MoL opens door to recruit Somali domestic workers

Updated 25 October 2015
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MoL opens door to recruit Somali domestic workers

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Labor (MoL) recently announced the opening of recruiting operations of domestic workers from Somalia while setting terms and conditions.
The ministry has defined the conditions in official letters addressed to the authorities concerned and recruiting offices across the Kingdom, local media reported on Saturday.
The most important of these conditions is that applicants must acquire a certificate from the Somali Ministry of Security stating they have no previous criminal records, besides vaccination certificates against contagious diseases.
Somali health centers will be electronically linked to the Saudi Embassy in Nairobi and the recruiting offices should have license issued by their government and also abide by the rules and regulations while charging the fee to the applicants. Mishari Al-Thufairi, chairman of the recruitment committee at Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was quoted by a local newspaper as saying that recruitment operations of some African countries, including Somalia, are not yet clear in terms of costs of recruitment and also because of a lack of advanced medical examinations before entering the Kingdom.
“The most important step is to solve the many problems facing the local recruitment sector by the Ministry of Labor,” he said. “Some of these issues involve discussing controlling the labor costs of Sri Lanka which reached almost SR25,000, while in some other countries it is only SR10,000.”
Al-Thurairi said the MoL should solve the problems pertaining to recruitment from India and Nepal. This, he said, will positively reflect on the local recruitment sector and citizens will have a bigger choice to hire people.
He said the MoL should involve the committees of all the chambers from across the Kingdom in the decision making process and give them the powers to negotiate with these countries to accelerate the recruitment process.
“The Ministry of Labor should get tough with some countries regarding the prices. Some Saudi families hire illegal domestic workers for up to SR4,000 per month. It is important the ministry finds practical solutions to these problems by holding extensive meetings with the labor exporting countries and involving the committees of the chambers,” he said.
Meanwhile, the MoL officially started, a few months ago, receiving and issuing visa applications from Djibouti. The official draft standardized formula of the contracts was endorsed along with the monthly salary of the worker at SR800 per month. The costs of recruitment were also approved at $1,000 to be paid to the recruitment office in Djibouti.


Saudi sources deny ‘unsubstantiated’ reports of permitting alcohol

Updated 40 min 17 sec ago
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Saudi sources deny ‘unsubstantiated’ reports of permitting alcohol

  • “The leadership has made it clear from day one; it is simply not happening,”SCTH source tells Arab News
  • The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has no plans to allow the sale or public consumption of alcohol, a senior government source has told Arab News.

The official with access to relevant decision-makers categorically denied “unsubstantiated” media reports in some international and regional news outlets.

“If you read the fake news, you will notice it is all based on hearsay and tweets by accounts known to have a questionable agenda when talking about the Kingdom,” he said.

“As the country moves forward with its reform plans, we expect much speculation and attempts by critics to hold us back. And while people are allowed to speculate and criticize, their speculation should not be treated as the truth.”

A second source at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) also denied such reports. “The leadership has made it clear from day one; it is simply not happening,” he told Arab News. “I have not heard of any plans to allow alcohol in major cities, free zones or new projects.”

The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants. Any plans for the sale or consumption of alcohol would have to go through the commission for implementation. 

Saudi Arabia has witnessed substantial social reforms over the past three years, such as the curbing of the previously unchecked power of the religious police, reopening cinemas and allowing women to drive.

There has also been a major shift on previously prohibited public entertainment and gender mixing. International artists including Mariah Carey, Yanni, Andrea Bocelli, Enrique Iglesias and Black Eyed Peas have all performed.

Tourism projects have included pop-up versions of international restaurants such as Signor Sassi, Nusr-Et and Nobu. None has served alcohol.

“Officials have repeatedly said all changes were and will always be in line with Islamic teachings and traditions,” the senior source told Arab News.