Saudi minister unveils instant visa service for small businesses

Al-Rajhi added that the ministry carried out a number of extensive studies to determine the requirements of small businesses for migrant workers. (SPA)
Updated 20 November 2019

Saudi minister unveils instant visa service for small businesses

  • Al-Rajhi said the ministry will provide a comprehensive set of integrated tools for small-business owners

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has unveiled plans to launch an instant work-visa service next month, through its Qiwa platform, that is specially designed to help new small businesses. Ahmed Al-Rajhi, the minister of labor and social development, said that it will enable young Saudis to launch start-up projects, open small businesses, boost economic growth and accelerate business expansion plans, which will have a positive impact on national development.

During a meeting with entrepreneurs from Hail Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Al-Rajhi said the ministry will provide a comprehensive set of integrated tools for small-business owners, along with a framework for nationalizing the workforce of such enterprises, after an initial grace period, under the Saudi nationalization scheme, Nitaqat. This will help to maintain the stability and continuity of the business during its early days.

He added that the ministry carried out a number of extensive studies to determine the requirements of small businesses for migrant workers, so that the new visa service meets their needs. The ministry places special importance on emerging projects, he said, as part of its role in developing the country's economy, creating job opportunities for young Saudis, and empowering them in the job market.

Earlier, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development launched a visa service for established businesses that are in the process of expanding, as part of its efforts to increase the annual growth of recently established enterprises.


Hana Abdullah Alomair, Saudi film director

Updated 30 May 2020

Hana Abdullah Alomair, Saudi film director

Hana Abdullah Alomair is the director of Netflix’s first Saudi thriller original series, titled “Whispers,” which is due to begin streaming in 190 countries on June 11. 

A Saudi writer, filmmaker, and movie critic, Alomair won the Silver Palm Tree Award for best script at the Saudi Film Competition in 2008.

She gained a bachelor’s degree in Arabic-English translation from King Saud University in 1992 and four years later a master’s degree in the same field of study from Heriot-Watt University, in Scotland.

Her documentary “Beyond Words” was screened during the Gulf Film Festival in 2019 and was selected for the main competition in this year’s Muscat International Film Festival.

A member of the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts, she has worked as a head writer in writing workshops for several TV series. She was a jury member at the Saudi Film Festival held by Rotana in 2013. Her second
flick, “The Complaint,” was selected in the main competition of Tessa’s Festival for Asian and African Films in Morocco in 2014 and it won the Golden Palm
Tree Award for best short fiction film in the Saudi Film Competition in 2015.

In 2016, Alomair, together with Hind Al-Fahhad, scooped the prize for best script for the short film “Peddlers” at the King Fahd Center Short Film Competition.

She recently published a book about the Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa, and in 2017 wrote a play called “Qat Oqat.”

Last year, she wrote and directed her latest short film “Swan Song,” which won the Golden Palm Tree Award for best actor in the Saudi Film Festival.