QUOTED

“Although further effort is needed for Saudi Arabia to become a transparent market, there remains strong political will to continue implementing positive reforms to its economy and the real estate market in particular.”

-Dana Salbak, Head of Research, MENA, JLL. The company recently released its 2019 Year in Review report for Saudi Arabia which found the Kingdom “has witnessed rising transparency over the past three years and the government will continue to work towards improving market transparency.” [jll-mena.com]

TOP STORY

CYBERSECURITY

Saudi Aramco Sees Increased Number of Cyberattacks since Late 2019

Jafurah deposits are estimated to hold 200 trillion cubic feet of wet gas, Reuters reports.

Saudi Aramco has seen an increase in attempted cyber attacks since the final quarter of 2019 and has successfully repelled all of them so far, according to a Reuters report, which cited comments from an interview with chief information security officer Khalid al-Harbi. [more]

 

TOP STORY

ENTERTAINMENT

In Detailed Report, CBRE Highlights ‘Game Changer’ Saudi Entertainment Industry

saudi tourism

American commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group, Inc., the largest commercial real estate services company in the world, recently released a graphic-filled and detailed report on Saudi Arabia’s bourgeoning entertainment industry, which it calls a “game changer.” [more]

 

TOP STORY

Saudi Arabia Continues with Cautious Path on Coronavirus; King Salman, Xi Jinping Speak by Phone

Coronavirus

Saudi Arabia continued to take precautionary measures to prevent the arrival and spread of Coronavirus in the Kingdom as King Salman and China’s Xi Jinping spoke by phone today to discuss the outbreak, according to reports. [more]

 

MORE TOP STORYLINES

Saudi VC Fund Hires From Google to Help Build Tech Unicorns

Via Matthew Martin in bloomberg.com : One of the Middle East’s largest venture capital funds hired Ivan Jakovljevic from Google Inc. to help transform its portfolio of start-ups into so-called unicorns. Jakovljevic will join Saudi Arabia’s STV — which backed Dubai-based ride-hailing firm Careem Inc. before its sale to Uber Technologies Inc. — as chief development officer next month, the company said in a statement. He was previously head of new markets for Google in the Middle East and North Africa.

The hot areas Saudi entrepreneurs should be looking at

in therahnuma.com : Saudi Arabia’s economic development program aims to increase the gross domestic product (GDP) contribution of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 20 percent at present to 35 percent by 2030. Along the way, entrepreneurship opportunities will grow across a wide range of sectors, in what is by all accounts a significantly underserved market.

KSA Starts Overhauling Saudi Arabia's Educational System

in albawaba.com : The ministry has 47 directorates and 422 education offices to oversee 300,000 schools, 27 public universities, 15 private universities, 46 private colleges, 70 technical colleges, 96 technical institutes and a group of private training institutes. Sheikh said the ministry employs 516,000 elementary and secondary school teachers, 70,000 university teachers, 12,000 trainers and 300,000 administrative staff.

 

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]

 

U.S.-Arab Trade

U.S. Exports to Arab World Grow 4 Percent in 2019

The United Arab Emirates ($20.04 billion) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ($14.29 billion) continued to be the two largest destinations by far for U.S....[via nusacc.org/]

 

Yemen Civil War

Killing of Terrorist Leader in Yemen Is Latest Blow to Qaeda Affiliate

The death of Qassim al-Rimi is part of a string of setbacks that have damaged the group’s ability to carry out operations against the West....[By Eric Schmitt via nytimes.com]

 

Israel

U.S. ambassador to Israel warns against West Bank annexation

The U.S. ambassador to Israel has cautioned Israel against “unilateral action” in annexing West Bank settlements, warning that such a move could endanger the Trump...[By AP via politico.com]

 

UAE Economy

Dubai’s Jobs Vanish at the Fastest Pace in a Decade

Across the U.A.E. as a whole -- of which Dubai is a part -- business conditions fell into contraction last month for the first time...[By Abeer Abu Omar via bloomberg.com]

 

Turkey in the Region

Commentary: The Middle East Conflict You Haven’t Heard About

Egypt recently made a series of offshore natural-gas discoveries, and exporting resources will help the deeply indebted country. Last year Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan,...[By Nicholas Saidel via wsj.com]

 

Israel

Israeli Voters: Data of All 6.5 Million Voters Leaked

Israel’s Privacy Protection Authority said it was looking into what it called a “grave” security lapse by the maker of an app promoted by Prime...[By Daniel Victor, Sheera Frenkel and Isabel Kershner via nytimes.com]

 

Syria

Five Turkish Soldiers Killed in Attack in Northwest Syria

Syrian government forces killed five Turkish soldiers and wounded five more on Monday in an attack on a Turkish military post in the Taftanaz area...[via voanews.com]

 

Cyber Attack

Powerful Cyber Attack Takes Down 25% Of Iranian Internet

Hot on the heels of a "serious" cyber-attack that compromised United Nations servers, and in the same week that the head of the European Central...[By Davey Winder via forbes.com]

 

Cyber

The U.S. Is Vulnerable to an Iranian Cyberattack. Here’s How.

Cybersecurity expert John Hultquist and WSJ's Dustin Volz discuss what new tactics hackers have at their disposal and whether the U.S. is prepared to defend...[via wsj.com]

 

Qatar

UAE restores postal service to Qatar despite protracted dispute

The United Arab Emirates has resumed postal services to Qatar nearly three years after they were suspended due to a Gulf Arab political dispute. The move...[By Alexander Cornwell and Lisa Barrington via reuters.com]

 

Iran

Iran Again Fails to Put Satellite into Orbit amid US Worries

The launch had been planned amid celebrations ahead of the February anniversary of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iran routinely unveils technological achievements for its armed...[via military.com]

 
 

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