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Showing posts with label Saudi Arabia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Saudi Arabia. Show all posts

Monday, July 1, 2019

Over 3 Million Illegal Expats Arrested in Saudi Arabia

Over 3 Million Illegal Expats Arrested in Saudi Arabia

Over 3 Million Illegal Expats Arrested in Saudi Arabia


Highlights

At least 19 government departments have been taking part in the joint field campaign that started in November 2017 to flush out all illegal residents from Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Interior Ministry's "A Nation Free of Illegals" campaign has succeeded in arresting a total of 3,408,691 expatriates who were living in the Kingdom in violation of residency or labor regulations.




Campaign officials said as many as 846,858 detainees were deported to their respective home countries.

The nationwide campaign was launched in November 2017 with the participation of 19 ministries and government departments including the Passport Police and the Ministry of Labor and Social Development.

The officials said 2,657,979 expatriates were arrested for violating the system of residency, 525,532 for violating labor regulations and 225,180 for breaching border security.

They said 57,206 people attempted to sneak into the Kingdom across its southern borders. About 49 percent of the infiltrators were Ethiopians, 48 percent Yemenis and remaining 3 percent were people of various other nationalities.

The campaign officials said 2,495 people were caught while attempting to leave the Kingdom illegally.

They said 3,975 people including 1,360 Saudis involved in providing accommodation and transport to illegal residents were arrested.

As many as 13,088 expatriates, including 10,965 men and 2,123 women, are being held in various detention centers in the Kingdom, the officials said.

They said 441,702 illegal expatriates were referred to their respective embassies and consulates to issue them with travel documents while 562,300 others were completing procedures for final exit.

Source





Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Kuwait likely to reconsider visa restrictions on Pakistanis

Kuwait likely to reconsider visa restrictions on Pakistanis

Kuwait likely to reconsider visa restrictions on Pakistanis


  • Emir assures Islamabad of a revision of policies in the matter
  • FM Qureshi apprised him of issues arising from the move

ISLAMABAD: Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabeh assured Pakistan’s Foreign Minister on Sunday that he will make personal efforts to resolve issues faced by Pakistanis due to visa restrictions imposed last month.

Al-Sabeh gave this assurance to Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who called on him in Kuwait City on Sunday, after Qureshi apprised him of the difficulties faced by the more than 100,000 Pakistani nationals in Kuwait since the ban took effect.

Last month, Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior had placed restrictions on the issuance of visit or entry visas to nationals from five countries including Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Iran, and Pakistan.

Qureshi also met with Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah where he discussed issues of mutual interest.

FM Al-Sabah, for his part, assured his counterpart that the visa policy would be reviewed and all possible cooperation would be extended to Pakistani nationals.




Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Pakistan, India hope to reap investment from Saudi prince's visit

Pakistan, India hope to reap investment from Saudi prince's visit

Pakistan, India hope to reap investment from Saudi prince's visit


NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is expected to announce investments in energy and infrastructure during a visit to India and Pakistan in coming days as part of his efforts to wean the Saudi economy off oil exports.



He is also expected to visit China, Malaysia and Indonesia during a tour that will be his first through the region since the storm over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

Prince Mohammed is expected to sign agreements, mostly linked to a refinery and the power sector, during the trip to Pakistan this weekend, Pakistani officials said.

The memorandums of understanding will include renewable energy projects and investments in petrochemicals and mineral resources, Saudi state news agency SPA said.

The prince is expected in New Delhi next week, along with leading Saudi businessmen, at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was among a handful of leaders who attended an investment conference in Saudi Arabia in October, an event boycotted by many companies and world leaders in protest over Khashoggi’s killing.

India’s Modi met the prince in November, when they were both in Argentina for a Group of 20 summit. Saudi Arabia is India’s top supplier of crude oil but the two countries have expanded ties beyond energy, and their governments have agreed to build a strategic partnership, the foreign ministry said.

In a statement, it cited cooperation in areas including energy security, trade and investment, infrastructure, defense and security.

India is expecting Prince Mohammed to announce an initial investment in its National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), a quasi-sovereign wealth fund, to help accelerate the building of ports and highways, an Indian official said.

Saudi state media said Saudi officials will discuss an investment in NIIF.

Saudi Arabia has also flagged a desire to invest in India’s farm sector, with products to be exported to Saudi, another official at the trade ministry said.

REFINERY HITCH
However, progress on a $44 billion refinery that Indian state-run oil companies agreed to build with Saudi Aramco on India’s west coast has been held up by strong opposition from mango farmers who will lose their land.

Since taking office in 2014, Modi has sought to use India’s fast-growing economy to attract more investment from Saudi Arabia and other Islamic nations.

As a fellow Muslim country, Pakistan has long maintained strong ties with Saudi Arabia. In late October, Riyadh offered Pakistan a $6 billion loan to help keep its ailing economy afloat.

   Saudi Arabia has also announced plans for a $10 billion refinery and petrochemical complex at the coastal city of Gwadar, where China is building a port as part of its vast Belt and Road initiative.

North Korea may have made more nukes: study
    “They’re looking at the energy sector, at some of our privatization plans that they might bid for through our privatization process,” Pakistani investment minister Haroon Sharif told Reuters.

    Sharif, who chairs Pakistan’s Board of Investment, said there was also Saudi interest in Pakistan’s mining sector.

    “Saudi Arabia has huge resources. Their investment fund is over $1 trillion, so we want just a fraction of that,” said a second Pakistani minister, who did not wish to be named.

Saudi state news said Saudi officials will discuss investments with China, South Korea and Indonesia, in sectors including healthcare and telecommunications, without giving further details.

Read on Reuters





Friday, January 18, 2019

Saudi women runaways rebel against system of male control  - via AP

Saudi women runaways rebel against system of male control - via AP

Saudi women runaways rebel against system of male control  - via AP

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Another Saudi woman has turned to social media for protection from her father, just days after Canada granted refuge to Rahaf al-Qunun, the 18-year-old Saudi who fled her family.

Identified only as Nojoud al-Mandeel on Twitter, her case differs from that of al-Qunun. She has not fled the kingdom, has not revealed her face and has only made her pleas for help on Twitter in Arabic.

While their circumstances are different, the claims of abuse by the two women mirror those of other female Saudi runaways who have used social media to publicize their escapes.

There has been speculation that al-Qunun’s successful getaway will inspire others to copy her. However, powerful deterrents remain in place. If caught, runaways face possible death at the hands of relatives for purportedly shaming the family.

Saudi women fleeing their families challenge a system that grants men guardianship over women’s lives. This guardianship system starts in the home, where women must obey fathers, husbands and brothers. Outside the home, it is applied to citizens, often referred to as sons and daughters by Saudi rulers who demand obedience.

Hala Aldosari, a Saudi scholar and activist, said the male guardianship system replicates the ruling family’s model of governance, which demands full obedience to the king, who holds absolute power in decision-making.

“This is why the state is keen to maintain the authority of male citizens over women to ensure their allegiance,” she said, adding that this “hierarchical system of domination” necessitates “keeping women in line.”

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who’s introduced social reforms loosening restrictions on women, told The Atlantic that doing away with guardianship laws has to be done in a way that does not harm families and the culture. He said abolishing these laws would create problems for families that don’t want to give freedom to their daughters.

The issue of guardianship is extremely sensitive in the kingdom, where conservative families view what they consider the protection of women as a man’s duty.

More than a dozen women’s rights activists have been detained, many since May, after they campaigned against the guardianship system. Some had also wanted to create alternative shelters for women runaways.

Regardless of their age, women in Saudi Arabia must have the consent of a male relative to obtain a passport, travel or marry. In the past, a travel permit was a paper document issued by the Interior Ministry and signed by a male relative.

Today, Saudi men download a government mobile app that notifies them of a woman’s travel. Through the app, men can grant or deny a woman permission to travel. Some young women who have fled the country had managed to access their father’s phone, change the setting and disable its notifications.

In a statement read to reporters in Canada on Tuesday, al-Qunun said she wants to be independent, travel and make her own decisions.

“I am one of the lucky ones,” she said. “I know there are unlucky women who disappeared after trying to escape or who could not change their reality.”

That’s especially true for women from conservative tribal families, like al-Qunun’s.

Al-Qunun, one of 10 children, posted online that her father, Mohammed Mutliq al-Qunun, is the governor of the city of al-Sulaimi in the hilly hinterland of Ha’il — a province where nearly all women cover their face in black veils and wear loose black robes, or abayas, in public. The family belongs to the influential Shammar tribe, which extends to Iraq, Syria and other parts of the Middle East. Her father has considerable clout as a prominent town official and member of a powerful tribe.

Al-Qunun, who barricaded herself in an airport hotel room in Thailand last week to avoid deportation, said she was abused by a brother and locked in her room for months for cutting her hair short. She said she would have been killed if sent back to her family.

According to government statistics, at least 577 Saudi women tried to flee their homes inside the country in 2015, though the actual number is likely higher. There are no statistics on attempted or successful escapes abroad.

Shahad al-Mohaimeed, 19, who fled abuse and an ultraconservative family in Saudi Arabia two years ago, said fear is a powerful deterrent.

“When a Saudi girl decides to flee, it means she’s decided to put her life on the line and take a very, very risky step,” said al-Mohaimeed, who now lives in Sweden.

Al-Qunun’s plight on social media drew international attention, helping her short-circuit the typically complex path to asylum. A little more than a week after fleeing Saudi Arabia, she was in Canada, building a new life, posting pictures of wine, bacon and donning a dress above the knees.

Back in Saudi Arabia, the woman identified as Nojoud al-Mandeel posted audio on Twitter on Monday alleging her father had beaten and burnt her “over something trivial”. She posted a video looking onto a neighbor’s gated pool, where she says she jumped from her bedroom window before a friend picked her up and they escaped.

“Don’t tell me to report to police,” she said, explaining that in a previous attempt, police just had her father sign a pledge saying he would not beat her again.

After her story gained some traction online, she was promised attention by a protection hotline in Saudi Arabia for domestic abuse victims. Prosecutors also reportedly began looking into her allegations of abuse, according to Saudi news sites.

She was placed in a domestic abuse shelter, but on Tuesday complained on Twitter about the shelter’s restrictions over her movements.

Al-Mohaimeed said Twitter is where Saudi women can share stories and be heard. She and two other Saudi women took over al-Qunun’s Twitter account, writing messages on her behalf during the height of her pleas last week to avoid deportation.

“I was not born in this world to serve a man,” al-Mohaimeed said. “I was born in this world to fulfill my dreams, achieve my dreams, grow, learn and be independent — to taste life as I hold it in my hands.”




Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Oil price to average $60-65 barrel  in 2019, unlikely to exceed $80: Expert

Oil price to average $60-65 barrel in 2019, unlikely to exceed $80: Expert

Oil price to average $60-65 barrel  in 2019, unlikely to exceed $80: Expert


Oil price is likely to average $60-$65/barrel in 2019, and is unlikely to exceed $80/barrel, Indosuez Wealth Management, the global wealth management arm of Crédit Agricole group, said last Dec. 13 at its 2018 Middle East Conference held in Dubai under the theme “Regional Transformation and its Challenges for Wealth Management and Millennials.”

Dr. Marie Owens Thomsen, Global Head of Investment Intelligence, Indosuez Wealth Management, said “the average WTI price in 2018 to date is $66/barrel. In 2019 we expect an average price between$ 60-65/barrel, barring geopolitical surprises that can of course cause overshooting in either direction.”

Leading the first session of the conference dedicated to the state and outlook of the global economy, Thomsen, commenting on current oil-prices, further said “high oil prices have a dampening effect on growth globally and this notably for oil importing countries. Our forecast was that the WTI oil price was unlikely, and remains unlikely, to exceed $80/barrel this year and next. Indeed, the high year-to-date was the $76.4/barrel reached on October 3. The price on December 7 is $51.2/barrel. That move is generally speaking positive for the global business cycle.”

The International Energy Agency (IEA) left unchanged its projection for oil demand growth in 2019 at 1.4 million barrels per day (mbd).

It noted on Thursday however that growth in global demand has accelerated, from modest growth of 0.5 mbd year-on-year in the second quarter of this year, to 1.3 mbd in the third quarter.

The IEA sees it rising to 1.6 mbd in the final three months of this year.

While various measures of China’s economy have pointed to slowing growth, the IEA said the country’s thirst for oil remains unsated.

“China’s apparent oil demand increased strongly” in the third quarter, when it grew by 840,000 barrels per day.

“This trend has continued in October when growth is estimated to have been” 700,000 barrels per day, it added.

The IEA last month lowered its forecast for growth of global oil demand for 2018 and 2019, citing high prices, trade tensions and a less favorable economic outlook.

But oil prices, which struck $86 per barrel in October, then tumbled to $58 last month, prompting the opec oil cartel and Russia to agree on new production cuts to stabilize prices.

Lower oil prices tend to support demand for oil and economic activity.

The drop in oil prices “should help support demand in 2019”, said the IEA.

“The price impact is offset, however, by slightly lower economic growth assumptions and downward revisions to our projections for certain countries impacted by weak currencies, such as Turkey, or countries facing collapse, such as Venezuela,” said the Paris-based agency, which advises major oil-consuming nations.

Thomsen’s colleague Davis Hall, Global Head of Forex and Precious Metals, addresed gold’s relative underperformance over the past year due to a strengthening dollar and to the crisis in Turkey.

He said: “Turkey, which is a significant source of global gold demand, has been selling the yellow metal in response to the weakening lira. This has played a role in dragging down gold prices this past year, along with the stronger dollar which makes the yellow metal more expensive for investors in countries with weaker currencies. Gold remains an inflation hedge for investors holding global equities and our current forecast is that it will reach $1,315/Oz next year.”

Source: Saudi Gazette



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