Saudi Arabia - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Saudi Arabia

ARTICLE FINDER

PH to fly back remaining deceased OFWs from Saudi Arabia on July 20

Jul 12, 2020 - 7:15 PM

The repatriation of the bodies of overseas Filipino workers from Saudi Arabia is moved by a week

'Trapped' illegal workers in Saudi look to virus for escape

Jul 09, 2020 - 11:02 AM

The problem is rooted in the 'kafala' sponsorship system, described by critics as a modern form of slavery that binds workers to their Saudi employers

MONARCHS. A foreign labourer walks past a banner with portraits of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulazziz (C), his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (L) and the founder of the Kingdom King Abdulazziz al-Saudm on October 18, 2018 in Riyadh. Photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP

PH misses July 4 target to bring home deceased OFWs from Saudi Arabia

Jul 03, 2020 - 10:07 PM

Without specifying a new date, the Department of Labor and Employment says they will bring home the bodies 'early next week' or the week of July 5

MISSED TARGET. The Philippine government misses its self-imposed deadline to bring home deceased overseas Filipino workers. Photo by DFA-OUMWA

Bello says OFWs selling blood only do so for going out and drinking

Jul 01, 2020 - 2:57 PM

'Yung mga para sa mga lakad nila gusto nilang mag-inuman ganun, gusto nila, may lakad sila, ang ginagawa nila nagbebenta na lang sila ng dugo' says Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III

OFWS SELLING BLOOD. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III says OFWs reportedly selling blood only do so to have money for going out or drinking. File photo by Henzberg Austria/Senate PRIB


Saudi triples VAT in unpopular virus-led austerity push

Jul 01, 2020 - 2:00 PM

Retailers in Saudi Arabia report a sharp uptick in sales this week of everything from gold and electronics to cars and building materials, as shoppers sought to stock up before VAT is raised to 15%

Saudis shop at a jewellery shop in the Taiba gold market in the capital Riyadh on June 29, 2020, after authorities announced a 10% increase in the VAT rate, to reach 15%, starting from first of July. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP)

Gulf economies to shrink 7.6% over virus, oil slump – IMF

Jul 01, 2020 - 10:40 AM

The International Monetary Fund's 2020 projection for the 6-nation Gulf Cooperation Council dramatically worsens

EMPTY. An aerial view shows a deserted highway due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the Saudi capital Riyadh on May 24, 2020. Photo by Faisal al-Nasser/AFP

Turkey to try Khashoggi murder suspects in absentia – fiancee

Jul 01, 2020 - 8:45 AM

The suspects are charged with 'deliberately and monstrously killing, causing torment'

A man passes in front of a screen showing Jamal Khashoggi during a commemoration event of Khashoggi's supporters on November 11, 2018 in Istanbul. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on November 11, 2018 that the US will hold accountable all involved in killing a dissident Saudi journalist. OZAN KOSE / AFP

Curtailed hajj compounds Saudi economic woes

Jun 28, 2020 - 9:50 PM

The coronavirus batters pilgrimage-reliant businesses that support hundreds of thousands of jobs in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca

This picture taken on May 24, 2020 during the early hours of Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday which starts at the conclusion of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, shows an aerial view of Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca, with the Abraj al-Bait Mecca Royal Clock Tower overlooking the Grand Mosque and Kaaba in the centre. - Saudi Arabia began a five-day, round-the-clock curfew from May 23 after COVID-19 coronavirus infections more than quadrupled since the start of Ramadan to around 68,000 -- the highest in the Gulf. (Photo by STR / AFP)

DOLE: Remains of 301 Saudi Arabia OFWs home by July 4

Jun 28, 2020 - 4:39 PM

After delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the bodies of hundreds of OFWs who died in Saudi Arabia are finally set to be repatriated

IMF sharply cuts Saudi forecast as oil, virus hit economy

Jun 24, 2020 - 10:45 PM

The International Monetary Fund predicts Saudi Arabia's economy will contract by 6.8% in 2020

A picture taken on March 23, 2020, shows the empty King Fahd road in the Saudi capital Riyadh after authorities imposed a curfew for 21 days to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP)

Saudi Arabia to allow around 1,000 pilgrims in scaled-down hajj

Jun 23, 2020 - 10:12 AM

(UPDATED) The pilgrimage, scheduled for the end of July, will be limited to those below 65 years of age and with no chronic illnesses

HAJJ. Muslim pilgrims pray outside the Namirah mosquee at Mount Arafat, also known as Jabal al-Rahma (Mount of Mercy), southeast of the Saudi holy city of Mecca, as the climax of the Hajj pilgrimage approaches on August 10, 2019. Photo by Fethi Belaid/AFP

Saudi downturn deepens Yemen's economic despair

Jun 22, 2020 - 6:10 PM

With Saudi Arabia's economy reeling from low oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic, observers say it no longer appears willing – or able – to pour billions into Yemen

YEMEN WAR. A Yemeni child buys sweets from Majd al-Din al-Shamiri (unseen), a 16 year-old Yemeni who set up a shop in his family's car that was destroyed during the ongoing war in his country, in the Jabal Sabr area of the southwestern city of Taez, on September 28, 2019. File photo by Ahmad Al-Basha/AFP

Over 200 Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia died of 'natural causes' – DFA

Jun 22, 2020 - 3:00 PM

Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Adnan Alonto says limited flights largely caused delays in bringing Filipinos' remains home

FILIPINO DEATHS. An aerial view shows a deserted highway due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Saudi capital Riyadh, on May 24, 2020. Photo by Failsal Al-Nasser/AFP

PH aims to bring home bodies of deceased OFWs from Saudi Arabia this week

Jun 22, 2020 - 10:58 AM

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr says the Philippine government is arranging a cargo flight 'as we speak' to bring home the bodies of 282 deceased Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia

COOPERATE. DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr and Saudi Arabia Ambassador to the Philippines Abdullah Al Bussairy in a meeting on June 15, 2020. Photo from DFA

Saudi ends virus lockdown despite spike in infections

Jun 22, 2020 - 8:33 AM

The decision to lift restrictions comes amid the kingdom's worst economic crisis in decades as it grapples with the twin blow of low oil prices and the impact of the virus

A Saudi man, wearing a protective mask as a precaution against COVID-19 coronavirus disease, walks along Tahlia street in the centre of the capital Riyadh on March 15, 2020. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP)

Saudi Arabia asks PH to bring home bodies of deceased OFWs

Jun 21, 2020 - 6:31 PM

Of the 282 Filipino fatalities in Saudi Arabia, 50 died due to the coronavirus, says Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III

Saudi wealth fund 'shopping spree' belies economic pain

Jun 14, 2020 - 9:00 AM

Amid Saudi Arabia's worst economic crisis in decades, the seemingly contradictory state policy to splurge billions on overseas assets is raising eyebrows

An aerial view shows a deserted highway due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on the first day of the Eid al-Fitr feast marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in the Saudi capital Riyadh, on May 24, 2020. - Saudi Arabia, home to Islam's holiest sites, began a five-day round-the-clock curfew from May 23, in a bid to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Photo by FAISAL AL-NASSER / AFP)

PH files complaint vs employer of Saudi OFW who died without medical attention

Jun 10, 2020 - 1:51 PM

'If what we heard and saw in the video are true, that constitutes employer neglect. Gusto natin panagutin ang employer niya sa nangyari sa kanya,' says Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Adnan Alonto


Indonesia pulls out of annual Mecca pilgrimage over virus fears

Jun 02, 2020 - 4:52 PM

'This was a very bitter and difficult decision,' religious affairs minister Fachrul Razi says of Indonesia's pulling out of the Mecca pilgrimage. 'But we have a responsibility to protect our pilgrims and hajj workers.'

MECCA. This picture taken on May 24, 2020 shows an aerial view of the Grand Mosque and Kaaba in the center of Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca. Photo by AFP

FALSE: OFW in Saudi beheaded after testing positive for coronavirus

Jun 02, 2020 - 3:26 PM

The video containing the claim is from a 2015 report about the beheading of an OFW convicted for murder

'Saudi Game of Thrones': Pressure grows to release jailed prince

Jun 01, 2020 - 11:41 AM

'This is daylight kidnapping. This is a forced disappearance,' says an associate of the prince.

PRINCE. An undated picture made available on May 30, 2020, by a friend of Saudi Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz shows him signing the visitors book in the German city of Dresden. Photo from AFP

Sons of murdered Saudi journalist Khashoggi 'forgive' killers

May 22, 2020 - 9:25 AM

(3rd UPDATE) UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard slams the move as 'the final act in [Saudi Arabia's] well-rehearsed parody of justice in front of an international community far too ready to be deceived'

MURDERED. A man passes in front of a screen showing Jamal Khashoggi during a commemoration event of Khashoggi's supporters on November 11, 2018 in Istanbul. Photo by Ozan Kose/AFP

Kuwait, Saudi halt oil production from neutral zone

May 21, 2020 - 4:15 PM

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia decide to shut down the offshore Khafji oil field for one month starting June 1

Saudi attacker on U.S. base had longstanding Al-Qaeda ties – U.S.

May 19, 2020 - 10:20 AM

The FBI and Justice Department reveal their findings after a months-long effort to crack the encryption on Alshamrani's iPhone, which they say Apple refused to help with

BASE. A general view of the atmosphere at the Pensacola Naval Air Station following a shooting on December 06, 2019 in Pensacola, Florida. Photo by Josh Brasted/Getty Images/AFP

Saudi Arabians reel from austerity drive after oil-rich 'magic decade'

May 15, 2020 - 11:00 AM

Saudi Arabia further erodes a once generous welfare system, leaving the mostly young population to cope with a new reality of reduced incomes, fewer jobs, and a lifestyle downgrade

A worker and a man carry grocery bags during a nationwide curfew to stem the spread of COVID-19, as they leave a supermarket in the Saudi capital Riyadh on April 9, 2020 ahead of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. - From cancelled iftar feasts to suspended mosque prayers, Muslims across the Middle East are bracing for a bleak month of Ramadan fasting as the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic lingers. Ramadan is a period for both self reflection and socialising. Believers fast from dawn to dusk and then gather around a family or community meal each evening of Islam's holiest month, which begins later this week and ends with Eid al-Fitr festivities. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP)

Saudi Aramco tips difficult 2020 as crisis hits quarterly profits

May 12, 2020 - 7:05 PM

(UPDATED) Saudi Aramco – the world's largest listed firm – posts a net profit of $16.66 billion in the 1st quarter of 2020, lower than $22.2 billion a year ago

SAUDI ARAMCO. Investors stand in front of the logo of Saudi state oil giant Aramco during the 10th Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh on January 25, 2016. File photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP

Saudi to cut oil output by another 1 million barrels a day

May 11, 2020 - 11:10 PM

The move will reduce Saudi Arabia's oil production to 7.5 million barrels per day starting June 2020, in a bid to stabilize the global oil market

OIL PRODUCTION. An Aramco oil facility at the edge of the Saudi capital Riyadh on September 15, 2019. File photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP

Saudi to triple VAT, suspend handouts in virus-led austerity drive

May 11, 2020 - 8:10 PM

(UPDATED) The Saudi Arabian government announces that the cost of living allowance given to citizens will be halted beginning June, and value-added tax will be raised from 5% to 15% starting July

OUTBREAK. A Saudi man, wearing a protective mask as a precaution against COVID-19, walks past a mural showing the face of King Salman bin Abdulaziz in Riyadh on March 15, 2020. Photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP

Rare Saudi resistance hits futuristic megacity project

May 08, 2020 - 4:50 PM

Saudi Arabia's $500-billion NEOM project is billed as a futuristic cityscape evocative of a sci-fi blockbuster, but it is opposed by members of a tribe who refuse to be displaced

(FILES) A file picture taken on January 6, 2020 during the Dakar 2020 car racing shows a general view of Saudi Arabia's northwestern region, between Neoam and al-Wajh. - A rare revolt by a Saudi tribe has spelt fresh trouble for a planned Red Sea megacity, a lynchpin of the crown prince’s economic vision already beset by low oil prices. The $500 billion NEOM project, set to be built from scratch along the kingdom's picturesque western coast, is billed as a futuristic cityscape evocative of a sci-fi blockbuster -- with everything from flying taxis to robot-maids. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

Jailed Saudi princess fears coronavirus risk in prison

May 05, 2020 - 1:06 PM

Princess Basmah bint Saud, a 56-year-old royal family member long seen as a proponent of women's rights and a constitutional monarchy, mysteriously disappears from public life in March last year

Saudi Princess Basmah Bint Saud Bin Abdulaziz speaks during a discussion on the role of women in the Middle East at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC on April 12, 2017. Mandel NGAN / AFP

Oil producers keep pumping despite price crash

Apr 30, 2020 - 7:30 AM

Storage for excess crude is running out, but 'producers remain reluctant to cut production in the short term as there are costs and consequences'

OIL. A man walks on a path in front of an oil derrick near the Huntington Beach Oil Fields in Huntington Beach, California, on April 20, 2020. Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images/AFP

As society opens, Saudi women surge into job market

Apr 29, 2020 - 11:42 PM

Change came for Saudi women in mid-2016 when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman unveils his 'Vision 2030' plan, aiming at diversifying the kingdom's economy and ending its addiction to oil

Heba, a 36-year-old woman, smokes a cigarette publicly at a coffee shop in north Riyadh on February 5, 2020. Photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP

Saudi-led coalition rejects south Yemen self-rule declaration

Apr 27, 2020 - 7:25 PM

'The coalition demands an end to any escalatory actions and calls for return to the agreement by the participating parties,' says the Saudi-led military coalition in war-torn Yemen

SELF-RULE. Fighters with Yemen's Southern Transitional Council (STC) drive a vehicle past a separatist flag (the old flag of South Yemen) as they deploy in the southern city of Aden, on April 26, 2020, after the council declared self-rule in the south. Photo by Saleh Al-Obeidi/AFP

Saudi Arabia eliminates death penalty for minors

Apr 27, 2020 - 11:08 AM

'Instead, the individual will receive a prison sentence of no longer than 10 years in a juvenile detention facility,' the statement says

FLAG. Saudi Arabia's national flag flutters in the wind. Photo by Yasin Akgul/AFP

Saudi Arabia relaxes virus lockdown except in hotspot Mecca

Apr 26, 2020 - 7:58 PM

Saudi Arabia, which has reported the highest number of infections in the Arab world, is scrambling to limit the spread of the disease at home

Saudi Arabia abolishes flogging

Apr 25, 2020 - 8:29 PM

'This decision guarantees that convicts who would previously have been sentenced to the lash will from now on receive fines or prison terms instead,' says the chairman of the state human rights commission

Amnesty International activists protest with a placard reading 'No flogging for blogging' against the flogging punishment of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi on January 29, 2015 in front of Saudi Arabia's embassy to Germany in Berlin. The 30-year-old Saudi has been sentenced to 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam and is serving a 10-year jail term - a case which has drawn widespread international criticism. AFP PHOTO / TOBIAS SCHWARZ TOBIAS SCHWARZ / AFP

Saudi-led coalition extends Yemen ceasefire by a month

Apr 24, 2020 - 11:21 PM

The extension comes after Yemen's Iran-aligned Huthi rebels rejected a two-week ceasefire declared by the military coalition that ended on Thursday, April 23

CEASEFIRE EXTENDED. A member of the Yemeni Civil Defense sprays disinfectant on his colleague in the Yemeni capital Sanaa amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, on April 12, 2020. File photo by Mohammed Huwais/AFP

Saudi announces Ramadan starts Friday amid coronavirus fears

Apr 24, 2020 - 10:39 AM

Most Arab countries including Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, and Bahrain announce Friday as the first day of Ramadan

SUPPLIES. A couple leave a supermarket after grocery shopping during a nationwide curfew to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the Saudi capital Riyadh on April 9, 2020, ahead of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP

No last goodbye for Gulf migrant workers lost to pandemic

Apr 22, 2020 - 5:21 PM

OFWs are among the migrants who die alone in the Middle East because of the coronavirus

Employees transport the body of a COVID-19 victim to be cremated at the New Sonapur Hindu crematorium in the Gulf Emirate of Dubai on April 19, 2020. The body of the Indian migrant who died from coronavirus far from home was kept inside the ambulance in front of the crematorium in case a friend came by for a last goodbye. But nearly an hour later no one had appeared, and the workers in protective suits had to carry out their grim task. In silence, the four men carefully moved the body, wrapped in a white plastic bag, to a furnace where it was reduced to ashes that were placed in a silver box. GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP

Saudi Arabia wins oil price war – at a huge cost

Apr 21, 2020 - 11:05 PM

'Riyadh may have unleashed something it is unable to control,' says an analyst

DE FACTO LEADER. Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a signing ceremony following a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Saudi Arabia's King Salman in Riyadh on October 14, 2019. File photo by Alexey Nikolsky/Sputnik/AFP

How can oil prices be negative?

Apr 21, 2020 - 10:15 PM

Here's how the value of a barrel of oil plunged into negative territory for the first time

OIL PRODUCTION. A view of a refinery at the Jubail Industrial City in Saudi Arabia on December 11, 2019. File photo by Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

TIMELINE: The oil market's 6-week plunge

Apr 21, 2020 - 11:15 AM

Here is a look back at a tumultuous 6-week period for oil, which saw United States prices plummeting to below zero

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA - APRIL 20: A man walks on a path in front of an oil derrick near the Huntington Beach Oil Fields on April 20, 2020 in Huntington Beach, California. Oil prices traded in negative territory for the first time as the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) impacts oil demand. Michael Heiman/Getty Images/AFP

Saudi Aramco to supply 8.5 million barrels per day starting May

Apr 18, 2020 - 12:15 AM

Oil giant Aramco does not clarify whether or how this would be split between exports and domestic supply

SAUDI ARAMCO. Investors stand in front of the logo of Saudi state oil giant Aramco during the 10th Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh on January 25, 2016. File photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP

Saudi princess pleads for release from high-security prison

Apr 17, 2020 - 3:24 PM

Princess Basmah bint Saud, an outspoken royal family member, writes on her verified Twitter account: 'As you may be aware (?) I am currently being arbitrarily held at Al-Ha'ir prison without criminal, or otherwise any charges'

SaudiPrincess Basmah Bint Saud Bin Abdulaziz speaks during a discussion on the role of women in the Middle East at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC on April 12, 2017. Mandel NGAN / AFP

Saudi says total oil curbs could reach 19.5 million barrels

Apr 14, 2020 - 8:15 PM

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies are cutting output to arrest the slump in oil prices

SET FOR IPO. A general view of Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq oil processing plant on September 20, 2019. File photo by Fayez Nureldine/AFP

Saudi quarantine offers temporary lifeline to struggling hotels

Apr 13, 2020 - 6:35 PM

The Saudi Arabian government is spending millions of dollars as overseas travelers and those exposed to coronavirus patients are quarantined in hotels

A handout picture provided by Saudi writer and journalist Taghreed al-Tassan on April 1, 2020 shows her room at a hotel in Riyadh where she has been quarantined after testing positive for coronavirus. - Saudi Arabia has quarantined thousands of people in hotels, some in luxury suites, to combat COVID-19, throwing a temporary lifeline to an industry struggling just months after tourist visas were launched. Faced with nearly 4,500 novel coronavirus infections -- the highest in the Gulf -- the petro-state has halted air travel, locked down cities and imposed nationwide curfews in a crisis that has dealt a blow to the nascent tourism sector. (Photo by - / Taghreed Al-Tassan / AFP)

Top oil producers agree on 'historic' cuts due to coronavirus crisis

Apr 13, 2020 - 8:10 AM

(UPDATED) In a compromise, major oil-producing countries agree to slash output by 9.7 million barrels per day starting May 1, down slightly from 10 million barrels per day envisioned earlier

A picture taken on September 15, 2019 shows an Aramco oil facility at the edge of the Saudi capital Riyadh. - Saudi Arabia raced today to restart operations at oil plants hit by drone attacks which slashed its production by half, as Iran dismissed US claims it was behind the assault. The Tehran-backed Huthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war, have claimed thi weekend's strikes on two plants owned by state giant Aramco in eastern Saudi Arabia. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP)

Top oil producers except Mexico agree to output cuts – OPEC

Apr 10, 2020 - 3:35 PM

Oil output will be cut by 10 million barrels per day in May and June, though Mexico rejects its share of cuts, which would have been 400,000 barrels per day

OIL STORAGE. This photograph, taken on April 20, 2016, shows oil storage tanks on Jurong island off Singapore. Photo by Roslan Rahman/AFP

Saudi oil supply hits record as price war rages

Apr 02, 2020 - 7:00 AM

On a single day, Saudi Aramco says it is 'breaking records to supply 15 tankers loading more than 18.8 million barrels of oil'

A handout picture provided by the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) on April 1, 2020 shows Aramco tankers being loaded with oil at an undisclosed sea location. - Saudi Aramco supplies a record 18.8 million barrels of crude on a single day, escalating an price war with Russia while defying pressure from the United States. (Photo by - / Saudi Aramco / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / SAUDI OIL COMPANY ARAMCO" - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Saudi urges Muslims to defer hajj plans over virus

Apr 01, 2020 - 2:07 PM

Saudi Arabia authorities are yet to announce whether they will proceed with this year's hajj, scheduled for the end of July

HAJJ PILGRIMAGE. A Muslim pilgrim feeds pigeons as worshipers arrive for a prayer at Mecca's Grand Mosque, home of the Kaaba. File photo by Mohammed al-Shaikh/AFP