Separate entrance in restaurants based on gender canceled

MMRA updates conditions for 12 activities including schools, hospitals and entertainment

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The Faisaliya tower stands among other buildings in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Dec.5, 2019. — AFP

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH —
The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (MMRA) has canceled new updates on conditions for municipal activities, including conditions on the distance between private schools.

The ministry has specified an area of one square meter for each student and increasing the number of floors used in them (private schools) to three floors, instead of two floors as was the case previously.

The ministry also abolished the requirements recently approved by the Acting Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs Dr. Majid Bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, canceling the requirement for a separate entrance for bachelors and another for families as regards restaurants, and not to specify special zones, in addition to allowing kitchens of restaurants to be located on the upper floors provided surveillance cameras linked to screens are installed.

The distance between sports centers has also been abolished, within the context of updates to the conditions for sports buildings, which stressed that no specific area ought to be specified, but to leave the decision to be based on the capacity of the place and the capabilities of investors.

According to the updates that affected 12 activities, the percentage of built-up area in service centers (fuel stations) has been increased from 10% previously in force to 40% for gas stations outside the cities, 30% inside cities, with Category A stations defined as outside cities, and allowing Category B gas stations within cities.

Gas stations start with two pumps with an area of 500 sq. meters without any additional services. In case the investor wishes to add other services such as light maintenance, oil change, coffee shop, etc., the specific areas required by the updated conditions must be provided.

As to the conditions for medical buildings, the updates stipulated that they specify an area of 180 sq. meters for each hospital bed, and not less than 400 sq. meters for medical complexes, and two-and-a-half parking spaces per patient.

The updates on the conditions on transportation centers and vehicle services include that they should be located on a street at least 20 m wide, cargo and bus transportation area ought to be at least 200 sq. meters per truck, specifying 24 sq. meters for each car park in front of rent-a-car offices, and 15 sq. meters for each car park inside the centers housing cars.

The technical requirements for wedding halls and rest-houses have also canceled the condition on the distance specified between “event halls”.

The updates on conditions defined the categories of wedding halls that include Category A with a limit of 10 sq. meters for each person, and Category B with a limit of 8 sq. meters per person. Furthermore, wedding halls ought to be located on one commercial street.

The updates also included a number of requirements for entertainment activities by including technical requirements in addition to spatial, and that they ought to be located on commercial streets.

Cinemas should be situated on a commercial street, while the requirements did not specify specific areas for entertainment centers and cinemas.

According to the updates on the requirements that must be met by stores and warehouses, the minimum area has been reduced from 2,000 sq. meters to 300 sq. meters, and its height should not be less than 8 meters without specifying the upper limit.

Meanwhile, the updated conditions allow setting up warehouses inside the cities provided their area does not exceed 150 sq. meters.

The requirements for advertisement and publicity billboards include some amendments on the technical and spatial requirements that were previously limited to spatial conditions only. This is in addition to specifying their types as 29 types, as well as determining the dimensions of the panels and safe distances.

The updates also include conditions for setting up wireless communication towers and antennas, recreation buildings, professional buildings, and health and social services buildings.

The Acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs for Technical Affairs Dr. Khaled Bin Muhammad Al-Jammaz explained that these updates come within a program that includes 103 items in terms of regulations, requirements, evidence, model, standard and application for all activities of various kinds.

He added that working teams have participated in the updating of these conditions. Specifically, they comprised 32 government authorities and private entities and 17 mayoralties.

Dr. Al-Jammaz said that the aim is to improve the experience of beneficiaries, raise investment opportunities, control urban development, and set the conditions for all relevant authorities in one template issued by the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (MMRA).

This is in addition to reducing the requirements and conditions set by government authorities and service agencies to the minimum, with the objective of facilitating matters and coming up with a codified modernization mechanism and laying down a specific methodology for this process.


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