New plan to nab illegals revealed

Updated 20 April 2013
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New plan to nab illegals revealed

There will be three options under a new plan by the Ministry of Labor to obtain information on companies that are violating labor laws, said Adel Fakeih, minister of labor, yesterday on an MBC show hosted by Dawood Al-Shirian.
The first option is for the members of the public to report companies or individual violators by calling in the ministry through a toll free number. 
The second option is self-inspection whereby the business owner can find online whether their business is committing any violations. 
The third option is inspections carried out by the ministry itself.
He said that 100,000 new inspectors would join the ministry to help carry out the inspections. They will now be accompanied by police officers for effective implementation of the ministry’s directives. The new program begins next month.
The minister acknowledged the contribution of the expatiate community, but said that illegal activity will not be tolerated. “We enforce the rules and regulations on every establishment with no exceptions.” 
He said that about 900,000 workers have been deported in the last 18 months and that nearly 400,000 Saudis have been hired during the same  period. 
Fakeih said the purpose of Saudization should not be misunderstood and that expats who are legally allowed to work in the country have contributed to Saudi growth. He added that 7.5 million expats are currently legally working in the Kingdom.
Companies that employ illegals will be fined up to SR 100,000 and sentenced to two years in prison for each illegal worker they hire. 
The ministry will also accept tips from the general public if they see anyone working illegally.
He said that any expat who did not get his/her iqama renewed by the sponsor can choose any company in Nitaqat’s green zone and transfer the sponsorship to it without the permission of the former sponsor.
“The former sponsor loses his/her right to keep his workers if he/she fails to renew the iqama before its expiration date,” Adel said.
Fakeih clarified that children of Saudi mothers who are married to non-Saudis are considered Saudis under Nitaqat. 
 

 


First charity art auction in Saudi Arabia hits SR4.8 million in sales

Updated 56 min 41 sec ago
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First charity art auction in Saudi Arabia hits SR4.8 million in sales

  • The event, which featured 43 works by Saudi and Arab artists, was held at historic Nassif House in Al-Balad, Jeddah
  • Tawaf around the Kaaba 2,” a painting by Saudi artist Abdullah Al-Shalty, fetched SR 650,000, the highest price paid for any single work in the auction

JEDDAH: Art for Al Balad, the first charity auction of contemporary art in the Kingdom, achieved sales of SR 4.8 million ($1.3 million) on Wednesday.

The event, which featured 43 works by Saudi and Arab artists, all of which sold, was held at historic Nassif House in Al-Balad, Jeddah, on Wednesday. It was organized by the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with auction house Christie’s.

“It was much above our expectations; we are very happy,” said Michael Jeha, chairman of Christie's Middle East.

About 200 Saudi art collectors joined artists and other members of the Saudi and international cultural communities at the event. Bidding was highly competitive, with “Tawaf around the Kaaba 2,” a painting by Saudi artist Abdullah Al-Shalty, fetching SR 650,000, the highest price paid for any single work in the auction.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Nassif House was built in 1872. Saudi Arabia’s founder, King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, was received at this house upon his entry to the city in 1925.

• The Saudi government is keen to restore and preserve buildings with historic and cultural significance, and carries out regular renovation work.

• Al-Balad, or Jeddah historic district, is one of five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kingdom. It contains about 600 buildings that date back to the 19th century.

 

“Where to” by Prince Badr bin Abdulmohsen was the second-most expensive work, selling for SR 500,000, while “Witness in the Desert” by Abdullah Al-Sahikh attracted a winning bid of SR 380,000.

“It was extremely pleasing, very encouraging,” said Jeha. “The energy in the room was fantastic. The enthusiasm was very strong. I think for the very first auction, we can all be extremely pleased.”

Jeha described the growth of the art scene and culture in general in Saudi Arabia as very impressive, and said that the Ministry of Culture has developed a strong platform and program for the coming years, which will help to establish art and culture in the hearts and minds of people in the Kingdom.

The profits from the auction will help to establish a new heritage museum in Jeddah’s historic district and support The Help Center, a non-profit organization that provides customized support to children in the city with special educational needs.

The auction received donations and funding from galleries, cultural foundations, private collectors, and artists across the Arab World, the assistance of which was acknowledged by the Ministry of Culture.

“This would not be possible without the generous support of both the donors and the talented artists,” said Hamed bin Mohammed Fayez, deputy minister of culture, in his opening speech.

The ministry aspires to create and develop a cultural environment in which artists and other creatives can access a platform that celebrates a shared identity and builds understanding between people.

Speaking of the Ministry’s three main objectives in its cultural vision for 2019, Fayez said that it aims to support the nation’s cultural transformation by promoting culture as a way of life, enable the sector to contribute to the economy, and encourage international cultural exchanges.

Before the auction, the works on sale were on display to the public in an exhibition on June 23 and 24.