320,000 new jobs in five years seen

Updated 12 April 2016

320,000 new jobs in five years seen

JEDDAH: The Saudi-Egyptian Business Council said the Egyptian workforce would benefit from the creation of some 320,000 jobs in the next five years. These jobs will come after the signing of a number of agreements and memorandums by the two countries, and the announcement of the establishment of a free economic zone in the Sinai Peninsula.
Abdullah Bin-Mahfouz, the council’s deputy chairman, said the Saudi private sector had pledged to provide more than 70,000 new job opportunities for the Egyptian workforce over the next five years.
“The announcement to establish a free economic zone in the Sinai Peninsula will provide 250,000 new jobs for Egyptians. The figure is expected to increase with the increasing volume of investments in Sinai,” said Bin-Mahfouz.
The business council noted the important role to be played by the King Salman Bridge in stimulating and boosting trade, industry and investment between Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Two Saudi industrial projects “Northern Promise” and “Taadeen” are expected to have a major role in the development of Sinai.
A member of the Saudi-Egyptian Business Council, Fahd Al-Hamadi, said that the two industrial projects represent the spirit and soul of the strategic projects which should attract big investment to Sinai.
“The expected volume of investments in the factories and the infrastructure of the “Northern Promise” city project will be in the neighborhood of SR36 billion.


Traditional Saudi game jumps to the digital world

First prize winners of this year’s tournament came home with cash prize of SR750,000 and a BMW. (Photo/Social media)
Updated 24 min 33 sec ago

Traditional Saudi game jumps to the digital world

  • First prize winners of this year’s tournament, Fahad Al-Shibani and Saud Al-Shibani, came home with cash prize of SR750,000 and a BMW

RIYADH: Baloot, a card game similar to bridge, has developed from a traditional game — usually played at family gatherings — to an online game for your mobile phone.
The Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports launched in Riyadh the third baloot tournament, which has attracted more than 18,000 participants including 40 female teams. The total prize money is SR2 million ($533,234).
The third baloot tournament showed an unprecedented number of players this year, bolstered by the participation of female players.
First prize winners of this year’s tournament, Fahad Al-Shibani and Saud Al-Shibani, came home with cash prize of SR750,000 and a BMW. Second prize winners received cash prizes of SR500,000 and third place players won SR100,000.
The electronic version is now more popular among Saudis than the original, which requires at least four players.
“The main feature that these baloot apps provide is that I can play the game anytime and anywhere, I don’t need to wait until I find three more people to complete the team,” said Saad Al-Amri, an undergrad student from Abha. “I also don’t lose control as I sometimes do when I play it with my relatives,” he added.
However, Al-Amri admits that playing baloot online made him more addicted to the game, saying that some days he spends 3 hours playing.
Baloot apps are not new and the market continues to grow. Apple’s App Store boasts over 30 Baloot apps. In Android’s Google Play store, the number of apps is even higher, ranging from platforms for playing the game, to apps that teaches the rules, to calculators that help users track their scores in the traditional version.
On top of the list of apps are two famous versions called “Kammelna” and “Baloot VIP,” with both reaching over 1 million downloads.
There are other apps that are less popular but also have strong downloads figures. “Tarbeeat Baloot” and “iBaloot” have just over half a million and 100,000 downloads respectively.
According to the website of “Kammelna,” a Saudi app, they started working on it in 2008, and currently have more than 1 million subscribers, with an updated ranking list for the best 100 players published daily.
Baloot apps can charge paid subscriptions, ranging from monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually. Some apps sell points to customers who can replace them with special features in the game.
Subscriptions start from around SR30 per month, giving users additional features such as access to a special playing room and the ability to start private conversations with other players. Some apps have unique tournaments to encourage users to compete with each other and win points that they can use in future games.