“With the launch of the Dakar Rally here in the kingdom, the world will see the picturesque nature of our country and its wonderful desert…The world will come closer than ever to the people of the hospitable kingdom (that is) looking forward to welcoming the world.”

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Faisal, chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority, in remarks to reporters in Qiddiya on the upcoming 2020 Dakar Rally. [France24]


Global Construction Giant Bechtel Opens New Office in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia

Photo courtesy of Bechtel.

Global engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm Bechtel has re-opened its office in Al-Khobar to “meet the increasing demand for quality services in the Oil and Gas sector in Saudi Arabia and in the region,” SUSTG has learned. [more]



Saudi Aramco stock to get boost from inclusion in global indexes, analysts say

in thenational.ae : Saudi Aramcos stock will be included in the MSCI on December 17 and the FTSE on December 19, and will also become part of Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index, which should continue to support the stock, according to market analysts. MSCI, whose emerging market gauge is tracked by investors managing trillions of dollars in invests, will assign Aramco a free float of 0.5 per cent, resulting in a weight of 0.17 basis points in the MSCI Emerging Markets Standard Index.

Forsa platform registers over 8,000 Saudi SMEs

in arabnews.com : The portal offers several online platforms including Forsa, Tojjar, Emdad, Bahr, Kanaf, Zadd, Atwar and Appweb, which aim to change Saudi work culture by encouraging entrepreneurship and SMEs and empowering individuals to create new jobs through innovation.

7 Things To Do In Saudi Arabia This December

Kasia Truscott in harpersbazaararabia.com reports on the range of entertainment options now available in Saudi Arabia. She notes that December is packed with events including art festivals and concerts, with the likes of David Guetta and Amr Diab as well as cultural and sporting events.



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]



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]



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]


Turkey in the Region

SDF Commander Gen. Mazloum Abdi Calls on U.S. President Donald Trump to Prevent ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ of Kurds in Syria

Gen. Mazloum Abdi, the commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), has a message for U.S. President Donald Trump: The United States must act...[By Lara Seligman via foreignpolicy.com]



Lebanese army clashes with supporters of Hezbollah, Amal in Beirut

Lebanese troops lobbed tear gas on Tuesday to disperse supporters of Shi'ite groups Hezbollah and Amal who tried to storm a square in Beirut in...[via france24.com]



4,000 more Afghan interpreters could get special immigrant visas, thanks to defense bill

The legislation, if passed in the Senate, means that a total of 22,500 visas through the Special Immigrant Visa program could be issued to former...[By Diana Stancy Correll via militarytimes.com]


Gulf Security

Iran threat has not gone away, warns Royal Navy head

The Gulf isn't the only region where the Royal Navy is looking to have a more permanent presence. Adm Radakin said he was also discussing...[By Jonathan Beale via bbc.com]



Freed hostage urges Iran to release Navy vet, other prisoners

He was freed in exchange for scientist Massoud Soleimani, who was accused in the U.S. of violating sanctions by trying to have biological material brought...[By Eric Tucker via navytimes.com via AP]



DHL breaks ground on logistics hub in Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone

Logistics giant and Middle East General Enterprises to invest $99.4m for the hub expected to be operational in Q4 2021...[By Ranju Warrier via constructionweekonline.com]



Good Value in Egypt Government Bonds, says Fadh Iqbal, head of MENA research at Credit Suisse

Fadh Iqbal, head of MENA research at Credit Suisse, discusses Saudi Arabian, Qatar, Egypt markets and economies. He speaks on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Middle East.” (Source:...[via bloomberg.com]


Istanbul Cooperation Initiative

Nato says Saudi and Omani attendance at anniversary celebration ‘good sign’ of progress

That was to be followed by a meeting of the North Atlantic Council with all 29 member states, the four initiative members — the UAE,...[By Jack Moore via thenational.ae]



A Day in the Life of a Kurdish Refugee Boy

In October of 2019, Turkish military forces rolled into northern Syria and took over large areas of land inhabited by Kurds. The offensive created 300-thousand...[via voanews.com]



Opinion: Turkey doubles region’s troubles — first in Syria, and now in Libya

When a country’s diplomatic style is confrontational, what do you get? Confrontations. It has become Turkey’s signature style. But winning confrontations, or giving the appearance...[via thehill.com]



Pervez Musharraf: Pakistan ex-leader sentenced to death for treason

Gen Musharraf seized power in a military coup in 1999 and served as the country's president from 2001 to 2008. He is currently in Dubai after...[via bbc.com]


Arctic Drilling

Goldman Sachs rules out financing for Arctic drilling. Will other U.S. banks follow?

Goldman Sachs just became the first big U.S. bank to say it will no longer finance new drilling or oil exploration in the Arctic. It...[By Dino Grandoni via washingtonpost.com]


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