QUOTED

“[W]e hope that we’ve put in place the sort of deterrence that will avoid another attack, we’ve enhanced Saudi’s air defenses and so have other countries, and we’re going to continue to enhance Saudi defenses and our defenses in the region to avoid it from happening again.”

-U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook, referencing Iran’s alleged role in an attack on Saudi Aramco’s facilities in September 14th, in an interview with CNBC’s Hadley Gamble during the Doha forum in Qatar. [CNBC.com]

TOP STORY

ECONOMY

Saudi Arabia’s Spending Cuts Could Reduce the Kingdom’s ‘Fiscal Vulnerabilities’ to Oil Price Fluctuation, IIF Says

MBS-CEDA-economy2

Saudi Arabia will lower government spending in 2020 as the Kingdom’s economic and social reforms start to kick in. That could help reduce Saudi Arabia’s medium-term fiscal vulnerabilities to lower oil prices, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) said, and put Saudi on track for a balanced budget by 2023. [more]

 

MORE TOP STORYLINES

Saudi unemployment dips to 12 percent in Q3

in brecorder.com : Unemployment among Saudi Arabian citizens fell to 12% in the third quarter of 2019 from 12.3% in the previous quarter, moving further away from a record high of 12.9% in 2018, official figures released on Sunday showed.

Small reactors could meet Saudi Arabia’s energy needs, report says

in arabnews.com : According to KAPSARC, the design of SMRs requires lower initial investment and shorter simplified design construction times compared with large modular reactors (3 years as opposed to 7-10 years), as the unit can be expanded at any time (buying one module and adding others later).

Diriyah Tennis Cup final in Saudi Arabia is First to Use New Digital Line-Judging Technology

The inaugural Diriyah Tennis Cup in Riyadh made tennis history “as not only the first in Saudi Arabia, but also one of the first to use Hawk-Eye Live technology,” according to Arab News. “Replacing the need for line judges and providing more accuracy, Hawk-Eye Live sends visual and audio cues to the chair umpire and off-court monitors within a tenth of a second of a ball bouncing, to show faults and out-of-bounds shots without relying on the naked eye.”

 

MORE ON THE KINGDOM AND BEYOND

Saudi Aramco IPO

Interview at Davos: Aramco International Listing ‘Still on the Cards,’ Saudi Arabia Finance Minister Says

Saudi Arabian Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan discusses the recent $5 billion debt issuance, the state of the Saudi economy, and the prospect of an international...[via bloomberg.com]

 

T20

More efforts needed to bridge gender, generation gaps in labor market: Saudi conference

The two-day T20 Inception Conference brought together experts from all over the world to discuss a range of essential issues covering climate, energy, migration, youth,...[By Rashid Hassan via arabnews.com]

 

Saudi Bonds

Saudi Arabia Issues $5 Billion of Bonds as Gulf Tensions Ease

The kingdom issued $5 billion of debt, taking advantage of low borrowing costs globally. It’s seeking to plug part of its growing budget deficit by...[By Archana Narayanan and Matthew Martin via bloomberg.com]

 

Saudi Youth Development Survey of 2019

Youth make up over two-thirds of Saudi Arabia: Survey

Youth, categorized as individuals aged 0-34 years, make up 67.02 percent of the total population of Saudi Arabia, according to a report released by the...[By Matthew Amlôt via alarabiya.net]

 

Pensacola Shooting

At Florida base, a mix of relief, anxiety in Saudi shooting aftermath

With an FBI investigation underway, Navy security officer David Link still is not allowed to talk about what he saw when a Saudi gunman killed...[By Phil Stewart via reuters.com]

 

Security

Saudi Arabia to Screen Travelers From China After Virus Outbreak

Saudi Arabia will start screening passengers arriving from China and take other preventive measures following the outbreak of the new coronavirus in China, the kingdom's...[via nytimes.com]

 

Women in the Workforce

First military section for women introduced in Saudi Arabia

Under the initiative to incorporate more women into the field, previously announced in October 2019, women can now join the military as lance corporals, corporals,...[via thenews.com]

 

Study Abroad

From the field: The new student recruitment landscape in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi government began to wind down the KASP scholarship programme in 2016, and Saudi numbers in all major receiving countries began to drop off...[via icef.com]

 

Saudi Projects

Fifteen of the top projects currently shaping Saudi Arabia

The kingdom is pouring billions into a suite of gigaprojects, transport and mobility schemes, such as Riyadh Metro, designed to wean the country off its...[By Gavin Gibbon via arabianbusiness.com]

 

NEOM

Teneo Signs Up to Manage PR Unit of Saudi Mega-City

The New York-based firm’s duties include leading and staffing Neom’s PR unit to ensure that the development’s corporate messages and positioning are effectively communicated. It also...[By Kevin McCauley via odwyerpr.com]

 

Taxis

Saudi Arabia’s taxis go green

The green vehicles will be monitored and tracked to document quality of service and driver efficiency, equipped with screens that support both Arabic and English...[By Aseel Bashraheel via arabnews.com]

 

Earthquake

Small Earthquake hits Saudi Arabia, Iran

In Saudi Arabia, the earthquake was recorded at 10:27 pm local time. The magnitude of the quake was 3.9 on Richter scale....[via siasat.com]

 

Saudi-Sudan

Saudi Arabia renews call for Sudan to be removed from US terror blacklist

Bashir was toppled by the military last year, but the country remains on the list along with Syria, Iran and North Korea. In recent months, Saudi...[via middleeasteye.net]

 

“Future’s Folktales”

Saudi anime series ready for liftoff

The 13-episode series takes place in a futuristic reimagining of the Kingdom, showcasing tales of Saudi heritage that have been passed down from generation to...[By Hala Tashkandi via arabnews.com]

 

Iraq

Esper asks Iraq to help stop attacks on bases housing American troops

The call from Esper follows at least 10 rocket attacks that have targeted U.S. bases and interests in Iraq over the last five weeks. Iran-backed...[By Shawn Snow via militarytimes.com]

 

Iraq

The women rising up on Baghdad’s walls

Since October, a wave of anti-government protests has swept across Iraq. The protesters represent a cross-section of society and, unusually for a traditionally patriarchal country,...[via bbc.com]

 

Iran

The Supreme Leader’s Perilous Crisis Management

Khamenei has gotten himself into the position he warned against: He authorized the use of force to suppress economic protests in November but is disinclined...[By Ali Alfoneh via agsiw.org]

 

SMEs

Enhancing the Role of SMEs in the Arab World—Some Key Considerations

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a cornerstone of Arab economies, accounting for over 90 percent of all businesses and providing a major source of...[By Vahram Stepanyan and Gohar Abajyan via imf.org]

 

COP25

UN climate talks end with limited progress on emissions targets

Climate talks in Madrid have ended with a partial agreement to ask countries to come up with more ambitious targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions...[By Fiona Harvey via theguardian.com]

 

Lebanon

Lebanon crisis: Dozens wounded in second night of clashes in Beirut

On Monday morning, President Michel Aoun postponed until Thursday formal consultations with parliamentary blocs on who to choose as prime minister. Mr Hariri, who had been...[via bbc.com]

 

Libya

Can Anything Stop the Flow of Advanced Weapons into Libya?

Today, the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, France and Russia are supporting Hifter’s self-titled “Libyan National Army.” Turkey meanwhile is backing the collection of militias tangentially aligned...[By Nathan Vest via defenseone.com]

 

Yemen

Dengue fever finds breeding ground in war-weary Yemen

Mosquito-borne dengue is the latest challenge facing Yemenis who have endured almost five years of a conflict that has killed thousands, pushed millions to the...[By Eissa Rajehy via reuters.com]

 

India

Protests Spread Across India Over Divisive Citizenship Law

Furious protests against a new citizenship law continued to erupt across India on Monday, provoking a harsh security response and presenting the most widespread challenge...[By Jeffery Gettleman via nytimes.com]

 
 

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