Letting women drive in Saudi Arabia ‘does not conflict with Shariah,’ say senior scholars

King Salman with some of the Saudi Arabia's senior scholars. (SPA)
Updated 28 September 2017
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Letting women drive in Saudi Arabia ‘does not conflict with Shariah,’ say senior scholars

RIYADH: The landmark decree allowing Saudi women to drive has received the seal of approval from the Council of Senior Scholars, the Kingdom’s highest religious body that advises King Salman on religious matters.
“King Salman, granted by God the responsibility of protecting his people and the nation’s interests, and preserving Islamic values and national interests, does not waver in achieving the national interest in accordance with Shariah,” the council’s secretariat said.
“The senior scholars decided to adopt and approve the royal decree. King Salman only does what is best for his nation.
“The scholars’ advisory opinions focused on the virtues and vices, and not the act of driving itself, which is an absolute right which no one should be deprived of. King Salman should study the matter and look at it from all angles.
“King Salman studied the negative side of not letting women drive and thus, with the Council of Senior Scholars’ approval, issued the royal decree, as he did not find any reason not to. King Salman issued the royal decree preserving all women’s rights, in order to protect the national interest.”


Sakani program to add 11,000 homes in Jeddah

The Housing Ministry has deals with two real-estate companies. (Reuters/File)
Updated 18 October 2018
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Sakani program to add 11,000 homes in Jeddah

  • The first project, Rawabi Hijaz, is on private-sector land and will includes 9,502 units
  • The Ministry stressed its keenness to work with qualified developers to add to housing stock

JEDDAH: The Saudi Ministry of Housing has signed agreements with two real-estate development companies to add more than 11,000 homes in Jeddah for the Sakani program. The deals were signed on October 15 during an event announcing the program’s 10th batch of beneficiaries.
The first project, Rawabi Hijaz, is on private-sector land and will includes 9,502 units, while the second, Jeddah airport housing, is on land owned by the Ministry and will includes 2,203 units.
The agreements were signed in the presence of Minister of Housing Majid bin Abdullah Al-Hugail, National Housing Company CEO Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Bati, and officials from the ministry and the Real Estate Development Fund. They follow previous agreements signed by the Ministry of Housing with a number of developers to build housing in various regions of the Kingdom. Sixty projects providing more than 90,000 diverse homes, with prices ranging from SR250,000 to SR750,000 have already been launched.
The Ministry stressed its keenness to work with qualified developers to add to housing stock and support supply in the sector, to encourage competition between companies to meet the needs of citizens in a way that suits local markets and ensures the provision of continued maintenance services for the residential units.
“The real-estate developers with whom we signed contribute along with the Ministry to the service of citizens in order to provide a suitable residential environment on the levels of prices and specifications, while presenting the beneficiaries with the guarantees needed,” the Ministry said.
“These projects will be completed and handed over to the beneficiaries within a period not exceeding three years. These housing projects are integrated in terms of services and public facilities. They include mosques, public parks and green areas as well as government buildings.”