Saudi Arabia and Oman commit to closer cooperation as first land crossing opens.

Saudi Arabia and Oman announced on Tuesday the opening of the first land crossing between the two Gulf neighbors.“The 725 kilometer Saudi-Omani road...will contribute to the smooth movement of citizens of the two countries and the integration of supply chains,” a joint statement released following an official visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said.The road runs from Al-Batha road intersection near the capital, Riyadh, to the Empty Quarter crossing on the Saudi-Omani border, costing...

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World Logistics Passport expands into China.

The World Logistics Passport (WLP) is entering China for the first time by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with state-owned Fujian Port Group, which joins the freight loyalty program as a partner.The WLP has also agreed to join the Chinese Silk Road Maritime Alliance. The WLP will provide Chinese businesses with faster and more cost-efficient access to markets in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and across Africa, with traders and freight forwarders able to achieve an annual increase in trade...

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Queensland detects new version of Omicron.

Australia's Queensland state has found a new Omicron lineage in a traveller who arrived from South Africa, health authorities said on Wednesday.The new lineage has about half the gene variations of the original and can’t be detected with typical screening, the state’s acting chief health officer Peter Aitken told reporters. It was found in a traveller who had arrived from South Africa and tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday, he said.The new lineage has enough markers “to be able...

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Pfizer, BioNTech say coronavirus booster dose neutralizes Omicron variant.

Pfizer and BioNTech announced Wednesday that three doses of their coronavirus vaccine “neutralize” the Omicron variant. “Preliminary laboratory studies demonstrate that three doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine neutralize the Omicron variant while two doses show significantly reduced neutralization titers,” the companies said in a statement. The statement added that data indicate that a third dose of the vaccine “increases the neutralizing antibody titers by 25-fold compared to two doses...

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‘Global cooperation crucial in fight against corruption’.

Deputy Chairman of the Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) Counselor Nawaf Al- Mahmel stressed on Wednesday, the importance of strengthening international cooperation in the fight against corruption, noting that the fight against corruption is no longer a local affair, but rather a phenomenon that affects all societies and economies, according to what he said.This came in a speech at the forum organized by Nazaha on the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day, which the world celebrates...

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Lawmakers submit bill to ‘compensate’ SMEs.

MPs Osama Al- Shaheen, Ahmed Al-Hamad, Khalid Al-Anzi, Bader Al-Mullah and Hesham Al-Saleh have submitted a bill on granting compensation to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which incurred losses due to the lockdown imposed by the concerned authorities at the height of the Covid-19 crisis. The bill defines a small enterprise as an establishment with 50 workers maximum and a capital of KD250,000 maximum; while the medium enterprise has 51 to 150 workers and a maximum capital of KD500,000.The bill...

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Camping tents misuse will not be ‘permitted’ – 15 camps uprooted per day.

Since the start of the desert camping season from the middle of last month, thousands of tents are spread throughout the designated camping sites, including those licensed according to the municipality’s instructions. However, the violators who set up camps without complying with the instructions have placed on the municipality an additional burden in terms of pursuing and removing the violating camps, such that an average of 15 camps are removed per day, reports Al-Rai daily. An informed source...

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Real estate prices set to drop 20-40% in 2022 – Some say it’s a ‘mistaken belief’.

After the prices of private housing kept soaring until it reached sky high during the corona crisis, real estate experts said next year these prices should drop to between 20 and 40 percent, depending on the residential areas, supported by the principle of supply and demand, while others say private housing prices may continue to rise next year due to several reasons, reports Al-Qabas daily. One of the reasons, the daily quoting real sources say is the abundant “cash” fl ow, postponement of loan...

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UAE weekend change: 3-day holiday for New Year 2022.

The UAE has gifted residents the perfect start to New Year 2022: a three-day break.Starting January 1, 2022, the country will transition into a four-and-a-half-day workweek, with Saturday, Sunday and Friday half-day forming the new weekend.December 31 is a Friday this year. Since it’s still in 2021, the day would be an official holiday. Saturday, January 1, is a holiday as well. Because the new workweek takes effect from the New Year, Sunday, January 2, is a holiday, too.That means government workers...

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Saudi Arabia issues first permit for eco-tourism camp in Al-Baha region.

The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has issued the first permit of its kind to establish a tourist camp in the southern Al-Baha region.Fahd Al-Zahrani, director of the ministry’s branch in Al-Baha, said the camp would be set up at Al-Hodn National Park in Qilwah governorate on a total area of 500 square meters.The permit is issued for a period of three months in accordance with the terms and conditions set by the ministry.Al-Zahrani said the issuing of permits for camping came...

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