“I call Saudi Arabia a continent rather than a country…We’re seeing now on TV something we’ve never seen before — we see green fields, we see skiing, we see sun and desert. You can’t believe this is the Arabian Peninsula. That makes it very attractive to every tourist or investor because they have variety, because you’re not restricted to one area or sector where you want to build something. You have a choice as to what you can do.”

Khalaf Al-Habtoor, founder and chairman of Al-Habtoor Group. [arabnews.com]



Saudi Authority Calls on UNESCO to Protect Traditional Khawlani Coffee Cultivation Techniques

Coffee making in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Heritage Preservation Society has called on UNESCO to protect traditional Khawlani coffee cultivation techniques in Saudi Arabia in a press release, noting that the Arabian tradition “has been passed down for generations by the ancient tribes of Khawlan who have grown and processed Khawlani coffee beans in the verdant valleys of Jazan, a region in the southern-most tip of Arabia, for over 300 years.” [more]




Report: SABIC, Aramco set to decide on oil to chemicals project in 2Q 2020


Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) and Saudi Aramco expect to announce in the second quarter whether they’ll proceed with plans to build a facility to process crude oil directly into chemicals, Bloomberg reports. [more]



G20 2020

The Economic Impact of Saudi Arabia Hosting the G20 Summit


A recent report from Jadwa Investment looks at the economic impact of Saudi Arabia hosting the G20 Summit, noting that while the Riyadh has hosted major summits before, “the G20 summit differs due to the sheer number of different events related to it” with more than 120 workshops, ministerial meetings and specialized seminars scheduled throughout the year.  [more]



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

in cpifinancial.net : 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 in 2019, a 54 per cent increase from 2018, adding that this was the biggest rise in 10 years. Of the 1,131 investor licences issued in 2019, 69 per cent were full foreign ownership and 31 per cent accounted for joint venture partnerships with local investors.

Saudi Arabias 2020 growth forecast cut by IMF on OPEC+ cuts

Via Dania Saadi in spglobal.com : 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 with 0.2% for 2019.

World Economic Outlook Update, January 2020: Tentative Stabilization, Sluggish Recovery?

in imf.org : Trade policy uncertainty, geopolitical tensions, and idiosyncratic stress in key emerging market economies continued to weigh on global economic activity—especially manufacturing and trade—in the second half of 2019. Intensifying social unrest in several countries posed new challenges, as did weather-related disasters—from hurricanes in the Caribbean, to drought and bushfires in Australia, floods in eastern Africa, and drought in southern Africa.



Netflix screening ‘big boost’ to Saudi filmmakers

“Six Windows in the Desert,” a series of short films created by Saudis, will make its Netflix debut on Thursday, streaming in 190 countries. After buying...[via arabnews.com]


Saudi Officials Hold Talks with US Special Envoy for Syria

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah has met with US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Levant Affairs and Special Envoy for Syria Joel...[via aawsat.com]


More Than A Dozen Saudi Oil Firms Book Hefty Losses In 2019

A total of 14 Saudi companies in the energy sector booked hefty losses last year, Middle East Monitor reported on Wednesday, quoting analysts who had...[By Tsvetana Paraskova via oilprice.com]


Trekking to the Most Beautiful Wadi in the Middle East

Wadi Lejab is this magical spot somewhere on the map of the Al-Raith mountains in Saudi Arabia. After driving for 2 days from Riyadh, we...[By Eva zu Beck via youtube.com]


Inaugural Saudi Cup To Be Televised On FS1

Live coverage of the inaugural Saudi Cup airs Saturday, Feb. 29 at noon Eastern on FS1. The field for the Saudi Cup, the world's richest...[via paulickreport.com]


Can I Fly to Riyadh? Emirates Air to Limit Access to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia suspended entry for nationalities holding tourist visas and coming from: Greater China, Iran, Italy, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Philippines, Singapore,...[By Layan Odeh via bloomberg.com]


Sports minister launches Saudi Games, Kingdom’s largest sporting event

The event will feature 40 games with the participation of 35 sports federations in 18 venues within Riyadh....[via arabnews.com]


Aramco Is Said to Start Early Preparations for Overseas Listing

The world’s largest publicly traded company is in discussions with Wall Street banks to draw up scenarios for a second listing overseas, according to the...[By Matthew Martin, Dinesh Nair, and Ishika Mookerjee via bloomberg.com]


Saudi cuts March oil volumes to China by at least 500,000 bpd

Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, is reducing crude supplies to China in March by at least 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) due to...[By Alex Lawler via reuters.com]


Saudi Aramco Open to Share Sales Abroad to Fuel Economic Plans

Saudi Arabia is planning to sell more stakes in state-owned oil producer Saudi Aramco as it looks to raise money to fuel an economic diversification...[By Matthew Martin via bloomberg.com]


Saudi Cup Could Change How Sires Are Ranked

If the winner of the Saudi Cup is by a U.S. sire and goes on to win the $12 million Dubai World Cup Sponsored by...[By Eric Mitchell via bloodhorse.com]


In Saudi Arabia, women have scored another winning goal

Saudi Arabia is planning on expanding the number of professional football players competing in the country, not by recruiting more athletes to its existing national...[via thenational.ae]



Libya players agree cease-fire amid warnings war may become ‘next Syria’

The agreement on Sunday came after about four hours of talks in Berlin where German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted leaders of 11 countries, with Libya’s...[via nbcnews.com]



Iraq protesters battle security forces in bid to shut Baghdad streets

Rallies have rocked Iraq since October but, fearing they would lose momentum amid spiralling regional tensions, protesters last Monday told the government it had one...[via france24.com]



Hundreds injured in Lebanon as violence flares in ‘week of anger’

Lebanese medical groups said at least 377 people were injured on Saturday, including 80 who were taken to hospital, during the culmination of days of...[By Michael Safi via theguardian.com]



Yemen attack: 80 soldiers killed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels

At least 80 Yemeni soldiers attending prayers at a mosque were killed and 130 others injured in ballistic missile and drone attacks by Iran-backed Houthi...[By Schams Elwazer and Sharif Paget, CNN via cnn.com]


World Economic Forum - 2020

The 50th Davos summit in numbers

BBC News takes a look at some of the numbers around the 50th World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland....[via bbc.com]



Gulf carriers fly over Iraq, Iran after military action deters others

Qatar Airways, Emirates and several other Gulf airlines still fly in Iraqi and Iranian airspace and to cities in both countries, even as other international...[By Alexander Cornwell via reuters.com]



Turkey interest rate cut to dampen foreign investor appeal

Turkey’s move to cut interest rates highlights the country’s economic fragility and its exposure to geopolitical risk, say analysts. The latest 75 basis point cut on...[via arabnews.com]



Pompeo Felt ‘Outrage’ Over U.S. Citizen’s Death in Egypt

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “expressed outrage” to Egypt’s president on Sunday at the death of an American citizen who insisted he had been...[By AP via time.com]



Car bomb attack wounds Turkish contractors, police near Somali capital

Somali insurgents linked to al Qaeda claimed responsibility for a car bombing on Saturday that wounded at least 15 people in Afgoye, northwest of the...[By Abdi Sheikh via reuters.com]


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