New development program to enhance effectiveness of Saudi financial sector: minister

Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan. (AFP)
Updated 11 May 2018
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New development program to enhance effectiveness of Saudi financial sector: minister

The Council of Economic and Development Affairs (CEDA) has formally approved the Financial Sector Development Program, one of the 12 programs previously announced by CEDA to achieve Vision 2030.
Speaking at the Financial Sector Development forum on Wednesday, Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan said: “The program supports the national economy by developing the financial sector and enhancing its effectiveness. The objective is to increase the financial sector’s size relative to the GDP by 280 percent. The program will create a deep, diversified, digitized and stable financial sector capable of attracting financial technology companies and focusing on financial literacy to bring savings rates in line with leading international rates.”
“The Financial Sector Development Program is built on three pillars: Firstly, enabling financial institutions to support the development of the private sector; secondly, ensuring the formation of an advanced capital market; and thirdly, promoting and enabling financial planning,” he said.


Steps taken to meet growing demand of Muslim holy water

Updated 7 min 32 sec ago
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Steps taken to meet growing demand of Muslim holy water

  • Saudi government takes special measures to ensure uninterrupted supply of the water to the Two Holy Mosques
  • Zamzam water is drawn from a 30-meter well in the basement of the Grand Mosque in Makkah

JEDDAH: The very mention of the word “Zamzam” evokes a feeling of awe in the hearts of the faithful. Zamzam water is considered holy in Islam. 

It is found in a 30 meter well in the basement of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, about 20 meters east of the Kaaba. The water is believed to possess healing qualities, and is treated with reverence by all Muslims.

The Saudi government takes special measures to ensure there is an uninterrupted supply of the water to the Two Holy Mosques all year round, and to pilgrims during the Hajj and Umrah seasons.

In addition to the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Zamzam Water Project, the Zamzam bottling plant operates with a separate mission under the United Office of Zamazemah in Makkah.

Zamzam water is produced by the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Zamzam Water Project, which is operated by the National Water Co., and whose new bottling plant can produce up to 30,000 liters per hour.

The construction of the new plant began in 2014. Originally consisting of two production lines, a third was added in 2017, which massively increased production capacity. With the water being dispensed into 200 milliliter bottles, it means that the plant can produce well in excess of 150,000 bottles per hour. 

The bottles are then distributed to pilgrims upon arrival in Makkah, and, under the Zamzam Water Additional Services program, are also made available near the central area of Makkah’s Grand Mosque and in other holy places, such as Mina and Arafat. 

Two further expansion phases are currently underway at the site, which also houses its administrative center, including the management and marketing departments.

Two weeks ago, meanwhile, the Saudi Shoura Council approved a new project proposal by Arbab Al-Tawaif Establishments. The project will aim to enhance the competence of employees in Hajj and Umrah services. 

It will also look to restructure Arbab Al-Tawaif, and transform its establishments from individual institutions into companies, working to ensure they provide better standards of service to pilgrims from outside Saudi Arabia.