Saudi Maritime Congress brings global spotlight to Kingdom’s shipping and logistics sectors

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Updated 14 September 2023

Saudi Maritime Congress brings global spotlight to Kingdom’s shipping and logistics sectors

Held under the patronage of the Ministry of Transport and Logistic Services in Saudi Arabia, the 4th edition of Saudi Maritime Congress will take place in Dammam from Sept. 20-21. The event will put the spotlight on the scope of opportunity within this burgeoning sector and the fast-growing maritime logistics potential.

With its economic diversification efforts, policy reforms and foreign direct investment commitments over the next five years, the eyes of the shipping world are on Saudi Arabia as it fast tracks to becoming a world-leading maritime hub.

Chris Morley, group director of Seatrade Maritime, organizers of the event, said: “Progress on maritime transport infrastructure forms part of a wider strategy aimed at developing the domestic ports and logistics sector. We expect maritime logistics to be a fast-growing activity in 2023-27, supported by the government’s ambitious aim of making Saudi Arabia the leading regional logistics hub.”

Through its comprehensive — and free-to-attend — conference program, the congress will deep dive on Vision 2030 and its objectives set out for the maritime and logistics sectors. 

“The improvements in Saudi maritime logistics are expected to boost port revenue, an increasingly important non-oil source of growth. By building out inland logistics hubs and enhancing rail connectivity, the Kingdom is looking to more than quadruple the country’s annual container throughput to 40 million TEU by 2030. The ambitions of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan are quite clearly matched by the scale of so-called giga-projects such as the $500 billion Neom scheme or the plans for the Oxagon port, which will be the largest floating structure in the world,” added Morley.

The two-day exhibition and conference will take place at Dhahran Expo, Dammam, following on from a highly successful event in 2022, which saw an international audience of 3,757 visitors take part and attracted key maritime executives, leading suppliers of marine equipment and services, and crucially, those responsible for shaping the Saudi maritime landscape for the future.

Emphasizing the importance of the congress, several key industry names have signed up to make industry and keynote addresses. These include: Nancy W. Karigithu, principal secretary of the State Department for Shipping and Maritime, Kenya; Erik Jensby, head of business development and membership, BIMCO; and John McDonald, EVP and COO, ABS. Keeping panel sessions across the two days short and sharp, more than 30 speakers are already lined up and will discuss topics ranging from ship management, maritime education, ESG to mega strategies for the future of the maritime industry of the Kingdom, container shipping and tanker freight market update, and offshore and maritime logistics.

Complementing the program is a bustling exhibition featuring companies such as Mawani, IMI, Transport Global Authority, Saudi Global Ports Co, Grandweld, Naghi Marine Company, DP World Middle East, ASRY and more.

Saudi Maritime Congress is a key event for the maritime industry, and it is a great opportunity to learn about the latest developments in the sector. Those interested to attend can join thousands of global maritime professionals for a chance to tap into regional potential and network with the leading figures in the industry. To register for this event, click

King’s College Hospital London names CEO for Jeddah facility

Claire Smith, CEO of King’s College Hospital London - Jeddah
Updated 23 April 2024

King’s College Hospital London names CEO for Jeddah facility

King’s College Hospital London announced the appointment of Claire Smith as the new chief executive of the hospital’s new facility in Jeddah, making her the first female British CEO in Saudi Arabia.

Prior to King’s College Hospital London, Smith served as CEO for HCA Healthcare UK, Joint Ventures, a private company in the UK. However, her journey began as a nurse, and her dedication and devotion to the sector propelled her to climb the ranks.

With more than 30 years of experience, Smith brings a wealth of knowledge in clinical, operational, and administrative areas in addition to her deep passion for serving the community, making her a perfect fit to uphold the hospital’s core values and visionary model of integrated care.

Smith’s mission extends beyond healthcare; she believes in connecting with patients on a human level, ensuring that their feedback shapes the hospital’s services around their actual needs.

When asked about her vision for Jeddah, she said: “Fundamentally, healthcare is always about serving the community in which we operate. It’s wonderful to come to Jeddah and work with so many people from Saudi Arabia and from around the world. The aspiration is to ensure that we serve our community and deliver exceptional healthcare.”

Under Smith’s leadership, King’s Jeddah is poised to introduce the best of international healthcare standards to the region, driven by a commitment to excellence, innovation, and person-centered treatment.

Riyadh to host inaugural SaudiFood Manufacturing show

Updated 22 April 2024

Riyadh to host inaugural SaudiFood Manufacturing show

The inaugural edition of SaudiFood Manufacturing, the first dedicated F&B manufacturing event in the Kingdom spanning processing, packaging and ingredients, will be the launchpad for the industry to take its place at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s economic transformation. Following the highly successful launch of The Saudi Food Show, the largest food event in the Kingdom, organizers KAOUN International and dmg events, recently unveiled highlights of the much-anticipated SaudiFood Manufacturing event, taking place at Riyadh Front from April 30-May 2, under the patronage of Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar bin Ibrahim Al-Khorayef.

Underpinning the fast-growing F&B market in Saudi Arabia — currently worth around $60 billion and growing at four percent per year, the Saudi F&B manufacturing industry is on the cusp of a step change in its growth and importance within the nation’s economy.

Trixie LohMirmand, CEO of KAOUN International, said: “The launch of SaudiFood Manufacturing coincides with a pivotal moment in the F&B manufacturing industry, both in Saudi Arabia and globally. To achieve the ambitious goals of Vision 2030, the Saudi government is focusing on diversifying the nation’s industrial base, while enhancing the security and resilience of food systems, encouraging investments in F&B manufacturing to establish the Kingdom as a prominent global F&B hub. Concurrently, rapid technological advancements are revolutionizing the industry by enhancing efficiency, quality, and safety while reducing costs.

“The inaugural edition of SaudiFood Manufacturing will provide participants with valuable insights into these market dynamics, showcasing how leading global players are addressing them and how businesses can effectively leverage these trends.”

One of the key forces driving Saudi Arabia’s industrial transformation, and creating an attractive environment for inward investment and innovation, is the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones, known as MODON — the strategic partner for the launch edition.

Ali Alomeir, VP of business development at MODON, said: “After the success of the first edition of The Saudi Food Show last year, the first edition of the SaudiFood Manufacturing Show 2024 also comes with a strategic partnership with MODON, reflecting MODON’s pivotal role in achieving the goals of the National Strategy for Industry, and Saudi Vision 2030, to achieve food security and effectively contribute to diversifying the national economy.”

For professionals in F&B manufacturing, spanning processing, packaging, ingredients, supply chain solutions, and control and automation, the SaudiFood Manufacturing Show offers a strategic platform abundant with opportunities to discover tailored solutions for their businesses.

The SaudiFood Manufacturing exhibition will convene more than 400 global brands from 35 countries for the first time in the Kingdom, including industry powerhouses AMC, Anasia, Apical, Brenntag, Buhler Chemco FSL, CGS, Clextral, Cybernetik Technologies, IFFCO, Kanoo Machinery, Multivac, Novonesis, Senovia and many others.

“Saudi Arabia’s food market is a growing arena full of opportunities for innovation and fruitful collaboration. Al-Azzaz, now being Brenntag BSP Nutrition, is attending the inaugural SaudiFood Manufacturing exhibition in Riyadh with a deep commitment to developing solid relationships. Cementing our dedication to driving innovation and growth within Saudi Arabia’s food sector, we are pleased to announce our investment and upcoming launch of Brenntag’s new Innovation and Application Center, which will open in Riyadh in 2024. This center will serve as a lighthouse of innovation, highlighting Brenntag Specialties’ investment and unwavering belief in how important it is for us to be close to our customers,” said Brenntag Nutrition-EMEA President Frank Haven.

Under the theme “Building the Food Manufacturing Ecosystem of the Future,” more than 50 international experts, thought-leaders, and policymakers are already confirmed to speak at the first Food Forward Summit — many of them for the first time in Saudi Arabia. 

These include: Dr. Flavia Fayet-Moore, space nutritionist and CEO of FOODiQ; Ross Dawson, global leading futurist, entrepreneur and bestselling author; Bugge Holm Hansen, senior futurist and head of innovation and technology, Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies; George Peppou, founder and CEO of Vow; Richard Dillon, CEO of Ivy Farms Technologies; Luke Tay, founder of Cornucopia FutureScapes; Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy, professor, University of Toronto and founder and chief science officer, Nutrigenomix Inc.; and many more.

IMC achieves ACGME-I accreditation for internal medicine residency program

Updated 22 April 2024

IMC achieves ACGME-I accreditation for internal medicine residency program

The International Medical Center has obtained academic accreditation for its internal medicine residency program from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education International, an internationally recognized body renowned for its commitment to improving the quality of training and maintaining the highest standards in residency training programs for internal medicine. This accreditation underscores IMC’s dedication to providing excellence in medical education and training.

With this accreditation, IMC emerges as the first and only hospital in the Kingdom to achieve such recognition. This milestone establishes IMC as a globally acknowledged and distinguished training hospital for internal medicine residency programs.

“The ACGME-I accreditation serves as a testament to IMC’s unwavering commitment to providing high-quality medical training,” a statement said. “It highlights IMC’s capability to attract highly qualified faculty members and gain recognition from international medical bodies. Furthermore, it opens doors for residents to pursue fellowships in the US to complete subspecialty training.”

The exceptional advantages will undoubtedly motivate resident physicians to select IMC for their training.

It is noteworthy that the International Medical Center had previously obtained ACGME-I institutional accreditation, establishing itself as the first multi-specialty private hospital in Saudi Arabia to achieve this distinction.

SAB wins Euromoney’s ‘Best Private Bank in Saudi Arabia’ award for second time in row

Updated 22 April 2024

SAB wins Euromoney’s ‘Best Private Bank in Saudi Arabia’ award for second time in row

Saudi Awwal Bank has been named the “Best Private Bank in Saudi Arabia” by Euromoney during their Private Banking Awards 2024, for the second time in a row. This achievement reflects the bank’s continuous efforts in developing and delivering outstanding and innovative banking services to its clients.

The award reinforces SAB’s position as one of the leading banks in the field of private banking services in the Kingdom, and confirms its continuous commitment to providing the best for its clients and supporting economic development in the Kingdom.

Bandar Al-Gheshayan, chief wealth and personal banking officer at SAB, said: “Winning this prestigious award demonstrates the extent of our strategic vision in providing a distinguished banking experience for our clients and reaffirms our commitment to developing and providing innovative financial solutions that meet their aspirations and contribute to the growth of their wealth and the achievement of their financial goals.”

Al-Gheshayan added: “We are proud of our role in enhancing the financial sector by providing private banking services and offering investment opportunities that enhance economic growth and support entrepreneurs and investors.”

The bank continues to enhance its efforts toward developing private banking services, aiming to provide a comprehensive range of financial and banking services that meet the diverse needs of its clients, within the framework of its strategy to contribute to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

SAB is one of the largest banks in the Kingdom and traces its origins in Saudi Arabia to more than 90 years, during which time it has been an active partner supporting the Kingdom’s economic growth and social development. It offers integrated financial and banking services, including corporate banking, investment, private banking, and treasury.

Cayan to develop second ‘Hampton by Hilton’ in Neom

Updated 21 April 2024

Cayan to develop second ‘Hampton by Hilton’ in Neom

Cayan Group, a leading real estate investment and development company in the Middle East, is continuing its partnership with NEOM, a giga-project spanning 26,500 square kilometers in northwest Saudi Arabia — for a second Hampton by Hilton at NEOM Community. A signing ceremony between Cayan Group and Hilton for the hotel took place at the International Hospitality Investment Forum in Berlin, in the presence of Hilton’s President and CEO Chris Nassetta and Cayan Group’s Chairman Ahmed Alhatti.

Under the agreement, Cayan Group will fully fund and develop a 201-key Hampton by Hilton situated at the NEOM Community to meet the rising construction demand — a critical component to further progress earthworks at the site. With construction soon starting, the Hilton-managed hotel is expected to open at the beginning of 2025. The hotel will be the second property for the brand at NEOM Community, delivering the seamless experience and thoughtful amenities and interiors that the Hampton by Hilton brand is known for.

Alhatti said: “Further to the recent opening of Hampton by Hilton Sharma at the NEOM Community site, we are excited to continue with our participation of being part of this visionary and unique project alongside Hilton, our globally recognized hospitality partner. We believe in the vision of Prime Minister and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and we remain focused to continue investing within NEOM projects and securing more opportunities in the future.”

Further to the success of the previous agreement, this is the second hotel project at NEOM to be fully funded by the private sector, and Cayan Group’s investment further highlights the private sector’s interest in Saudi Arabia.

Carlos Khneisser, vice president, development, Middle East and Africa, Hilton, said: “We’re delighted to be working again with Cayan Group to add another great Hampton by Hilton to our growing portfolio in Saudi Arabia. This signing asserts Hilton’s long-standing commitment to the growth of the tourism sector in the Kingdom, where we are working with both public and private sector partners to respond to the rising demand for hospitality brands and expect to quadruple our presence in the coming years.”

The hotel’s flexible design and construction will center around sustainability while deploying energy-efficient systems. As NEOM moves forward to meet its ambitious targets, developing livability options is an important milestone to fulfill the needs of visitors.