RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister for Consular Affairs, Ambassador Ali Al-Yousef met with the Ambassador of Nigeria, Yahya Lawal and Ali Al-Yousef – the ambassador of Bangladesh on Thursday.
In both meetings they reviewed bilateral relations and topics of common interest – as well as joint cooperation.
#Riyadh | Deputy Minister for Consular Affairs Ambassador Ali Al-Yousef receives the Ambassador of #Nigeria to the Kingdom, Mr. Yahya Lawal, during which they reviewed bilateral relations between both countries and topics of common interest. pic.twitter.com/2mSzoPhqiQ
#Riyadh | Deputy Minister for Consular Affairs Ambassador Ali Al-Yousef receives the Ambassador of Bangladesh to the Kingdom, Dr. Mohammad Javed Patwary, during which they reviewed bilateral relations between both countries and aspects of joint cooperation. pic.twitter.com/qu1UmvUO6o
Historic Jeddah launches art events to boost culture, tourism
Initiative includes four art exhibitions, music programs, theatrical performances, and specific events for schoolchildren
Updated 11 December 2023
JEDDAH: The Historic Jeddah Program has several new activities that will strengthen the Kingdom’s culture and tourism sectors, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.
The activities were launched under an initiative entitled “Balad Al-Fann,” and will run until March 9.
The initiative includes four art exhibitions, music programs, theatrical performances, and specific events for schoolchildren.
Abdulaziz Ibrahim Al-Issa, the general supervisor of the Historic Jeddah Program, said the events would help with artistic skills development and entrepreneurship in the sectors, in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan.
French engineering firm Setec Group a key partner in sustainable transport
‘We’re trying to put our green touch and valued engineering expertise to have buildings and assets with lower impact on the environment,’ says official
Updated 10 December 2023
RIYADH: French engineering and consulting firm Setec Group is working on urban air mobility in the Kingdom.
The concept being developed with the company’s European partners and manufacturers aims to provide air mobility for people and goods.
With Dubai expecting to launch its first flying taxi by 2026, and countries considering the service as a way to ease traffic conditions, Saudi Arabia is also joining the race for air mobility.
The French integrated engineering solutions provider is developing new mobility solutions, especially for the Gulf region, with the development of public transport and soft mobility services for smart cities.
“It is like an air taxi. We have developed a preliminary feasibility study for Riyadh, to connect Riyadh with the new centralities that are being developed in the vicinity, namely Diriyah and Qiddiyah, and the service might be implemented in the coming years, to ease the road infrastructure, and for fast transit between the different centralities,” Patrick Bteich, a partner at Setec Group, told Arab News en Francais.
“Air mobility needs special permits from various ministries,and you need to work on corridors to mitigate security issues … from pilot to the implementation, it can take a few years depending on the regulation. But it’s a project that could be developed for Vision 2030,” Bteich added.
• Urban air mobility would serve to ease traffic conditions.
• Dubai expects to launch its first flying taxi by 2026.
• Setec Group is one amongst several French companies working in AlUla.
Development of AlUla in recent years has witnessed significant French-Saudi collaboration through the AfAlUla and RCU intergovernmental agreement. The partnerships demonstrate the Kingdom’s ambition to make AlUla a leading international destination for culture and tourism.
Setec Group is one amongst several French companies working in AlUla.
The engineering firm’s presence in AlUla falls in line with the intergovernmental agreement, as well as the group’s desire to expand its presence in the western parts of the Kingdom.
The French group, which is also working on King Salman Park and the development of metro lines, aims to “help the Kingdom reach its objectives as part of Vision 2030,” Bteich said.
“We’re looking to position ourselves, working on iconic buildings in terms of assets, high-rise tower projects, and we are interested in all the metro and LRT (light rail transit) developments that are happening in the region. In Riyadh, we have line extensions that are going to be floated to the market, including the Qiddiya LRT,” he added.
In its manifesto for low-carbon construction, Setec Group committed to offering low-carbon alternatives on its projects.
Our motto today is resilience and adapting to climate change, which is quite important in the region knowing that heat waves may become stronger and last longer.
Patrick Bteich, Setec Group partner
“We’re also trying to put our green touch and valued engineering expertise to have buildings and assets with lower impact on the environment. Our motto today is resilience and adapting to climate change, which is quite important in the region knowing that heat waves may become stronger and last longer,” he added.
The engineering firm is focused on international expansion, which makes up more than 30 percent of its activity.
With established offices in KSA, the UAE, and Egypt, the group is centering its efforts and business development in Saudi Arabia, in line with the Kingdom’s mega projects, with three offices across the country.
“In the Kingdom, we are now finalizing our work on the King Salman Park, the landscape design with our partners Gerber Architekten (German architects) and Buro Happold (English engineers), and we have submitted the last package at the end of October, and the construction is underway and within budget. The project is expected to open soon,” Bteich said.
Setec is also working on the project management for Diriyah Gate and has worked on project management within the FAST consortium on 3 out of the 6 metro lines of Riyadh.
“The core of our activity is related to transport and infrastructure: Metros, trains, highways, high-speed lines, airports … this is around 60 percent to 65 percent of our activity, and this was the core activity when we started, with complex structures,” he added.
Among its flagship projects, Setec worked on the French section of the underwater Channel Tunnel between France and the UK.
The group also designed the Viaduc de Millau, the world’s tallest cable-stayed bridge, as well as iconic buildings including the Louis Vuitton Foundation Museum in France, the Tribunal de Justice in Paris, and the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
“We assist architects in the design to make the project happen … we had the chance to meet key clients from Saudi Arabia recently and it is going to open good opportunities for collaboration,” Bteich said.
Setec Group includes more than 40 companies. The firm develops feasibility studies leading to detailed design studies, environmental impact assessments, and offers client site supervision and consulting services.
International Olympic Committee chief visits Diriyah
During his official meeting with Prince Abdulaziz, they discussed the major role played by the Kingdom on the global sporting stage
Updated 10 December 2023
RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Sports Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal on Sunday accompanied Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, on a tour of the historic Turaif neighborhood in Diriyah, Riyadh. The CEO of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority Jerry Inzerillo was also present.
Bach arrived in the Kingdom on Saturday and was also was given a tour of the facilities hosting the ongoing Saudi Games 2023.
During his official meeting with Prince Abdulaziz, they discussed the major role played by the Kingdom on the global sporting stage.
Saudi students shine in international science contest
“The organization aims to push them toward success in inspiring scientific and technological paths, prioritizing national interests”
Updated 10 December 2023
JEDDAH: Saudi students competing against contestants from 55 countries scooped three awards at the 2023 International Junior Science Olympiad.
The competitions, held in Thailand’s capital Bangkok, took place from Dec. 1 to 10.
Representing Saudi Arabia were the King Abdulaziz and his Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba), and the Ministry of Education.
Hussein Habib Al-Saleh clinched a silver medal, while Suha Suleiman Al-Salama and Reda Emad Al-Khalaf were both awarded a bronze, adding to the Saudi science team’s medal tally total of 30 – one gold, six silver, and 23 bronze.
In a post on X, Mawhiba said: “The Saudi team secured three international awards at the International Junior Science Olympiad #IJSO2023, which took place in Thailand and attracted 304 students, representing 55 countries. Congratulations to our Kingdom, our students, and our strategic partner @moe_gov_sa.”
Each member of the Kingdom’s team underwent intensive training at Mawhiba, conducted by a group of expert Saudi and foreign trainers.
Praising the students’ efforts, Amal Al-Hazzaa, Mawhiba’s secretary-general, thanked the ministry, the families of the students, and their schools and teachers for their support.
She said: “Mawhiba strives in all its initiatives to inspire and motivate talented Saudi students with exceptional minds and abilities, enabling them to compete globally in scientific, technological, and applied fields.
“The organization aims to push them toward success in inspiring scientific and technological paths, prioritizing national interests.”
OIC calls for end to human rights ‘double standards’
IPHRC voiced concerns after joining worldwide events to mark Human Rights Day 2023 on Dec. 10, the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Updated 10 December 2023
RIYADH: The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has condemned what it describes as double standards in applying human rights norms globally in light of the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip.
The IPHRC voiced its concerns after joining worldwide events to mark Human Rights Day 2023 on Dec. 10, the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In a statement, the commission said that after more than two months of Israeli aggression in Gaza, and more than 17,000 civilian casualties, the international community is failing in its responsibility to act on credible accounts of war crimes being committed by Israeli forces.
The commission urged the international community to intervene for an immediate and lasting ceasefire in the enclave.
It also described Israeli orders for civilians in Gaza to evacuate without basic necessities as a violation of International humanitarian law.
The commission voiced concern about human rights violations affecting millions worldwide, and cited the deteriorating conditions for Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, persistent violence and discrimination against Muslims in India, and the continued plight of Palestinians and Kashmiris under oppressive regimes.
The IPHRC called for an end to double standards in applying human rights norms globally, and reaffirmed its commitment to promoting good governance, the rule of law, and safeguarding fundamental freedoms.
It also highlighted the need for technological equality and equitable development for OIC member states and other developing nations, and urged the international community to prioritize bridging the technological divide, saying that developing countries face disparities in accessing cutting-edge technologies.
The commission urged member states to adopt innovative, rights-based approaches to address economic, social, and cultural challenges.