Transport companies seek seasonal visas for Umrah bus drivers

Updated 19 January 2013
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Transport companies seek seasonal visas for Umrah bus drivers

Transport companies have requested the Ministry of Labor to issue them seasonal visas for bus drivers during Umrah seasons. The companies argue that they experience a severe shortage of drivers during the Umrah season that disrupts their partnerships with tourism and Umrah companies.
"The ministry only issues seasonal visas for Haj and bans them for Umrah in order to encourage the nationalization of the work force. But this has resulted in a shortage of bus drivers," Marwan Al-Zubaidi, secretary of Car Syndicate, told a local newspaper.
He said that for each 400 job vacancies announced every season, only 12 Saudis apply. He said companies had announced these jobs frequently in newspapers and on TV channels, but they were still forced to recruit and train expatriates already living in Saudi Arabia.
Abdullah Alawi, a transport company owner, said businessmen requested the ministry to at least extend the period of the seasonal Haj visa but their request met with refusal.
"The ministry said that if it extended it, it wouldn't be seasonal anymore," Abdullah said.
Abdurrahman Andijani, head of the transportation department in the Ministry of Haj, said the problem is not only with Saudization. The Ministry of Labor does not have in its regulations any mention of "seasonal Umrah visa."
He said that his ministry can only help the transport companies by writing to the Ministry of Labor in support of the companies.


Houthi missile fired towards Jazan intercepted by Saudi air defenses

Updated 24 May 2018
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Houthi missile fired towards Jazan intercepted by Saudi air defenses

  • The missile was fired towards the Saudi Arabian province of Jazan in the early hours of Thursday
  • It was launched from the Houthi strong-hold in the Yemeni province of Saada

DUBAI: Saudi air defenses intercepted a ballistic missile fired by the Houthi militia towards the border province of Jazan in the early hours of Thursday morning, Al Ekhbariya TV reported.

The ballistic missile was launched from the Houthi strong-hold province of Saada.

The missile was spotted at 1:58am on Thursday and was headed towards Jazan city, targeting civilian and populated areas.

The Saudi Royal Air Force (RAFF) was able to intercept the missile and destroy it.

The Iranian-backed Houthis have fired a number of missiles over the border at Saudi cities, including the capital, Riyadh, in breach of international laws banning the targeting of civilian areas.

And on Wednesday UAE coalition forces intercepted two boats in the Red Sea being used by the Houthis to target a tanker.