QUOTED

“It brings us immense pride to have six of our short films brought onto Netflix. We are excited to bring the work of local Saudi talents to 167 million subscribers around the world. Telfaz11 Studios produces authentic and intriguing stories from our culture, and we cannot wait for the world to see what we have to offer.”

-Alaa Fadan, Chief Executive Officer at Telfaz11 Studios, commenting to Deadline on their agreement with Netflix which will badge the films under the banner Six Windows in the Desert. [deadline.com]

TOP STORY

OIL MARKETS

Weaker Demand for Oil as Coronavirus Spreads, Pushing Prices Down

Domestic energy subsidies may be targeted by Saudi authorities.

Saudi Arabia and other oil producing nations that form the OPEC+ group are seeking common ground on how to keep oil prices from tumbling further in the face of weak demand from the spread of the Coronavirus. [more]

 

TOP STORY

TOURISM

Al-Ula Planners, Developers Keen to Keep Historic Beauty of Site Intact with Millions Expected Annually

Elephant Rock near Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia.

Planners and developers working on making Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ula UNESCO heritage site easier and more enjoyable to visit are keen to keep intact the natural beauty and wonder of the site, the UAE-based The National reports, citing an interview with Francesca Arici, the site’s chief planning officer. [more]

 

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]

 

MORE TOP STORYLINES

Agile or Irrelevant: KPMG 2020 Saudi CEO Outlook

in home.kpmg : The CEO Outlook is based on the input of 50 CEOs in Saudi Arabia, compared with KPMG’s annual global survey amongst 1300 of the world’s leading CEOs and assesses some of the important international trends impacting Saudi Arabia and how companies can chart new business strategies for success over the next three years.

Saudi Arabia’s $93bn fund finalising strategy for infrastructure co-investments

Via Sarmad Khan and Michael Fahy in thenational.ae : Saudi Arabia’s National Development Fund, created in 2017 through a royal decree, is a combination of eight existing sectoral development funds overseeing sectors including agriculture, human development, industrial development and real estate. The NDF is currently in the process of identifying projects in infrastructure space and classifying them on different criteria, ranging from their potential for business opportunities to potential for increasing economic activity, he said.

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

in nusacc.org/ : 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. goods in the Arab world.  Together, these two countries accounted for 55 percent of total U.S. goods exported to the MENA region in 2019.

 

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]

 

Trump Peace Plan

Palestinian leader says U.S. peace plan would make ‘Swiss cheese’ out of Palestinian land

The Trump administration claimed a symbolic victory at the United Nations on Tuesday, as an effort to formally condemn the new U.S. Middle East peace...[By Anne Gearan via washingtonpost.com]

 

Iran

Jeers as Weakened Rouhani Calls for Unity in Deeply Divided Iran

But his speech in Tehran’s Azadi Square was often drowned out by vocal, mostly male groups who had swarmed a temporary fence dividing the stage...[By Arsalan Shahla and Golnar Motevalli via bloomberg.com]

 

Egypt

As Egypt’s Population Hits 100 Million, Celebration Is Muted

Hitting 100,000,000 marked human plenty, certainly, but also an uneasy moment in a country gripped by worries that its exploding population will exacerbate poverty and...[By Declan Walsh via nytimes.com]

 

Iraq

Tehran-backed Hezbollah steps in to guide Iraqi militias in Soleimani’s wake

Shortly after Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq, the Tehran-backed Lebanese organization Hezbollah urgently met with Iraqi...[By Julie Marquis via reuters.com]

 

U.S. Congress

Senate poised to pass bill curbing President Trump’s war powers

Senate Democrats say they have enough Republican support to win passage of the measure, which would bar Trump from using military force against Iran unless Congress...[By Deirdre Shesgreen via usatoday.com]

 

Libya

UK to propose Libya ceasefire amid concern over UN’s waning authority

A UN arms embargo is being flouted with impunity and plans for an EU naval mission to monitor illegal arms shipments has not yet been...[By Patrick Wintour via theguardian.com]

 

Turkey in the Region

Turkey will hit Syrian government forces anywhere if troops hurt: Erdogan

Erdogan said Turkey is determined to push Syrian government forces beyond Turkish observation posts in Idlib by the end this month, and he urged allied...[By Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay via reuters.com]

 

Israel

Israel’s maturing cybersecurity startup ecosystem

There are a lot of reasons why Israel excels in cybersecurity, but one of them is undoubtedly its talent pool, which is fed by intelligence...[By Frederic Lardinois via techcrunch.com]

 

SoftBank profit wiped out by Vision Fund losses, second fund scaled back

Wednesday’s dismal results could further dampen investor enthusiasm for founder Masayoshi Son’s big bets on untested start-ups. While Son told a news conference SoftBank had...[By Sam Nussey via reuters.com]

 
 

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