'Contractors could lose up to SR 7 bn in fees'

Updated 04 December 2012
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'Contractors could lose up to SR 7 bn in fees'

The decision of the Ministry of Labor to raise the cost of foreign labor to SR 2,400 per year has caused much debate in the contracting sector. The sector’s losses could reach up to SR 7 billion annually, said a contracting committee.
Discussions, workshops and meetings are taking place between the ministry and chambers of commerce as contractors study a number of mechanisms to obtain reimbursements for their current contracts.
In Abha, the contracting committee of the chamber there said that the decision would worsen the problem of casual labor, as more workers would defect from their sponsors to work in other regions with higher wages. It emphasized the fact that small contractors, in particular, were considering halting all works.
During a meeting of the committee, contractors said that irregular employment is more expensive than the fees paid for an extra expat worker. They claim the decision has a grave impact on many sectors, and it will not solve the issue of Saudization either.
The Ministry of Labor did not respond to the contractors’ demands, the committee said, to send data concerning Saudi unemployment. The committee is in the process of submitting a report to the Royal Court, explaining the damages inflicted on businessmen. At the same time, it asked all contractors to follow the legal procedures in dealing with the decision.
Companies should support all decisions concerning Saudization, said former member of the employment committee in Riyadh’s chamber of commerce, Mohamad Al-Saker.
Unemployment figures are on the rise according to Hafiz, the one-year program for the unemployed that expired last month. The ministry, in its turn, Saker said, should coordinate with the private sector before making any decision.
The committee said that the sector’s losses could drive small and medium-sized enterprises and subcontractors out of business.


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of the Qiddiya Project

Updated 24 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of the Qiddiya Project

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize on Wednesday the launch of the “Qiddiya” Project which is the new entertainment, sports and cultural destination in the Kingdom.
The project will be built in Al-Giddiya area, some 40 km west of the capital, Riyadh.
The foundation stone ceremony of will be attended by a host of local and international officials, as well as a number of decision-makers, major investors and representatives of the regional and international companies, marking the launch of the project’s formal infrastructure. The first phase will be completed by 2022.
In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Dr. Fahd bin Abdullah Tounsi, Secretary General of the Foundation Council of the Qiddiya Project of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) said that the inauguration of this vital project is a real translation of the aspirations of the Kingdom’s wise leadership and its relentless efforts to develop mega projects that would contribute effectively to achieve many direct and indirect economic returns, and to advance sustainable development for the benefit of the homeland and the citizen, in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
“About two-thirds of the Kingdom’s population is under the age of 35. There is a great need for Qiddiya Project to provide them with entertainment. The project will save about $30 billion, which will be used to develop the domestic economy and create new job opportunities for Saudi youths,” he added.
For his part, Michael Reininger, Chief Executive of Qiddiya, said, “we are delighted to be a key contributor to boost the Kingdom’s economic development and investment, not only for the entertainment industry but also to projects that will develop the capabilities the young Saudi people.”