Jeddah skyline Saudi Arabia
Residential and commercial properties in Jeddah. Saudi Arabia, a country of around 32.2 million people, is home to a large community of expat workers. Image Credit: Bloomberg file

Cairo: Starting next month, rents will be paid via an electronic platform only in Saudi Arabia, in a step aimed to ensure safe financial dealings in the kingdom’s real-estate rental market, according to an official.

Spokesman for the Real Estate General Authority Tayseer Al Mufarrej said rents will be accepted only via Ejar platform as of January.

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The measure aims at limiting intermediaries’ interference and consolidating safety of the market dealings, he told Al Arabiya TV.

“The Authority will apply on-the-spot and effective penalties by directly suspending the violator in accordance with the real-estate system,” he added.

“In case of a criminal suspicion or a violation of other systems, they will be referred to security agencies to take the necessary penalties,” he added without elaborating.

Around 8 million lease contracts have been registered via Ejar.

“This reflects trust on the part of real-estate dealers in registering their contracts through the platform and confirms its strength and being free of any technical hitches,” Al Mufarrej said.

Saudi Arabia, a country of around 32.2 million people, is home to a large community of expat workers.

In recent years, the kingdom has vigorously shifted to digitalisation, a trend expedited by the restrictions prompted by the global COVID-19 epidemic.

In 2013, the kingdom’s Interior Ministry launched the Absher app, which gives Saudi citizens and foreign residents access to a variety of government services. The scope of the services has since largely expanded, including applying for jobs and renewing passports, residency cards and driving licences.

Late Last year, the Saudi Ministry of Justice introduced 11 new judicial e-services into the Najiz platform, bringing to over 150 the total services available there.