Tough ‘Saudization’ process may cause 30% of gold, jewelry shops in Jeddah to close

A Saudi jeweller shows a customer gold bangles in a jewellery shop in Riyadh December 31, 2014. (Reuters)
Updated 23 November 2017

Tough ‘Saudization’ process may cause 30% of gold, jewelry shops in Jeddah to close

JEDDAH: Hundreds of gold and jewelry shops are expected to close once the decision to nationalize gold and jewelry jobs is enforced in about 10 days.
Last month, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development notified owners of gold and jewelry shops to conform to the Council of Ministers’ decision issued in 2007 about nationalizing the gold and jewelry sector. The notification came after the ministry noticed that owners did not abide fully by the decision.
Khalid Aba Al-Khail, spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development, said that the deadline for gold and jewelry shop owners to nationalize salesperson positions would be in two weeks. He also made it clear on his Twitter account that implementing the decision would be followed by the nationalization of other sectors as per a plan approved two months ago.
Mohammed Jameel Azouz, deputy chairman of the precious metal and gemstones committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), asked the ministry to consider that jewelry businesspeople are going through hard times. He said they have conducted several training courses for Saudis to provide them with the skills needed in the gold market, but they found this field “unappealing” for Saudis for several reasons, such as the desire of young professionals to find secure jobs in the government sector.
“Some of the guys that we trained left their jobs for scholarship programs to complete their higher education,” Azouz told Arab News.
This, according to Azouz, will affect the process, as many businesspeople will find it difficult to cut their overheads. “In Jeddah, we have some 330 gold and jewelry shops, and I personally expect that 30 percent of these shops will close. The owners will invest their money elsewhere. Others will cut a number of branches,” he added.
Azouz claimed that young Saudi people are unenthusiastic about working in the gold and jewelry sector because, for example, a pickpocket or loss of an item can cost the salesperson his or her entire salary for the month. He said he supports all nationalization decisions, but demanded that they equally consider the interests of both jobseekers and employers.
“When the decision was first approved in 2007, it appeared to be inapplicable, and that is why shop owners did not take it seriously. After that long period of ignoring the decision, the ministry is asking us to nationalize the jobs in two months.”


Saudi Cabinet congratulates security forces for thwarting terror cell

King Salman chairs the virtual meeting. (SPA)
Updated 30 September 2020

Saudi Cabinet congratulates security forces for thwarting terror cell

  • King Salman thanked international leaders and officials for their messages of congratulations to the Kingdom and its people on the occasion of its 90th National Day

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday congratulated the Presidency of State Security for its work in identifying and apprehending the suspected members of a terror cell in the Kingdom.

Some of those who were arrested allegedly trained at sites in Iran run by the country’s Revolutionary Guards. A cache of weapons and explosives was also seized.

Ministers expressed their appreciation for the efforts of the presidency’s employees in tracking down those who threaten the security and stability of the Kingdom and the safety of those who live there.

Majid Al-Qasabi, the acting minister of media, said that while reviewing the latest regional and international developments, cabinet members reiterated the Kingdom’s call during the recent International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference for the international community to adopt a firm stance on Iran, and take steps to address its violations of international agreements relating to its nuclear-research program. They also reaffirmed Saudi support for efforts, in partnership with the international community, to make the Middle East a nuclear weapon-free zone.

The virtual meeting was chaired by King Salman, who began by passing on his condolences and sympathy to the people of Kuwait and the family of its Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who died on Tuesday. He also congratulated the emir’s successor, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

King Salman thanked international leaders and officials for their messages of congratulations to the Kingdom and its people on the occasion of its 90th National Day. He also briefed ministers on his recent telephone conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which the two leaders reviewed bilateral relations and discussed opportunities to further develop them.

The cabinet commended the king for his speech during the UN’s 75th General Assembly in New York, during which he emphasized the his country’s continued commitment to assisting the international community in efforts to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and address its humanitarian and economic implications.

Ministers also noted that his speech reflected the Kingdom’s dedication to security, stability and prosperity as a strategic choice, its call for peaceful coexistence, moderation and solidarity among all countries and peoples to address humanitarian challenges, its support for political solutions to conflicts, and its efforts to combat extremism in all its forms.

Al-Qasabi said that the Cabinet welcomed the announcement by the Kingdom that the G20 Leaders’ Summit will take place as planned as scheduled on Nov. 21 and 22, albeit virtually as a result of the pandemic. Saudi Arabia hold the presidency of the G20 this year.

Ministers also expressed their appreciation for international efforts, led by G20 countries, that have resulted in the provision of more than $21 billion to support the production of diagnostic and therapeutic tools during the pandemic, and the development and distribution of vaccines. In addition, more than $11 trillion has been allocated to protect the global economy, and more than $14 billion to mitigate the debt burdens of less-developed countries and help fund their health services and social programs. The Cabinet also reviewed the latest local and international developments in the pandemic, along with preparations for the safe resumption of Umrah.

Ministers reiterated the Saudi call, during an emergency meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for Environmental Affairs, for urgent action to avoid an environmental catastrophe in the Red Sea as a result of the deteriorating condition of the oil tanker Safer, which has been anchored off the coast of Yemen, near Ras Issa port, since 2015.

The Cabinet also expressed its concern over developments in the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and urged both sides to agree a ceasefire and resolve the conflict peacefully in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.