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.

Recent archaeological discoveries highlight Saudi Arabia as ‘a cradle of human civilizations,’ Rome conference told

Updated 06 December 2019

Recent archaeological discoveries highlight Saudi Arabia as ‘a cradle of human civilizations,’ Rome conference told

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has become a leader in the field of archaeological research in the past five years, a major exhibition in Rome was told.

Abdullah Al-Zahrani, director-general of archaeological research and studies at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, said that 44 international archaeological missions had been carried out this year in the Kingdom.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the “Roads of Arabia: Masterpieces of Antiquities in Saudi Arabia Across the Ages” exhibition, which opened at the National Museum of Rome on Nov. 26.

The groundbreaking exhibition was inaugurated by Saudi Minister of Culture Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan and Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities Dario Franceschini.

Al-Zahrani said that the Kingdom “has become one of the most advanced countries in terms of archaeological disclosures.”

“Recent discoveries by local and international missions have highlighted the Kingdom’s historical status and cultural depth as the cradle of the beginnings of human civilizations,” he said.

Archaeological discoveries continue to “instil the civilized dimension of the Kingdom,” he said.

“The religious, political, economic and cultural stature that Saudi Arabia enjoys is an extension of its long cultural heritage, in addition to its distinctive geographical position as a bridge and hub of cultural interaction between East and West that made it a meeting point for international land and sea trade routes throughout all ages,” he added.