Labor crisis hits 36% of construction projects

Updated 23 July 2013
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Labor crisis hits 36% of construction projects

The number of registered construction project contracts in the Kingdom was 250,000 before the first grace period to legalize expatriate workers ended. However, 90,000 of these registered contracts belonging to small contracting companies have since been canceled, according to Raed Aqeili, a member of the National Committee in Saudi Chambers.
Most big projects were affected by this decision because they relied on small companies for employment. During the grace period many of the contractors moved their employees to other sectors, while some individual workers returned to practice professions stated in their iqamas, or residency permits, Aqeili added.
Some contracting companies have the professional skills, but they need to exert more effort in executing their businesses. After laborers left these companies, their projects were temporarily affected. Aqeili feared the problem might escalate in the coming months, especially after the end of the grace period.
Aqeili said contracting companies need to hire professional laborers who can carry out contracting work from rental companies.
The cost of the current five-year plan for projects — which started in 2009 and will finish in 2014 — is SR400 billion. But most of the projects have not been completed.
Aqeili hoped labor crisis would be resolved. He said speedy solutions need to be reached to guarantee the existence of sufficient labor in the contracting markets to avoid further crises.


Saudi naval forces rescue sick French sailor

Updated 53 min 23 sec ago
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Saudi naval forces rescue sick French sailor

  • The sailor was suffering from internal bleeding and was 112 kilometers east of the Farasan Islands, a group of 84 coral islands that form an archipelago in the Red Sea
  • Maritime units were deployed to provide medical assistance and coordinate the rescue effort

JEDDAH: Royal Saudi Naval Forces and the Saudi Arabian Border Guards rescued a 72-year-old French sailor after he fell ill while on a yacht in international waters.
A Border Guards spokesman, Lt. Musfer Al-Quraini, said the search and rescue coordination center in Jeddah (JMRCC) had been contacted by the French Gris-Nez Maritime Rescue Coordination Center to report that a crew member on the yacht had experienced a severe medical condition requiring evacuation.
He was suffering from internal bleeding and was 112 kilometers east of the Farasan Islands, a group of 84 coral islands that form an archipelago in the Red Sea.
The JMRCC located the boat, contacted its captain and liaised with a doctor at Jeddah’s King Fahd Hospital to provide medical guidance until the evacuation could be carried out.
Maritime units were deployed to provide medical assistance and coordinate the rescue effort.
The patient was evacuated by helicopter and moved to Prince Mohammed bin Nasser Hospital in the southwestern port city of Jazan, where he received medical treatment. He is in a stable condition.
The yacht was accompanied to Jazan, following coordination with the port’s administration.
The French Gris-Nez Maritime Rescue Coordination Center thanked the JMRCC for rescuing the sailor.