Over 100,000 Saudi women apply for 140 passport control jobs

The directorate announced it has begun processing applications to fill vacancies for the rank of private, to be filled by Saudi women who are high school graduates or holders of an equivalent diploma. (SPA)
Updated 01 February 2018
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Over 100,000 Saudi women apply for 140 passport control jobs

JEDDAH: Saudi women are eager to work in the country’s passport offices, as unprecedented numbers applied for jobs advertised by the General Directorate of Passports (GDP).
On Jan. 18, the directorate announced via Twitter that it was looking for female Saudi nationals to fill 140 jobs at airport passport offices and land borders.
Just a week after the application process began, amazed GDP officials learned that 107,000 Saudi women had applied and that the directorate’s website had received more than 600,000 hits.
Officials closed the registration for the jobs to prevent numbers of applications mounting further.
The directorate announced it has begun processing applications to fill vacancies for the rank of private, to be filled by Saudi women who are high school graduates or holders of an equivalent diploma.
Official GDP spokesman, Lt. Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub, told Arab News that it will be possible to process the applications electronically. He said that the directorate will sift applications through an automatic coding system, designed to ensure that all applications meet the criteria.
Successful applicants will need to be physically fit, aged between 25 and 35, and not married to a non-Saudi national. Women who grew up outside the Kingdom while their fathers served overseas are exempt from the Saudi nationals condition.
Approved candidates will have to successfully attend a 30-day training course before they will be allowed to begin their official duties.


Hajj Ministry forks out on ‘happy meals’ for pilgrims

The Kingdom aims to ensure that pilgrims enjoy a high-quality food during the Hajj. (Supplied)
Updated 20 August 2018
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Hajj Ministry forks out on ‘happy meals’ for pilgrims

  • Prepackaged meals are ideal for pilgrims in regard to cooking quality, storage and even transporting from one place to another
  • A variety of meals is produced, each served in heavy-duty sealed pouches or trays

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Hajj Ministry has put health at the top of its menu with plans to supply more than 2.3 million hygienic meals to pilgrims.
The ready-made, sterilized meals come in a range of flavors and will be provided to 15 percent of the pilgrims as part of the ministry’s health and safety program for pilgrims.
Hajj Minister Mohammed Salih Bentin told Arab News that the ministry has signed contracts with several suppliers to produce safe and clean prepared meals for pilgrims.
“The door is open for all competent companies to invest in this big project. It is no secret that we are in talks with Saudi Airlines Catering to take part in this service. We want the pilgrims to enjoy as high-quality food as that offered to passengers on our national carrier,” he said.
“From this year South Asian Hajj offices will start to distribute sterilized meals to 15 percent of the pilgrims. In almost two years’ time, all pilgrims will enjoy similar meals during their Hajj days.”
Bentin said the move is in line with the Saudi government’s wish to ensure safe food sources for pilgrims.
The minister said that the Kingdom’s leadership told all ministries to work toward making the pilgrims feel not only satisfied but also happy.
Project Supervisor Dr. Bassam H. Mashat said the Kingdom will supply pilgrims with the safest possible food during their pilgrimage.
Mashat, an associate professor at the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Institute for Hajj and Umrah Research, said that they want the pilgrims to enjoy as high-quality food as that offered to passengers on our national carrier.
“Taj Food factory is the first ready-to-eat food factory of its kind in the Kingdom. The plant, located in Jeddah, is designed to meet the requirements of Food Safety Management System, a risk management system that identifies, evaluates and controls hazards related to food safety,” he said.
A prototype plant had been installed in Makkah, the company’s headquarters, where quality tests were conducted to ensure the highest level of production.
The factory is over 9,000 square meters in size and can house up to nine production lines.
“These production lines can produce more than 12 million meals per year. The pool of talents comprises Saudi-trained teams and experts from Malaysia, who have been cooperating to establish this factory, which meets global standards for food safety in both the Good Manufacturing Practice and the International Organization for Standardization,” Mashat said.
Prepackaged meals are ideal for pilgrims in regard to cooking quality, storage and even transporting from one place to another.
“They can also be a good food solution for factories, schools and universities,” he said.
A variety of meals is produced, each served in heavy-duty sealed pouches or trays. “The production process ensures a clean and easy-to-prepare range of tastes that suit all cultures,” he said. Saudi team members worked with international manufacturers to set up the food production operation.
“In 2015, machines were selected and ordered for the first production line from specialized factories in South Korea, Japan and China. In 2017, testing and commissioning for the first production line was conducted successfully. Production started at the beginning of 2018,” Mashat said.
The ministry’s initiative has a number of benefits, including reducing fires in the holy places caused by pilgrims’ camp kitchens, cutting the risk of food poisoning and greatly lowering water use in camp kitchens.
Prepackaged meals also reduce waste generated by camp kitchens by up to 20 percent, with 765 tons of waste generated.