Contractors say 30% wage hike temporary

Updated 08 November 2013

Contractors say 30% wage hike temporary

Contractors say the status correction drive has driven labor costs up by as much as 30 percent.
Several contractors said that a state of confusion is prevailing among laborers working in electricity and plumbing. They said they expect wages to keep rising until more legal workers are available in the market.
Prior to the correction period, the construction sector depended heavily on employing illegal expatriates who have since become unavailable.
Abdullah Radwan, chairman of the Contractors Committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), said correcting expatriates’ statuses and deporting violators is an important phenomenon that will bear positive long-term results.
“The labor market is in disarray because of the large number of expatriates who left the Kingdom during the correction period. Companies and contractors are now faced with incomplete projects. They were forced to accept rising wages because of poor labor supply,” he added.
He said recruitment procedures are long and complicated. The sector is experiencing difficulty in complying with Nitaqat regulations that ensure Saudization (nationalization). Radwan called for extending the correction period to give contractors a chance to find alternatives for violating expatriates.
Abdullah Salasah, an official at a contracting company and former member of the Contractors Committee, said price hikes are temporary and would not last more than one year. He added that consumers and contractors would bear the increased cost.
“Projects are not delayed because of the correction decision but due to sheer confusion. We look forward to reorganizing the contracting sector and acquiring more facilities to recruit labor,” he said.
Hamzah Baker Aoun, deputy chairman of the National Committee for Consultative Offices, said the Ministry of Labor should set up organizational establishments to control labor transfer between sponsors. “There should be companies set up to recruit seasonal and temporary labor,” he added.
Aoun criticized the absence of an entity to monitor and control wages and organize sponsorship transfer to revitalize the market. He hoped the post-correction period would see wages normalize. The contracting, services and retail sectors were among those affected by the correction process, he added.
Abdullah Hanafi, former chairman of the Contractors Committee at the JCCI, said prices in the contracting sector rose 40 percent during the correction period and that it would take more than six months before they would go back to normal.
He refused to comment on delayed projects, but said the correction process affected individual projects, which have experienced a 10 percent delay.


Riyadh roads turn green as world’s largest urban greening project branches out

Based on experience, roads and streets without trees contain eight to 10 times the amount of dust compared with streets lined with trees on both sides. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 03 August 2020

Riyadh roads turn green as world’s largest urban greening project branches out

  • Capital gets a facelift as Vision 2030 program works to plant 7.5 million trees
  • Most of the tree species used in the project are from a well-developed local environment with low agricultural service and care

RIYADH: The Green Riyadh project, one of the world’s largest urban greening initiatives, is rapidly bearing fruit as it transforms main roads in the capital.

Major thoroughfares, including King Khalid, Makkah and King Salman roads, are getting a facelift as part of the Vision 2030 goal of improving quality of life in the city.
Dr. Fahad Al-Mana, a professor of Ornamental Plants, Gardens and Green Areas at King Saud University, told Arab News that native tree species being used for the project include Ziziphus spina-christi, Acacia gerrardii and Prosopis cineraria, commonly known as the ghaf tree.
According to Al-Mana, the trees can survive in harsh desert conditions and will grow without intensive agricultural care.
“Most of the tree species used in the planting of the Green Riyadh project are from a well-developed local environment with low agricultural service and care,” he said.
Environmental conditions in Riyadh were taken into account during the tree selection process. The species can grow to a large size in only three years.
“In some locations, they have moved large 3-year-old local trees that were taken care of in plant nurseries to new locations where they are growing successfully,” Al-Mana said.
Green Riyadh will increase the amount of greenery in the city and augment the green cover in the Saudi capital with the planting of 7.5 million trees around the city’s main features and facilities.
The project will reduce the average ambient temperature by 2 degrees Celsius and improve air quality, encouraging people to follow a healthier lifestyle by walking or cycling.

FASTFACTS

• The project will reduce the average ambient temperature by 2 degrees Celsius and improve air quality, encouraging people to follow a healthier lifestyle by walking or cycling.

• The project will maximize the use of recycled water in irrigation works by increasing usage from 90,000 cubic meters per day to more than 1 million cubic meters per day through the construction of a new recycled water network.

• Green space in the city will increase from 5 percent to 9 percent by 2030

“The aim of planting trees in the streets is to provide shade and moderate the temperature, especially in summer, which contributes to the purification of air and reduces environmental pollution by protecting the city from sand storms, winds and dust. In addition, it gives an aesthetic view and the element of nature enters the city and nearby structures,” said Al-Mana.
He added that trees, especially those planted in central street islands, must have long trunks and high branches to avoid hindering the movement of pedestrians and cars. The trunk must measure at least 3 to 4 meters and the size of the trees planted must be proportional to the width of the island.
Al-Mana said green space in the city will increase from 5 percent to 9 percent by 2030.
According to the Green Riyadh website, the project will maximize the use of recycled water in irrigation works by increasing usage from 90,000 cubic meters per
day to more than 1 million cubic meters per day through the construction of a new recycled water network.
Al-Mana said the Green Riyadh project will also reduce carbon dioxide and impurity levels in the city.
“Based on experience, roads and streets without trees contain eight to 10 times the amount of dust compared with streets lined with trees on both sides,” he said.