Saudi Shoura allows 40-hour working week in localized jobs

The Shoura Council called on the Ministry of Education to boost digital awareness and the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in general and higher education. (SPA)
Updated 08 February 2018
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Saudi Shoura allows 40-hour working week in localized jobs

RIYADH: The Shoura Council has approved a recommendation for the reduction of working hours to at least 40 hours a week, with one additional paid day for employees working in activities targeted for localization.
The decision came on Wednesday after members deliberated on a report from the House Committee of Social Affairs, Family and Youth on amendments passed by the Council of Ministers.
The Shoura had given full power to the Council of Ministers to reduce working hours for Saudis working in localized jobs and activities.
In another decision, the Shoura Council asked the Ministry of Culture and Information to upgrade the performance in electronic media in all its channels so it could become an effective and interactive national tool.
On Tuesday, the Shoura Council called for greater partnership between the Ministry of National Guard and other relevant government agencies to bolster electronic security and protect the ministry from any electronic threats.
The decision came after members considered a report from the House Committee of Security Affairs, based on the annual report of the Ministry of National Guard.
The council also asked the ministry to promote functions of the Janadriyah Festival and develop training centers to cover the ministry’s needs for qualified and efficient staff.
In another decision, the council asked the Social Development Bank to open women’s branches so that females will be able to get loans easily.
The council also called on the Ministry of Education to boost digital awareness and the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in general and in higher education.
It asked the ministry to raise safety procedures in buildings and school buses and to ensure full compliance to these procedures in all educational institutions. Specialized research centers relevant to technical, scientific and human products should be expanded, it said.
The council also called for equal opportunities for distinguished women to encourage them to take up leading and scientific jobs in universities and research centers and for the numbers to be boosted of those enrolled at universities who have special needs.


Saudi Commission for Tourism completes training for Hajj guides

Muslim worshippers perform prayers around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Makkah on August 15, 2018, prior to the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city. (AFP)
Updated 17 August 2018
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Saudi Commission for Tourism completes training for Hajj guides

  • A license takes any traditional work to a professional level, and hosting pilgrims must be included in this initiative, as part of Vision 2030
  • We must look at tourism as an industry through which we present our vision, our goals and our ambitions

MAKKH: In a breakthrough initiative for Tawafa institutions, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has completed the training of 135 male and female Tawafa guides — religious guides for Hajj pilgrims — who have obtained tour guide licenses.
The training is the first step in a program that will enable national Tawafa establishments to obtain tour guide licenses. The ceremony for the first of the tour guides to graduate from the training course took place in Makkah on Tuesday, at the National Tawafa Establishment for Pilgrims of Arab Countries (ARBHAJ).
SCTH Director-General Dr. Hisham bin Mohammed Madani said the commission has honored more than 135 male and female “Mutawwifs,” or guides, from ARBHAJ under the partnership between the SCTH and the ARBHAJ to train Tawafa guides to obtain tour guide licenses.
Madani said this is the first phase of an initiative to train guides at all Tawafa establishments, introducing pilgrims to a new concept by helping them visit all historical and archaeological sites and museums in Makkah after performing Hajj rituals.
“Tour guides are more and more dynamic and effective in the tourism industry, and have become an important and effective source of historical information,” he said and added that the tour guide now also functions as an ambassador for the authentic culture of the Kingdom, reflecting its cultural, natural and historical heritage.
Licensing Tawaf guides as tour guides, Madani said, will enrich the tourist experience in the holy capital.
The SCTH chief noted that the city is rich with myriad cultural treasures that need someone to showcase them for tourists.
“We at SCTH presented our experience in qualifying accredited tour guides and we look forward to improving tourism outputs to match the reality and requirements of the new phase,” he said. “In order to reach this goal, we are collaborating with all partners to reach satisfactory results to deal with all nationalities, tongues and cultural backgrounds from all parts of the world with satisfaction, love and positivity.”
“We must look at tourism as an industry through which we present our vision, our goals and our ambitions. Makkah is the holy city that every Muslim looks forward to visiting after hearing about its great heritage. Our role is to provide knowledge and keep abreast of the tourist vision by qualifying and training tour guides, equipping them with the necessary skills and qualifications and honing their skills through required training programs. To this end, all partners must join their efforts and collaborate together to reach the desired goals.”

Initiative
Dr. Abdul Fattah bin Suleiman Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, said that the ministry is implementing an initiative to provide a professional license for everyone working at Hajj, not just in Tawaf.
He said: “A license takes any traditional work to a professional level, and hosting pilgrims must be included in this initiative, as part of Vision 2030, to focus on enriching the pilgrims’ experience, and not only on increasing their numbers.”
Mashat said it was important for pilgrims’ journeys to be coupled with trips to historical and archaeological sites. “We rely on male and female Tawaf guides to organize well-thought-out trips for the pilgrims so that they can enjoy all the historical and archaeological sites and landmarks in Makkah,” he added.