ETISALAT OFFERS VALUE ADDED
SERVICES IN UAE
Corporation (Etisalat) which, is likely to have the management control
of PTCL affairs in Pakistan, has offered to extend its value-added
services in UAE, by introducing multiple options to make payments,
besides the scratch cards. Customers using these options will get to
use 10 per cent extra credit, an Etisalat official was quoted as
Mohammed Al Fahim, Executive
Vice-President, Marketing, Etisalat, said in Dubai : "As part of
extending the services, we are offering multiple options to recharge
and to pay bills. There are eight ways to transact Etisalat. Using
some of them, such as, e4me portal, channels of leading banks and
paying at any Emirates Post outlet will get the customer 10 per cent
extra credit free of charge."
He explained: "Etisalat's
eShop, www.e4me.ae, allows customers to create a user ID and transact
on all their Etisalat accounts from their PC. Topping-up credit on a 'Wasel'
account through this web site will get the customer 10 per cent extra
for free. Bills for postpaid accounts can also be paid through this
He added: "Customers can
use various bank channels to transact on their Etisalat accounts.
Using a bank channel to recharge Wasel will get the customer 10 per
cent extra credit for free."
Customers can use the ATM,
contact centres or IVR, SMS banking, or visit the bank counters,
depending on the channels made available to the customers by each
bank. These facilities are currently offered at Citibank, Mashreqbank,
Habib Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates
Bank, with many other banks waiting to sign up to the service.
PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY: BP
PRESENTS FUTURISTIC SCENE
BP presented "a
futuristic scene" illustrating how real-time oilfield data
integration is enabling the recovery of more oil and gas from its
reservoirs at the exhibition held on the sidelines of the
International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) that concluded
Using new holopro screens, BP
portrayed a "fieldofthefuture" monitoring centre set up in
the Middle East region.
"I believe BP is leading
the industry in developing field-of-the-future technologies and
applying them in our key oil and gas operations and developments
around the world", said Dr Andrew Brayshaw, BP's director for new
business development in the Middle East.
He added: "BP is at the
cutting-edge of integrating these new technologies. We currently have
five pilot schemes implementing fieldofthefuture technologies, with
plans to raise that to twelve over the next two years.''
Dr Brian Hunter, BP country manager in Qatar said it is "...a
combination of new surface and subsurface monitoring techniques, in
parallel with latest developments in digital technology
communications. This is enabling better decisions to be taken and
acted on rapidly and effectively. It is also leading to a deeper
understanding of oil field reserves and how each well is performing;
driving increased operating efficiencies, reduced operating costs per
barrel, higher production and improvements in ultimate recovery."
BP said independent experts
believed such innovative technologies would help reduce costs by
between 10% and 25%, boost production by as much as 7% and improve oil
Cambridge Energy Research
Associates (CERA) estimates that such well monitoring and petroleum
reservoir imaging technologies could expand global oil reserves by
125bn barrels by 2013.
"Equally important is
how to make better use of our highly trained engineers, geoscientists,
researchers and operators. By moving data to people rather than people
to data, we can make better use of our experts' know-how, no matter
where they are in the world. Through broadband communications, a
wealth of global expertise can be brought to bear instantaneously on
fields anywhere," Dr Hunter said.
The BP-operated Valhall field
in Norway is the world's first operational fieldofthefuture.
Regarding the application of
such technology in the Middle East, Dr Brayshaw said: "BP has a
proven track record in applying latest technologies in an innovative
way to achieve world-class recovery factors on its giant fields - such
as at Prudhoe Bay in Alaska. If requested, we would be excited to
share our technologies and global expertise with national oil
companies around the region to push the technical limits of oil
Iraqi President Jalal
Talabani who is in Iran held talks with President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.
After the meeting, Ahmadinejad expressed pleasure over meeting "a
good friend from the brotherly and friendly country of Iraq". He
recalled Talabani's struggles against the former Iraqi dictatorship
alongside his "other combatant brothers", saying, "Iraq
has moved toward freedom and independence through the efforts of these
The Iranian president noted
that Iran and Iraq enjoy deep-rooted ties with very similar
civilizations, adding that religious, cultural and historical
affinities between the two neighboring countries have paved the way
for the establishment of friendly bilateral ties in all fields.
"The freedom of the
Iraqi nation and government and the establishment of a national
government in Iraq are regarded as a victory for Iran and the Iranian
nation supports this process," he underlined.
"The Iranian nation
views the victory of the Iraqi nation as its own victory and we hope
Mr. Talabani's trip to Iran will lead to the expansion of ties in the
economy, policy, oil, power, transportation, and other fields."
Responding to a question on
accusations of Iranian interference in Iraqi affairs, Ahmadinejad said
that those who are troubled by the deep ties between Iran and Iraq do
not want to see this relationship expand.
"It's quite interesting
that those who make such remarks have themselves sent hundreds of
thousands of troops to Iraq and bully the nation.
"But the important thing
is that these remarks will not influence the growing trend of ties
between Iran and Iraq. The Iraqi nation is independent, powerful and
democratic and the expansion of such ties will benefit all regional
states as well as the two countries."
The Iranian president
stressed that Iran strongly supports the political process in Iraq
that has led to the formation of the Iraqi national government, and
the Islamic Republic also supports Iraq's efforts to maintain its
territorial integrity and attain full sovereignty.
independent and progressive Iraq will be the best friend of Iran and
today the two nations show an unswerving determination to expand and
deepen bilateral ties.
"We believe the Iraqi
government will be able to determine its own fate. The Iranian
government and nation will stand beside the Iraqi government,"
For his part, Talabani said
he had come to Iran to express his gratitude to Iran, the Supreme
Leader of the Islamic Revolution, the Iranian president and all other
Iranian fighters who "gave us great support during our
struggles" and to pursue the trend of strong historical and
strategic ties between the two countries.
He noted that Iraq seeks to
deepen its political, economic, commercial and cultural ties with
"Our relationship with
Iran began 20 years ago and now both countries are strongly willing to
expand bilateral ties," Talabani said.
In a separate meeting with
Talbani, Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said Iran's firm policy is
to give all-out support to the Iraqi nation and government.
He called on the two
countries to use their potential in the economic, political and
cultural spheres to strengthen ties.
The Iraqi president noted
that the expansion of Iran-Iraq ties would benefit the entire region.
IRAN ON NUCLEAR ISSUE
Rumors that IAEA Director
General Mohammad ElBaradei has sent a secret letter to Iran are
completely false and part of the psychological operations against Iran
meant to undermine its cooperation with the International Atomic
Energy Agency, an Iranian nuclear official said.
The source, who spoke on
condition of anonymity, said that so far Iran's technical cooperation
with the agency has been close, balanced, and based on mutual
"The rumors spread over
the past few days are a response to this logical approach by
Iran," he said. "The IAEA has not expressed the slightest
objection to Iran's recent cooperation and our country, based on its
legal rights, has taken all necessary issues into consideration in
order to cooperate transparently with the agency."
The current atmosphere at the
IAEA headquarters in Vienna, which is scheduled to host a session of
its Board of Governors on November 24 in which Iran's nuclear dossier
will be discussed, is unprovoked, and experts at the agency have not
shown any sign of annoyance concerning ElBaradei's recent report on
Iran, the source added.
"It's only the Western
media that are trying, as they have previously done, to impose a
political atmosphere on the technical and legal process of talks by
members of the agency's Board of Governors."
The official noted that
ElBaradei's recent report could not serve as a means to judge that
Iran has adopted an uncooperative attitude, since it was brief and had
not mentioned any new ambiguity but referred to the process of
clearing up previous ambiguities as positive and progressive, and
finally had not asked Iran to go beyond the regulations of the
additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Referring to the recent
announcement that Iran had handed over a document to the IAEA which
describes how to make what could be the explosive core of an atom
bomb, he said, "This issue shows Iran is assured about its
nuclear program and seeks to cooperate transparently with IAEA
"The volume and type of
documents Iran has presented are such that the agency has not shown
the slightest doubt about them; however, U.S. media apparently claim
that these documents are an indication that Iran is producing a
He stated that the only
important subject that ElBaradei mentioned in his report is the
necessity of cooperation to clear up the issue of the Lavizan site,
insisting that inspections of Lavizan, like the previous inspections
of Parchin, will confirm that this is "a propaganda
ambiguity" against Iran.
The source went on to say
that Iran has organized three approaches for the IAEA meeting on
Thursday: First, Iran will continue its technical approach with the
agency and will try to avoid giving the IAEA any pretext by paying
attention to its technical and legal demands.
Second, Iran is going to
welcome proposals for ending the stalled talks and starting
constructive negotiations without preconditions on how to continue its
nuclear activities in other stages beyond the Isfahan Uranium
Conversion Facility's work, he added.
Third, Iran will study any
proposals for joint ventures which guarantee Iran the right to produce
nuclear fuel inside Iran, he noted.
By comparing the last IAEA
meeting, the report which was presented to the Board of Governors, and
its resolution in September with the recent report, one could conclude
that there will be a more balanced atmosphere at the next IEAE Board
meeting on Thursday, unless some hands behind the scenes influence the
participants to adopt a non-technical approach, he said in conclusion.
BAN ON KOREAN ADS IN IRAN
Iran has stepped up its
month-old commercial attack on South Korea and is now barring local
newspapers from advertising South Korean goods, it is reported.
Tehran began imposing an
informal import ban on most South Korean goods in October in apparent
retaliation for Seoul's stance against Iran's nuclear program.
South Korea, which exports
around $2 billion worth of goods to Iran each year, sided with
Washington and the European Union in backing a tough resolution
against Iran at a meeting of the U.N.'s atomic watchdog in September.
The International Atomic
Energy Agency's board is due to meet again to discuss Iran.
"We received a verbal
order on Thursday from the Supreme National Security Council, ordering
us not to publish South Korean companies' adverts," a newspaper
editor, who asked not to be named.
Another editor said the
advertisement ban was clearly aimed at the upcoming IAEA meeting.
Despite several high-level
complaints by Seoul, Iranian officials have refused to acknowledge
that any restriction on South Korean goods is in place.
But an Asian diplomat told
Reuters last week that all but a few components essential for Iran's
automobile and electronics industries were being blocked.
South Korean companies with
sizeable markets in Iran include Hyundai, Samsung and LG. Earlier this
month Iran removed LG as sponsor of a four-nation soccer tournament
held in Tehran. A similar informal import ban has also been in place
on British goods for about a month, diplomats and industrialists say.
Iran denies accusations by
the United States that it is seeking nuclear bombs, saying its nuclear
program is solely for generating electricity.
Saudi Aramco has earmarked
over SR18 billion ($4.8 billion) to establish and operate an oil
refinery in the Western region, according to a statement by the Royal
Commission for Jubail and Yanbu.
The refinery, which involves
a capital investment of SR18.75 billion, will have a capacity of
400,000 barrels per day of petroleum products and will create 750 new
"The project will
contribute to the development and progress of the industrial town of
Yanbu in the west of the Kingdom," the Royal Commission said.
"This is one of the projects at Yanbu-II industrial city launched
by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah a few months ago,
and it is considered one of the largest in the Western region,"
said a source at the commission.
The commission has allocated
a 400-hectar land for setting up the project in the new industrial
city. "The project is in the initial stage and is expected to be
completed and begin operation by the end of 2007," the source
The announcement on the new
refinery follows a statement by Minister of Petroleum and Mineral
Resources Ali Al-Naimi, who said the Kingdom was committed to
increasing its production from 11 million to 15 million barrels per
He said the country had plans
of constructing export refineries to process heavy and sour crudes.
Saudi Arabia has eight refineries with a capacity of around 1.75
million barrels per day.
Yanbu-II is expected to
attract investments worth SR115 billion when it is complete in 2020.
King Abdullah, while he was crown prince, laid the foundation stone of
the new industrial city. He also launched a number of industrial
projects worth SR44 billion by RC, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation
(SABIC) and a group of private companies.
Yanbu-II will cover an area
of 66 square kilometers and is expected to house 34 basic and
secondary industries and 224 light industries.
Yanbu National Petrochemical
Company (Yansab) is another major project under construction in Yanbu-II.
SABIC has 55 percent stake in Yansab, which will float 35 percent of
its capital in an Initial Public Offering.
This SR19 billion project
will have a production capacity of over four million tons annually of
ethylene, propylene, polyethylene, polypropylene, ethylene glycol,
benzene, toluene, butane, and zaylene. To be completed by the end of
2007, Yansab will employ 1,500 workers.
The Royal Commission plays a
vital role in the Kingdom's economic and industrial development by its
excellent management of the twin industrial cities of Jubail and Yanbu.
The two state-of-the-art
cities were instrumental in attracting a large amount of domestic and
foreign investment and transfer of foreign technology.
The two cities make 60
percent of the total contribution of the industrial sector to the
gross domestic product (GDP) or 14 percent of the non-oil GDP. Yanbu-II
will create thousands of job opportunities.
MORE UNIVERSITIES IN SAUDI
The government intends to
establish seven new universities, privatize 20 state-owned
corporations and expand women's participation in developmental
activities by 30 percent under the recently launched five-year plan.
The 8th Five-Year Development
Plan (2005-2010), which was approved by the Council of Ministers last
Monday, also targets the establishment of a knowledge-based economy
and development of mining and tourism sectors.
"The 8th plan includes
establishment of seven new universities and about 50 colleges of
technology with specializations required by job market and the private
sector," said Ahmed Al-Hekami, deputy minister of economy and
At present there are 11
government-run universities in the Kingdom including the recently
established universities in Qassim, Taif and Madinah. Efforts are also
under way to establish the King Saud University of Health Sciences in
Riyadh after the government gave approval for it.
Custodian of the Two Holy
Mosques King Abdullah has ordered the opening of three new
universities in Jizan, Hail and Al-Jouf in order to create higher
education facilities for students in the three regions. Efforts are
under way to establish several new private universities and colleges
within the next five years.
The Ministry of Economy and
Planning, which prepared the new five-year plan, has also set out a
20-year long-term strategic plan for the Kingdom with the objective of
strengthening its position in the comity of nations by 2025.
According to Economy and
Planning Minister Khaled Al-Gosaibi, the long-term plan aims at
increasing oil and gas production, creating new sources of income,
developing service institutions, encouraging new joint stock companies
and the merger of existing firms and promoting manpower development
SUDAN INVESTMENT FORUM
The first Sudanese investment
forum will be opened at Jeddah Hilton on Dec. 10 on the sidelines of a
three-day Sudanese agricultural and industrial exhibition.
Sudan's ministers of finance,
investment, trade, agriculture and industry as well as its central
bank governor and a large number of businessmen and top business
executives will take part in the two events.
The exhibition and the forum
offered a good opportunity for Saudi businessmen to know about
Sudanese goods and investment prospects in the African country.
The Central Haj Committee
held a meeting with Prince Abdul Majeed, the Makkah governor, to
discuss preparations for Haj. The committee discussed the services
provided to pilgrims and ways to ensure that pilgrims perform the
ritual in peace and comfort.
The ministry allocated SR800
million for the first stage of developing and expanding the Jamarat
area and SR400 million for services in Arafat.
The glittering gold and
fascinating diamonds' jewelry estimated at a value of $1 billion went
on sale at Middle East's biggest jewelry and watch exhibition in
Attractive models and
alluring stands were decorated with some of the most expensive jewelry
in the world.
Over 500 exhibitors from 28
countries displayed diamond, gold, and silver jewelry and watches,
with many of them reporting sales even before the week long exhibition
was officially opened, as collectors swamped the floors to buy
hard-to-find exotic items.
The annual automobile
extravaganza ended on Friday night, with a record turnout of visitors
and many major brands launching their new models during its six-day
run. Most of the exhibitors said going by inquiries they were
optimistic about increased car sales in the coming year
The show - 27th annual
edition of the Saudi International Motor Show - was also noted for
recording trade inquiries and prospective sales, according to some of
Visitors to the show said the
latest, most luxurious, prestigious, and futuristic cars and their
accessories on display impressed them. The show was held with the
support of the Ministry of Transport and Jeddah Traffic Department,
and organized by Al-Harithy Company for Exhibitions Ltd. (ACE).
The opening day of the motor
show on Nov. 13 saw the launch of three cars - Nissan's Tiida,
Toyota's Yaris and Honda's Civic.
Company plans to go straight to the top of the small car sales charts
in the Kingdom with the launch of Nissan Tiida, a compact duo that
delivers interior roominess, high quality interiors and comfortable
stress-free environment at an economy price tag," Ahmed A.
Alhamrani, vice president of Alhamrani group of companies, said,
Toyota Motor Corporation
introduced the Yaris Hatchback. "Yaris already has a successful
track record in Japan and Europe where it quickly set new standards
for compact cars with its compact body size, roomy interior for the
driver and all passengers, and excellent fundamental
performance," said Adnan M. Al-Qahtani, general manager
(marketing), Abdul Latif Jameel Import and Distribution Co. Ltd.
Honda has an impressive line
of vehicles. Honda dealer Abdullah Hashim Company displayed an
attractive range of motorcycles, power products, and marine motors, in
addition to automobiles.
Last year, the show attracted
nearly 110,000 visitors. This year the number far exceeded last year's
mark. Many exhibitors said that the attendance was more than they had
anticipated - and in some cases more than they had planned for.
"The upgrades to the layout which was much more open this year,
contributed to the free movement of visitors. The atmosphere and
appearance was on a par with motor shows worldwide," said Nikitas
Daskatakis, director premium brands for General Motors dealer and
importer Aljomaih Automotive Company.
"We're participating for
the first time in such an exhibition and are thrilled to see the
terrific visitor response," said Muayyad Obeid of Al-Rassam Auto,
dealer of safe SUV, Deer pickup, Sing SUV and So Cool pickup. Al-Rassam
introduced Chinese 4X4 cars in the Kingdom six months ago. Khaled M.
Emam, sales manager, Peugeot, said, "European cars have a good
local presence and such shows are the right platforms to reach
buyers." "For such a gigantic event this space is small.
Hats off to the organizers for successfully organizing such a
spectacular show," said Sadiq Ahmed Hafeez, marketing supervisor
for Nissan cars.
The Hall 1 of the Jeddah
International Exhibition and Convention Center, the exhibition venue,
displayed the latest models of volume-production vehicles while Hall 2
showcased light commercial vehicles. Autocare - the after-market
showcase for spare parts, garage equipment, gadgets and trade services
related to the automotive industry - was featured in Hall 3, while
heavy commercial vehicles were exhibited in the outdoor plaza. At the
entrance of the venue, banks, insurance, leasing and investment firms
beckoned the visitors with a variety of attractive offers.
The venue had a specially
designed family zone that took care of the buyer's family.
A special driving track built
with over a kilometer of obstacles to test off-road vehicles was
another major source of attraction. A 4x4 off-road test drive circuit,
replicating a regular terrain, was a popular feature of the show. Live
action zones featured remote control F1 car racing, ATV motorbike
stunt driving, and Challenge Land Junior Competition.