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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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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India successfully test-fires air version of BrahMos cruise missile.

India successfully test-fired the air version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, the ministry of defence said on Wednesday, describing the launch as a ‘major milestone’ in BrahMos development.In a statement, the ministry noted that the missile was successfully test-fired from Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Sukhoi 30 MKI supersonic fighter aircraft from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), based in Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha, today. Stating that the launch was a ‘copy book flight,’...

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Indian military official, wife among 13 killed in helicopter crash.

Indian Air Force (IAF) announced, Wednesday, that Indian Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat and his wife were among 13 killed in a military chopper crash in south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The Indian Air Force said in its official Twitter account: “With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that Gen Bipin Rawat, Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident.” “Chief of Defense Staff was on a visit to Defense Services Staff College,Wellington...

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Pakistan sets 48-hour PCR test validity for nationals travelling from UAE.

Pakistan has issued new directives for inbound nationals travelling from the UAE.All inbound Pakistani visitors must take a PCR test no later than 48 hours from the time of their departure, as per a revised policy of its National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).The changes will be effective December, 8, 2021 (00:01 Pakistan Standard Time) onwards, according to a press release issued by the Consulate General of Pakistan in Dubai.Unvaccinated Pakistani nationals who fall under following categories...

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UAE’s Etihad launches Conscious Choices, world’s first green loyalty programme.

Etihad Guest, the loyalty programme of Etihad Airways, has introduced a series of sustainability-focused initiatives to reward members for making ‘green’ choices.Conscious Choices, the new range of sustainable initiatives offered by the Etihad Guest programme, has been created to support Etihad’s ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, and halve its 2019 emissions by 2035.Conscious Choices will rewards these with Tier Miles and additional benefits for carrying less baggage on board...

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