Middle East is set to become home to the 2 tallest and most amazing buildings in the world. First the world’s current tallest building located in Dubai, UAE Burj Khalifa and the second Kingdom Tower in Jeddah which claims to be world’s tallest building once completed in 2018. YaDig.com has created a great infograpic which compares these 2 spectacular buildings in a graphical way.
Burj Khalifa which claims not only the world’s tallest building till date but world’s most luxurious and spectacular build as well. Currently the height of Burj Khalifa is 828 meters; Kingdom Tower in Jeddah claims to break this record by reaching 1000 meters from ground that equals 1 km upwards. The construction of Kingdom Tower estimated to be finished till 2019. It will be the center of a vast new development called Kingdom City. Lets check out some unique comparison points of these 2 spectacular skyscrapers.
The following info-graphic has been published by Saudi Ministry of Health to create awareness about Corona Virus. Feel free to share it with your friends and loved ones to know more and more about this deadliest virus. For more information visit MOH website.
Najm (نجم) is an official Insurance company in Saudi Arabia which helps at the time of if unfortunately you got a road accident. Once you report a road accident, an official from Najm arrives at accident spot and helps you and the other accident party to evaluate amount of loss and damage and redirect you to next steps to avail insurance amount and fix the vehicle.
Keep in mind that Najm Company investigates the accidents without taking any financial rewards from either of road accident parties. It is essential that one party to the accident should hold a valid insurance policy from one of the insurance companies operating in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and adopted by Arabian Monetary Agency.
Call the toll Free number 920000560 from your mobile and notify customer service about the following
Name of informer.
I.D / Iqama no.
No. of car’s plate and type of the car
No of insurance policy.
Name of insurance company
Location of accident
Any distinguished or outstanding signs of the accident.
Inform customer service if the cars involved in the accident can move or not.
Be sure to note the number of the case and date of the accident (given by the recipient of the call center) to facilitate the procedure of following up you case with insurance company in the future.
Which Road Accident are not under scope of Najm Company
Accidents that happen outside the geographical coverage of Najm Company.
Accidents that result in death cases, injuries or fires, or a result of a natural disaster or criminal accident.
Accident where none of the parties to the accident have a valid insurance policy from one of the insurance companies operating in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and adopted by Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency.
I am moving to Jeddah in few weeks. One of my friends in Saudi Arabia told me that there is no public transport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I am not in such a position to get own vehicle immediately after reacing Saudi Arabia so what are my options for local transport in Jeddah city, specially daily while going to work-place and coming back. Also guide me about own vehicle / driving license in Jeddah as I might plan this for my future.
Answer to the Question
City transport in Jeddah is not in good shape. In current year’s budget Saudi authorities planned to invest on public transport. However it might take a lot of time.
Two Saudi Riyals Coaster / Mini Bus / Hafila / 2 SR bus
You will often see it moving on Jeddah streets, however these hafila buses are not available for every part of the city. These mini buses are very old models probably from 1970’s and 1980’s. Mostly driven by ill mannered drivers. They charge 2 SR from any point to any point during a single trip. Majority of these buses are available at down town Jeddah, The hafila bus start its trip from down town, go to its other destination at other part of the city. Then start its trip back to Down Town Jeddah again.
SAPTCO Bus for Jeddah city transport ticket cost is 2 Saudi Riyals. It has various routs inside Jeddah city but it is rarely available on the streets. It is an air-conditioned bus covering various parts of Jeddah city.
Available in huge number on all Jeddah streets, trip cost starts from SR 10 and depends on the destination, there is no Taxi meter who decide your travel distance and cost. You can also bargain with driver and drop one taxi if driver is not decreasing trip cost, because one will go and another will come at same time. I also heard a news some time ago that Jeddah authorities are planning to develop a Taxi system in which you just call a number and nearest available vehicle will come to pick you up, this could decrease traffic jams on Jeddah streets. However this is not yet implemented, taxis are wondering freely on the streets for passengers.
Some time it may happen to you. You are waiting for a taxi on road and suddenly a private car flashes head lights near you or the driver is asking you for hiring his car. This will be a private car, it normally charges less than a taxi and take you to your destination. These cars are not licensed for picking up passengers from the streets and any time a police car could stop this and investigate if it is used for loading / unloading passengers. Still they are available and the guys inside them earning livelihood.
Rent a Car
There are dozens of ‘Rent a car’ services available in Jeddah. Their daily charge for a normal car starts from SR 90, maximum 150 for a luxurious car. However they apply a limit on traveling miles (I guess 200 KM a day). For extra millage you have to pay them more. For out of city travel you got to mention while renting. You can also have a monthly agreement for rent a car which is ranging from SR 900 to SR 1500.
At the end I would like to mention, the hafila / 2 Riyals bus are sometimes dangerous. There drivers are riding like rockets and they have bad manners as well. In countries like Pakistan and India you can have a bike as a source of transport but in Jeddah it is not possible to ride a bike in between quick traffic. These days a picture is moving on social media sites, you can get an idea about hafila from it as well.
In Saudi Arabia Car Registration is called (Istemara استمارة). Below I will try to explain how to do it. Either you have a car, a van, an suv or any kind of vehicle in Saudi Arabia and it is registered under your name you can renew its Government Registration by visiting any Moroor (Traffic Police Center). Basically Renewing Car Registration in Saudi Arabia is a process of 3 Steps as follows.
Car Inspection (Technical Inspection by Certified Center)
Car Registration with Traffic Police
Car Insurance (in Saudi Arabia)
There are many private Insurance companies who are offering Car Insurance in Saudi Arabia. The purpose of this insurance is to make sure Financial rights of other vehicle owners whose vehicle is damaged by you in a road accident. In such case a representative from Traffic Police will investigate the accident and declare who is more responsible for the road accident. Once he investigates and issues a final evaluation report either party in the accident can visit Insurance Company and claim to pay the amount, whatever the cost is to repair his vehicle. So to drive a vehicle on Saudi roads you need to have a valid car insurance plan. Normally Car insurance plans are issued for one year period. Before going to renew your car registration make sure that your vehicle has a valid insurance. You may check that from Ministry of Interior’s website. Vist this section of MOI Website and put the identity number (Iqama No.) or Saudi National ID number, additionally fill out your car registration number plate. Upon submitting proper information you will be informed either you car insurance is valid or not. In some cases you got an Insurance policy printed paper with you however the insurance is not registered with Traffic police, in that case you will find “invalid insurance” message on MOI website. This means that you have to get a new car insurance plan by such a company which has registration with Moroor / Saudi Traffic Police. As per my experience MedGulf and United Insurance are registered with Moroor / Saudi Traffic Police department. This insurance policy costs from 370 SR to 490 SR.
Car Inspection (Technical Inspection by Certified Center)
Firstly make sure that your car Inspection Report i.e. Fahas is valid. If it is not you got to go through your vehicle to Fahas (Inspection) process. If your vehicle is in very good condition you could easily go through Fahas process without any additional fix. However if you doubt it would be better to take it to Mechanic (Workshop). Most Mechanics know what are the main factors to fix for Fahas process. If your Mechanic doesn’t know these factors, take your vehicle to the area where Inspection Center is located in your city.
In Jeddah Inspection Center or Fahas Dori (فحص دوري) is located in Al-Marwah Distt. It is intersection of Prince Mitab Street (40th Street) with Hira Street. You can relocate Motor Vehicle Periodic Inspection Center in this link at google maps.
To prepare your vehicle for Inspection, first choose any workshop among many, which are located in Opposite side of center. The Mechanic will check the car and suggest you any possible fixtures which are required for inspection process. You may consult more than one workshop to make sure Car Mechanics are not cheating you. The Inspection consist of following parts / issues of a vehicle as mentioned by Life in KSA blog here.
Headlights, Brake Lights, Parking Lights, Indicators, Light Beams, Horn, Wipers, Wiper Rubbers, Regular Brakes and Hand Brake, Visible and Prominent Damage to car, wheel alignment, Wind Screen crackes and visibility issues, Back View Mirrors, No Black Smoke or huge smoke from Car silencer, Oil Leakage, Damages under the Vehicle.
Once the Mechanic finishes fixing problems in your vehicle, find any suitable office for filling the forms (required for renewing car registration). If you are well familiar with Arabic Language do it by yourself. Now take your vehicle inside the inspection center, it is a big area in which vehicles are moving toward inspection garage in a queue. There is a minor fee of inspection as well. Wait for your turn and if your Vehicle is passed in all tests, you may now move to next step. In case your vehicle is failed in the inspection test, take it back to the same Mechanic you consulted earlier and ask him to fix the trouble. Upon fixture take your vehicle inside again for a successful completion of inspection. Upon entering second time and third time fee is slightly less than first time.
Car Registration with Traffic Police
Upon successful completion of inspection, collect your vehicle inspection report and now your vehicle is ready for registration. Below I will mention which are required documents / requirements for renewing car registration.
What Documents are Required for Renewing Vehicle Registration
Copy of Previous Vehicle Registration Card (Istemara) + Original
Copy of Valid Inspection Report + Original
Copy of Iqama for non-saudis, National ID Card for Saudis + Original
Once you have all these documents take them inside Traffic Police Office / Moroor which is located inside Periodic Vehicle Inspection Center. Take your documents to the reception and the officer will tell you to wait for your turn. If everything is ok you will get your renewed Car Registration Card (Istemara) in less than 10 minutes. In case of any problem or trouble, the officer will tell you the problem. Then you can fix this problem and bring your file again to the same place.
Two young children from Saudi Arabia are serving water to pilgrims who came for Umrah and Prayer in Masjid Nabvi. This is one example that show how kind an arab hospitality is, the parents of these children asked them to do this service to all pilgrims and get thawab.
Getting driving license in Saudi Arabia has been made one of the easiest task as compared to past. It is a straight forward process which is as simple as you can expect. It doesn’t require too much money or illegal ways. It is straight forward and direct. I categories people which are willing to get driving license in to 3 categories. Category #1 can be further divided in to 2 sub-categories.
You are well familiar with driving, cars and road signals and has good experience on the road.
Also You have an official driving license of another country.
But You don’t have an official driving license of any country
You are a little familiar with driving, you drove car for a few times but you don’t have experience with road and don’t have a good confidence on road.
You don’t know anything about cars, driving, road signals etc
For people in category # 1 it is a fast process to obtain Saudi driving license. I describe it below. 1.A. Get your original non-Saudi driving license, and visit any of driving schools you are comfortable with. There are Arabic or Asian based guys wondering outside or just beside the school gate. If they are not there, check for any General Service shop. These agency shops are common and must exist beside every driving school. The most authenticated will be the one that is inside the school boundary. Visit them and ask them to fill out your form for driving license. They will request you for 6 personal photographs and your original Iqama (Saudi Arabian ID/work permit/residence card etc). Provide them both thing, They will ask a few more details like Blood group, mobile number, work-place, designation, sponsor name etc. In the past blood group must be checked at the spot but now more relaxation in the rules have been made. But now they only ask it from you and put the information on your behalf. After filling out the form they might ask you if you want to pay the driving license fee. I suggest not to do this because these agencies charge up to 50 SR more than actual amount. Furthermore it is not a compulsory step done at spot. It can be done later via any bank account. If you feel comfortable paying extra money just submit the fee. These guys will charge you from 10 to 15 Saudi Riyals. These days Driving License Fee is categories ed into 3 levels.
2 Years Driving License = 80 SR
5 Years Driving License = 130 SR
10 Years Driving License = 400 SR
After that you go inside the Driving License Office and submit your form to related window. Once submitted they will guide you for further steps. Later on you will be asked for a blood test and an eyesight test. If you succeed in those Medical tests you are ready for Evaluation test, in which an authorized representative from Driving School will check your driving skills. He might be in a uniform like police man but don’t be afraid of him. He is there just to monitor you, not to arrest you or beat you 🙂 Upon your turn for evaluation test, be calm, enter in car, close the door, fasten your seat belt, check gasoline indicator in dashboard, clear hand brake and wait for instructions. The instructions normally come in Arabic Language, however if you don’t understand they monitoring person will repeat in English with the words (Start, Go, etc). Follow the instruction, don’t push the accelerator pedal too much, keep it between 1500 rpm to 2500 rpm, be alert, they monitoring person may any time ask for apply brake or take a sharp turn. Finally he will complete your evaluation test and hand over your papers (file) back to you, that he already received from you upon entering the car. He might categorize your driving skills from A, B, C. In Arabic (ا، ب، ج). Take your file to the office where you submitted earlier, you will be guided to move to a specific window where you will be informed…
Number of Days You got to attend driving school.
The Date when your driving classes will start.
Also you have to pay the school fee that is (435 SR) currently. Then you have to join a training program of 5 or 15 days as per your grade which is based on Field Training at Vehicle and Class Room Training. Finally after completing training you will be given a Final Driving Test Date. Also you will be given a big printed paper that has all the road symbols, traffic signals, road signs etc. That is for your computer signals test. Remember all of them in your brain. Now join the driving classes on specified date, participate in field training at car, ask questions from your instructor whatever you don’t understand. There is a class room training everyday in which you will be given knowledge of road signs and signals. Take a look at the video of Driving Training in Jeddah Driving School.
After successful completion of Driving classes, you will be given a final driving test date which is based on driving the car inside the school and a computer test.
Final Driving Test
Final test consist of 3 basic skills.
Handling the car on the steep Bridge (In which you should not let the car move back)
Driving the Car in “8” shaped area with sharp turns.
Reverse Parking in a Plus (+) shaped area.
If you learned all these things well during your driving classes, you will successfully convince the monitoring person to Pass you. If you pass it, you will be redirected to Computer Test Room, where you have to answer 17 Correct options out of 20 questions. If you pass it straight forward your file is stamped with “Passed”, in Arabic (ناجح) and you will be asked to collect your Saudi Driving License within next 2 days. Make sure to submit Driving License Fee before this test, I mentioned this fee at the beginning.
Changing your Profession in Saudi Arabia doesn’t mean to leave your existing job and do something else but it means to change the profession that is mentioned on your Work Permit or Iqama. Why do someone want to change it? because it has huge impact on benefits and facilities you get in Saudi Arabia being a foreign worker. Including ability to apply for a Family Visa for yourself.
To Change Profession mentioned in your work permit you got to fulfill some requirements and rules. As per Saudi Arabian Ministry of labor you must be doing a technical job and earning a good lively hood to support your family in the Kingdom. That’s why labors and general staff are not entitled to apply for a family visa.
If an expatriate want to call his family on resident visa he must belong to a professional or technical job and his/her work permit should also state that. Every expatriate in Saudi Arabia has an Iqama (Resident permit) which states his profession.
If an expatriate is living in Saudi Arabia and his profession is not eligible for applying for a family visa he got an option to change his profession in his/her work permit. This doesn’t mean he has to change his job, but this is just like a requirement in documents.
1. Prerequisites to Changing Profession in Saudi Arabia
Once you have done Documents attestation from Saudi Consulate in your home country, bring your documents in Saudi Arabia and attest again from following.
Consulate of your home countery
Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Saudi Arabia (located in Jeddah or any other city called خارجیہ)
2. Submit an Application for Change of Profession
Your company / sponsor must issue a letter that you are an employee to them and doing same kind of work as per your qualification and degree and also you are intended to change your profession as per same work. Now translate your degree into Arabic from an approved Translation Center in Saudi Arabia.
Then Find a good General Service Agency/Agent. These agencies and agents have their offices at Jawazat Street in Jeddah and you can find by yourself in other cities. Discuss necessary details with them. They will tell their requirements and fees. Settle a suitable amount that is acceptable for both parties. Also make sure your new profession will be eligible for Applying a Family Visa, the best option to ask is nearest Istikdam Office (The department of Ministry of Labor which is responsible for issuing Family Visas to expatriates working Saudi Arabia.)
Once your profession is changed to a suitable profession you may apply for a family visa anytime. Further process is very simple that I will explain later.