Women’s rise helping economy in Kingdom

Updated 19 January 2016

Women’s rise helping economy in Kingdom

ABHA: Various economic reforms underway are helping to cement the participation of women in the country’s economy, according to experts.
Economist Muhammad Al-Bashri said the reforms have ensured that women are increasingly setting up and running small businesses.
However, they are still not saving as much as they should be, and many with diplomas remain unemployed.
He said that Saudi women make up 21 percent of investments in the private sector, have registered 43,000 businesses and own 20,000 small and medium-sized businesses. The size of their investments stands at SR8 billion. They make up 75 percent of savings in banks.
More than 20 percent of funds invested in joint business operations come from women. However, they make up 14.11 percent of the labor force in the Kingdom, with 30 percent employed by state institutions. In addition, 84.1 percent are employed in the education sector; and make up 40 percent of Saudi doctors.
Businesswoman Fatin Bundagji said that women still do not have adequate representation at the country’s chambers of commerce and industry, making up only 20 percent of members, while the government has stipulated that it should be nothing less than 50 percent.
This means that there should be further reforms undertaken in the country’s economy to support women’s empowerment. Women play as essential role in the economy as men, she said.
Businesswoman Sarah Al-Ayed said there is considerable support for women, but there needs to be greater participation in the small business sector, and in partnerships with both private and public sector agencies.
Economist Fadil Abulainain said that while legislation does not differentiate between men and women, with support for membership of commerce chambers and municipal councils, there needs to be a greater focus on how to change attitudes in society.
Businesswoman Nora Al-Rafi said that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has provided unprecedented support for women, in line with what has been happening over the past number of years.

Wait is almost over for music fans eager to learn who will headline E-Prix concerts

Updated 28 min 58 sec ago

Wait is almost over for music fans eager to learn who will headline E-Prix concerts

  • Organizers promise this year’s line-up of international stars at Diriyah event will be bigger than ever

RIYADH: The first of the major international music acts that will perform at the Diriyah E-Prix this month will be announced on Wednesday.

There were incredible scenes at the event last year when David Guetta, One Republic, the Black Eyed Peas, Amr Diab, Enrique Iglesias and Jason Derulo rocked the UNESCO World Heritage site. About 40,000 fans flocked to the Diriyah Circuit, on the outskirts of Riyadh, for the after-race concerts, the first unsegregated music events in Saudi Arabia

The stage is set for even bigger and better things this year, with the promise of another two nights of unmissable music on Nov. 22 and 23 as the E-Prix racing returns.

“If you were one of the 40,000 who were lucky enough to be part of that watershed moment (last year) for the Kingdom, believe me, you have not seen anything yet,” said Prince Abdul Aziz Al-Faisal Al-Saud, chairman of the General Sports Authority.

“Last year we told people before we announced (the acts) they should get their tickets early to avoid disappointment. Once we revealed who was coming, the tickets sold out incredibly quickly. This year will be the same but even bigger, so for music fans who want to enjoy the biggest concerts in Saudi Arabia, the smart move is to get your ticket now.”

The Diriyah E Prix kicks off the sixth season of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the world’s premier all-electric motorsport series, with a double header of races. It also marks the start of Diriyah Season, a month of sport, entertainment, art, cultural festivities, food and retail experiences. Tickets for the Diriyah E Prix, which include entry to the after-race concerts, are available at www.diriyahseason.sa.