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GCC States Economy & Development

Yeah, what is happening with Dr. Mosab? Such a great member and a fellow Hejazi although I am only partial, LOL!:)

Well, Europe, USA, China etc. also invest in agriculture outside their borders but there is already huge farmlands and greenhouses in many provinces of KSA that produces vegetables and fruits in abundance. Even export it outside of KSA. Hundred of local markets as well.

Can somebody explain this? I understand that it is more useful for UAE, Qatar and much smaller states that have not even a remotely close diversity as KSA (climatic as well).

Why produce watermelons outside of KSA when the local ones are amazing, healthy and very tasty? Plenty of grapes as well on the countryside and tropical fruits in the South including coffee beans etc.

The government should give more benefits to farmers IMO.

Who is in agreement?
For export to UAE, Qatar and others..
These cars are made in Saudi Arabia and are 100% Saudi


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    Using the ‘tried and true’ manufacturing system, Hafilat Buses boast a unique aluminium body design that features specially moulded channel extrusions and bolted gussets, creating faultless joints and consequently a more robust structure.

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Made in the UAE

UAE and Saudi Arabia lead GCC rail, metro construction schemes
The increasing popularity of Dubai Metro highlights the impact of rail schemes in the Gulf, where Bahrain, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia are looking beyond roads for the future

Dubai's Route 2020 metro projects is one of the most high-profile GCC rail schemes currently under way [image: mediaoffice.ae].


Al Maktoum International Airport
Dubai Airports sets commercial course for Dubai World Central

16 Mar – new images added

Leslie Jones Architecture has been commissioned by Dubai Airports to support the commercial design strategy for the future Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central (DWC). In September of last year Dubai Airports welcomed the announcement by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai endorsing the AED120bn (US$ 32bn) expansion of DWC which will ultimately accommodate more than 200 million passengers a year.

Bahrain Int'l Airport passenger terminal will be ready on time
Building new passenger terminal at Bahrain International Airport is one of the core elements of the modernisation project

Bahrain International Airport is getting a major facelift.

American Hospital Dubai announces AI research centre in collaboration with Cerner

American Hospital Dubai, part of Mohamed & Obaid Al Mulla Group, has announced the launch of the first artificial intelligence (AI) research centre in the region (in medical field) in partnership with global healthcare technology company Cerner. The AI research centre aims to leverage Cerner’s electronic health records (EHR) data along with its clinical AI and advanced data analytics tools to ultimately create centres of excellence for oncology, infectious diseases and bariatric medicine.


OMANI startup awarded by the World Economic Forum
The Ocean Innovation Award went to Cubex Global, a digital shipping brokerage which says it can cut maritime carbon emissions by 20% in the next five years by reduce the amount of empty container space.
Khalifa University Emirati Researcher Creates New Web Tool to Facilitate First-Ever Twitter Analysis on COVID-19 in UAE
Project Assessed Tweets in English and Arabic from 01 January to 01 May on Messages Ranging from Origin and Spread of Disease, Government Responses, and Treatment

An Emirati faculty member at Khalifa University of Science and Technology has created a new web tool for analysis of COVID-19 Twitter data in the UAE, offering the public insights into conversations, emotions and sentiments concerning the virus.

The tool titled ‘Analysis of Cross-linguistic markers of COVID-19 Tweets in the UAE’ shows that public sentiment remained positive and trustful of government actions towards mitigating the spread of the disease, reflecting the UAE’s effective measures against COVID-19.

The web tool developed by Dr Aamna Mohammed Al Shehhi, Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, facilitated understanding of social impacts of COVID-19 by creating a Twitter dashboard that offers an insight into public social media conversations. Analyzing linguistic markers in social media posts helps in assessing and evaluating changes in the narrative about COVID19, while understanding the social and emotional reaction to different government actions.

Led by Dr. Aamna Mohammed Al Shehhi, the project to develop the web tool for Twitter analysis in the UAE, was also supported by the Emirates ICT Innovation Center (EBTIC), which is supported by Etisalat, BT, Khalifa University, and the UAE ICT Fund.

Dr. Al Shehhi said this Twitter analysis indicates the ever-increasing role of social media and its impact on policy-making. She added: “Such understanding enables large-scale opportunities for information-seeking, and practice-sharing to calm people down, and understanding of the differences in the COVID-19 narrative delivered across languages. It also provides a tool to measure the COVID-19 impact on social well-being. Integrating Twitter dashboard analysis therefore can help policymakers during the decision-making process.”

The study assessed tweets both in English and Arabic during the observation period, which spanned from 01 January to 01 May 2020. The predominant topic of tweets ranged from the origin of the disease, the disease’s spread, government responses, and treatment, in addition to common themes of daily tweets.

The data shows that in early January, at the beginning of the observation period, panic behavior was noticed in both Arabic and English tweets on COVID-19, during which time fear topics such as virus, death, epidemic, and pneumonia were common content. However, since January-end, there was a greater spread of positive and hopeful sentiment, which increased over time. This increase in positivity is attributed to different government actions, such as restrictions of movement at national borders and strengthening of the healthcare system.
Saudi Arabia ranked 15th in “ease of starting a new business” in 2020 competitiveness report, climbing 45 positions in one year...

Saudi Arabia improves on inflation, ease of doing business in global competitiveness report

  • Kingdom climbs 36 places to second on global consumer price index category
  • World Competitiveness Yearbook one of most comprehensive assessments of nations’ performances
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has placed second out of 63 countries in the global consumer price index category of the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2020, published by the Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD).
The Kingdom climbed 36 places from its 2019 ranking in that category, thanks largely to its low inflation rates. Saudi Arabia also shot up the rankings in the “ease of starting a new business” category, placing 15th — up from 60th place in 2019.

The Ministry of Commerce issued a statement on the report, saying, “The Kingdom has made unprecedented progress in the (IMD’s rankings), despite the economic conditions resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This great progress reflects the efforts to reform and develop the business environment in Saudi Arabia, as well as the development of legislation to regulate and organize commercial work, taking into consideration the participation of the private sector.”
The World Competitiveness Yearbook is considered to be one of the most comprehensive assessments of nations’ performances in four areas: Economic Performance, Government Efficiency, Business Efficiency and Infrastructure. Overall, the Kingdom ranked 24th this year — up from 26th in 2019 — and was the only country from the Middle East to improve its ranking in 2020. It placed eighth among the members of the G20.
“Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Kingdom has made (great strides in the IMD’s report) and this will encourage foreign investors to (back) more projects in Saudi Arabia,” Dr. Majed Al-Hedayan, a Riyadh-based financial analyst and legal expert, told Arab News. “This report proves the strength of the national economy and the (wisdom of the) measures taken by the government to face the coronavirus crisis.”

Top 500 supercomputer ranking - June 2020

#32 Artemis - Group 42 (UAE)
#46 Shaheen II - KAUST (Saudi Arabia)
#150 Makman-3 - Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabia)
#161 Makman-2 - Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabia)
#266 POD3 - Group 42 (UAE)

UAE and KSA are the only muslim countries represented in this top 500


Jeddah airport begins automated free train service inside terminal

JEDDAH — The administration of King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah began on Monday operation of free train service to transport passengers inside its new terminal No. 1.

he domestic automated train service will carry the arriving and departing international passengers from the check-in zone to the international travel lounges zone and vice versa. This service was the first of its kind at the Kingdom’s airports, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The length of the automated conveyor track is 1000 meters with a capacity of 4000 passengers per hour, and it includes two stations and two tracks that work with 10 carriages, each with the capacity of 65 passengers, and the length of time for the travel between the two stations is 85 seconds, while the passenger’s maximum waiting time is 170 seconds.

Issam Noor, director-general of the KAIA, said the internal automatic carriage service is a technical addition to the series of services provided by the new airport, as this type of automated train exists only in a limited number of advanced international airports.

He said that the internal automated carrier aims to transport international travelers from Zone A after completing the travel procedures to Zone E of international travel lounges and vice versa. The train is equipped with all the systems available in the airport lounges such as air conditioning, radio and information systems, and fire alarm systems, as well as emergency exits to ensure the safety and security of passengers in carriages, stations and along its tracks.

It is noteworthy that the first phase of the new airport has a capacity of 30 million passengers annually and up to 80 million passengers upon completion of the third phase. Passenger lounges are located on an area of 810,000 square meters to serve all domestic and international flights.

The passenger lounges contain 220 platforms, 80 self-service passenger service devices, and also includes 46 aircraft gates, including 25 gates for international flights, 13 gates for domestic trips, in addition to eight dual-use gates, and 94 aerobridges that connect directly to the aircraft. There are two bridges for each gate and three bridges for jumbo aircraft.


Dubai, Abu Dhabi among world's top 10 medical tourism destinations
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are among the top destinations in the world for people travelling overseas to obtain medical treatment, according to a new study.

The latest Medical Tourism Index for 2020-2021 ranked Dubai in the sixth place and Abu Dhabi in the ninth position for providing some of the best healthcare options for visitors.

The index was developed by the International Healthcare Research Centre (IHRC) based on American perceptions of medical care in 46 places abroad. The destinations were rated in different criteria, including the state of the medical tourism industry, destination attractiveness and quality of care.

Millions of people around the world travel every year in search of treatment outside their local healthcare systems. The procedures they look for can range from dental care, cardiac surgery, cosmetic surgery or orthopaedic survey, among others.

According to a 2014 Visa report, medical tourism is a multi-billion-dollar industry that is forecast to grow by up to 25 percent per year over the next 10 years.

Overall, Canada took the crown as the number one destination for medical tourism, followed by Singapore, Japan, Spain and UK in the top five.

Costa Rica came in the seventh place after Dubai, followed by Israel, while India landed the tenth position.

Need to increase offerings
The latest ranking is the third edition of the index, which comes at a critical juncture, when healthcare has never been more important.

According to the developers of the index, the medical tourism, health tourism and wellness travel industries will all aim to slowly return to pre-2020 levels as soon as the coronavirus becomes “less ubiquitous” and travel restrictions are completely lifted.

But while the virus is still raging, countries that are looking to cash in on visitors looking for healthcare options can focus on improving their offerings.

“If you’re a potential medical tourism destination, there’s no better time to get your house in order,” said Renee-Marie Stephano, one of the developers of the index.

Stephano believes that that the coronavirus should even stimulate new stakeholders in the medical tourism industry, and that it could be a catalyst for the sector to grow “more responsibly and more effectively” over time.


https://assets.website-files.com/5d8aac42c851d2d6528d50d4/5f0df13e57906e9f895e3767_2020-2021 Medical Tourism Index Overall Ranking.pdf
UAE President establishes Advanced Technology Research Council
President Sheikh Khalifa has announced the creation of a new body aimed at strengthening Abu Dhabi’s position as a global research and development hub.

The Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC) will operate as an independent authority to accelerate a culture of innovation and discovery.

In a statement issued on Wednesday evening, the government’s news agency Wam said the ATRC would be responsible for setting the technological priorities of the emirate.

It will also establish the necessary controls and standards to help support, finance and undertake R&D contracts, reporting on its work to the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

Faisal Abdulaziz Al Bannai was announced as its Secretary General.

“The scope of advanced technology R&D was defined to include R&D activities in all fields and specialties, including engineering, communications, artificial intelligence, AI, robotics, space, alternative energy, renewables, and the environmental, chemical, petrochemical, food, pharmaceutical and construction industries,” a statement on Wam said.

“Bringing together cross-disciplinary leaders in research and technology, the new Council will cultivate a collaborative research community, accelerate innovation and discovery and foster a culture of inquiry.”

Abu Dhabi's new advanced tech council will shift R&D 'into high gear'
Abu Dhabi’s new Advanced Technology Research Council will shift research and development into “high gear”, helping to make the emirate a more attractive global hub for start-ups and technology companies, according to experts.

A pipeline of high-tech R&D investment and initiatives from Ghadan 21, Abu Dhabi’s three-year Dh50 billion economic stimulus plan, has attracted and supported academics and the private sector over the last 18 months.

The research council will build on that progress, setting the priorities for technology development in the emirate and finance standards for R&D contracts, while reporting to the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

Abu Dhabi's ADQ launches Dh1.1bn fund to invest in Asian start-ups

“There has been growing recognition that investment in R&D can create new value, developing home-grown technologies and creating valuable intellectual property, rather than viewing all technology simply as an expense,” Carrington Malin, an independent consultant in the UAE who publishes a weekly newsletter on artificial intelligence in the Middle East, told The National.

“There's certainly an opportunity for the ATRC to both help co-ordinate R&D activities and align with government goals and needs. As the ecosystem develops further, it will become more and more attractive for established tech [companies] and new start-ups alike.”

There are signs this is already taking place.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Office, for example, which oversees foreign direct investment and private sector development in the emirate, as well as several initiatives under Ghadan 21, announced last year that China’s AI giant SenseTime would open an R&D centre for Europe, the Middle East and Africa in Abu Dhabi, employing 600 engineers.

More recently, ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies, launched a $300 million (Dh1.1bn) start-up fund that aims to bring promising Asian start-ups to set up business in Masdar City.

The investment office's director general, Tariq Bin Hendi, told The National that the research council would further develop R&D financing, partnership opportunities and access to technology.

“ATRC will play a significant role in continuing the development of Abu Dhabi’s innovation ecosystem and supporting the growth of businesses here,” he said.

There's a big role for the research council to play in both helping to support local R&D needs and paving the way for global investment in Abu Dhabi.

Faisal Al Bannai, the chief executive and managing director of Abu Dhabi’s defence company, Edge, who founded cybersecurity company DarkMatter, is the ATRC’s secretary general.

The research council's scope includes R&D activities in "engineering, communications, AI, robotics, space, alternative energy, renewables and the environmental, chemical, petrochemical, food, pharmaceutical and construction industries”.

“Bringing together cross-disciplinary leaders in research and technology, the new council will cultivate a collaborative research community, accelerate innovation and discovery and foster a culture of inquiry.”

UAE entities partner to establish ‘Khalifa University Space Technology and Innovation Centre’

KUSTIC will incorporate the existing Yahsat Space Lab and focus on research, satellite design, manufacture and CubeSat production by Emirati students.

Khalifa University of Science and Technology, the UAE Space Agency (UAESA), and Al Yah Satellite Communications (YahSat), have signed a three-way funding agreement to establish and operate the Khalifa University Space Technology and Innovation Centre (KUSTIC), committing to scientific innovations and laying the foundations for further inspiring the UAE’s future space missions.

A virtual gathering in Abu Dhabi on the agreement was attended by His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, His Excellency Dr. Eng. Mohammed Nasser Al-Ahbabi, Director-General of the UAE Space Agency, Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University of Science and Technology and Masood M. Sharif Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer of Yahsat.

The main objectives of KUSTIC will be to build capabilities and create a technical space hub through training UAE students in satellite design and manufacturing, conducting scientific research in space sector and applications, developing satellite manufacturing capabilities in the UAE, promoting and inspiring entrepreneurship in the space sector, supporting space science and technology initiatives of the UAE Space Agency, and focus on the design and assembly/integration/testing of small satellites through the Yahsat Space Lab.

KUSTIC will aim to achieve the UAE’s vision in space exploration, technologies, and applications. It will play a crucial role in building capabilities and creating a technical hub by training UAE students in satellite design and manufacturing, conducting scientific research in the space sector and applications, and developing satellite manufacturing capabilities in the UAE. It will also promote and inspire entrepreneurship in the space sector; while supporting space science and technology initiatives of the UAE Space Agency.

The centre will incorporate the existing YahSat Space Lab (YSL), which was established in 2017 as the nationwide focal point in the design and Assembly/Integration/Testing (AIT) of CubeSats, both in terms of facilities and of expertise. All small satellite design, AIT and manufacturing activities of the Centre shall be performed at YSL. The lab produced and successfully launched the UAE’s first imaging CubeSat in 2018.

HE Dr. Ahmed bin Abdullah Hamid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency said: “We are looking forward to achieving a fruitful collaboration with Khalifa University of Science and Technology and YahSat that aims to enhance the interest of the youth in technology and innovation and getting engaged in all areas of science, technology, engineering and math. Earlier this year, we launched a national strategy for the space sector that will help our country gain insights matching the level of advanced countries in this vital sector. Our wise leadership has spared no effort in developing scientific research facilities in the UAE, and providing young nationals with training and professional qualifications, as they are the key drivers to move forward towards achieving the government’s vision in this field.”

Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi commented: “Khalifa University continues to remain the perfect training ground for students in science and technology, providing the right infrastructure for future scientists to seek new worlds and reach beyond today’s frontier. We believe this partnership with UAE Space Agency and YahSat will further solidify our status as not only a research-intensive institution working in space-related technologies but also the ideal university that seeks to build human capital in the most advanced areas for tomorrow’s scientific development.”

HE Dr. Eng. Mohammed Nasser Al-Ahbabi, Director-General of the UAE Space Agency, remarked: “Our collaboration with Khalifa University of Science and Technology and YahSat will help in supporting the young Emiratis’ ambitions in working and being productive individuals in the space sector, thus enhancing the UAE’s leading status in the region and the world.”

Khaled Abdulla Al Qubaisi added: “As one of the trusted satellite operators in the world today, Yahsat embodies our nation’s dreams of becoming a leading technology innovation hub. We are committed to using our capabilities and standing as an industry leader to nurture the prospects of our youth and their potential on a global scale. By guiding scores of aspiring engineers at Yahsat Space Lab, we have discovered an enormous pool of talent within the UAE, and would like to develop it further. Yahsat’s responsibilities as a technology mentor have increased manifold with the inception of the new Space Technology and Innovation Centre. We will continue to extend our expertise and support the students through internships, career placements and research opportunities.”

According to the agreement, KUSTIC will specifically empower the development of various research thrusts covering major aspects of space mission development. KUSTIC will be an important partner in raising awareness about the space sector among Emirati youth, and the importance of their role in the advancement of national research and development. In addition to focusing on the design and Assembly/Integration/Testing (AIT) of small satellites, the centre will also aim to establish component, assemblies and subsystem manufacturing capabilities.

Two already existing Khalifa University research centres will contribute to KUSTIC’s activities. The ‘space robotics’ research thrust shall be covered under the leadership of the research staff from the KU Centre for Autonomous Robotic Systems (KUCARS) while the ‘space power’ and ‘energy storage’ research thrust shall be covered under the leadership of KU Advanced Power and Energy Center (APEC), another existing research centre.


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