Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Life in Saudi Arabia

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Thursday, 28 June 2018

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Thursday, 29 September 2016

11 days salary cut down for all government employees from Oct 01, 2016

Saudi government has made many changes in the pay structure of government employees this year which will take effect from the beginning of the Hijri year 1438. Custodian of two holy mosques in Saudi Arabia issued several royal decrees earlier in the week to address many changes in pay structure. You can read about them in detail in the below link. Currently, all government employees have been receiving salaries based upon Hijri calendar and in private sector, employees have been paid according to Gregorian calendar. In order to remove this inconsistency, Saudi government has decided to move to Gregorian calendar for the purpose of paying salaries. Recommended: King Salman cuts down salaries of all Govt. employees by up to 20%

In other words, from now onwards, all government employees will be paid according to Gregorian calendar. It is important to mention here that, on average a hijri year is of 354 days and a Gregorian year consists of 365 days. All government employees who had been enjoying receiving 11 days extra pay every year will not be able to enjoy it anymore. In one way, I think it is a very positive step taken by Saudi government to reduce disparity between government and private jobs. It has been observed from a long time that Saudi employees prefer government jobs due to many perquisites and salaries paid to government employees and hijri year was one of them.

If we make a simple mathematical exercise, we can establish the impact of this decision on your salary. Let’s say an employee earns SR 10,000 per month and SR 120,000 per annum. Government used to pay him SR 120,000 for 354 days of work i.e. SR 339 per day. Now with the move to Gregorian calendar, they will be paid same SR 120,000 per annum for 365 days. In other words, an employee who used to earn SR 10,000 per annum will lose around SR 3,700 per annum.

Earlier in the month, government announced an increase in fee of different categories of visas to Saudi Arabia. As a result of it, the visa cost for Family Visit visa, Exit Re-entry visa and Hajj and Umrah visa has been increased significantly. Recommended: Exit Re-Entry, Family Visit, Hajj, Umrah Visas Fee drastically increased

There is a rumor in the circulation that government is considering to increase the labor office fee from SR 2,400 to SR 6,000. Although Jawazat has clarified that no decision has been made so far about this matter. But they have not denied the fact that they are not going to increase the fee. Recommended: Jawazat Clarifies the increase in Labor Office Fee from SR 2,400 to SR 6,000

Source: Gulf News

Latest News: Jawazat Related
  1. Lawyers will be provided to Expatriates “Free of Cost” to Lodge Complaints – Labor Office
  2. Jawazat Clarifies the increase in Labor Office Fee from SR 2,400 to SR 6,000
  3. Exit Re-Entry, Family Visit, Hajj, Umrah Visas Fee drastically increased
  4. Shut down all small grocery stores (Baqalas) from Saudi Arabia – Shoura Council Member
  5. Expatriates can start 100% own business in Saudi Arabia – King Salman

Citizens would be able to drive their private cars as Taxis

Saudization is a process through which certain sectors of business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are employed with almost all Saudi employees or workers. This is done in a bid to tackle the unemployment rates of the local population in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Ministry of Transportation the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is now considering the option of allowing the Saudi nationals to use their own personal vehicles as taxis or cabs instead of making it compulsory for the Saudi nationals to have separate registered taxis for this sole purpose.

This will go on to encourage a huge number of Saudis to enter into the taxi or cab business, which will in return boost the rates at which the transport sector is being Saudized. This was stated by a source in the Ministry of Transport to the local media in Saudi Arabia. Currently it is illegal for anybody to use their private vehicles as commercial cabs or taxis and a relaxation of this rule will allow the employment to boost amongst the nationals. The sources have stated that there are popular firms in the transport of taxi business which could also be issued licenses and could be used as a medium in between the passengers and the Saudi cabbies. It is quite possible if and when the taxi companies comply with the new rules or standards which are set by the Ministry of Transport.

There are presently seven companies in total that are working in this field who are meeting all of the regulations and requirements and is being viewed in a positive light as it has caused a reduction in the congestion on the roads. The Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Transport has reached an agreement earlier last month that the public driver’s visa will not be issued, in a bid to ensure that the sector goes through Saudization properly.

The Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Labor have agreed that there should be a study conducted in order to properly determine the needs of the Saudi market. They have also stated that the car rental sector should be also categorized as a sort of transport activity rather than a retail or wholesale business. There are several other measures which have been agreed upon by the Ministry of Transport as well as the Ministry of Labor which includes the fact that the names of all these transport activities must be standardized amongst the two ministries. This will cover the transport of goods and transport of passengers intercity, between cities as well as international transportation of goods and people.

This new plan by the Ministry of Labor and Ministry of Transport will be essential and will play a pivotal role in the Saudization of the transport sector. There is a need to increase Saudization of the profitable and viable sectors of business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in order to tackle the domestic unemployment.

Source: Arab News

Other Issues related to Driving in KSA
  1. 4 reasons you should not be picking up hitchhikers in Saudi Arabia
  2. 37 Car Models have been banned from Importing to Saudi Arabia
  3. 5 Conditions under which you can demand a loaner car from your dealer in Saudi Arabia
  4. Top 10 Most Popular Car Models in Saudi Arabia
  5. Traffic Police cannot Arrest you without court order – Traffic Laws in Saudi Arabia

Beware of Online Begging Frauds – How does it work in Saudi Arabia?

Beggars have started using the various social media platforms and online sources where they are directing their posts and messages to attract sympathy via stories from inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Mohammad Al Sareai, an expert on information security, has stated that the revolution of information has been a major contributor to the widespread of electronic or online begging with the use of fabricated stories and forged documents, and also posting these on the various social networks such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter.

These types of people are usually looking to collect money for treatment of an illness or for a mosque, by using a fake account and nicknames, which has made electronic begging the latest means of fraud. Fraud and electronic begging are two sides to the same coin, and has been aimed to deceive the people into collecting funds illegally. The fraud crime is considered as the highest occurring cybercrime all over the world on the social networking platforms and websites. Al Sareai has added that the Article 4 of the Anti Cyber Law in the Kingdom covers the acquisition of bonds or movable property for oneself and signing such bonds via a fraudulent method such as using a false identity or name.

Any individual, who commits such a crime, shall be subjected to a maximum jail time of 3 years and a maximum monetary fine of SAR 2 million, or one of the punishments stated above. Sheikh Ahmed Al Muabi has stated that begging and cyber fraud has become common in our communities, and the worst part is that you cannot tell if they are lying or telling the truth, however it has become the new means of begging and everybody should be cautious about such people.

He added that there is no doubt that we as humans feel compassion and sympathy, however before donating, we should first completely investigate the source, as God has made it clear as to who the Zakat or donations should be given to. A sociology counselor from the University of Umm Al Qura, Dr. Mohammed Kisnawi has stated that any person should be dealing with such messages with extreme cautions and has advised all generous people to visit charities themselves before donating.

He added that we should not be forgetting that there is a dire need to educate the individuals on the circulation of news about any individual or person who donates or gives Zakat, where and when this inadvertently helps in increasing or encouraging the phenomenon of begging and fraud. Kisnawi further stated that the society should be completely aware of the huge risk associate with circulating such messages, and should rather be making sure to report these messages to the concerned authorities. A family and community medicine consultant at the King Khalid University, Khaled Al Jelban has stated that the families must educate the children about the various practices of begging which are prevalent on the various social media platforms.

Source: Arab News

Latest News - Fraud Cases in Saudi Arabia
  1. Anti-Begging Law - Beggars to be fined with SR 30,000 and Jailed for 2 Years
  2. Beggars receive SR 700 million in Charity every year in Saudi Arabia
  3. Saudi Women prefer selling tissues over begging in streets
  4. Begging, an Organized Crime in Saudi Arabia
  5. Bank Balance of a Beggar in Kuwait = SR 6.2 million

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

How to calculate Water, Sanitary and Sewage bill in Saudi Arabia?

The awareness campaign for the rationalization of water consumption has been launched by the Ministry of Water in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It has explained in an extremely simple manner, the way in which the water and sanitary drainage bills are calculated. This was reported on Sunday by the Saudi Press Agency. The very simple method used to calculate the water bill, will be as follows;

  1. 15 cubic meters @ SAR 0.10 = SAR 1.5 (first 15 cubic meters)
  2. 15 cubic meters @ SAR 1 = SAR 15 (next 15 cubic meters)
  3. 10 cubic meters @ SAR 3 = SAR 30 (next 10 cubic meters)

Hence it can be easily calculated that the total cost of 40 cubic meters of water will cost SAR 46.5. However what is not shown above is the 50 percent sanitary drainage service charges, if the services for sanitary drainage are available in the area. The total monetary sum for a home bill for sanitary drainage and water should be expected at around SAR 69.75. This new campaign by the authorities has stated that the monthly bills for water will start to rise in accordance to the five segments which have been shown below. I hope that this simple yet extensive breakdown will help everybody understand where they stand and how the new campaign will cause their water and / or sanitary drainage services to change.

  1. Those homes with Downwards of 15 cubic meters of water consumption will be charged at the rate of SAR 0.1 per cubic meter plus an additional SAR 0.05 for the sanitary drainage services. Hence it will bring the maximum bill for these households to SAR 1.55.
  2. Those homes that have water consumption between 16 to 30 cubic meters of water will be charged at the rate of SAR 1 per cubic meter of water plus an additional SAR 0.5 for the sanitary drainage services. This will bring their total monthly bill to a maximum amount of SAR 30.5.
  3. Homes which consume 31 to 45 cubic meters of water during 1 month will be charged at the rate of SAR 3 per cubic meter of water plus an additional SAR 1.5 for the sanitary drainage services. This will bring the maximum bill for this segment at SAR 136.5.
  4. Those homes that consume between 46 to 60 cubic meters of water will be charged at the rate of SAR 4 per meter of water that they consume, plus an additional charge of SAR 2 for the sanitary drainage services. This will bring the maximum monthly bill for this segment to around SAR 242.
  5. Those households which consume upwards of 60 cubic meters will be charged at the rate of SAR 6 per cubic meter of water that they consume, plus an additional charge of SAR 3 for the sanitary drainage service charges. The minimum bill for households under this segment will be SAR 363 per month.

Source: Saudi Gazette

Miscellaneous Information about KSA
  1. Electricity Tariff Rates in Saudi Arabia
  2. How to Check Electricity Bill Online in Saudi Arabia?
  3. 10 Useful Water Saving Tips at your Home
  4. Are you drinking Contaminated Bottled Water?
  5. Sewage Water in Al Aziziah, Al Hamra affects the image of Jeddah

Why fathers don’t forgive their daughters’ for immoral mistakes?

Every single time, that I have read a piece about a woman who has run away from her home, or a young woman who has been caught with a non-relative man, or has been busted with drugs, there is immense sadness which takes over. The only silver lining which I see out of each and every piece is a positive follow up story about the very same woman and how she has learnt a lesson during her time in prison and she also repents her actions. This is however short lived. Naturally everybody is left staggered when they read about a guardian or father of the convicted young women who straight out refuse to collect their daughter who has become a righteous and good person.

Regardless of how hard people try in order to convince the father, he remains adamant and refuses to be associated with their own daughter. It is mind boggling why the fathers do this, especially at such a time, when the daughter needs them the most. Why do they take the easy way out and abandon their own blood? These young women have made a mistake, much like young men and every other human being, and they have paid the price and repented in prison for having brought dishonor to the family. Fathers, being men, often tend to forget some mistakes that they must have done in their lives, and their parents forgave them. Do their daughters not deserve a similar chance?

Why do they have separate values for men and different for the women. How dare they deem it fit to forgive themselves but not their daughters? Some might say that the fathers are to blame for the mistakes committed by their daughter. Where had they been while their daughters were heading down the wrong path? I cannot say if the readers will agree upon this issue or not, however I would like to say that a man who stands by his wife through thick and thin is someone to be respected far more than some weak man who leaves their wife or daughter at the first problem or first instance of trouble.

There are some men out there who have supported their wives and daughters when the society accused them of immoral acts and all sorts of accusations, and they are men who should be truly respected. Men have also hired lawyers and given their full on support to acquit their wives and daughters of any fraudulent or wrongful accusations placed upon them.

I strongly believe that a change is needed, a change in the way that we see those women who have made mistakes. Some of the fathers are only concerned about their reputation and family name, and will go to any length to protect them both, even to the extent of abandoning their daughters. There are also those fathers who really want to help out their daughters; however they are afraid for their own reputations.

Source: Saudi Gazette

Saudi Culture
  1. Dangers associated with carcasses on roadsides in Saudi Arabia
  2. 10 Awesome Gifts you can present to your mother on Mother’s Day
  3. 5 situations where there is a huge difference between our actions and words
  4. 5 reasons, Saudi Arabia is the 2nd happiest nation in the Arab World
  5. Saudis with misspelled names which do not exist in Arabic Language

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

5 Problems caused by stray camels and barns in the Holy City of Madina

The presence of the stray camels and also large numbers of barns or animal enclosure within the residential districts in Madinah has become sort of a nightmare for the residents of the holy city of Madinah. The citizens have urged the mayoralty to take strong measures against this negative occurrence in order to prevent the widespread of several diseases such as MERS and asthma too. The stray camels have become a norm of the order of a day in Madinah and nobody can harass or question any animals which move around the city comfortably and peacefully, The Arabic daily Al Madina has stated during an investigative report which highlighted the issues which were tarnishing the image of Madinah.

  1. The citizens know that these barns have been constructed inside the districts illegally and their establishment is a clear sign that there is negligence somewhere amongst the concerned authorities. The citizens of Madinah now fear for their lives as these animals spread highly contagious diseases.
  2. Cameras can easily show you stray camels waking in the Khaleel district where a huge number of these camels gather everyday creating huge traffic problems.
  3. Some of these camels also block the roads and break into houses. Several other camels can also be found near the Sheep Market and the districts neighboring the sheep market.
  4. Saleh Al Hojaili has stated that the owners of these barns do not maintain them or even spray them with insecticide to minimize the negative impact created by these barns on the public. Hence these barns have turned into the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes and deadly viruses which have caused people to keep their windows shut even in the unforgiving Saudi Summer Season. Other citizens further stated that the owners of these barns and animals should understand the grave risks to humans posed by these animals through the Coronavirus.
  5. A nasty smell also comes from these barns, especially more so during times of rain. This further leads to air contamination and also releases a huge number of infectious mosquitoes in to the environment.

As a result several people have called for the shifting of these barns to the places on the outskirts of these residential districts. Yousuf Al Otaibi, a citizen of Madinah has backed the proposal amongst other citizens and he wants to have the barns located in Taibah districts to be shifted to any place away from the homes of the people. He also expressed his serious concerns over the inaction by the authorities against the constructions of such barns inside the residential districts. Al Otaibi added that at the very least the owners of the barns should ensure that their animals do not escape the enclosure and cause problems for the people of the area.

Source: Saudi Gazette

Saudi Culture
  1. 7 Tips to avoid Car Accidents involving Camels in Saudi Arabia
  2. A Kiss to Camel could be the Kiss of Death
  3. Electronic Chips to be injected in Camels in Saudi Arabia
  4. 8 Health Benefits of Drinking Camel Milk
  5. The Camel Beauty Festival in Saudi Arabia

What happens when you don’t switch off your mobile phone during flight?

Have you ever wondered why it is that every time your flight is about to take off, the staff on board kindly asks you to turn off all mobile phones? By not turning on the flight mode option available on almost every mobile phone, while you are flying is not very likely to bring down the entire plane; however it is highly possible that it can create problems for the people who are flying the aircraft. While there is very little danger caused by leaving the connection of the phone on, while you are flying, the signals from your mobile phone can interfere with the communications system on board and will cause a problem for the pilot.

The main problem caused by the pilot will be the slow percussive thumping which can be heard when a phone rings close to or next to a speaker, as the same sound may be heard through the headsets which are worn by the pilots. However even this occurrence is very rare. Out of 50 flights, the pilots on board might hear this irritating noise only once or twice. Till now it is not clear whether these small problems are due to some rare issue, or it is because the people on board will mostly remember to turn off their phones. Sometimes even the larger communications problems will come into effect. At least one individual has interrupted one of the radio calls between the traffic control, and the plane they are in.

This statistic has been reported by the Mail, and is potentially a huge safety hazard for not only the plane, but the hundreds of people who might be seated on the plane. They may inadvertently cause problems for other planes in the sky and the passengers seated in them too. However generally leaving the flight mode off is not very likely to stir up any sort of big problems or trouble.

Some of the airlines now even allow their passengers to use a special version of their telecommunication network, which allows the people on board to connect on to a special carrier while they are still in the air, and then that carrier will allow them to send and receive text messages as well as answer and make calls too.  These are however charged at a higher rate than the normal call and text message rate provided by your service provider.

I do have to urge though, as somebody who is absolutely horrified of flying, that some of us on board (yes there are always many of my kind on board) are hoping for a smooth flight so don’t do anything which might increase the chances of having an issue or problem during the flight or while taking off and landing. I must admit that I once did sleep off on the plane before I had the chance to turn my phone off, and nothing happened.

Airlines Experience
  1. 10 things Flight Attendants judge about you when you enter an Airplane
  2. Woman Gives Birth on Saudi Airline Flight SV 21 to New York
  3. Saudi Airlines Hostesses are one of the best in Business
  4. Why do Airplanes have round windows?
  5. 7 Categories of people who can use VIP lounges at Saudi Airports


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