By On November 07, 2018

After The Crown Jewel Debacle, WWE Must Reconsider Returning To Saudi Arabia

  1. After The Crown Jewel Debacle, WWE Must Reconsider Returning To Saudi Arabia Forbes
  2. Triple H reveals brutal injury suffered in Saudi Arabia New York Post
  3. WWE should be ashamed of its show in Saudi Arabia Washington Examiner
  4. Full coverage
Source: Google News Saudi Arabia | Netizen 24 Saudi Arabia

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By On November 06, 2018

King Salman embarks on tour of Saudi Arabia amid international criticism of Khashoggi's murder

King Salman of Saudi Arabia was due to embark on an unusual tour of his country on Tuesday, as the kingdom’s international reputation continued to be buffered by the fallout from the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

The 82-year-old was due to leave the capital Riyadh and visit several other provinces during the week-long trip, his first domestic tour since taking the throne in 2015.

The king’s trip was announced with great fanfare and appeared to be an effort to project confidence and reassure ordinary Saudis amid the most intense international criticism of Saudi Arabia since September 11th.

“It is timely and does send a signal to the domestic audience that the king is in touch with the population and remains the kingdom’s leader and he continues to value the old ways of communicating with his people,” said Dr Neil Quilliam, senior r esearch fellow at Chatham House.

Meanwhile, several dozen members of the Saudi elite are believed to still be imprisoned one year after Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince, ordered widespread arrests of princes and business leaders.

Source: Google News Saudi Arabia | Netizen 24 Saudi Arabia

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By On November 06, 2018

Saudi Arabia $500 billion megacity is in jeopardy after a Saudi journalist's death â€" here are the other multi-billion ...

Saudi Arabia is undergoing a massive construction boom. A November report found that the nation had about 4,700 active construction projects, worth a total of $852 billion.

But the future of some of these projects is less certain following the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which prompted many investors to rethink their contributions.

In late October, prominent figures like Y Combinator's Sam Altman and former US energy secretary Ernest Moniz temporarily pulled out of the plan for a $500 billion megacity.

While the development is still moving forward, others could also be in peril. Billionaire Richard Branson recently severed ties with two tourism projects in the area due to similar concerns. In a statement, Branson said the Khashoggi murder could "change the ability of any of us i n the West to do business with the Saudi government."

A lack of international support could hinder Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's Vision 2030 plan, which aims to diversify Saudi Arabia's oil-driven economy.

Here are some of the most expensive projects slated to go up in Saudi Arabia.

Neom: $500 billion

A drone taxi at a Neom exhibition.
Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters

Neom's future is on thin ice in the wake of Khashoggi's death, which prompted at least five board members to suspend their involvement with the project.

If brought to life, the megacity would introduce a utopian vision to Saudi Arabia, complete with robot workers, drone taxis, and a bridge that connects to Africa.

Read more: Saudi Arabia wants to build a $500 billion megacity that's 33 times as large as New York City

Great Mosque of Mecca: $26.6 billion

Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters

Though it goes by many names â€" "the forb idden mosque," "the holy mosque," "the sacred mosque" â€" the Great Mosque of Mecca is known universally as the largest mosque in the world.

With a history dating back to BCE, the structure has undergone numerous renovations, the latest of which was commissioned in 2007 by King Abdullahwik. Construction halted in 2015 when a crane collapsed into the mosque, killing more than 100 people.

With renovations back on, the mosque will soon be expanded to accommodate more than 2.5 million worshippers.

Al Faisaliah Smart City: $25 billion


Saudi Arabia intends to build a high-tech city along the Red Sea coast that relies on renewable energy sources. At an estimated $25 billion, the project will create nearly 1 million housing units for around 6.5 million people by 2050. It also aims to provide 1 million jobs in fields like technology, health, and education.

Riyad h Metro: $22.5 billion

Zaha Hadid Architects

The Riyadh Metro will soon become the main transportation system for Saudi Arabia's capital, introducing six new lines and 85 stations to the city. With 1.16 million passengers expected to rely on the metro within a few years of opening, the system could cut down on 250,000 car trips per day.

While the project expects to have a soft opening in 2019, officials said the metro will not be fully operational until 2021.

Jeddah Economic City: $20 billion

Kingdom Holding Company

Jeddah Economic City is one of several ready-made cities being developed in Saudi Arabia.

At 56 million square feet, the city has enough room for a new transit system, office space, shops, beach resorts, luxury villas, and energy efficient homes. Its developer, Kingdom Holding Company, is owned by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, a member of the Saudi royal fa mily.

Its first phase will center on the construction of the world's tallest tower, while phase two will develop the infrastructure. The entire project is set to open as early as 2026.

Dahiyat Al Fursan: $20 billion

King Fahd road in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
Francisco Anzola/Flickr

In 2016, the Saudi government partnered with Korean developer Hanwha Engineering & Construction to build 100,000 new homes near the Riyadh International Airport. The development, which is governmen t-funded, is expected to be complete by 2020.

As of 2016, the Saudi government had 187 affordable housing projects in the works â€" an attempt to address the nation's considerable housing shortage.

King Abdullah Financial District: $10 billion

Henn ing Larsen

Construction is well underway on the King Abdullah Financial District, a 17 million-square-foot development to the north of Riyadh. The project represents a key effort on behalf of Saudi Arabia to reduce its dependence on oil, which makes up around half of its economy.

While the new financial district is catered toward banks, law firms, and the nation's stock exchange, it will also be home to around 50,000 residents. Notable architectural features include a monorail, mosque, and network of skywalks connected by solar power.

The district is currently running behind schedule â€" despite being almost complete.

Read more: Saudi Arabia is building a $10 billion city on the sand â€" here's what it will look like

King Abdulaziz International Airport: $9.6 billion

Izuddin Helmi/Shutterstock

The newly renovated King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah will officially open in January 2019. As a gateway for pilgrims traveling to the Two Holy Mosques in Mecca and Medina, the airport is designed to accommodate more than 80 million annual passengers.

In addition to a new terminal building, the renovations include a new five-star hotel, shopping centers, and public transportation system. The airport will also feature the world's tallest air traffic control tower, which will stand at nearly 450 feet.

King Abdullah Security Compounds: $8 billion

Faisal Al Nasser/Reuters

Phase 5 of the King Abdullah Security Compounds includes the construction of 369 security facilities worth $8 billion. The development will include investigation and prosecution buildings, as well as security and immigration departments.

Jeddah Downtown: $5 billion

Osama Ahmed Mansour/Shutterstock

Saudi Arabia has taken on the trend of waterfront development, setting aside $5 billion for a new downtown area in Jeddah.

The project will include a mixture of residential, commercial, and office space, as well as a new hotel, amusement parks, and sports facilities. At around 54 million square feet, the development will also make room for around 12,000 new housing units.

Mall of Saudi and City Centre Ishbiliyah: $3.7 billion

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

A Dubai-based holding company is opening two new malls in Saudi Arabia, worth a reported total of $3.7 billion.

The first project, the Mall of Saudi, will become the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the nation. Its first phase of development â€" which includes a hotel, apartment building, and indoor ski slope â€" is set to be complete by 2022.

The second project, City Centre Ishbiliyah, will include 250 stores, a food court, and an entertainment complex.

Abraj Kudai: $3.5 billion

Although the Abraj Kudai hotel was set to open in 2017, the building remains unfinished. With around 10,000 rooms and 70 restaurants, the hotel could soon become one of the largest in the world. Its amenities al so include multiple helipads and a section set aside for the Saudi royal family.

Jeddah Tower: $2.2 billion

Smith Gill

The centerpiece of the Jeddah Economic City is the Jeddah Tower (formerly known as the Kingdom Tower), which will stretch 3,280 feet into the air. Once complete, the building will outstrip the Burj Khalifa for the title of world's tallest skyscraper.

Inside, visitors will find a Four Seasons hotel, office space, and luxury condos. The tower will also feature the world's highest observation deck, located on the 157th floor.

Read more: Saudi Arabia is building the world's tallest skyscraper â€" here's what it would look like

Source: Google News Saudi Arabia | Netizen 24 Saudi Arabia

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By On November 06, 2018

The United States Should Use Its Leverage Over Saudi Arabia

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By On November 05, 2018

In Saudi Arabia, Washington Post's coverage of Khashoggi killing fuels calls for Amazon boycott

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks during the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Oct. 24, 2018. (Handout ./Reuters) November 5 at 1:06 PM

The Saudi government has come under intense criticism for the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and some Saudi social media users have come up with a way to fight back: boycotting

Over the past few days, Saudi Twitter users have used hashtags such as #BoycottAmazon and #مقاطعة_امازون_وسوق_دوت_كوم to encourage their compatriots and allies to stop using Amazon as well as Souq, an online retailer bought by Amazon last year. According to Bloomberg News, the calls for a boycott topped Twitter’s trending topics in Saudi Arabia for several hours Sunday.

The boycott effort appears to be linked to The Washington Post’s coverage of the killing of Khashoggi, who was a contributing columnist to the newspaper. Post owner Jeffrey P. Bezos is the founder and chief executive of Amazon.

Some of the tweets justified a boycott by saying that Saudi Arabia and its crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, are under attack.

Khashoggi, once a Riyadh insider, had become a trenchant critic of the crown prince’s reforms in recent years and lived in Virginia in self-imposed exile. He was killed Oct. 2 after visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to get a document he needed for his planned marriage.

The journalist’s disappearance â€" and the kingdom’s belated admission that he was killed at the consulate â€" caused a global publicity crisis for Saudi Arabia and Mohammed. Riyadh has repeatedly denied that the crown prince had any knowledge of a plan to kill Khashoggi, but many observers find that claim unlikely.

Still, many Saudis still support Mohammed: “What happened to Khashoggi is terrible and goes against Islam," one Saudi citizen in the town of Ad Dilam said to The Post last week. "Our crown prince did not do that. We trust him, and we feel the changes he has made for us.”

It’s unclear how much the Amazon boycott drive represents popular opinion in Saudi Arabia. The country has one of the most active Twitter user bases in the Arab world, but analysts say the use of pro-government bots is widespread and often designed to get certain messages onto trending lists.

Many of the tweets calling for a boycott of Amazon used similar if not identical language, suggesting some degree of coordination. Some users also used the hashtags to criticize the call for boycott, saying it would not make a difference.

Amazon had been looking toward Saudi Arabia as an area of potential growth. The retailer began hiring for new positions in Riyadh this year after Bezos met with Mohammed in Seattle in March. It also used Souq, which is widely used in Saudi Arabia, to offer access to Amazon.

A representative from Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post.

Read more:

One month after Jamal Khashoggi’s killing, these key questions remain unanswered

To shame a prince, activists want to rename street in front of Saudi embassy in D.C. ‘Jamal Khashoggi Way’

Trump and the Saudis keep fumbling after Khashoggi’s killing

Source: Google News Saudi Arabia | Netizen 24 Saudi Arabia


By On November 05, 2018

Bin Salman launches Saudi Arabia's first nuclear plant project

Bin Salman launches Saudi Arabia's first nuclear plant project
MBS launched seven projects in renewable and atomic energy, water desalination, genetic medicine and aircraft industry [File: Reuters]

Saudi Arabia's crown prince has launched a project to build the first nuclear research reactor in the kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, launched seven strategic projects in renewable energy, atomic energy, water desalination, genetic medicine and the aircraft industry during his visit to King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology on Monday.

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The two most significant projects include a nuclear research reactor and a centre for the development of aircraft structures.

In March, MBS announced his country's readiness to develop nuclear weapons in the event that Iran heads in that direction.

"Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible," he told US broadcaster, CBS, in an interview.

Incidentally, the US, which withdrew from a landmark nuclear deal with Iran signed in 2015, reimposed oil and financial sanctions against Iran starting Monday.

Nuclear power

Last year, the International Atomic Energy Agency said the Saudi government had invited proposals for the construction of two nuclear power reactors to boost the country's energy mix.

The kingdom is considering building 17.6 gigawatts (GW) of nuclear capacity by 2032, the equivalent of about 17 reactors, making it one of the biggest projects globally.

According to Reuters news agency, Saudi Arabia is aiming to reduce the amount of crude it burns at home to generate electricity to allow it to sell more of it overseas.

If the kingdom proceeds with the plan, it would become the second Gulf Arab state to launch a nuclear power project after the United Arab Emirates, which is building four South Korea-designed reactors.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

Source: Google News Saudi Arabia | Netizen 24 Saudi Arabia