“On the non-oil side, growth seems to be evolving pretty much as we expected. Confidence in the economy seems to be better now than a few years ago and we would expect private sector momentum to be there even if government spending slows.”

Tim Callen, Saudi Arabia mission chief to the IMF, speaking with S&P Global about IMF projections for the Saudi economy in 2020.

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Saudi Arabia says businesses and shops to open 24 hours

Via Mina Aldroubi in thenational.ae : “Allowing commercial activities to function 24/7 will contribute to providing commodities and services to residents around the clock and will enhance the quality of life in cities,” Majed Al Qasabi, the acting Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs, said on Monday.

Saudi, US passports valid up to six months after expiry date

Via Muhammad Al-Sobhi in saudigazette.com.sa : According to the agreement, any Saudi or US citizen, who have valid passports are allowed to enter the other country until the last day of the validity of their passports.

Saudi Aramco, Alibaba among biggest IPOs of 2019

Via Lizzy Gurdus in cnbc.com : Overall, some 250 companies — new and old, domestic and multinational — filed to go public this year, a phenomenon some likened to the dotcom bubble of the late 1990s. Century-old Levi Strauss and newcomers including Pinterest and Beyond Meat offered their shares to individual investors, with annual IPOs reaching a multi-decade high.



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]



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]


U.S. Military

US attacks Iran-backed militia bases in Iraq and Syria

The US has conducted air strikes in Iraq and Syria against an Iran-backed Iraqi militia blamed for an attack that killed an American civilian contractor. Weapons...[via bbc.com]


Global Oil Markets

Oil price rise muted in 2019 despite sanctions, supply cuts, attack in Saudi Arabia

Prices are likely to remain rangebound in 2020 as swelling supplies, particularly from the United States, offset cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting...[By Devika Krishna Kumar and Florence Tan via reuters.com]



Gallup’s Top World Findings for 2019

The following list includes Gallup editors' picks for some of the most important world discoveries -- and most highly read international stories -- of the...[By Julie Ray via gallup.com]


Turkey in the Region

Turkey speeds up Libya troop deployment deal to prevent slide into ‘chaos’

Last week, President Tayyip Erdogan announced his government’s decision to seek a parliamentary consent to send troops to Libya to defend the U.N.-backed Government of...[By Ece Toksabay via reuters.com]


Taliban Talks

Taliban council agrees to temporary cease-fire in Afghanistan

Four members of the Taliban negotiating team met for a week with the ruling council before they agreed on the brief cease-fire. The negotiating team...[By Rahim Faiez via militarytimes.com via AP]


Gulf Security

This is how the US military is protecting the Strait of Hormuz

Iranian small boat threats, limpet mines and Tehran-backed forces armed with cruise and anti-ship killing missiles are just a few of the threats to the...[By Shawn Snow via militarytimes.com]



Natural Gas in Oman: Too Much of a Good Thing?

It is the largest hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, project outside of the United States, and has used U.S. methods of developing unconventional gas resources that...[By Colby Connelly via agsiw.org]


Gulf Shipping

Japan to send warship, aircraft to Middle East to protect vessels

Under the plan, a helicopter-equipped destroyer and two P-3C patrol planes will be dispatched for information-gathering aimed at ensuring safe passage for Japanese vessels through...[via aljazeera.com]



In Pakistan, polio makes a comeback amid vaccine boycotts

Today, polio remains endemic in just three countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria (which has not reported a case in three years). This year, however, has...[By Asad Hashim via aljazeera.com]


Solar Energy

California will make solar panels the next home appliance

It’s a quiet revolution tucked into the building codes approved unanimously by the California Energy Commission (CEC) in 2018. Solar panels are installed on just...[By Michael J. Coren via qz.com]



Somalia suicide car bomb attack rocks capital, killing scores

At least 79 people are dead and 149 more injured after a massive car bomb exploded at a busy intersection on the outskirts of Somalia's...[By Omar Nor, Raja Razek and Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN via cnn.com]


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