First Hima forum discusses wildlife conservation in Saudi Arabia

The forum was inaugurated by the minister of environment, water, and agriculture and chairman of the board of the National Center for Wildlife, Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli. (SPA)
The forum was inaugurated by the minister of environment, water, and agriculture and chairman of the board of the National Center for Wildlife, Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli. (SPA)
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Updated 22 April 2024
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First Hima forum discusses wildlife conservation in Saudi Arabia

First Hima forum discusses wildlife conservation in Saudi Arabia
  • One of the center’s projects is an expedition to examine and study Saudi Arabia’s wildlife and landscapes across all regions, in collaboration with universities and educational centers in each area, Qurban told Arab News

RIYADH: The National Center for Wildlife organized the first Hima protected areas forum on Sunday to discuss conservation efforts for natural habitats and wildlife in Saudi Arabia.

The forum was inaugurated by the minister of environment, water, and agriculture and chairman of the board of the National Center for Wildlife, Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli.

The event, held from April 21-24, is the first of its kind in the region and attracts both local and international participants.




Red Sea Global, Catmosphere, the Royal Commission for AlUla, and the Imam Abdulaziz bin Mohammed Royal Reserve Development Authority are among the companies and projects participating in the three-day forum. (AN photo by Abdulrahman Alnajim)

“We are talking about participation from Red Sea Global, AMAALA, and NEOM to work together and deliver conservation efforts,” said Mohammad Qurban, CEO of the National Center for Wildlife.

Qurban added that hosting Hima will bring knowledge, effort, and expertise together to preserve and protect natural resources.

In addition, the center will highlight some of the Kingdom’s sustainable practices related to environmental health, he added.

One of the center’s projects is an expedition to examine and study Saudi Arabia’s wildlife and landscapes across all regions, in collaboration with universities and educational centers in each area, Qurban told Arab News.

Institutions including the UK’s University of Oxford and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology will take part in the program.

Major local companies and projects are attending the three-day forum, including Red Sea Global, Catmosphere, the Royal Commission for AlUla and the Imam Abdulaziz bin Mohammed Royal Reserve Development Authority.

Omar Al-Attas, head of environmental protection and regeneration at Red Sea Global, said: “Red Sea Global, since the beginning of its development, kept the protection, enhancement and preservation of the environment as the main target. We have been working through the years to understand exactly what we are dealing with from both sides, terrestrial and marine.

“Based on a long time, which exceeded three years of assessment and establishing a baseline, we understand clearly our marine area, which led to the design of the marine protected area, a proposal that we will be working on with the National Center for Wildlife and the ministry.”

The forum offers a comprehensive program for visitors, featuring activities including panel discussions, presentations and workshops. All sessions are conducted by local and international experts focused on conserving nature and protecting biodiversity.

“In King Khalid Reserve, which we are also responsible for, we introduced the oryx. We started introducing it in the year 2021,” said Talal Al-Harigi, CEO of the Imam Abdulaziz bin Mohammed Royal Reserve Development Authority.

“On the other side, we are increasing the number of plants. One month ago, we completed planting 1 million plants for both of the reserves.

“We are working with local communities to support handicrafts relating to honey bees. Bee grazing is now one of our new activities … for the second year, honey bees are producing Rudhat Khuraim honey,” Al-Harigi added.

Since its founding in 2019, the National Center for Wildlife has addressed challenges facing wildlife and marine ecosystems, aiming to protect the environment for future generations.

 


Saudi Food Show features top global firms presenting their wares

Saudi Food Show features top global firms presenting their wares
Updated 8 sec ago
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Saudi Food Show features top global firms presenting their wares

Saudi Food Show features top global firms presenting their wares
  • 1,000 exhibitors with 100,000 products from 97 countries
  • Firms seeking to expand into one of Gulf’s largest markets

RIYADH: The second Saudi Food Show, the Kingdom’s largest event for food and beverage sourcing, which began Tuesday and will continue until May 23, has been featuring some of the world’s leading companies showcasing their wares.

It is sponsored by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources in collaboration with the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones, or MODON.

The event features around 1,000 exhibitors presenting 100,000 products from 97 countries. Also returning are the Top Table Saudi and YouthX Saudi competitions in expanded formats.

House of Pops, which specializes in vegan and plant-based ice cream, gelato, and popsicles, are participating because they are expanding into Saudi Arabia after having gained a foothold in the UAE.

“Health and wellness have been popular in Saudi Arabia, particularly following the pandemic. Everyone is highly aware of what they consume,” Marcela Sancho, co-founder of House of Pops, said. “Our products promote health and wellness. They are 100 percent natural, include no preservatives or food coloring, and are vegan and plant based. So, we really want to tap into the market and the opportunity here.”

The brand is also fully allergen-free, made without soy and gluten, and the creamy options are created with organic coconut milk and cream to create the milky texture.

House of Pops was among the participants at the Saudi Food Show. (AN Photo: Abdulrahman Bin Shalhoub)

Also at the event is Bakarman Foods, a top supplier of restaurants and theaters in Malaysia, India, Spain and Belgium.

“Saudi Arabia has one of the largest food markets in the GCC, and we plan to open a factory here in the future. The food quality and standards are high, surpassing those of other Middle Eastern countries. The degree of inspection and testing report is excellent,” said Mohammad Salim, Bakarman Foods’ procurement and supply chain director.  

From India, Bharat Industrial Enterprise Private Ltd., a leading basmati rice miller and exporter, has returned this year for the exhibition.

Tushar Aggawal, manager of exports, said the company operates in 55 countries and has been around from almost as many years. “Saudi Arabia is our main market … we are one of the largest suppliers of basmati rice (here).”

Through keynote addresses, panels and workshops, over 90 experts from the public and private sectors shared insights on how to maximize opportunities in Saudi Arabia’s markets.


Bottling success — shift toward locally produced drinks in Saudi Arabia

Bottling success — shift toward locally produced drinks in Saudi Arabia
Updated 7 min 39 sec ago
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Bottling success — shift toward locally produced drinks in Saudi Arabia

Bottling success — shift toward locally produced drinks in Saudi Arabia
  • The event features more than 1,000 exhibitors from 97 countries
  • Kinza beverages are also available in Jordan, Sudan, Libya, Tanzania and Senegal

RIYADH: Consumers in Saudi Arabia are moving away from traditional staple soda drinks toward locally produced, high-quality alternatives, says CEO of Kinza Drinks Bandar Okrin.

At the second Saudi Food Show, Okrin told Arab News: “As more people continue to embrace these alternatives, the beverage industry in Saudi Arabia is experiencing a renaissance, with innovation and quality at the forefront.”

The event features more than 1,000 exhibitors from 97 countries, making it a truly international showcase of food and beverage products and services. Held at the Riyadh Front Exhibition & Conference Center, the three-day event ends on May 23.

The Saudi brand has returned this year as the “category beverage sponsor.” Okrin added that its presence as a sponsor fostered a sense of pride and support for local businesses.

Al-Jameel International, a Saudi company that recognized the shift toward locally produced drinks in 2022, introduced Kinza, a carbonated beverage that has quickly gained popularity among locals.

According to the SFS, the Saudi food and beverage sector is projected to experience substantial growth, with an expected annual growth rate of 3.44 percent, set to reach $27.83 billion by 2029.

This places Saudi Arabia as an attractive hub for both local and international players in the F&B sector looking for new prospects.

“We (at Kinza) are determined to shake up the beverage industry that a few large multinational companies have dominated for far too long,” Okrin said. “We currently have a strong presence in all GCC countries: Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Kuwait.”

Kinza beverages are also available in Jordan, Sudan, Libya, Tanzania and Senegal.

The company’s goal is to establish a strong market presence and become a household name in global markets, with innovative beverage products that cater to a variety of tastes and preferences.

Okrin said that they aim to establish a strong market presence and brand recognition in these regions by effectively distributing products and building relationships with key stakeholders.

Their booth at SFS showcases their range of flavors, including cola, lemon, citrus and orange. “This year, we introduced new flavors like pomegranate, berries, Saudi cocktail, and carbonated water,” Okrin said.

Last week, Kinza launched diet cola and zero lemon options. “These new varieties will be available in all designated stores within the next two weeks,” he said.

Kinza is part of the Made in Saudi Program that unites ministries, government agencies and the private sector in support of Saudi national products under a single brand, which will contribute to the Kingdom’s economic growth and the realization of Vision 2030.


Saudi, Iraq officials meet to discuss border security

Saudi, Iraq officials meet to discuss border security
Updated 22 May 2024
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Saudi, Iraq officials meet to discuss border security

Saudi, Iraq officials meet to discuss border security

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Iraq officials have been meeting in Baghdad to discuss border-security issues, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

Maj. Gen. Shayie bin Salem Al-Wadaani, director-general of Saudi Arabia’s Border Guards, led the Kingdom’s delegation at Iraq’s Ministry of Interior headquarters.

During the meeting, the officials discussed ways to enhance security cooperation, the SPA reported.


Saudi crown prince reassures nation about king’s health during Cabinet meeting

Saudi crown prince reassures nation about king’s health during Cabinet meeting
Updated 22 May 2024
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Saudi crown prince reassures nation about king’s health during Cabinet meeting

Saudi crown prince reassures nation about king’s health during Cabinet meeting
  • King Salman is undergoing treatment for lung inflammation
  • Crown prince briefed council on outcomes of Arab League Summit

RIYADH: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made reassuring comments about King Salman’s health during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The king underwent medical tests at royal clinics at Al-Salam Palace on Sunday after he suffered from a high temperature and joint pain, SPA said. 

He was diagnosed with lung inflammation and prescribed a course of antibiotics as treatement at the palace in Jeddah.

The crown prince also briefed the council on the outcomes of the Arab League Summit, emphasizing the Kingdom's commitment to Arab issues, joint action development, regional security enhancement, and defending Arab interests.

Minister of Information Salman bin Youssef Al-Dosari stated after the session that the council discussed recent state activities, particularly efforts to strengthen regional and international cooperation.

The council affirmed the Kingdom's commitment to international cooperation in combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and corruption.

The Saudi cabinet also granted authority to the Minister of Energy, Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman, to finalize a memorandum of understanding with Pakistan on energy cooperation. 

The cabinet also approved the Kingdom's accession to an international agreement on wetlands of international importance, particularly as habitats for waterbirds.


Saudi, Japanese culture ministers discuss cooperation

Saudi, Japanese culture ministers discuss cooperation
Updated 22 May 2024
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Saudi, Japanese culture ministers discuss cooperation

Saudi, Japanese culture ministers discuss cooperation

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Farhan met in Tokyo on Tuesday his Japanese counterpart Masahito Moriyama.

The pair discussed enhancing cultural cooperation between the two countries within the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030.

Prince Badr said the Kingdom’s participation in Expo 2025 Osaka will offer opportunities to learn about the Saudi culture, history, and future vision.

Moriyama thanked Prince Badr for the Saudi ministry’s efforts in opening new horizons to enhance cultural exchange between the two countries.