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

  • SABIC awarded a contract for engineering design services at the its Teesside complex in Wilton, UK to the Wood Group, which supports SABIC operations in Saudi Arabia and the United States, Energy Voice. 18-8-16

CONSTRUCTION

  • Sharjah Holdings’ Al Zahia residential community is the first in the Middle East to be awarded the internationally accredited BREEAM Communities Interim Assessment Certificate for master planning, infrastructure, and buildings. Saudi Daily Record. 16-8-16 
  • The Eastern Province Cement Company has commissioned the world’s largest mass-production hydraulic breaker from Atlas Copco for a hard limestone quarry in the Kingdom for use in harsh conditions and extreme temperatures. ME Construction News. 19-8-16  
  • The construction industry accounts for almost half of the work-related injuries in Saudi Arabia, with more than 7,200 incidents report during the first quarter of 2015 and most occurring in Riyadh. ME Construction News. 21-8-16 
  • Saudi American Glass, a processor of architectural high-performance flat glass, was awarded several new projects in the Kingdom that are valued at more than $5.33 million. Trade Arabia. 22-816 
  • White paper: The Saudi Arabian White Land Tax Law, designed to increase the supply of developed land in order to better address housing shortages and make residential land available at reasonable prices. Mondaq. 15-8-16. 
  • The Green Mosque Initiative from plumbing products maker GROHE and its local partners have equipped the mosques in the Middle East and North Africa with efficient water fittings, reducing Water consumption for cleansing rituals by roughly 30 percent. Albawaba Business. 17-8-16 
  • A high-voltage cable factory will be developed by International Trade Gateway on 9,000 square meters of land at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Economic City—the first of its kind in the city. ME Construction News. 19-8-16 
  • Saudi MIAHONA, through its subsidiary Riyadh Water Production Company, awarded Abunayyan Trading Company the engineering, procurement, and construction contract for the water treatment plant at the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. Zawya. 19-8-16  

ENERGY

  • The Saudi Electric Company has identified sites that could produce solar and wind power in various regions of Saudi Arabia. IFPInfo 14-8-16 and Gulf News Journal 18-8-16.
  • Saudi Arabia increased its crude oil and refined product exports to 8.83 million barrels per day in June—a near-record high for June—and a record high of 10.67 million barrels per day in July. Bloomberg. 18-8-16 
  • Russia, the world's top oil producer, is consulting with Saudi Arabia and other producers to achieve oil market stability. Asharq al-Awsat. 15-8-16 
  • The industrial gases market in Saudi Arabia is expected to exceed $1.6 bn by 2021 in line with growing developments in the petrochemical and refinery infrastructure. Saudi Gazette. 17-8-16 
  • Saudi Aramco appointed Yasir al-Rumayyan, managing director of its top sovereign wealth fund, to its board in a sign that the two institutions plan to cooperate to restructure the economy in an era of low oil prices. Reuters. 10-8-16 

TRANSPORTATION

  • Saudi and Egyptian authorities are studying a new marine link that would reduce travel between the two countries to 30 minutes. Gulf Business. 18-8-16 
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines will retire its Jumbo and Embraer aircraft at the end of 2016, replacing them with a new fleet that will reduce airfares by 20 percent and will rely on foreign pilots. Arab News. 198-16 
  • The tire market in Saudi Arabia is expected to reach $2.12 bn by the end of 2016, with a compound annual growth rate of 10.8 percent from 2016 to 2026. IFPInfo. 22-8-16 

CONSUMER

  • To boost revenues, Saudi Arabia approved proposals to raise visa fees and traffic fines, which could impact business and personal travel to the Kingdom. AMEinfo. 9-8-16 
  • As the cost of living in Saudi Arabia is increasing, consumers have decreased spending as they start to feel the pinch of austerity. Bloomberg. 16-8-16  
  • As of May 2016, the unemployment rate for the population of Saudi Arabia aged 15 years and older had risen to 11.6 percent. Gulf Business. 17-8-16 

TRADE & FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT

  • New business formation in Saudi Arabia increased 35 percent in the past year, with more than 204,000 new businesses now being registered in the Kingdom since 2015. Arabian Business. 21-816 
  • Saudi Arabia has approved regulations that will allow qualified foreign investors to subscribe to initial public offerings in the Kingdom. Gulf News. 18-8-16 
  • A proposed bankruptcy law in Saudi Arabia is geared toward helping struggling small and medium enterprises avoid closing down during their first years of operation. Inc. Arabia. 21-8-16 
  • Thirteen ministries and government agencies in Saudi Arabia are preparing to launch the first privatization of some of their services. Middle East Monitor. 21-8-16 
  • Singapore Airport Terminal Services is investing $40 million to build new air cargo facilities in Dammam, KSA, the first foreign firm to enter the KSA cargo market. The Straits Times. 22-8-16 
  • To create a reliable and attractive environment for investors and companies, the Saudi Capital Market has laid out specific time-frames and requirements for all companies listed on the Tadawul. Saudi-US Trade Group. 22-8-16 

FOREIGN POLICY

  • Saudi Arabia’s relief campaigns have distributed SR3.84 bn to support countries stricken by both natural and man-made disasters in more than 70 percent of the world. Al Arabiya. 19-8-16  
  • The United States military has withdrawn its staff from Saudi Arabia who were coordinating with the Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen and sharply reduced the number of other planning staff in the Kingdom. Reuters. 19-8-16 

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