Diriyah on course to become world-class tourist spot

The lecture at the King Abdul Aziz Historical Center in Riyadh focused on plans to develop Diriyah into a world-class cultural and tourist area. (AN photo)
Updated 05 January 2017
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Diriyah on course to become world-class tourist spot

RIYADH: The Riyadh Development Authority (RDA) recently highlighted its program to develop the historic Diriyah into a world-class cultural and tourist area.
Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Rukban, Urban Development Department head, said the program has the support of King Salman in recognition of its national and cultural significance.
Addressing a gathering of heritage specialists and guests at the King Abdul Aziz Historical Center in Riyadh, Al-Rukban said that the historic locations in Diriyah will be transformed into cultural centers under the program.
This will reflect the pioneering role of the city as the capital of the first Saudi state, and the birthplace of Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Wahhab, the Arabian religious reformer.
Diriyah, where the first Saudi state was set up in 1745, has been undergoing huge restoration since 2011.
Al-Rukban said that the ancient and historic neighborhoods of Diriyah will be developed to serve as a nucleus for urban and cultural development.
Sustainable development will also be achieved by preserving natural resources; private investments and contributions to the development program will also be encouraged.
Al-Rukban said that the program’s external operations include landscaping, building rest areas, bathrooms and internal parking areas.
He said that the neighborhood had been provided with an integrated network of public utilities including water outlets, a drainage and sewerage system, rainwater outlets, electricity, lighting, signboards, maps and informative signs.
The program includes the Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Wahhab Bridge, which connects the neighborhood of Al-Bujairi and that of Al-Turaif.
Al-Rukban said that the comprehensive plan aims at transforming the Al-Bujairi neighborhood into a cultural and service area in Diriyah.
He said that Al-Bujairi neighborhood has a 3,500 sq. meter central plaza encircled by 25 shops and administrative offices.
The neighborhood also hosts the Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Wahhab Cultural Foundation and seeks to become an international hub for researchers in Islamic studies worldwide.

Historic landmark
Al-Rukban said that the Al-Turaif development program had revitalized the neighborhood as a historic landmark and an exhibition of integration and harmony among architectural patterns and natural forms.
He added that Al-Turaif is Diriyah’s most important suburb as it hosts ancient buildings and historical palaces that go back to the first Saudi state.
The Al-Turaif development program includes the Diriyah Museum in Qasr Salwa, which sheds light on the history of the first Saudi state.
Al-Rukban also said that a reception center will be set up at the entrance to the Al-Turaif Quarter to guide visitors and provide them with information about entertainment, tourist utilities, cultural programs and other activities.
Another historic building has also been restored to host the central offices of King Abdul Aziz Foundation and the Riyadh Documentation Center.
The World Heritage Committee has registered the Al-Turaif Quarter as a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Saudi Justice Ministry’s e-services speed up powers of attorney

The ministry also announced a new digital mechanism for updating title deeds and obtaining a duplicate title deed, saving 90 percent of the clients’ time. (SPA)
Updated 12 min 56 sec ago
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Saudi Justice Ministry’s e-services speed up powers of attorney

  • “E-notarization will save about 8 million sheets of paper annually, making notarization greener and more cost-effective,” the ministry pointed out

JEDDAH: The Saudi Justice Ministry on Tuesday announced that it has issued more than 163,000 low-risk powers of attorney (PoAs) through its online portal “Najiz” in one month since the launch of its e-services.
The e-notarization system was launched on Nov. 18 to provide several services that dispense with paperwork and spare clients the need to visit notarial offices for low-risk PoAs.
The ministry also conducted 193,229 verification operations through its various electronic channels.
Prior to the launch of the e-notarization service, Justice Minister Waleed Al-Samaani said: “The Saudi Ministry of Justice is continuing its efforts to achieve the objectives of the National Transformation Program 2020 and Vision 2030, which focus on enhancing the user-friendliness and cost-effectiveness of government services.”
“The ministry is keen to overhaul and digitize procedures in the legal, enforcement and notarization sectors, a strategic objective that the ministry has given utmost importance,” he added.
The ministry revealed eight new e-services in the notarization sector, including digital PoAs, which put an end to paperwork and most of the clients’ visits to notarial offices. Digital PoAs are sent to the clients’ Absher-registered mobile numbers.
“E-notarization will save about 8 million sheets of paper annually, making notarization greener and more cost-effective,” the ministry pointed out.
One of the new e-services enables clients to inquire about their PoAs and their validity, terminate unwanted ones, and find out about the agencies that have checked the validity of any of their PoAs.
Another e-service enables government agencies to verify PoAs online through the “Yesser” program, the universal access number 920025888, the ministry’s portal (www.moj.gov.sa), and its official app.
The new system abridges about 70 percent of procedures and directs clients straight to the assigned notary’s office without having to go through the data entry hall.
The ministry also announced a new digital mechanism for updating title deeds and obtaining a duplicate title deed, saving 90 percent of the clients’ time. Under the new procedure, clients need only to visit the notarial office once the updated or duplicate title deed is ready.
Recently, the ministry also set a time limit of 21 days on the acceptance of rights claims made under domestic labor laws.
The time limit relates to labor or domestic labor disputes that are subject to periods of friendly settlement before reaching judicial proceedings.
A 21-day time limit was also set for complaints against the General Organization for Social Insurance regarding membership, registration and compensation issues. If a settlement is not reached in that period, the dispute is brought electronically to the labor courts through the Ministry of Labor and Social Development.
A five-day reconciliation period applies in cases of domestic workers after a dispute is settled. If there is no reconciliation during that time, the committee has 10 extra days to issue its decision and submit it electronically to the labor court.
The ministry recently opened seven labor courts in Riyadh, Makkah, Jeddah, Abha, Dammam, Buraidah and Madinah.