saudi glossaryFor an expatriate or a visitor of Saudi Arabia, there are many words and phrases that you will hear that you may be unfamiliar with. These are common words used when talking about business in Saudi Arabia. Below is a Saudi glossary to help you gain familiarity with the language.

  • Absher: is a service offered by the Ministry of Interior that allows residents to apply for exit re-entry visas online for their dependents, Manage and renew their activities online, as well applying for a family visa.
  • Chamber of Commerce (COC):  Its main role involves in rendering all support and special services pertaining to private firms operating in Riyadh Area where they pay annual subscriptions for the many services and benefits offered by COC
  • Commercial Register (CR): is held by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, it is an official registry of company names and merchants operating in the Kingdom. Every business in the Kingdom needs to be commercially registered in order to operate.
  • Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC): aims to create a competitive environment for the provision of better services to end-users and an attractive environment for investors through regulation and the advancement of the communications and IT sector.
  • Council of Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI): is an independent government body that regulates the health insurance industry.
  • Department of Zakat and Tax (DZIT): is a government agency that reports to the Ministry of Finance. The objectives of DZIT are as follows: assess and collect zakat from Saudi and GCC nations; assess and collect tax from qualified persons under the law; and improve taxpayers’ voluntary compliance.
  • General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI): is a Saudi Arabian government agency that focuses on social insurance. GOSI implements social insurance rules, collects employer contributions and pays benefits to entitled persons.
  • Iqama: is a residence and work permit issued to expatriates who come to Saudi Arabia for work. The Iqama is valid for a period of 1-2 years, depending on the employer. It is an essential document that may be required at banks, hospitals and as a form of identification.
  • Istiqdam: is a permanent family visa.
  • Jawazat: also known as General Directorate of Passport (GDP). The Jawazat is responsible for the issuance and renewal of the Muqeem and for exit re-entry visas and similar services.
  • Ministers of Interior (MOI): the main objectives of the ministry is to achieve security and stability nationwide; ensure the safety of Pilgrims; reinforce security relationships with surrounding Arab countries and cooperate with the GCC to maintain safety in the Kingdom and abroad.
  • Ministry of Commerce and Investment (MOCI): is a government agency dedicated to participate in the setting and implementing of commercial policies in an efficient and effective manner and boosts constructive competition; reinforce the role of the private sector and enhance the potentials of both Commerce and Investment sectors; whilst protecting the interests of stakeholders and achieving economic stability.
  • Ministry of Health (MOH): aims to increase awareness in the health domain, targeting citizens, residents, visitors and the business sector. The MOH is a communication channel for the employees of the MOH, health workers and beneficiaries of public service in general.
  • Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (MOMRA): gives administration to the municipalities including city and town planning, development and maintenance of infrastructure, roads, town cleaning and hygiene.
  • Municipality: a city that has a corporate status and local government
  • Muqeem: is a portal for expatriates from where the companies renew their iqamas, issue exit re-entries, work permits, final exits for employees etc.
  • Muqeem card: is the special identity card that is issued to every expatriate residing and working in Saudi Arabia.
  • Nitaqat: Nitaqat is the Saudization initiative of the government, to find Saudi locals employment in the private sector.
  • Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA): is a government authority to develop and attract investments by improving the investment environment, and raising the quality of services provided, by qualified staff and strategic partnerships
  • Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA): is the central bank of Saudi Arabia, and is entrusted with performing functions that deal with the government’s banking affairs; minting and printing the national currency; strengthening the Saudi currency and managing the Kingdom’s foreign exchange reserves.
  • Saudi Council of Engineers (SCE): is a vocational council that aims to develop the engineering profession, enhance its’ level and the standard of those who work in it. The council puts bases and criteria for practicing and developing the profession, including license terms, setting rules and required tests to obtain vocational degrees, preparing studies and researches.
  • Taqat: aims to connect employers with qualified employees from the MENA region, through distance employment.
  • Wage Protection System (WPS): main objective is to monitor the paying of wages in the private sector, minimize illegal workers and streamline the labour force. It promotes the protection of employee rights, ensuring they receive their agreed wages and that they are delivered in a timely manner.
  • Work permit: allows a person to visit Saudi Arabia for the requirement of work. Time periods will vary per permit.
  • Zakat: Zakat is a tax that is applicable to all Saudi and GCC national-owned entities. Zakat is a wealth tax and is charged at a flat rate of 2.5%, based on the net worth of the entity.

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