QUOTED

“We are converting our power sector and its energy mix to a point whereby 2030 I am confident we will become one of the top producers of solar energy and renewables. We’re also getting involved in nuclear because we want to have all our options open.”

-Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, speaking on climate change and clean energy production at a special event during the annual WEF meeting in Davos. [aawsat.com]

TOP STORY

2019-N-COV

Saudi Health Officials, Experienced with MERS-CoV, Take Preventative Measures against New ‘Wuhan’ Coronavirus

Coronavirus

Officials in Saudi Arabia are taking precautions to stop the spread of a new coronavirus from China, screening arriving passengers and nurses to prevent a public health threat, according to reports. [more]

 

TOP STORY

TOKYO OLYMPICS

Saudi Olympic Football Team Qualifies for Tokyo 2020, First Olympic Soccer Bid in 24 Years

Tokyo 2020

Saudi Arabia and Korea Republic have become one of the first three Asian teams to secure a trip to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Fifa reports.  [more]

 

TOP STORY

Oil Demand Growth Forecasted to Trend Higher in 2020

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries along with Russia and its allies will curb oil output by a collective 1.2 million barrels a day.

Oil demand growth is set to trend higher this year compared with 2019, a recent report from Jadwa Investment finds, citing OPEC forecasts and other global economic factors.   [more]

 

TOP STORY

SAUDI CULTURE

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]

 

MORE TOP STORYLINES

Saudi Arabia Unlikely to Exceed Borrowing Plan After Bumper Sale

Via Matthew Martin and Francine Lacqua in bloomberg.com : Saudi Arabia’s budget deficit is set to expand to 187 billion riyals ($50 billion) this year. The kingdom is counting on the private sector to stimulate growth as it cuts spending. The non-oil economy grew at its fastest in about five years during the third quarter of 2019, but plans to cut government expenditure this year could challenge the kingdom’s ability to sustain that pace.

Fifteen of the top projects currently shaping Saudi Arabia

Via Gavin Gibbon in arabianbusiness.com : 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 dependence on hydrocarbons and throw open its doors to tourists from around the world.

The new student recruitment landscape in Saudi Arabia

in icef.com : 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 almost right away. But as those recent US numbers suggest, Saudi Arabia remains a very important source market, and a key recruiting ground for agents and educators in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

 

MORE ON THE KINGDOM AND BEYOND

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]

 

Saudi Lending to Private Sector Surges to Fastest Since 2016

Lending to Saudi Arabia’s private sector grew at the fastest pace since May 2016, a sign the kingdom’s non-oil economy is sustaining momentum as businesses...[By Vivian Nereim via bloomberg.com]

 

Lebanon

Can Lebanon’s new government revive the economy?

After three months of political paralysis, Lebanon has finally formed a government under Prime Minister Hassan Diab. Now comes the task of saving the country...[By Tom Arnold via reuters.com]

 

Syria

Assad may have won the Syrian war, but now he’s battling the economy

So far this year, the currency has plunged to half its value in 2019. The prices of some consumer goods have doubled, and those of...[By Sarah Dadouch and Asser Khattab via washingtonpost.com]

 

Libya

Oil Tankers Dawdle Off Libya’s Coast as Warlord Halts Exports

Ten ships able to carry about 8 million barrels are floating in the country’s waters, mostly around the key terminals of Es Sider and Ras...[By Grant Smith and Julian Lee via bloomberg.com]

 

U.S.-Iraq

Trump meets Iraqi counterpart, first since Soleimani strike

U.S. President Donald Trump hinted that sanctions on Iraq were still a possibility in a bilateral meeting with Iraq’s president Wednesday, the first since a...[By Samya Kullab and Darlene Superville via militarytimes.com]

 

iraq

US forces in Iraq are facing more attacks from Shiite militias than ISIS, commander says

"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the...[By Jeff Schogol via taskandpurpose.com]

 

U.S.-Iran

Successor to slain Iran general faces same fate if he kills Americans – U.S. envoy

After Soleimani’s death, Tehran swiftly appointed Esmail Ghaani as the new head of the Quds Force, an elite unit in the Revolutionary Guards that handles...[By Nafisa Eltahir via reuters.com]

 

Egypt

Youth in Egypt wooed by President Sisi in a rush to head off unrest

“I have one million youth trying to enter the labor market each year. They want a home, they want to marry, they want to raise...[By Taylor Luck via csmonitor.com]

 

Turkey

Turkish foreign minister says Russian S-400 air defense no threat to NATO

“The claim is that the S400 and F-35s are incompatible. That’s the claim. Here is our proposal, let’s have a working group and NATO can...[By Luke Baker via reuters.com]

 

Syria

Syria war: Jihadist assault ‘kills dozens of soldiers’

Up to 40 Syrian soldiers have been killed in an assault by hundreds of militants in north-western Syria, according to Russia's defence ministry. The ministry, which...[via bbc.com]

 

Iran Missile Attack

As Toll Mounts, Trump Downplays Injuries Suffered in Iranian Attack

Trump’s remarks, at the Davos Economic Forum in Switzerland, came just hours after the Defense Department acknowledged that it has sent more troops out of...[By Katie Bo Williams via defenseone.com]

 

Coal

Here are the proposed coal power plants China is bankrolling around the world

...[via qz.com/]

 

Auschwitz

Holocaust: World leaders attend forum in Israel

World leaders are attending a forum in Jerusalem to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland....[via bbc.com]

 
 

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