When Saudis flocked to fill cars before deadline

A man injects a vehicle with fuel at a petrol station in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in this file photo taken on October 8, 2017. (REUTERS)
Updated 03 January 2018
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When Saudis flocked to fill cars before deadline

JEDDAH: People rushed to fill cars and other containers before the decision to increase gasoline prices took effect at midnight on Jan. 1, resulting in overcrowding at gas stations.
Abdullah Al-Twairqi tweeted: “People around the world are celebrating New Year’s Eve, while half of the population in Saudi Arabia celebrated in gas stations, waiting in long lines to fill up their cars.”
Since the announcement of the increase, videos and memes of jokes about the matter have gone viral on social media.
As an action to reduce expenses, some Saudis filmed themselves riding bicycles instead of in cars.
Others started asking: “What would happen if I gave my car 91 octane instead of 95 octane?” In his answer, @mohammed55151 tweeted: “It may cause a problem at the beginning, because it takes a little while for the digestive tract to adjust to a new formula.”
Songs were shared or rewritten to fit the timeline of events. One, by the famous Emirati singer Hussein El-Jasmi titled “Murini” or “Come with me,” was widely shared attached with a video of a group of people sharing one motorcycle.
@Alcantara757 tweeted that the unluckiest person in Saudi Arabia now is “unemployed, a smoker and drives a GMC car.”
Saudi Arabia used to be one of the countries that provided the lowest prices for gasoline. That accounts for the public reaction to the new decision.
Dalal Hamad, a Twitter user told Arab News: “I believe these people who film themselves commenting or making jokes are following every opportunity to gain fame; I don’t find them funny at all, they are fame worshippers.”
But Zekra Mohammed, another Twitter user, has another view. She told Arab News: “I believe that this phenomenon shows that jokes are a coping mechanism people use to make life easier on themselves.”
The decision raised the price of 91 octane to sell for SR1.37 ($0.37) per liter, up from 75 halalas; 95 octane increased to SR2.04 per liter, up from 90 halalas.
Notably, the new prices also include value-added tax (VAT), with 5 percent added to every purchase.


Saudi forum to be held on safety, health at work

Updated 21 April 2018
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Saudi forum to be held on safety, health at work

  • The two-day forum begins on April 28
  • Papers will be presented at the forum on government legislation and its impact on the reduction of industrial accidents

RIYADH: A two-day national forum in Saudi Arabia for occupational safety and health is to be hosted by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development in Riyadh this month to mark World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

The two-day forum, which begins on April 28, targets occupation safety and health experts, employers and staff in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

It aims to spread awareness of preventing problems to enhance health and safety at work. 

It will look at ways of raising awareness of the importance of health and safety at work, increasing the attractiveness of workplace, spreading a precautionary culture and developing national legislation in the field. AN, Riyadh

Papers will be presented at the forum on government legislation and its impact on the reduction of industrial accidents, safety in medical facilities and how best international practices can play a role in developing the safety regulations at work.

This year, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, which is also known as the ‘Safe Day’ and the World Day Against Child Labor (WDACL), coincide on April 28 in a joint campaign to improve the safety and health of young workers and end child labor.

The campaign to foster public awareness aims to accelerate action to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of safe and secure working environments for all workers by 2030, and ending all forms of child labor by 2025.

The 2018 campaign highlights the critical importance of addressing these challenges and improving safety and health for young workers, not only to promote decent employment, but also to combat child labor in different parts of the world.