Economy minister: Saudi Census 2022 is moving ahead of schedule on first phase

The Saudi Census 2022 is a fully digital census, and the modern digital infrastructure in the Kingdom will help achieve this. (AN Photo by Zaid Khashogji)
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The Saudi Census 2022 is a fully digital census, and the modern digital infrastructure in the Kingdom will help achieve this. (AN Photo by Zaid Khashogji)
Economy minister: Saudi Census 2022 is moving ahead of schedule on first phase
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(AN Photo/Zaid Khashogji)
Economy minister: Saudi Census 2022 is moving ahead of schedule on first phase
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(AN Photo/Zaid Khashogji)
Economy minister: Saudi Census 2022 is moving ahead of schedule on first phase
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(AN Photo/Zaid Khashogji)
Economy minister: Saudi Census 2022 is moving ahead of schedule on first phase
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(AN Photo/Zaid Khashogji)
Economy minister: Saudi Census 2022 is moving ahead of schedule on first phase
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(AN Photo/Zaid Khashogji)
Economy minister: Saudi Census 2022 is moving ahead of schedule on first phase
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(AN Photo/Zaid Khashogji)
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Updated 07 February 2022

Economy minister: Saudi Census 2022 is moving ahead of schedule on first phase

The Saudi Census 2022 is a fully digital census, and the modern digital infrastructure in the Kingdom will help achieve this. (AN Photo by Zaid Khashogji)
  • The Saudi census, which GASTAT conducts every 10 years, is a vital pillar for the planning and policymaking required to achieve Vision 2030 goals, according to Al-Ibrahim

RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal bin Fadel Al-Ibrahim said the Saudi Census 2022 is moving ahead of schedule, with 35 percent of addresses already registered since the first phase commenced on Jan. 26.

Within 11 days, 14,000 field researchers completed 35 percent of the address update phase, Al-Ibrahim reported on his visit to the General Authority for Statistics on Sunday.

“The desired result is to reach 95 percent or more coverage in 30 days,” Al-Ibrahim told Arab News. “It’s a very challenging task, but we believe that, with everyone’s support, we will achieve this objective.

“Our last numbers were from 2010. It’s now 2022, and it must be updated,” the minister said. “Our society and everything it wants to achieve depends on it. The goal is to send the proper message for everyone to cooperate with the field researchers.

“We currently have 14,000 field researchers; by May, we will have 40,000. The project entered its first phase of collecting data, called ‘address canvassing,’ on Jan. 26. This is considered an essential step toward an accurate and effective census.”

Field staff began cataloging all inhabited and uninhabited housing units within the Kingdom and placing smart census stickers, each of which is equipped with a unique QR code that will link the housing unit with its respective head of household.

“The Saudi Census 2022 is a fully digital census, and the modern digital infrastructure in the Kingdom will help achieve this,” the minister said. “An option will be made available for self-enumeration through which it will be possible to complete a census form electronically through the authority’s portal without the need for the field researcher to visit the household.”

The Saudi census, which GASTAT conducts every 10 years, is a vital pillar for the planning and policymaking required to achieve Vision 2030 goals, according to Al-Ibrahim.

Al-Ibrahim told Arab News that over 25 government agencies are participating in the census operations, including the ministries of interior, health and education and the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence.

With their aid and the use of other modern technology, such as satellite imagery, the minister said the data collected on the population will be accurate, detailed and comprehensive.

“We are counting on our people to do this in the most accurate and thorough way possible, as we are relying on them for the success of this census, and we thank them for doing so. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to be a contributing cog that helps realize Vision 2030,” Al-Ibrahim said.

He added that applications like Absher and Tawakkalna are aiding significantly in collecting the data needed for the census while remaining committed to respecting individual privacy.

“Preserving privacy, security and safety are the most important principles we have in the census,” Al-Ibrahim said, explaining that GASTAT applies the highest levels of privacy and confidentiality related to individuals’ identities and prevents the disclosure of individual data in any way.

It also undertook not to share the collected information with any third party.

The minister said all pandemic restrictions and protocols are strictly followed and monitored across the board while census data collection is being carried out.

Most countries conduct a comprehensive census every 10 years to obtain accurate and detailed data about the population, including where people live and their social and economic characteristics. Accurate statistical data of this kind enables officials, planners and policymakers to allocate budgets and develop comprehensive strategies that will keep pace with urban development. It will also meet future needs based on expected population growth, contribute to development plans and provide public services such as education, health and transportation.

According to GASTAT, the last general population and housing census in the Kingdom took place in 2010, and the total population at the time was 27,136,977.

Last September, GASTAT carried out a pilot census covering seven Saudi cities in Tabuk, AlUla, Makkah, Asir, Diriyah, Riyadh and the Eastern Province. The census was meant to test the form along with the working tools to be used in the general population and housing census.


‘Holodoctor’ service for Hajj pilgrims

‘Holodoctor’ service for Hajj pilgrims
Updated 29 June 2022

‘Holodoctor’ service for Hajj pilgrims

‘Holodoctor’ service for Hajj pilgrims
  • Consultations, diagnoses and medicine prescriptions to be done virtually
  • Health Ministry partners with Saudi telecoms firm and Seha Virtual Hospital

RIYADH: Saudi Health Minister Fahad Al-Jalajel has launched a “holodoctor” service, in partnership with the Saudi Telecommunications Co., that would allow medical practitioners to treat Hajj pilgrims virtually.

These services include “inspection, diagnosis, and disbursing medicines” through direct contact with the Kingdom’s first Seha Virtual Hospital in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported the minister as saying.

The minister thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for continuing to provide the services and facilities needed by pilgrims to complete their Hajj in comfort and safety.

Al-Jalajel said the Ministry of Health has prepared meticulously for medical care at the holy sites, including several hospitals and health centers, which are equipped with ambulances under the supervision of experienced personnel.

He said Seha Virtual Hospital provides 24-hour access for x-rays, and can deal with strokes and other serious medical situations. Doctors can communicate directly with patients and check all biomarkers.

Those needing information on care can telephone the number 937, access the Sehhaty application, or check the ministry’s Twitter account.


No permit, no Hajj pilgrimage, Saudi authorities warn

No permit, no Hajj pilgrimage, Saudi authorities warn
Updated 29 June 2022

No permit, no Hajj pilgrimage, Saudi authorities warn

No permit, no Hajj pilgrimage, Saudi authorities warn
  • Hajj violators face 10,000 Saudi riyal fine

RIYADH: People attempting to perform the Hajj pilgrimage without a permit face a $2,666 fine, Saudi Arabia’s general security said in a statement on Wednesday.

The authority’s official spokesperson said pilgrims must obtain a Hajj permit from the relevant entities before attempting to perform the Muslim rituals. 

 

 

In the statement posted on Twitter, Brigadier Sami bin Mohammed Al-Shuwairkh urged pilgrims to strictly follow Hajj instructions, while stressing that security forces would “fulfill their duties” in securing routes leading to the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the rest of the holy premises to prevent any violations.

Saudi Arabia earlier said it permitted over one million pilgrims from overseas to perform Hajj this year for the first time in two years of COVID-19 restrictions, which limited the pilgrimage to residents of the Kingdom.


Makkah Health Cluster ready for Hajj with 10 hospitals and 82 health centers

Makkah Health Cluster ready for Hajj with 10 hospitals and 82 health centers
Updated 29 June 2022

Makkah Health Cluster ready for Hajj with 10 hospitals and 82 health centers

Makkah Health Cluster ready for Hajj with 10 hospitals and 82 health centers

RIYADH: The Makkah Healthcare Cluster announced its readiness for this year’s Hajj season by completing the operational plans for all hospitals and health centers affiliated to it, the Saudi Press Agency reported. 

It said 10 hospitals and 82 health centers have completed all preparations to implement operational plans prepared for the Hajj season.

Three emergency centers, as well as two more emergency hospitals will be operating inside and near the Grand mosque 24 hours a day to provide health care for pilgrims.


White House envoy for antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt conducts roundtable discussion at Arab News

White House envoy for antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt conducts roundtable discussion at Arab News
Updated 29 June 2022

White House envoy for antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt conducts roundtable discussion at Arab News

White House envoy for antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt conducts roundtable discussion at Arab News
  • Deborah Lipstadt discusses role and religious tolerance at roundtable with Saudi journalists

RIYADH: Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, US special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, expressed her delight to be in the Kingdom and said that she deliberately chose Saudi Arabia as her first foreign visit to help generate dialogue and normalize the coexistence of Muslims and Jews.

Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, US special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, and Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas at the roundtable discussion at Arab News headquarters in Riyadh on Tuesday. (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)

“I'm overwhelmed by the changes the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is undertaking. You have got a long road, but you are certainly working down that road,” she told Arab News.

HIGHLIGHT

Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt believed the newer generations are actively changing and shifting perspectives, which is something she admired.

Lipstadt was talking on the sidelines of a roundtable discussion held at the Arab News headquarters in Riyadh, where the history of antisemitism and her work confronting it was discussed.

She focused on acknowledging her country’s past shortcomings and hoped that this trip would help start repairing the previous hostile viewpoint of Jews in the region.

She believed the newer generations were actively changing and shifting perspectives, which is something she admired.

The roundtable was moderated by Arab News Assistant Editor-in-Chief Noor Nugali and attended by Adel Al-Harbi, a prominent Saudi media adviser, Saudi columnist Noor Abdullah, and communications consultant and founder of SMZ International Group Sarah Elzeini.

Journalists from Arab News who attended included Nada Al-Turki and Arkan Al-Adnani, as well as members of the visiting delegation from the US embassy in Riyadh.

Arab News editor-in-chief Faisal J. Abbas with Ambassador Deborah lipstadt. (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)

Lipstadt also met Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal Abbas and conducted a tour of the newsroom, where she met journalists and editors on staff and was briefed on the newspaper’s own efforts in combating hate speech and promoting religious tolerance.

“I've seen some of the work you've done (at Arab News), the covers, the Minority report: The Jews of Lebanon. You're putting the Hebrew greeting for the new year ‘Shana Tova’ on your front page. That's unimaginable,” she said. “My country is not perfect; your country is not perfect. We have a long way to go, but what I've seen here certainly at Arab News is a great beginning.”

For his part, Abbas welcomed Lipstadt and her accompanying delegation and lauded her remarkable career in standing up against antisemitism.

“We are delighted to receive a guest of the caliber and accomplishments of Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt visit our headquarters in Riyadh, and we are keen to have more such interactions and offer any insight she and her team might need toward this noble cause, which falls in line with the huge reforms we are witnessing in our country,” said Abbas.

Arab News editor-in-chief Faisal J. Abbas with Ambassador Deborah lipstadt. (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)

Prior to Lipstadt’s visit to the Kingdom, she met the Saudi ambassador to the US Princess Reema Bint Bandar in Washington, where they discussed “Saudi Arabia's meaningful strides in promoting peace, tolerance, and interfaith dialogue.”

This is Lipstadt’s first international trip since assuming her role in April 2022. The 11-day trip will include dialogue with senior government and civil society in Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the UAE.

Her engagements during this tour aim to emphasize the need for interfaith understanding and religious tolerance, as well as to combat distrust and anti-Jewish sentiment.

Arab News will publish an in-depth interview with her tomorrow.


Al Jouf University included in QS world university rankings 2023

Al Jouf University included in QS world university rankings 2023
Updated 28 June 2022

Al Jouf University included in QS world university rankings 2023

Al Jouf University included in QS world university rankings 2023
  • The university’s president attributed its success to the Kingdom's leadership for their unwavering support for the education sector

AL JOUF: Al Jouf University, for the second year in a row, was included in the QS world university rankings for 2023, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Tuesday.

The university also ranked 701st globally and 8th locally, and was included in the Times World University Rankings for the second year in a row for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr. Muhammad bin Abdullah Al-Shaya, president of the university, praised the institution's international classifications team as well as the Kingdom's leadership for their unwavering support for the education sector, which contributed to the university's success.

The president was presented with a certificate for the international classification QS.The Governor of Al-Jawf region and the Minister of Education both stated that the university is continuing to expand on its current position and is working continuously to advance in all fields within the Vision 2030 goals, SPA reported.

The Dean of Scientific Research and Supervisor of the International Classification Unit at the University, Dr. Nabil Al-Ruwaili said Al Jouf’s classification is a reflection of its qualitative practices on an educational, research and scientific level.