Ministry punishes firms after discovering 47,000 fake Saudi employees

Updated 28 November 2012
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Ministry punishes firms after discovering 47,000 fake Saudi employees

The Ministry of Labor has suspended the advantages it had granted to several companies that were implementing the Nitaqat system after it discovered they had given fake numbers of Saudi employees. The ministry found out that 47,000 Saudis registered as private sector employees at the General Organization of Social Insurance (GOSI) are in fact not working in the private sector. The names are of persons employed in the government sector, including an undisclosed number of military personnel, according to an Al-Eqtisadiyah newspaper report that quoted unidentified sources on Tuesday.
The discovery was the result of a collaborated effort by the ministry, GOSI, and the National Information Center of the Ministry of Interior.
The ministry immediately halted the advantages of completing visa procedures electronically for these companies and approached relevant authorities to approve a new mechanism to link the data of relevant departments electronically to stop such circumvention.
Minister Adel Fakeih announced last September that the Nitaqat program, which was initiated at the beginning of this year, had contributed in employing 380,000 young men and women so far. The number is 20 times the total number in the previous five years. Nitaqat defines the number of Saudi employees at a company based on the company’s size and the sector it operates in.
The categories in the program are excellent, green, yellow and red. Those companies in the first two categories are given advantages. Yellow category companies are given grace periods to fulfill the required quota, while companies in the red category are denied renewal of their foreign workers’ visas.
The newspaper quoted the sources as saying that the registered employees are not aware of the matter. The information of most of them was used without their knowledge. Some of them were paid low monthly stipends by the companies in exchange of using their information, they said.
The ministry is working on tackling the absence of a network linking the data of the Ministry of Labor, GOSI, and the National Information Center, they said. Currently, information can only be obtained on specific persons through an official data verification request.


Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

Masjid Quba in Madinah is a favorite destination for Hajj pilgrims, according to tour guides. Below: The Cave of Hira, Al-Baqi’ cemetery and the Prophet’s Chamber allow visitors to step back in time. (Getty Images)
Updated 42 min 21 sec ago
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Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

  • A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities
  • Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies

RIYADH: Hajj is one of the biggest dreams of every Muslim’s life, and pilgrims looking forward to their stay in Makkah and Madinah say a bucket list is the best way to plan the trip. 

Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies. Standing in the places of the Holy Prophet transports them back to the past as if they lived those incredible moments. 

A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities.

Sayed Shafei, an operation manager for City Sightseeing, a tour company in Madinah and worldwide, told Arab News: “We offer a special tour with a multilingual tour guide presented in eight languages. We also offer 24-hour tickets. We have scheduled tourism trips starting from the Prophet’s Mosque to 12 destinations every 30 minutes. The whole trip lasts for 14 hours a day.” 

Asked about the most popular requests, Shafei said: “Our customers always ask to visit Masjid Quba, the Sayed Al-Shuhada Mosque in Uhud, which is considered a vital historic landmark of Madinah, and Al-Qiblatain Mosque.” 

Most of the group’s customers are from East Asia, but many also visit from Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, Indonesia, Malaysia, the US and Europe.

Munirah Al-Jebreen, an English instructor at Princess Noura University who will perform Hajj this year, told Arab News her bucket list began with an online search. 

“I found a travel guide on Google that has all the best sites in Madinah and Makkah, so I decided to visit Uthman ibn Affan’s Farm and Well in Madinah, the Holy Qur’an exhibition, and one of the most important places I want to visit is the grave of the Holy Prophet,” she said.

The area between the Prophet’s Chamber, which holds his grave, and the Mimbar is known as the Rawdah, which is actually the Garden of Paradise. It is presently distinguished by a green carpet.

Al-Jebreen also listed some of her planned tour destinations in Makkah, including the Cave of Hira, where the Holy Prophet meditated frequently during the first 40 years of his life and the site of the first revelation. 

She will also visit Bilal Mosque and Mount Abu Qubais and, finally, will try Al-Garmushi, one of the famous traditional restaurants in Makkah.