Saudi minister meets Secretary-general of OECD

Faisal bin Fadhel Al-Ibrahim holds talks with Mathias Cormann. (Supplied)
Faisal bin Fadhel Al-Ibrahim holds talks with Mathias Cormann. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 25 March 2023

Saudi minister meets Secretary-general of OECD

Faisal bin Fadhel Al-Ibrahim holds talks with Mathias Cormann. (Supplied)
  • Aldjinedi expressed his gratitude for the humanitarian projects implemented by the Kingdom for disadvantaged groups in his country

RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal bin Fadhel Al-Ibrahim met with Secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Mathias Cormann. They discussed ways to enhance cooperation between the Kingdom and the organization.
The Kingdom seeks to boost its economic relations with European countries. In February, Al-Ibrahim participated in the OECD’s ministerial meeting in Paris. On the sidelines of the meeting, Al-Ibrahim met Helene Budliger Artieda, Swiss secretary of state for economic affairs.
The OECD aims to address various global economic challenges, build economic policies, and promote and grow economic sectors in countries worldwide.

 


Construction work gets underway on ambitious AlUla mountain resort

Construction work gets underway on ambitious AlUla mountain resort
Updated 58 min 23 sec ago

Construction work gets underway on ambitious AlUla mountain resort

Construction work gets underway on ambitious AlUla mountain resort
  • Sharaan hotel concept and International Summit Center aims to meet sustainability goals

RIYADH: Construction work on an ambitious Saudi mountain resort has got underway in AlUla.

Making the announcement, Royal Commission for AlUla officials said the Sharaan hotel concept and International Summit Center, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, would aim to meet sustainability goals for the building phase and resort operations.

The development will be built directly into the rock formations of Sharaan Nature Reserve and has been inspired by AlUla’s ancient Nabataean architecture and dramatic desertscape.

During a ceremony at the reserve, an agreement was inked between officials from the RCU and Bouygues Construction, a French engineering group which will manage construction of the resort through a joint venture with Almabani, a leading Saudi engineering firm.

The commission’s development and construction sector is spearheading the project with consultation from Canadian firm WSP and program management support from Saudi company Jasara.

Together they will deliver a destination designed to immerse guests in the natural and cultural heritage of the Sharaan reserve.

Just as the Nabataean civilization carved structures into nearby sandstone more than 2,000 years ago, project chiefs hope the Sharaan resort will carve a new chapter in stone for AlUla’s living museum while preserving the natural scenery and native flora and fauna at the heart of the RCU’s vision.

The new resort will offer 38 suites, a spa and wellness center, kids club, sports complex, an all-day dining restaurant, and business center.

In addition, a signature fine-dining restaurant will sit atop the mountain with panoramic views of Sharaan. A glass elevator will connect the resort with a geologic and artistic experience, offering views of ancient sedimentary layers and niches filled with art and engravings.

Inside an adjacent mountain, the Sharaan International Summit Center will host events and leaders from around the world.

With a completely secure and private environment, its design will enable chance encounters and private interaction for guests with shared leisure activities in an informal setting.

Facilities will include an auditorium, meeting rooms, majlis (sitting room), library, and a sports and leisure area.

Mohammed Altheeb, RCU chief development and construction officer, said: “Sharaan resort is our most ambitious project currently under construction.

“The resort was designed with complete reverence for the human and natural history of AlUla, and we are committed to sustainable building practices in line with this same philosophy.

“The RCU and its partners are excited to unveil a new chapter in the story of these ancient mountains, where guests will experience the wonders of Sharaan Nature Reserve,” he added.


First pilgrims from Kashmir depart for this year’s Hajj 

First pilgrims from Kashmir depart for this year’s Hajj 
A pilgrim is embraced by his relative before leaving for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, in Srinagar on June 7, 2023. (AFP)
Updated 07 June 2023

First pilgrims from Kashmir depart for this year’s Hajj 

First pilgrims from Kashmir depart for this year’s Hajj 
  • 12,000 Kashmiris are going to perform the pilgrimage this year 
  • The group is the region’s largest-ever Hajj contingent 

NEW DELHI: The first batch of pilgrims from Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir left for Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to perform this year’s Hajj. 

Special Hajj flights from India started in the last week of May, catering to 175,000 pilgrims. 

Among them, 12,000 are departing from the Himalayan region that is part of the larger Kashmir — a Muslim-majority territory between India and Pakistan, both of which claim it in full and rule in part.  

The number, nearly double Kashmir’s Hajj contingent in 2022, is the region’s largest-ever group embarking on the spiritual journey that is one of the five pillars of Islam. 

“We have the highest quota this year,” Safina Baig, chairperson of the Jammu and Kashmir Haj Committee, told Arab News, as the first group of 630 pilgrims departed from Kashmir’s main airport in Srinagar. 

“It was an emotional scene with many feeling overwhelmed by the opportunity to perform Hajj in their lifetime.” 

Most of the pilgrims were selected through a draw, except for the elderly and women traveling without a mahram, or male guardian. 

“Generally, the selection process happens through a draw, but as a special gesture, we are allowing single women and people above 70 to apply directly without going through the process,” Baig said. 

“For women without a mahram, the Indian government has made special arrangements. They will stay separately, and they will have separate helpers for them. We have also sent a lady to take care of them.” 

Shamima Akhter, 56, a widow from the southern Pulwama district of Kashmir, is one of the 120 Kashmiri women pilgrims traveling to Saudi Arabia alone after the Kingdom’s decision last year to lift a rule that required them to be accompanied by a mahram. 

“By Allah’s grace, I got the opportunity to travel alone to perform Hajj. This is a good decision to allow single women to travel,” she told Arab News. 

She was supported by her three daughters in collecting about $5,000 to pay for her Hajj package, as the cost of the trip was more than $1,000 higher than in other regions of India.

Baig, of the local pilgrimage authority, said she had raised the issue with the Ministry of Minority Affairs and the Haj Committee of India. 

“What I understand is that the rise in the total expenses is due to the higher prices of airfare from Kashmir,” she said, hoping that there will be some assistance for the region’s pilgrims.   

“Kashmir is a Muslim-majority region, and the government should be more considerate,” Baig added. “I feel that the government should provide some relief to the Kashmiri Hajjis. It sends a good message.” 


Riyadh forum promotes Saudi esthetic medicine sector

Riyadh forum promotes Saudi esthetic medicine sector
Updated 07 June 2023

Riyadh forum promotes Saudi esthetic medicine sector

Riyadh forum promotes Saudi esthetic medicine sector
  • The forum brings together prominent organizations and figures in the world of esthetic medicine
  • Speakers on the opening day discussed safe methods in cosmetic treatment

RIYADH: The Esthetic Medical Forum began on Tuesday in Riyadh to promote esthetic medicine pioneers in the Kingdom as well as the latest technology in the world of beauty and cosmetic treatment.
The three-day forum is being held under the patronage of Princess Adwaa bint Fahad Al-Saud, ambassador of global peace and goodwill, at the Riyadh International Exhibition and Convention Center.
The forum brings together prominent organizations and figures in the world of esthetic medicine.
Speakers on the opening day discussed safe methods in cosmetic treatment, the latest developments in plastic surgery, the importance of raising public awareness about esthetic medicine, supporting Saudization in the beauty sector, and medical insurance experiences in the cosmetic sector.
Other sessions discussed activating fitness culture, building a healthy food culture and its role in beauty and health, and establishing and equipping cosmetic centers and clinics.
The forum is being attended by health care professionals, entrepreneurs, investors and pioneers in the world of esthetic medicine, highlighting the promising future of the sector in the Kingdom, including expanding on advanced laser treatment techniques for specific skin conditions and navigating patient care with expert tips for in-person and virtual consultations.
CEPCO Medical, one of the many Saudi companies to showcase its work at the forum, provides skin analysis using cutting-edge technology to analyze age-related changes.
“The skin analysis machine uses advanced imaging techniques to capture in-depth, high-resolution images of your skin, and details information about the condition of your skin,” said Ghadi Ternati, a product specialist at CEPCO.
“The forum is a great way to see the best of esthetic medical products and services all in one place; it definitely saves me time from browsing online to find the best of the best,” said Rawan Saud, a visitor at the forum.


Saudi Arabia to establish an institute for International Cybersecurity Forum

Saudi Arabia to establish an institute for International Cybersecurity Forum
Updated 07 June 2023

Saudi Arabia to establish an institute for International Cybersecurity Forum

Saudi Arabia to establish an institute for International Cybersecurity Forum
  • The institute aims to harness the potential of cyberspace and support efforts to boost cyber safety on a global scale

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has issued on Wednesday a royal decree to establish a new institute for the Global Cybersecurity Forum (GCF) in Riyadh, state news agency SPA reported.
The institute aims to harness the potential of cyberspace and support efforts to boost cyber safety on a global scale.
“The GCF Institute will tackle the most challenging cybersecurity issues facing governments, businesses, and individuals. It will be a catalyst for the exchange of ideas, driving thought leadership and developing research to inform policy solutions and action,” added SPA.
Through the Institute, the annual GCF will convene experts and decisionmakers from around the world to meet and discuss protecting the most vulnerable in cyberspace, while maximizing its benefits for everyone.
The establishment of the institute came after “the dialogue among key global cybersecurity stakeholders has underscored the need for a new entity that can provide an action-oriented platform, designed to develop solutions to the most pressing issues in cyberspace,” said SPA.


Three nationals arrested in Saudi drug busts

Three nationals arrested in Saudi drug busts
Saudi authorities have arrested three nationals in two separate attempts to smuggle and sell illegal drugs in the Kingdom. (AFP)
Updated 07 June 2023

Three nationals arrested in Saudi drug busts

Three nationals arrested in Saudi drug busts

RIYADH: Saudi authorities have arrested three nationals in two separate attempts to smuggle and sell illegal drugs in the Kingdom.

In Jazan, patrol authorities arrested a citizen who attempted to smuggle khat, which were hidden in the vehicle he was driving.   

In Al-Qurayyat Governorate of Al-Jawf region, Road Security Special Forces personnel arrested two nationals who attempted to sell an undisclosed amount of amphetamine and narcotic tablets. An undisclosed amount of money was also found in their possession.

Amphetamines are favored for abuse among drug dependents across the Middle East, and the money raised through their sale narcotics are usually ploughed back into the drug trade while some find their way into organized crime and terrorism.

The Saudi government has urged anyone with information related to suspected smuggling operations or customs violations to call the confidential hotline 1910, the international number 00 966 114208417, or email [email protected]

Tips received by the authority related to smuggling crimes and breaches of common customs law are treated with strict confidentiality. Financial rewards are offered for valid tips.