Public Investment Fund to Establish Recycling Sector Company

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced on Monday planning to establish the Saudi Recycling Company, a new waste management government enterprise aiming to support and operate the PIF’s investments in domestic recycling sector projects.

“Aligned with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goal to safeguard the country’s environment by improving recycling across the Kingdom, the new company will develop and operate projects designed to increase landfill diversion rates and recycle waste, creating alliances with private sector companies to achieve the highest international standards,”PIF said in a statement published on the Saudi state-owned press agency (SPA).

Preliminary studies have indicated that the Kingdom currently recycles around 10 percent of recyclable waste matter, with 90 percent disposed through landfill sites, causing damage to the environment, and not making full use of the potential of recyclable materials. More than 40 percent of recyclable materials in the Kingdom are produced in three major cities: Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam.

Recyclable materials in the Kingdom amount to 50 million tons, and the new plan offers the opportunity to recycle around 85 percent of this material, utilizing it as a source of alternative energy to be used in manufacturing.

The company will play a key role in achieving the strategic goals of Vision 2030 in preserving the environment and developing and protecting the natural resources by developing innovative solutions to preserve the quality of life within the Kingdom. The company’s scope of operations will cover all recyclable materials, as well as each stage of the value chain.

In addition to its core activities, the company will increase public awareness through campaigns and initiatives designed to introduce the concepts of recycling, its sustainability and importance.

Saudi Arabia: Shootout on Western Gate of Al-Salam Palace Leaves Perpetrator Dead


Jeddah – Saudi security authorities announced on Saturday the death of two security officers on duty and the injury of three others during a shootout at the outer western gate of Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah.

The perpetrator, Saudi national Mansour al-Amiri, 28, was killed after he drove up to the gates and shot at security.

Major General Mansour al-Turki, security spokesman at the Saudi Interior Ministry, said that the incident took place at about 03:25 AM (00:25 GMT).

A guard post outside at the western gate of Al-Salam Palace came under fire by a person who stepped out of a Honda vehicle, and was immediately dealt with by the Royal Guard resulting in the offender’s immediate death, sated Turki.

He explained that the “cowardly action resulted in the martyrdom of Sergeant Hammad Bin Shallah Al-Mutairi and Private First Class Abdullah Bin Faisal Al-Sibei.”

Meanwhile, the injured royal guard personnel included Corporal Waleed Bin Ali Shaami, Private First Class Ahmed Saleh Al-Qarni and Private First Class Abdullah Hindi Al-Sibei.

Al-Amri had in his possession three Molotov cocktails in addition to a Kalashnikov machinegun.

Turki explained that security authorities are still conducting their investigations, the results of which will be announced later.

The offender has no recorded precedents and no intelligence suggested his involvement with any extremist or terrorist groups, indicating that he may be a “lone wolf.”

The US consulate in Jeddah, west of Saudi Arabia, called on US citizens to exercise caution in the vicinity of the Al-Salam palace.

“Several news outlets are reporting an attack against Al-Salam Palace Saturday in Jeddah,” the consulate said on its website.

“Due to the possibility of ongoing police activity, American citizens are advised to exercise caution when traveling through the area.”

Saudi Cabinet Welcomes PIF’s Launching of Development Companies, Projects

Saudi Arabia’s national Cabinet session welcomed on Tuesday the Public Investment Fund’s decision on establishing development companies tasked with enhancing visitor accommodation capacities of the Kingdom.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz, chairing the session in Jeddah, also expressed his looking forward that his visit to Russia and talks with President Vladimir Putin and Russian officials will achieve the aspirations of the two countries to enhance and develop bilateral relations in all fields in the service of common interests and efforts to achieve the international peace and security.

‘Al Haram Rou’a Company’ and ‘Al Madinah Rou’a Company’ were founded in line with the Kingdom’s vision 2030. They aim at expanding Saudi Arabia’s capacity for hosting increasing numbers of incoming visitors seeking to perform Hajj and Umrah rituals.

Preliminary estimates indicate that the total number of annual visitors to Al Madinah will increase to 23 million by 2030. The company aims to develop a 1.3 million square meter site no more than 1,000 metres away from the east wing of the Prophet’s Mosque. The project will see the development of 500 new housing units and 80,000 hotel rooms, increasing hotel capacity to receive 240,000 guests per day, in addition to increasing the number of prayer areas to accommodate 200,000 worshipers per day.

The Cabinet session lauded the PIF’s announcement on the redevelopment of the Jeddah City waterfront Corniche as well.

The renovation project’s budget is estimated at SR 18 billion, with a deadline set after 10 years. It aims at fully transforming the scene into a vital area and a unique tourist, residential and commercial attraction, placing Jeddah as one of the top 100 cities worldwide.

On the other hand, Cabinet members reviewed the meetings of the Kingdom’s delegation with the representatives of Russian, American, Japanese and South Korean delegations on the sidelines of the 61st General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna to discuss the options for implementing the National Atomic Energy Project in the Kingdom and ways of cooperation to support the project, especially with regard to the feasibility study of the initial technical aspects of engineering designs FEED to build the first two reactors in the Kingdom.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz briefed the Cabinet on the results of his meeting with Bahrain’ s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, his talks with Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo Mohamed, and his meetings with UAE interior minister Sheikh Lieutenant General Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and British Conservative lawmaker Leo Docherty.

The Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad said in a statement to Saudi Press Agency following the session that the Cabinet expressed its thanks and appreciation to the King for the issuance of the royal order to apply the traffic system and its executive regulations, including issuing driving licenses for males and females.

The Cabinet commended the King’s inauguration of new Taif projects whose costs estimated at SR 11 billion, stressing the contents of the King’s speech on the enjoyment of the Kingdom and its people with blessings including the presence of wealth, security and stability and his directive to citizens that the doors are open and ears listen for every citizen who sees that there is an interest to the religion above all and the country of the Two Holy Mosques to which we are all servants.

Saudi PIF Leads Massive Jeddah Waterfront Redevelopment Project

A general view shows al-Tawhid square on

Jeddah- Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has announced it will lead the redevelopment of Jeddah’s waterfront corniche, creating a unique tourist, residential and commercial destination, to become the “New Jeddah Downtown.”

The project, which will contribute SAR 18 billion of investment over 10 years as well as 36,000 new jobs, aims to create a distinctive and attractive environment to support Jeddah’s ambition of becoming one of the world’s top 100 cities. The project will include spaces for entertainment, shopping, and commercial activities, which are accessible for both residents and visitors.

The project aims to turn the waterfront area into a thriving downtown that will serve as a tourist destination and a residential and commercial hub with 12,000 housing units as well as shops and attractions, according to Saudi Press Agency.

The project will take place across a 5 million square meter development and will be divided into six main sections, including new houses, museums, and cultural and social centers, areas for business and innovation, gardens, amusement parks and sports facilities, hotels and hospitality facilities, retail spaces, as well as coastal areas for seaside activities and walking routes along the private boat and yacht pier.

The overall project is divided into several areas with 42 percent of the space residential, 35 percent retail and entertainment and 12 percent office. When completed it will cover 5 million square meters and be able to accommodate 58,000 people.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2019 with the first phase expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2022.

SPA said the Jeddah corniche was in line with the kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan to develop tourism sites and part of an aim to make the city among the top 100 globally.

Saudi Customs Confront Drug Smugglers Looking to Exploit Hajj

Jeddah- Saudi Arabia’s customs servicemen, counting up to 1,200 member, have successfully foiled gang attempts of trafficking drugs during the Hajj season this year.

With over 1.4 million pilgrims arriving to the kingdom this time of the year, drug traffickers seek the opportune moment to exploit the massive influx of visitors.

Saudi customs, especially at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and Medina’s Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz Airport, dedicated to receiving pilgrims, are the first line of defense against crimes.

Customs servicemen have long proved to be guardians of national security. During Hajj, customs also facilitate and ensure that the pilgrims’ trip remains safe.

According to Issa al-Issa, an official spokesman for Saudi customs, the Hajj season is exploited by many drugs smugglers.

Al-Issa told Asharq Al-Awsat that the customs personnel rely on inspections of modern technologies such as, live surveillance, sniffer dogs, as well as scanning through suspect bodies with radio waves.

Al-Issa said that Saudi customs deployed over 1,200 individuals to implement a pro-active plan and monitor main ports for the arrival of pilgrims nationwide.

Authorities assigned 317 servicemen to Prince Mohammed Bin Abdul Aziz Airport in Madinah.

On another hand, a total of 895 customs members were deployed to King Abdul Aziz Airport in Jeddah is about.

As for difficulties faced by customs officials during the Hajj season, Al-Issa said that Hajj season is quite challenging, but accumulated customs experience accounts for what is needed to meet these challenges.

Saudi Customs work to protect the country and society from health hazards and security threats by preventing the entry of contraband, all kinds of drugs, weapons and explosives.

It also works on contributing to the achievement of Kingdom Vision 2030.

Based on economic grounds, customs are tasked with prohibiting the entry of counterfeit goods and items violating intellectual property rights, or in violation of standard specifications, to ensure consumer protection.

Customs also facilitate export procedures that contribute to opening up international markets to local products.

Saudi ‘MODON’ Signs MoU with China’s Goldwind

Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON) and National Industrial Clusters Development Program (Program) signed on Friday a memorandum of understanding with Goldwind Science & Technology Co., Ltd., a Chinese company specializing in the manufacturing of wind turbines and accessories, to assist the company in an effort to explore investment opportunities in this field in the Kingdom.

According to the Saudi state news agency SPA, the three-party MoU was signed on the sidelines of the Saudi-Chinese Investment Forum, which took place on Thursday at Ritz Carlton Hotel in Jeddah, was signed by Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications Bandar Al-Toaimi, and Vice President Plastics and Chemical sector Engineer Tariq Buksh, while the Executive Vice President of Goldwind Science & Technology Co., Ltd. Wu Kai, signed on behalf of the Chinese company.

The Memorandum states that “MODON” will allocate land to the Chinese company in its industrial cities, whereas the National Industrial Clusters Development Program will assist the company in identifying investment opportunities and supporting its search for local partners.

Al-Toaimi praised the role of partnerships in the implementation of the Kingdom’s vision 2030, its ability to stimulate industrial growth in the Kingdom and create the right environment by bringing international expertise, knowledge transfer and localization.

SAGIA Governor Issues Investment Licenses to Four Chinese Companies

The Governor of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) Engineer Ibrahim bin Abdulrahman Al-Omar handed on Thursday investment licenses to four Chinese companies as part the visit being paid by China’s Zhang Gaoli to the Kingdom with Chinese representatives of ministries and businessmen.

According to the Saudi state news agency (SPA), the visit reflects the depth of relations between the two countries in various economic, industrial and investment sectors, where the People’s Republic of China is the first country among the countries licensed to invest by the Investment Authority in the Kingdom during this year with a share of SR 254 million.

Engineer Al-Omar said that SAGIA seeks to achieve economic diversification, attract more foreign investments to the Kingdom and strengthen the partnership between public and private sectors.

He also noted that granting investment licenses to four Chinese companies with a capital of more than SR 190 million reflects the efforts exerted by the Authority in cooperation with the relevant government agencies to develop the mechanism of getting licenses in easier and smoother way in order to improve the investment environment and facilitate the practice of business in the Kingdom.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told Reuters on the sidelines of the conference that Saudi Arabia and China planned to establish a $20 billion investment fund on a 50:50 basis.

“It is preliminary at this stage but the commitment from the top is there,” Falih said. He said the fund would invest in sectors such as infrastructure, energy, mining and materials, but did not give further details of its strategy.

China has announced plans to establish such joint investment funds around the world in recent years as a way to cement bilateral economic ties. In December 2015 Beijing said it would establish a $10 billion fund with the United Arab Emirates, and last October a plan for a fund with France was revealed.

The Jeddah conference followed a visit to China by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz in March during which as much as $65 billion of business deals were signed in sectors including oil refining, petrochemicals, light manufacturing and electronics

Saudi Preparations Complete to Receive 2,400 Qatari Hajj Pilgrims


Mecca – The number of Qatari Hajj pilgrims has risen in 2017 compared to 2016, revealed informed sources to Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday.

They said that 2,400 Qatari pilgrims are expected to perform the Hajj this year, compared to 1,200 in 2016, adding that the tents that will receive them in the holy region of Mecca are complete.

The luxury furnishings and equipment of the Qatari tents set them apart from other pilgrims. They are resistant to the soaring temperatures and the pilgrims will rest in fire-proof ones in Arafat, Mozdalifa and Mina. All tents are also equipped with air conditioners.

The pilgrims from Qatar, as well as those from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, have, since 2006, chosen the National Tawafa Establishment for South Asian Pilgrims as the organizer of their Hajj.

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah had kicked off the preparations for this year’s pilgrimage immediately after last year’s rituals. The ministry has worked hard to ensure that tents are equipped with air conditioners and that they are properly distributed near the holy sites where the pilgrimage will take place.

Meanwhile, King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah announced that up until Sunday, some 95,000 pilgrims have landed in the Kingdom onboard 550 flights, marking a 7.6 percent rise from 2016.

The facility is able to receive 3,800 passengers per hour and it enjoys 320 counters that can perform the traveler procedures, offering the pilgrims special and quick services ahead of departing for Mecca.

SEDCO Development Announces Start of Jeddah’s Al-Rawdah Complex


SEDCO Development concluded an agreement with SEDCO Holding Group and Methak Holding Company to commence the real estate development of Al-Rawdah Complex project, host of commercial, residential and recreational units in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, reported Reuters on Tuesday.

The agreement was undersigned by Zuhair Hamzah, CEO of SEDCO Development (The Real Estate Developer), Anees Ahmed Moumina, CEO of SEDCO Holding Group, and Khaled Gama, CEO of Methak Holding Company.

“The launch of Al-Rawdah Complex project aims to contribute to the real estate industry and the development of the overall economy. It is also considered a step within the implementation of the Saudi Vision 2030 for improving the economy in general and social life structure in particular. This project will emphasize on various investments’ aspects towards achieving further milestone within the industry,” said Hamzah.

“Al-Rawdah project spans across an area of 70,000 square meters consisting of a multi-purpose complex boasting a shopping mall, residential and commercial towers as well as a hotel offering to meet growing demand. The first phase will be launched with 26,000 square meters dedicated to the commercial center including a variety of showrooms over its two floors, in addition to recreational areas and other service amenities on 50,000 square meters of the total site´s area. It is expected to be a valuable addition to the Saudi real estate market,” he added.

Moumina said: “This project is part of SEDCO’s investment strategy and it is expected to contribute to the expansion of our direct investments portfolio. We are confident that our agreement with each of SEDCO Development and Methak Holding Company, will be crowned with successful outcomes, as planned.”

“Saudi Vision 2030 aims at strengthening the economy by reducing reliance on oil and transforming the Kingdom to a post-oil and robust economy driven by the private sector including real estate, one of the leading industries. According to recent market researches and reports, Saudi realty sector is the most attractive sector for low-risk investments and has also proved to be one of the most attractive markets in Middle East, due to the positive future expectations and sectoral support by the Kingdom´s Vision 2030,” said Gama.

Located at the intersection of Prince Saud Street and Prince Sultan Street with close proximity to a number of landmarks, public and private real estate facilities and infrastructure projects, Al-Rawdah project is yet to form an urban village of commercial, retail and residential mix. The latter will also provide Jeddah residents with the opportunity to revolutionize their “food experience” offering, and an ultimate lifestyle refinement with its unique mix of innovative retail and upscale gourmet outlets.

SEDCO, the Saudi Economic and Development Company, is a leading private wealth management organization that conducts its business according to Islamic guidelines widely known as Shari’ah.

It was established in 1976. It manages a wide and diversified spectrum of real estate investments, investments in equities, and other businesses in Saudi Arabia and around the world. It is located in the Red Sea Mall building, Kind Road, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Its investees companies have over 6,000 employees. SEDCO Holding Group mainly operates through three lines of businesses: direct investment, real estate investments, and financial investments.

Direct investments are in multiple sectors/industries and serve different clients from F&B, to pharmaceutical, auto leasing, real estate, and hospitality. The delivery mechanism varies depending on the target audience of each business and sector.

King Salman Arrives in Riyadh from Jeddah


Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud arrived in Riyadh on Friday coming from Jeddah to attend the May 20-21 summit with US President Donald Trump.

At King Salman Airbase Airport, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques was received by Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, governor of the Riyadh Region, and a number of princes.

King Salman was accompanied by a number of princes and military and civil senior officials.

Departing from Jeddah, he was seen off at the King Abdulaziz International Airport by a number of princes and other dignitaries.

The capital Riyadh will host on May 20 and 21 the Saudi-US summit, a summit between the US and the Gulf Cooperation Council and an Arab-Islamic-US summit that will be attended by Trump and a number of Arab and Muslim leaders.