QUOTED

“Our goal with the newly launched Samsung Innovation Campus is to equip our youth with the skills that are essential for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Our education initiative reflects our vision to enable young adults and boost local talents in the Kingdom by providing top-quality training that ensures their readiness for the future.”

-Y. J. Kim, President of Samsung Electronics in Saudi Arabia, on the launch of the Samsung Innovation Campus in partnership with MiSK Academy. The academy aims to help young adults in the Kingdom gain skills that are useful for their academic and professional careers in the technology-driven job market. [saudigazette.com]

TOP STORY

OIL PRICES

Report: Saudi Arabia Pushing for a ‘Major, Short-Term Oil Production Cut’

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.

OPEC and its allies are “considering cutting their oil output by a further 500,000 barrels per day (bpd)” with eyes on mitigating the impact on oil demand from the coronavirus, Reuters and the WSJ report. [more]

 
 

TOP STORY

SECURITY

Report: Saudi Air Defenses Repel Latest Houthi Missile, Drone Strikes at Oil Facilities

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Rocket and drone strikes fired by Iran-backed Houthi rebels at Saudi targets last week – including at Aramco oil facilities – were successfully shot down by Saudi air defenses, according to the Wall Street Journal which cited Saudi officials. [more]

 

TOP STORY

Flights to Saudi Capital Double as 66-day Riyadh Season Proves a Major Boon to Kingdom’s New Tourism Drive

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Flight bookings for travel to Riyadh from October 2019 to January 2020 more than doubled compared to the same period in the previous year, Arabian Business reports, citing data from the Seera Group, a Saudi-based travel and tourism company. [more]

 

MORE TOP STORYLINES

Key to Aramco’s Calm January Lies in Hands of Saudi Stock Owners

Via Filipe Pacheco in bloomberg.com : January delivered a hefty slice of volatility for oil and global energy stocks as the spreading coronavirus shocked investors. But in Riyadh, shares in Saudi Aramco followed a different narrative in their first full month of trading. The stock weathered the month — marked by the U.S. killing of an Iranian general and then the spread of the coronavirus — much better than oil-major peers, ending well above the price set at its record initial public offering. Aramco retreated 3.1% in January, in contrast with the 12% slump in Brent crude and a drop of more than 10% for global peers such as Chevron Corp., Total SA and Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Saudi students evacuated from coronavirus-hit Chinese city placed in quarantine

Via Deema Al-Khudair and Ellie Aben in arabnews.com : Ten Saudi students were in quarantine on Sunday after being flown home from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of the coronavirus outbreak. The students arrived in Riyadh on a private plane dispatched by Saudi authorities. They will spend two weeks in precautionary isolation, with full medical care and regular tests to guarantee their safety and prevent the spread of the virus.

What its like taking Careem in Saudi, ride-hailing app Uber bought for $3b

Via Bill Bostock in businessinsider.com : Careem was set up in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2012. It has around one million drivers and is available in 90 cities in 15 countries, stretching from Algeria to Pakistan.

 

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]

 

Amid virus, Saudis close Islam’s holiest sites to foreigners

The unprecedented move, which wasn’t taken even during the 1918 flu epidemic that killed tens of millions worldwide, showed the growing worry about the virus...[By Jon Gambrell via apnews.com]

 

PR firm sought for Saudi megacity Neom

The firm will work to articulate Neom’s strategy for 16 economic sectors, including livability, media, culture and fashion. The agency will handle events, social media...[By Sean Czarnecki via prweek.com]

 

Ukraine International Airlines

Iran plane pilot heard in leaked air traffic control audio talking about “missile” hitting Ukraine passenger jet

A leaked recording of an exchange between an Iranian air-traffic controller and an Iranian pilot purportedly shows that authorities immediately knew a missile had downed...[via cbsnews.com via AP]

 

Iraq

At Iraq protests, a cleric’s tweets split his followers

On Saturday, Sadr endorsed Iraq's new prime minister-designate Mohammad Allawi, a figure loathed by the youths in revolt, in a move that has splintered protest...[By Maya Gebeily via yahoo.com]

 

Yemen Civil War

Yemen’s medical air bridge offers rare glimpse of hope

It is a small but significant crack in a more than three-year-long blockade of civilian flights by a Saudi-led coalition backing Yemen's government in its...[By Lyse Doucet via bbc.com]

 

Afghanistan

Taliban attacks in Afghanistan are at their highest level in a decade

The Taliban launched more attacks across Afghanistan in during the last three months of 2019 than during the same period each year since the U.S....[By Jared Keller via taskandpurpose.com]

 

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation

UAE, Saudi Arabia declare ‘continued support’ for Palestinian cause

He made the comments at an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Jeddah. On his part, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign...[By Layelle Saad via gulfnews.com]

 

Libya

In Libya, Toothless U.N. Embargo Lets Foreign States Meddle With Impunity

It was one of the most shocking episodes of recent fighting in Libya, and the United Nations seemed determined to get to the bottom of...[By Declan Walsh via nytimes.com]

 

Locusts

Spray planes combat the huge locust outbreak in East Africa

As locusts by the billions — yes, billions — descend on parts of Kenya in the worst outbreak in 70 years, small planes are flying...[By Joe Mwihia, Josphat Kasire and Ben Curtis via apnews.com]

 

Al-Qaeda

Al Qaeda Claims It Directed Florida Naval Base Shooting

In an audiotape message, Al Qaeda’s leader in Yemen claimed responsibility for the December attack that killed three U.S. sailors. The militant himself was most...[By Declan Walsh via nytimes.com]

 

Climate Emergency

Which cities have declared climate emergencies?

Communities in 25 countries have acknowledged the emergency, as of Jan. 28. The world’s most populous nations, however, have yet to get on board. Forty...[By Amanda Shendruk via qz.com]

 

Saudi-Iran

Saudi Arabia blocks Iran from Islamic grouping’s meeting: Tehran

Saudi Arabia has barred an Iranian delegation from an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in Jeddah on Monday where U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle...[By Babak Dehghanpisheh via reuters.com]

 
 

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