Jobs for women top priority

Updated 04 September 2015
0

Jobs for women top priority

RIYADH: Women in Saudi Arabia have been allocated a package of services to ensure their development and employment, Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani said Tuesday.

The minister was speaking at the first panel discussion at the second National Business Women Forum opened by Commerce and Industry Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah in Riyadh. The forum was held under the aegis of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to identify challenges facing Saudi businesswomen.
The minister said that affiliated institutions such as the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation, the General Organization for Social Insurance, and the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) continue to provide a package of initiatives and development programs to help businesswomen.
Explaining the electronic services provided to assist young Saudi men and women to find jobs in the public and private sectors, the minister said that separate sections for women have been set up in all regions to boost this process.
He pointed out that his ministry has developed a project for productive families with other agencies, which helps women to invest and work from home. This service has been improved in coordination with the chambers of commerce and industry in Jeddah and Makkah.
With regard to the HRDF, he said it supports training and employment of citizens in various sectors. It also funds field programs and projects to develop local human resources. He urged the public and private sectors to support the government’s Saudization efforts.
Huda Al-Jeraisy, a businesswoman, said that while women have done well in business over the past few years, the government should provide further incentives and support so that they can participate more fully in the national economy.
“Coordination must be improved between licensed entities and supervising authorities to facilitate challenges facing investors. Flexibility and innovation are also key for investors to keep up with regional experiences and achieve integration in the region in terms of providing quality products and services that meet local and regional market requirements.”
Al-Jeraisy said the forum presents a great opportunity for participants to exchange expertise, discuss related issues such as methods to implement five-year plans, and identify promising business opportunities for women in the Kingdom. It was important for the forum to attract policy makers and leading business figures — particularly ones that support investments by women — to keep up to date with domestic, regional and international developments, she said.


Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

There was an explosion of joy at the podium when Antonio Felix da Costa lifted the winner’s trophy at the conclusion of the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix on Saturday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 16 December 2018
0

Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

  • Three-day event at Ad Diriyah reaches spectacular climax in an unprecedented spirit of openness

The driver with the winner’s trophy was Antonio Felix da Costa — but the real winners were Saudi Arabia itself, and more than 1,000 tourists visiting the country for the first time.

Da Costa, the Andretti Motorsport driver, won the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix in front of thousands of race fans at a custom-built track in the historic district on the outskirts of Riyadh.

But in truth, the event was about much more than high-tech electric cars hurtling round a race track — thrilling though that was. The three-day festival of motorsport, culture and entertainment was Saudi Arabia’s chance to prove that it can put on a show to rival anything in the world, and which only two years ago would have been unthinkable.

The event was also the first to be linked to the Sharek electronic visa system, allowing foreigners other than pilgrims or business visitors to come to Saudi Arabia.

Jason, from the US, is spending a week in the country with his German wife, riding quad bikes in the desert and visiting heritage sites. “I’ve always wanted to come for many, many years ... I’m so happy to be here and that they’re letting us be here,” he said.

Aaron, 40, a software engineer, traveled from New York for two days. “Saudi Arabia has always been an exotic place ... and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to come here,” he said.

About 1,000 visitors used the Sharek visa, a fraction of what Saudi Arabia aims eventually to attract. 

“Hopefully we will learn from this and see what we need to do for the future, but I can tell you from now that there is a lot of demand,” said Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, vice chairman of the General Sports Authority.

His optimism was backed by Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund and a visitor to Ad Diriyah. “Such events will attract tourists and are a true celebration for young Saudis who desire a bright future,” he said.

“The vision of moderate Islam, promoted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is important both for the region and the entire world, and its realization needs to be appreciated, respected and supported.”

The event ended on Saturday night with a spectacular show by US band OneRepublic and the superstar DJ David Guetta. “Just when you think things can’t get better, they suddenly do,” said concertgoer Saleh Saud. “This is the new Saudi Arabia, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.”