Saudi tourism sector to benefit from new deal with Radisson Hotel Group  

Saudi tourism sector to benefit from new deal with Radisson Hotel Group  
Radisson Hotel Group has 25 hotels in Saudi Arabia with another 25 under construction (Shutterstock)
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Updated 18 May 2023
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Saudi tourism sector to benefit from new deal with Radisson Hotel Group  

Saudi tourism sector to benefit from new deal with Radisson Hotel Group  

RIYADH: Tourists visiting Saudi Arabia will have access to a new slate of hotels and resorts thanks to an agreement between the Tourism Development Fund and Radisson Hotel Group. 

The memorandum of understanding between both parties aims to develop several hospitality and tourism projects across the Kingdom, Saudi Press Agency reported. 

The first set of anticipated projects is expected to be disclosed during the second half of 2023. 

This strategic partnership between the two entities will witness the development of several properties, including hotels, resorts, and hotel apartments, among other hospitality-related facilities. 

The projects will be developed over the coming years in the targeted destinations according to the National Tourism Strategy in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

The MoU aligns with the framework of the Tourism Development Fund’s mission to enable world-class companies to invest, develop, and operate projects in the Kingdom’s hospitality, lifestyle, and entertainment sector. 

“We are pleased to welcome Radisson Hotel Group today in the Kingdom, as the group includes a list of the most famous international hotels, and has branches spread throughout the Kingdom, and we look forward together to expand their scope of work in line with the National Tourism Strategy,” CEO of the Tourism Development Fund Qusai Al-Fakhri said. 

“Radisson Hotel Group continues to introduce more of its brands to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through cooperation with major investors in the field of tourism and hospitality,” Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Radisson Hotel Group Federico Gonzalez added. 

“The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 opens huge horizons at the level of various sectors, among them is hospitality, and we are pleased to partner with the Tourism Development Fund to continue our contribution to driving this growth and bright future,” Gonzalez went on to say. 

Earlier in May, a top official of the Radisson Hotel Group revealed the company is planning to expand its presence in the Kingdom with a total of 100 properties in the next five years. 

Talking to Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh, Elie Younes, executive vice president and global chief development officer at Radisson Hotel Group, said the planned expansion will help create more job opportunities in Saudi Arabia. 

“Currently, we have around 50 hotels, almost … in Saudi Arabia; 25 hotels open and 25 hotels under construction as we speak. Our plan for the next five years is to double that. And that means to have almost 100 hotels across Saudi Arabia,” Younes said. 

The Saudi Tourism Development Fund also signed another MoU with Hyatt Hotels Group to further elevate the number of hospitality destinations in the Kingdom.

The MoU includes beach hotels as well as hospitality facilities within cities, mountains, deserts, and farms.

Under the terms of the agreement, the new projects will be developed under existing brands of the Hyatt group, including Park Hyatt, Hyatt Centric, Grand Hyatt, among others.

“Saudi Arabia is the largest emerging market in the Middle East and has made great progress in various sectors including tourism and hospitality,” Hyatt’s Regional Vice President of Development in the Middle East and Africa Ludwig Bouldoukian said.

“We welcome this partnership and consider it a great opportunity for expanding and consolidating Hayatt's presence and providing our distinctive services to local and international visitors and tourists in the Kingdom,” he added.

Saudi Arabia’s National Tourism Strategy aims to attract 100 million visitors by 2030, along with increasing the contribution of the sector to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product to more than 10 percent. The strategy also eyes creating an additional 1 million jobs in the Kingdom.


Japan on track to meet emissions targets, Kishida tells COP28

Japan on track to meet emissions targets, Kishida tells COP28
Updated 27 sec ago
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Japan on track to meet emissions targets, Kishida tells COP28

Japan on track to meet emissions targets, Kishida tells COP28
  • But world must do more to achieve climate change goals
  • ‘Each country will aim to achieve net zero according to its circumstances,’ PM says

DUBAI: Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio said more action was needed if the world was to achieve its climate change goal of keeping temperatures within 1.5 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels.
Speaking at the COP28 climate summit in the UAE, Kishida said Japan was on track to reach its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 46 percent by 2030, compared with 2013 levels, and would continue to work toward its goal of net zero by 2050.
The country had already reduced its greenhouse gases by about 20 percent, he said.
As confirmed at the G7 Hiroshima Summit for economic growth and energy, and based on the GX (green transformation) Promotion Act, Japan has adopted a growth-oriented carbon policy.
Kishida said that Japan would next year become the first country in the world to adopt internationally certified transition bonds. At the same time, it would accelerate efforts to realize its green transformation and contribute to global decarbonization.
Under the framework of the Asian Zero Emission Community, Japan was committed to making renewable energy its main power source, he said.
Japan is currently the world’s third-largest producer of solar power and continues to diversify its clean energy supply chain.
“Each country will aim to achieve net zero according to its circumstances,” Kishida said.
“Coal-fired power plants that have not taken measures to reduce emissions should be addressed along the way. Japan has developed reduction measures for domestic coal without emission.”
He said Japan would end the construction of thermal power plants and was committed to providing $70 billion of public and private sector funding.
The country would also increase lending to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank to the tune of $9 billion and additional contributions would be made to the African Development Bank, he said.
Separately, Kishida and Israeli President Isaac Herzog took part in a summit on the sidelines of COP28.
Kishida said he welcomed the agreement with Hamas to release hostages and allow more humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, and asked for Israel’s cooperation to help make that happen.
He also stressed the importance of acting in accordance with international law and UN Security Council resolutions, and said Japan supported the two-state solution to allow Israel and Palestine to peacefully coexist.
Hertzog expressed his appreciation for Japan’s condemnation of terrorism and explained Israel’s position regarding the Gaza Strip, including its military actions there.


Emmanuel Macron joins global leaders in unveiling ambitious climate strategies at COP28 

Emmanuel Macron joins global leaders in unveiling ambitious climate strategies at COP28 
Updated 01 December 2023
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Emmanuel Macron joins global leaders in unveiling ambitious climate strategies at COP28 

Emmanuel Macron joins global leaders in unveiling ambitious climate strategies at COP28 

DUBAI: Global leaders have stressed the need to actively identify climate challenge priorities and establishing goals on the second day of COP28 in Dubai.  

During the High-Level Segment National Statements, France’s President Emmanuel Macron underscored the urgency of phasing out fossil fuels as the world’s top priority.  

“Emerging countries must phase out carbon, which is our biggest fight. If there’s a top priority, it’s for emerging countries to phase out carbon,” he stated.  

Macron also emphasized the need to reduce oil usage and emissions in significant sectors like maritime and aviation.  

“France has developed a strategy to phase out fossil fuels and reduce emissions. Europe is fully committed to this strategy. By 2035, a high percentage of cars produced in France and Europe will operate without oil. We are also building a housing strategy to massively reduce maritime and air emissions,” Macron explained.  

Turkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed his country’s modest contribution to global climate challenges and its firm strategy for supporting the global cause.  

“Our historical responsibility for global greenhouse emissions is less than 1 percent, yet we’re taking significant steps on our own,” Erdogan noted.  

“We aim to reach net-zero emissions by 2053 and have doubled our emission reduction target for 2030. We expect to have mitigated 66.6 million tons of equivalent carbon dioxide by the end of this year,” he added.  

“The share of renewables in our power generation capacity has increased to 55 percent. With this rate, Turkiye ranks fifth in Europe and twelfth in the world in terms of installed renewable energy capacity,” Erdogan stated.  

Santiago Palacios, president of Paraguay, highlighted his country’s success in climate change, noting that they now generate 100 percent clean energy.  

Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev affirmed his country’s commitment to the global climate agenda, especially in the supply chain sector.  

“As a major exporter of uranium, providing 43 percent of the global supply, Kazakhstan plays a crucial role in carbon-free electricity generation worldwide,” Tokayev said.  

“As the world moves towards decarbonization, critical minerals including rare earth metals will become indispensable. Kazakhstan is poised to become a significant supplier of these transition minerals,” he concluded. 


Turkiye’s Erdogan offers to host UN climate talks in 2026

Turkiye’s Erdogan offers to host UN climate talks in 2026
Updated 01 December 2023
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Turkiye’s Erdogan offers to host UN climate talks in 2026

Turkiye’s Erdogan offers to host UN climate talks in 2026
  • “We have announced our candidacy to host the 31st United Nations Climate Change Conference, to be held in 2026,” Erdogan said
  • “We intend to increase the proportion of renewable energy to 69 percent by 2053”

DUBAI: Turkish President Recep Tayyip offered Friday to host the United Nations COP31 climate conference in 2026.
Erdogan’s announcement at this year’s gathering in Dubai puts Turkiye in the race against Australia, which announced its candidacy earlier this year.
“We have announced our candidacy to host the 31st United Nations Climate Change Conference, to be held in 2026,” Erdogan said.
“I am certain that you, esteemed friends, will provide the essential support in this regard.”
Turkiye in 2021 became the last country among the Group of 20 major economies to ratify the Paris Climate Accords, committing itself to meet the net-zero emissions target by 2053.
The importance of environmental issues soared in Turkiye in the wake of deadly wildfires in 2021 that ravaged large parts of the country’s Aegean and Mediterranean coasts.
“In pursuit of the net-zero emission target, our decarbonization roadmaps for the steel, aluminum, cement, and fertilizer industries have been finalized,” Erdogan said.
“We intend to increase the proportion of renewable energy to 69 percent by 2053.”
Reeling from a massive earthquake that killed more than 50,000 people in February, Turkiye withdrew from hosting a key UN biodiversity meeting in 2024 in order to focus its resources on reconstruction efforts.


​​UN official urges strategic plans for climate-vulnerable nations at COP28

​​UN official urges strategic plans for climate-vulnerable nations at COP28
Updated 01 December 2023
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​​UN official urges strategic plans for climate-vulnerable nations at COP28

​​UN official urges strategic plans for climate-vulnerable nations at COP28

DUBAI: In discussions about the impact of global warming, it is crucial to consider the financial capabilities and burdens – especially for vulnerable nations in recovery, a top UN official has emphasized.  

During a panel conversation on day two of the UN’s climate change conference in Dubai, the organization’s Assistant Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction Mami Mizutori highlighted the importance of this aspect. 

The panel also featured Yoshihiro Kawai, chairman of the South East Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility; Ana Gonzales Pelaez, a fellow of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership; and David Howden, CEO of Howden Group. 

Mizutori shared insights on securing the financial future of climate-vulnerable nations, drawing from personal observations during visits to these countries.  

She emphasized that the focus should shift from what they have lost to what resources they possess for development. 

“It is not about how and what they lost but when you look at it, it is about what do they have in order to develop,” said Mizutori. 

Countries like Tonga, a collection of small islands in the Pacific Ocean, are, in Mizutori’s eyes, still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, they are facing environmental problems, such as floods, that hinder their financial growth and overall social development. 

The UN assistant secretary-general believes that the insurance industry plays a significant role in securing the financial future of vulnerable countries in the face of climate change. According to her, fundraisers need to first agree on how to address it adequately and design a plan that suits the given circumstances. 

She added: “The insurance industry has been the active cord of protection for vulnerable countries.” 

Furthermore, Howden shared his perspective on the subject during the panel, stating: “It is not just about providing finance for disasters or post-disaster situations but also ensuring certainty around investment.” 

He believes that funding vulnerable nations without the guarantee of maintaining sustainable investments may not be the best approach. Thus, having an insurance financial plan for each country becomes a necessity to facilitate recovery once a disaster strikes. 


World leaders address climate change achievements and challenges at COP28 

World leaders address climate change achievements and challenges at COP28 
Updated 01 December 2023
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World leaders address climate change achievements and challenges at COP28 

World leaders address climate change achievements and challenges at COP28 

DUBAI: World leaders have spoken of the urgent need for collective action to combat climate change on the second day of the UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai. 

The UAE’s Vice President Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan showcased the nation’s leadership, pledging carbon neutrality by 2050 and a substantial investment in renewables. 

He said: “We were the first to pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. We have allocated $163 billion for expansion of renewables and to transition towards renewable energies.” 

Some leaders used their speeches to broaden the focus beyond environmental matters, with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi warning that political challenges occurring alongside the climate change debate are just as serious. 

Representatives from Brazil and the EU used their addresses to reinforce commitments to emission reduction, with President Lula da Silva pledging significant reductions by 2030 and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen calling for concrete actions at COP28. 

Leaders from Kenya, Zimbabwe, Tonga, Guinea-Bissau, as well as Congo, and Mauritania, emphasized the global nature of the climate battle and the need for increased financial support to developing nations.  

The call for solidarity resonated as leaders acknowledged the ongoing challenge and the imperative to elevate environmental transformation financing.