Thursday, May 21, 2020

Life in Saudi Arabia

Following links are broad categories. Just click on the required category to read about articles published under it.



Jawazat & MOI Related
Saudi Labor Law
Other Saudi Laws
Driving in KSA
Social Issues in Saudi Arabia
Latest News
Travelling from Saudi Arabia

Places to Visit

Technological Information
·         Automated Teller Machine (ATM)
·         Facebook
·         Mobile Phones
·         Twitter
·         Whatsapp

General Information

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Need Steve’s Advice on any matter?

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In case you don't have a Paypal account, you can buy a Zain card worth SR 20, scratch it and send it to me. 

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Procedure to Convert Family Visit Visa into Permanent Family Visa

As per my knowledge, family visit visa cannot be converted to permanent family visa due to several reasons which have been discussed in this link. However, one of our readers Mr. Afrim has been negating this fact from the beginning. He is of the opinion that the family visit visa can be converted into permanent family visa and iqama can be issued by the Jawazat. He went through the procedure to convert family visit visa into permanent family visa and got the Iqama of his family. Now he is sharing his experience of converting family visit visa into permanent family visa with us. I am still not sure if you can really convert family visit visa into permanent family visa. The procedure is shared by Mr. Afrim and I do not take any responsibility for that.

Procedure to Convert Family Visit Visa into Permanent Family Visa
The first thing you need is a letter from your sponsor. The letter must be directed to the Ministry of Interior ("To the Ministry of Interior") and it should say that you want to transfer your Family’s visit visa to an iqama or permanent family visa. It should have your sponsor's stamp too and your details, name, iqama number etc.
After that, you will have to take this letter and get a stamp from the Chamber of Commerce. We have given some tips and guidelines to attest the documents from Chamber of Commerce in this link “Important Points about Attestation from Chamber of Commerce

Once you get this letter, you need to go to a government building near Saudi Airlines on Olaya Street. It is very close to McDonald's there. The name of this office is Ahwal e Madni. GPS Coordinates of Ahwal e Madni in Riyadh are 24.7531862,46.6553142.

You need to Visit the office of Ahwal e Madni with following documents
  • Letter from your company duly stamped by Chamber of Commerce
  • Original Iqama and copy of your iqama
  • Original Passport of Wife and copy of passport page,
  • Copy of her visa page of Saudi Arabia
  • You also need your original degree duly attested by the Saudi Embassy in your country as well as MOFA Saudi Arabia with Arabic translation and tell them you want to start the process.

After that, you will get a message from MOI sent to your phone with a number. After about 7 days, call them on the number they give you to check your application. If they say it's still in progress, don't wait but go to Ministry of Interior yourself. Now you Not the main building, but the blue one with many glass windows on Olaya street. They should tell you what to do next.

Family Visit Visa
  1. Apply for Family Visit Visa Online in Saudi Arabia
  2. Guideline to Fill Online Application for Family Visit Visa in Saudi Arabia
  3. Procedure to check Family Visit Visa Application Status
  4. Apply for Family Visit Visa through Istiqdam
  5. Procedure to Schedule an Appointment with Etimad Centers in Pakistan

Don’t call her housemaid, she is our family member from last 28 years

Housemaid is just like any other person that deserves to be appreciated. You are the head of the house and you should treat your housemaid in a way that you want your boss to treat you. Treating your housemaid moderately will provide you with a lot of advantages, both tangible and intangible. The housemaid is a woman like any other woman and she should be part of the family where she is working. She is a human being and not a machine. In Saudi Arabia, a Sri Lankan housemaid, Sarouna was sponsored by a Saudi. She left Sri Lanka and came to Saudi Arabia almost 28 years back to do the household job.

Her sponsors shifted their houses, where she failed to balance herself on the new tile flooring and she slipped and wounded her leg. At the same time as others wanted her to go back to her home country after the injury, the Al-Zakdis didn’t send her back.  Now she has been living with his family from last 28 years. Sarouna is an example of a wonderful lady. The story proves that housemaids are not machines and can’t work forcefully but should be the ones to become part of a family where they work for. This is said by Abdulaziz Khalaf Al-Zakdi from the Saudi city of Hail. He also said that she visited Saudi Arabia in 1989 to provide help for his family by doing household work for them and lived there for several years. Recently, they shifted to their new house where Sarouna slipped and faced confusion. She was unable to perform her duties the way she was performing before an injury. Instead of sending her back, the family helped her physically and financially for her treatment.

They also helped her to get well and waited for her wounds to heal and took care of her.  Al-Zakdis didn’t stop paying her and paid full attention to her treatment as a family member. They were constantly in touch with her family in Sri Lanka to inform them about her health. Al-Zakdi told that they will not send her back to Sri Lanka and keep on taking care of her as she is their family member and still living with them. Al Zakdi’s family respected her because she was trustworthy and treats kids with love. She was managing the household work perfectly and truthfully.

They said that Sarouna is a talented lady with good managing skills and now she controls four other housemaids and a driver. She is managing and taking care of the house’s needs and goes for shopping to buy grocery from the market with a driver. Abdulaziz told about his family and said that his family is a large family which includes his wife, five children and his mother and his brothers and their family visits frequently to see his mother. 

Saroune told that Al Zakdis- her sponsors and the entire family respects her and takes care of her and believes that she is a part of their family. There are so many terrible cases heard which makes the housemaid feel insulted and uncared and people think it is okay. Remember, housemaids, are human too, treat them with politeness and respect them.

Source: Saudi Gazette

Domestic Workers in Saudi Arabia
  1. Meet the Saudi Family who are taking care of their paralyzed housemaid from last 20 Years
  2. Procedure to Hire a Housemaid on Hourly Basis in Saudi Arabia
  3. 6 Duties of Domestic Workers which they must perform in Saudi Arabia
  4. Penalties on Domestic Workers and Employers for violating the Contract
  5. 4 conditions imposed by The Ministry of Labor imposes to protect Domestic Workers

The Ministry pays SR 250,000 to a prisoner for keeping him 11 months in Jail

Recently, there is a story reported about an imprisoned man who served extra eleven months in prison than his appointed punishment by the respective court of Saudi Arabia. The Ministry of justice released the imprisoned man by giving him a heavy compensatory amount. The reason of giving compensatory cash to him by the Ministry of justice was that he spent more duration than his appointed sentenced imprisonment which was 11 months, almost near to one year. Spending eleven months in detention is basically unlawful from every aspect. The ministry of justice could not possibly return his eleven months back but they repaid him by handing over an amount of SR 250,000 which is equivalent to $66,660.

Extra duration of Eleven months imprisonment definitely left a physical and psychological damage on the person affecting his health terribly and pressurizing psychologically. Time is the most important fact and reality and once it passes, it cannot come back. Time can't be replaced by anything and would not return. The most important and precious thing in the whole world is time. We should respect others time in the way we respect our time. However, a compensatory step taken by Ministry of justice is positive for his rehabilitation who suffered extra eleven months in confinement without any further crime.   The main question rises on this whole story that why was there a need to offer compensation as if the case was handled or dealt by considering all the legal facts and case time limits, which could vary and depend upon the nature of the case. Making case proceedings long or in pending sounds like an unhealthy justice format.

Eleven months unlawful incarceration resulted due to a wrong procedure or procedural error made by the judicial department at the Penal Court located in the Holy city of Saudi Arabia, Makkah. This prolonged case procedure in judicial department caused a delay in considering the case which consumed eleven months of the ex-prisoner. According to an Arabic newspaper, the ex-prisoner already finished 180 days of his sentenced punishment which was about six months. 

The Ministry of Justice in Saudi Arabia holds a strong responsibility to deal and administrate cases or matters which is related to the judiciary, the law or the courts provide provision of legal services to all Saudi citizens.  The judicial department at the Penal Court who is responsible for governing all the cases in the Kingdom stated that the Ministry of Justice must pay him the compensatory amount for his time loss along with mental and physical damage which won’t return at any cost.  

The ex-prisoner already finished his six months punishment which was charged on him for a case of drug-peddling. Drug peddler is basically a person who is a drug dealer or drug trafficker.  Ex-prisoner then filled a case against the Makkah Prisons department, but the representatives of the department in penal court proceedings proved that it did not receive any official release order or statement by the ministry of justice.

Source: Arab News

Latest News: Other Latest News
  1. Saudi Woman dies, her expat driver claims millions of Riyals Inheritance
  2. Gold Baby Bottles along with Gold Pacifier are available in Markets for SR 8,000
  3. SR 75 Compensation to every residential consumer for Electricity Cut
  4. A Saudi Company (Taiba Gold) produces 33 KG Gold Set – World’s Heaviest
  5. Saudi man in his 30s caught stealing ACs from a Mosque

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Guide to Use Free Bus Service at Riyadh International and Domestic Airport

King Khaled International Airport is located 35 kilometers in the North of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It is the largest airport in Saudi Arabia which serves the city of Riyadh. The land area given to this airport is among the largest in the world. At present, there are 40 airlines that use Riyadh Airport for providing best services to their passengers. These airlines offer a wide range of domestic destinations all over the country and international destinations in all over the world. This airport is considered as the air gateway to the Saudi Kingdom. This airport was constructed to deal with the growing requirements of local and international air transport for Riyadh. In 2014, 20 million travelers use the services of the Riyadh Airport. In 2015, the traffic was increased to 22.3 million passengers and there were more than 160,000 flight operations. Every year the number of travelers are increasing day by day.

At Riyadh Airport there are 3 terminals which are working and open for traveling: 1, 2 and 5, collectively with the Royal Terminal. These terminals are linked to each other. The compound has different facilities for passengers as cafeterias, restaurants, hotels, banks, and shops. All terminal buildings have a lot of facilities and services. Terminal 1 and terminal 2 is used for worldwide flights and it controls the arrivals and departures of international flights except for Air France, Saudi, Korean Air and Middle East Airlines.    Terminal 3 and terminal 4 is currently not in a working condition. There is construction going on for future use. Before closing it used to control local flights.   

Terminal 5 is the latest terminal at the airport, completed in 2016. It controls all the domestic flights and connects with 5 different destinations in Saudi Arabia. It also connects with the metro and has a parking area with a space for more than 3,700 parking. All terminals of Riyadh‘s King Khaled International Airport are connected with each other. The terminals are linked with each other via a free bus service which runs in every 10 minutes between all terminals: terminal 1 and 2 is international airport and terminal 5 is a local airport. All travelers who are traveling through Riyadh Airport or who have a connecting flight through Riyadh should be familiar about both the airports: international and domestic.

Both airports are in the same spot but in different zones and terminals. If a person is traveling from Jeddah to his home country (international country) but he has a connecting flight from Riyadh Airport then he will be landed in Riyadh Domestic Airport which is at terminal 5, then he is supposed to go to Riyadh International Airport for international flight to his home country which is at terminal 1 and 2.

Free bus service is for especially for people who are traveling between Riyadh’s International Airport and Domestic Airport. This service is for every 10 minutes. Not only special travelers but anyone who wants to travel between terminal 5, terminal 1 and terminal 2 can use this facility.

Airlines Experience
  1. Rights of Air Passengers in Saudi Arabia
  2. Book your Luggage in Saudi Airlines without visiting Riyadh Airport
  3. 7 Categories of people who can use VIP lounges at Saudi Airports
  4. List of Domestic and International Airports in Saudi Arabia
  5. 5 Things never to do at the Saudi Airport

Death Penalty – if Flakka capsules are found in your luggage in Saudi Arabia

Since the beginning, Smuggling holds strong controversial history. Smuggling is basically an illegal way of exporting and importing goods which are prohibited within the country’s boundary. Smuggling can be of materials, people, information or goods. In the modern era, smuggling can be done by using different technology and various methods. Smuggling of Drugs is considered a serious crime worldwide and heavy penalty or punishment is imposed on such smugglers. Smuggling always is done by violating rules and regulations of international borders or domestic boundaries.  Although, smuggling of some drugs are very common which include marijuana, poppy, opium and heroin while now, Flakka drug is a new drug introduced which is considered the most terrifying and scariest drug.

Users of these drugs might face fatal effects which include major health risks including Paranoia, delusion, hallucination, high blood pressure, and overheating of the body which forces a person to keep his body naked. Besides all these serious risks, the most intense result is sometimes death of the flakka drug users. The Flakka drug has been detected in mining and oil companies. Flakka is basically manufactured in China and now this deadly drug hits Asian countries, Europe states, and America. Flakka drug first knocked America in the year of 2013.  Flakka drug is known as gravel in some countries. Among the chemists, this drug is known by alpha-PVP. However, this drug is called gravel because its structure resembles the white crystal cubes and has been compared to the aquarium gravel.

This man-made drug creates effects and symptoms which have great similarity to cocaine but still, flakka holds more potential and more dangerous consequences than cocaine. The pills of Flakka drugs can be taken through oral or nasal route. A small dose of the drug can be easily taken by smoke or injection.  Strict Instructions for punishment have been released for Flakka smugglers in Saudi-Arabia. The punishment is a death penalty for Flakka smugglers.

The punishment applies to everyone who is involved in Flakka drugs some way or the other. The death punishment will also be applied on those who export and import the Flakka drugs or reproduce by cultivating the intoxicating pills.  A daily Arabic newspaper reported that the instructions clearly declare Flakka drugs among the prohibited or banned items in the Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia. The instructions are formulated and issued under the anti-drug rules and regulations.

According to the instructions, If anyone is caught using Flakka drugs will be imprisoned for about a period of two years which is a minimum period and it can be extended to up to five years. Fifty whip lashes and a heavy fine is imposed which is in between SR3,000 and SR 30,000. 

Source: Saudi Gazette

Other Laws of Saudi Arabia
  1. Transporters smuggle drugs through the luggage of pilgrims of Hajj
  2. Beheading - the minimum punishment if drugs found in your luggage
  3. Who will pay the newly imposed dependent’s fee as per Law? Employer?
  4. 5 Reasons due to which an employee of the Masjid can be dismissed by the Ministry
  5. SR 400,000 Fine for Torturing Animals in Saudi Arabia

Thursday, March 23, 2017

An accident crushed his spinal cord and shattered all his dream in Riyadh

Faruk Mian, a 27-year-old man, visited Saudi Arabia in 2015 with the aim of earning money and to support his family. He belonged to an Indian family who lived in Tripura in Northeastern India. He wanted to secure an honest life for his Indian parents who as landless farm laborers lived a miserable poor life.  First he was working as a driver in Taif but later, he was forced to clean washrooms in a function hall. He ran away to Riyadh where he worked as a tile fixer for some time. On a freezing evening of December 24, 2015, he was carried to Sanad Hospital by a Saudi ambulance after a road accident in Riyadh city. His aims and dreams came to end when his scooter met a horrible accident, which made him paralyzed, his spinal cord crushed and multiple fractures in other limbs.

He wanted to go back to his hometown to his parents in India but a returning trip would take 36 hours and him couldn't travel. Even now, Mian is not able to move a finger for taking biometrics or signatures to complete his visa process on his passport.  Mian said from his hospital bed that death is better than this harsh life. He has been hospitalized for more than a year and his treatment is still going on which is painful for his entire family as well. The motorist ran away after hitting Mian’s scooter and left him lifeless in foggy weather. When Mian started recovering at ICU after a long fight with life, he could not explain the scene which happened with him at that evening. He would have gotten compensation with the driver if he had been caught.

After 14 months of complete care, he is now preparing to travel back to his country because he is in a better condition. He thanked doctors and staff at the hospital.  He told that he can’t even drink water or talk on the phone without the help of someone. Tears would roll down on his cheek when he felt helpless. He would only attend calls of his mother who would gather pennies to call him. He accepted it as his fortune and blames no one. But, before he dies he wants to meet his mother and wishes that his father spills soil in his grave.

After the mishap, the management tried to get to his sponsor in Taif but he refused to pay for Mian’s treatment by saying that he is not his responsibility. The Saudi health department, management of Sanad hospital and in fact everyone from the hospital staff from Pilipino nurse to Saudi PR officials helped him and paid a large amount to continue his treatment.

According to the official source, a worker of Indian Embassy in Riyadh visited Mian to help him in completing his visa process.  He was able to complete the formalities with the help of others. The embassy also presented to pay all the cost of his equipped stretcher and air tickets and will provide a caretaker because there are no direct flights between Riyadh and Agartala, the capital of Tripura state.

Source: Saudi Gazette

Latest News: Torture Cases in KSA
  1. Students set Principal’s Car on Fire after being caught with Banned substance
  2. Saudi man sentenced to 3 days Imprisonment and 30 lashes for biting his wife
  3. Whitening Cream burns the Face of a bride just before her marriage in Jeddah
  4. 300 Lashes and 4 Months Jail for creating unrest over unpaid wages issue
  5. 2 Girls and a Boy starved, locked and beaten by the real mother for 20 years in Madina

Meet Dana Al Gosaibi, Saudi Arabia’s first female Horse Trainer

Saudi Arabia is indeed keen to empower women under its social and economic reforms. The females are now have been encouraged to contribute for an economic and social uplift of the Kingdom and they are proving themselves. We have women who have shown their remarkable performance in jobs which were male-oriented. The vision 2030 of Saudi Arabia tends to make the oil-based economy less vulnerable towards the oil prices by empowering its females. It is keen to enhance female workforce to 30% from current 22%. It also now focuses on opening sports avenues towards the Saudi females.

For Olympics representation, Saudi Arabia has doubled its female athletes.  Also last year it appointed its princess as a head at General Authority of Sports of women’s section. This authority looks upon women sports in Saudi Arabia. Princess Reema bint Bandar al-Saud who is a daughter of once powerful Prince Bandar bin Sultan says that soon they will be granting a license of segregated gyms for women as private gyms for women had been sealed by the authorities in 2009 and 2010.  Saudi Arabia is considered a conservative society, where women are prohibited from driving and face significant obstacles in practicing sports but the new reforms have opened avenues for women, even in sports. Women involved in sports were not encouraged, but now things are different.

Dana Al Gosaibi observes that a lot has been changed in past few years. Dana Al Gosaibi is a Saudi female horse trainer. Gosaibi had been living abroad for more than a decade and has returned to the Kingdom four years from now. Gosaibi has a passion for horses and wishes to have her own stables. The 35 years old passionate women learned her horse training skills in the United States and the Great Britain.  The trainer is very delighted to see authorities encouraging women for sports.

As she had to face many challenges at her time: the society found it hard to see an unmarried woman riding a horse. Women involved in sports were neither valued nor encouraged. But since last year’s reform Gosaibi is optimistic to experience a favorable climate to start a horse training business.  The Saudi women are becoming stronger and are having their own say. They are now taking horse training lessons, though facing difficulties because of pre-setting social norms. The female horse trainer who keeps two horses at Red Sea city of Jeddah has a very different approach to train horses: unlike using force she prefers to take time with the horse so that the animal can trust the rider.

The passionate lady believes that horses are central to Arabian culture. Females used to ride horses in Prophet’s era. Also, the nation is renowned for breeding the strong horses from which thoroughbreds are descendent.      Not only Dana Al Gosaibi observes that the Kingdom is keen to empower females in every possible field, but the world also reckons it. The united Nation Development Program (UNDP) has also praised Saudi women empowerment initiative.

Source: Gulf News

Saudi Heroes
  1. Dubai based Indian Businessman bails out 4,500 prisoners from the Jail
  2. Rania Nashar, the first female CEO of any Saudi Commercial Bank
  3. Erada Al-Harthy: A Saudi Daughter and Artist who overcame disability
  4. Hana Jamal Alooni: Saudi Arabia’s first female Sports Reporter
  5. “Your Face is not that of an Anchorwoman”, Story of a Saudi TV Reporter in the USA


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