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Life in Saudi Arabia

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Thursday, 28 June 2018

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Monday, 26 September 2016

King Salman cuts down salaries of all Govt. employees by up to 20%

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has ordered to cut down salaries of all government employees. All government employees will be having a negative impact upon their salaries and no one is exempt from it including deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman who is also the son of King Salman. The reduction in salaries depends upon the profile of the job. High profile people will be having maximum cut in their salaries i.e. 20%. Following decisions have been taken by King Salman in this regard. It will be effective from 1st Muharram 1438.


  1. Salaries of government ministers, including Crown Prince and Deputy Crown Prince will be reduced by 20%.
  2. Housing and Transportation Allowance of members of Shoura Council will be slashed by 15%
  3. No government employee will be enjoying unlimited mobile phone. If mobile phone bill is more than SR 1,000, employee will have to pay the additional cost from his pocket.
  4. No Increment will be given to employees at year end. Similarly, there will be no increase in remuneration at the time of renewal of contract.
  5. Overtime and bonuses have been capped between a quarter and half of basic salaries.
  6. Annual leave of government employees cannot exceed 30 days from now onwards. Annual leave for minister has been reduced to 36 days from 42 days.
  7. There will be no transportation allowance for employees during the time when they are on vacation.
  8. All hiring on the current vacant positions have been stopped till the end of the current fiscal year.
  9. It has also been decided that the contacts of expatriates on non-essential positions will not be renewed. No expatriate will be hired on any such position.
  10. All the above decisions will not be applied on military, troops and security officials and intelligence officials involved in security, military and intelligence operations of the country.

Source: Saudi Gazette
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

How to avoid SR 2,000 fee on Family Visit Visa?

An announcement was made few days ago about the increase in visa charges in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has increased visa charges of many categories of visa and one of those categories is “Single Entry Visas”. It has been announced that a fee of SR 2,000 will be applied on all single entry visas. The point of concern for most of expatriates is that the family visit visa they apply for their parents, children and spouses is also Single Entry Visa, right now there is no fee to apply for Single Entry Visa but after 1st Muharram, it is expected to be SR 2,000. Recommended: Exit Re-Entry, Family Visit, Hajj, Umrah Visas Fee drastically increased



Ministry of Foreign Affairs had stopped accepting applications for the family visit visa online due to Hajj season. They used to reject every application with a message to apply after Hajj season. However, we have come to know that they have started accepting applications again. People who applied for visit visa for their families 3 days ago have received it today. Since visa fee is expected to be imposed from 1st Muharram, the family visit visa is free of charge right now.



I personally think that this is the perfect time to apply for the family visit visa. The validity of visa issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is 3 months. Furthermore, your family can travel within 30 days of stamp. In other words, you will be having at least 4 months’ time to bring your family here if you apply for it today. If your family is coming to Saudi Arabia in next 4 months, you can apply for family visit visa right now. The detailed procedure to apply for family visit visa has been explained in this link “Apply for Family Visit Visa Online in Saudi Arabia



It is also important to mention here that the permament family visa is not likely to be affected by the hike in visa fee. The fee for permanent family visa is already SR 2,000 so it is unlikely to be changed.


The fee for single exit re-entry visa and multiple exit re-entry visa has also been increased signifantly. The fee for single exit re-entry visa has been set to SR 200 for 2 months' visa and SR 100 for every additional month. The fee for multiple exit re-entry visa has been set at SR 500 for 3 months and SR 200 for every additional month.


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

Services offered by Philippines Embassy and Overseas Labor Office in Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has the highest number of OFW population in the entire Middle Eastern region. It is as a matter of fact home to several thousands of Kabayans who have been living in the country in order to try their luck and help their families living back home. Being a Filipino living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, you might wonder where you need to go in order to process documents which are related to the Philippine Government.  You may choose to go to Riyadh directly where you will see the Philippines Consulate. This is where you will process your passport applications, clearances, notaries and certificates etc. The Philippines Overseas Labor Office (POLO) is also located in the same vicinity and is also open for any inquiries.



THE PHILIPPINES EMBASSY RIYADH
If you are looking to get your passport renews, report your marriage or for any clearances, you will directly go to the Philippines Embassy. Below you will find some of the services provided by the Philippines embassy which you could find useful. Services Offered;

  1. Re Acquisition or Retention of Philippine Citizenship
  2. Notarial Services such as Authentication of documents, special power of attorney and certification.
  3. Voters registration
  4. Civil registry such as marriage certificate, birth certificate and death certificate.
  5. Foreign nationals applying for a visa of the Philippines.
  6. Passport application, extension, replacement and renewal.

Philippines Overseas Labor Office Services
The POLO office is always completely ready to help out anybody in regard to any and all labor related issue. These are the services provided by the POLO office in Saudi Arabia. SERVICES offered;

  1. Workers Protection – the POLO office will help you in regards to any labor complaints such as salary issues, sexual harassment, maltreatment, issuance of Iqama or Exit Visa and unfavorable working conditions.
  2. Employment Promotion – the verification of the employment documents which are submitted by those Saudi employers who are hiring Filipino workers.
  3. Issuance of OECs – The POLO office will issue you an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) for your travel requirements.
  4. Community networking – the POLO office will help you to become involved with the activities held for or by the Filipino community in Saudi Arabia.

Contact Information for the Philippines Embassy located in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia;
Address: Diplomatic Quarter, Ummayah Abu As Salat Street,
P.O. Box number 94366, Riyadh 11693
Office Hours: Sunday thru Thursday, 8 am to 5 pm
Contact number:  482 – 3559, 482 – 0507, 482 – 1577
Fax: 96611- 488 – 3945



Important contact numbers at the POLO office;
POLO Hotline; 00966 – 545917834
Landline; (01) 483-2201, (01) 483-2202, (01)483-2203
FAX: (01) 483-2204 (FAX NUMBER)
The Filipino Workers Resource Center - Bahay Kalinga; (01) 481- 6448.
Labor Attaché for the Eastern Region
Telephone; (013) 894-1846, (013) 894-2890
Mobile: 0501269742


Other Procedures related to Jawazat & MOI
  1. Procedure to get married in the Philippines Embassy, Riyadh
  2. List of Countries with Visa Free Access on Philippines Passport
  3. Philippine sends its sick workers to Saudi Arabia - GCC Council of Health Ministers
  4. Procedure to Renew Philippines Passport from Saudi Arabia
  5. Top 5 Places to Visit in Philippines

7 Common types of Frauds in Saudi Arabia, we should be aware of

When you think of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and scams, you would think that a country with such strict punishments and set of rules would have no scammers at all. However this is not the case. With the rise or boom of social media and the internet, scamming has also been on the rise. We admit that the smartphones and the internet have made our everyday lives very easy by making communication extremely easy. They have also however provided the scam artists another platform to harm the common people easily. Below are some of the extremely popular scams in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which has targeted and victimized hundreds and thousands of people. These are however not all the schemes and scams going on out there;


  1. THE FAMILY VISA SCAM: The scammers will probably tell you that they have a source inside the Istikdam and that they can get you a permanent family visa in only a few days. Although if true there could be nothing better, however it is neither possible nor true. The scammers will usually ask for the money upfront and will proceed to tell you what a great feat he will be achieving as the regulations are extremely tough and the prices have also skyrocketed and will continue rising. In most of the cases, the scammers or conman will just take your money and then disappear. In extremely rare cases they might get you a family visa, but upon arrival to Saudi Arabia you and your family will face a lot of trouble. The authorities in the Kingdom are cracking down hard by checking salaries as well as degrees.
  2. MOBILE SCAM: A lot of people can relate to this one. Most of us have gotten the call, with scammers congratulating us for winning a lottery; however you would have to transfer them prepaid cards. These scam artists will also go to the extent of reading out your sim serial number in a bid to win over your trust. Once they have gained your trust he will provide you with a lottery number and will request you for recharge cards. Once you have read the recharge codes to the scam artist, game over.
  3. OUT OF THE COUNRY SCAM: Scammers might post an advertisement for an item or even a house. When you show them some interest, they will proceed to tell you that they are out of the country and will promise to deliver the goods or property when they have returned. You should always insist on renting or purchasing after you have seen the property or the item physically yourself.
  4. THE PERSONAL DETAILS SCAM: The main aim of these types of scammers is to be able to extract any and all sort of personal details and information out of you. In order to do this, they will most probably put a condition on the item which they are advertising to sell. For instance if you happen to find an ad for a mobile at a very low price, the scammer however will ask you to provide your Muqeem card or Iqama as he wants to have something verified. Once you have provided them with the information, they can either use it in their schemes or have a sim issued under your information.
  5. THE FACEBOOK QUIZ SCAM: You will literally see them every day one your facebook homepage.  Your friends doing quizzes such as which celebrity or athlete are you like the most; you get what I’m talking about. When you will take the quiz, the application will ask for permissions. Be very careful when agreeing to the permission for your information. Several of the quizzes have been now exposed to collecting personal information from the facebook accounts and also providing them to a third party.
  6. SOMEBODY WANTS TO SHARE A FORTUNE SCAM: You will probably get some email from a lady in Africa. “She” will tell you a story that they are paid in the form of money orders but face difficulty cashing them. They will proceed to ask you to cash the checks for them and then wire the money to Nigeria. If and when you agree you will receive several money orders which are usually bought for a small fee of SAR 100. What you do not know however is that the money orders are fake. You will easily cash out these money orders and then send the scammers the money via an irreversible process such as Western Union wire. A few days might pass and the victim will receive THE phone call from their bank informing them that all of the money orders were falsified and the total amount of the money orders is now due to the bank by them.
  7. FAKE RENTAL SCAM: Scammers will take several legitimate and real listings which anybody can easily find on the classified websites or in the classified section of the newspapers. When you will call the number which has been provided, the scammer will ask you for a security deposit or wire transfer up front.
4 Golden Rules to avoid any kind of scam in Saudi Arabia
Here are a few vital rules which you should most definitely live by in order to remain safe from being a victim in any and all scams;

  1. If the deal sounds too good to be true, then most probably it is too good to be true
  2. You should under no circumstances pay anything upfront. Unless to a highly reputable certified website. (most websites do not ask for money upfront)
  3. You should never provide any of your personal details or information to anybody or website. The personal information will include the information related to your bank account, your credit card and the information on your Residence and Muqeem card as well.
  4. Any and all schemes to become really rich really fast will probably get you into really big trouble.


Latest News - Fraud Cases in Saudi Arabia
  1. Tenants of a Building in Jeddah cheated with SR 300,000 for Rent
  2. 6 Facts about Point-Of-Sale Fraud which everyone needs to know
  3. Tips to Protect Yourself from Canadian Immigration Fraud
  4. ATM Fraud worth SR 290,000 in Jeddah
  5. STC Fraud Case: Security Guard and AC Technician given 20 Years Jail, 2000 lashes

Sunday, 25 September 2016

23 Job Professions which are banned for Women in Saudi Arabia

There are currently 23 jobs which the women in Saudi Arabia have been prohibited from undertaking inside the Kingdom, in accordance to officials from the Ministry of Labor in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom. In a report issued by the local media on Friday, The head of the Ministry of Labor’s inspection Department, Sultan Al Mutairi, has stated that the labor laws in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia permit the Saudi women from working only certain positions in certain fields which suit the nature of the Saudi women.



Even though some might argue that this is a constraint placed upon women, we must ask ourselves are we willing to believe that. Each and every one of the banned employment sectors and opportunities pose a serious health risk to not only the women but to the future of Saudi Arabia which these women will carry in their wombs and may also cause the unborn children to also become affected by the health hazard posed by these jobs. We must also understand that even after knowing the health hazards associated with these jobs, would the authorities in the Kingdom be justified in allowing the women to be employed in it?



The report issued by the local media quoted in it Al Mutairi and the list provided by him of the occupations which have been banned or prohibited for the Saudi women to undertake. The list includes the following occupations;

  1. Working with petroleum derivatives
  2. Working with sewage underground
  3. Excavation & Coal Industry
  4. Painting which may require standing on a high scaffolding.
  5. Construction
  6. Ovens melting iron
  7. Energy generation
  8. Oxygen welding
  9. Handling dynamite
  10. Blacksmiths
  11. Car workshops
  12. Work in a factory of fertilizer which has been derived from any sort of waste material such as animal waste or animal blood.
  13. Loading or Unloading of any sort of goods at any ports
  14. Melting glass and assembling or making any metal vehicles which contain anything above 10 percent lead in it.
  15. Manufacturing electric batteries
  16. Repairing or fixing electric batteries
  17. Dyeing industry & Rubber industry
  18. They may also not make mirrors with the use of mercury
  19. Any factories which may treat ash which contains lead
  20. Extraction of silver out of lead
  21. Manufacturing or lead dioxide
  22. Manufacturing of yellow lead dioxide
  23. Workshop Cleaner

Source: Arab News

Other Laws of Saudi Arabia
  1. 5 dangers associated with transferring or receiving money on behalf of others
  2. What is the limit to transfer money from Saudi Arabia?
  3. SR 100 fines for throwing Cigarette Butt on Street in Saudi Arabia
  4. SR 5 million - Maximum amount of Blood Money set in Najran
  5. SR 5 million Fines, 5 Years Jail for selling fake or 1st copy of Cosmetic Products

Woman Patient’s Hair turned hard at a Saudi Hospital

If you ask a woman the true value of her hair, you will understand it is quite opposite to that of us men. In the case of men, until our hair starts falling, we don’t give it a second thought, but women tend to spend a lot of time and money on their hair in order to look perfect. The family of a female patient under psychiatric care at a hospital in Jeddah has come out to claim that the woman’s hair has turned extremely hard and impossible to mold after she had been treated for lice with some sort of chemical substance.



In accordance to a report launched on Friday by an online publication in the Kingdom, the family has stated that a probe has already been launched into their claims. The sister of the woman in question stated that her sister had been taken to the hospital around 3 months ago. It was during this time that the staff at the hospital found lice in the hair of some patients, which had prompted the hospital staff to provide them with treatment with some sort of a chemical solution. The family of the woman has claimed that the hair of the same woman was soft and beautiful not so long ago, and has turned extremely hard and entangled after the anti lice treatment received from the hospital staff.



The woman’s hair has now become extremely tight and hard which has made it full of knots which cannot even be combed. Countless attempts at combing the hair with the help of oil or water have proved fruitless. The family initially got very concerned that there is some black magic done to her hair. The family at one time was too scared to touch the hair, stated the woman’s sister. The sister added that they did not initially allow the hospital to cut off her hair, however after some time when it became completely unmanageable due to it being unable to be combed, the family agreed to have her head shaved. Following that the family lodged a complaint at the hospital against the hygiene standard.



The director at the psychiatric hospital in Jeddah, Nawaf Al Harthi has stated that an investigation is already underway. If any sort of negligence is uncovered during the investigation, everybody should rest assured that the perpetrators or the responsible party will be punished. If indeed what the staff at the psychiatric hospital is allegedly doing is true, then it is perhaps the most despicable act I have seen or heard of in recent years.



Those who are not mentally fit, often rely on the staff of the establishment or institution that they are residing in, in order to complete their day to day activities. If the hospital staff is purposely destroying the hair of their patients, then it is a clear violation of their human rights and also moral and ethical code that the medical staff has to adhere to.


Source: Arab News

Latest News – Health Care
  1. Saudi Government opens Government Hospitals for Expats living in Saudi Arabia
  2. First Ever Liver Transplant in Saudi Arabia performed in Saudi German Hospital
  3. How 5 Infants died overnight in a Hospital in Baha, Saudi Arabia?
  4. King Fahad Hospital Jeddah removes scissors from Child’s Brain
  5. Patient Died due to negligence as Hospital Hides condition of Cancer Patient for 5 Years

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