Torture of six Ugandan maids an isolated incident: Official

Updated 27 January 2016
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Torture of six Ugandan maids an isolated incident: Official

RIYADH: An isolated incident against six housemaids has led to a ban of Ugandan maids coming to the Kingdom, according to an official from Saudi recruiting offices here.
Uganda last week announced that it has stopped sending housemaids to Saudi Arabia, violating a deal between the two nations to send workers to the Kingdom, amid complaints of poor conditions and mistreatment.
The ban will remain until working conditions in Saudi Arabia are “deemed fitting,” the Ugandan government said.
A spokesman for the recruitment offices, Majed Al-Haqqas, said that the ban came as a shock to Saudi Arabia since the Ugandan government embarked on the ban without proper notice. Thereby, he said, many households are suffering from an absence of maids.
Explaining the circumstances that triggered the ban, Al-Haqqas said that six Ugandan maids came to the Kingdom for employment and their local company intimidated them to go to a certain household following ill-treatment. In a way of addressing high unemployment rate among young people in Uganda, its government signed a deal with the Kingdom in July for the deployment of university graduates to work for households in Saudi Arabia.
According to the agreement between Saudi Arabia and Uganda, the cost of the recruitment fee should not exceed SR7,000 and the monthly wage of the housemaid was fixed at SR750. Al-Haqqas pointed out that now the recruiting charges have shot up to SR14,000 and the monthly stipend has risen to SR900.
The spokesman commended that Ugandan maids are educated and well-oriented to the local culture and fluently speak English.
The demand for housemaids was created following a ban on Indonesian maids who were present in large numbers in the Kingdom.
The Ugandan ban also came after an audio recording was widely circulated last week on social media of Ugandans in Saudi Arabia who said they were being tortured and imprisoned.
According to the Ugandan Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Welfare, it has received complaints of workers being treated inhumanely by their employers in Saudi Arabia.
According to official Ugandan figures, some 500 housemaids have already come to the Kingdom for employment since the deal took effect.


Saudi Aramco recognized as a leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Updated 22 January 2019
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Saudi Aramco recognized as a leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

JEDDAH: Saudi Aramco’s Uthmaniyah Gas Plant (UGP) has been recognized by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a “Lighthouse” manufacturing facility and a leader in technology applications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 
Saudi Aramco is the first energy company globally to be included in this select group of manufacturing sites. The plant is also the only facility in the Middle East to be recognized by WEF. 
The announcement was made ahead of WEFs annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
The gas plant is one of the world’s largest gas processing plants and was commissioned in 1981 as part of Saudi Aramco’s Master Gas System to process associated gas from oil wells. 
The use of drones and wearable technologies to inspect pipelines and machinery has helped cut inspection time by 90% in this industrial facility.
“The recognition of the Uthmaniyah Gas Plant demonstrates Saudi Aramco’s shift to transform and adapt in the rapidly changing global energy landscape. Uthmaniyah is only one part of our large integrated energy value chain where IR 4.0 technologies are playing a critical role to enable significant capital and operational efficiencies,” said Amin H. Nasser, Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Aramco.
The seven new facilities join nine other “Manufacturing Lighthouses” which WEF unveiled in September 2018. The 16 factories were selected from an initial list of 1,000 manufacturers based on their successful implementation of cutting-edge technologies of the future that drive financial and operational impact.
The “Lighthouse” program was conducted by WEF in collaboration with McKinsey during a year-long study. A study team visited UGP in Saudi Arabia and performed a thorough audit.