‘70% of gas stations owned by expats’

Updated 21 June 2014
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‘70% of gas stations owned by expats’

About 70 percent of fuel stations are owned by individual expatriates as cover-up businesses, local media reported recently, quoting an industry source.
There are about 9,000 gas stations in the country of which 90 percent are owned by individuals, said Mamdouh Al-Rikhaimi, a member of the National Committee for Gas Station Companies. National companies only make up 10 percent of the sector, he said.
He claimed some Saudi operators lease gas stations to foreign workers who then fraudulently sell mixed gasoline to customers.
He claimed that the fraud includes mixing benzene with diesel or benzene grade 91 with grade 95, and the manipulation of gas meters. He called on the government to set up an independent body to monitor the fuel quality at stations.
He urged Saudi Aramco, which provides fuel to the stations, to institute strict monitoring of trucks transporting fuel, especially when loading and unloading.
Ahmed Al-Falih, deputy chairman of the national committee for gas station companies, said there is currently no independent body to oversee gas stations in the country, which is left to the discretion of inspecting officers.
To correct this situation, he suggested that three samples be taken from stations suspected of fraud. One sample should be kept by the operator, the second by the inspecting officer and the third sent to a laboratory for testing. If any party is not satisfied with the results, the three samples could be verified by a neutral laboratory for a final decision, he said.
He said the committee should be involved in any new system of monitoring gas stations in the country. This is because its members deal with all aspects of the industry on a daily basis, while inspectors only handle the regulatory part of the business.
He said it was important to ensure that each worker at a gas station is given clearly defined duties because this would help determine who is responsible for any fraud.


King Salman meets Amaala project team

Updated 20 November 2018
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King Salman meets Amaala project team

TABUK: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman met with the Amaala project team on Tuesday in Tabuk, led by project CEO Nicholas Naples.

During the meeting, the Saudi king has presented the general plan of the Amaala project, which will be a luxury tourist destination on the Kingdom’s Red Sea coast and aims to create a new concept in luxury tourism focusing on recovery, health and treatment.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund the appointment of Naples, a luxury hospitality and development expert, as CEO of the Amaala project in September, where he will be responsible for developing its strategy and overseeing progress.

The meeting was attended by the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and the governor of Tabuk.