EXCLUSIVE: Emirati tycoon Khalaf Al-Habtoor plans multimillion-dollar Saudi leisure project

Time: 19 January, 2020

Khalaf Al-Habtoor
  • In an exclusive interview, the Al-Habtoor boss reveals his views on the Kingdom, the UAE economy, Trump and Iran

A word often used to describe Khalaf Al-Habtoor — founder and chairman of Al-Habtoor Group, and one of the Middle East’s most venerable business leaders — is “forthright.”

His tweets, TV broadcasts and public statements all display a quality of candid outspokenness rare in senior business leadership in the Arab world.

In the course of an early morning conversation at his headquarters in Dubai last week, he was forthright on a host of subjects, ranging from ambitious expansion plans in Saudi Arabia to the challenges faced by the UAE economy and the global geopolitical scene.

Al-Habtoor is not a man given to diffidence, though he said he would not be sharing his views with the “global elite” preparing to travel to the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos next week. “We leave that for the really big people. It’s really entertainment rather than anything else,” he joked.

Entertainment and leisure have been the mainstays of the Al-Habtoor business empire, which is as old as the UAE itself and one of the country’s best-known brands, with interests in construction, real estate, motor distribution and education.

The group has hotel operations in Europe and the US, but the chairman is now looking at Saudi Arabia as a major avenue for expansion, with a multimillion-dollar investment project planned for the Kingdom. The opportunities are mind-boggling, he told Arab News.

“I call Saudi Arabia a continent rather than a country. It has history before Moses and Abraham,” he said.

“We’re seeing now on TV something we’ve never seen before — we see green fields, we see skiing, we see sun and desert. You can’t believe this is the Arabian Peninsula,” he added.

“That makes it very attractive to every tourist or investor because they have variety, because you’re not restricted to one area or sector where you want to build something. You have a choice as to what you can do.”

Al-Habtoor has chosen — in partnership with the Saudi tourism authorities — to back a huge leisure and recreation project outside Riyadh.

It will draw on the successful Habtoor City development in his native Dubai but on a much bigger scale: Up to 7 million square meters of hotels, restaurants, theaters, retail and residential facilities, and — imagine it — lakes and beaches. “You’ll ask me now where does the beach come from in Riyadh. We’ll create it,” he said.

The project is still at the planning stage and subject to final approval from all parties.

It will borrow some of the elements from the successful Habtoor City development in Dubai, notably a Saudi version of the spectacular theatrical production La Perle. But it will not be a straightforward copy of the Dubai attraction, nor indeed of the Dubai development strategy.

“In Dubai, we don’t have oil. If we were dependent on oil, we wouldn’t be like this now. Saudi Arabia has a bigger population — 30 million people, 90 percent of them Saudi, who want to enjoy their lives and their history,” he said.

Born:

• Dubai, UAE.

Education:

• Al-Shaab School, Bur Dubai.

Career:

• Founder and chairman, Al-Habtoor Group.

“We in the rest of the Gulf haven’t seen this history, and I personally would like to go and see this history and see Riyadh, the Eastern Province and the Red Sea.”

Al-Habtoor believes that the Kingdom can use the lessons of Dubai’s development, especially in creating a more liberal social and cultural environment in what is generally regarded as a more conservative country.

“The word ‘conservative’ needs some explanation. The people of Saudi and the UAE are from the same background, the same family. We’re related. When they visit us, they see that,” he said.

“The original people of the UAE are conservative by background, too, but they also enjoy going to restaurants, to the movies, to the theater. They want to go everywhere. They want to be free,” he added, while allowing that there are limitations to freedom.

“Freedom doesn’t mean you should abuse your country, your people or the authorities. You have to protect your culture by educating other people.”

On the question of whether alcohol could ever be served in Saudi Arabia as it is in Habtoor’s UAE establishments, he replied:  “To be honest, I can’t comment on that because I don’t know what their plan is for that.

“But everything is changing, everything is possible,” he added.

The Vision 2030 “masterplan” is changing perceptions of the Kingdom, he said. “It really is an excellent strategy. Everything is clear and transparent. There is a huge future for Saudi Arabia as far as investment and visitors and tourists are concerned.”

Al-Habtoor Group has interests in many sectors of the UAE economy, and from this position the chairman is well qualified to give an authoritative opinion on the challenges facing the country as it prepares for the Expo 2020 business exhibition.

The most pressing worry for economic analysts has been the oversupply of residential and hotel developments, and rising prices that some believe are forcing expatriate workers out of the UAE.

“Well, 2018 wasn’t a very good year, and 2019 was also very slow in the beginning, but by the end of the fourth quarter you could see the signs of improvement in the market. You could see it in retail, things were moving. In the land department, people were buying and selling land and real estate,” he said.

In his car-leasing business, in real estate, luxury cars and his education business, he saw signs that the UAE economy was picking up again. “Definitely. I can see improvement,” he said.

But the volume cars business was lagging, reflecting different spending patterns by expats who often now choose to rent a car long term rather than buy. The rising cost of living was also a big factor, he said.

“Everything is becoming more expensive. The only cheap thing in the country is hotel rooms — they’re among the cheapest in the world,” he added.

“There are too many hotel rooms and residential developments, and it’s not recommended that we should build more.”

The UAE government has taken some measures to limit supply of real estate and hotel projects, which Al-Habtoor thinks is a good thing.

But the introduction of VAT was, in his view, a damaging economic mistake that should be rectified immediately.

“I think it should be cancelled, and also all the money taken should be refunded. The idea of VAT is wrong in my country for the time being. Maybe in the future,” he said.

He would prefer to see the cancellation of sales tax and the scrapping of government fees for services such as visas and business licenses, replaced by a standard rate of income tax.

“I’d recommended they stop all the fees and VAT and let them take from income, like Britain, for example,” he said.

In international affairs, his opinion of US President Donald Trump has wavered between condemnation of his policy to ban travel from some Muslim countries, to warm approval of his current policy toward the Middle East.

Now Al-Habtoor seems overwhelmingly positive on Trump and would like to see him re-elected.

“I said that we need a businessman rather than a politician to lead the world. But whatever he said in the past I think it was just to get elected, and a lot of his supporters didn’t know about us, the Arabs,” Al-Habtoor said.

“They don’t know whether we were terrorists or good people. There are a lot of naive people in the US.”

In particular, he is a firm supporter of Trump’s recent policy toward Iran, though he feels that US sanctions could be better focused.

“If Trump wants to make (Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali) Khamenei and his gangs starve to death, he can do that. So I can’t understand why he isn’t doing that,” Al-Habtoor said.

“There are sanctions, but he’s not killing the rich people. They still eat caviar and the best steaks while the poor people are starving.”

On the US killing of Qassem Soleimani, Al-Habtoor is in complete agreement that it was the right thing to do, but hinted that he believed there was Iranian collusion in the attack.

“It should’ve happened a long time ago. He was the biggest criminal on earth. I think maybe the Iranians wanted him gone, too, otherwise how could the Americans have tracked him? But what happened is good, it doesn’t matter who did it,” Al-Habtoor said.

He is adamant that there should be no further escalation in regional tensions, but believes the next big threat will come from Hezbollah, Iran’s ally in Lebanon.

“I think Hezbollah is more powerful than Iran, and I think (Hezbollah leader) Hassan Nasrallah is the biggest threat to peace in the region,” Al-Habtoor said with forthright finality.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Sanofi KSA marks 5th anniversary of factory in KAEC

Time: 19 January, 2020

The ceremony, which was held at the factory facility, was attended by members of Sanofi management, representing the parent company, in addition to Dr. Ahmed Serag, general manager of Sanofi Saudi Arabia.

Health care company Sanofi Saudi Arabia recently hosted a celebration marking the fifth anniversary of launching its pharmaceutical production plant in the Industrial Valley of King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) in Jeddah. The ceremony, which was held at the factory facility, was attended by members of Sanofi management, representing the parent company, in addition to Dr. Ahmed Serag, general manager of Sanofi Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Serag said: “Since the factory was launched five years ago where we started to produce medicines locally, Sanofi factory will always be remembered as a success story that the company is proud of. The ambition and determination of Sanofi team steered the company to create a brilliant brand that loomed in the sky of pharmaceutical manufacturing and became a leader in the provision of reliable treatment solutions at the domestic level.

“During the five years since the factory was set up, the work team was laser-focused on achieving excellence in services through a broad understanding of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 that placed among its aims the promotion of pharmaceutical manufacturing in the Kingdom. The presence of the factory in KAEC is of particular importance, as it not only targets the Saudi market, but the entire Middle East region.”

Recently, Sanofi obtained an authorization from the Saudi Food and Drug Authority to manufacture the first drug that exclusively bears Sanofi’s name and trademark, a drug that is classified under the category of antibiotics and is used in the treatment of different groups of bacterial infections.

The company aims to increase the number of Saudis within the total workforce in the factory, providing Saudi youth an opportunity to qualify for a scientific career. The factory covers a total area of ​​35,000 square meters and was designed to locally produce up to 20 million packs of high-quality medicines that meet the needs of the regional community. The factory’s products cover the treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, pain, tumors, cholesterol, and nervous system management drugs, as well as anticoagulants, antibiotics, antihistamines and antacids.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Kärcher brings mobile cleaning center to KSA for Dakar 2020

Time: 15 January, 2020

The cleaning truck was made available to all teams during the rally for cleaning dust and dirt from the vehicles with high pressure washers to ensure that the vehicles were maintained well throughout the race.

Kärcher, a German provider of cleaning solutions, has joined the world’s biggest rally taking place in Saudi Arabia as its technical cleaning partner for the ninth consecutive year.

This is the first time the Dakar Rally is being hosted by Saudi Arabia and Kärcher is here to support the rally drivers to combat the dusty route between Jeddah and Qiddiya with its mobile cleaning center.

The cleaning truck was made available to all teams during the rally for cleaning dust and dirt from the vehicles with high pressure washers to ensure that the vehicles were maintained well throughout the race.

Since the last edition of the Dakar Rally, Kärcher has set store by the use of a mobile cleaning station — a lorry constructed specifically for this purpose, which is extensively equipped with cleaning equipment and collects the dirty water. Modern pressure washers can save up to 80 percent of the fresh water needed in comparison with manual washing with a water hose, and are therefore an environment-friendly alternative that achieves better results in less time. The washing service was made available to participants in six bivouacs and will also be present at the finishing line. In addition, Kärcher is also once again a sponsor of Team X-raid.

Kärcher offers a wide range of innovative cleaning solutions around the world. The family-owned business has over 13,000 employees in 70 countries and more than 120 companies.

As part of its cultural sponsorship program, Kärcher has cleaned and restored over 140 monuments worldwide since 1980.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Al-Othaim provides funding worth SR3.7m to support kidney patients

Time: 13 January, 2020

The contract was signed at the residence of Chairman Abdullah bin Saleh Al-Othaim in Riyadh.

Abdul Mohsen bin Abdullah Al-Othaim provided funding worth SR3.7 million ($986,482) for the purchase of advanced medical devices and equipment at the kidney patients’ unit at King Fahd Specialist Hospital in Buraidah.

The equipment will be used for carrying out lithotripsy, a medical procedure by which a kidney stone or other calculus is broken into small particles that can be passed out of the body.

The charitable endowment has been made under the Abdul Mohsen Al-Othaim Charity, the contract of which was signed at the residence of Abdullah bin Saleh Al-Othaim, chairman of the board of Al-Othaim Holding Company in Riyadh.

Abdul Aziz Abdullah Al-Othaim, member of the board of directors and CEO of Abdullah Al-Othaim Markets Company, represented Al-Othaim while the hospital was represented by Dr. Turki bin Abdullah Al-Muqbel, general manager. Also present was Dr. Mohamed Mustafa Al-Ras, CEO of Attia Medical Equipment Company.

Chairman Abdullah bin Saleh Al-Othaim said the endowment is in line with the strategy of Al-Othaim companies to contribute to social responsibility programs, charitable work and community service, and that the endowment will contribute to providing a distinguished medical service for kidney patients at the hospital.

“The endowment is in line with the unlimited support from our wise government toward social responsibility programs in partnership with all sectors, to ensure that necessary support reaches those who deserve it, in light of the generous and continuous care of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”

Al-Othaim companies have been involved in a number of charity campaigns, including the “No Hajj Without Vaccination Campaign,” in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, in addition to an environment campaign with the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization, and the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Nomura Middle East head: Saudi-Japan business links to move beyond oil

Time: 13 January, 2020

  • Makoto Kinone talks to Arab News during Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s visit to the Gulf
  • He views the region as a place to do business and strengthen the relationship between Japan and Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: Makoto Kinone is head of the main Middle East investment banking operations for Nomura International, the foreign arm of one of Japan’s biggest and oldest banks.
Nomura has been involved in the region — mainly Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain — for several decades, and has advised clients on billions of dollars of trade finance and corporate transactions. It also has a big asset management business in the region.
On the eve of the visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the Gulf, Kinone told Arab News how he views the region as a place to do business, and the strengthening relationship between Japan and Saudi Arabia.

Q: Explain the background to Nomura’s presence in the Middle East. What projects have you been involved in here, in Saudi Arabia, in particular?
A: With a presence in the Middle East region since 1974, Nomura has long-standing relationships with Saudi government bodies, financial institutions and corporates.
Nomura was licensed as an investment bank by the Capital Market Authority in May 2008 and began operations in July 2009, becoming the first Asian firm authorized to provide investment banking services in the Kingdom.
Nomura Saudi Arabia is focused on arranging and advising in securities, and has delivered a number of customised solutions to clients.
Most recently, Nomura acted as sole financial adviser to one of the largest petrochemical companies in the Kingdom, on a sell-side transaction in the mergers and acquisitions field.

Q: What do you see as the synergies between Japan and Saudi Arabia from a business and financial point of view?
A: Culturally, Japan and Saudi Arabia have some commonalities — the value of long-term relationships, the need for balance and careful deliberation in decision making. This translates into the business and financial world where there has been stable growth in trade and economic agreements between the two countries.

Q: Japan is a big importer of crude oil from the Kingdom, but does this relationship extend beyond the oil trade?
A: Although the current business relationship is dominated by energy-related trade, there has been a focus on finding ways to promote a balanced relationship (cooperation in areas such as technology, general industry, security and finance) that is mutually beneficial to both countries.

Q: What is Nomura’s assessment of the current economic situation in Japan?
A: Japan continues to face domestic and international headwinds. An aging population at home, as well as a cyclical global economic slowdown and international political uncertainty, has made an impact.
That said, macro-fundamentals show that Japan’s cyclical slowdown, which has continued since 2018, is coming to an end. Domestic economic growth is expected to start gathering pace, but not until the end of this year.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Developing living communities in Saudi Arabia

Time: 12 January, 2020

The “Quality of Life” Program 2020, one of the main pillars of Vision 2030, aims to improve the lifestyle of individuals and families in the Kingdom. This is achieved by enhancing the participation of citizens in cultural, entertainment, sports and other activities that contribute to the quality of life and promote the status of Saudi cities globally.

Essential to achieving this is creating vibrant communities in which individuals and families interact and engage with one another and their physical environment. Unlike the traditional makeup of cities, where residential, commercial, retail and hospitality assets were unintegrated, 21st century living calls for urban masterplans that facilitate a social mix through incorporating all asset classes within communities. These must offer quality basic and lifestyle services with public spaces for all to boost the physical, psychological, and digital health of the Vision 2030 generation.

Rapidly changing demographics, an improvement in urban connectivity, and a growing mortgage market present ripe opportunities for the development of mixed-use communities. Saudi Arabia boasts a population of 33 million in 2018 and is expected to grow at an average rate of 1.8 percent per annum over the next three years, according to Oxford Economics. More relevant though, the population is relatively young with 60 percent between the ages of 15-49. In line with global trends, younger generations want to live, work and play in a more urban environment that encourages a sense of community. To achieve that, developers should bring a variety of uses together in an almost self-contained mini city.

Another key factor is the improving connectivity within urban areas. Whether the anticipated Riyadh Metro or the Jeddah Haramain Railway, among other transport systems, infrastructure projects will play a substantial role as a catalyst for real estate markets improving the quality of life of local communities.

Based on an analysis of global benchmarks, mobility schemes are expected to be a strong driver of growth and demand across the Kingdom as a result of improved connectivity. Longer-term, this is expected to increase the value of properties in close proximity to transit systems. A third key element is the government’s commitment to providing homes to Saudi citizens. Under Vision 2030, the Sakani program was launched to provide more than 500,000 residential units by 2030 across the Kingdom, at a planned cost of SR500 billion.

Many of these projects are built using modern construction techniques to ensure high quality and sustainability. Projects also will include medical facilities, schools, retail, parks and open spaces, providing modern amenities to citizens.

The first quarter of 2019 saw the announcement of an SR86 billion ($23 billion) well-being project to revamp public spaces in Riyadh, improve the quality of life, and promote urban development. Due for completion in 2025, the King Salman Park will incorporate a central public green space surrounded by multiple mixed-use developments with recreational and sports areas, among other features.

In Jeddah, SR4.6 billion has been allocated to raise the living standards in the city.

This includes investing in new social and urban projects but also upgrading slums and revamping unplanned neighborhoods to make way for high-quality mixed-use developments, namely the New Jeddah Downtown.

Whether the anticipated Riyadh Metro or the Jeddah Haramain Railway, among other transport systems, infrastructure projects will play a substantial role as a catalyst for real estate markets improving the quality of life of local communities.

Shahd AlMehdar

This 15-square-kilometer development will become a unique tourist, residential and commercial destination with entertainment and shopping activities on Jeddah’s waterfront.

With millennials and Gen Z now reshaping future spaces, property developers and owners must adapt and be agile to market conditions.

This involves investing in upgrades and expansions in line with market demand, to maintain their long-term value and relevance and ensure socioeconomic integration.

As such, they must take into consideration multiple elements when rethinking their spaces and strategies, particularly the proximity to the workplace or to retail and entertainment outlets. This then reflects positively on the value of properties, making them a more transactional product.

It is inevitable that for the success of urban regeneration, various public and private entities are involved in the planning process. This ranges from decision making and financing, to implementation and operation management.

In this regard, many government initiatives are underway and aim to encourage the private sector to build communities, increase their participation in funding options and mortgage solutions, and contribution to home ownership schemes.

• Shahd AlMehdar is a senior research analyst at JLL.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Emirates NBD credit card offers ‘highest cashback’ in KSA

Time: 08 January, 2020

From left, Arjun Kannan, director of business development, Visa KSA; Muhammad Saqib Hussain, head of retail banking, Emirates NBD KSA; Marcello Baricordi, GM for MENA at Visa; Naser Yousef Al-Marzooqi, CEO of Emirates NBD KSA; Ali Bailoun, GM, Visa Saudi Arabia; and Naveed Ilyas, head of cards at Emirates NBD KSA.

Emirates NBD KSA has announced the launch of the Mazeed Cashback Credit Card, offering the “highest cashback” value across various spend categories.

Created in collaboration with global payments technology company Visa, Mazeed cardholders will enjoy up to 10 percent cashback on domestic and international spends across five categories: Travel, dining-in (including food delivery), groceries, education, and medical and pharmaceutical.

Naser Yousef Al-Marzouqi, CEO of Emirates NBD KSA, said: “Emirates NBD has established a solid presence in the Kingdom and remains deeply committed to supporting continued economic progress in the Kingdom as set out by the esteemed leadership’s Vision 2030. As part of our strategy to enhance our offering and proposition to Saudi customers, we are delighted to introduce the Mazeed Cashback Credit Card, which sets new standards with unmatched value offering in a highly competitive market. It combines the most important lifestyle categories of dining, air travel and luxury hotel accommodation along with essential household categories including school, college and university fees, groceries and medical bills. We are confident that the card will be well received in the Kingdom as we continue to enhance our proposition and expand our presence to serve and support the economic ambitions of Saudi individuals and businesses.”

Ali Bailoun, general manager for Saudi Arabia, Visa, said: “Visa is delighted to partner with Emirates NBD to launch its new credit card, Mazeed. As a leading global technology payments company, we work closely with our bank partners to deliver unique, secure and seamless payment experiences ideally suited to their customers’ evolving lifestyle needs and preferences. In doing so, Visa continues to play an integral role in digitizing the Kingdom’s payments sector in line with Vision 2030.”

Card members will also enjoy complimentary access to selected airport lounges across the world with their Emirates NBD Mazeed Cashback Credit Card. In addition, cardholders traveling to the UAE for business or leisure will enjoy additional privileges and benefits at popular UAE restaurants, family entertainment destinations, health clubs and spas, with automatic enrollment to Emirates NBD’s award-winning loyalty programs: Bon Appetit, GoodTimes, and LiveWell.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Nutanix, ISE to deliver IT solutions for Vision 2030

Time: 07 January, 2020 

Mohammed Alghailani, VP strategy and business operations at ISE; and Mohammad Abulhouf, country manager — Saudi and Bahrain at Nutanix, at the MoU signing ceremony.

Nutanix, a cloud computing software company, has signed an MoU with International Systems Engineering (ISE), a systems integrator based in Saudi Arabia. The two companies plan to work together to help accelerate the realization of the goals set by Saudi Vision 2030’s National Transformation Program, by removing the constraints of traditional approaches to IT whilst ensuring integrity of information.

Mohammad Abulhouf, country manager — Saudi and Bahrain at Nutanix, said: “As a leader in hyperconverged infrastructure, Nutanix is the operating system for the cloud. Our solutions help organizations free themselves from the complexity and cost of legacy IT, and embrace the power of cloud. We believe that with a strong partner like ISE, having a high level of technical expertise and extensive knowledge of the local market, Nutanix will be able to help enterprises in Saudi embark on their hybrid cloud journey and thus contribute to the government’s overall vision of developing the Kingdom’s digital competence.”

“This relationship demonstrates our commitment to Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program (NTP) by creating local capability and job opportunities. At present we are involved in a number of critical national infrastructure projects in Saudi Arabia,” said Majid Al-Muzairi, ISE CEO.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Tous unveils collection for Saudi Arabia

Time: 02 January, 2020 

The launch ceremony held at Waldorf Astoria Jeddah — Qasr Al-Sharq hotel was attended by social media influencers and notable Saudi women.

Spanish jewelry brand Tous has revealed its latest collection “Nocturne,” designed specifically for the Saudi market.

The launch ceremony, held at the Waldorf Astoria Jeddah — Qasr Al-Sharq hotel, was attended by media professionals, social media influencers, and notable Saudi women. The attendees were impressed by the creative pieces on display, crafted by innovative and skilled designers.

“The Nocturne collection caters to every taste and budget in the Saudi market. This collection features new creative designs and adds to the portfolio of Tous rings, bracelets, silver diamond necklaces and platinum. With various appearances and shapes, the pieces will surpass the expectations of women and cater to the tastes of Tous customers and lovers who search for elegance and charm,” a statement said.

The collection includes diamond pieces, precious stones and carefully polished seed pearls.

“Tous creative designers know very well that Saudi girls have high expectations for looks and charm; therefore, they ensured that the Nocturne collection is matchless and unique, and above all caters to all ages and every girl who wants to be stylish,” Tous said.

The new collection is now available at Tous stores located in shopping centers across the Kingdom.

Tous has created an innovative jewelry concept with a distinctive approach to traditional high-end jewelry. Tous offers original jewels crafted in unique materials, including day-to-night jewelry. The family-owned company has evolved into a global lifestyle brand with its jewelry, accessories, watches and fragrance collections. Today, the Barcelona-based global brand is present in 40 countries with more than 400 stores in cities such as New York, Mexico and Tokyo.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi Aviation, BAE Systems sign MoU to enhance aircraft maintenance

Time: 01 January, 2020

Saudi Aviation Association and Saudi BAE Systems sign MoU to enhance aircraft maintenance. (SPA)
  • MoU aims at joint cooperation to enhance local aircraft maintenance
  • The two parties will work on new programs to train Saudi youth

JEDDAH: The Saudi Aviation Association has signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi BAE Systems for development and training.
This MoU aims at joint cooperation to enhance local aircraft maintenance, which is witnessing a steady growth in Saudi Arabia.
Under this MoU, the two parties will work on new programs to train Saudi youth in fields compatible with the capabilities of the company, in addition to analyzing information and current and future requirements in the maintenance and operation of aircraft.
Prince Fahd bin Mishaal, president of the Saudi Aviation Association and the vice-chairman of the Saudi Aviation Club, said that he was optimistic about the move, saying that the association seeks to upgrade its services and keep pace with developments in Saudi Arabia.
“The Saudis working in the field of civil aviation have proven their professionalism and competence on the local and international levels,” he said. “Therefore, by signing this MoU, the association will lead these capabilities to the ranks of developed countries.”

This article was first published in Arab News

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