Binladin pays a month’s back wages to 35,000

Updated 19 May 2016
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Binladin pays a month’s back wages to 35,000

RIYADH: Seven Saudi banks have paid SR100 million to workers of troubled Saudi Binladin Group, covering only one month of the money owed to them, according to a report in a local publication Wednesday.

These monies were for about 35,000 Saudi and expatriate workers earning under SR4,000. The vast majority will likely be paid by Ramadan 15, sources were quoted as saying. Other sources said the company secured a SR2.5 billion loan from a group of local banks to pay employees’ wages and end-of-service benefits.
Binladin has declined to describe its financial situation publicly, but Gulf commercial bankers have said they believe it owes local and international banks a total of about $30 billion, and some think it may have to restructure some of that debt.
Many workers have reportedly refused to leave the country because they are afraid they may not be paid once they do so. There are hundreds of Saudis earning over SR5,000 who have not been paid, causing them distress as Ramadan approaches and regular payments on cars and other items become due.
Binladin recently fired 80,000 workers because it said that it wanted to rationalize costs. The company was recently allowed to compete for new contracts after the government lifted a ban on its operations following last year’s crane crash in Makkah, for which it was held partially responsible.
A Binladin spokesman said in an emailed response to Reuters news agency that the company doesn't comment on its financial issues or relationships with business partners.
"We remain focused and committed to carry out our promise and deliver the contracted projects to the highest standards and satisfaction of our clients, as we have always been doing."
Two of the sources, declining to be named because of commercial sensitivities, said Binladin had pledged land as collateral for the loan. They did not elaborate on the size or location of the land, or how long the loan was for.
When the government lifted the ban on bidding for state projects on May 5, it also removed a travel ban imposed on top Binladin executives after the disaster. Days later, Binladin made delayed salary payments to some 10,000 workers.


Riyadh to host forum to observe World Heritage Day next year

Riyadh hosts the sixth National Urban Heritage Forum in April with its focus on investment opportunities in the urban heritage. (Reuters)
Updated 19 October 2018
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Riyadh to host forum to observe World Heritage Day next year

  • Forum will encourage private investment to capitalize on the country’s rich urban heritage
  • Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage hosts the forum each year in a different part of the Kingdom

RIYADH: The Saudi capital will host the sixth National Urban Heritage Forum (NUHF) next April to coincide with World Heritage Day, with its focus on investment opportunities in urban heritage.

“The four-day National Built Heritage Forum will be launched in Riyadh on April 15,” said Majed Alshadeed, a spokesman for the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), on Thursday, adding that the forum will culminate on April 18, World Heritage Day. World Heritage Day is celebrated every year on April 18 with the aim of preserving the human heritage and recognizing the efforts of the relevant organizations in the field.

Organized by SCTH under the umbrella of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cultural Heritage Program, the 6th forum will encourage private investment to capitalize on the country’s rich urban heritage.

The forum will look at developing business models in the management and development of — and investment in — urban heritage sites, as well as the development of crafts and handicrafts.

The heritage forum is organized each year by the SCTH in a different province in collaboration with the relevant governorates, municipalities and local universities, following the recommendations of the first International Conference for Urban Heritage in the Islamic Countries, which was held in Riyadh in 2010.

The first session of the NUHF was organized in Makkah province, the second in the Eastern Province, the third in Madinah province, the fourth in Asir province and the fifth in Al-Qassim province.

Next year’s forum seeks to invest the expertise, knowledge and experience that the SCTH has gained and transfer it to the four economic sectors working in urban heritage. These sectors are construction, restoration and contracting, site operation, human resources development, and services and industries related to urban heritage.

The forum will include the distribution of prizes to the projects winning the Prince Sultan bin Salman Urban Heritage Awards, exhibitions, scientific sessions, workshops and business meetings with Saudi and international experts and consultants to discuss investment opportunities in urban heritage. There will also be a specialized expo for companies and institutions working in the sectors of the economics of architectural heritage, restoration and engineering consultancy.