KSA bans massage services in all but high-end venues

Venues that are permitted to provide massage services must obtain statutory licenses. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 02 September 2018
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KSA bans massage services in all but high-end venues

  • Venues that are permitted to provide massage services need to obtain statutory licenses from relevant government agencies

JEDDAH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) recently confirmed that in-house massage services have been banned in hotels, furnished apartments and other tourist accommodation, except those that have a four-star rating or higher.

“The commission has issued a circular for the operators of tourist accommodation facilities to ban massage services in such facilities, with the exception of five-star or four-star hotels and their spas, according to specific requirements and clear criteria in the fields of safety and discipline,” said SCTH spokesman Majed Alshadeed.

Venues that are permitted to provide massage services must obtain statutory licenses from the relevant government agencies to do so, he added.

Omar bin Abdul Aziz Al-Mubarak, the director-general of the general department of licensing at the SCTH, said the decision was based on tourism regulations, which stress the importance of organizing tourist facilities and services to ensure fair competition.

Any violations, which can be reported through the Tourism Communication Center, will be subject to the penalties stipulated in tourism regulations, he said. 


Website launched to support housing project in Saudi Arabia

The Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Housing are working together to provide the necessary services for citizens from different social classes. (SPA)
Updated 12 min 48 sec ago
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Website launched to support housing project in Saudi Arabia

  • Real estate financing for January hit SR4.7 billion, and coming months were expected to see even bigger figures, Al-Hogail told Reuters news agency on the sidelines of a housing conference in Riyadh

RIYADH: A new website has been set up to support a housing project for 10,000 units in the Kingdom.
Housing Minister Majid Al-Hogail, and Commerce and Investment Minister Majid Al-Qassabi on Sunday launched Benaa Housing, which will help construction companies and contractors contribute to a development program in the Kingdom.
Benaa Housing aims to speed up the process of building 10,000 housing units in various parts of Saudi Arabia by enabling small and medium enterprises in the construction sector to access and contribute to projects and opportunities. The estimated cost of the project is SR3.5 billion ($910 million).
“The Ministry of Housing is always keen to provide adequate housing, solutions, and services suitable to all families, especially the beneficiaries of the Housing Development Program in all regions of the Kingdom,” Al-Hogail said.
Al-Qassabi said the new platform would generate more business opportunities for small and medium enterprises and provide suitable apartments for middle-class and lower-income families.
“The Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Housing are working together to provide the necessary services for citizens from different social classes and groups, and the new platform is the fruit of these efforts,” he added.
Earlier this month, the housing minister said he expected investments in the real estate financing sector to reach between SR60 billion and SR80 billion this year.
Real estate financing for January hit SR4.7 billion, and coming months were expected to see even bigger figures, Al-Hogail told Reuters news agency on the sidelines of a housing conference in Riyadh.
Saudi home ownership was growing between 6 and 7 percent annually, he said, adding that he hoped to raise home ownership to 15,000 new households per month by 2020, from a little over 10,000 per month now.
The ministry aims to increase housing ownership through policy and stimulating the private sector, according to its website.
The challenges facing the ministry are the limited availability of suitable units for all parts of the population; difficulty in accessing adequate housing finance; the inefficiency of the real estate sector and heavy reliance on government funding.
“Even though 47 percent of Saudi families already own their homes, we aim to increase this rate by 5 percentage points by 2020,” the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan states. Vision 2030 also aims to speed up construction and provide Saudis with high-quality, competitively priced housing, and to stimulate localization of the country’s construction industry.