King Salman: Housing for citizens top priority

Updated 07 April 2016
0

King Salman: Housing for citizens top priority

RIYADH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on Tuesday urged the Housing Ministry to continue its efforts to build suitable and affordable housing for citizens, which he said was a priority of his government.

King Salman made the remarks in a speech during a meeting with Housing Minister Majed bin Abdullah Al-Hogail, officials from the Real Estate Development Fund and private sector representatives at Al-Yamamah Palace, SPA reported.
King Salman said it was vital for the ministry to complete projects because it would ensure “comprehensive and balanced development” across all regions of the Kingdom.
“The provision of suitable housing and a decent life for citizens are among our priorities and are receiving my personal attention.” He said the government has issued legislation and set aside huge allocations in the budget for housing in the country.
“The state has encouraged investment in this area and enhanced the role of the private sector as a partner to complement the government’s efforts in achieving this objective.”

“It has also sought to find a balance between supply and demand and encouraged land owners to develop and invest in land, to help bridging the growing need for housing.”
King Salman said the ministry has made significant headway in achieving these goals with its plans, and by drawing in various stakeholders crucial to the process. He wished officials every success in their endeavors “for the provision of suitable housing for our citizens.”
Al-Hogail, in his speech, said that the ministry considers the sector as one of the most important in the country, and that it has been working with the private sector to build a mix of homes for citizens, which were affordable and high quality. He said several agreements have been signed with qualified real estate development companies inside the Kingdom and abroad to build 180,000 residential units across the country.
The country will reportedly has a shortage of 1.5 million homes over the next five years, with the ministry introducing several measures to assist local and international developers built homes for citizen.


World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

A Saudi woman and her friends celebrate her first time driving on a main street of Alkhobar city in eastern Saudi Arabia on her way to Bahrain on June 24, 2018. (AFP / HUSSAIN RADWAN)
Updated 25 June 2018
0

World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

  • As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-ti
  • The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet 

JEDDAH: The world awoke on Sunday to images and video footage many thought they would never see — newly empowered Saudi women taking the wheel and driving their cars.

As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-time drivers.

The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet.

“I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and the spirit to dream,” she said.

In a tribute to Saudi female drivers, the Lebanese soprano Hiba Tawaji released a special video of a song she performed live in Riyadh at a concert last December “Today women in Saudi Arabia can legally drive their cars,” she said. “Congratulations on this achievement, this one’s for you!”

Back home in Saudi Arabia, the atmosphere was euphoric. “It’s a beautiful day,” businesswoman Samah Algosaibi said as she cruised around the city of Alkhobar. 

“Today we are here,” she said from the driver’s seat. “Yesterday we sat there,” she said, pointing to the back.

“I feel proud, I feel dignified and I feel liberated,” said Saudi Shoura Council member Lina Almaeena, one of the first women to drive in the Kingdom.

She told Arab News that the event was changing her life by “facilitating it, making it more comfortable, making it more pleasant, and making it more stress-free.”

Almaeena urged all drivers to follow the traffic and road safety rules. “What’s making me anxious is the misconduct of a lot of the drivers, the male drivers. Unfortunately they’re not as disciplined as they should be. Simple things such as changing lanes and using your signals — this is making me anxious.

“But I’m confident: I’ve driven all around the world when I travel, especially when I’m familiar with the area. It’s really mainly how to be a defensive driver because you have to be.”