Honey fest generates SR1.8m in revenues

Updated 26 August 2014

Honey fest generates SR1.8m in revenues

The first honey festival in Abha has concluded after a week full of activities.
Aayed Al-Muhaya, head of the Saudi Beekeepers Cooperative Association (SBCA), said 26 beekeepers participated in the festival. They came from Riyadh, Al-Baha, Buljurashi, Al-Nammas, Al-Mekheat, Abha Rejal Almaei, Khamis Mushayt and Surrat Obaidah, he said, adding that more than 30,000 visitors attended the weeklong festival which yielded revenues exceeding SR1.8 million.
Al-Muhaya explained that the revenues came from an auction that took place during the first three days of the festival and from the sales of the participants.
There were a number of varieties of honey on sale including 10 tons of Sedra, Talah, Samar and Majarah. The price of one kilo of honey ranged between SR200 and SR600, depending on its quality, he added.
He pointed out that the last day of the festival yielded the biggest revenues for one individual beekeeper who made a wholesale transaction worth SR100,000.
The head of the SBCA said the prominent feature of this first festival of its kind is that the majority of beekeepers had agreed to embark on the works of their association to serve their best interests in terms of marketing, exporting, obtaining visas for foreign labor they need, solving the problems they face and providing a big financial subsidy in case of damages, in addition to providing tools, treatments and vitamins at affordable prices.
The association intends to hold a second chapter of the festival next year, said the head of association. He thanked the Asir municipality for providing a special laboratory that measures the quality of honey and detects fake products.
On the question of honey export, he said that the majority of beekeepers sell and market their products on their own. They aspire to establish a Saudi union so that they can export their products abroad, especially to Australia, Germany, Turkey, France and New Zealand.
Asir Gov. Prince Faisal bin Khaled, who is the head of the tourism development council, said during the inauguration of the festival that honey is the main product in the area, and is of the best quality in the Kingdom.
The Asir region produces more than 12 tons of honey annually. The production is sold to local consumers and exported to Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and other provinces across the country.

Saudi transport forum puts global spotlight on Kingdom’s booming rail sector

Updated 13 min 48 sec ago

Saudi transport forum puts global spotlight on Kingdom’s booming rail sector

  • The Railway Forum sought to enhance strategic partnerships between the public and private sectors

RIYADH: An international conference highlighting the development and growth of the Saudi railway sector on Tuesday opened in Riyadh.

The two-day Railway Forum, organized by the Saudi Railway Co. (SAR) under the patronage of King Salman, is being held at the capital’s Ritz-Carlton hotel with the title, “Joining Tracks for a Closer Future.”

The gathering aims to create an international platform in the Middle East for the active exchange of knowledge and expertise between local and international rail industry experts and stakeholders while promoting the growth potential of the sector in the Kingdom and regionally.

Speaking at the forum’s opening session, Saudi Minister of Transport Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, said the global railway industry was witnessing strong growth with increased investment.

He pointed out that an aggressive rate of industrialization was expected to develop the international market even further while the need for fast, reliable, risk-limited and affordable means of transportation was becoming a necessity.

The sector was working to keep pace with population growth and increased world demand for transportation in general and railways in particular, which were faster, cheaper and safer, the minister added.

Al-Jasser told delegates that the Kingdom was undergoing bold developments in all sectors to realize the Saudi Vision 2030, and the railways, in which Saudi Arabia was investing heavily, were expected to play a key role in turning the country into a global logistics hub.

The Railway Forum sought to enhance strategic partnerships between the public and private sectors, he added.

Bashar Al-Malik, CEO of the SAR, said he hoped the event would generate new ideas to help further boost the Saudi railway sector.

He pointed out that SAR now had huge fleets connecting various cities and more than 47 million tons of minerals had been transported to date, taking around 4 million truckloads off the roads.

Inaugurated by King Salman in September 2018, the Kingdom’s Haramain high-speed railway was one of the most modern and fastest means of transport in the Middle East, added Al-Malik.

It was the first electric train of its kind in the region covering more than 450 km and connecting five stations in Makkah, Jeddah, King Abdul Aziz International Airport, King Abdullah Economic City, and Madinah.

All the stations included facilities such as lounges for business-class travelers, a center for public transport, helicopter landing sites, parking lots, civil defense stations, mosques and commercial spaces to meet passenger requirements.

The forum will be divided into sessions discussing the global vision toward 2030, urban rail, logistic railway benefits, safety and security, and future rail.

It will also offer a unique and active stage for industry stakeholders to share knowledge and expertise, discover new trends and find potential investment opportunities.