Barbershops near Haram come under government scanner

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Makkah Barber

The Makkah Municipality is cracking down on public utilities around the Grand Mosque, such as barbershops, in order to ensure their abidance with health regulations.

This comes as part of the municipality’s ongoing campaign targeting the local markets in the holy city and aims to ensure the services offered to the public are consistent with the best health practices and in accordance with the standards set by the local authorities .

Officials told Arab News that the sanitation and hygienic conditions, particularly at barbershops, are of extreme importance and among the municipality’s top priorities, adding that not only is the municipality inspecting razors and shaving tools, but also checking on the premises to make sure the chairs of customers are clean.

“We have confiscated 75 chairs from barbershops in the Haram area” Naif Al Hazmi, head of public health in the Makkah Municipality, said Wednesday.

He said the authorities are checking on other utilities including date shops and eateries to ensure they adhere to health standards in the city, which will be witnessing a significant increase in the number of pilgrims during the holy month of Ramadan.

Moreover, the municipality is conducting a public auction offering spaces to the investors interested in opening barbershops in the Marwah area, which is close to the Grand Mosque and convenient for pilgrims to reach after completing saei.

The auction fetches nearly SR10 million to the Makkah Municipality every year for allocating space for barbers during Ramadan and Haj.

According to officials, Pakistanis dominate the barbershop business with nearly 90 percent of shops operated by Pakistanis.

However, the Labor Ministry aims to Saudize barber jobs and the General Organization of Technical and Vocational Training has embarked on providing training to Saudi youth who wish to learn this profession.

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