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News & Activities in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East Region
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SABIC

  • SABIC’s Home of Innovation facility has been named a finalist for Sustainable Building of the Year in the 2016 edie Environment & Energy Awards, with announced on May 16. edie.net. 8-3-16
  • Saudi Arabia Fertilizers Co. (SAFCO) is considering taking full control of chemical fertilizer producer Ibn Al-Bayttar by buying out SABIC’s joint-venture share. Reuters. 13-3-16
  • Mohammed Al-Aboudi, Operations Manager, Home of Innovation, was awarded the Young Engineer of the Year award at the 2016 Middle East Electricity Conference. Middle East Electricity. 15-3-16

  ENERGY

  • Saudi Aramco is planning to double its gas production over the next 10 years to boost domestic electricity and petrochemical production. Al Bawaba. 9-3-16
  • Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services company, opened a new facility in Dammam, KSA. Trade Arabia. 12-3-16
  • Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power International acquired 70% of Sunrise Solar Energy Psc, which is developing a 50-megawatt solar power plant in Mafraq Governorate, slated for completion in August 2017. Saudi Daily Record. 14-3-16
  • The Saudi government plans to spend 2 billion SAR to enhance water infrastructure and operational efficiency in the Makkah region. Arab News. 15-3-16
  • Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco plan to break up Motiva Enterprises, their U.S. refining and marketing joint venture, giving Aramco control of the largest U.S. refinery. Reuters. 16-3-16
  • In April, Saudi Arabia will join a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers regarding future oil output. Bloomberg. 17-3-16

  CONSTRUCTION

  • Dubai developer Nakheel signed an agreement to support Saudi developer Al Akaria in developing new, mixed-use projects in Riyadh. Gulf Business. 10-3-16.
  • In an austerity drive, Saudi Arabia is ordering ministries to cut their spending on contracts by at least 5% and to refrain from signing new contracts without ministry of finance approval. Gulf Business. 153-16
  • Two Korean builders sign MOU to join massive city infrastructure project in Saudi Arabia. Maeil Business Newspaper 24-3-16

  AUTOMOTIVE

  • The number of passenger vehicles in the GCC is estimated to increase an average of 7.4% annually over the next four years. Al Bawaba. 16-3-16

  CONSUMER

  • Per recent GCC fees on unhealthful goods, tobacco prices increased by 20% in KSA. Gulf Business. 14-3-16
  • In KSA, surging smartphone use is bolstering rapid developments in both mobile connectivity and the Kingdom’s advanced telecommunications network. Saudi Gazette. 15-3-16
  • A special ministerial committee is studying the formulation and drafting of rules and regulations for the establishment and licensing of women sport clubs in KSA. Saudi Gazette. 21-3-16 

TRADE & FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT

  • With the Saudi Arabian healthcare market forecast to reach $27.4 bn in 2020, the Gulf healthcare sector is attracting investor interest. Zawya. 15-3-16
  • Ornua, Ireland’s largest exporter of Irish dairy products, opened a new €20-million white-cheese manufacturing plant in Riyadh, KSA. The Irish Times. 16-3-16

FOREIGN POLICY

  • Saudi Arabia donated $31.8 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees for rebuilding Palestinian homes destroyed in the 2014 Israeli war on Gaza. Middle East Monitor. 16-3-16
  • Brigadier General Ahmed al-Asiri, a spokesman for the Saudi-led military coalition, said that major combat operations in Yemen are coming to an end, after which the coalition will work on reconstruction and long-term plans to stabilize the country. Saudi Gazette. 17-3-16
  • U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Saudi Arabia on April 21 to attend a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council to discuss the fight against the Daesh and other Mideast security issues. Saudi Gazette. 17-3-16
  • A meeting in Saudi Arabia between a delegation from Yemen’s Houthi and Saudi officials resulted in reduced tensions on the border and an exchange of prisoners.  Al Jazeera. 17-3-16
  • Guinea President Alpha Conde honored Saudi King Salman with the Supreme Medal of the Republic of Guinea in recognition of the king’s efforts to consolidate global peace. Saudi Gazette. 21-3-16

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