Understanding Saudi Law is made easier

Until now, there were significant challenges in understanding how Islamic Law (Sharia) is applied in Saudi Arabia. One main issue was the tendency to interpret the law out of context or ignore relevant circumstances, leading to blind adherence without considering the specific situation. This is changing.

Society


The History of Al Kiswa

The History of Al Kiswa

The annual replacement of the Kiswa, the covering of the Kaaba, is a significant event in the Islamic calendar which takes place during the month of Hajj. In this post, I will talk about history and details of this process.

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From A Saudi Point Of View

From A Saudi Point Of View

I often get asked about the changes that have taken place in Saudi Arabia since 2016, both from a social and geopolitical perspective, and how people’s perceptions and lives have altered due to these changes.

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Mecca’s Transformation: Adapting to Hajj Growth

Mecca’s Transformation: Adapting to Hajj Growth

The video showcases pervasive construction work in Mecca, particularly around Masjid al-Haram, the Grand Mosque. This ongoing development of the city has taken place over several years in stages, aiming to accommodate the growing number of pilgrims annually. The Saudi...

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Understanding Population: A Shift in Saudi Perspective

Understanding Population: A Shift in Saudi Perspective

Last week, the Saudi government released precise population figures for the first time in 12 years. In a country where such disclosure was previously met with societal resistance, what has changed to transform people’s mindset about population counting?

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The Saudi Love For Music

The Saudi Love For Music

Saudi Arabia’s government is training kindergarten teachers for music instruction, marking a significant change in an education system that didn’t formerly include music. This shift, combined with a growing music scene, poses the question: Has this cultural shift affected Saudis’ music tastes, causing divergence from other cultures?

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Taif, Saudi Arabia’s former Summer Capital

Taif, Saudi Arabia’s former Summer Capital

Located in the western Makkah Province of Saudi Arabia, Taif is known as the “City of Roses.” This nickname stems from its being the home of 700 farms where roses are grown, which are used in the production of rose water and rose oil.

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Women moving forward in the Gulf

Women moving forward in the Gulf

I came across this article by Sinem Cengiz, on the journey of Gulf women in breaking into traditionally male-dominated sectors unfolds. From gradual progress to persistent challenges, she explores the current landscape, shedding light on the crucial role played by government initiatives in promoting their successful inclusion.

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A science initiative for the next generation

A science initiative for the next generation

A new center for science and technology called ‘ilmi’ will be launched in Saudi Arabia to encourage scientific curiosity among youth as well as develop their skills, Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday. This center is a great start, and other initiatives like this are needed to shape Saudi Arabia’s future.

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Unveiling Saudi Women’s Abilities: Driving Gender Equality

Unveiling Saudi Women’s Abilities: Driving Gender Equality

Saudi Arabia’s first space mission is scheduled to launch on May 21, with Saudi Arabia’s first ever astronauts Rayyanah Barnawi, the first Arab Muslim female astronaut, and Ali al-Qarni on board. Rayyanah is the latest in series of Saudi development process for women. In recent years, Saudi women have been making great strides in the country’s workforce.

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Smartphone Craze: Socializing Takes Back Seat

Smartphone Craze: Socializing Takes Back Seat

This cartoon in Saudi daily alyuam newspaper, illustrates that now in society, no one is willing to let go of their IPhone, no matter the occasion. It is a sad and concerning phenomenon where people seem to forget the ones next to them, and instead of warm...

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Kabsa: The Dish at the Heart of Saudi Cuisine

Kabsa: The Dish at the Heart of Saudi Cuisine

Step beyond oil and desert to uncover Kabsa. Much like the UK’s love for Fish and Chips, Kabsa holds a dear place in the hearts of Saudis. Explore the origins of this dish, its connection to Spanish Paella, and its role in Saudi Arabia’s gastronomic heritage.

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Integrity Boost: New Rules for Saudi Transparency

Integrity Boost: New Rules for Saudi Transparency

This month, as part of its modernization efforts, Saudi Arabia’s Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority (ZATCA) has issued new customs rules for travellers carrying cash, gold, and jewels into the Kingdom. These updated regulations are an important part of the country’s transformative economic strategy, which includes a series of bold reforms aimed at creating a stable and prosperous future for the Saudi society.

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Jeddah: A Gateway to Diversity in Saudi Arabia

Jeddah: A Gateway to Diversity in Saudi Arabia

Numerous boats from Sudan continue to arrive at the port of Jeddah, which has long served as the entrance to Saudi Arabia for people from all over the world who have come to settle in the country. As a Jeddawi, I will take my readers on a journey to explore the rich history and cultural tapestry that has made Jeddah a symbol of tolerance, where diverse cultures coexist harmoniously.

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Saudi Women Soldiers’ Bravery in Sudan Aid

Saudi Women Soldiers’ Bravery in Sudan Aid

This photograph depicts a female Saudi soldier carrying a child during the Saudi relief mission in Sudan. The accomplishments of the Saudi troops, who helped rescue 2232 individuals from 67 different countries, were widely covered by international media.

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Saudi Arabia: Striking a Balance between Oil and Sustainability

Saudi Arabia: Striking a Balance between Oil and Sustainability

Explore how Saudi Arabia, as the leading oil producer, is working towards a sustainable future through initiatives like the National Renewable Energy Program and Circular Carbon Economy. Learn about the challenges and demands of the Saudi environment, and how young Saudis are contributing to a greener future.

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Celebrating Eid After Ramadan in Saudi Arabia

Celebrating Eid After Ramadan in Saudi Arabia

Discover the joy and traditions of celebrating Eid in Saudi Arabia after Ramadan. From special prayers to visiting family and exchanging gifts, learn about the customs that make this holiday so special for so many.

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Western journalist dispels Saudi cliches in video

Western journalist dispels Saudi cliches in video

Cliches about Saudi Arabia have persisted for a long time and still exist today. Despite efforts by the Saudi government and many Saudis to change this perception, prejudice against the country and its people can still be felt, particularly in areas such as women’s...

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How Saudis Observe Ramadan

How Saudis Observe Ramadan

In Saudi Arabia, Ramadan is a month of religious significance and community. From the announcement of the start of the holy month to the completion of the reading of the Quran, Saudis come together in faith and devotion. This article explores the traditions and practices observed during Ramadan, including the importance of Iftar and Taraweeh prayers.

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Challenges of Implementing AI in Gulf Education System

Challenges of Implementing AI in Gulf Education System

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in schools? It might sound like a futuristic dream, but according to Bahraini researcher Omar Al-Ubaydli, it’s a necessary step for the Gulf education system. In a recent article, Al-Ubaydli urges educators to embrace AI and incorporate it into their classrooms.

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How Muslims Around the World Celebrate Ramadan

How Muslims Around the World Celebrate Ramadan

On the 23rd of March is the first day of Ramadan in Saudi Arabia and many Muslim countries. Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which is observed by Muslims worldwide through fasting and other religious practices. For Saudis like all Muslims around the world, Ramadan’s significance as a time for spiritual and physical discipline, prayer, acts of charity, and connecting with God.

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Saudi Arabia’s Focus: Cultivating a National Identity

Saudi Arabia’s Focus: Cultivating a National Identity

Saudi Arabia is promoting its cultural heritage and national pride, moving away from its conservative past. With a young population, the aim is to shape the country’s future by uniting Saudis through their cultural identity. The government is investing in the national...

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Exploring Saudi Arabian Airbnb: The Potential for Success

Exploring Saudi Arabian Airbnb: The Potential for Success

In 2021, a German adventurer embarked on a journey through Saudi Arabia and decided to document his experiences in a unique way - by couch surfing. Stephan Orth's idea was a bold one, given that Saudi Arabia is not typically thought of as a tourist destination, and...

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GCC Efforts To Aid Syria and Turkey

GCC Efforts To Aid Syria and Turkey

GCC rescue teams have joined the international efforts to help the people of Turkey and Syria after the catastrophic earthquake. The wider population has started to make efforts to assist by collecting clothes, medicine and other things that are needed.   Saudi...

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Arab Traditions on UNESCO Heritage List

Arab Traditions on UNESCO Heritage List

UNESCO's Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage were first started in 2008, to highlight and safeguard intangible knowledge and traditions that make up our cultural world heritage, such as the art of Arabic calligraphy and falconry (both listed in 2021), camel racing...

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Weather Changing in Saudi Arabia

Weather Changing in Saudi Arabia

Every year, I see pictures of snow falling in Saudi Arabia and I have to remind myself of the size of the country and its geographical variety and weather. This month, in the west of Saudi Arabia where I have lived, we were excited for temperatures falling to 17°C...

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Follow Book Discussion: State And Tribe in GCC

This is a fascinating topic. Tribes matter a great deal in some parts of the Saudi Arabia and less in other, such as the Western Province. It will be interesting to understand the nature of this relation. It has been and is an important factor in political system of...

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Be Aware of Fake Hajj2022 Tours

The Hajj 2022 season has started, with numbers back to pre-COVID levels. For the first time since 2020. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous criminals offer fraudulent Hajj packages online, which some eager pilgrims fall for. It is not easy getting a permit to perform...

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Women of Ancient Arabia: Power and Wisdom

This article is about and on the heroic Arab women in ancient Arabia. Many of their stories remain unknown or forgotten with little information available on their life journeys for power and wisdom. The article is written by Saudi historian and author Dr. Hatoon...

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Saudis Must Look for a New Moral Compass

Saudis Must Look for a New Moral Compass

Saudi Arabia has had an enormous facelift in the past 6 years. The effects of modernization are fundamental and have benefited the economy and society a great deal in its process of development. Will the opportunities be used wisely by a society that has experienced...

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Couch Surfing in Saudi Arabia

Travel writer Stephan Orth went to Saudi Arabia with a tourist visa and shares what he experienced as a couchsurfer. He pointed out the fantastic hospitality. Stephan Orth wollte testen wie ernst #SaudiArabien es mit seiner Tourismus Offensive meint. Hier sein „Test...

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Destination Saudi Arabia (Part 2 )

Destination Saudi Arabia (Part 2 )

Destination Saudi Arabia (Part 2) Targeting foreign tourists to Saudi Arabia faces some obstacles that must be taken into consideration by the authorities. On top of obvious geopolitical risks and the occasionally negative press surrounding Saudi Arabia, more specific...

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Travel Destination Saudi Arabia (Part 1)

Travel Destination Saudi Arabia (Part 1)

Once considered one of the most difficult countries to visit, boosting tourism in Saudi Arabia is in full flight. By launching new cultural festivals, sporting events like the Dakar Rallye, easing visa restrictions, opening new tourist sites Saudi Arabia is clearly...

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The Role of Tribalism in Modern Saudi Arabia

The Role of Tribalism in Modern Saudi Arabia

Much has been written on tribes in Saudi Arabia. Non-Saudis, even expatriates living in Saudi Arabia, tend to have misconceptions about tribes and their role in Saudi society, and most English language authors who write about the country appear to know little about the subject.

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12th Arab Youth Survey 2020: An In-depth Insight on Arab Youth

12th Arab Youth Survey 2020: An In-depth Insight on Arab Youth

This month ASDA’A BCW, a public relations consultancy, presented its 12th Arab Youth Survey. The annual survey is an independent study on Arab youth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and their opinions on a range of subjects. Conducted by interviewing...

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Haddad: Saudi Arabia’s Outlook Still Positive

Haddad: Saudi Arabia’s Outlook Still Positive

For statesmen worldwide would not mind a crystal ball that tells them how they can fix economies and societies after the Corona crisis. The fear is big for economic collapse and loss. Carmen Haddad, CEO of Citi SaudiArabia is a voice that sees KSA’s future positively.

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Saudi Arabia’s Pandemic Response

Saudi Arabia’s Pandemic Response

CarnegieMEC Badr Alseif reflects on how history and current development strategy defined Saudi Arabia’s handling of the crisis.
He states the different approaches taken by Saudi and Iran protecting religious sites.

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Ramadan under Covid-19 in Saudi Arabia

Ramadan under Covid-19 in Saudi Arabia

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, this year Ramadan in the Saudi Arabia and the entire Muslim world will not be the same.

On 10 April, the government in Saudi Arabia announced it what it considers the last in a series of restrictions which it has imposed on the nation to combat COVID-19, even before the first case was reported in the country. The holy cities of Makkah and Madinah will shut down completely. In addition, no prayers will take place in the holy mosques of Makkah or Madinah, or any other mosques in the country. People may only move within their district, from 8 AM to 3 PM, and only to shop for food or medicines.

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Saudis in Lockdown

Saudis in Lockdown

At first, I could not grasp the depression that overcame me with the gradual lockdown. I tried to reason with myself, but still continued feeling trapped.

Like many other cities in the world, Dubai went into lockdown. The closure happened gradually, making it easier for citizens to adjust overtime in anticipation of the upcoming situation, thus avoiding the shock of an instant shutdown.

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Is Clean Energy a Catalyst for Females in Business?

Is Clean Energy a Catalyst for Females in Business?

I came across this article published by the London School of Economics written by Saudi researcher Aisha Al-Sarihi. I liked the piece because it combines three important factors for the future of Saudi economy; women, energy and employment. And shows how changing mindset is important to realize economic development in Saudi Arabia.

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The 1979 Grand Mosque Seizure – 40 Years Later (Part 2)

The 1979 Grand Mosque Seizure – 40 Years Later (Part 2)

In the siege of Makkah in 1979, many of Juhayman’s followers were theology students at the Islamic University of Medinah. There, Juhayman had joined a fundamentalist Salafi group that was headed by the renowned Sheikh bin Baz. The group’s followers preached for a return to Islam in its original form in mosques in Saudi Arabia fearing no arrests; the government was reluctant to confront religious extremists underestimating the danger of this group. When Juhayman, al-Qahtani and other group members were locked up as troublemakers in 1978 for the first time, the religious authorities investigated them for heresy, but decided that they were traditionalists and should be released and no serious allegations to keep them jailed.

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The 1979 Grand Mosque Seizure – 40 Years Later (Part 1)

The 1979 Grand Mosque Seizure – 40 Years Later (Part 1)

On 20 November 1979, about 300 heavily armed men assaulted the Grand Mosque of Makkah, the Masjid Al Haram. Within minutes, they had transformed the holiest place in Islam into a fortress and taken thousands of worshippers hostage. The siege shocked Saudi Arabia to its core throwing it into decades of extremism. It is less known and understood than it should be because it had a deep influence on the thinking of religious extremists for years to come.

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Jeddah Autism Center (JAC): A Kind Gesture Comes of Age

JAC (Jeddah Autism Center) celebrated its 25 years anniversary on April, 2nd 2019. At that time there was little awareness and acceptance of autism in society. Today, it is a different picture.  

In 2009 I visited the JAC at its first location. The center was located in a small villa with less than 20 staff members. There, I met with a handful of employees from the JAC and administration staff from the Al-Faisaliya Welfare Society. The atmosphere was full of enthusiasm for the new project, as it was the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia with huge demand. But the plan seemed to be incomplete at that time; it was not fully organized and many questions such as resources, educational system etc. seemed to hang in the air.

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Saudi Society Rediscovered: Abdulaziz AlKhedir’s Book on Saudi Arabia

This month, I came across a book on my shelf that I had bought many years ago but never read. It is called “Saudi Arabia: Biography and Nation”, written by Abdulaziz AlKhedir. The book is only available in Arabic, no English version. I found this book very informative on Saudi society and would like to share it with my readers.

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From New Saudi Arabia to New Pakistan

My colleague blogger and fellow journalist Sabena Saddiqi wrote this post exclusively for Saudi Times on the occasion of the visit of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman to Pakistan this week. She comments and analyses the visit from a Pakistani perspective.

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New Saudi Decrees: The Future Looks Bright

The many royal Saudi decrees announced last week made some wonder if this is still Saudi Arabia. The latest is that the Kingdom is to host the first Arab Fashion Week in Riyadh this month and females between the age of 25-35 can apply for soldiers in the army. All announcements reflect the government’s efforts to reach economic prosperity through implementing proper social freedom. Not only to gain economic growth but also to give the stolen rights back to the society.

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Visa Regulations in Saudi Arabia: Welcome Tourists!

Visa Regulations in Saudi Arabia: Welcome Tourists!

On many fronts, Saudi Arabia could be described as one of the most interesting places in the world. With a young visionary transforming the country, and 70% of the people below the age of 30, many from around the world find themselves intrigued to pay this country a visit.

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New Saudi Decrees Stun the Nation

New Saudi Decrees Stun the Nation

The many royal Saudi decrees announced last week made some wonder if this is still Saudi Arabia. The latest is that the Kingdom is to host the first Arab Fashion Week in Riyadh this month. All announcements reflect the government’s efforts to reach economic prosperity through implementing proper social freedom. Not only to gain economic growth but also to give the stolen rights back to the society.

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Saudi Women Driving the Economy Now

The ban on Saudi women driving has tormented the ladies for decades. The ban on female driving has become a cliché for the Kingdom, along with oil, camels, and deserts.

The Royal Decree (link: https://nyti.ms/2yqK5k4) issued on 25th September 2017 lifted the ban on women driving. The change will however take effect June 2018, subject to availability of driving instructors for women.

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Developing the Saudi Austerity Plan

The Saudi austerity plan is well underway. On January 1st, 2018, Saudi Arabia and the UAE introduced 5% VAT on services and goods.

Five percent is not a big amount, but energy, water, and electricity prices went up because subsidies were cut. Saudi Arabia has been experiencing a price hike since 2005. Over the years, many new Saudi taxes were introduced on electricity, water, labor, and some government and private services. Prices have gone up further in the past 2 years. This puts more burdens on Saudi households with monthly income lower than SAR 4,400/US$1200. But there were protections as well.

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The Poetess: The Makkah deal and its impact on Saudi society

Understanding the Saudi society requires a lot of patience and research. The society is weaved with intricate patterns of religion, culture, rules and a desire to break free. On the last day of this year’s Dubai Film Festival, I watched the documentary “The Poetess”.

It is an international co-production. The story and characters are Saudi. However, the two film directors were German, so was the funding. The film had German and UAE production as well.

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The Truth Behind Saudi Royal Arrests

Saudi Arrests: Monday marked the first month since the Saudi arrests of princes. Along with many corrupt politicians and businessmen in Saudi Arabia.

These Saudi arrests shook the whole world. At first, Saudi citizens did not know how to comprehend and react to these happenings. The Saudi arrests raised piles of questions concerning Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman’s behavior since becoming deputy crown prince in 2015. When he first appeared on the political scene, the political and socio-economic lifestyle in the country was ambiguous. On one hand was authoritarianism, on the other, an unusual transparency. The aim of the Saudi arrests was to collect unlawfully gained money. The accused had made these deals through their positions of influence in government and business sectors.

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Saudi Corruption & The Jeddah Disasters

For decades, Saudi corruption has had deep roots in Saudi Arabia. The public has been cheated-off of its rights to a safe and healthy living environment. Every major scandal has a top-rated official attached to it, an untouchable.

I started working as a journalist with Arab News in the early 1990s. That’s when a friend alerted me about a lot of raw sewage being dumped in the desert round Jeddah. Sensing a good story, I approached an editor for the green light for the story. I was told that this was too hot a topic to touch. Apparently, the people responsible for the mess were too important to be criticized in public.

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How Saudi Vision 2030 is Reshaping the Saudi Image Globally

It is not unusual for Saudi Arabia to be criticized in the international media. Favorite recurring topics in the past have been lack of women’s rights, religious intolerance, old and indecisive leadership, and corruption. Fair enough, all those criticisms were justified and based on fact. But the Saudi leadership has taken steps to change this in the form of Saudi Vision 2030.

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Saudi Corruption: The End to Baksheesh?

Saudi Corruption: On Saturday 3rd November, guests at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh received an urgent notice to vacate the hotel by 11 PM. The notice went on to state . “unfortunately, we will not be able to grant an extension request due to high-security procedures dictated by the higher authorities”.

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Creating Jobs for the Needy Will Prosper the Saudi Economy

Creating Jobs for the Needy Will Prosper the Saudi Economy

Creating Jobs For The Needy Will Prosper The Saudi Economy Like Nothing Else!

This week, the Al Nafa Charity in Makkah announced its venture of creating jobs for empowering Saudis. It would train 100 Saudi women and men (20% females, 80% males) to cook and operate food trucks in Jeddah. The project named “Al Kasb Al Tayb – Good Earning” gives trainees the opportunity, once they successfully pass the training, to own the trucks. The idea was generated through the trucks that have already been distributing food to poor families. The charity revolves around the idea that people who come from those needy areas can own the truck, have a job and support their families.

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Start of Commercial Courts in Saudi Arabia After 10 Years of Delay

Start Of Commercial Courts In Saudi Arabia After 10 Years Of Delay!

Arab News announced on Tuesday that Saudi Justice Minister Walid Al-Samaani has officially launched commercial courts. These courts had been operating officially since mid-September. In his speech at the inaugural ceremony, Al-Samaani said that the role of the three commercial courts in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam is to enhance the business environment. Encouraging investment and boosting economic development will achieve this. All in line with Saudi Vision 2030 objectives. The new measures will uphold the rights of people and ensure healthy business environment.

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Saudi Arabia and Women Rights

Poor women’s rights are associated with Saudi Arabia. It remains a big question mark how the government will create a change – despite its so many tiny efforts.

If you were a Saudi woman, like me, I am not sure how you would feel about all the recent talk about more rights for women. Not to forget the ongoing difficult status of women in Saudi Arabia. Honestly, I don’t know. It is a roller coaster of emotions that takes me from despair to ecstatic excitement on being a Saudi woman. Though, as said, it is never a set feeling or reaction.

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Saudi Arabia: Making Sense of the Recent Royal Shuffle

Significant cabinet and non-cabinet changes, and a long overdue TV interview by MbS. Still the dots of vision cannot be fully connected.

Last week, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave an interview to selected Saudi TV channels. There aren’t many anyway. The interview was more of a Q&A session on Vision 2030 left an impression of justification on the audience for the painful steps taken. Taking through from Aramco’s IPO, unemployment, reinserted allowances, housing, Iran but not women. They were not mentioned at all. With a fatherly protective tone combined with a fair share of simplicity reflecting openness mixed with transparency, build up the trust needed.

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In Defence of Women’s Rights

Saudi Arabia has been voted onto the UN women’s rights commission last week. On the same day, Majlis Al Shoura members rejected a proposal to establish sports colleges for women 76:73.

No, this is not a joke, seriously. Along with other 48 countries Saudi Arabia will promote the role of women in societies and defend their rights.  Hmm, seriously, how?

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Story of Dina: Running Away with a Reason

Saudi Arabia has the image – rightly so – suppressing women. Last week a Saudi woman Dina, in a bold act, was caught back home by her family on her flight to seek freedom in Australia and rose outrage. Was this the only solution to seek freedom?

Dina Ali Saloom’s case drew a lot of attention on social media, human rights organization called for her immediate release condemning Saudi Arabia’s human rights records and of course a Twitter hashtag was created to save her.

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Aramco: Reduction of Taxes on Income from Oil

Aramco: Tax reduction was one of three solutions to make the Armco IPO worth $2 trillion

After months of speculation on the Saudi Aramco IPO – which is planned for next year– the Saudi government took on Monday a serious step towards making the transaction possible. A new regulation was announced changing the income tax payable by Saudi Aramco from 85% to 50%, with the cut backdated to 1st January.

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Saudi Arabia: Launched a girls’ council without women

Saudi Women: Creating a girls’ council in one of the most conservative regions in Saudi is a great step and much needed. Yet there were no women seen on stage at the launch, adding more to the contradictions in people’s mind.

Through Vision 2030, the Saudi Arabian government wants everything to be better. The work and life situation of women is a major item on that list.

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China and the Tough Choices

King Salman’s tour of Asia (specially China) is significant. Not only in its size (1,500 people, among them 25 princes and ten ministers), but, more importantly, in the messages which Saudi Arabia wants to convey to its Asian friends and partners.

The majority of Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports end up here, as do two-thirds of its oil exports. The economic path and development of Asia will have a major effect on Saudi Arabia’s trade profile, especially in the current, somehow difficult, economic situation. The trip can be divided into two parts: South East Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei) and the Far East (China and Japan).

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Saudi Aramco: To List or not to List on Saudi Oil Giant

Last week Okaz, a semi-official newspaper, said that Saudi Aramco is considering offering shares to Saudi citizens.

Sources ‘familiar with the matter’ say that Saudi Aramco internally has discussed on how to do the IPO structure so that Saudi retail investors can get in on the deal cheaper than through international exchanges. Traditionally, Saudi Arabia offers shares in government-owned companies, such as it did with Saudi Telecom (STC), Saudi Electricity (SEC), SABIC and others. Shares are sold at a set price of about $2.67 – in an effort to redistribute wealth among the local population. An Islamic charity mentality, or don’t ask me what I am doing with the money.

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Saudi News Roundup – 13th February 2017

Saudi Arabia And The How To Change

The Interview of Saudi Arabian Oil, Energy and Industry Minister Khalid Al Falih 2 weeks ago was part of a larger BBC interview. Both TV and online reports appeared over the last two days.

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Saudi News Roundup – 9th February 2017

Small Boutique for Aramco’s IPO

One can hardly assume that charity is behind Saudi Aramco’s decision to hire Moelis & Co as the sole independent advisor on its huge public offering.

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Saudi News Roundup – 2 February 2017

Off the List, Certainly US and The Oldies Are Back

Shall we start with VAT, or rather the concert of the always-will-be loved-oldies singers of Saudi Arabia? Perhaps the interview with Minister Al-Falih at the BBC, when the interviewer could no longer follow him at some point?

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Saudi News Roundup – 4th December 2016

OPEC Agrees, Women Doing More And Freezing Temperatures 

OPEC reached its first agreement since 2008 on oil output cuts after Saudi Arabia accepted “a big hit” on its production and dropped its demand to Iran to slash output, pushing up crude prices by around 10 percent. Fast-growing producer Iraq also agreed to curtail its booming output, while non-OPEC Russia will join output cuts for the first time in 15 years to help the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries prop up oil prices.

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Saudi News Roundup – 19th November 2016

Secret to be Lifted

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, told the Financial Times that Saudi Arabia will reveal the size of its oil reserves. “This is going to be the most transparent national oil company listing of all time.”.

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Saudi News Roundup – 4th November 2016

Changing of the Guard, Many Visitors and Stock Market Open for Investment This week Saudi Arabia got a new finance minister. The old one, Dr Ibrahim Al Assaf, 67, was released of his duties after 20 years in office. He was one of the last of the old guard of Saudi...

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Saudi News Roundup – 30th October 2016

Houthi Militias Attack Makkah, Lagarde’s Visit and A Peaceful Nuclear Deal

On Friday, Houthi militias targeted the city of Makkah with a Scud ballistic missile, an act that caused fury among citizens. In another update, Saudi Arabian troops may join international troops fighting in Al Raqqa outside Mosul, in the international war against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

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Saudi News Roundup

Confusing Calendar and An Amazing TV-Show

Undoubtedly, the major news item on and coming from Saudi Arabia is that the government has raised $17.5 billion through its sovereign bond issue. The issue was oversubscribed 380% to about $67billion. This step is alongside Vision 2030 to pivot the country’s economy from reliance on oil. The government aims at reducing its spending by 71% from $263.7 billion to $75.8 billion. The cutting down by $133 billion has not been discussed in public by SAMA. Generally, the economic thinking in Saudi Arabia revolves around Vision 2030. Don’t forget that Saudi Aramco is also planning its initial public offering.

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Saudi News Roundup – 11th November 2016

Saudi media reported that King Salman congratulated the US President-elect Donald Trump on his win and emphasised the strong relations between the two countries.

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US also welcomed the election results, saying that he “prefers action” over speeches from a new administration in Washington. Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki said that he sees the “extensive relationship” between the two countries continuing.

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