03 October 2007

Minister Yamani signs water facilities and operating services contracts for 3 industrial cities

HE Dr. Hashem Yamani, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of the Saudi Organization for Industrial Estate and Technology Zones (SOIETZ), has signed contracts with the International Company for Water Distribution (Tawzea) for the management of water services projects benefitting three industrial cities.

These projects are unique as they provide comprehensive water services while meeting all the environmental and water needs of the industrial cities through ROT (Rehabilitate, Manage and Transfer) contracts.

This is the first such move in the Middle East. Namely, the projects are:
1.The ROT project for potable water facilities in Jeddah's 1st Industrial City
2.The ROT project for potable, sewage, irrigation, and industrial water in Riyadh's 2nd Industrial City
3.The BOT (Build, Operate, and Transfer) project for potable, sewage, irrigation, and industrial water in Gassim's 1st Industrial City

Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr. Yamani said the projects are in line with SOIETZ's strategy to privatize water services within the industrial cities to become integrated entities, adding that more water contracts for industrial cities in Dammam and Al-Ahsa are on the way. SOIETZ is currently revamping operations within the industrial cities in the hopes of modernizing services.

Attending the signing was Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, General Manager of SOIETZ. "The signing of the water services privatization contracts is part of a grand plan we are implementing at SOIETZ to upgrade services within industrial cities in the hopes of overcoming obstacles faced by industrialists and creating model industrial zones," commented Dr. Al-Rabiah. "With today's signing we are embarking on a major regional undertaking for the future of our nation, and as such I am pleased to witness the gradual evolution of our industrial cities as they develop their infrastructure to meet the growing needs of local industries," added Dr. Al-Rabiah.

The International Company for Water Distribution (Tawzea) is one of the first national companies to provide water services and facilities management in a comprehensive and integrated method. It is a 50/50 percent joint venture between AmiWater, a subsidiary of the Saudi Arabian Amiantit Company specialising in water management projects, and the Saudi Company for Industrial Services CISCO. The new company combines AmiWater's global expertise in water management projects, and CISCO's expertise in services management in industrial cities. While at the present time the focus is on providing these services in the industrial cities, Tawzea looks forward to expanding the company's future in the management of water services to include the residential and industrial sectors.

Accordingly, Tawzea plans to offer its services in the area of BOT water, water treatment and sewage systems, and the company is also planning to expand its range of operations to include gas distribution networks and residential networks within cities.

For his part, Mohamed Al-Rehaily, CEO of Tawzea estimated the construction and operating costs of these projects to exceed $800 million during the 30-year contract life span. Tawzea will meet all the water needs of the 1st Industrial City in Jeddah, the 2nd Industrial City in Riyadh, and the 1st Industrial City in Gassim covering the water system, irrigation, sewage and industrial water treatment.

The International Company for Water Distribution (Tawzea) is a leading Saudi company providing water services and facilities management in a comprehensive manner. Tawzea is a partnership equally divided between AmiWater, a subsidiary of the Saudi Arabian Amiantit Company specializing in water management projects.

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Lebanon Time-Line

Introducing Lebanon

Coolly combining the ancient with the ultramodern, Lebanon is one of the most captivating countries in the Middle East. From the Phoenician findings of Tyre (Sour) and Roman Baalbek's tremendous temple to Beirut's BO18 and Bernard Khoury's modern movement, the span of Lebanon's history leaves many visitors spinning. Tripoli (Trablous) is considered to have the best souk in the country and is famous for its Mamluk architecture. It's well equipped with a taste of modernity as well; Jounieh, formerly a sleepy fishing village, is a town alive with nightclubs and glitz on summer weekends.

With all of the Middle East's best bits - warm and welcoming people, mind-blowing history and considerable culture, Lebanon is also the antithesis of many people's imaginings of the Middle East: mostly mountainous with skiing to boot, it's also laid-back, liberal and fun. While Beirut is fast becoming the region's party place, Lebanon is working hard to recapture its crown as the 'Paris of the Orient'.

The rejuvenation of the Beirut Central District is one of the largest, most ambitious urban redevelopment projects ever undertaken. Travellers will find the excitement surrounding this and other developments and designs palpable - and very infectious.

Finally, Lebanon's cuisine is considered the richest of the region. From hummus to hommard (lobster), you'll dine like a king. With legendary sights, hospitality, food and nightlife, what more could a traveller want?

Introducing Beirut

What Beirut is depends entirely on where you are. If you’re gazing at the beautifully reconstructed colonial relics and mosques of central Beirut’s Downtown, the city is a triumph of rejuvenation over disaster.

If you’re in the young, vibrant neighbourhoods of Gemmayzeh or Achrafiye, Beirut is about living for the moment: partying, eating and drinking as if there’s no tomorrow. If you’re standing in the shadow of buildings still peppered with bullet holes, or walking the Green Line with an elderly resident, it’s a city of bitter memories and a dark past. If you’re with Beirut’s Armenians, Beirut is about salvation; if you’re with its handful of Jews, it’s about hiding your true identity. Here you’ll find the freest gay scene in the Arab Middle East, yet homosexuality is still illegal. If you’re in one of Beirut’s southern refugee camps, Beirut is about sorrow and displacement; other southern districts are considered a base for paramilitary operations and south Beirut is home to infamous Hezbollah secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah. For some, it’s a city of fear; for others, freedom.

Throw in maniacal drivers, air pollution from old, smoking Mercedes taxis, world-class universities, bars to rival Soho and coffee thicker than mud, political demonstrations, and swimming pools awash with more silicone than Miami. Add people so friendly you’ll swear it can’t be true, a political situation existing on a knife-edge, internationally renowned museums and gallery openings that continue in the face of explosions, assassinations and power cuts, and you’ll find that you’ve never experienced a capital city quite so alive and kicking – despite its frequent volatility.