Red Sea Global announces new sailing club to improve tourism prospects

Red Sea Global announces new sailing club to improve tourism prospects
RSG’s water sports subsidiary WAMA will operate the sailing club. (Supplied) 
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Updated 01 June 2023

Red Sea Global announces new sailing club to improve tourism prospects

Red Sea Global announces new sailing club to improve tourism prospects

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is expected to witness a huge influx of sailors, windsurfers and tourists, with multi-project developer Red Sea Global announcing the launch of a new sailing club in the Kingdom. 

According to a press release, RSG’s water sports subsidiary WAMA will operate the sailing club. 

“Sailing is about freedom and adventure while surrounded by the beauty of the ocean. As a pioneer of regenerative tourism and with our first hotels on track to open this year, we are certain this will be a hugely popular activity among our visitors,” said John Pagano, group CEO of RSG, in the statement. 

He added: “The WAMA Sailing Club will provide everyone, regardless of background or ability, the opportunity to explore the wonders of the Red Sea archipelago, experience an exhilarating sport, learn more about marine conservation and enjoy the sense of independence and freedom sailing offers.” 

The press release further noted that the sailing club would provide activities such as sailing, crewing, trapezing and windsurfing in the Red Sea. 

Developing tourism is a crucial agenda for Saudi Arabia as it successfully pursues its economic diversification program. 

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

According to RSG, the new sailing club is also expected to create employment opportunities for Saudis, boosting the hospitality sector in the Kingdom. 

“The club will also create exciting employment opportunities for Saudis and international sailors, boosting the Kingdom’s hospitality and sports sector and contributing to Saudi Vision 2030. This will include work experience for Saudi teenagers, who will be able to learn new skills and enhance their understanding of water-based careers,” said RSG in the press statement. 

UK-based RS Sailing, an international designer, builder and supplier of sailboats, is also supporting WAMA Sailing Club in its operations. 

“Our passion is inspiring more people to discover the joys of sailing. That is why our work with RSG to open this stunning stretch of coastline to the sailing community and supporting the launch of the WAMA Sailing Club is a moment of real pride for our team,” said Michiel Geerling, commercial director at RS Sailing. 

Meanwhile, RSG also announced that it has reached an agreement with US-based firm Partanna to install 11,000 carbon-negative pavers in its landscape nursery, which spans one million sq. meters. 

Partanna is widely considered a pioneer of the world’s first carbon-negative concrete, which makes use of a technology that not only avoids carbon emissions but naturally removes them from the atmosphere.

“We believe that sustainability is no longer enough. We need to find ways to restore and regenerate the planet. That is why we have committed to increasing the net conservation benefit at our destinations by 30 percent through the enhancement of habitats that ensure biodiversity can flourish, and to being carbon neutral when we become fully operational,” said Pagano about the deal. 

Rick Fox, co-founder of Partanna, added: “RSG is right, sustainability isn’t enough. We say that carbon avoidance isn’t enough either. The world desperately needs removal solutions and our technology can perform like no other, permanently locking in the carbon it absorbs.” 


Saudi Ports Authority rises in global maritime index Q3 report

Saudi Ports Authority rises in global maritime index Q3 report
Updated 03 October 2023

Saudi Ports Authority rises in global maritime index Q3 report

Saudi Ports Authority rises in global maritime index Q3 report

RIYADH: Confirming the progressive trajectory of Saudi Arabia’s maritime sector, the Saudi Ports Authority, commonly known as Mawani, has jumped in the global maritime index for the third quarter of 2023.  

As outlined in a recent report from the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the data highlights a leap from 76.16 points in the second quarter to 77.66 points in the third quarter of the year, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The uptick reflects Mawani’s commitment to strengthening the competitive capabilities of Saudi ports on the global stage, bolstering the maritime transport sector, enhancing networks, and refining logistics services.

Commenting on the achievement, Saleh Al-Jasser, Saudi minister of transport and logistics services and chairman of Mawani, emphasized that the Kingdom’s advancement is in alignment with the objectives of the National Strategy for Transport and Logistics Services.  

He also pointed to Mawani’s success in improving maritime shipping, with the introduction of 24 new services in 2023 alone.  

This move fortifies trade and export activities and strengthens the Kingdom’s connection to global markets through enhanced operational capabilities, maritime communication routes development, and an uplifted competitive stature.

The maritime network connectivity index, which gauges the interconnection levels of global ports with shipping line networks quarterly, incorporates several sub-indicators, including the scheduled ship visits to the country per week and the number of regular service routes offered by vessel lines to and from the national ports.

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia celebrated climbing 17 global ranks in the Logistics Performance Index issued by the World Bank.  

On a separate ranking, the Kingdom’s ports rose to the 16th position in the UN Conference on Trade and Development’s Liner Shipping Connectivity Index in June.  

Moreover, Saudi Arabia achieved significant progress in the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index, jumping 17 places to reach the 38th position in 2023.  

This marks a notable improvement compared to its rankings of 55 in 2018 and 52 in 2016.  

The Kingdom currently has 97 shipping links that connect to 348 international ports.

UAE’s ADNOC obtains global certification to supply sustainable aviation fuel 

UAE’s ADNOC obtains global certification to supply sustainable aviation fuel 
Updated 03 October 2023

UAE’s ADNOC obtains global certification to supply sustainable aviation fuel 

UAE’s ADNOC obtains global certification to supply sustainable aviation fuel 

RIYADH: The UAE is all set to lead the Middle East in producing sustainable aviation fuel, with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.’s Ruwais refinery receiving the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification. 

According to the Emirates News Agency, or WAM, the certification makes ADNOC the first company in the Middle East to supply the aviation sector with SAF and reinforces its sustainability pledge. 

The SAF is produced using cooking oils as feedstock and is blended with jet fuel at the Ruwais refinery. 

“Developing sustainable aviation fuel is an essential part of the company’s strategy to provide low-emission fuel to its customers,” said Sultan Albigishi, the acting CEO of ADNOC Refining, in a statement. 

Based in Cologne, ISCC is a global system for certifying the sustainability of agricultural, industrial, and food products. ISCC covers a wide range of products across multiple markets. 

By obtaining the international certificate for SAF production through its existing refineries, ADNOC can supply biofuel to international airlines in Abu Dhabi.  

According to WAM, the company will release its first batch of SAF later this month, which will be enough to fuel a 787-10 Dreamliner flight from Abu Dhabi to Paris. 

“Obtaining the international certificate for sustainability and carbon represents an important progress in ADNOC’s journey to achieve sustainability,” said Ahmad bin Thalith, the acting CEO of ADNOC Global Trading, in the statement. 

ADNOC Global Trading is responsible for providing vital raw materials suitable for refining operations. Trading operations include biofuels and other sustainable fuel alternatives to its global and local customers. 

The group continues to implement a qualitative shift and take practical steps to make today’s energy cleaner while investing in future clean energies to enhance its position as a reliable global energy provider. 

As part of its ongoing efforts to support the UAE’s strategic initiative to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, ADNOC recently announced that it will bring the date of attaining its climate neutrality goal closer to 2045 instead of 2050. 

Closing bell — Saudi main index drops 54 points to close at 10,952

Closing bell — Saudi main index drops 54 points to close at 10,952
Updated 03 October 2023

Closing bell — Saudi main index drops 54 points to close at 10,952

Closing bell — Saudi main index drops 54 points to close at 10,952

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index continued its downward trend for the third consecutive day, as it shed 53.60 points or 0.49 percent to close at 10,952.34 on Tuesday.

The total trading turnover of the benchmark index was SR4.89 billion ($1.30 billion) as 74 stocks advanced, while 143 declined.

Saudi Arabia’s parallel market Nomu slipped on Tuesday, declining by 247.82 points to 22,544.21, while the MSCI Tadawul Index also fell by 0.44 percent to close at 1,407.13.

Alinma Tokio Marine Co. was the best-performing stock of the day on the main index. The company’s share price soared by 9.99 percent to SR15.20.

Other top firms include Middle East Healthcare Co. and Al Sagr Cooperative Insurance Co., whose share prices edged up by 4.92 percent and 3.69 percent, respectively.

Electrical Industries Co. was the poorest performer of the day, with its share price declining by 8.02 percent to SR1.95.

On the announcements front, Saudi Top for Trading Co., listed on the Kingdom’s parallel market, announced that it has signed a Shariah-compliant credit facility agreement with Riyad Bank worth SR30 million.

The newly-listed company said that SR20 million would be allocated to repay suppliers’ dues, while the remaining SR10 million will be used to issue letters of guarantee.

Meanwhile, Saudi multinational dairy firm Almarai said that its board has approved an investment plan of SR405 million to increase its fresh bakery capacity, expand its products, and enter the frozen bakery segment in the Kingdom.

According to a Tadawul statement, the new investment plan will be financed by Almarai’s internal cash flow, with an expected completion period of two years.

Bahrain’s economy grows 2% as non-oil sector expands

Bahrain’s economy grows 2% as non-oil sector expands
Updated 03 October 2023

Bahrain’s economy grows 2% as non-oil sector expands

Bahrain’s economy grows 2% as non-oil sector expands

RIYADH: Bahrain recorded a 2 percent growth in real gross domestic product in the second quarter compared to the same period last year, according to its Ministry of Finance and National Economy. 

In its latest report, the department disclosed that the growth in real GDP was fuelled by a rise in the non-oil sector, also of 2 percent. 

The transportation and communication activities topped the rankings, reporting an annual growth of 13.3 percent in the second quarter, followed by hotels and restaurants, which grew by 9.6 percent. 

Real estate and business activities rose 4.9 percent, while financial corporations advanced by 4.7 percent annually over the second quarter of last year. 

The oil sector also reported an annual increase of 2.2 percent in business activity, spurred by a 2.9 percent rise in the combined production of Abu Sa’afa and the onshore Bahrain oil fields.   

Like many oil-dependent nations, Bahrain has recognized the need to diversify its economy.   

Various initiatives have been taken to support this, including in the financial services, tourism and hospitality, and real estate sectors.

The report further stated that the non-oil industry contributed 82.9 percent of Bahrain’s real GDP between April and June,

The financial sector made up the largest segment of the total, with its size reflecting the government’s focus on financial technology and digital banking.

The oil sector was the second-largest contributor to real GDP at 17.1 percent, while government services came in third, accounting for 14.1 percent.

The manufacturing sector dropped by 0.9 percent in the second quarter compared to last year’s corresponding period yet controlled 13.6 percent of the country’s real GDP. 

Bahrain has also been promoting the manufacturing and industrial sectors to reduce dependency on oil, including nurturing Aluminum Bahrain – one of the largest producers of the metal in the world – and growing the petrochemical industry. 

These diversification efforts align with Bahrain Economic Vision 2030, a comprehensive development plan to transform the country’s economy. 

The quarterly report further projects real GDP growth of 2.9 percent in 2023 and 3.2 percent in 2024, with the non-oil sector growing by 3.5 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively, during those years. 

PIF creates Al Balad Development Co. to boost historic Jeddah area

PIF creates Al Balad Development Co. to boost historic Jeddah area
Updated 03 October 2023

PIF creates Al Balad Development Co. to boost historic Jeddah area

PIF creates Al Balad Development Co. to boost historic Jeddah area

RIYADH: The Public Investment Fund has established a new company to develop the historic Jeddah district of Al Balad into a global tourist destination.

Al Balad Development Co. will work to improve the infrastructure of the region, supervise the restoration of historical buildings in the area, and develop service facilities, according to a statement from PIF. 

It will also oversee the creation of 9,300 homes and 1,800 hotel units, across an area of 2.5 million sq. meters.

Developing the tourism sector is a crucial part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 – the Kingdom’s plan to diversify its economy away from oil.

Saudi Arabia aims to attract over 100 million visitors by 2030, along with increasing the tourism sector’s contribution to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product to more than 10 percent.

In its statement, PIF noted that the newly formed company is expected to offer attractive investment opportunities and quality commercial options for the people of Jeddah.

“The company will collaborate with the private sector and specialists to develop the area’s infrastructure according to the best standards of urban planning for historic areas, taking into account environmental sustainability and preserving the unique heritage of Historic Jeddah: a UNESCO World Heritage site,” added PIF. 

The development will also see the creation 1.3 million sq. meters of commercial and office space.

The launch of the new company comes alongside the “Revitalize Historic Jeddah” initiative launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2021.

That in itself was part of the “Historic Jeddah Development Project” which aims to transform the ancient town into a hub for business, tourism, and cultural activities.

The first phase of this development entails carving out the waterfront that had previously been filled to accommodate Jeddah’s urban expansion, while the second part will concentrate on creating an infrastructure for a new area and waterfront.

The third phase of the project includes building a marina, open green spaces, pedestrian overpasses and public utilities.

Earlier this month, Al-Balad, popularly referred to as the heart and soul of Jeddah, was nominated in the “Most Desirable City — Rest of World” category for the Wanderlust Travel Award.

Al-Balad area is home to more than 600 heritage buildings, 36 historical mosques, five major historical markets, ancient corridors and squares, and a major route for pilgrims since the dawn of Islam.

PIF has been spearheading the Kingdom’s economic diversification efforts since the launch of Vision 2030. 

According to its latest annual report, the soverign wealth fund currently holds assets under management worth SR2.23 trillion ($595 billion). 

It has already established 70 companies, with 25 of them founded in 2022, including Saudi Coffee Co. and Halal Products Development Co. 

In 2022 alone, PIF-owned companies created over 181,000 jobs, the annual report added.