IDs a must for Saudi women

Updated 27 March 2013
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IDs a must for Saudi women

The Council of Ministers yesterday issued a new law making independent national identity cards mandatory for Saudi women within a period of seven years. Saudi males 15 years old and older should also obtain separate identity cards.
“A Saudi citizen completing 15 years of age must have a national ID card of his own, and this shall be optional for those between 10 and 15 years,” the new law said. The card shall be issued on the basis of the Central Civil Registry.
The new law added: “A Saudi woman must have a national ID card on the basis of a phased plan, but without exceeding seven years. Afterwards, a national identity card shall be the only way to prove her identity.”
Saudi women have welcomed the Cabinet decision. Mysar Jabr, a female student, said it was another step toward empowering women. “It is vital for women, especially when they are in business and serve as Shoura members. They are not just dependent members,”she told Arab News. “Many civil institutions and government departments require IDs to provide their services,” Jabr said. “Before, women had to bring at least one family member to identify her.”
Jabr said her friend’s father didn’t want his daughter to have her own national identity card, fearing that she will be independent and can do whatever she wants. “She never got the ID card until she got married,” Jabr said.
An official at the women’s section in the Civil Affairs Department in Jeddah told Arab News that the ID can be used by women to meet the requirements of various departments. She added that girls now have to get their own IDs when completing 18 years.
Arwa Turkistani, another student, was not very excited by the decision as she thinks that women would still require men besides them to complete most transactions. However, she said it is a good move that would give women at least have self satisfaction.


Top five trends shaping KSA retail industry

Saudis visit the International Coffee and Chocolate Exhibition held at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center in the capital Riyadh on December 4, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 16 min 15 sec ago
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Top five trends shaping KSA retail industry

  • Artificial intelligence can identify consumer preferences with great accuracy

RIYADH: The Kingdom has a vast, young, tech-savvy population that is shifting behavior in Saudi Arabia, according to Ahmed Reda, MENA consumer industry leader for Ernst and Young (EY).
EY worked with more than 200 business leaders, futurists and industry experts through its FutureConsumer.Now program (FCN) to map the buying habits of consumers. “We asked questions such as how will consumers shop, eat, stay healthy, live, use technology, play, work and move in the future?” Reda said.
Here are some of the key trends powering the shift in consumer behavior and the retail industry in the GCC’s largest consumer base.
Data analytics and AI transforming traditional retail models: The new breed of GCC consumer expects a highly personalized experience. This will be even more critical as brand loyalty declines among GCC consumers. As analytics tools become increasingly sophisticated, the value of personalized data will grow. Artificial intelligence can identify consumer preferences with great accuracy.
Brands need to implement omnichannel strategies: In markets such as Saudi Arabia, which has some of the most affluent consumers, omnichannel strategies (any time, any place) are vital for companies to craft a user experience that cuts across online shopping, social media, mobile apps and conventional stores.
Physical stores still have a place: Online shopping has reduced the need for people to visit shops. Physical stores will still be a powerful asset if they are used for more than shopping. Retailers have a portfolio of well-located spaces that can be repurposed.
Rise of e-commerce: Physical stores won’t disappear, but the high penetration of smartphones and digital services has transformed the behavior of GCC consumers.
Value-seeking behavior after VAT: In a market that has been tax-free, the introduction of VAT, even at a relatively low rate of 5 percent, has caused a shift in consumer behavior. The average Saudi consumer is more cost-conscious than ever. Companies that can tap into additional value through economies of scale, or provide greater convenience, will reap the rewards.