Saudis enjoy pandemic jobs boost after public and private sector efforts

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Ammar Al-Sabban, a creative director and puppeteer, benefited from the ministry’s platform. (Supplied)
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Ammar Al-Sabban. (Supplied)
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Ammar Al-Sabban. (Supplied)
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Ammar Al-Sabban. (Supplied)
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Ammar Al-Sabban. (Supplied)
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Updated 19 October 2020

Saudis enjoy pandemic jobs boost after public and private sector efforts

  • The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development launched a platform for freelance work in February which aims to diversify work opportunities and increase job security and credibility

JEDDAH: Philanthropic bodies from the public and private sectors have helped Saudis affected by the coronavirus lockdown with part-time and freelance job opportunities.
Initiatives were launched in a nationwide effort to provide economic relief to those who lost their jobs or suffered a salary drop.
Bab Rizq Jameel, part of Community Jameel, has helped more than 15,000 people in the Kingdom find employment this year.
The male employment rate reached 96 percent. The results showed that most new jobs were created in deliveries through electronic platforms during the lockdown.
Tahseen, a program at Community Jameel, supports young people through seasonal and temporary employment opportunities. It has succeeded in achieving the largest number of jobs, helping to create 12,730 opportunities in the past nine months.
Rola Basamad, senior general manager of Bab Rizq Jameel, said: “2020 is undoubtedly an exceptional year, but the global health crisis has confirmed our ability to adapt to the current situation and address many operational challenges and obstacles.”
Naif Al-Rabee, marketing general manager at Bab Rizq Jameel, told Arab News that they carried out a campaign called “fazza.tech” during the lockdown. “Fazza” is Arabic slang for support.
The campaign provided support for two parties: The private sector — which includes delivery and maintenance applications — and people who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic or who were relying on part-time work.
“We searched for Saudi drivers to meet the needs of people who were requesting these services in large numbers,” he said.
“We connected the two parties as quickly as possible with additional working hours to fulfill the requests of the two parties all over the Kingdom.”
The “Fazza Tech” initiative brought together 27 private sector companies.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development launched a platform for freelance work in February which aims to diversify work opportunities and increase job security and credibility.
Arab News spoke to Ammar Al-Sabban, a creative director, screenplay writer, voice actor, puppeteer and freelancer since 2008 who benefited from the ministry’s platform.
“The issue was we never had any entity or legal representation or status in the Kingdom. So we either worked without any legal structure, and when I got that legal structure I had to actually apply to have my own establishment,” he said.
He said you need to pay certain fees when creating a company, and provide a location and complete specific registrations. Freelancing does not require these procedures.
“Since the ministry started this initiative, I immediately applied. When it first began, it had a limited number of professions but soon they added more and once I found my professions I registered.
“The process was fairly easy and I received my permits within a day or two. You can submit up to five different services to registered as a freelancer. It made my life so much easier.”


Around 10,000 foreign pilgrims per week expected for Umrah

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah will only allow pilgrims between 18 and 50 years old to come for Umrah. (SPA)
Updated 26 October 2020

Around 10,000 foreign pilgrims per week expected for Umrah

  • Pilgrims arriving from abroad will be divided into groups of at least 50 pilgrims

MAKKAH: November will bring relief for the more than 500 Umrah companies in the Kingdom that have been badly affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has laid out the guidelines for receiving pilgrims from outside the Kingdom, to be applied from Nov. 1, in its phased resumption of Umrah services.
And now Saudia airline has announced the reopening of 33 travel destinations, most of which are green countries where COVID-19 is not spreading and preventive measures are being successfully implemented.
Ahmed Bajaifer, an investor in Umrah companies, said that an estimated 10,000 pilgrims will arrive each week in Saudi Arabia, adding that the Umrah companies can easily handle this number while applying preventive measures.
The ministry will only allow pilgrims between 18 and 50 years old to come for Umrah, in line with the requirements of the Ministry of Health. They must present a PCR test certificate proving that they have tested negative for COVID-19. The certificate must be issued by a trusted laboratory in the pilgrim’s country no more than 72 hours before departure.

HIGHLIGHT

Pilgrims must book their Umrah and prayers at the Two Holy Mosques, including visits to the Prophet’s Mosque and prayers in the Prophet’s Chamber. All bookings can be done through the Eatmarna app.

Pilgrims must book their Umrah and prayers at the Two Holy Mosques, including visits to the Prophet’s Mosque and prayers in the Prophet’s Chamber. All bookings can be done through the Eatmarna app.
They are also required to have confirmed return flights that suit their Umrah programs.
The mandatory components of the service package for each pilgrim include booking accommodation that provides three full-board meals for the quarantine period, which should be at least three days, and transport from the port to the accommodation. They must also have a comprehensive insurance policy.
Pilgrims arriving from abroad will be divided into groups of at least 50 pilgrims. Unified programs must be booked for the groups, including all services that match the date of their booking to perform Umrah and visit the Two Holy Mosques.
A guide will be appointed for each group, and the Saudi agent will be obliged to provide the contracted service packages.