Women prove good debt collectors

Updated 01 February 2014

Women prove good debt collectors

The debt collector’s image is associated with a well-built man wearing a leather jacket, but the recent entry of Saudi women to this sector of the market has challenged this image.
Hanan Al-Otaibi, 26, manages a team of female 12 debt collectors. The team pursues defaulters of loans advanced by Al-Rajhi Bank.
Her team has settled 70 percent more debts than their male counterparts, and aims to expand into special office area and increase the number of its employees to 50 by this year’s end.
According to Al-Otaibi, women are temperamentally cool and have the ability to convince people to pay up.
Al-Otaibi supervises fledgling commercial businesses, which indicates the growing momentum of women employment in the Kingdom. Over the past six years female participation in the work force has doubled. Their participation grew from 9 to 16 percent, decreasing female unemployment by 30 percent.
Within its efforts to convince Saudis to transfer from government employment to private sector employment, the government is trying to attract more women to the labor market. Even though many women prefer a teaching job, some are moving toward other jobs.
According to analyst John Sfakianakis, this is a major change which is the need of the hour. “Because of the increasing cost of living and the changing lifestyle both genders need to work,” he said.
Despite the fact that social attitudes toward female employment are easing, entering the workplace is not easy, because women are not allowed to drive in a country where public transport is still underdeveloped.
“Work makes you feel powerful, but we are starting at zero level,” said Eiman Al-Nafjan, a Saudi blogger.


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.