Up to 30% salary hike predicted in 5 years

A Saudi man shows Saudi riyal banknotes at a money exchange shop, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in this January 20, 2016 photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 21 July 2016

Up to 30% salary hike predicted in 5 years

JEDDAH: Economists say salaries in the private sector are likely to increase by 20 to 30 percent in the next five years as a result of the presence of foreign investors and the privatization of some segments of the public sector.
The retail, technology and tourism sectors will be the first to witness this growth, they pointed out.
Economist Abdullah Al-Maghlouth said salaries will increase by about 30 percent during the next five years as a result of the entry of gigantic companies in the fields of retail, technology, tourism and entertainment.
According to Taif University professor Salem Ba’ajaja, mega foreign companies are trying to attract Saudis because they are mandated to employ a certain percentage of nationals in their units in the Kingdom.
Ba’ajaja said that these companies have an employment system that guarantees a minimum of 20 to 30 percent annual salary increase in the next five years.
He said local small- and medium-size companies will be forced to increase their average salaries to keep Saudi employees and maintain nationalization rates.
He said sectors such as banks, petrochemicals, technology, tourism and entertainment will offer the highest salaries in the coming years.
The president of the union of labor committees in the Kingdom, Nidal Radwan, said last year’s 5 percent increase in Saudi salaries was a positive indicator, but “it is still far from what we are looking for and what Saudi workers deserve.”
He, however, said that the entry of foreign companies in the labor market does not necessarily mean that Saudi salaries will increase. But the rate of Saudi employment should increase. However, this might not happen unless there is a dramatic change in the Ministry of Labor and Social Development’s policy regarding the issuance of foreign labor visas.
Radwan added that a dramatic and positive change in the level of Saudi workers in the private sector will happen only if the right policies and programs are adopted, including those regulating the minimum wage, which guarantees a dignified life for workers and their families.
The minimum wage should be decided through agreement among social partners, who are the representatives of workers and employers, as well as pertinent government bodies.
He said policy should also include setting a maximum limit to the number of labor visas and focusing on recruiting skilled expatriates; training national workers and focusing on the demands of the labor market; and imposing taxes or fees on companies in the Red Zone in Nitaqat.

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

Updated 17 July 2019

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

  • 4,000 to partake in this year’s pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased quota

COLOMBO: Nearly 180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.

Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government. 

“We were able to process all 4,000 Hajj visas efficiently. All of them were issued well in time,” Haleem said.

He added that officials from his ministry will be available at the airport to assist the pilgrims with their departures.

The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.

Sajjath Mohammed, a journalist from Madawala News, praised the e-Hajj service, saying: “The biometric services for the visas were available to pilgrims in Kandy and Batticaloa in addition to Colombo, the capital of the island.”

Rizmi Reyal, president of the International Airline Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka, said that this year the Hajj services from Colombo have been enhanced to give a better experience to the pilgrims. He thanked the Saudi government, the Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the Saudi Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh for playing their part in these improvements.

The Sri Lankan government will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.