Communications commission opens urgent investigation in data price hike in Saudi Arabia

A photo taken on August 17, 2017 shows a Saudi employee checking his cell phone at his office in the capital Riyadh. (AFP)
Updated 06 January 2018
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Communications commission opens urgent investigation in data price hike in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Main Saudi mobile providers shocked consumers by suddenly hiking prices of data services up to 50 percent in line with the Jan. 1 application of the Value Added Tax (VAT).

Adel Abu Haimed, the spokesman for the CITC, told Arab News: “The CITC is launching an urgent investigation in light of complaints raised by users about the possibility of non-competitive practices and the monopoly in price fixing by some service providers.”

He added: “The CITC affirms that in regulating the telecommunications market, It intervenes in cases of price-fixing schemes coordinated by service providers at a given time.”

“Any infringing practices will be dealt promptly and strictly,” Abu Haimed said.

“There will be a statement after the completion of the investigation and the subsequent decisions taken.”

Nujood Qassem, a legal consultant, told Arab News: “The customer can file a complaint or communicate with the CITC if they were victims to any kind of violation, by submitting a complaint on the CITC website, including all the evidence indicating the damage or violation.”

It is mentioned on the CITC website that If there is a problem with any of the service providers licensed by the commission, a complaint must be made to the service provider through the forms provided by the service provider to its subscribers, while maintaining the complaint number and date.

The subscriber may also submit a complaint to the service provider via the CITC website, or by going to the commission in Riyadh or one of its offices in Jeddah or Dammam.


World celebrates Saudi National Day

Updated 41 min 8 sec ago
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World celebrates Saudi National Day

DUBAI: From Dubai to Beirut to New York and Washington, D.C., Saudi National Day was celebrated outside of the Kingdom on Sunday as a show of patriotism by Saudis abroad and as a sign of friendship by countries around the world.

The Dubai airline operated a special one-off A380 service, known as EK 813 and EK 814, on Sunday to the capital city of Riyadh, touching down at King Khalid International Airport at 3:30 p.m. The return flight was scheduled to depart at 6:50 p.m.

A YouTube video from Emirates also showed crew handing out scarves embroidered with the countries’ flags, as well as white roses, to passengers while boarding the A380 aircraft.

 

The Burj Khalifa was illuminated with the Saudi flag last night, while the Nasdaq Tower’s electronic billboard in New York’s Times Square was lit up with photos of King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the flags of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 

The images were posted by Nasdaq Dubai, the UAE-based operation of the New York equities exchange, on Twitter with the message: “Best wishes from #NasdaqDubai to #SaudiArabia on the occasion of the 88th National Day.”

 

 

In Lebanon, Pigeons’ Rock, also known as the Rock of Raouché, located in the sea of the western capital of Beirut, was lit in the colors of the Saudi flag. The rock, one of the most important Lebanese monuments, was lit during a ceremony attended by the charge d'affaires of Saudi Arabia, Waleed bin Abdullah Bukhari, along with a crowd of dignitaries, including the Mayor of Beirut.

In Washington, the Saudi embassy’s National Day bus toured around the capital on the weekend inviting people to its celebrations on Sunday in National Harbor, Maryland.

In the UAE’s capital, the General Command of Abu Dhabi Police decorated 88 of their cars - one for every year being celebrated – with the flags of Saudi Arabia and the UAE and the words “Together Forever.”

The UAE’s airlines got in on the game. Emirates operated a special one-off A380 service on the routes EK 813 and EK 814 on Sunday to the capital city of Riyadh, touching down at King Khalid International Airport at 3:30pm. Crew handed out scarves emblazoned with the countries’ flags, as well as white roses, to passengers boarding the aircraft.pic.twitter.com/U36yYpxE8T

Etihad said it was using the only Saudi A380 pilot in the world, Wesam Sameer Al Najjar, to fly its Year of Zayed plane to Jeddah with the UAE’s Captain Ahmed Almalood.

In the UAE, children at some schools dressed in green and sang the anthems of both countries, carrying both of their flags. In the evening, there was a Saudi National Day celebration at La Mer beachfront in Dubai that featured a supercar parade, traditional Saudi dancers and, of course, fireworks.