UL Solutions spreads Middle East presence

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The new facility will support safe, sustainable and secure commercialization of technologies to advance Saudi Arabia’s economic transformation initiatives and objectives…reports Asian Lite News

UL Solutions, a global leader in applied safety science, announced that it opened a new office in Riyadh to serve customers in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Middle East. From this location, UL Solutions will deliver fire safety, security and sustainability services for customers by providing access to proven science, testing and critical data and software products. The UL Solutions office was established to support Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 economic transformation plan and to meet the requirement for all foreign entities to have a local presence to do business with the Kingdom as part of the country’s efforts to establish Riyadh as a global business hub.

“Complementing our existing presence in Dammam, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, our new Riyadh office is our latest demonstration of UL Solutions’ commitment to serving in-region customers. and will help support the region’s major developments and projects, including those in industrial, infrastructure, information and communications technology, energy and sustainability sectors,” said Dareen Ayyad, country manager of UL Solutions in Saudi Arabia and lead in the Riyadh office. “Expanding our Middle East footprint in Riyadh will enable key stakeholders in the Kingdom direct local access to UL Solutions’ world-class safety science expertise in support of efforts to transform the economy.”

In 2016, Saudi Arabia published Vision 2030, a plan centered around three pillars: be at the heart of the Middle East, create a more diverse and sustainable economy, be an integral driver of international trade and connect three continents, including Africa, Asia and Europe. As part of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia is diversifying its economy and reducing its dependence on oil.

Since the publication of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia has undergone a significant transformation by establishing an $18 billion (USD) data center strategy and developing mega and giga projects, including NEOM, a smart city, and Amaala and the Red Sea Project, which are ultra-luxury and sustainable tourist destinations. Renewable energy projects are also a priority, with the Kingdom developing more than 58 GW of solar and wind power as it phases out all power stations that use fossil fuels. In addition, with a focus on the localization of industries, Saudi Arabia is targeting to triple its manufacturing gross domestic product (GDP), increase industrial export value to $148 billion (USD) by 2030, and increase the number of factories in the Kingdom to 36,000 by 2035.

“With this transformation comes a significant need to address fire safety, cybersecurity and sustainability,” said Hamid Syed, vice president and general manager of UL Solutions in the Middle East. “Building upon our existing footprint and previous work in the region, our new presence in Riyadh will allow us to continue to heighten our ability to be a trusted science-based safety, security and sustainability partner and help enable the Kingdom’s economic evolution.”

As Saudi Arabia looks to improve nationwide fire safety and industrial security regulations, local and regional demand for fire prevention and safety implementation systems is anticipated to continue its upward trajectory. To help address this need, UL Solutions established a partnership with Dammam-based GCC Labs’ safety arm to help advance fire safety in the Middle East. The two companies are also collaborating in Saudi Arabia to assess extreme environmental conditions on photovoltaic (PV) modules to help better understand future solar project efficiencies and extend PV module lifetimes.

Other recent initiatives include agreements with the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO) to promote the use of UL Standards for safety, a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) to test various products across the fiber-to-home ecosystem, and accreditation by SASO to perform tests related to energy efficiency functionality for street, road and tunnel lighting products.

“In addition to our furthering our existing relationships with GCC Labs, STC and SASO, we look to strengthen key local partnerships, including those with the Saudi Electricity Company, the National Cybersecurity Authority, the Saudi Arabia Civil Defense and Saudi Aramco, to support the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals,” said Syed.

“Investment, trade and other commercial activities form a vital pillar of the bilateral relationship between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said James Glosen, counselor for Commercial Affairs at the United States (U.S.) Embassy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. “As the Kingdom’s economy grows and becomes increasingly diverse, significant opportunities for U.S. firms present themselves in a wide variety of sectors. To deepen our economic and commercial ties, the U.S. Embassies and Consulates are committed to supporting U.S. companies, such as UL Solutions, doing business with the Kingdom.

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