Saudi Social Insurance body switches to Gregorian calendar starting June

Updated 28 May 2018
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Saudi Social Insurance body switches to Gregorian calendar starting June

  • The pensions paid by the GOSI monthly exceed SR1.7 billion benefiting more than 360,000 people
  • GOSI is a semi-state body that enjoys administrative and financial independence

RIYADH: The General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) has decided to follow the Gregorian calendar from June for the payment of pensions to retirees and to family members of those who have passed away.
This decision comes in line with the government directives to unify paydays for all state employees according to the Gregorian calendar.
GOSI spokesperson Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Abdul Jabbar said the organization will deposit pensions in the accounts of the beneficiaries and family members of the deceased retirees and compensate unemployed people at the beginning of each month starting June 2018.
“The Organization is paying the insurance pensions to beneficiaries in advance according to the social insurance system,” he added.
“After considering the beneficiaries’ material needs for the month of Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr, the organization decided to start paying pensions starting the first of June. That way, the beneficiaries will receive pensions for the month of June just 17 days after receiving pensions for the month of Ramadan.”
Al-Abdul Jabbar also said since June 1 falls on a Friday, the organization would start disbursing payments on May 31.
The pensions paid by the GOSI monthly exceed SR1.7 billion benefiting more than 360,000 people.
GOSI is a semi-state body that enjoys administrative and financial independence. An eleven-member board of directors, supervises GOSI. The organization exercises its activities through a head office and 21 field offices located in a number of regions and governorates in the Kingdom.
The Social Insurance Scheme is an aspect of social cooperation and solidarity provided by the society for citizens. The scheme covers workers in private sector and a group of workers in public sector. It also provides the contributors and their families with a decent life after leaving work due to retirement, disability or death; medical care for contributors afflicted with work injuries or occupational diseases; and necessary compensation in the event of occupational disability or death.


Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

Masjid Quba in Madinah is a favorite destination for Hajj pilgrims, according to tour guides. Below: The Cave of Hira, Al-Baqi’ cemetery and the Prophet’s Chamber allow visitors to step back in time. (Getty Images)
Updated 15 August 2018
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Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

  • A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities
  • Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies

RIYADH: Hajj is one of the biggest dreams of every Muslim’s life, and pilgrims looking forward to their stay in Makkah and Madinah say a bucket list is the best way to plan the trip. 

Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies. Standing in the places of the Holy Prophet transports them back to the past as if they lived those incredible moments. 

A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities.

Sayed Shafei, an operation manager for City Sightseeing, a tour company in Madinah and worldwide, told Arab News: “We offer a special tour with a multilingual tour guide presented in eight languages. We also offer 24-hour tickets. We have scheduled tourism trips starting from the Prophet’s Mosque to 12 destinations every 30 minutes. The whole trip lasts for 14 hours a day.” 

Asked about the most popular requests, Shafei said: “Our customers always ask to visit Masjid Quba, the Sayed Al-Shuhada Mosque in Uhud, which is considered a vital historic landmark of Madinah, and Al-Qiblatain Mosque.” 

Most of the group’s customers are from East Asia, but many also visit from Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, Indonesia, Malaysia, the US and Europe.

Munirah Al-Jebreen, an English instructor at Princess Noura University who will perform Hajj this year, told Arab News her bucket list began with an online search. 

“I found a travel guide on Google that has all the best sites in Madinah and Makkah, so I decided to visit Uthman ibn Affan’s Farm and Well in Madinah, the Holy Qur’an exhibition, and one of the most important places I want to visit is the grave of the Holy Prophet,” she said.

The area between the Prophet’s Chamber, which holds his grave, and the Mimbar is known as the Rawdah, which is actually the Garden of Paradise. It is presently distinguished by a green carpet.

Al-Jebreen also listed some of her planned tour destinations in Makkah, including the Cave of Hira, where the Holy Prophet meditated frequently during the first 40 years of his life and the site of the first revelation. 

She will also visit Bilal Mosque and Mount Abu Qubais and, finally, will try Al-Garmushi, one of the famous traditional restaurants in Makkah.