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Ministry of Hajj issues new executive regulations

Jeddah, 11 September 2000
The Ministry of Hajj (pilgrimage) today issued a new regulation on the services to be rendered by specialized companies for Umrah worshippers and visitors to the Prophet Mohammed's Mosque coming from abroad.

It was stipulated that, in order to enter the business, a private establishment or company (which must have a totally-Saudi-owned capital of not less than SR 500,000) must open an unconditioned final bank guarantee worth SR 200,000 to the order of the Ministry of Hajj at a local bank accredited by the Saudi Monetary Agency.

The Umrah and Ziarah (visit to Prophet Mohammed's Mosque) Service Company should be equipped with computers and have offices in Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah and a headquarters.

Women can also own Umrah and Ziarah service companies on condition that the business would be run by a Saudi legal agent.

The director general, his branch deputies and supervisors should be Saudi nationals of good conduct.

The company will not be allowed to transfer the service to another company if it is no longer interested in proceeding with the business.

The renewable five-year labor license could be cancelled by the authority concerned only if there is any legal justification or on the death of the private establishment owner or the liquidation of the company.

An Umrah visa applicant should provide the Saudi diplomatic mission abroad with health certificates, round trip air ticket with confirmed reservation and individual or group financial guarantee.

Exempted from all or part of the above stipulations are the Islamic prominent personalities who would be interested to perform Umrah or visit the prophet.

Totally exempted are government guests; students; media, cultural, sports and other official delegations; and passengers on visitor visas to the Kingdom.

They can choose whether or not to join the Umrah and Ziarah companies to perform the rituals.

Umrah and Ziarah Service Companies should appoint agents abroad to finalize contracts with those who would perform Umrah and Ziarah, and help them travel to enter the Kingdom where they would be received by their Umrah and Ziarah Service Company.

The foreign agent should provide a final unconditioned bank guarantee from a foreign bank accredited to SAMA worth not less than SR 100,000.

The judicial authority is the only party authorized to rule in cases of any difference and dispute that is not amicably settled between the two parties: the Saudi Umrah and Ziarah Service Company and its foreign agent.

Each company should have its sole agent who is not allowed to enter into contract with another similar company in the Kingdom in the same field.

The Ministry of Hajj has prepared a model contract for guidance.

If the foreign agent belongs to a non-Arabic speaking country, the arbitration would finally be settled according to the Arabic version if any question of interpretation arises.

The services will be divided into categories approved by the Ministry of Hajj and other authorities concerned. The list of services will be revised every three years or whenever the need arises.

The company will be requested to receive the guests at the Saudi ports or airports or land points, provide accommodation for them, take care of their lodging and belongings and comfort during their stay according to the arrangements agreed upon.

Umrah and Ziarah performers who are planning to visit other parts of the Kingdom will be allowed to travel only aboard Saudi Airlines, Saptico, Hajj transportation company vehicles, licensed taxis and his guest company's fleet.

This regulation comes into force 90 days from its issuance according to Article 14 of this Regulation.

Source: SPA

SABIC Unit to export rare gas to U.S.

12th September, 2000

National Industrial Gases Co. (GAS), an affiliate of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), has said it had signed an accord to export Krypton and Exenon to U.S.-based BOC Gases for processing and marketing.

'The rare-gas mixture will be exported to the U.S.-based company, BOC Gases, which will refine and separate Krypton and Exenon to be marketed world-wide,' Reuters quoted a GAS statement as saying. The statement did not give the value of the deal.

GAS said the mixture was produced by its new plant, which came on line recently in Jubail Industrial City with a capacity of about three million litres per year.

It said the plant also produced 730,000 tons a year of oxygen, raising the company's total annual output to two million tons.

The plant also raised the company's nitrogen production capacity by 600,000 tons to 1.2 million tons annually, it added.

GAS is 70 per cent owned by Saudi industrial giant SABIC. The rest is held by a group of Saudi companies.

Krypton and Exenon are extremely rare and used in light bulbs, high precision lasers and double-glazed windows. Exenon also has medical uses and is in strong demand as a propellant in satellite rocket systems.

Source: SPA



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 June 28, 2001 15:43:42