Labor market reforms cost SR15 billion

Updated 18 July 2014

Labor market reforms cost SR15 billion

The Labor Ministry revealed it spends SR14.9 billion annually on reforming the labor market. The ministry explained that the expenditure goes on the implementation of short and medium range strategies.
On a related note, the ministry's statistics show that Saudis are still a minority in the offices of private sector companies. The ministry collected data based on Nitaqat program that aims to encourage the employment of Saudi nationals. An estimated 389,000 Saudis are employed in companies listed under the Platinum category compared to 440,000 foreign workers.
The number of Saudi workers decreases in the Green category companies to 196,000, compared to 867,000 foreigners.
The ministry stated that 1.4 million Saudis work in the private sector, compared to 9.7 million expats, 3.4 million of whom work in Riyadh.
The ministry’s recent statistics estimated the number of unemployed males at 261,000. The unemployment rate for males in the Kingdom ranged varied from 61 percent to 76 percent from 1999 until 2013, except the sudden 9 percent rise in years 2006 and 2007.
The data of the ministry show the existence of 361,000 unemployed women. The ministry gave a hopeful note on the issue of female employment, which increased by 723% until December 2013, raising the number of Saudi female employees to 398,000. Females unemployment rate gradually went up from 15.8% in year 1999 to 33.2%.
In the current fiscal year, the Ministry of Labor issued 950,000 work visas. The ministry said the increase was due of several factors, including 219,000 visas issued for completing government contracts, in addition to the 69,000 seasonal visas.

Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

Updated 18 October 2019

Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade

  • The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date

RIYADH: More than 1,500 performers and 25 floats took part in a parade and carnival on Thursday night that officially launched Riyadh Season’s Boulevard zone. The crowds that gathered for the fun-packed event were also treated to motorcycle displays, fireworks and other surprises.

The Boulevard lit up at 9 p.m. for the start of the 90-minute event, which featured some of the international artists who will perform as part of Riyadh Season. Afterwards, the zone’s food and drink outlets, outdoor cinema and fountain shows officially opened.

The audience watched the parade, performances and displays from specially constructed stands. Food trucks offered a selection of tasty snacks, and organizers also provided prayer rooms, toilets, first-aid stations and other facilities.


GEA president Turki Al-Sheikh gave an opening speech: “Our dearest people, in the beginning of this season, we welcome you and our guests in Riyadh.

“I want to share a story with you all; once upon a time, I was from a middle-class family. My mother and father would gather both their salaries to have us travel to see the world, and then we would stay in Riyadh for a year. These were our capabilities (at the time) and there was nothing to do in Riyadh. Who would've thought that we’d see all of this in Riyadh, and in our beloved country?

“This wouldn't have been possible without -of course Allah first- a person who has the qualities and vision of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”

He tweeted: “Riyadh traffic police estimated we have exceeded 600K which means ten times the capacity.”

In addition to the opening-night festivities, the Boulevard zone, which covers 400,000 square meters, will host a wide range of entertainment options and activities for all ages, including the outdoor cinema, restaurants, and sports, music and theatrical events. It has three main venues: The 22,000-seat Mohammed Abdu Theater, the 6,000-seat Abu Bakr Salem Theater, and the 2,000-seat Baker Al-Sheddi Theater.

The parade is just one of more than 100 events featuring local, regional and international performers taking place during the Riyadh Season festival, which continues until mid-December at 12 zones across the city: the Boulevard; the Front; Riyadh Car Show; Winter Wonderland; Riyadh Stadiums; the Diplomatic Quarter; Al-Muraba’a; Al-Malaz; Wadi Namar; Nabd Al-Riyadh; Riyadh Safari; and Riyadh Sahara. It has been organized with the support of Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority and president of Riyadh Season.

The ambitious 2019 Saudi Seasons initiative, the first of its kind in the region, was launched in February and includes 11 local seasons covering most parts of the Kingdom. Designed to promote the fledgling Saudi entertainment sector and boost tourism, it is attracting some of the biggest names in world entertainment.

The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date. It follows a folklore parade at the Mawtni (My Nation) cultural event in Yanbu to mark Saudi National Day this year, and a parade during the Jeddah Season festivities in the city’s Obhur district.

The parade had a special surprise; the appearance of DJ Carnage who took to the stage dressed in complete Saudi attire and performed his successful electronic show.

The musician also took to Twitter to celebrate the night and how he had had a hand in “making history,” tweeting: “A huge thank you to @Turki_alalshikh  ..... what you did for your country last night... was so special... thank you for having me... we made history.”