New Saudi-Oman highway to reduce distance by 800 km

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Updated 10 October 2015

New Saudi-Oman highway to reduce distance by 800 km

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Oman have completed the construction of a mega road project linking the two countries.
“The new road, which will cut the distance between Saudi Arabia and Oman by about 800 km, will be opened soon for public,” said Ahmad Hilal Al-Busaidi, Omani ambassador, Wednesday.
Al-Busaidi said the two countries were currently building the administrative infrastructures including immigration posts and check points across the two ends of the road. “This has delayed the inauguration of the road project,” said the diplomat, adding that this will be first overland direct link between the two countries.
Oman and Saudi Arabia are currently linked via road through the UAE, spanning a total distance of 2,000 km. He said that travelers shuttling between Saudi Arabia and Oman would no longer need to cross the UAE.
The Kingdom has spent about SR1.6 billion on the motorway that passes through the eastern Saudi province of Al-Ahsa and the Rub' al-Khali desert (Empty Quarter) ending at Oman border.
The road inside Oman is around 160 km long, starting from Tanam in Ibri province, passing through oilfields until it reaches the Oman-Saudi border in the Empty Quarter.
“The road has a direct access to south Oman,” said the diplomat.
Inside Saudi Arabia, the road is 519-km long, including a 247-km stretch from the Omani border to Shaybah and the 319-km stretch from Shaybah to the Batha-Haradh road, which leads to Al-Kharj and then to Riyadh.
Al-Rosan Contracting, which had been commissioned to build 256 km of the road on the Saudi side, said the project had been a big challenge because the road is constructed through shifting sands across the Rub’ al Khali Desert, the largest and most barren sand desert in the world covering 600,000 square kilometers.
“Trying to build a road on shifting sand dunes was always going to be difficult. The project involved building sand bridges across salt flats and high rising dunes, so the selection of adaptable and reliable equipment was critical for this project, not least  because of the aggressive environment, intense heat, sand and remoteness of the site,” an Al-Rosan manager was quoted as saying in a statement by Volvoce.com.
The statement said FAMCO (Al-Futtaim Auto & Machinery Co. LLC) is the equipment contracting partner of Al-Rosan in the project and it has used 95 Volvo machines, including a range of articulated haulers, excavators and motor graders, through the several stages of the project.
“The construction of the 256 km road was completed in sections and involved gigantic amounts of sand ‘cut and fill’. The sand transported to construct the bridge was 130 million m3 — the equivalent of 26 giant pyramids — and 12 million m3 of material was needed to protect the embankment of sand from wind and water,” it said. 
Spelling out the features of this project, Al-Busaidi said: “The opening of the road will create trade and investment opportunities besides boosting tourism between the two countries.”
This new road project will also help vehicles including trailers laden with goods to reach fast to their destinations in the Kingdom or in Oman, he added.
He said that Oman, being a GCC member, seeks to promote relations with the Kingdom in all sectors. The new project will help the Kingdom to be well connected with the strategic cities and towns in Oman, which also shares borders with the UAE and Yemen as well as marine borders with Iran and Pakistan.


Misk Initiatives Center signs 12 deals to develop youth talent

Updated 15 November 2019

Misk Initiatives Center signs 12 deals to develop youth talent

  • MoUs with top firms such as Chinese tech giant Huawei, French oil major Total open new opportunities

RIYADH: The Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Foundation Misk Initiatives Center has signed 12 memorandums of understanding (MoU) on the sidelines of the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh with local and international companies to support and develop youth talent.

Among the companies were the Chinese tech giant Huawei, the French oil firm Total, the Emirati Federal Youth Authority, and the Ministry of Economy and Planning.

The agreements stipulated joint work between the two parties in the fields of talent development in Saudi Arabia and information and communications technology, in accordance with the National Transformation Program 2020 and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

This initiative aims to find ways of cooperation and employment opportunities between the two parties.

The MoU signed between the center and the Emirati Federal Youth Authority provides for the enhancement of joint cooperation in support of youth. 

The two parties will seek to discuss future cooperation, to build a strategic partnership between the two parties in exploring potential cooperative opportunities and setting a framework for such cooperation, in addition to organizing the exchange of technologies and innovations through the joint organization of courses, forums and workshops.

The MoU aims at creating a specialized scientific dialogue between the two parties, conducting joint research at the institutes in the field of entrepreneurship and the skills of the future, considering launching joint initiatives, and examining the possibilities of cooperative programs based on the extensive experience of Misk and the Federal Youth Authority.

Misk’s Initiatives Center agreement with Total will promote joint cooperation, find training opportunities for Saudi talent at the company’s headquarters and facilities, and cooperate on educational programs that support entrepreneurship and an ecosystem for startup companies, especially in the fields of energy and technology.

The Misk Global Forum also witnessed the signing of a MoU with “Hub71” to promote learning and leadership among Saudi youth, and enhance opportunities for joint collaboration, in addition to two MoUs with 500 startups and seed stars “to promote joint cooperation between the two parties, to develop and grow the business of startups and provide them with the necessary
environment.”

Misk also signed a MoU with the Public Institution for Education and Global Leadership to promote joint cooperation and achieve the objectives of both sides, to support innovation initiatives that instill the entrepreneurial mindset of young people, as well as the establishment and organization of entrepreneurship approaches. 

Both parties agreed to focus on exploring potential collaborative opportunities related to the Entrepreneurship World Cup, and establish a competition with competitors coming from 170 countries.

Both parties also agreed to support international competitions aimed at identifying the best solutions in various fields and sectors, as well as exchanging programs on entrepreneurship and innovation.

The center has signed a MoU with the Saudi Industrial Development Fund to discuss the possibility of providing training programs and courses for the center’s employees of the Fund and the relevant authorities. In addition to discussing available opportunities for cooperative training within the Fund, and providing opportunities for participation and contribution of the Fund’s staff in Misk’s programs.

The MoU aims to explore the benefits of existing agreements between the two parties with international financial and educational institutions, in order to find opportunities that provide programs, training and educational courses, and granting cooperative trainings for Saudi youth in those global institutions.

The center also signed a MoU with the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), aiming to enhance joint cooperation on educational technology and its integration into the educational systems in the Islamic world.

An MoU with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) will enhance the cooperation between the two parties in several initiatives, including academic development, training, entrepreneurship and innovation programs.

An MoU with Endeavor Saudi Arabia will support the Kingdom’s youth, enhance their talents and potential, stimulate economic growth, and find ways of cooperation between the two parties that serve their common interests.

The center’s MoU with the Ministry of Economy and Planning aims to spread awareness, provide new information on the education and training of human resources in the administrative and economic fields, youth empowerment, and coordinate efforts to raise their abilities.

The MoU aims to create cooperative training opportunities in local and international institutions with the purpose of workforce growth in the Kingdom’s economic sector, contributing to the development of national competencies in the economy, policies and procedures, strategic planning, in addition to providing job opportunities for graduates from areas that serve the interests of both parties and support the achievement of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.