SIM smuggling leads to ban on free roaming

Updated 22 March 2013
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SIM smuggling leads to ban on free roaming

The decision of the Communications and Information Technology Commission to ban free roaming services on Saudi SIM cards is meant to stop the smuggling of a great many Saudi SIM cards to the various markets by expat workers, informed sources in the communications industry said.
“There are too many users among expat labor who benefit from the services in a way that can harm the communications industry. The volume of the services provided by the communications industry is about SR 100 billion. If no optimal use is made of these services to increase size and upgrade the industry, this will harm both the domestic market and the industry,” the sources said.
The sources estimate that during the past 5 years, around 2 million SIM cards had been taken outside Saudi Arabia by expat labor.
The suspension of free roaming service by Saudi mobile operators will not affect Saudi students studying on scholarships abroad.
Meanwhile, Intisar Al-Malih, an economic consultant, said the proliferation and sale of Saudi SIM cards in large volumes in neighboring countries harms the national economy. “Therefore, the decision to ban the free roaming is a positive one,” she said. “There need to be competitive plans and packages for the Saudi students abroad, who number about 180,000,” she added.
Al-Malih said that around 2 million SIM cards have been taken outside Saudi Arabia. “Since these cards have free international roaming capabilities, this translates to an annual loss of SR 2.2 billion for mobile operators,” she said.
According to earlier official statistics, expenditure on communications and information technology in the Kingdom was around SR 94 billion ($ 25 billion) in 2012, up from SR 21 billion ($ 5.6 billion) in 2002.


Jeddah Season provides seasonal employment for young Saudis

Updated 18 June 2019
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Jeddah Season provides seasonal employment for young Saudis

JEDDAH: The Jeddah Season festival has provided a wide range of seasonal employment opportunities for young Saudi men and women, helping them gain experience and prepare them to enter the job market.

More than 5,000 young Saudis are working around the clock, each in his or her field, to manage the festival’s activities.

The festival aims to highlight development opportunities in Saudi Arabia, introduce the Kingdom as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, support the government’s efforts to empower Saudi youths, support local small and medium enterprises, develop Jeddah’s tourism sector and provide volunteer opportunities.

Jeddah Season, which began on June 8 and runs until July 18, has attracted thousands of visitors of all ages through its 150 local and international events and activities.

It is being held at five sites: King Abdullah Sports City, Al-Hamra Corniche, the Jeddah Waterfront, Obhur and Historic Jeddah (Al-Balad), which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Jeddah Season offers a wide range of tourism, entertainment and cultural events and activities, and sheds light on the city’s status as the Kingdom’s tourism capital. Most of its events are being held for the first time in Saudi Arabia.

Jeddah Season is in line with the Vision 2030 reform plan, which aims to advance the welfare of Saudi society, diversify local development opportunities, improve the Kingdom’s contribution to arts and culture, and create job opportunities for Saudi youths.