Middle East


Saudi Arabia aims to provide affordable housing

23 December 2016

RIYADH: The Fourth Arab Housing Conference in Riyadh on Wednesday tackled several important issues facing the housing and construction sector, with experts discussing the latest developments, available opportunities and studies related to the industry.

Organized by the Ministry of Housing in partnership with the Arab League Council of Housing Ministers, the conference features international experts in housing, urban development and real estate development from several public and private institutions are participating in the conference, which opened Tuesday.

Speaking at the forum, Housing Minister Majid Al-Hogail said that housing is one of the most urgent issues of concern to citizens of the Arab homeland. The minister said the Kingdom attaches great importance to the issue of housing and cited Saudi Vision 2030, which stresses the importance of raising the housing ownership ratio of citizens.

The ministry recently said that it aims to provide housing support for all citizens, including widows, divorcees, orphans and people with limited and low income, and is working on a number of programs and initiatives such as the Easy Housing program in a manner that conforms to Vision 2030, which stresses the importance of “a roof for all,” recognizing each family’s aspiration to own a home, and raising ownership rates to enable citizens to get suitable housing at reasonable prices.


The minister further noted that the Kingdom has provided full support to the sector by entering into a number of agreements with domestic, Arab and international companies known for their competence and experience.

Experts presented their ideas about the role of government institutions and bodies in the partnerships between the private and public sectors, and the role of the private sector in achieving national housing strategies, as the conference aims to present the latest patterns of effective cooperation between the private and public sectors at the organizational, financial and legal levels.

The previous three editions of the conference were held in Egypt, Jordan and Iraq.

© Arab News 2016

© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.

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Oman MoCI to accept applications for street vendors from January 1

December 22, 2016 

Muscat – The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) is inviting applications from Omanis interested in registering as street vendors.

Khamis bin Abdullah al Farsi, director general of commerce, MoCI, and head of the committee responsible for streamlining street vending stated that the ministry will start receiving applications from January 1 through its Invest Easy portal.

Riyada recently conducted an introductory session for Omanis interested in becoming street vendors. Riyada officials said the meeting came up with a number of suggestions such as allocating places for mobile restaurants in all governorates, especially in places such as beaches, tourist sites and ministries areas and determining the appropriate time and days on which vendors can operate.

Participants also discussed the importance of having creative shape for vehicles used in the business.

Tarek bin Sulaiman al Farsi, executive manager, Al Raffd Fund said that a fund allocation programme too has been announced. Job seekers, technicians, craftsman and those from social insurance families can avail of this.

Street vendors have to be careful when choosing the place of setting up their business. They can neither recruit an expatriate nor give their licence to someone else to operate the business. Vendors cannot set up their booths or carts in either residential areas, commercial shops, hospitals or schools.


They also have to be careful as to not disturb the public when setting up their business.

Vendors also need to register their vehicles and other equipment required for the business with the concerned authorities before starting operations.

© Muscat Daily 2016

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El Marakby Steel: sales fall 40% on Egyptian pound float move

Thursday, 22 December 2016

The sales volume of Egypt-based steel maker El Marakby for Steel Group declined by 40 percent following government’s decision to float the Egyptian pound, Chairman Hassan El-Marakby stated Thursday.

Speaking to Amwal Al Ghad, the chairman said that steel prices increased from 8.88 pounds to 19 pounds due to the hike in dollar prices.

The official expected steel prices to soar again within the upcoming period, adding that the group provides steel for consumers at the prices of 9,750 pounds per ton.

Impacts of floating Egyptian pound against the dollar would clearly appear in the first quarter of 2017, El-Marakby noted, clarifying that this decision would negatively affect production rates, sales volume, and lead to a drop in consumption rates.


© Amwal Alghad 2016

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