Abu Ras steps down after 8 years as Jeddah mayor

Al-Harthy appointed acting mayor


Okaz/Saudi Gazette

— Hani Mohammed Abu Ras stepped down on Tuesday after completing two terms as mayor of Jeddah and left the office bidding farewell to the staff of the municipality whom he described as “a great asset” to him.

Abu Ras completed his first tenure four years ago but his term was extended for another four years by a royal decree.

Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs Abdul Latif Al-Alsheikh issued a decision on Wednesday appointing Deputy Mayor Abdullatif Al-Harthy as the acting mayor until a new mayor is appointed.

“I express my profound thanks and appreciation to the men and women staff of the municipality with whom I was honored to work as mayor for eight years,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

A number of residents have asked the incoming mayor to give more attention to the projects of tunnels and flyovers to ease traffic congestion in the suffocated city.

They also asked him to closely monitor land sharks, stop land encroachments, and remove the ditches and bumps on the city roads. They said measures should be taken to increase street lighting, fight the dengue fever, follow up the cleanliness of neighborhoods and get rid of the underdeveloped areas.

Mohammed Al-Mutairi, a resident, asked the would-be mayor to give more attention to the internal roads, construct special passages for pedestrians and clear the streets of the ditches and bumps.

Abdul Hadi Al-Mutairi, another resident, said the new mayor should focus on the construction of more tunnels and bridges to ease traffic movement in the city.

Abdul Rahman Al-Qaidi said the most important file in front of the new mayor will be the war against the land sharks who encroach on the government land especially in south Jeddah.

Khaled Al-Abdul-Karim said the new mayor should give personal attention to the cleanliness of the neighborhoods and to closely monitor the cleaning companies with whom the municipality has signed contracts.

Mustapha Tamrik, a financial expert, said the new mayor should make efforts to simplify the issuance of the commercial licenses and to review all investment licenses that have so far been offered.

He also said the new mayor should give more attention to the drainage system and to find a lasting solution to the flooding problem.