Number of Pakistani expats exceeds 1.5 m

Number of Pakistani expats exceeds 1.5 m
Updated 29 August 2012

Number of Pakistani expats exceeds 1.5 m

Number of Pakistani expats exceeds 1.5 m

RIYADH: The number of Pakistani expats in Saudi Arabia is consistently increasing and currently exceeds 1.5 million.
Pakistani Ambassador Mohammed Naeem Khan said yesterday that the Pakistanis were “committed and conscientious workers” because of their proximity to the Kingdom and its people, especially in terms of religion and age-old ties.
Ambassador Khan was commenting on a report of the Bureau of Emigration & Overseas Employment (BEOE), a regulatory body of the Pakistan government, which controls workers’ employment and the emigration process.
According to the report, Saudi Arabia has become the largest market for Pakistani workers in the world. “Saudi Arabia being an Islamic state has been an attractive place to work in for millions of Pakistani job seekers aiming for employment abroad,” said the report.
The report said that Islamabad attracts huge foreign exchange with continuous growth in the number of workers traveling to Gulf states.
The report said that the total number of Pakistani workers deployed in the Kingdom has doubled during the last seven or eight years.
“Presently, Pakistan is exporting skilled, semiskilled and unskilled workers to Saudi Arabia,” said the report, adding that the number of visa issued by the Saudi Embassy and Consulate has risen to 25,000 every month.
A large number of Pakistani are traveling for jobs, while many of them arrive in the Kingdom for Umrah and business. The Pakistani population of 1.5 million is the highest overseas population of the country.
The UK, US and UAE are other countries with a significant Pakistani population, which varies from 1.2 million to 1 million. The remittances of Pakistani workers from the Kingdom have increased significantly to about $3 billion annually.
Asked about the Kingdom’s plan to recruit more doctors, engineers, paramedical staff and technicians from Pakistan, the ambassador said that “the plan was being implemented and the process is on.”
He pointed out that a large number of skilled workers are coming to Saudi Arabia. Also, the middle category workers arriving in the Kingdom include professionals in the fields of medicine, health care, nursing, management, engineering, sales and courier services, he added.
He said Pakistani workers were more committed than any other expatriate groups because they consider the Kingdom as their second home. “They get an opportunity to visit the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, a lifetime dream of millions of Muslims,” said the envoy.
The diplomat said that the Kingdom had been hiring doctors, engineers, teachers, bankers, IT and telecom experts and accountants from Pakistan in large numbers. These professionals are fortunate to have handsome salaries along with fringe benefits, accommodation and holidays. Usually hiring companies afford all of their expenses including visa fees, airfare and expenditure of annual or bi-annual visits to homeland.
The salaries of Pakistani professionals vary from SR 5,000 to SR 20,000 easily, which increases with the passage of time, experience and opportunities.
“There is a constant demand of laborers and technical staff in different ongoing projects in Saudi Arabia, which is witnessing heavy construction activities,” said Khan, adding that Pakistani workers have contributed to each and every project in the Kingdom.
Asked about the plans to recruit female workers from Pakistan, he said there was no such move for the time being. “But, there are a number of Pakistani female doctors currently working here,” said the envoy.
Makkah and Madinah have created opportunities for millions of workers in Pakistan and other developing countries to complete their large projects by 2016. Normally, Muslim workers are preferred in these two cities.


Saudi and Egyptian foreign ministers condemn Israel for undermining Palestinian rights

Saudi and Egyptian foreign ministers condemn Israel for undermining Palestinian rights
Updated 10 May 2021

Saudi and Egyptian foreign ministers condemn Israel for undermining Palestinian rights

Saudi and Egyptian foreign ministers condemn Israel for undermining Palestinian rights
  • Egypt condemns Israeli forces for storming Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Egypt on Monday condemned Israel for undermining Palestinian rights as days of clashes in Jerusalem erupted into an exchange of fire between Israel and Gaza.

The comments came after talks between Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry on developments in Jerusalem.

The ministers discussed “the rapid developments in the Palestinian arena, and the recent Israeli incursions into the compounds of the Al-Aqsa mosque,” Ahmed Hafez, the Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman, said.

Shoukry briefed Prince Faisal on and Egyptian statement calling on Israel to “assume its responsibility to stop these violations in accordance with the rules of international law, and to provide the necessary protection for Palestinian civilian.”

The two ministers also affirmed their rejection of all illegal practices aimed at undermining legitimate Palestinian rights.

During the call, they also reviewed relations between their countries, and ways to enhance cooperation, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.

Earlier on Monday, Egypt strongly condemned Israeli forces for storming Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, expelling Palestinian worshippers from inside the compound, and denying them access.

The foreign ministry called on Israel to assume its responsibility regarding these rapid and dangerous developments, “which will lead to more tension and escalation.”

More than 300 people were wounded on Monday in renewed clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at the compound, ahead of an Israeli celebration of its 1967 takeover of Jerusalem.

Egypt also stressed the need to stop all practices that violate the sanctity of Al-Aqsa, especially during Ramadan.

“This is in line with the rules of international law and in order to provide all types of protection for Palestinian civilians in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the rest of East Jerusalem, while not targeting the Arab, Islamic and Christian identity of Jerusalem and its holy sites.

The violence since Friday has been Jerusalem’s worst since 2017, fueled by a long-running bid by Jewish settlers to evict several Palestinian families from the nearby Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in east Jerusalem.

A Supreme Court hearing on a Palestinian appeal in the case originally set for Monday was pushed back by the justice ministry due to the tensions.

The UN Security Council held an informal meeting at Tunisia’s request on Monday on the unrest and Arab League foreign ministers and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation said they will hold emergency sessions on Tuesday.

(With AFP)


Arab coalition intercepts drone launched by Yemen’s Houthis toward Abha airport in Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition forces intercepted and destroyed a drone launched by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia toward Abha International Airport. (SPA)
Arab coalition forces intercepted and destroyed a drone launched by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia toward Abha International Airport. (SPA)
Updated 10 May 2021

Arab coalition intercepts drone launched by Yemen’s Houthis toward Abha airport in Saudi Arabia

Arab coalition forces intercepted and destroyed a drone launched by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia toward Abha International Airport. (SPA)
  • Arab coalition calls it a hostile and brutal act
  • Thousands of multi-national travelers pass through Abha airport daily

RIYADH: The Arab coalition said on Monday evening it intercepted and shot down a booby-trapped drone in the southern region launched by the Houthi militia in Yemen, Saudi Press Agency reported.
Spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the drone was launched “in a deliberate and systematic way to target travelers at Abha International Airport, through which thousands of civilian travelers of different nationalities pass through daily.”
Col. Al-Maliki said some shrapnel fell in the airport’s inner compound as a result of the interception. No injuries were reported among travelers or airport staff, but damage was caused to three buses whose windows shattered. 
Al Al-Maliki said coalition forces will continue to implement strict measures to confront these terrorist acts and immoral abuses by the Houthi militia, and to ensure that civilians and civilian objects are protected.
“The terrorist elements responsible for planning and executing out this hostile attack will be held accountable in accordance with international humanitarian law,” Al-Maliki added.
On Sunday, coalition forces intercepted and destroyed a Houthi drone launched toward the southern city of Khamis Mushait.
The Houthi militia has stepped up attempts to target civilian and economic objects in Saudi Arabia, amid mounting international and Arab condemnation.
The Houthis have struck Abha airport a number of times in recent years, killing one person, injuring dozens and on one occasion causing a passenger aircraft to catch fire.


Turkish foreign minister arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks

Turkish foreign minister arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks
Updated 10 May 2021

Turkish foreign minister arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks

Turkish foreign minister arrives in Saudi Arabia for talks

RIYADH: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu arrived in Riyadh on Sunday for a two-day visit. 

He will discuss bilateral matters and regional issues in talks with his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

 

 

 


Qatar's emir visits Saudi Arabia

Qatar's emir visits Saudi Arabia
Updated 10 May 2021

Qatar's emir visits Saudi Arabia

Qatar's emir visits Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is expected in Jeddah on Monday in response to an invitation from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman.  

The emir received last month Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, who delivered an invitation from King Salman to visit the Kingdom.


What Saudi citizens need to know to travel safely

What Saudi citizens need to know to travel safely
Travelers will not be allowed into airports or planes without showing their health statuses through the government-approved health app, Tawakkalna. (Supplied)
Updated 10 May 2021

What Saudi citizens need to know to travel safely

What Saudi citizens need to know to travel safely
  • COVID-19 insurance mandatory for those under the age of 18 wishing to travel

JEDDAH: With one week to go before international travel resumes, Saudis are being encouraged to cover all the necessary basics before leaving the country.

During a joint press conference on Sunday, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) and the Council of Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI) shared new instructions and updated travel insurance policies for all Saudis wishing to travel abroad following a previous announcement stating the four categories allowed.
Ibrahim Alrwosa, GACA official spokesman, outlined the new travel procedures for citizens, health protocols followed at airports, and the shipment, transport and reception of vaccines at the Kingdom’s airports.
“After a week, our airports will witness the resuming of flights for citizens starting 1 a.m. We call on everyone to thoroughly follow the set health precautions to achieve a completely safe trip,” said Alrwosa, adding that the authority will update its safety instructions to add COVID-19 health measures in a new leaflet.
Travelers will not be allowed into airports or planes without showing their health statuses through the government-approved health app, Tawakkalna. Travelers who have received two vaccine doses, those who have completed two weeks since receiving the first jab, those who are immune by recovery no more than six months since infection and children under the age of 18 who have travel insurance obtained in cooperation with the Saudi Central Bank will be the only groups allowed to cross international borders.
Alrwosa stressed that travelers follow their country of destination’s health precautions to avoid any problems.

HIGHLIGHT

Travelers will not be allowed into airports or planes without showing their health statuses through the government-approved health app, Tawakkalna. Travelers who have received two vaccine doses, those who have completed two weeks since receiving the first jab, those who are immune by recovery no more than six months since infection and children under the age of 18 who have travel insurance obtained in cooperation with the Saudi Central Bank will be the only groups allowed to cross international borders. 

Meanwhile, CCHI spokesman, Othman Al-Qasabi, revealed that the new insurance policy will include benefits that cover the risks of COVID-19 infection, and that it is mandatory for those under the age of 18 wishing to travel.
“This is in cooperation with the Saudi Central Bank. Persons vaccinated with two doses, first dose, and immune by recovery with the required timeline, will have the travel insurance available for them, but it has been made mandatory for those under the age of 18 to reduce the risks accompanied by the virus.”
The travel insurance, which is only valid for 30 days, will cover emergency medical expenses related to COVID-19 such as emergency rooms, urgent care and transportation. It also covers quarantine-related accommodation costs, medical evacuation and issues related to canceling flights due to COVID-19 conditions.
“These new benefits have been added to the already existing travel insurance benefits.”
The council revealed that a consortium of 12 companies has been approved for people to receive travel insurance from, with Tawuniya Insurance Company chosen to lead the alliance.