By Innovation-sa on July 29, 2018 in News

In line with the objectives of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Justice announced plans to open full-fledged labor court in the Kingdom early next year.This will increase transparency of the labor market and thereby boost investment and drive the economy towards development.


The preparations for the labor court are on track with judges being trained, staff getting proper induction and court buildings being prepared and connected digitally.


The ministry said that the labor courts will be connected to all government entities that deal with labor. The court will play a significant role in simplifying procedures and increasing the efficiency in conducting projects as well as ensuring employee’s security and protection at work.


With the setting up of labor court, the ministry aims to boost investment opportunities, achieve excellence, swiftness of the labor judiciary, and benefit from the rich databases of the courts.


Arab News- 24 July 2018

By Innovation-sa on July 29, 2018 in News

In an e-Government survey conducted by the United Nations to assess the development of municipal portals in 40 pilot cities across the world, Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh ranked 30th position. The survey is dedicated to transform cities to sustainable and resilient societies.


The survey report, published by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs after assessing 7 African cities, 6 American cities, 13 cities in Asia, 12 in Europe, and 2 in Oceania, showed a persistent positive global trend towards higher levels of e-government development.


The survey, based on Local Online Services Index (LOSI) ranked Moscow, Cape Town and Tallinn in the top three positions while Riyadh ranked 30th place. The LOSI evaluates technical and content aspects of each municipality/city, electronic services provision and e-participation initiatives available through the portals.


Arab News – 24 July 2018

By Innovation-sa on July 29, 2018 in News

As the countdown to Hajj begins, Saudi authorities intensified the ban on entry of unauthorized people to Makkah, which began earlier on July 9. The ban will be in force till the end of Hajj. Officials informed that more than 72,000 people and 30,449 vehicles were turned back from various entry points to the Holy city as of Friday.


Inspections are being carried out by security authorities round the clock at checkpoints in Shumaisi new and old Kakiah, Sharayah to prevent unauthorized people from entering the holy city.


The entry of expatriates to Makkah have been restricted to those who have a valid Haj permit (Thasreeh), those with residence permits (iqamas) issued from Makkah and those having permits to work in Makkah and holy sites during Hajj season. This year, permits to work in Makkah have been issued through web portals.


Taneem check point near Aysha Mosque in Makkah turned back 5,933 unauthorized vehicles and 710 people while Buhaitia check post near Sayl in Taif turned back 626 vehicles and 1,202 people from entering Makkah.


Saudi Gazette – 23 July 2018

By Innovation-sa on July 24, 2018 in News

Dubai-based group, Majid Al-Futtaim Cinemas announced that it will open its first multiplex in Jeddah at the highly popular Red Sea Mall by December. Earlier, the company had announced its interest to bring world-class entertainment to cities across the Kingdom as soon as the ban on cinemas was lifted in Saudi Arabia.


VOX’s parent company, Majid Al-Futtaim, has already announced project investments valued at SR16 billion across its mall asset, fashion, leisure and retail offerings, a commitment that is expected to create over 114,000 direct and indirect job opportunities. The investment will dedicate SR2 billion to set up over 600 screens across Saudi Arabia over the next five years.


The cinema will include 12 screens, of which three will be GOLD by Rhodes, the first of its kind in the Kingdom. GOLD by Rhodes is a unique dining concept in participation with Michelin-starred chef Gary Rhodes, which allows Saudi cinema guests to order gourmet meals directly to their reclining seats while enjoying movies on digital surround-sound and wall-to-wall high-definition screens.


VOX Cinemas will also be opening an IMAX theatre at the Red Sea Mall featuring the largest IMAX screen in Saudi Arabia and the mall is expected to hit 18.5 million visitors by the end of 2018.


Arab News – 17 July 2018

By Innovation-sa on July 24, 2018 in News

The General Authority of Statistics (GAStat) reports indicated a positive growth in the Saudi job market with more than 350,000 new job opportunities to be created for locals and expatriates in the near future.


The report predicts 38,000 new opportunities for Saudis and 67,000 vacancies for foreigners in the food, commercial and housing sector. Meanwhile, the industrial sector will have 23,000 job openings for Saudis and 32,000 vacancies for foreigners. The construction industry is expected to generate 11,000 openings for Saudis and at least 53,000 for foreigners. The entertainment sector will provide employment to 750 Saudis as well as foreigners.


The GaStat reports indicated a drop in female unemployment rate in the Kingdom to 30.9 percent during the first quarter of 2018. However, despite untiring efforts from the government, unemployment rate among Saudi men increased from 6.1 percent in first quarter of 2017 to 7.6 percent in the first quarter of 2018.


The contribution of Saudi enterprises to the Kingdom’s GDP showed a slight increase from 41.86 percent to 41.89 percent. The average salary for Saudi men was SR8,388 last year and SR4,939 for Saudi women while it was SR2,679 for non-Saudi men and SR4,737 for non-Saudi women.


Saudi Gazette – 17 July 2018

By Innovation-sa on July 18, 2018 in News

According to reports published by Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), consumer spending in Saudi Arabia has hit a record high amount of SR91.10 billion this May in comparison to SR84.11 billion during the same month in 2017.


The report attributed the 23-month high spending to extensive household shopping by locals and expatriates at the end of Sha’ban and the beginning of Ramadan. Due to increased consumer spending, banks and ATMs across the Kingdom witnessed large-scale withdrawals, registering an increase of 4.3 percent compared to May 2017.


In May 2018, 93 percent of consumer spending were on foodstuffs and drinks, representing 13.7 percent of goods at sales points. Entertainment sector showed a growth of 31 percent with sales points adding up to SR992 million while the spending on communication sector reached SR184 million.


Saudi Gazette – 16 July 2018

By Innovation-sa on July 18, 2018 in News

Saudi Arabia will introduce its first comprehensive bankruptcy law on August 18, as the nation is on a drive to overhaul its economy. The new system will enhance the confidence of local and foreign investors in private businesses as well as boost Saudi Arabia’s rankings in global economic indicators especially insolvency reports.


The bankruptcy law, once established will provide better solutions to financially struggling companies, said Majid Al-Rasheed, secretary of the Saudi bankruptcy committee at the Ministry of Trade and Investment in an interview with Saudi newspaper Al Iqtesadiya.


The much-awaited law will also offer protection to creditors such as banks, as well as troubled companies that seek to wind up their affairs in an orderly manner, thereby shielding themselves from arbitrary seizure of their assets.


The law is applicable to any person practising commercial, professional or profitable activities in Saudi Arabia, as well as any Saudi-registered companies or foreign investors that own assets in the Kingdom through a Saudi-licensed entity. Once implemented, the law will be the sole regulation covering bankruptcy, effectively replacing previous rules passed in 1996.


Gulf News – 15 July 2018

By Innovation-sa on July 12, 2018 in News

Saudi Arabia has issued a draft law on partnerships between the government and private sector as the kingdom prepares to unlock infrastructure projects worth billions and attract new foreign investments.


The 50-page draft offers investors exemptions from labor laws, real estate ownership restrictions and other regulations. The National Center for Privatization and Public-Private Partnerships has invited the public to submit comments on the draft law by 29 July after which the law will be declared on an unspecified future date.


Saudi Arabia has plans to increase its non-oil revenues to around 40 billion riyals by 2020. The money is expected to come from asset sales as well as public-private partnerships (PPPs) in which private companies invest in infrastructure and are paid to operate it for a period, before finally transferring it to the government.


Meanwhile, the draft law agrees that state employees may need to be transferred out of some projects and that some companies may be exempted from meeting the minimum requirements for the ratio of Saudi citizens in their work forces.  The draft also allows bidders for PPP contracts to appeal awards by the government,in order to attract bidders and improve transparency of public-private partnerships.


Saudi Gazette – 9 July 2018

By Innovation-sa on July 12, 2018 in News

Women coming to forefront and taking up leadership will contribute to generating large number of job opportunities in the labor market and raise the participation rate of women from 22 to 30 percent, eventually achieving one of the prime goals of Vision 2030, said Prince Khalid bin Sulthan Abdullah Al-Faisal, chairman of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation while inaugurating a two-day forum on women driving.


The forum is targeting 20,000 women and is bringing together under one roof all the services related to women driving.  Experts at the forum expect that within a year of lifting the ban on women driving, more than 50,000 jobs will be generated exclusively for women.


The Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Media, with the strategic partnership of Traffic Management, the Saudi Committee of Traffic Safety and the Standardization Committee, automobile dealers, banks, insurance companies and logistical service providers participated in the event titled “You Take the Lead”.


The prince said that through these reforms, the Saudi government aims to achieve social justice by improving the role of women in the society, who represent half of the community and are key components to achieve economic growth according to the strategies of Vision 2030.


He urged Saudi women to invest in the great transformations society is witnessing, through active participation and taking advantage of the series of historic decisions issued by the government to uplift women.


Saudi Gazette – 10 July 2018

By Innovation-sa on July 11, 2018 in News

The National Accounts publication of the first quarter of 2018 indicated a significant recovery of Saudi Arabia’s annual real GDP growth after it increased by 1.2 percent in Q1, 2018 year-on-year, reported the General Authority for Statistics.


The recovery of Saudi economy comes after four consecutive quarters of recession and indicates the resilience of the Kingdom’s economy as well as its ability to recover from both the reduction in oil prices and the structural reforms.


The accelerated growth of both oil and non-oil sectors has led to the recovery of the Saudi economy following the slowdown in 2017. The oil sector increased 0.6 percent in Q1 compared to a drop of 4.3 percent in the same quarter in 2017 while the non-oil sector escalated 1.6 percent in Q1 2018 compared to 1.3 percent growth in Q1 2017 year-on-year.


The growth in non-oil manufacturing sector by 4.6 percent and mining sector by 6.3 percent contributed significantly to the progression of the ailing economy. Moreover, government services and financial service sectors also added to its recovery.


Saudi Gazette – 2 July 2018