Saudi Arabia - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Saudi Arabia

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Saudi using special court against dissidents – Amnesty

Feb 06, 2020 - 8:25 PM

'The Saudi Arabian government exploits the (Specialized Criminal Court) to create a false aura of legality around its abuse of the counterterror law to silence its critics,' says Amnesty's Heba Morayef

AMNESTY. Amnesty International'€™s Middle East and North Africa regional director Heba Morayef (L) speaks during a press conference launching an Amnesty International Report on women victims of violence in Amman on October 23, 2019. File photo by Khalil Mazraawi/AFP

Investigation points to Saudi prince role in Bezos phone hack

Jan 23, 2020 - 3:27 PM

A video sent to the Amazon CEO by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman delivered the malware, according to a report by technical experts hired by Bezos

BEZOS. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during the former's 2016 visit to Riyadh. Photo by Bandar Al-Jaloud/Saudi Royal Palace/AFP


U.N. experts urge probe into alleged Saudi hacking of Bezos phone

Jan 23, 2020 - 3:44 AM

Riyadh rejects the allegations, its embassy in Washington branding them 'absurd'

JEFF BEZOS. In this file photo taken on September 19, 2018 Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos provides the keynote address at the Air Force Association's Annual Air, Space & Cyber Conference in Oxen Hill, MD. File photo by Jim Watson/AFP

U.S. to expel a dozen Saudi trainees after base attack probe – media

Jan 12, 2020 - 1:53 PM

While the trainees are not accused of aiding the shooter, some are found to have connections to extremist movements or be in possession of child pornography

NAVAL STATION. A general view of the atmosphere at the Pensacola Naval Air Station following a shooting on December 6, 2019 in Pensacola, Florida. File photo by Josh Brasted/Getty Images/AFP

Saudi Arabia slams Turkish approval of Libya deployment

Jan 05, 2020 - 5:54 PM

Analysts warn that Turkey's deployment of troops risks plunging Libya deeper into a Syrian-style proxy war between regional powers

YES VOTES. Turkish members of parliament vote to send Turkish troops to Libya, in Ankara, on January 2, 2020. Photo by Adem Altan/AFP

Saudi 'not consulted' over U.S. strike to kill Iran general

Jan 05, 2020 - 4:41 PM

Saudi Arabia is vulnerable to possible Iranian reprisals after Tehran vowed 'revenge' following the strike that killed powerful commander Qasem Soleimani in Iraq

File photo by Yasin Akgul/AFP

Saudi Arabia arrests more than 200 over 'indecency,' harassment

Dec 29, 2019 - 11:18 PM

Men and women must avoid 'tight-fitting clothing' or clothes with 'profane language or images,' reads an instruction on an English language website launched by the tourism authority

Saudi fans attend the "MDL Beast Fest", an electronic music festival, held in Banban on the outskirts of the Saudi capital Riyadh on December 19, 2019. - Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Prince Mohammed has sought to shake off his country's ultra-conservative image -- lifting a ban on cinemas and women drivers while allowing gender-mixed concerts and sporting extravaganzas. The relaxed social norms in a kingdom have been welcomed by many Saudis, two-thirds of whom are under 30. (Photo by Fayez Nureldine / AFP)

Saudi sentences Yemeni to death over Spanish theater stabbing

Dec 29, 2019 - 8:30 PM

(3rd UPDATE) The assailant, identified by Saudi police as a 33-year-old Yemeni, went on a stabbing spree during a live musical in the capital's King Abdullah Park in November

17 civilians killed in 3rd attack on Yemen market

Dec 26, 2019 - 10:45 PM

The attacks come despite relative calm in Yemen, where large-scale combat between government troops – backed by a Saudi-led military coalition – and the Iran-aligned Huthi rebels has subsided

LOOK: Christmas comes to distressed OFWs in Saudi Arabia

Dec 25, 2019 - 3:05 PM

Over 300 distressed overseas Filipino workers receive Christmas packages and financial assistance during the holiday season

AWAY FROM HOME. Over 300 distressed Overseas Filipino workers living in shelters receive assistance for Christmas. All photos from Malacañang

Saudi Aramco market value tops $2 trillion

Dec 12, 2019 - 7:05 PM

The share price of Saudi Aramco jumps further on Thursday, December 12, pushing the energy giant's market value above $2 trillion

A handout picture provided by Saudi Aramco shows the energey giant's President and CEO Amin Nasser (2nd L) ringing the bell during the official ceremony launching the debut of Saudi Aramco's initial public offering (IPO) on the Riyadh's stock market, in the Saudi capital Riyadh on December 11, 2019. - Saudi Aramco's shares soared on their debut on the domestic stock exchange today, becoming the world's biggest listed company worth $1.88 trillion after a record-breaking IPO. Aramco had priced the initial public offering at 32 riyals ($8.53) per share, raising $25.6 billion and eclipsing Alibaba's $25 billion IPO of 2014 to become the world's largest. (Photo by - / Saudi Aramco / AFP) / == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / HO / ARAMCO" - NO MARKETING, NO RESALE, NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ==

Saudi Aramco shares rocket on debut after record IPO

Dec 11, 2019 - 6:35 PM

Saudi energy giant Aramco becomes the world's biggest listed company

A Saudi broker monitors the stock market at the Arab National Bank in the Saudi capital Riyadh on December 11, 2019. - Saudi Aramco's shares soared on their debut on the domestic stock exchange Wednesday, becoming the world's biggest listed company worth $1.88 trillion after a record-breaking IPO. Aramco had priced the initial public offering at 32 riyals ($8.53) per share, raising $25.6 billion and eclipsing Alibaba's $25 billion IPO of 2014 to become the world's largest. (Photo by Fayez Nureldine / AFP)

United Nations says it cannot confirm Iran behind Saudi oil attack

Dec 11, 2019 - 4:21 PM

The investigation is unable to 'independently corroborate that the cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles used in these attacks are of Iranian origin,' the report says

ATTACKED. Smoke billows from an Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq about 60 kilometers southwest of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia's eastern province on September 14, 2019. Photo by AFP

Qatar emir skips summit but warm words point to thaw with Saudi

Dec 10, 2019 - 11:48 PM

In a sign of the changing mood, the Doha delegation receives a warm welcome in Riyadh, with Saudi Arabia's King Salman and the Qatari prime minister exchanging smiles and pleasantries

THAW? Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, Qatar's Prime Minister, is seen waiting for a family picture during the 40th Gulf Cooperation Council summit held at the Saudi capital Riyadh on December 10, 2019. Photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP

Ruiz rues three-month party as Joshua avenges loss

Dec 08, 2019 - 3:46 PM

Andy Ruiz weighs in 15 pounds heavier than his fighting weight 6 months ago as he fails to defend his heavyweight titles

REGRET. Andy Ruiz admits he trained too late for his title-retention bout against Anthony Joshua. Photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP


Saudis distance themselves from U.S. naval base shooter

Dec 07, 2019 - 7:46 PM

In a phone call with President Donald Trump, King Salman says the shooter 'does not represent the Saudi people'

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 06: A general view of the atmosphere at the Pensacola Naval Air Station following a shooting on December 06, 2019 in Pensacola, Florida. The second shooting on a U.S. Naval Base in a week has left three dead plus the suspect and seven people wounded. Josh Brasted/Getty Images/AFP

Saudi king invites Qatar emir to Riyadh summit

Dec 04, 2019 - 11:45 AM

The invitation to the December 10 summit of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation (GCC) comes amid signs of reduced animosity between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which has led an economic boycott of Doha since 2017

INVITATION. This combination of pictures created on December 03, 2019 shows Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz (left) Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. Photos by Fethi Belaid, Bandar Al-Jaloud/Pool/Saudi Royal Palace/AFP

Saudi media summit held a year after Khashoggi murder

Dec 02, 2019 - 11:17 PM

Riyadh, which appears to be intensifying a crackdown on free expression, is seeking to shore up its international reputation following criticism over its human rights record as it prepares to host the G20 summit next November

MEDIA SUMMIT. Participants attend the opening session of the first Saudi Media Forum held in the Saudi capital Riyadh on December 2, 2019. Photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP

Gay Saudi journalists detained in Australia after asylum bid

Nov 20, 2019 - 4:47 PM

The couple arrived in Australia in mid-October on tourist visas but are singled out by airport customs officials – then taken into detention –when they admitted plans to seek asylum, lawyer Alison Battisson says

Aramco declares $1.71-trillion valuation in blockbuster IPO

Nov 17, 2019 - 3:43 PM

(3rd UPDATE) Aramco will sell 1.5% of the company in an initial public offering worth at least $24 billion

SET FOR IPO. A general view of Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq oil processing plant on September 20, 2019. File photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP

3 performers stabbed on stage in Saudi Arabia capital

Nov 12, 2019 - 2:47 PM

A Yemeni man stabbed 3 performers of a foreign theater troupe on stage during a live musical performance in Riyadh's King Abdullah Park

Saudi Aramco to launch giant stock offering November 17

Nov 10, 2019 - 7:48 PM

The final share price would be determined on December 5, a day after subscriptions close, in what is expected to be the world's biggest initial public offering

SAUDI ARAMCO. In this file photo taken on January 25, 2016, Saudi and Foreign investors stand in front of the logo of Saudi state oil giant Aramco during the 10th Global Competitiveness Forum in the capital Riyadh. Photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP

3 charged in U.S. with spying on Twitter users for Saudi Arabia

Nov 07, 2019 - 2:44 PM

Two Saudis and 1 US citizen allegedly worked together on behalf of Riyadh to unmask ownership details behind dissident Twitter accounts, the US Justice Department says


Riyadh in talks with Yemen rebels, Saudi official says

Nov 06, 2019 - 5:55 PM

The comment comes after Saudi Arabia brokered a power-sharing agreement between Yemen's internationally recognized government and southern separatists

TALKS. In this file photo, supporters of Yemen's Shiite Huthi rebels chant slogans as they gather for a rally in support of the group in the Huthi-held capital Sanaa on October 4, 2019. File photo by Mohammed Huwais/AFP

Saudis scramble to raise cash for Aramco IPO

Nov 06, 2019 - 3:40 PM

Retail investors in Saudi Arabia appear to be salivating at the prospect of owning a piece of the world's most profitable company

A handout picture provided by Saudi Aramco, dated December 2, 2015, shows two visitors at Aramco's Upstream Learning Development Center (UPDC)in Dhahran in eastern Saudi Arabia. - The desert kingdom announced on November 3, 2019 the stock market debut of energy giant Aramco in what could be the world's biggest IPO, underpinning Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's ambitions to overhaul the kingdom's oil-reliant economy. (Photo by - / Saudi Aramco / AFP) / == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / HO / ARAMCO" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ==

Yemen gov't, southern separatists sign power-sharing deal

Nov 06, 2019 - 12:05 AM

The deal will reportedly see the secessionist Southern Transitional Council handed a number of ministries, and the government return to the southern city of Aden

DEAL. A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace on November 5, 2019, shows (behind, L to R) Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Yemen's President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi applauding as (front, L to R) Yemeni Southern Transitional Council (STC) member and former Aden governor Nasser al-Khabji shakes hands and kisses Yemen's deputy prime minister Salem al-Khanbashi during a peace-signing ceremony between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and the southern separatists in the capital Riyadh. AFP PHOTO/SAUDI ROYAL PALACE/BANDAR AL-JALOUD

Huge Aramco IPO hounded by big ifs

Nov 05, 2019 - 9:30 AM

Uncertainties abound as Saudi oil giant Aramco is poised for the world's biggest initial public offering

DELAYED IPO. A general view of Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq oil processing plant on September 20, 2019. File photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP

Saudi bourse sags as giant Aramco listing looms

Nov 03, 2019 - 10:45 PM

'If oil prices drop or Aramco stock falls, it is such a large part of Tadawul, it could bring the entire stock market down,' warns analyst Ellen Wald

A Saudi man monitors stock prices at Tadawul Saudi bourse in Riyadh on November 3, 2019. - Saudi Aramco confirmed it planned to list on the Riyadh stock exchange, describing it as a "significant milestone" in the history of the energy giant. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP)

Saudi oil giant Aramco heads for record-setting market debut

Nov 03, 2019 - 9:50 PM

After years of delay, Aramco says it plans to sell an unspecified number of shares on the Riyadh stock exchange

Yasir al-Rumayyan, chairman of Saudi Aramco, speaks during a press conference in the eastern Saudi Arabian region of Dhahran on November 3, 2019. - Saudi Aramco confirmed it planned to list on the Riyadh stock exchange, describing it as a "significant milestone" in the history of the energy giant. (Photo by - / AFP)

Saudi regulator approves Aramco share offering

Nov 03, 2019 - 2:26 PM

The IPO is the linchpin of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's plan to revamp Saudi Arabia's economy and wean it off a decades-long dependence on oil

SAUDI ARAMCO. In this file photo taken on January 25, 2016, Saudi and Foreign investors stand in front of the logo of Saudi state oil giant Aramco during the 10th Global Competitiveness Forum in the capital Riyadh. Photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP

Aramco IPO will be Saudi crown prince's decision – minister

Oct 30, 2019 - 7:00 PM

Saudi Arabia's energy minister says Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will dictate the timing of Aramco's long-delayed initial public offering

DELAYED IPO. A general view of Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq oil processing plant on September 20, 2019. File photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP

Saudi Hajj ministry to pilgrims: Register biometric data to avoid deportation

Oct 28, 2019 - 7:58 PM

For Filipino Muslims, this can be done at authorized visa centers in Manila, Cebu, and Davao

PRAYERS. Muslim pilgrims gather around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca on August 8, 2019, prior to the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city. Photo by Fethi Belaid/AFP

Saudi Aramco says IPO timing depends on 'market conditions'

Oct 21, 2019 - 1:00 AM

The prospect of the world's most profitable firm falling short of a $2-trillion valuation is widely considered the reason the initial public offering has been delayed

A general view of Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq oil processing plant on September 20, 2019. - Saudi Arabia said on September 17 its oil output will return to normal by the end of September, seeking to soothe rattled energy markets after attacks on two instillations that slashed its production by half. The strikes on Abqaiq –- the world's largest oil processing facility –- and the Khurais oil field in eastern Saudi Arabia roiled energy markets and revived fears of a conflict in the tinderbox Gulf region. (Photo by Fayez Nureldine / AFP)

35 foreigners dead in Saudi bus crash

Oct 17, 2019 - 12:57 PM

The accident involves a collision between 'a private chartered bus... with a heavy vehicle (loader)' near the western Saudi Arabian city, a spokesman for Medina police says

FALSE: 'Photo' of dead, 'raped,' mutilated OFW in video thumbnail

Oct 16, 2019 - 6:28 PM

The young man in the video thumbnail is not the one who was killed

IMF sharply cuts Iran, Saudi growth forecasts for 2019

Oct 16, 2019 - 12:15 PM

The International Monetary Fund expects Iran's economy to contract by a massive 9.5% in 2019, while the growth forecast for Saudi Arabia is cut to just 0.2%

Putin talks investments and space in Abu Dhabi

Oct 16, 2019 - 12:04 AM

Deals worth more than $1.3 billion, notably in the energy, advanced technology and health sectors, were tabled during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund

PUTIN IN UAE. Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) is received by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, during an official welcoming in the Emirati capital's Al-Watan presidential palace on October 15, 2019. Photo by Karim Sahib/AFP

Iran alleges foreign government behind 'treacherous' ship attack

Oct 15, 2019 - 11:04 AM

Tehran says the Iranian-flagged Sabiti oil tanker was hit by two separate explosions off the Red Sea port of Jeddah

A handout picture made available by the National Iranian Oil Tanker Company (NITC) on October 14, 2019, shows the reported damage in the hull of the Iranian-flagged Sabiti tanker. Iran released pictures showing two gaping holes in the hull of an oil tanker it alleges was attacked off Saudi Arabia last week. Tehran says the Iranian-flagged Sabiti tanker was hit by two separate explosions off the Red Sea port of Jeddah.  National Iranian Oil Tanker Company (NITC) / AFP AFPForum

Russia, Saudi Arabia seal key oil deal

Oct 14, 2019 - 11:15 PM

(UPDATED) Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit follows attacks on Saudi oil installations that Riyadh and Washington have blamed on Moscow ally Tehran

PUTIN IN SAUDI ARABIA. A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (L), Saudi Brigadier General Yussef Saleh al-Salim (2nd L), Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi King Salman, during a welcome ceremony in Riyadh on October 14, 2019. AFP PHOTO / SAUDI ROYAL PALACE / BANDAR AL-JALOUD

K-Pop's BTS rocks out in ultra-conservative Saudi

Oct 13, 2019 - 4:20 PM

The Korean group visits Riyadh as the kingdom seeks to transform its ultra-conservative image

Iran tanker hit by suspected missile strikes off Saudi coast

Oct 11, 2019 - 4:05 PM

(UPDATED) The National Iranian Tanker Company says the hull of the Sabiti was hit by two separate explosions off the Saudi port of Jeddah, saying they were 'probably caused by missile strikes'

Saudi rules women can join armed forces

Oct 10, 2019 - 3:38 PM

The move is the latest in a series of measures aimed at increasing the rights of women in the kingdom, even as rights groups accuse Riyadh of cracking down on women activists

DFA urges Filipinos going to Saudi Arabia: Follow rules on public decency

Oct 09, 2019 - 5:30 PM

Saudi Arabia's new regulations on public decency involve 19 offenses which are punishable by fines

NEW RULES. Saudi Arabia imposes new rules on public decency, with violations punishable by fines. File photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP

Saudi Arabia allows unmarried foreign couples to rent hotel rooms together

Oct 06, 2019 - 6:55 PM

Saudi women traveling alone would also be able to check into a hotel by presenting a valid ID

SAUDI SKYLINE. A picture taken in November 2017 in Riyadh shows the Kingdom Center. File photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP

Calls for U.N. investigation on anniversary of Khashoggi murder

Oct 02, 2019 - 8:01 PM

(UPDATED) 'I still seek justice. I want to know what happened to his body. I want his friends to be released from jail. I want those in power to be held accountable for their actions,' says Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice Cengiz.

ONE YEAR AFTER. A man passes in front of a screen showing Jamal Khashoggi during a commemoration event of Khashoggi's supporters on November 11, 2018, in Istanbul. File photo by Ozan Kose/AFP

Khashoggi suspects made 'chilling' jokes before killing – reports

Oct 01, 2019 - 9:17 PM

Helena Kennedy, a British lawyer assisting the UN probe into Khashoggi's death, says recordings she had heard from inside the kingdom's mission in Turkey referred to the Saudi critic as a 'sacrificial animal'

ONE YEAR AFTER. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) members stand next to dummies with press armbands and jacket piled in front of the Saudi Consulate in Neuilly-Sur-Seine, west of Paris on October 1, 2019 during a protest to mark the one year of the death of Jamal Khashoggi. Photo by Philippe Lopez/AFP

U.N. expert blasts Saudi prince over Khashoggi defense

Oct 01, 2019 - 11:50 AM

Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur, says 'the killing of Mr. Khashoggi was a state killing' and Prince Mohammed bin Salman is only taking corporate responsibility for the crime and not personal responsibility

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in Riyadh, on October 24, 2017. The Crown Prince pledged a "moderate, open" Saudi Arabia, breaking with ultra-conservative clerics in favour of an image catering to foreign investors and Saudi youth. "We are returning to what we were before -- a country of moderate Islam that is open to all religions and to the world," he said at the economic forum in Riyadh.  / AFP PHOTO / FAYEZ NURELDINE

Saudi prince says war with Iran would gut world economy

Sep 30, 2019 - 11:29 PM

'If the world does not take a strong and firm action to deter Iran, we will see further escalations that will threaten world interests,' Prince Mohammed bin Salman tells the CBS program '60 Minutes'

CROWN PRINCE. File photo of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is known by his initials MBS. AFP photo

One year on, Saudi struggles to turn page on Khashoggi murder

Sep 29, 2019 - 6:37 PM

The global fallout over the October 2, 2018 killing renders Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a pariah, casting a shadow on his reforms and putting the kingdom's human rights record under the microscope

KILLED. File photo of a man passing in front of a screen showing Jamal Khashoggi during a commemoration event of Khashoggi's supporters on November 11, 2018 in Istanbul. Photo by Ozan Kose/AFP

Saudi Arabia offers tourist visas for first time

Sep 27, 2019 - 9:39 PM

The kingdom also eases its strict dress code for foreign women, allowing them to go without the body-shrouding abaya robe that is still mandatory public wear for Saudi women