By Innovation-sa on July 14, 2019 in News

Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya Investment Company has revealed its master plan for Qiddiya, the Kingdom’s “Capital of Entertainment, Sports and Arts” as the government is focusing more on non-petrol revenue sources as part of its ambitious economic diversification program Vision 2030. The property will bring together the elements for an active, healthy and ambitious lifestyle, create a series of pedestrian-oriented episodes that encourage discovery, trail and enjoyment, and generate huge economic opportunity, lead to the development of new sectors and thousands of new jobs.


The 334 square kilometer entertainment city located 45 km from the capital city of Riyadh will offer cultural, sporting and entertainment activities and include training academics, desert and asphalt track for motor enthusiasts, water and snow activities, outdoor adventures and safaris. The development plan will cover only 30 percent of the land leaving majority of the majestic site dedicated for natural conservation. The property is organized around five primary development ‘nodes’ each with a unique purpose.


The ‘Resort Core’ with four gated-attractions will surround a central specialty retail, dining and entertainment district along with a portfolio of distinctive resort hotel offerings. Adjacent to it, a major outdoor entertainment venue capable of hosting 5,000 to 40,000 visitors will be constructed. It will also include skating and skiing facilities. The ‘Speed Park’ focused on motor sports will include tracks, showrooms, a driver’s club and a luxury hotel. The first phase of the giga-project will open in 2022 and feature Six Flags Qiddiya, along with separate water-oriented park.


The master plan, created by the company in collaboration with Denmark-based Bjarke Ingles Group, was created by carefully considering the natural patterns that has been etched on the site throughout history and will include a “green-belt” network that can carry visitors throughout the property on roads, bicycle pathways, and walkways.


Arabian Business – 27 June 2019

By Innovation-sa on July 9, 2019 in News

Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights Commission (HRC) said that children of Saudi women married to non-Saudi men have same rights to residency, work, education and medical treatment as children born to Saudi mother and father.


According to the commission, children of Saudi mothers and foreign fathers who live in the Kingdom have the right to be issued a permanent iqama (residence permit) and mothers can recruit them to the Kingdom if they are living outside. In such cases, the issuance and renewal of residence permits will be funded by the government.


These children will be treated as full-fledged Saudi citizens and can work in the private sector without transferring their iqama. Private companies will include them under the Saudi citizen category as well. However, they should possess ID cards to prove their credentials.


A Saudi wife can bring her non-Saudi husband living abroad to the Kingdom and can transfer his iqama on her if he wishes to do so. He will also possess the right to work for private establishments without transferring his iqama to the company. However, the husband should be able to produce a valid passport recognized by Saudi authorities and legal marriage documents to exercise these privileges.



Saudi Gazette – 25 June 2019

By Innovation-sa on July 2, 2019 in News

The Premium Residency Center (PRC) annnounced that holders of Permanent Premium Residency (PPR) cards can stay in the Kingdom for 60 days after the cancellation of their PPRs. Under special circumstances, the chief of PRC can extend their stay for a maximum of 180 days starting from the date of cancellation of PPR.


Individuals applying for PPR must submit a clearance certificate from their employers and if an employee decides to continue in his job for which he had been hired, then he should rectify his contractual status in terms of his rights and commitments.


The center added that PPR regulations do not specify any fees or taxes on remittances made by PPR holders.


Entering into a marital relationship with a Saudi women will not automatically entitle expatriates to get a PPR. Instead, they have to follow all procedures and fulfill necessary requirements to get a PPR.


The center clarified that children of PPR holders will not have any special privilege during school or university admission. Unlike Saudis, PPR holders cannot have visa-free entry to GGC countries.


Saudi Gazette – 25 June 2019

By Innovation-sa on June 27, 2019 in News

Ahead of the annual Hajj Pilgrimage, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced that expatriates, including those arriving via Haramain Train, will be banned from entering Makkah from Shawaal 25 until Dhul Hijjah 10. Expatriates arriving at the gateways of Makkah by any means of transport – cars, buses or trucks – will be banned from entering the holy city during these days.


However, expatriates who are living in the region or are working there during the Hajj season can enter the holy city but must obtain necessary travel permits from the pertinent authorities. The measure comes in line with the royal order banning expatriates from entering the holy city of Makkah from Shawwal 25 every year except individuals living in the region or working there during the season.


Also, the Ministry has announced that electronic issuance of Umrah visas was stopped on June 17, and pilgrims who were issued visas before June 17 would be allowed to enter the Kingdom until July 2.


Saudi Gazette –

By Innovation-sa on June 19, 2019 in News

Saudi Arabia is on track to outpace India and take first position in the ETF ranking this year. The ETF ranking tracks flows into exchange-traded funds of developing countries. For the past three years, Saudi Arabia had been behind China and Brazil.


India and Saudi Arabia are leading ranking for ETF net inflows this year with new money invested in ETFs in India at $2.5 billion and Saudi Arabia at $2.2 billion. If the net inflows for the last three months are considered alone, the Kingdom is already on top of the chart, with India following.


Moreover, inflows to Saudi shares are expected to expand quickly as MSCI Inc. and FTSE Russell are preparing to add some of Saudi Arabia’s biggest companies to their main emerging-market benchmarks in the coming months. The two main global index compilers started their upgrade in March, and is scheduled for completion in 2020.


The London-traded Invesco MSCI Saudi Arabia UCITS ETF, the largest ETF tracking Saudi shares, had net inflows of near $910 million in May, the most for a month since its inception last year, boosting its net for the year to $1.4 billion.


Bloomberg – 11 June 2019

By Innovation-sa on June 13, 2019 in News

Saudi Arabia’s economic growth is expected to pick up further this year despite threats due to global economic slowdown and its possible impact on the oil market, the Kingdom’s Central Bank said.


Reports published by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) noted that the Kingdom’s economic growth recovered to 2.2 percent in 2018 in comparison to a 0.7 percent decline the previous year. The growth was triggered mainly by the oil sector, which progressed 2.9 percent while the non-oil sector grew by 1.7 percent in 2018, compared to 1 percent in 2017.


The growth of the Kingdom’s non-oil sector is expected to be stimulated by expansionary fiscal policy as the budget for 2019 shows a significant increase in capital expenditure by SR245 billion, the report said.


The country’s non-oil revenues rose 90 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year and reached SR287 billion, with more than half coming from tax revenues, while government expenditure rose by 11 percent to SR1 trillion in 2018.



Bloomberg – 02 June 2019

By Rohit Kulkarni on May 23, 2019 in Business

Whether your business is established or you’re a start-up with only a handful of staff, there is no denying that businesses operate more effectively from serviced offices. A serviced office enables you and your staff to simply move in without any worries. Also, these offices permit you to carry out your day to day operation from the onset without any disruptions or delays. Serviced offices are also less expensive than a conventional office as you would be sharing the space with like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners. When taking into consideration all the amenities that come along with a serviced office, it’s often a more cost-effective choice. Lastly, Serviced offices give business owners and their staff greater flexibility to decide how they run their business.

Service Offices are Fitted Out

Services Offices come with all the trimmings you need. You get to have your office space designed and configured in the way that best suits your business. And the essentials like desks, chairs and storage units come ready to be used. If you were renting a conventional office, then you would need to purchase all your furniture in advance. This is because a conventional office normally just comes as an empty space. There are some serviced offices that can also customize your office in a layout that is specific to your needs. In addition, your branding can be featured throughout your office – thus making your brand more appealing to clients.

Outsourced Staffing

Most serviced offices come with a host of support staff at your disposal. These can include IT support staff, receptionists and staff for maintenance. This allows your staff to better utilize their time working on your projects. You may have a group of experts in your field, but their time is wasted if they’re answering trivial emails all day (or performing customer service tasks on the telephone). This is also a proven method of managing costs – as you’re not having to engage a third-party to perform additional tasks.


If you’re a business owner that elects to rent a conventional office, then you’re taking a risk by doing so. Your business may experience setbacks and you may not be able sustain it. It also needs to be acknowledged that conventional offices are generally a long-term commitment. This is because there is often a long-term lease that first needs to be agreed upon. By selecting a serviced office, you’re given more flexibility. This is because you can first agree upon a space that matches your business needs, and then have the option to expand to a larger fit-out as your business grows.

By Rohit Kulkarni on May 23, 2019 in Business

An HR department is crucial in establishing a mutually beneficial relationship between employers and employees. HR Advisory Services provide businesses with an expert source of advice that can be filtered through to their HR department. Through hands-on consultation with an HR department, HR advisory services can help to overhaul an organization’s HR processes. An HR advisory service will assist a company to implement best practices regarding the management of staff. In addition, advisory services will seek to improve employee engagement levels through the development of a defined employee welfare system. This will lead to greater staff performance and better results on a company-wide scale.

A Better HR Management System

An HR advisory service will better align your HR processes to the specific needs of your business. Depending on the environment and culture of your business, your HR processes will need to be refined in a certain way. An HR advisory service can help your business to implement a system that creates greater staff engagement. An advisory service can also work with you to ensure that any staff-based challenges are met in accordance with industry best practices. They can then streamline your entire HR system – from the on-boarding of new staff, through to any disputes and termination procedures.

Defined HR Policies

Instead of an assumed list of policies, an HR advisory service can assist you to develop strategies that are clearly defined.

An advisory service can provide you with the necessary guidelines to ensure you adhere to policies in your industry. So, rather than creating policies that are ill-informed, you can implement policies that meet the legal requirements of your industry. An advisory service can put in place a welfare program that looks after your staff. When your staff are looked after, they tend to be more engaged and more productive. This leads to a better outcome for all members of the organization.

By Innovation-sa on May 22, 2019 in News

More information about Saudi Arabia’s new “Green Card” style residency scheme for qualified international experts has been published in Saudi government’s official gazette,the Um Al-Qura newspaper.


The new scheme allows highly skilled global entrepreneurs, innovators and investors to work and live in the Kingdom without a Saudi sponsor and they can permanently reside, own property and invest in the Kingdom.The regulations governing the mechanisms of the scheme, such as applicant fees, have not yet been decided by the authorities and a special committee has been set up and given 90 days to make decisions.


Moreover, eligibility of the Privileged Iqama applicants will be determined by a number of bodies headed by the Ministry of Commerce and investment. Applicants should be company owners who can invest in the Kingdom, or must possess scientific or professional skills that are not abundantly found and are of high demand in the Kingdom.


A Saudi Green Card holder will be considered as a resident while applying other statutory provisions like tax provisions, irrespective of how much time he spends outside the Kingdom in the course of the year. Applicants must hold a valid passport, should be financially solvent, should be at least 21 years of age, if he is staying in the Kingdom, should be holding a valid Iqama, should possess a certificate of no criminal record, devoid of any previous offences, and should present a sound medical report.


The rights of a Privilege Iqama holder includes possession of private means of transport and any other movable properties that an expat is allowed to acquire as per the Saudi law, employment in private sector companies and transfer between them(including the beneficiary’s family members) except for jobs from which non-Saudi’s are banned, freedom to leave the Kingdom and return to it independently, use of queues designated for Saudi nationals while entering and exiting the Kingdom through its ports, and performing business under the foreign investment system.


Even though a Privilege Iqama does not entitle the holder to Saudi citizenship, its holder can enjoy several other benefits including residence in Saudi Arabia with his family, the right to issue visitor’s visas for relatives, the recruitment of domestic workers, the possession of property for residential, commercial and industrial purposes excluding Makkah, Madinah and border areas as per regulations. However, they can utilize property in Makkah and Madinah for a period not exceeding 99 years.


The Privilege Iqama can be cancelled if the holder did not comply with the responsibilities  stipulated in Article 7 of the law, waivered his residency, or passed away or was no longer eligible.


Arab News – May 20 2019

By Innovation-sa on May 15, 2019 in News

The Saudi Shoura council approved the launch of a new Green Card style “Special Privilege Iqama” (residence permit) scheme to attract affluent foreign entrepreneurs and investors to the Kingdom, marking an end to the age-old Khafeel (sponsorship) system.


The new scheme will not require foreigners to have a Saudi sponsor or employer and its added benefits will include family privileges, the ability to obtain visas for relatives, recruit workers, own property and transport, employment in the private sector, commerce and industry, enter and exit the Kingdom without a sponsor, and use of designated queues at airports.


Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman said that the proposed Green Card system would be implemented within the next five years and enable Arabs and Muslims to live for longer periods of time in the Kingdom. He added that it will be one of the sources of investment in the Kingdom.


Under the new system, which requires a guarantee of specific fees, there will be two types of residence permits, a permanent Iqama which can be used for an unlimited period of time and a temporary Iqama valid only on a yearly basis and subject to renewal.


The six conditions for obtaining Special Privilege Iqama include – holding a valid passport, applicant should be financially solvent, applicant should be at least 21 years of age, if he is staying in the Kingdom, he should be holding a valid Iqama, he should possess a certificate of no criminal record, devoid of any previous offences, and he should present a sound medical report.


The system is expected to have a positive impact on the Saudi economy – attracting financiers, highly skilled expatriates, people with high financial capability, experienced and leading figures to invest in the Kingdom as well as coming up with ideas leading to contributing to diversifying the Saudi economy and solving cases in which investors resort to tasattur.


Expatriates will have to make payment of a special fee determined by the Executive Regulations which has not yet been revealed and a center called the Center of Distinguished Iqama has been established for the purpose.



Saudi Gazette – May 10 2019