Women ready for top jobs in SCTH, says Saudi Arabia’s first female tour guide

Saudi women are keen to shoulder responsibilities in high-profile jobs. AFP
Updated 26 May 2018
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Women ready for top jobs in SCTH, says Saudi Arabia’s first female tour guide

  • Saudi Arabia’s first female tour guide, Maryam Al-Harbi, who was named as the best tour guide for 2017 by SCTH
  • There was still a need to have more departments at Saudi universities where female students could study archaeology

JEDDAH: A prominent female tour guide has called on the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) to grant women leadership positions as they are now “qualified to shoulder high-profile jobs” within SCTH.
Saudi Arabia’s first female tour guide, Maryam Al-Harbi, who was named as the best tour guide for 2017 by SCTH, told Arab News that Saudi women are capable of being appointed to leadership positions.
Al-Harbi was one of two speakers at a workshop held on Thursday night.
The panel discussion was part of the Makkah Economic Forum 2018 activities. The other speaker was Maria Mahdaly, a Saudi entrepreneur.
“It is true that any successful work needs the full collaboration of both genders, but women in Saudi Arabia have shown great interest in learning and developing themselves in the field of archaeology,” said Al-Harbi, who recently obtained an MA degree from King Saud University’s college of tourism and archaeology.
Besides speaking Arabic and English, Al-Harbi also speaks Turkish and is working on improving her Chinese language skills.
She guides visitors to Madinah, including private delegations, school students and university groups, as well as Umrah and Hajj visitors, and helps delegations visiting the provinces of Al-Oula, Madain Saleh, Khaibar, and Badr.
Al-Harbi said that there was still a need to have more departments at Saudi universities where female students could study archaeology.
“We only have one college for archaeology studies at King Saud University. This department offers only MA and Ph.D. degrees,” she said.
She added that students in many universities had not found jobs in the tourism sector so they opted to join other sectors such as education.

Language skills
The workshop discussed the importance of languages for tour guides. Abeer Abu Suleiman, first Saudi woman tour guide and moderator of the gathering, said that a tour guide needed to be acquainted with as many languages as possible, but English was a must as it is so widely spoken.
The gathering discussed Saudi Arabia’s rich traditions and tourism sites and highlighted the country's competence to host hundreds of thousands of visitors. They gave the Hajj season as an example of the Kingdom's ability to host gatherings of people from different cultural backgrounds.


More than 1.25 million foreigners arrested in KSA for flouting residential, labor laws

In this file photo, expatriate workers are seen outside a Labor Ministry office in Riyadh to fix their status in the Kingdom. In the past seven months, Saudi authorities have arrested more than 1.25 foreigners for violating residential and labor laws. (AFP)
Updated 19 June 2018
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More than 1.25 million foreigners arrested in KSA for flouting residential, labor laws

  • Of the total arrested, 931,069 were violators of residential regulations,  218,897 for flouting labor laws and 102,000 tried to gain entry into the Kingdom illegally.
  • The crackdown started on November 16 last year and ended on June 14.

JEDDAH: More than 1.25 million people were arrested in Saudi Arabia for violating residential, labor and border security regulations during the Kingdom’s months-long campaign.

The crackdown, which started on November 16 last year and ended on June 14, saw the arrests of 1,251,966 people in the joint security field campaign across the Kingdom. Those arrested included 931,069 violators of residential regulations, 218,897 for flouting labor laws and 102,000 violators of border security regulations.

The total number of people arrested attempting to cross the Kingdom’s borders stood at 19,233 people. Of those arrested, 54 percent were Yemenis, 43 percent Ethiopian, and 3 percent from other nations. 

The Kingdom also arrested 790 people who tried to leave the Kingdom illegally.

There were 2,167 people who were arrested for harboring and transporting violators of labor and security border regulations, and 415 citizens were arrested for transporting and sheltering expatriates violating regulations. Regulatory measures were taken against 388 citizens who were subsequently released. 

The number of expatriates currently detained stands at 10,245, including 8,817 men and 1,428 women. Immediate penalties were imposed on 221,404 violators while 177,329 violators were referred to their respective diplomatic missions for travel documents and 327,034 were deported.