Saudi Royal decree will help families save money currently spent on private drivers

A street in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Shutterstock)
Updated 27 September 2017
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Saudi Royal decree will help families save money currently spent on private drivers

DUBAI: The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, has welcomed King Salman’s announcement allowing women to drive in Saudi Arabia, calling it a positive step.
In a tweet Guterres wrote: “I welcome Saudi Arabia’s decision to lift the ban on women drivers. An important step in the right direction.”
The ruling will see a consultation over the next 30 days on how to implement the new rules granting women the right to apply for driving licenses and it will be brought into force in June 2018.

By allowing women to drive frees them to go to work without incurring excessive additional costs caused by the need to hire drivers, and thus bring home additional income into the household, which will ultimately increase people’s spending power and help boost Saudi Arabia’s national economy.
Saudi writer and journalist, Ghada Ghunaim said: “This will have a huge impact on Saudi Arabia’s economy. We have to remember that our Kingdom produces more female graduates compared to our male counterparts,”
Most Saudi families are reliant, to varying degrees, on private drivers to transport the female members to school, work and any other place they need to go to.
The most recent statistics suggest there are nearly 800,000 men – mostly South Asian – working as drivers for Saudi women.
Drivers are paid approximately 1,000 – 1,500 riyals ($267 — $400) per month. But there are additional costs incurred, such as residence permits, accommodation, health care and food, and flight tickets, which cost Saudi families a national total of approximately 19.14 billion riyals ($5.1 billion).
Ghunaim said Tuesday’s royal decree would ultimately help low income families who currently struggle to meet the financial burden of hiring drivers.
“A lot of families in Saudi Arabia are not able to afford paying a driver a monthly salary, this royal decree will help ease a lot of families who struggle with their women not being able to drive,” she added.


E-service launched to provide temporary jobs during Hajj

Updated 30 min 23 sec ago
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E-service launched to provide temporary jobs during Hajj

  • Both citizens and expatriates residing legally in Saudi Arabia can apply through the Ajeer portal
  • This temporary work service for Hajj season is a move that regulates and encourages work during the Hajj period through issuing temporary permits via the Ajeer portal

RIYADH: The Ministry of Labor and Social Development has launched an electronic service to provide temporary work during this Hajj season via the Ajeer portal, which is for companies offering Hajj services and those who wish to work during the Hajj season, as well as documenting the contractual relationship between them.
The move by the ministry is to provide an electronic market that shows the supply and demand for jobs during the Hajj season as the portal brings together owners of companies and individuals seeking temporary jobs.
The job seekers include both citizens and expatriates residing legally in the Kingdom as the portal aims to enable companies to attract workers from within the Kingdom instead of recruiting workers from abroad.
“This temporary work service for Hajj season is a move that regulates and encourages work during the Hajj period through issuing temporary permits via the Ajeer portal,” Khaled Abalkhail, a spokesman for the ministry, said.
The e-platform allows those establishments operating during the Hajj season to post job opportunities so job seekers can apply for them and earn temporary permits to work in Makkah, Madinah and Jeddah providing various services to the pilgrims, he added.
“The e-service allows job seekers to register with the portal, upload their bio-data, review available vacancies, apply for suitable posts and manage job requests from employers with the ability to accept opportunities that most suit them,” said Abalkhail.
The contractual process is followed by an endorsement between the Hajj companies and workers.
Abalkhail further emphasized that the establishments can utilize issuance of temporary permits.
Calling on both the companies operating for Hajj season as well as individuals who will benefit from this opportunity by registering with the Ajeer portal (www.ajeer.com.sa), the official said that those interested can also contact customer service as the ministry has allocated the client service telephone number 920002866, which is also available for Ajeer service-related inquiries.
To carry out smooth Hajj services at the two holy mosques round the clock, the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques in 2016 mobilized more than 15,000 regular and seasonal workers, besides the workers assigned to cleaning, operation and maintenance tasks.