“…[G]olf has a bright future, and should provide many job and career opportunities for Saudis, both male and female. The Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi have developed wonderful plans for golf courses, academies, training programs and entertainment golf that will accelerate the spread of the sport in Saudi Arabia.”

Prince Khalid bin Saud Al-Faisal, adviser to the Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi, in comments to Arab News. The Kingdom will host The Saudi International at King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) next week from Jan. 30 — Feb. 2. [arabnews.com]



Israelis Can Now Go to Saudi Arabia For Religious Pilgrimages, Business Visits, Israel Says; Saudi Says ‘Our Policy is Fixed’


UPDATE: Saudi Arabia’a Foreign Minister said Israelis were not welcome to visit the kingdom, CNN reported on Monday. “Our policy is fixed. We do not have relations with the state of Israel and Israeli passport holders cannot visit the kingdom at the current time,” CNN quoted Prince Faisal bin Farhan as saying. [Reuters]


A new rule from Israeli leaders will allow Israeli Muslims to go to Saudi Arabia for religious pilgrimages and permit business trips to the Kingdom, according to reports. [more]




Kingdom’s Domestic Tourism, Entertainment Push Leads to Declines in Saudis Visiting Dubai

Demand for one to three-star hotels in Riyadh increased by 240 percent, Seera travel group said.

The number of Saudi tourists visiting Dubai in 2019 dropped as Saudi Arabia begins to see major gains in its domestic tourism market and local entertainment offerings. [more]



Video: How Saudi Aramco Became a $2 Trillion Crown Jewel

In a video from bloomberg.com : The world’s most valuable company isn’t Apple, Amazon or Google. That title instead belongs to Saudi Aramco. This is the story of how an oil company that started out as an American dream became Saudi Arabias cash cow.

Saudi Arabia, UAE caution oil market against gloom over China virus

Via Maha El Dahan in reuters.com : “Such extreme pessimism occurred back in 2003 during the SARS outbreak, though it did not cause a significant reduction in oil demand,” the minister said in a statement. Fellow Gulf OPEC oil producer United Arab Emirates echoed the Saudi minister’s comments.

Vast Locust Swarm Casts Shadow Over East African Food Security

Via David Herbling in bloomberg.com : Swarms of the insects are already devouring crops and pasture in Ethiopia and Somalia, and they’re breeding in Djibouti, Eritrea and Sudan — all areas that are prone to drought and food shortages. There’s a high risk they may soon enter northeast Uganda and southeast South Sudan, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization said Friday.



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]



Trump to meet Israeli leaders as doubts over ‘peace plan’ grow

The Palestinian prime minister called on Monday for world powers to boycott the initiative. “This is a plan to protect Trump from impeachment and protect...[By Oliver Holmes via theguardian.com]



Rockets strike embassy compound in Baghdad

There have been numerous rocket attacks on Baghdad's Green Zone, where the embassies of the US and several other western countries are located, and the...[By Barbara Starr and Jennifer Hansler, CNN via cnn.com]



Iraqi Security Forces Push to Regain Control of Cities from Protesters

Iraqi security forces on Saturday regained control over some areas in central Baghdad and southern cities after an influential cleric withdrew his support for widespread...[By Isabel Coles via wsj.com]


Iran Missile Attack

VFW wants Trump apology for comments on brain injuries in Iran attack

After the attack on two bases housing U.S. troops, Trump said there had been no casualties. But the Department of Defense later announced that 11...[By William Cummings via usatoday.com]



With Reformers Sidelined, Iranian Elections Looking Like Hard-Liners Vs. Conservatives

The hard-line Guardians Council, which vets all election candidates, has disqualified some 9,000 of the 14,000 who registered to run in the elections, including 90...[By Golnaz Esfandiari via rferl.org]



The US is committed to Syria mission, says top American general in the Middle East

In an unannounced tour of five military bases in Syria stretching from the northeastern part of the country to the Middle Euphrates River Valley, McKenzie...[By Lolita Baldor via militarytimes.com]



Plane crashes in Afghanistan, killing everyone on board, Afghan official says

A plane crashed in the central Afghanistan province of Ghazni on Monday, killing everyone on board, according to a local official....[via nbcnews.com]


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