Shoura to define word ‘non-Saudi’

Updated 26 April 2016

Shoura to define word ‘non-Saudi’

RIYADH: The Shoura Council will discuss next week a resolution pertaining to companies owned by non-Saudis that own property in Makkah and Madinah.

The applicable qualifications are set out in Article 5 of the Non-Saudi Ownership Law for Properties and Investment.
The Economic and Energy Committee of the Shoura Council is currently looking into the law that was promulgated through a Royal Decree on July 19, 2000. The aim is to discuss the term "non-Saudi" so that a study can be made on exceptions to this and to decide on what those exceptions are.
The committee is flexible about this, dealing with the term non-Saudi in a special way that can be included in the law and not as an interpretation from the Shoura but as a text that can be added as an amendment to the law so that the necessary exceptions to it can be made later.
Article 5 stipulates that non-Saudis can own property only if they inherited it. They are not entitled to property rights if the property was linked to waqf and if the Supreme Council of Endowment has a supervisory role in it. Non-Saudis have the right to lease property in Makkah and Madinah for two years and this can be renewed for similar periods of time.
Employees in the Ministries of Interior, Municipal and Rural Affairs, Trade and Industry, Justice and Haj are awaiting assignments for monitoring violations of the law and to refer them to the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution which has jurisdiction in these cases.
Punishments for non-Saudi violators include selling the property at auction, with any excess amounts given to the seller. Building expenses should be referred to the treasury, after deducting 10 percent in fees from the original sum given to the seller or paid in building expenses, according to the Royal Decree.
Saudis who buy land inside Makkah and Madinah for non-Saudis will be penalized according to Article 5 of the system with a fine that equals 25 percent of the total payments made to the seller and building expenses.
Non-Saudis who gain the right to benefit from a property, including renting property inside the borders of Makkah and Madinah, will be penalized for violating Article 5 of the system and its executive list, with a fine that equals the value of the benefit.
Owners who lease their property to non-Saudis will be penalized with a fine that equals 50 percent of the value of the benefits the first time. If the offense is repeated, the owners will be penalized with a fine that equals the value of the benefit.


Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

Updated 06 June 2020

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

MADINAH: Hundreds of thousands of worshippers attended the first Friday prayers to be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah since the gatherings were suspended to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

The green light for the resumption of the prayer meetings came as part of a plan to gradually reopen the Kingdom’s mosques while ensuring worshippers and visitors adhered to preventive measures.

A ban on access to the Rawdah remained in place and only groups of worshippers numbering up to a maximum of 40 percent of the mosque’s capacity were being allowed entry.

Precautionary measures also included the allocation of specific doors for the entry of worshippers, the installation of thermal cameras, removal of all carpets so that prayers could be performed on the marble, sanitization of the mosque’s floors and courtyards, periodic opening of domes and canopies to ventilate the mosque, and the removal of Zamzam water containers.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be closed after evening prayers and reopened one hour before dawn prayers. Parking lots will operate at 50 percent capacity and a media awareness campaign has been launched to highlight safety procedures at the holy site.

Medical teams have also been stationed at the main entrances to the mosque in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere in the Kingdom, worshippers also flocked to perform Friday prayers at mosques amid strict health measures.

On May 31, Saudi authorities reopened all mosques for prayers, except in Makkah, as part of the Kingdom’s plan for a gradual return to normal life.

Last week the minister of Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance said that the country’s mosques were ready to welcome back worshippers, following his field trips to check that necessary preparations had been made.

All worshippers must still maintain a distance of 2 meters between rows, wear masks to enter a mosque, and Friday sermons and prayers have been limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.