Women’s rise helping economy in Kingdom

Updated 19 January 2016
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Women’s rise helping economy in Kingdom

ABHA: Various economic reforms underway are helping to cement the participation of women in the country’s economy, according to experts.
Economist Muhammad Al-Bashri said the reforms have ensured that women are increasingly setting up and running small businesses.
However, they are still not saving as much as they should be, and many with diplomas remain unemployed.
He said that Saudi women make up 21 percent of investments in the private sector, have registered 43,000 businesses and own 20,000 small and medium-sized businesses. The size of their investments stands at SR8 billion. They make up 75 percent of savings in banks.
More than 20 percent of funds invested in joint business operations come from women. However, they make up 14.11 percent of the labor force in the Kingdom, with 30 percent employed by state institutions. In addition, 84.1 percent are employed in the education sector; and make up 40 percent of Saudi doctors.
Businesswoman Fatin Bundagji said that women still do not have adequate representation at the country’s chambers of commerce and industry, making up only 20 percent of members, while the government has stipulated that it should be nothing less than 50 percent.
This means that there should be further reforms undertaken in the country’s economy to support women’s empowerment. Women play as essential role in the economy as men, she said.
Businesswoman Sarah Al-Ayed said there is considerable support for women, but there needs to be greater participation in the small business sector, and in partnerships with both private and public sector agencies.
Economist Fadil Abulainain said that while legislation does not differentiate between men and women, with support for membership of commerce chambers and municipal councils, there needs to be a greater focus on how to change attitudes in society.
Businesswoman Nora Al-Rafi said that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has provided unprecedented support for women, in line with what has been happening over the past number of years.


King of Latin pop Enrique Iglesias launches Ad Diriyah festival

Spanish superstar Enrique Iglesias performs at the launch of a three-day festival of music, culture and motorsport on Thursday in Ad Diriyah, near Riyadh. (Twitter)
Updated 14 December 2018
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King of Latin pop Enrique Iglesias launches Ad Diriyah festival

  • Enrique Iglesias took the stage in an outdoor arena in historic Ad Diriyah
  • The cheers were deafening, the excitement electric and the performance magical

RIYADH: Spanish superstar Enrique Iglesias launched a three-day festival  of music, culture and motorsport on Thursday with a stunning concert at an outdoor arena in historic Ad Diriyah.

The king of Latin pop took the stage by storm and stole the hearts of thousands in the crowd, whose screams could be heard from a long way away. “I love you Enrique,” a group of girls in the audience shouted.

As he waved his hand back and forth in the air, the crowd started doing the same while jumping up and down. The cheers were deafening, the excitement electric and the performance magical. 

No theatrics were excluded as displays of fireworks and lasers wowed the audience. The singer asked the crowd if they spoke Spanish, and everyone screamed “Yes.”

While stage smoke poured into the arena a female performer sang a duet with Iglesias, who then delighted the crowd with some impromptu salsa dancing in front of the stage.

Fans waved their uplifted phones with their screens and flashes along with the music, while others tried to capture the performance.

“You can run, you can hide but you can’t escape my love,” sang Iglesias while the crowd screamed.

Earlier the R&B singer, songwriter and dancer Jason Derulo persuaded the crowd to put on their dancing shoes with an energetic set.

“Saudi, whassup! This is a dream come true for me! Since we are in Saudi Arabia I want to do things a little different,” he told the audience. He said his mother taught him to never visit empty handed, so his gift to Saudi Arabia was the debut performance of a new song.

Thursday’s entertainment will be followed on Friday by shows from Arab music star Amr Diab and the Black Eyed Peas. The climax of the festival comes on Saturday with the Saudia Ad Diriyah Formula E Grand Prix motor race, followed by headline performances by OneRepublic and the megastar DJ/producer David Guetta.