WhatsApp calling working in Saudi Arabia…or is it?

Updated 17 March 2017
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WhatsApp calling working in Saudi Arabia…or is it?

JEDDAH: Some WhatsApp users in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday expressed their delight at being able to make phone calls through the app, a feature that was previously not working.
Others, however, failed to see what the fuss was about as the popular communication app’s calling function was unresponsive as ever.
The Communications and Information Technology Commission, the agency that regulates telecoms in Saudi Arabia, released a statement saying that it would “like to clarify that it did not direct/order to block nor return such a feature” to service, and that it was following up on the issue with Internet service providers.
Some users told Arab News they could make calls without problem: “Yes it is working good but it’s very surprising,” one said via social media.
For other people, however, the service was allowing them to place calls, but the call dropped after the recipient tried to answer.
Several users said the feature wasn’t functioning, with one in the Kingdom posting that it is “not working at all.”
An Arabic hashtag on Twitter about the app’s calling facility was trending on Wednesday. One person tweeted: “Do we have to pay to make a call? Why can’t we enjoy the free service,” while another posted “I don’t really care for phone calls why is everyone bothered!”
The calling feature was welcomed last year when it was made available on users’ devices, even though WhatsApp had said it would not be available in all countries “due to local laws and regulations.”
Many WhatsApp users complained that the only way to call someone via WhatsApp is to be connected to the same wi-fi network. “I tried to use this feature, but it didn’t work. It only works if you and recipient are on the same wi-fi, which is stupid,” Indian Careem driver Kheder told Arab News.
Meanwhile, Fatima Ahmed, housewife, successfully received a video call from her husband shortly after reading the viral hashtag on Twitter. “It worked with us. Not only a voice call, but we used the video calling feature,” Fatima said. “I was really thrilled to hear the news and immediately told my sister residing in the UAE that we can use this calling feature anytime, however, unfortunately, the call didn’t go through when we tried it.” Fatima suggested that it is due to the different wi-fi network.


Disappointed fans hail improved performance by Saudi Green Falcons but defeat ends World Cup dream

Updated 4 min 16 sec ago
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Disappointed fans hail improved performance by Saudi Green Falcons but defeat ends World Cup dream

  • A fan named Yousif, who watched the match at the General Sports Authority viewing tent, was happy that the game at least was close this time.
  • Saudi Arabia will face off against Egypt, who also lost their opening two group A games against Uruguay and Russia, on June 25.

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s World Cup dreams were shattered after Uruguay beat the Green Falcons 1-0 in the second of the three group-stage matches. Most Saudi fans in Jeddah were much happier with the team’s performance in game two, following the resounding 5-0 defeat by host nation Russia in the opening match on June 14, but still bitterly disappointed by the loss, which means they cannot qualify for the knockout stages.

Yousif, who watched the match at the General Sports Authority viewing tent, was happy that the game at least was close this time. “Although we lost, the performance was much better than the first game with Russia. I hope we win our next match,” he said.

Nasrah, who watched the game with her two sons, said: “I was really disappointed because we played good today and nothing less than a win should have been acceptable. I am also disappointed to see the looks on my boys faces when the game ended as they were hoping for a win.”

Khalid Al-Raghbi said at least it had been a good match to watch. “We played a bit better today,” he added. “I wish we would have won but at least we performed better than our last match against Russia.”

Before the game, Ibrahim Al-Turki had been optimistic about Saudi Arabia’s chances. “We didn’t expect today’s result. I was thinking that Saudi would win by two goals, and Uruguay would score one,” he said.

The result was especially disappointing given the close result and the number of chances the Saudis had to score, said Badr, who added: “I don’t know what to tell you because we are deeply disappointed. At least if we lost with a big defeat I would say we deserved it. We had the potential but we could not score.”

Shadi Al-Ghamdi said he wished the national team’s much improved performance in their second game had been more evident in their first. “I am very proud of the players, I thought they played very well. I just wish they had played like this against Russia," he said.

Safah was less complimentary and said that the Saudi players had let their fans down, adding: “They seemed scared whenever they attempted to score any goals.”

Saudi Arabia will face off against Egypt, who also lost their opening two group A games against Uruguay and Russia, on June 25. It will be the final game in the competition for both sides, with only pride to play for, as they battle it out to see who will finish third in the group and who will be left in bottom spot.