Festivities around Riyadh Boulevard irk Hittin residents

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The disruption of the neighborhood’s daily lives prompted the hashtag. (SPA)
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The disruption of the neighborhood’s daily lives prompted the hashtag. (SPA)
Updated 22 October 2019

Festivities around Riyadh Boulevard irk Hittin residents

  • Riyadh Boulevard can hold up to 60,000 visitors, but the opening days have seen an overflow of people parking anywhere, including in front of residents’ garages and homes, blocking residents in their homes

RIYADH: The tranquility of an upper-class neighborhood in the north of Riyadh has been disrupted by the Riyadh Season and the opening of Zone 1 on Oct. 17.
After Riyadh Boulevard opened — one of the 12 zones in the season — it amassed a crowd of 1.2 million in just two days. Now residents are complaining about noise levels, overcrowding and being trapped in their homes.
Um Yousef, an elderly resident, complained: “What if an emergency arises and me or my husband need to go to the hospital? The visitors’ cars are parked right in front of ours, the streets are jampacked and we worry about our safety.”
Should Riyadh Boulevard, one of the main zones, have been constructed in the heart of a residential neighborhood?
Riyadh Boulevard can hold up to 60,000 visitors, but the opening days have seen an overflow of people parking anywhere, including in front of residents’ garages and homes, blocking residents in their homes.
Concerned about their privacy and mobility, a “suffering of Hittin residents” hashtag has been created, where residents are asking the traffic department, General Entertainment Authority (GEA), and chairman of GEA Turki Al-Sheikh to find a solution.
The disruption of the neighborhood’s daily lives prompted the hashtag. Their inability to move from their homes or return and find their parking spots taken by visitors has become a nightmare for residents.
These are some of the reactions on Twitter under the hashtag:
@LeenNaif_: “With the beginning of the Riyadh season we hope to find a solution for the residents of Hittin and neighboring neighborhoods to facilitate entry and exit easily without closing the entrances to them like other visitors. Is it acceptable that I’m at the turn-off with my road closed off and obliged to sit in the traffic jam when my house is just on the opposite side?”
@Ebtesamss: “My parents live in the neighborhood and they suffer from exiting and entering it. We are deprived of visiting them. My father is ill and needs care, he repeatedly goes to the ER. Does it make sense to close the streets and the residents cannot exercise the simplest things? The traffic department — may God strengthen them — can only implement and prevent people based on orders, while people urge them to open the roads.”
@i_Noura: “We, the residents of Hittin district, have a right in this precious homeland just as others. We must take into account the residents of the neighborhood not to restrict them and facilitate their entry and exit from the neighborhood.”
It is noticeable that after the first couple of days the chaos and hectic crowds have died down and the traffic flow has eased. However, illegal parking in front of homes and parked cars is an issue that most residents are still struggling with.


Concerns rise over fake gold in Saudi Arabia

Local gold markets have seen stagnation in recent times, because of the increasing price of gold on international stock markets. (Photo/Shutterstock)
Updated 22 February 2020

Concerns rise over fake gold in Saudi Arabia

  • Accusations fly as pilgrims targeted by sellers of counterfeit precious metal

JEDDAH: A video posted on Twitter by a member of the Precious Metals Committee explaining the ways some gold manufacturers manipulate weight of gold and diamonds has attracted significant attention in Saudi Arabia, raising the question of the authenticity of gold in the Kingdom.

In the video, Mohammed Azooz said cover-ups have made many Saudi gold sellers lose power over the market, and that industry was being controlled by non-Saudis.
In the video, he explained how some people circumvented customs and sneak gold into the country, especially during the Hajj season to target pilgrims.
The Arabic translation of #cheating_in_jewelry has been trending in Twitter for a few days, and several people posted about the issue, blaming those who were selling fake gold to pilgrims as pure gold.
This is not the first time the fake gold issue has been raised. The World Gold Council previously suspended its activities in the Kingdom following claims that some jewelry manufacturers mixed glass with gold. Former Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Zainal rejected the accusations at the time, described them as “grave and dangerous.”
Local gold markets have seen stagnation in recent times, because of the increasing price of gold on international stock markets.

FASTFACTS

• Types of gold depend on the percentage of gold per kilogram. For example, 24k gold, which is considered the best in quality, is 99 percent gold mixed with 1 percent of precious metal such as silver or copper. This type of gold is considered pure, and not used for adornment.

• For a kilogram of 22k gold, 125 grams of precious metals are added to 875 grams of pure gold; 150 grams of precious metals are added to 850 grams to make a kilogram of 21k gold, and 18k gold has 250 grams of precious metals per kilogram.

The price of one kilogram of 24 karat (k) gold in the Kingdom can reach SR185,000 ($46,700).
Gold and economic experts say that the movement in gold prices depends on numerous factors such as political and economic events around the world, the price of the US dollar in banks, black markets, as well as the supply and demand trends in global stock markets.

Types of gold depend on the percentage of gold per kilogram. For example, 24k gold, which is considered the best in quality, is 99 percent gold mixed with 1 percent of precious metal such as silver or copper. This type of gold is considered pure, and not used for adornment.
For a kilogram of 22k gold, 125 grams of precious metals are added to 875 grams of pure gold; 150 grams of precious metals are added to 850 grams to make a kilogram of 21k gold, and 18k gold has 250 grams of precious metals per kilogram.

Opinion

This section contains relevant reference points, placed in (Opinion field)

The Kingdom has launched an initiative, the first of its kind, authorizing authorities to launch a Shariah-based gold investment fund to enrich investment products through the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul).
Moath Alkhasawneh, CEO and board member of FALCOM Financial Services, said the FALCOM Gold Fund was officially licensed by the Capital Market Authority. The fund aims to add value to Tadawul through a Shariah-based investment fund, as gold trading transactions are considered a good investment and a high-quality commodity with low risks in investment portfolios.
“Gold retains its value compared to banknotes — their value decreases because of inflation. The high demand on gold in light of the shortage of supply can drive the prices of gold higher in the long run,” said Alkhasawneh.
“The gold investment fund focuses on investment in pure and precious gold, and the investment transactions will take place at the Switzerland Gold Market under the supervision of the higher authorities in Switzerland. This will make it safer and more flexible.”