National Fertilizer Co. will distribute an interim cash dividend of SR1.5 to shareholders in the first half of 2022.

Retal Urban Development Co. has sold its 50 percent stake in a land plot in Al-Khobar for SR113 million.

Ladun Investment Co. said it completed the process of acquiring raw lands in Riyadh.


Saudi unemployment rate drops to 9.7% in Q2: GASTAT

Saudi unemployment rate drops to 9.7% in Q2: GASTAT
Updated 48 min 26 sec ago

Saudi unemployment rate drops to 9.7% in Q2: GASTAT

Saudi unemployment rate drops to 9.7% in Q2: GASTAT

RIYADH: The unemployment rate for Saudis decreased to 9.7 percent in the second quarter of 2022, a drop of 0.4 percentage points compared to the first quarter of 2022, according to data released by the General Authority for Statistics.

This comes as the labor force participation rate of Saudis increased by 1.7 percentage points to reach 51.8 percent, and the employment-to-population ratio of Saudis increased by 1.7 percentage points, reaching 46.8 percent compared to the last year, the GASTAT report added.

The unemployment rate among Saudi males decreased to reach 4.7 percent, dropping down by 0.3 pp from the first quarter of 2022.

“The decrease in the unemployment rate of Saudi males this quarter coincided with both an expansion of labor market participation and employment growth, where the participation rate went up by 1.5 percentage points to 67.5 percent and the employment-to-population ratio increased by 1.6 percentage points reaching 64.3 percent,” GASTAT said in the report.

In the second quarter of 2022, the unemployment rate of the Saudi Arabian total population was recorded at 5.8 percent, a drop of 0.2 percentage points compared to the first quarter of 2021, and down 0.8 percentage points compared to the second quarter of 2021.