70% of gold shops in Jeddah face closure

Updated 22 November 2013

70% of gold shops in Jeddah face closure

Around 70 percent of gold shops in Jeddah are likely to close down due to the ensuing labor inspection raids.
Mohammed Azor, a member of the Gold Committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), said that about 840 gold shops, which account for around 70 percent of the total number of shops in Jeddah, would face closure over a period of six months. Some of these shops can be expected to rectify their status during this period in line with the nationalization drive.
Azor, who expects gold sales to soar up to 700 percent in legally-owned stores, said that 95 percent of workshops are expected to close down following the correction period.
About 40 percent of workshops have already shut down following demands by technicians who have taken advantage of the amnesty period to ask for a three-fold hike in their salaries.
Meanwhile, workshop owners have urged authorities to provide trained workers to replace the workers leaving the Kingdom. They also urged the Ministry of Labor to allow them to recruit new hires to replace workers who had left.
The Saudization drive in gold shops does not affect Eastern Province traders since most of them are run by Saudis, he said.
Abdulghani Al-Muhanna, chairman of the committee on gold and jewelry in the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said about 500 shops and workshops would face closure following the end of the correction period.
“The percentage of localization of gold shops in the Kingdom is not more than 10 percent. Expats work on very low salaries not exceeding SR5,000 because it is mostly managed by them,” Al-Muhanna said.
He said that eastern region shops are seen as a model for achieving the highest percentage of localization, estimated at 90 percent. Wages range between SR15,000 and SR20,000 because shops are managed by nationals. The percentage of localization in workshops, however, is not more than two percent, he said.
Al-Muhanna stressed that the nationalization of gold shops is in need of a strategic plan to be implemented over a period of 10 year.
Nationals need to be trained in the profession at various stages, he said.
There are around 1,200 gold stores in the Kingdom and 800 workshops, Al-Muhanna said, adding that gold stores should be fully localized. “We should not accept the common excuse that nationalization is difficult due to lack of expertise,” he said.


Saudi health minister promises to procure tested COVID-19 vaccine

Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah. (AP)
Updated 20 October 2020

Saudi health minister promises to procure tested COVID-19 vaccine

JEDDAH: Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on Monday said the Kingdom will procure vaccine for the novel coronavirus once it is confirmed to be safe and effective.

He said research on the vaccine is underway in a number of countries and the Saudi health authorities are following the developments.
The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continues to decline in the Kingdom with the recovery rate from the illness rising to 96 percent. The minister attributed the decline on the “commitment to health precautions.”
“I also thank my fellow health practitioners for their wonderful efforts,” Al-Rabiah said.
Commenting on the second and stronger wave of COVID-19 in some countries, he said it was due to a lack of “commitment to social distancing” and failure to wear masks and taking other precautions.
He ruled out any leniency on part of the government in its fight against the virus. The minister said it is necessary to abide by precautionary measures to keep the virus at bay.

FASTFACTS

• Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday.

• With 16 new fatalities, the virus-related death toll has risen to 5,201.

“We (all) are in one boat, and the failure of some affects everyone, so we must work together” to check the spread of the virus.
He also advised people who show COVID-19 symptoms to visit Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
“Appointments can be made through the ministry’s Sehaty app, and anyone who has any questions or wants to consult a doctor can call 937,” the minister said.
Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday. The total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 348,583 since the beginning of the outbreak in the Kingdom.
The Health Ministry said 16 more people died due to complications caused by the virus raising the death toll to 5,201. The ministry also reported 357 new recoveries. The total number of recovered cases has now increased to 328,895.