Tough ‘Saudization’ process may cause 30% of gold, jewelry shops in Jeddah to close

A Saudi jeweller shows a customer gold bangles in a jewellery shop in Riyadh December 31, 2014. (Reuters)
Updated 23 November 2017
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Tough ‘Saudization’ process may cause 30% of gold, jewelry shops in Jeddah to close

JEDDAH: Hundreds of gold and jewelry shops are expected to close once the decision to nationalize gold and jewelry jobs is enforced in about 10 days.
Last month, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development notified owners of gold and jewelry shops to conform to the Council of Ministers’ decision issued in 2007 about nationalizing the gold and jewelry sector. The notification came after the ministry noticed that owners did not abide fully by the decision.
Khalid Aba Al-Khail, spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development, said that the deadline for gold and jewelry shop owners to nationalize salesperson positions would be in two weeks. He also made it clear on his Twitter account that implementing the decision would be followed by the nationalization of other sectors as per a plan approved two months ago.
Mohammed Jameel Azouz, deputy chairman of the precious metal and gemstones committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), asked the ministry to consider that jewelry businesspeople are going through hard times. He said they have conducted several training courses for Saudis to provide them with the skills needed in the gold market, but they found this field “unappealing” for Saudis for several reasons, such as the desire of young professionals to find secure jobs in the government sector.
“Some of the guys that we trained left their jobs for scholarship programs to complete their higher education,” Azouz told Arab News.
This, according to Azouz, will affect the process, as many businesspeople will find it difficult to cut their overheads. “In Jeddah, we have some 330 gold and jewelry shops, and I personally expect that 30 percent of these shops will close. The owners will invest their money elsewhere. Others will cut a number of branches,” he added.
Azouz claimed that young Saudi people are unenthusiastic about working in the gold and jewelry sector because, for example, a pickpocket or loss of an item can cost the salesperson his or her entire salary for the month. He said he supports all nationalization decisions, but demanded that they equally consider the interests of both jobseekers and employers.
“When the decision was first approved in 2007, it appeared to be inapplicable, and that is why shop owners did not take it seriously. After that long period of ignoring the decision, the ministry is asking us to nationalize the jobs in two months.”
 


New technologies help increase number of flights, passengers in Saudi Arabia’s airports — GACA

Updated 24 March 2019
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New technologies help increase number of flights, passengers in Saudi Arabia’s airports — GACA

  • More than 99.86 million passengers departed or arrived through 771,828 flights in the Kingdom's international and domestic airports in 2018
  • GACA is due to host Global Aviation Summit 2019 on April 1 and 2 in Riyadh

JEDDAH: New technologies applied in Saudi Arabia's airports has contributed to aviation growth in the Kingdom and has provided solutions for passenger’s trips, air cargo and investments, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has said.

GACA earlier reported an 8 percent increase in passenger numbers and 4 percent in flight rates in 2018.

It said more than 99.86 million passengers departed or arrived through 771,828 flights in the Kingdom's international and domestic airports in 2018, compared to 92.42 million passengers on board 741,293 flights in 2017.

"The GACA is keen to adopt plans to develop the Kingdom's airports network in order to keep pace with the steady increase in air traffic, increase the reliability of services, maximize geographic coverage and enhance the contribution of the airports to the overall economic growth of the country," it said.

For example, it said, GACA provides information through technology to reduce paperwork, operating costs and streamline business processes while reducing time to address them.

Most prominent among these e-services is the “Self-Services at the Kingdom's airports” that include check-in kiosks that provide boarding passes and luggage identification cards and self-service baggage drops that allows passengers to self-check their luggage.

It also provides self-scanning devices for bags in the arrival halls, ensuring that all baggage and other cargo arrive at the airport through the installation of electronic gates for the passage of freight vehicles before being emptied into the luggage compartment. 

Electronic gates and document scanning machines ensure that a traveler's information is correct and that boarding passes, passports, national identity and residency are valid.

Other services include airport operations systems and flight information display for some domestic airports.

To ensure accuracy in the flight schedules, GACA said it is working on a project to link the Saudi Arabian Airlines traffic management system to the Airport Management System, of which 50 percent has been completed.

GACA is due to host Global Aviation Summit 2019 on April 1 and 2 in Riyadh to review the infrastructure projects for airports and smart airports, the available opportunities to operate the airports and provide advanced services and consultations in civil aviation, among others.