Pay fine, legalize status

Updated 11 November 2013
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Pay fine, legalize status

The Labor Ministry announced on Saturday that it would continue to accept applications from undocumented expats to legalize their status despite the end of the amnesty on Nov. 3.
However, it insisted that such workers have to pay fines or face other penal measures for the delay in legalizing their status.
Faisal Al-Otaibi, director-general of inspections at the ministry, also pointed out that it would not accept any request for exemptions from raids being carried out by the ministry and security officials to rid the country of labor law violators.
“The correction process is continuing and those who want to legalize their status can do so through our electronic services and labor offices,” he said.
The ministry’s statement has been widely welcomed by expats and private companies whose activities have been hampered by raids that are being conducted throughout the Kingdom to crack down on undocumented workers.
Hundreds of illegals have been reportedly arrested in different parts of the country and many companies have suspended operations to avoid raids.
“Companies with a ‘closed’ sign on their window will not be exempt from questioning and search and our teams will visit such firms several times,” Al-Otaibi said, adding that the raids were aimed at creating a secure and organized labor market in the country.
Abdul Rahman Al-Zamil, president of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, urged expats to make use of the ministry’s offer that aims at legalizing workers in the country and protecting their rights.
“Saudi Arabia has changed. It will not accept anymore illegal workers and illegal coverup businesses,” he told Arab News. He refuted suggestions that the raids would affect the Kingdom’s economic development.
The ministry has deployed 55 teams in Riyadh, 45 in Jeddah and 64 in the Eastern Province to inspect firms. Every team includes at least two inspectors and a security officer. “We have deployed these teams in major cities and townships considering the number of firms there,” he said.
The ministry has prepared a list of companies for inspections and it covers firms in different sectors and varying sizes. Teams appointed by the ministry conduct about 80 percent of raids.
“The raids will be carried out at any time, not necessarily during the government working hours of inspectors. It will be conducted during the working hours of private firms,” Al-Otaibi said.
The ongoing labor raids have affected the work of many companies, as a considerable number of their foreign workers could not legalize their status during the seven-month amnesty.
The ministry has promised it would issue visas to companies that have complied with Saudization regulations and have ongoing projects in order to meet their manpower shortages.
“The ministry’s offer will help stabilize the labor market and bring down the prices of goods and services,” said Ibrahim Al-Hodaithy, deputy chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
He said the raids would affect the market because of a shortage of workers doing jobs that cannot be done by Saudis. “Failure by the ministry to issue visas to compensate workers who have already left the country will lead to a hike in prices of goods and services,” Al-Hodaithy said, adding that Saudis would be the first victims of such effects.


Riyadh Eid festivities draw more than 1.5 million visitors

Updated 50 min 1 sec ago
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Riyadh Eid festivities draw more than 1.5 million visitors

  • The diversity of events the municipality provided this year offered plenty of choice to the capital’s residents and visitors.
  • The garden of King Fahd Library which received visitors over the three days of Eid witnessed interactive and entertainment shows.

JEDDAH: Riyadh municipality Eid Al-Fitr activities attracted more than 1.5 million visitors, residents and citizens over the three-day holiday.
The diversity of events the municipality provided this year offered plenty of choice to the capital’s residents and visitors.
The municipality hosted 200 functions in 30 different locations across the city. It distributed thousands of presents, balloons and candy to children to encourage them to attend Eid prayers and to bring joy to their hearts.
Riyadh’s Eid festivities in Qasr AL-Hokm included the Saudi traditional folk-dance show, activities and competitions for children, as well as folk arts and poetry shows.
The garden of King Fahd Library which received visitors over the three days of Eid witnessed interactive and entertainment shows, as well as artistic activities and sports competitions.
Riyadh municipality organized five theater shows for men and women, including two for men: Shekka Wa Noss, and Tersam Al-Wahch; two plays for women: Banat Al-Social and Umm Suwaileh Al-Sawaqa, and an open play, Al-Qarya Al-Maghdoura.
Riyadh municipality also organized three theater shows for the blind and deaf.
“Al-Qarya Al-Maghdoura” (The Betrayed Village), the first open-theater show in the Kingdom, was held in the showroom of Al-Jazeera neighborhood. It was written, directed and played by Saudis.
The municipality allocated several events and locations for the participation of humanitarian organizations by receiving them and setting private seats for them, in coordination with the Saudi Association for Deaf.
It also organized a special program to entertain women and children over the three days of Eid. The events for women included plays, free drawing and coloring sessions, artifacts and competitions.
Carnival marches were launched in the north and west of Riyadh, by 300 cartoon characters and featured the participation of touring folk groups, along with a solidarity march with soldiers, as well as classic car shows.
The capital’s residents and visitors enjoyed fireworks that lasted 10 minutes and colored the sky of Riyadh at King Fahd International Stadium, a location near King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) and a location near Wadi Leban Bridge in west Riyadh.