Sri Lanka to cut recruiting charges for housemaids

Updated 27 May 2015
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Sri Lanka to cut recruiting charges for housemaids

RIYADH: Sri Lanka’s job agents have agreed to reduce the recruiting charges of housemaids from SR15000 to SR11,000 to sustain the Saudi market.
Speaking to Arab News during his visit to the capital, Faizer Mackeen, president of Association of Licensed Foreign Agencies (ALFEA), said that the members of the association have reached a consensus on decreasing the charges.
Mackeen said that there are more than 1,000 recruiting agents in Sri Lanka and only one fifth of them are authorized to send manpower to the Kingdom.
He said that the reduction in charges will be conveyed by the Sri Lankan government to its Saudi side when the Kingdom’s labor team visits the island before or after the month of Ramadan.
An average of 6,000 Lankan maids are arriving in the Kingdom every month and the reduction in the charges would help increase their number, he said. “All Saudi-bound domestic workers to the Kingdom are given three weeks of training, followed by an orientation program. We are pretty sure that these trained maids will fit into Saudi homes effectively.”
Teams from the Kingdom and Sri Lanka are expected to review the implementation of the labor agreement signed between the two countries in Riyadh early this year, Mackeen said.
“It is a comprehensive accord which protects both the employer and the employees,” he said, adding that under the new agreement, the original passports of domestic workers will be in their possession and their salaries will be remitted to their designated banks.


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 30 min ago
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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.