Kingdom top producer of honey in Arab world

Updated 15 August 2014

Kingdom top producer of honey in Arab world

The Kingdom is the leading producer of honey in the Arab World, producing over 9,000 tons annually and is home to 5,000 beekeepers and 1 million bee nests, said Ahmed Al-Ghamdi, organizing committee chairman of Al-Baha’s seventh International Honey Festival. The festival concludes Saturday in the presence of international experts and regional visitors.
The sale of honey went soaring at the festival, organized by the Beekeepers Cooperative Association (BCA) under the auspices of Baha Gov. Prince Mishari bin Saud in collaboration with Abdullah Bugshan, chairman of the bee research unit at King Saud University (KSU).
“Beekeepers have sold over SR2 million worth of honey in a single week,” Al-Ghamdi told Arab News.
The event was also supported by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) and Al-Baha University.
The three-day international symposium on honey production and usage, held for the first time in the region, was attended by research scholars from universities around the globe.
“The event was attended by various scientific bodies and major companies specialized in honey and its products within the Kingdom and other countries, such as the United States of America, Romania, Morocco, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan,” said Al-Ghamdi.
He said the festival features a scientific program, during which specialists from universities across the world submit their working papers on bees, honey production and its use as a form of medication.
“The Majri type of honey has fetched between SR800 and SR1,000 a kilo, making it the most expensive kind, while the Saify type fetches SR700 a kilo. Sadr is sold at SR400 a kilo and Samr at anywhere between SR250 and SR400 a kilo,” he said.
"The Al-Raghdan region in Al-Baha is the only place in the Middle East where natural honey bees can grow and flourish following rains and this is why we chose this location to hold the honey exhibition,” Al-Ghamdi said.
He said the festival has become an integral part of the Saudi beekeeping industry thanks to beekeeping enthusiasts who are always keen on participating in festival activities. This is also a golden opportunity to boost tourism.
Al-Ghamdi said experts identified and discussed the problems of beekeeping in the Kingdom and suggested solutions.
Several recreational activities were held on the sidelines of the festival, including a lucky draw raffle sponsored by the Saudi Arabian Airlines.


Saudis enjoy pandemic jobs boost after public and private sector efforts

Ammar Al-Sabban, a creative director and puppeteer, benefited from the ministry’s platform. (Supplied)
Updated 19 October 2020

Saudis enjoy pandemic jobs boost after public and private sector efforts

  • The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development launched a platform for freelance work in February which aims to diversify work opportunities and increase job security and credibility

JEDDAH: Philanthropic bodies from the public and private sectors have helped Saudis affected by the coronavirus lockdown with part-time and freelance job opportunities.
Initiatives were launched in a nationwide effort to provide economic relief to those who lost their jobs or suffered a salary drop.
Bab Rizq Jameel, part of Community Jameel, has helped more than 15,000 people in the Kingdom find employment this year.
The male employment rate reached 96 percent. The results showed that most new jobs were created in deliveries through electronic platforms during the lockdown.
Tahseen, a program at Community Jameel, supports young people through seasonal and temporary employment opportunities. It has succeeded in achieving the largest number of jobs, helping to create 12,730 opportunities in the past nine months.
Rola Basamad, senior general manager of Bab Rizq Jameel, said: “2020 is undoubtedly an exceptional year, but the global health crisis has confirmed our ability to adapt to the current situation and address many operational challenges and obstacles.”
Naif Al-Rabee, marketing general manager at Bab Rizq Jameel, told Arab News that they carried out a campaign called “fazza.tech” during the lockdown. “Fazza” is Arabic slang for support.
The campaign provided support for two parties: The private sector — which includes delivery and maintenance applications — and people who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic or who were relying on part-time work.
“We searched for Saudi drivers to meet the needs of people who were requesting these services in large numbers,” he said.
“We connected the two parties as quickly as possible with additional working hours to fulfill the requests of the two parties all over the Kingdom.”
The “Fazza Tech” initiative brought together 27 private sector companies.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development launched a platform for freelance work in February which aims to diversify work opportunities and increase job security and credibility.
Arab News spoke to Ammar Al-Sabban, a creative director, screenplay writer, voice actor, puppeteer and freelancer since 2008 who benefited from the ministry’s platform.
“The issue was we never had any entity or legal representation or status in the Kingdom. So we either worked without any legal structure, and when I got that legal structure I had to actually apply to have my own establishment,” he said.
He said you need to pay certain fees when creating a company, and provide a location and complete specific registrations. Freelancing does not require these procedures.
“Since the ministry started this initiative, I immediately applied. When it first began, it had a limited number of professions but soon they added more and once I found my professions I registered.
“The process was fairly easy and I received my permits within a day or two. You can submit up to five different services to registered as a freelancer. It made my life so much easier.”