Saudi Labor Ministry plans to localize small groceries

Plans are underway to localize jobs in a manner that will attract Saudi manpower and raise localization rates in high-priority sectors.
Updated 25 July 2017

Saudi Labor Ministry plans to localize small groceries

RIYADH: The Ministry of Labor and Social Development plans to limit work in small groceries to Saudi nationals, local press reported well-informed sources at the ministry as saying.
The step is expected to provide 20,000 jobs in the first year of implementation, the sources said. Plans are underway to localize jobs in a manner that will attract Saudi manpower and raise localization rates in high-priority sectors. In this context, more than 8,000 male and female Saudis were employed in the mobile sales and maintenance sector, the sources said.
In the car rental sector, more than 5,000 young Saudis are expected to take up jobs under plans to localize the sector by 100 percent.
The ministry previously announced the localization of jobs in shopping malls and centers. According to figures released by the Vision 2030 program, there are only 300,000 Saudis out of 1.5 million workers in the retail sector.
In Qasim, male and female employees working in shopping malls have stressed the importance of training in making the localization drive a success, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The localization of shopping centers in Qasim region will provide 4,000 jobs for male and female Saudis and curb cover-up businesses, they said.
The Shoura Council recently proposed the closure of small groceries and limiting retail activity to large shopping centers that will employ more male and female Saudis. The proposal received the full support of businessmen, economists and citizens.


Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

Updated 06 June 2020

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

MADINAH: Hundreds of thousands of worshippers attended the first Friday prayers to be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah since the gatherings were suspended to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

The green light for the resumption of the prayer meetings came as part of a plan to gradually reopen the Kingdom’s mosques while ensuring worshippers and visitors adhered to preventive measures.

A ban on access to the Rawdah remained in place and only groups of worshippers numbering up to a maximum of 40 percent of the mosque’s capacity were being allowed entry.

Precautionary measures also included the allocation of specific doors for the entry of worshippers, the installation of thermal cameras, removal of all carpets so that prayers could be performed on the marble, sanitization of the mosque’s floors and courtyards, periodic opening of domes and canopies to ventilate the mosque, and the removal of Zamzam water containers.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be closed after evening prayers and reopened one hour before dawn prayers. Parking lots will operate at 50 percent capacity and a media awareness campaign has been launched to highlight safety procedures at the holy site.

Medical teams have also been stationed at the main entrances to the mosque in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere in the Kingdom, worshippers also flocked to perform Friday prayers at mosques amid strict health measures.

On May 31, Saudi authorities reopened all mosques for prayers, except in Makkah, as part of the Kingdom’s plan for a gradual return to normal life.

Last week the minister of Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance said that the country’s mosques were ready to welcome back worshippers, following his field trips to check that necessary preparations had been made.

All worshippers must still maintain a distance of 2 meters between rows, wear masks to enter a mosque, and Friday sermons and prayers have been limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.