Middle East

Jeddah, Jan 22: Hotels in Saudi Arabia experienced noticeable increases in occupancy rates, with Jeddah increasing by 7.0 percent year-to-date, and Madinah increasing 2.0 percent year-to-date, Ernst and Young Middle East said in its latest Hotel Benchmark Survey. Compared to November 2011, Riyadh’s occupancy rate increased by 17.0 percent in November 2012. This is accredited to the various

Dubai, Jan 21: After mobile phone texts lying to victims that they have won large cash prizes, a new phone scam appears to have just surfaced in the UAE. Several victims say they receive brief calls and when they call back, they hear obscene voices before discovering that part of their call credit has gone. While Dubai police say they are working to track the source of these calls

Jeddah, Jan 17: Calls are mounting for the government to repeal the proposed levy for businesses not meeting Saudization requirements. Analysts have said that implementing the measure will impose an additional economic burden of some SR60 billion annually on Saudi families across the country. Employers are now forced to pay SR2,400 a year for each foreign worker that pushes the work force at a

Riyadh, Jan 15: Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, has demanded the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) submit a report to him on the impact it monitored with regard to the Ministry of Labor’s decision to raise the cost of the expatriate worker in the Saudi market to SR 2,400 a year. The order came after a meeting held recently between the crown prince and the members of the

Riyadh, Jan 14: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has appointed new governors for Madinah and the Eastern Province, the Royal Court said on Monday. Named governor of Madinah Region with the rank of minister was Prince Faisal bin Salman, who is chairman of the Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG). Prince Faisal replaced Prince Abdulaziz bin Majed, who had earlier asked to be

Riyadh, Jan 14: The Saudi government deplored Sunday the criticism and misleading statements made by a number of international agencies over Rizana Nafeek’s execution last Wednesday. Saudi Arabia “deplores the statements made over the execution of the Sri Lankan maid who had plotted and killed her employer’s four-month-old baby by suffocating him to death, one week after she arrived in the Kingdom

Ras Al Khaimah/Dubai, Jan 13: At least six people, including two women, were killed and six injured in traffic accidents in Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah during the last two days. Two women were killed and three others sustained injuries in a horrific road accident in Ras Al Khaimah. According to the police the dead comprised a mother and daughter and the injured included three sisters

Dubai, Jan 12: A fatal accident took place on Al Khail Road on Saturday morning at 8am, when a car with two passengers went off- road and hit a light pole. The driver, identified by police as being 40-years old, and a passenger in the front seat aged 39 died at the spot. Three passengers in the seats behind were rushed to hospital with severe injuries. All people in the car, a Mistubishi Lancer

Tabuk, Jan 10: Residents of this northwestern region went picnicking yesterday in scenic mountains and other spots that were covered in a sheet of white as Tabuk received its annual snowfall since Tuesday. Visitors from outside the region as well as locals were enjoying the rare snowfall. Roads, especially those leading to Mount Allouz, were thronged with cars. While security, traffic and health

Jeddah, Jan 10: The ministerial committee for transport in Makkah province met here on Wednesday to review the progress of a plan to beef up the public transport system in the province, including the cities of Jeddah and Makkah. The meeting, chaired by Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Emir of Makkah, and attended by the Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs Prince Mansour Bin Miteb, Jeddah Governor