Saudi finance Ministry, Sakani program sign housing deal

The deal is to provide housing services for ministry beneficiaries,. (SPA)
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Updated 17 January 2020

Saudi finance Ministry, Sakani program sign housing deal

The Saudi Ministry of Finance and the government’s Sakani program have signed a cooperation deal to provide housing services for ministry beneficiaries.

The agreement will include beneficiaries on the lists of the Ministry of Housing and the Real Estate Development Fund.

The deal aims to combine the services of the finance and housing ministries along with other governmental agencies to streamline operations. The agreement provides offers for the ministry’s beneficiaries. 

It also included an exemption from administrative fees through the financing agencies providing advice on Sakina housing loans at the residential exhibition inside the ministry’s headquarters.


Saudi Arabia stops issuing visas to tourists from countries worst hit by coronavirus

Updated 13 min 32 sec ago

Saudi Arabia stops issuing visas to tourists from countries worst hit by coronavirus

  • Tourist visas will still be available electronically or upon arrival to citizens of other qualifying countries

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism announced on Friday that it has temporarily stopped issuing tourist visas to people in certain countries particularly badly hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

The affected nations are China, Italy, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Kazakhstan. The decision applies both to electronic visas obtained online and traditional visas issued upon arrival. In addition, tourist visas previously issued to residents of the listed countries will be temporarily suspended.

Tourist visas will still be available electronically or upon arrival to citizens of other qualifying countries, but as a precaution they will not be allowed to visit Makkah or Madinah.

People in countries that are not eligible for electronic visas can check whether they can travel to the Kingdom by calling a helpline on 0096 692 000 0890. Residents of the US, the UK and Schengen nations can call the same number to check whether they can obtain a tourist visa.

The Ministry of Tourism said that the restrictions were designed to protect citizens, residents and tourists, in line with recommendations from health authorities.

“These procedures are temporary and are subject to continuous evaluation by the competent authorities,” a spokesman for the ministry said.

The latest restrictions come a day after Saudi authorities announced temporary bans on Umrah pilgrims and visits to the Prophet’s Mosque. They also said that holders of tourist visas from the countries worst affected by the virus would be refused entry to the country.

Also on Thursday, the Saudi health ministry said there are still “no known cases” of the coronavirus in the Kingdom.