Saudi Arabia joins air taxi race

CGI of a concept design for a Vertiport developed for Urban Air Mobility by Setec and its partners. (Supplied)
CGI of a concept design for a Vertiport developed for Urban Air Mobility by Setec and its partners. (Supplied)
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Updated 10 December 2023
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Saudi Arabia joins air taxi race

CGI of a concept design for a Vertiport developed for Urban Air Mobility by Setec and its partners. (Supplied)
  • 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

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.




King Salman Park is the world’s largest urban park in the heart of Riyadh, with multidisciplinary engineering design by Setec. (Supplied)

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.

HIGHLIGHTS

• 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.




Patrick Bteich, Setec Group partner

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.




The Louis Vuitton Foundation, a contemporary art center located in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris. Architectural design by Frank Gehry and multidisciplinary engineering design by Setec. (Supplied)

“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.

 

 

 


Review: Curva Pilates in Alkhobar

Review: Curva Pilates in Alkhobar
Updated 6 sec ago
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Review: Curva Pilates in Alkhobar

Review: Curva Pilates in Alkhobar

There’s a new way to stay fit in Alkhobar this summer with the recent opening of Curva Pilates earlier this month.

The women-only studio is situated on the second floor of an indiscreet building, marked with the letter A on the outside. It is an ideal place to spend an hour using the reformer Pilates machine, either in a solo session or with a group class. There is limited parking directly outside of the studio space.

Pilates, which is a form of exercise developed by the German Joseph Pilates in the 20th century, helps combat health issues and increases flexibility. It was originally designed to help soldiers gain strength by attaching springs to hospital beds to create resistance. If you have ever done yoga or ballet or gymnastics, you might enjoy this process — but it is its own thing.

You may opt to message their account on Instagram, where you will be asked to provide your name and phone number, after which you will receive a welcome message on WhatsApp, with the class details and some ground rules. “For your safety and to keep up our hygiene standards, you should always make sure to wear Pilates socks when taking a class,” it says.

Once entering the serene space, decorated with fresh flowers and the refreshing scent of lemon detox water, which is free for all customers, you will be given an electronic key to a locker where you can securely place your handbag. You can keep the key with you and return it at the end of your visit. There are hooks to hang your abayas and a shoe cubby.

If you do not have Pilates socks you may use regular ones. And, in case you forget to push your hair back, there are hair clips available in the mirror area to use, and wet wipes at the ready, should you wish to freshen-up before or after your session.

You may take a session with Coach Lubna, who is fair and balanced. For first-timers, she asks whether they have any body ailments they need to be aware of — do they have any existing body aches or injuries, any surgeries or issues with their back, shoulders, arms or legs.

Lubna explains every step briefly, and makes the experience enjoyable. The reformer machine is not hard to use and is ideal for any fitness level.

She makes sure to ask for feedback and listens to all comments and concerns. Lubna believes that consistency is what matters most — no matter what level you are on — and recommends visitors try the reformer three times per week.

Reformer classes at Curva can be purchased either per session for SR175 ($46) each, or in a package for a slightly better rate. Five sessions go for SR850, 10 sessions for SR1,650 and two other package options are available — for 15 sessions and 20.

There is a 10 percent discount for college students and a 10 percent discount for Aramco staff.

While it has become a global trend, this enduring form of exercise that emphasizes core strength, flexibility and overall body awareness is not yet widely practiced in the Eastern Province. Curva is there to change that.

Find them at CurvaPilates.com or on their Instagram, @CurvaPilates.


KSrelief runs medical projects in Sudan, Yemen

KSrelief runs medical projects in Sudan, Yemen
Updated 18 min 18 sec ago
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KSrelief runs medical projects in Sudan, Yemen

KSrelief runs medical projects in Sudan, Yemen

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s aid agency KSrelief continues to provide healthcare for vulnerable people in Sudan and Yemen, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The project in Port Sudan for urology surgery, from July 13 to 20, involves 11 volunteers with training in various specialities.
The team members have already completed six surgeries.
A similar project is currently being implemented for orthopedic surgery in the Seiyun district of Yemen’s Hadhramaut governorate, with seven operations already completed.
Recently, the agency started a training program for people supervising orphans in Hadramout in coordination with the country’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor.


Saudi Red Crescent in Makkah region puts in almost 80,000 volunteer hours during second quarter

Saudi Red Crescent in Makkah region puts in almost 80,000 volunteer hours during second quarter
Updated 26 min 38 sec ago
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Saudi Red Crescent in Makkah region puts in almost 80,000 volunteer hours during second quarter

Saudi Red Crescent in Makkah region puts in almost 80,000 volunteer hours during second quarter

JEDDAH: The Saudi Red Crescent Authority in the Makkah region revealed its volunteer statistics for the second quarter of 2024, with the number of volunteer hours reaching 79,128.

It said the volunteer opportunities ranged from providing first-aid services to worshippers in the courtyards of the Holy Mosque in Makkah to national occasions, international days, events, humanitarian aid, and sports events.

Additionally, several first-aid courses were held to train male and female volunteers.

The authority indicated that Makkah has the largest number of volunteer initiatives with 273 opportunities, followed by the Jeddah governorate with 207 and the Taif governorate third with 104 opportunities.

The volunteer medical staff included several specialties, most notably consultants, general practitioners, and emergency medicine doctors. The authority emphasized its commitment to developing its volunteers by organizing specialized courses and training them in line with the authority’s mission and work.


Training program for trainers at Princess Nourah University

Training program for trainers at Princess Nourah University
Updated 31 min 40 sec ago
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Training program for trainers at Princess Nourah University

Training program for trainers at Princess Nourah University

RIYADH: Staff at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University recently had the chance to take part in a series of training programs to help them develop their own training and development skills, and prepare more effective training resources.

A six-day “Training of Trainers” program, provided by the university’s Deanship of Quality and Development, included topics such as theories of learning and their effects on training; the needs of the trainer; development of the communication model and communication skills; and the design of training materials.

It also covered management of the training process and the evaluation of performance, along with development of the skills required for managing workshops and conducting training sessions, and how to research information in support of training.

The deanship also provided a three-day “Preparation of Training Packages” program. This addressed the practical aspects of preparing a training program that effectively familiarize trainees with the required principles and standards of quality. It included topics such as development of a curriculum, setting objectives, training methods, and the types and organization of programs.

Officials said the initiative forms part of the deanship’s efforts to help achieve the university’s Strategic Plan 2025, the aim of which is to achieve excellence in teaching and learning through professional support, career guidance, and improved knowledge and skills.


Bahrain king receives speaker of Saudi Shoura Council

King Hamad receives Saudi Shoura Council Speaker Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh at Al-Safriya Palace.
King Hamad receives Saudi Shoura Council Speaker Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh at Al-Safriya Palace.
Updated 43 min 42 sec ago
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Bahrain king receives speaker of Saudi Shoura Council

King Hamad receives Saudi Shoura Council Speaker Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh at Al-Safriya Palace.
  • King Hamad expressed appreciation for King Salman’s efforts to strengthen the historical ties between their kingdoms

RIYADH: Bahrain’s King Hamad received Saudi Shoura Council Speaker Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh at Al-Safriya Palace in Manama on Thursday.

The king praised the deep-rooted relations between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and the high level of close cooperation and mutual coordination achieved on all fronts to fulfil the interests and aspirations of the two countries, Saudi Press Agency reported.

He also expressed appreciation for King Salman’s efforts to strengthen the historical ties between the two kingdoms.

The king commended the instrumental role of Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council and Bahrain’s Council of Representatives and Shoura Council in bolstering relations and supporting development in the two countries.

The king also welcomed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Bahraini Council of Representatives and the Saudi Shoura Council, which aims to expand and strengthen cooperation frameworks, exchange expertise and experiences at the legislative and parliamentary levels, and coordinate positions taken at various regional and international parliamentary forums.