Expats manage most of Saudi women’s businesses

Updated 12 August 2013
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Expats manage most of Saudi women’s businesses

The Ministry of Commerce has disclosed that expats have benefited most from partnerships in commercial ventures, particularly those for which licenses were held by Saudi women.
In a recent report, the ministry said 60 percent of such business partnerships with expats in the Kingdom were owned by Saudi women and that these cases surfaced following the announcement of the amnesty. In addition, many of these business ventures were being managed by illegal expats.
Saudi Arabia allows women to acquire commercial licenses and carry out business activity, but some businesswomen opt for expats to manage the show because of the restricted number of fields in which they can operate.
According to the report, some women depend on their husbands or relatives to manage their businesses, but most preferred expats to run the business.
Arab News spoke to a cross-section of Saudi women who owned businesses in Jeddah and Riyadh, and most of them blamed the trading system in the Kingdom for their dependance on expats.
Nuha Al-Shammari, who owns an abaya gallery in Riyadh, said her business was 10-years-old but she had taken over the management of the shop only recently.
“We have seen the limited opportunities available for Saudi businesswomen, which is evident from the fact that fewer number of Saudi women are seeking employment. Recently, we were honored when the king allowed Saudi women to work in retail sector, which is why I replaced the illegal expat workers who were managing my gallery,” she said.
Revealing her plans to expand her business, she said: “The increased opportunities available now for women, coupled with the amnesty period, is encouraging and we are looking to open new galleries in Jeddah and Dammam, which will be managed by Saudi women,” Al-Shammari said.
Another Saudi woman, who chose to remain anonymous, told Arab News that she has a business under her name but that it is managed by her husband.
“My husband works in the government sector and he is not allowed to get into business. Hence, he asked me to open a business and register it under my name. The business, which involves trading in raw material, is mostly managed by my husband. He put in the capital for the business and my role in confined to registering the establishment in my name.”
Manna Khalid, a Saudi owner of a restaurant and café in Jeddah, said she found expats to be the perfect people to manage the business that she owns.
“I started my business 17 years ago, when women were not allowed to work in restaurants. I turned to one of my close relatives to run the show, but he was dishonest and pilfered money. I shut down the business for six months, and reopened it later after I got new visas for workers from the Philippines,” she said.


Saudi Arabia's KSRelief distributes assistance to Syrian refugees in Lebanon

KSRelief distributed assistance to Syrian refugees. (SPA/file)
Updated 21 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia's KSRelief distributes assistance to Syrian refugees in Lebanon

  • KSRelief seeks to ensure that the living conditions of Syrian refugees are in accordance with international specifications
  • The center also distributed 3,500 cartons of dates in the villages of Izzala Al-Jumah in Yemen

JEDDAH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) distributed humanitarian aid including birth kits, personal bags and baby blankets to Syrian female refugees staying in Osman Hospital and Central Hospital in Kattermaya, Kharoub province of Lebanon on Friday.

This distribution is within the framework of the assistance provided by the center for displaced Syrians and refugees in neighboring countries. 

KSRelief seeks to ensure that the living conditions of Syrian refugees are in accordance with international specifications through various relief programs. 

Earlier, winter blankets, jackets, jumpers, hats and other items were distributed to meet the basic needs of refugee families.

The center also distributed 3,500 cartons of dates in the villages of Izzala Al-Jumah in Al-Mukha directorate in Taiz governorate, benefiting 21,000 people.

In addition, 36 trucks with 469,483 kg of relief, shelter and medicines crossed Al-Wadiaa border on Thursday evening as part of the KSRelief plan to help Yemenis.

Of this total, 26 trucks with 500 food baskets, weighing 375 tons, in addition to 43,173 kg of shelter items, will be heading to Maareb province, and ten trucks carrying 42,221 kg of shelter items and 9.89 tons of medications will go to Aden.

On Thursday, the Bahraini Royal Charity Foundation and the Khalifa bin Zayed Foundation for Humanitarian Affairs signed an MoU for the establishment of the Bahrain Health Center in Aden, Yemen, at a cost of $2 million, in the presence of Ahmed bin Ali Al-Bayez, assistant general supervisor of operations and programs at KSRelief, and a number of officials. SPA, Jeddah