Saudi jobless rate down to 11.7%: Nitaqat pays off

Updated 17 February 2015
0

Saudi jobless rate down to 11.7%: Nitaqat pays off

The Nitaqat nationalization program was successful in bringing down the Kingdom’s unemployment rate to 11.7 percent — 5.9 percent among men and 32.5 percent among women, said the Central Department of Statistics and Information (CDSI).
In a statement issued on Sunday, the department put the total number of unemployed Saudis at 650,000, including 258,000 men and 392,000 women.
The department, which comes under the Ministry of Economy and Planning, said reports on unemployment rate in the Kingdom published by some newspapers and other media organizations were not correct.
It emphasized that the Labor Ministry has been supporting the statistics issued by the department in the previous years.
Referring to the statistics issued by the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF), the CDSI said those figures are related to people who have registered with its Hafiz program to get unemployment benefits.
“Those figures do not represent the number of unemployed Saudis in any way,” the department insisted. “Neither the Labor Ministry nor HRDF and CDSI have published these figures as unemployment indicators,” it added.
A previous report said the unemployment rate among Saudi women in 2013 was 34 percent and among men 6.2 percent. A manpower expert attributed the increase in unemployment rate among women to high percentage of fresh graduates and lack of new job opportunities suitable for them.
The Labor Ministry intends to launch the third phase of Nitaqat on April 20 to create more jobs for Saudis in the private sector.
The Nitaqat helped employ 750,000 Saudis in the private sector until the end of the Hijrah year 1435, showing 15.6 percent rise in Saudization during the year.
Saudi bloggers did not agree with the department’s figures and said the unemployment rates among men and women are much higher. “The total number of unemployed Saudis will be more than a million,” said one blogger while another said the figure would cross six million.
Another blogger pointed out that 1.5 million Saudi men and women have been registered with Hafiz program to receive unemployment allowance, questioning the CDSI statistics. “I think the unemployed in remote villages may not have been counted by CDSI,” said another blogger.


Riyadh to host forum to observe World Heritage Day next year

Riyadh hosts the sixth National Urban Heritage Forum in April with its focus on investment opportunities in the urban heritage. (Reuters)
Updated 19 October 2018
0

Riyadh to host forum to observe World Heritage Day next year

  • Forum will encourage private investment to capitalize on the country’s rich urban heritage
  • Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage hosts the forum each year in a different part of the Kingdom

RIYADH: The Saudi capital will host the sixth National Urban Heritage Forum (NUHF) next April to coincide with World Heritage Day, with its focus on investment opportunities in urban heritage.

“The four-day National Built Heritage Forum will be launched in Riyadh on April 15,” said Majed Alshadeed, a spokesman for the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), on Thursday, adding that the forum will culminate on April 18, World Heritage Day. World Heritage Day is celebrated every year on April 18 with the aim of preserving the human heritage and recognizing the efforts of the relevant organizations in the field.

Organized by SCTH under the umbrella of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cultural Heritage Program, the 6th forum will encourage private investment to capitalize on the country’s rich urban heritage.

The forum will look at developing business models in the management and development of — and investment in — urban heritage sites, as well as the development of crafts and handicrafts.

The heritage forum is organized each year by the SCTH in a different province in collaboration with the relevant governorates, municipalities and local universities, following the recommendations of the first International Conference for Urban Heritage in the Islamic Countries, which was held in Riyadh in 2010.

The first session of the NUHF was organized in Makkah province, the second in the Eastern Province, the third in Madinah province, the fourth in Asir province and the fifth in Al-Qassim province.

Next year’s forum seeks to invest the expertise, knowledge and experience that the SCTH has gained and transfer it to the four economic sectors working in urban heritage. These sectors are construction, restoration and contracting, site operation, human resources development, and services and industries related to urban heritage.

The forum will include the distribution of prizes to the projects winning the Prince Sultan bin Salman Urban Heritage Awards, exhibitions, scientific sessions, workshops and business meetings with Saudi and international experts and consultants to discuss investment opportunities in urban heritage. There will also be a specialized expo for companies and institutions working in the sectors of the economics of architectural heritage, restoration and engineering consultancy.