Makkah governor thanks everyone who helped make Hajj 2018 a success

Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal addresses a press conference in Mina on Thursday. (SPA)
Updated 24 August 2018
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Makkah governor thanks everyone who helped make Hajj 2018 a success

  • More than 250,000 workers, including 32,000 from the health industry provided services to the pilgrims

JEDDAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal thanked King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif for supervising this year’s Hajj season.

During the concluding press conference for this year’s Hajj, which was held in Mina on Thursday, Prince Khaled also thanked the media who covered the season, as well as those who contributed to serving the pilgrims.

He said that the number of workers providing services to the pilgrims exceeded 250,000 people.

Prince Khaled said that the holy sites’ train transported 360,000 pilgrims, while 18,000 buses transported 1,800,000 pilgrims.

He said that the health sector deployed 32,000 health practitioners. As many as 25 hospitals and 135 health centers with a capacity of 5,000 beds were available in Makkah and the holy sites to serve pilgrims.

He also said that the electric load capacity reached 17,791MW, while 40,000,000 cubic meters of water were pumped in Makkah and the holy sites. The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs provided its services through 32,000 engineers, supervisors and cleaners.

With regard to women’s rights in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prince Khaled said Islam always urged Muslims to appreciate women and that their rights guaranteed by Islam should be given to them.

He also affirmed that moderation is an Islamic vision emerging from Islam and its teachings and that the leader of moderation in the Kingdom was King Salman.

Regarding some media reports claiming that Saudi Arabia banned Qatari nationals from performing Hajj rituals, Prince Khaled said that Saudi Arabia had announced its willingness to receive pilgrims from any country. 

Qatar was called upon to allow its citizens to perform Hajj rituals. The king said that planes could be sent to transport Qatari pilgrims but Qatar prevented its citizens from performing Hajj rituals. However, those who managed to arrive in the Kingdom were welcomed and were now performing Hajj rituals.

He said that the number of Iranian pilgrims in this year’s Hajj season reached 86,000.


Saudi Arabia plans to create 561,000 jobs under new digital employment initiative

Updated 24 April 2019
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Saudi Arabia plans to create 561,000 jobs under new digital employment initiative

  • Qiwa program aims to achieve the Vision 2030 goal of reducing unemployment rate to 7 percent

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has revealed ambitious plans to create more than 561,000 private-sector jobs by 2023 as part of a new digital era for the Kingdom’s labor market.

Minister of Labor and Social Development Ahmad Al-Rajhi made the announcement at the launch of the Qiwa online platform, which aims to combine all the country’s employment services under one electronic roof.

Through digitalization, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development hopes to not only boost job opportunities for Saudi men and women, but also improve workplace efficiency and productivity, and attract international investment.

Al-Rajhi said: “The ministry has entered into partnerships and agreements to settle more than 561,000 job opportunities in the private sector until 2023,” and the minister added that 45,000 Saudis had entered the labor market in the last three months.

The new labor force platform will consolidate employment-related e-services already offered to job seekers, employees and employers and plans are in the pipeline to plug a further 71 services into the system.

The Qiwa program aims to provide Saudi government officials with a data mine of statistical information to tackle business challenges facing employers and employees, help create new job opportunities, and achieve the Vision 2030 goal of reducing the country’s unemployment rate to 7 percent. Another key objective is to strategically enhance the Kingdom’s business environment to make it more attractive to local and international investors.

A ministry statement issued to Arab News, said: “The Qiwa platform will have an impact on motivating investors. It will also re-engineer policies and procedures for all services provided to individuals and enterprises on a strong platform that will make a quantum leap in the business world and turn the Saudi market into an attractive market for opportunities and potential for competencies.

“The services are provided in both Arabic and English in order to enable foreign investors to benefit from the services of a strong platform,” the statement added.

The e-services include programs to encourage Saudis to access jobs in their locality by improving the workplace environment and making it more appealing to men and women.

The Kingdom’s public sector is quickly adapting to international standards and labor market demands by digitalizing services, while the ministry is using the latest business management methods to help public organizations increase the competency and productivity of workers while creating a competitive labor market that can partner with the private sector.