Healthcare operator reveals plan for RAK island hospital

SOURCE: Arabian Business

Time: April 19, 2018

Saudi German Hospital has signed an agreement with Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah to establish a 100-bed specialty hospital.

The hospital will serve the residents and visitors to Al Marjan Island as well as the wider Ras Al Khaimah community, a statement said.

The Saudi German Hospital in Al Marjan Island is scheduled to be operational in early-2019 and will initially offer seven specialties and by 2020, it will provide specialist care in 13 disciplines as well as more beds.

“As one of the most important tourist destinations in Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE, Al Marjan Island is a remarkable urban development,” said Sobhi A Batterjee, president of Saudi German Hospital Group.

“With the new hospital in Al Marjan Island, we aim to provide excellent and integrated healthcare services that will meet the needs of the people. It will serve the residents and visitors to Al Marjan Island and the wider community.”

Abdullah Al Abdooli, CEO of Al Marjan Island, added: “With the increase in number of residents and visitors, it is important that we offer them truly world-class healthcare services in close proximity. The addition of the hospital will add to our appeal as a truly integrated destination, and will help us consolidate our market leading position as a hub for tourism and investment.”

Al Marjan Island will eventually feature 7.8km of beaches, 23km of waterfront, 6,500 residential units, 8,000 hotel rooms, 400-room wellness retreats and 600 holiday villas.


Rihanna launches beauty line in Saudi Arabia

SOURCE:Arabian Business

19 Apr 2018

Pop star’s Fenty Beauty products target 40 different skin tones

Singer songwriter Rihanna launched her makeup line Fenty Beauty in Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

The brand, which took two years in the making, features 91 products ranging from highlighters to primers and lip glosses.

Its skin foundations come in 40 different shades to suit every skin tone.

“The Fenty Face was created for women of all skin tones, of all personalities. These steps are key to starting your makeup, no matter the look you’re going for,” she said of the line.

Fenty Beauty’s campaign further underlines the singer’s point, as it includes a diverse cast of all ethnicities.

The brand’s recent summer line features shimmering body luminisers and brushes.

The line is available in French chain Sephora online and in store in KSA as well as the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain.

Saudi Crown Prince receives phone call from UK PM Theresa May

SOURCE: Al Arabia English

Date: 18 April 2018

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received a phone call from British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday.

During the phone call they discussed bilateral relations between both countries, as well as developments in the region and possible combined efforts to solve them.


‘More than 50%’: Saudi minister reaffirms government call for women’s central role in reforms

Time: April 16, 2018


LONDON: Women should be “central” to achieving the nation’s ambitious Vision 2030, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih told Arab News on International Women’s Day.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Saudi-UK CEO Forum in London, the minister said that women being able to drive was “insignificant in the wider scheme of things.”
“What matters,” he said, “is making sure that they have access to skills training and access to jobs. What matters is they have access to investment opportunities so we ensure that the power of women is unleashed to represent their great capabilities.”
Al-Falih added: “There is great potential for all Saudi citizens … certainly women will have more than their share, which should be more than 50 percent.”
Saudi Arabia has announced a string of reforms in recent months aimed at improving opportunities for women in the Kingdom. Alongside being able to drive, Saudi Arabia’s women can now join the Shoura Council, license their own businesses and take part in sports, among many other new freedoms in a country that is in the throes of modernization and change.
Speaking at the same event on a panel, Princess Reema bint Bandar, vice president of the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia, said that women joining the Shoura Council has allowed for the “escalation of women’s needs.”
Princess Reema added the creation of a sports ecosystem for women would be critical to job creation and female empowerment.
She said: “It will benefit women to be included in sports. We want to focus on the ecosystem – we are looking for females that are engineers in the stadiums or trainers which will enable the athletes, for example … which all leads to the end product of the ecosystem: The female athlete.”
Saudi Deputy Minister of Labor Tamader Al-Rammah told the audience that contrary to some global perceptions, women’s empowerment started in Saudi Arabia in the 1960s with the provision of extensive education for females.
“(Women’s empowerment) has been slow but steady,” she said. “Today we are ready for it and we can see the changes are happening rapidly.”
On the controversial subject of gender quotas, Al-Rammah said: “I think the best way to do it is to have the best person for each position. On the other hand, you should remove all barriers to that position.
“Perhaps after some time, we’ll decide that we need quotas. In the meantime, Saudi Arabian women are not shy and the men support us. I don’t think we will need quotas, we will get there.”
Al-Rammah added that the need to funnel women into the workplace was “urgent.”
“We are in a time where we don’t have time,” she said.
Al-Rammah added 95 percent of new Saudi jobs will require digital skills. She said: “It’s very important to set that online goal now. It’s important women get online. What’s making me not sleep at night is not whether women drive, it’s whether they are equipped for the future digitally.”

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi King Salman concludes ‘Jerusalem Summit’ in Dhahran

SOURCE: Al Arabia English

Date: 15 April 2018

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz concluded the 29th Arab League Summit in Dhahran on Sunday at the King Abdulaziz International Cultural Center.

In his speech at the summit, King Salman stressed that the Palestinian issue is “our first issue and will remain so” expressing his condemnation of the decision of the US administration to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem.

King Salman named the current Arab League Summit the “Jerusalem Summit” to remind everyone around the world that Palestine is “engraved in the conscience of the Arab people”.

He announced the dedication of $50 million to UNRWA and $150 million to the Islamic Endowment Support Program in Jerusalem, stressing that east Jerusalem should be the capital of Palestine.

King Salman also called for a strong UN stance against Iran’s expansionist behavior in the region which is causing unrest.

 He said that Arab national security is a complete and indivisible system. He also welcomed an agreement to establish an Arab cultural summit.

The Saudi King also presented the kingdom’s initiative and willingness to deal with the challenges that the Arab national security is facing.

King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussain of Jordan, the President of the previous Arab League Summit, delivered a speech in which he expressed his thanks to King Salman for the warm reception and generous hospitality.


Qatar PM attends wedding of terrorist financier Abdulrahman al-Nuaimi’s son

SOURCE: Al Arabia English

Date: 15 April 2018


Just a day had passed following Qatar Emir’s assertion before US President Donald Trump at the White House that Doha does not support terrorism. The next day, Qatar’s Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani, along with other government officials, poses with the most prominent name on the Qatari and international terrorist lists – Abdulrahman al-Nuaimi – at the wedding of the latter’s son.

The photo was taken by the Qatari photographer Ibrahim Hamad al-Muftah, who specializes in celebrations and events in Qatar. He shared the photo on Saturday on his Instagram account.

In the picture, al-Thani appeared to kiss Nuaimi’s son, Abdullah al-Nuaimi, to congratulate him on his marriage on April 11. In the photo, the elder Nuaimi – the wanted terrorist who is on the US and British lists, including the Qatari one – can be seen behind.

Nuaimi was designated as terrorist by the US government in December 2013 and the UN in September 2014 for providing financial support to terrorist organizations in the region.

The US Department of the Treasury described Nuaimi, 64, as providing millions of dollars to al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Nuaimi was Qatar’s former head of its national Football association and was the founder and board member of the Qatar-based Eid Charity that was listed as a terrorist entity by the Anti-Terror Quarter of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain in Egypt last year.

Nuaimi was among the ten named under Qatar’s terror list released in March.

Abdulrahman al-Nuaimi (C) was among the ten named under Qatar’s own terror list released in March. (Supplied)

In details published by Qatari newspaper Al-Raya on Wednesday, congratulations were in order from the media outlet on the wedding of Nuaimi’s son of. “Dr. Abdulrahman bin Omair al-Jaber al-Nuaimi celebrates his son’s wedding this evening, Congratulations,” read the blurb under photos showing the wedding.

The wedding ceremony on Apr. 11 was attended by a number of prominent Qatari personalities. Among the guests at the wedding was Abdullah al-Sulaiti, who identifies himself as an “adviser in the oil industry and writer with Qatari newspaper al-Raya, former editor-in-chief of Qatari newspaper al-Sharq”.


Jubeir: Jerusalem Summit demands Iran regional withdrawal

SOURCE: Al Arabiya English

Date: 15 April 2018

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Arab leaders agreed on the need for Iran and its militias to withdraw from the region and stop Tehran’s meddling in the internal affairs of neighboring countries.

Jubeir’s statements came during the press conference at the conclusion of the Arab League’s 29th summit held in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and was named the “Jerusalem Summit” after Saudi King Salman stressed that the Palestinian issue is “our first issue and will remain so”.

According to Saudi Foreign Minister, the summit also called for supporting strategies to maintain Arab national security. He also said that Arab leadership agreed at the summit on the idea brought forth by Saudi King Salman to hold a future Arab cultural summit.

He also told reporters that there is an intention for Beirut to host the Arab Economic Summit in 2019.


Saudi- Yemeni minister lauds KSrelief in the field of health

SOURCE: Arab News

Time: April 08, 2018

(MENAFN – Saudi Press Agency)
Aden, Rajab 20, 1439, April 6, 2018, SPA — Yemen’s minister of Local Administration Abdulraqeeb Fat-h, who is also chairman of the higher committee for relief, today lauded the efforts being exerted by Riyadh-based King Salman Center for Humanitarian and Relief Aid in the field of health sector in all provinces of Yemen.
In a statement carried by the state-run Yemeni news agency, Fat-h said the center is meeting the needs of all health utilities in the same neutrality and control followed in 2017, thus reaching almost all Yemeni provinces according to the internationally-recognized standards.
The minister also praised the support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in making the UN-sponsored Humanitarian Response Conference recently held in Geneva a success, citing the Kingdom’s $500 million donation and firm stance by the side of the Yemeni government and people.

Why Pakistan is sending troops to Saudi Arabia

SOURCE: Washington Examiner

Time: February 16, 2018

As first reported by Reuters, the Pakistani Army is sending soldiers to Saudi Arabia on a “training and advice” mission.

This is notable because Pakistan has previously been reluctant to commit forces to Saudi military operations such as that in Yemen. Fearing a deterioration in relations with Iran (which is fighting the Saudis in Yemen right now) and being sucked into the Yemen quagmire, Pakistani Army headquarters had been happy to stay home (the Inter-Services Intelligence excluded), and the Pakistani Parliament deferred to that intent.

In turn, by now sending forces to Saudi Arabia at a time of unparalleled tensions between Riyadh and Tehran, the Pakistanis are centering themselves in the Saudi orbit. In specific terms, they are accepting that this deployment will lead to a deterioration in relations with Iran.

So, why the change of heart? While the Saudi and Pakistani governments did not immediately respond to requests for comment, I think two factors are at play here. First, the Pakistanis anticipate that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman will shortly take power from his father and want to ensure that he retains a pro-Pakistan attitude. Already the de facto Saudi leader, bin Salman is pursuing a bold and aggressive campaign of modernization. The Pakistani Army, which I’ve noted is now led by a more realistic commander, has obviously decided that it must keep bin Salman on-side. Not least among their calculations is Saudi Arabia’s generous financial support to keyelements of Pakistani national power.

There’s also likely a personal element here. One of Pakistan’s finest ever army commanders, Raheel Sharif is the head of a pan-Islamic-nation Saudi-funded counterterrorism force based in Riyadh. Sharif has won bin Salman’s trust and wants Islamabad to cultivate the relationship further.

Second, the Saudis want to improve their capability to counter Iran. While the Saudi military is well-equipped with an array of high-end European and American military platforms, its combat forces lack the aggression and experience of the Iranians. Pakistan’s battle-hardened army has the potential to whip the Saudis into shape. An apt military motto here: “If you’re all kit (equipment), you’re all shit.”

Nevertheless, at the diplomatic level, this deployment is a pretty significant development. If nothing else, the Saudi-Pakistan alliance is growing closer and Iran more isolated, which is a good thing.


What’s behind the military shake-up in Saudi Arabia?

SOURCE: The Deference Post

Time: November 14, 2017

In a series of late-night royal decrees on Monday, Saudi Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman replaced several top military commanders, including the chief of staff, as well as the heads of the ground forces and air defenses. No specific reason was given for the sackings, but I posit three key drivers of this change.

First, while Saudi Arabia’s protracted involvement in Yemen, now entering its third year, was initially cited as the reason for this shake-up, the changes are in fact part of a larger plan to overhaul the kingdom’s military, which has been in the works for years.

Indeed, while the war in Yemen has exposed weaknesses within the Saudi military, King Salman has approved a larger plan to develop the defense ministry. Unsurprisingly, then, the decrees introduce a new strategy to improve its structure, organization and governance.

For his part, Mohammed bin Salman has for years expressed his desire to advance his country’s military, lamenting that high military spending has not led to correspondingly high military performance. In a 2016 interview, the then-deputy crown prince opined, “it is unacceptable that we are the world’s third or fourth biggest country in military spending but our army is ranked in the twenties. There is a problem.” Having an efficient and effective fighting force has become a higher priority for the Saudis as their rivalry with Iran, often seen as more powerful militarily, becomes more heated.

Because military contracts have been a source of corruption in the past, restructuring the entire military system could mitigate the risk of inappropriate spending and therefore fits in line with Mohammed bin Salman’s anti-corruption drive.

Second, the timing of this decree, weeks before Mohammed bin Salman’s visits to major military equipment suppliers, the United Kingdom (March 7), France and the United States (March 19), is certainly relevant. Mohammed bin Salman will likely try to assuage Western fears about his country’s continued involvement in Yemen, in addition to urging Western partners to aid in the restructuring of his country’s defense ministry.

As of Monday, Lockheed Martin and Saudi Arabia had signed a joint venture to help create jobs in the kingdom through the manufacture of 150 Black Hawks locally, since the long-term goal is to localize military procurement, increasing locally made military equipment from the current two percent to 50 percent. Since the Gulf Cooperation Council has ceased to be a successful regional security body due to the ongoing crisis, Gulf states seem to be looking increasingly outside of the region for security guarantees – as evidenced by recent news from Kuwait that it is considering inviting a permanent British military presence.

Third, this change is yet another example of Mohammad bin Salman’s style of leadership – a swift departure from the more deliberate decision-making of his predecessors. Another decree issued simultaneously with the military changes named Tamader al-Rammah deputy labor minister for social affairs – the highest-ranking position a woman has ever held in Saudi Arabia.

Other new deputy ministers were also named at the economy and interior ministries, and new mayors were named for Riyadh and Mecca. Prince Turki bin Talal, brother of formerly detained Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, was also named a deputy governor of Asir province, and another royal decree named Khaled Biyari in a new position as assistant to the defense minister for executive affairs, signaling new involvement of the private sector in the military’s revamp.

Importantly, these actions send the message that Mohammed bin Salman’s Saudi Arabia is one that is inclusive of the private sector, of women, and more representative of the kingdom’s young population – or at least this perception is what he seeks to promote. Indeed, one day before the announcement, women were granted the ability to apply for positions in the army and police, on 12 conditions.

With clerics and the business sector under his control after arrests in September and October, Mohammed bin Salman has now put his stamp on the defense ministry, bringing in a new, younger cohort; it remains to be seen how much change will result on the ground, however.