“Right now, the kingdom is losing a significant portion of its top-tier tech talent to Silicon Valley and other tech ecosystems around the world. So its challenge is twofold: building leadership in emerging fourth industrial revolution tech fields, like artificial intelligence, for example, to attract Saudi tech talent home; and developing homegrown tech talent to feed the investments in emerging tech sectors.”

-Wes Schwalje, COO at Dubai-based research firm Tahseen Consulting, in comments on Saudi efforts to promote tech innovation and entrepreneurship. [ComputerWeekly]



Unemployment declines in Saudi Arabia, further gains seen in 2020 – Jadwa Investment

Vision 2030 media

Unemployment in Saudi Arabia declined in the 3q 2019 and is likely to continue to improve as a pick-up in the non-oil private sector growth should translate to more jobs, according to a recent report from Jadwa Investment. [more]



Cyber security specialist fastest-growing profession in Saudi Arabia

in saudigazette.com : LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, debuted a Saudi-focused chapter of its annual Emerging Jobs Report that reveals a major shift towards tech-oriented professions in Saudi Arabia. Cyber security specialist, digital specialist, full-stack engineer, and digital marketing specialist have all been listed among the top 10 emerging jobs in the country.

Saudi Arabia to generate renewable energy investments worth $3.7bn

power-technology.com provides a useful update of the Renewable Energy Project Development Office (Repdo) bidding process for Rounds Two and Three of Saudi Arabia’s renewable energy push.  Round Two includes six photovoltaic (PV) solar independent power projects (IPP), with a combined total capacity of 1,270MW, while Round Three three comprises one wind and five solar PV projects with a combined total capacity of 1,580MW.

Saudi construction representatives build case for reprieve on expat workers’ fees

Fatima Muhammad reports in arabnews.com that the construction sector is hoping to gain an exemption from expat fees similar to the 5-year suspension awarded to the industrial sector. “…it is difficult to Saudize this sector, unlike many other sectors. The construction sector is the only sector that relies on expat workers and it is nearly impossible to Saudize it.”



Green Buildings

Ministry of Housing, With the Support of Alpin, Develop Mostadam, New Green Building Rating System

Alpin Limited is proud to have been an integral part of the development of Mostadam, a new green building rating system developed by the Ministry of...[via yahoo.com]


Yemen Civil War

Saudi Arabia Strongly Condemns Houthi Terrorist Attack in Yemen’s Marib

Saudi Arabia strongly condemned on Monday the terrorist attack carried out by the Iran-backed Houthi militias against a mosque in the al-Estiqbal military training camp...[via aawsat.com]


Air Defense

France deploys radar system in Saudi Arabia to ‘reassure’ kingdom

France has deployed a radar system on the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia to beef up its ally’s defenses after missile attacks on the kingdom’s...[By John Irish and Tangi Salaun via reuters.com]


Air Cargo

SATS Saudi Arabia wins cargo concession in Riyadh

SATS operates 10 cargo terminals in Beijing, Dammam, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Oman and Singapore....[By William Hayes via caasint.com]


Desert X

Desert X AlUla—the inaugural sculpture biennial in a historic Saudi Arabian valley—announces participants

Fourteen artists including five Saudi nationals will take part in the inaugural Desert X exhibition launching in the vast AlUla region in northwest Saudi Arabia...[By Gareth Harris via theartnewspaper.com]


Copyright Court

Saudi courts to handle copyrights, patents cases

Saudi commercial courts and departments will handle copyrights and patents-related cases from February. The cases will be heard in commercial courts and in commercial departments...[via arabnews.com]



Saudi Arabia reiterates its commitment as top Sudan Donor

Saudi Arabia, the biggest aid provider to Sudan, has pledge continued commitment to the beleaguered state. The pledge was made a high-level roundtable on Humanitarian...[via reliefweb.int]


Invest Saudi

Saudi Arabia records a 51 per cent increase in FDI in 2019, Invest Saudi

In a report, Invest Saudi, the state entity in charge of promoting foreign investment, said that a total of 1,131 of foreign companies were created...[via cpifinancial.net]


Saudi Economy

Saudi Arabia’s 2020 growth forecast cut by IMF on OPEC+ cuts

Saudi Arabia's 2020 GDP will be 1.9%, down from 2.2% projected in October, the IMF said. The fund kept its 2021 forecast at 2.2%, compared...[By Dania Saadi via spglobal.com]



Saudi’s United Electronics to Evolve Online Platform, CEO Mohammed Galal Fahmi Says

Mohammed Galal Fahmi, chief executive officer of United Electronics Co., a consumer electronics retailer in Saudi Arabia, talks about its business strategy and outlook. United Electronics reported...[via bloomberg.com]


Oil Markets

Bullish oil bets surge after OPEC+ reaches deal on cuts

Hedge fund managers piled back into petroleum last week after Saudi Arabia and its allies in the OPEC+ group of major oil exporters announced deeper-than-expected...[By John Kemp via reuters.com]



Mena gas investments drop by $70bn on project completion and Iranian economic woes

Investment in the gas industry in the broader Middle East declined by $70 billion year-on-year following completion of large scale projects in the region and...[By Jennifer Gnana via thenational.ae]


Defense Bill

Pentagon budget would hit Syria, Iran, Russia with tough sanctions

The Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act of 2019, passed by the GOP-majority Senate with an 86-6 vote, authorizes sanctions within six months on the Syrian...[By Bradford Betz via foxnews.com]



State Department plans to reduce staffing levels in Iraq

The reduction would mean 114 fewer people at the US Embassy in Baghdad, 15 fewer people at the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center and eight fewer...[By Jennifer Hansler and Kylie Atwood via cnn.com]


CFR Survey

Under Trump, the US Has Become a Leading Source of Global Instability

Stares noted that the forthcoming survey, conducted in November, yielded more scenarios in the highest category of risk than in any of the previous 11...[By Uri Friedman via defenseone.com]



Commentary: There Was No “Secret War on the Truth” in Afghanistan

Instead, the Post’s reporting puts sensationalist spin on information that was not classified, has already been described in publicly-available reports, only covers a fraction of...[By Jon Schroden via warontherocks.com]



Saudis, Abu Dhabi chill to Softbank’s Masayoshi Son and Vision Fund 2

For now, the Saudis and Mubadala are not ruling out an eventual investment and may just be balking to get better terms from Softbank; as...[By Lydia Moynihan and Charles Gasparino via foxbusiness.com]


Kuala Lumpur Summit

Muslim leaders gather in Malaysia for summit shunned by Saudi

Even as delegations were arriving in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian officials were unable to provide a final list of who would be attending. Mahathir’s office said...[By Joseph Sipalan via reuters.com]



Gulf’s first female finance minister named in new Kuwait government

Ms Al Aqeel is one of three women among the eight new faces in Kuwait’s latest Cabinet, headed by Sheikh Sabah Al Khaled Al Sabah....[By Taylor Heyman via thenational.ae]


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