Foreigners may be allowed to invest in taxed jobs

Minister of Commerce Majid Al-Qassabi. (SPA)
Updated 20 March 2017
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Foreigners may be allowed to invest in taxed jobs

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia may allow foreigners to invest in self-employed professions in return for paying taxes at an estimated annual rate of 20 percent in a bid to curb commercial cover-up, Al-Eqtisadiah daily reported.
Saudi authorities are reportedly studying procedures of imposing taxes of two types. One would be in the form of financial statements provided by a foreigner in terms of revenues, expenses and profits, the daily said. The second form of tax will be imposed on estimated profits for certain professions in which profits cannot be easily verified such as the contracting sector, which will run to 15 percent, while the rate of tax on consulting professions may go to 25 percent, the daily said.
The new procedures will treat foreigners as investors in self-employed professions without the need to have sponsors after having obtained the required licenses in areas such as workshops, groceries and contracting.
The new drive comes in conformity with statements made by Minister of Commerce Majid Al-Qassabi on the sidelines of the opening of the parallel market (Nomu) last month where he said commercial cover-up is an unhealthy phenomenon and harmful to the nation’s economy.
He said his ministry has developed a study on the causes and solutions for commercial cover-up, including allowing foreigners to invest within certain regulations, and payment of tax without need to conceal their activities.
Last month, the commerce minister called for the elimination of commercial cover-up to improve the national economy and create new jobs for Saudis.
Addressing a workshop, the minister emphasized that anti-commercial concealment is an important and vital issue to improve the economy and to create new jobs. Consequently, he said, it was one of the most important initiatives of the ministry in the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020.


World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

A Saudi woman and her friends celebrate her first time driving on a main street of Alkhobar city in eastern Saudi Arabia on her way to Bahrain on June 24, 2018. (AFP / HUSSAIN RADWAN)
Updated 25 June 2018
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World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

  • As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-ti
  • The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet 

JEDDAH: The world awoke on Sunday to images and video footage many thought they would never see — newly empowered Saudi women taking the wheel and driving their cars.

As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-time drivers.

The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet.

“I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and the spirit to dream,” she said.

In a tribute to Saudi female drivers, the Lebanese soprano Hiba Tawaji released a special video of a song she performed live in Riyadh at a concert last December “Today women in Saudi Arabia can legally drive their cars,” she said. “Congratulations on this achievement, this one’s for you!”

Back home in Saudi Arabia, the atmosphere was euphoric. “It’s a beautiful day,” businesswoman Samah Algosaibi said as she cruised around the city of Alkhobar. 

“Today we are here,” she said from the driver’s seat. “Yesterday we sat there,” she said, pointing to the back.

“I feel proud, I feel dignified and I feel liberated,” said Saudi Shoura Council member Lina Almaeena, one of the first women to drive in the Kingdom.

She told Arab News that the event was changing her life by “facilitating it, making it more comfortable, making it more pleasant, and making it more stress-free.”

Almaeena urged all drivers to follow the traffic and road safety rules. “What’s making me anxious is the misconduct of a lot of the drivers, the male drivers. Unfortunately they’re not as disciplined as they should be. Simple things such as changing lanes and using your signals — this is making me anxious.

“But I’m confident: I’ve driven all around the world when I travel, especially when I’m familiar with the area. It’s really mainly how to be a defensive driver because you have to be.”