By Innovation-sa on January 23, 2018 in News

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Justice Waleed Al-Samaani issued a statement on Monday granting permission to lawyers from all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to practise law in the Kingdom.

The updated executive regulations of the Kingdom’s legal system stipulate that for a foreign law firm to complete its registration in the Kingdom, each of its partner must be licensed to practise law in the Kingdom.

The new decision also specifies that GCC citizens with a Gulf Lawyer’s license obtained from their respective country will be authorized to practise law in the Kingdom, even if he is not a resident of Saudi Arabia.

The ruling comes in accordance with the decision of the Council of Ministers to re-evaluate the provisions of the executive regulations of the legal system regarding the conditions and restrictions of applicants from GCC states in practicing law.


By Innovation-sa on January 23, 2018 in News

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) stated that the rules and regulations regarding issuance of tourist visas to Saudi Arabia will be published by the end of March and any media reports being circulated regarding the requirements, details and nationality specifications are mere speculations and mostly based on discussions that have not yet been validated.

According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), SCTH is currently working in collaboration with the ministries of interior and foreign affairs to determine the guidelines and requirements of tourist visas and the details will be published in the official gazette and posted on SCTH’s website by the end of first quarter.

Earlier, when tourism visas were issued for a trail period between 2008 and 2010, more than 32,000 tourists were attracted to the Kingdom. With the growth of its tourism sector, Kingdom aims to create more job opportunities and diversify its revenue beyond oil and thereby contribute to Saudi Arabia’s dream program Vision 2030.


By Innovation-sa on January 22, 2018 in News

Saudi Arabia strengthened its 60-year-old trading relationship with Japan on Sunday by granting three investment licenses to Japanese companies and signing six Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with Japan in the fields of finance, administration, renewable energy, scientific and technological services, and industrial sector.

The MoUs were signed at the Saudi-Japanese Business Forum, a forum organized by Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) to discuss and review investments and trading relations between the two countries under the slogan “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030”.

The forum, which was attended by a trade delegation of 60 Japanese companies and economic experts was jointly inaugurated by Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Majed Al-Qasabi, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khaled Al-Falih, SAGIA Governer Ibrahim Al-Omar and Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, Industry and Energy Hiroshige Seko.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has entered into a partnership with Japanese Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), Nissan Motor Company and Takaoka Toko for the Kingdom’s first electric vehicle (EV) pilot project. Under the deal, fast-charger stations will also be developed to charge EVs in 30 minutes. The agreement is in line with SECs strategy to reduce dependence on oil and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Saudi Arabia is one among the top ten trading partners to Japan, while Japan is the third biggest trading partner to Saudi Arabia. Around 96 percent of Japanese investments in the Kingdom are in the industrial sector, primarily petrochemicals. Last year, trade volume between the two countries exceeded SR 100 billion and investment of Japanese companies in Saudi Arabia exceeded SR 53 billion.


By Innovation-sa on January 22, 2018 in News

Saudi Aramco’s Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser announced that the state-owned oil giant’s initial public offering (IPO) is on track for the second half of this year. However, Aramco is awaiting the government’s decision regarding the listing of venue.

The government will decide where the stock will be traded, not the company, Nasser told reporters at the company’s headquarters. “We want to see if there is going to be a listing in another market (in addition to Saudi Tadawul)”, added Nasser.

Saudi Arabia is seeking to sell up to 5 percent of Saudi Aramco, which is expected to be one of the biggest IPO in history. Proceeds from the IPO will go to Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, Public Investment Fund (PIF) and will play a crucial role in achieving the goals of Vision 2030.

Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco signed a three-party joint development agreement with two US companies for pilot use of a technology to convert crude-to-chemicals in order to enhance its petrochemical business.

The pact was signed with CB&I, a US-based provider of technology and infrastructure for the energy industry, Chevron Lummus Global, a joint venture between CB&I and Chevron, and a leading process technology licensor.

The $40 million agreement will serve to boost and commercialize Saudi Aramco’s Thermal Crude to Chemicals (TC2CTM) technology. Under the deal, 70 to 80 percent of crude intake will be directly converted into chemicals and its commercialization will begin in two years.


By Innovation-sa on January 22, 2018 in News

Jeddah Economic Company (JEC) has signed an infrastructure deal worth SR 620 million with Al-Fouzan General Contracting Company on Tuesday for the infrastructure development of Jeddah Tower and Jeddah Economic City around it.

According to the contract, Al-Fouzan General Contracting Company will complete the scheduled infrastructure work within a year. The project, earlier named as Kingdom Tower, is undertaken by JEC with the partnership of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC). Once completed, the tower will rise over a kilometre and will be the next tallest skyscraper in the world.

The contract was awarded to Al-Fouzan General Contracting Company in the presence of Saleh Al Henaki, CEO of Alinma Investment Company, Sulthan AlKusayer, fund manager, Mohammed Al Eisa, assistant fund manager, Tarik Al Fouzan, CEO of Al Fouzan Trade and General Contracting Co, Abdul Mohsin Al Johaimy, CEO of AlSabiq Investment and Mounib Hammoud, CEO of Jeddah Economic City at KHC’s headquarter in Riyadh.

According to CNN, JEC has confirmed that the Jeddah Tower project is still on schedule and will be completed by 2020.

KHC Chief Executive Eng. Talal Al Maiman, who is also the board member of JEC told that the deal, being one of the largest private infrastructure contracts in the Kingdom, will open doors to investment opportunities for all. He added that implementing an advanced infrastructure is considered “an essential step in positioning this mega development as a world-class project.”


By Innovation-sa on January 14, 2018 in News

The Council of Cooperative Health Insurance announced that hospitals can provide treatment to patients seeking immediate medical attention even before obtaining approval from insurance companies. However, hospital authorities should inform the insurance companies within 24 hours of receiving a medical case.

Insured citizens must be familiar with the policies of insurance companies, well versed about the complexity of cooperative health insurance system and fully aware of their rights, said Yaser Al-Maarek, spokesperson of the Council of Cooperative Health Insurance.

Meanwhile, treatments excluded from insurance coverage includes cosmetic procedures, injuries caused by self-harm, dental implants, bridges and braces, diseases contracted due to misuse of certain medications, stimulants and sedatives, and those resulting from use of alcohol and drugs.


By Innovation-sa on January 14, 2018 in News

The Saudization of car rental sector will commence on March 18, 2018, announced Khaled Abu Al-Khail, spokesman of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development. The owners of car rentals are advised to complete Saudization before the deadline to avoid penalties. Once completed, the initiative is expected to generate some 200,000 part-time and full-time jobs for Saudis in the next three years.

As more employment opportunities are being created for Saudi citizens, the ministry is undertaking several measures to support and train them. There are facilities for electronic training of Saudi youth in targeted activities and technical and financial support is being provided for those interested in entrepreneurial work. The ministry is also holding several career forums to match employers and job seekers as well as to provide assistance in the field of inspection in cooperation with nationalization commissions.


By Innovation-sa on January 14, 2018 in News

The Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD) deposited the second installment of SR 2.1 billion into the Kingdom’s household allowance program, informed Citizen’s Account program director Ali Rajhi.

Known as the Citizens Account, the initiative is designed to provide financial assistance to low- and middle-income Saudi families and to support them from the direct and indirect impact of energy price hike as well as Value Added Tax (VAT) implementation.

In the second round of its payment, each family received an average amount of SR 935. Citizens Account supports some 11 million beneficiaries of which 3 million are independent families and 7.9 million are heads of households.

50 percent of the independent families and individuals received full payment, while 26 percent of the applicants received partial financial support.

Earlier on December 21, 2017, the first installment of the Citizen’s Account of around SR 2 billion was transferred to 10.6 million beneficiaries.

More than SR 4 billion has been deposited in the beneficiary accounts in the first and second rounds of Citizens Accounts program, Al-Rajhi noted.

Payments are usually deposited on the 10th of every month. However, if the 10th falls on a Friday, then the cash will be deposited on Thursday, and if it falls on Saturday, then the amount will be deposited to beneficiary accounts on Sunday.

The next monthly installment will be transferred on February 10th to applicants who have completed their application before January 10, 2018.


By Innovation-sa on January 14, 2018 in News

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) announced that women over 25 years of age will be granted tourist visa to travel to Saudi Arabia provided that she is part of a tourist group. However, it is mandatory for women under 25 to be accompanied by a family member.

Tourism agencies arranging visits to Saudi Arabia must be licensed by the pertinent authority of its country. Tour operators in the Kingdom must be licensed by SCTH and are responsible to receive tourists, supervise their stay and departure, provide at least one tour guide from the Kingdom who speaks the language of the tourists and educate tourists about the Saudi traditions and laws prior to their arrival. Tourists visiting the Kingdom are advised to respect the Saudi traditions, laws and customs.

Moreover, if a tourism agency cancels a tour or leaves behind more than 100 people after their visas have been issued, then such agencies will be reported to the ministry of interior and foreign affairs and will be banned from organizing tourism packages to the Kingdom.

Tourist visas issued by the Kingdom will be single-entry visa with a validity of 30 days and it will be independent of work, visit, Hajj and Umrah visas, said Omar Al-Mubarak, director general of SCTH’s licensing department. He added that executive regulations for tourist visas have been finalized and the commission’s IT department is currently developing an electronic system for the issuance of tourist visas, in coordination with the representatives of National Information Center and Foreign Ministry.

With the growth of its tourism sector, Kingdom aims to create more job opportunities and diversify its revenue beyond oil and thereby contribute to Saudi Arabia’s dream program Vision 2030.


By Innovation-sa on January 8, 2018 in News

The General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) announced that all lease-to-own and rent-to-own (Ijara) contracts of assets like real estate or cars concluded before January 1, 2018 will not be liable to pay Value Added Tax (VAT).

GAZT clarified that such contracts are viewed as non-continuous supplies and therefore VAT will not be collected for these contracts on the remaining installments after January 1, 2018. However, those signed after January 1, 2018 will be subject to the standard 5 percent VAT.

The GCC unified agreement for VAT, the VAT law and implementing regulations specifies that tax must be imposed only on the value of the underlying assets and any profit or benefit gained from the contract will be exempted from VAT.

According to the implementing regulations of VAT, several activities in the financial sector like interest on loans or lending fees charged with an implicit profit margin, including loans and credit cards, mortgages, finance leases, banknotes or financial security transactions, current accounts, deposit and savings account are exempted from VAT.

In a related note, Saudi Food and Drug Authority (FDA) informed that human medicines, vitamins, and registered medical devices and products will be free from VAT. Abdul Rahman Al-Sultan, director of SFDA’s department of pharmaceutical information and awareness, urged consumers to inform GAZT on 19993 or through “VAT” application any establishment that does not adhere to the VAT policy. The details of medicines and medical products exempted from VAT are available at and the list of medical devices excluded from VAT is available at