Saudi Arabia deserves praise for best Hajj arrangements

26/01/20

Muslim pilgrims leave after offering noon prayers outside the Namirah mosque on Arafat Mountain, during the annual hajj pilgrimage, outside the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. (AP)

Saudi King Salman confers the King Abdul Aziz Medal on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Riyadh on April 3, 2016. (SPA)
  • Presence of 2.6 million Indian expats in Saudi Arabia boosts bilateral ties

On the occasion of India’s 71st Republic Day, I extend my best wishes to my fellow Indian citizens in the western region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

India and Saudi Arabia enjoy cordial and friendly relations which reflect centuries-old economic and socio-cultural ties.
Visits by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia in April 2016 and in October 2019 plus the exchanges of other high-level visits have further strengthened the warm relations between the two countries.
As our prime minister said during his visit in October 2019, India would work hand-in-hand with Saudi Arabia on the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan.
The presence of over 2.6 million Indian expatriates in the Kingdom has also contributed immensely to the strength of economic and socio-cultural ties between our two nations.
Bilateral trade delegations have also increased in the last few years. Indian business delegations are now a regular feature of trade exhibitions in Jeddah and other parts of the Kingdom. The Indian Consulate in Jeddah works tirelessly and diligently to provide the best possible service to Indian nationals residing in the western region of the Kingdom.
This good service includes reducing to three working days the length of time required for issuing/reissuing passports.
The introduction of an e-visa facility for Saudi nationals has further streamlined visa processing and provides a smooth first step for those wanting to visit India.
The Indian government and the people of India are grateful to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Hajj Minister Dr. Mohammed Benten for making excellent arrangements during Hajj 2019. In that year, 200,000 Indian nationals performed Hajj and more than 650,000 Indians came for Umrah.
The Indian side remains committed to partnering closely with Saudi Arabia and working toward a very successful Hajj 2020.
We sincerely express our gratitude to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi ministries of foreign affairs, labor, interior and the authorities of Jawazat, Tarheel and other concerned agencies who have always provided exemplary assistance to the consulate which has enabled the comfortable stay of the many Indians visiting, living, and working in the Kingdom.


• Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh is India’s consul general in Jeddah. 

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

Saudi Hajj Ministry widens plans for Egypt, Sudan pilgrims

14/12/19

Agreement signed with the Sudanese delegation
Saudi Hajj minister Mohammed Salih Bentin signs agreement with a member of the Sudanese delegation. (Supplied)
  • Saudi Hajj ministry has signed agreements with Egypt and Sudan

MAKKAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has signed agreements with Egypt and Sudan in preparation for next year’s Hajj season.
Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Mohammed Salih Bentin, met Maj. Gen. Ashraf Muslim Gawish, Egypt’s assistant minister of interior and head of pilgrims affairs, and Nasreddine Mufreh Ahmed, Sudan’s minister of religious affairs and endowments, on Thursday to discuss Egyptian and Sudanese pilgrims’ requirements.
The meeting was also attended by the Kingdom’s Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat, and several officials.
Under the agreements, the arrival and needs of pilgrims from Egypt and Sudan will be overseen by service agencies as part of the pilgrims services system.

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

Hajj Ministry announces insurance for pilgrims

Time: December 12, 2019 

Hajj and Umrah Minister Mohammed Salih Bentin and Tawuniya Chairman Sulaiman Al-Humaid signed an agreement on Wednesday to provide insurance for pilgrims coming from outside Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
  • Comes as part of the Vision 2030 reform plan
  • Supported by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah

JEDDAH: Hajj and Umrah Minister Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten and Tawuniya Chairman Sulaiman Al-Humaid signed an agreement on Wednesday to provide insurance for pilgrims coming from outside Saudi Arabia.

The signing took place at the Hajj and Umrah Ministry’s headquarters in Makkah. As part of the agreement, the ministry will provide health and other insurance services to pilgrims from the time they arrive in the Kingdom until they leave.

The insurance scheme comes as part of the Vision 2030 reform plan, which aims to enhance pilgrims’ experiences, said Minister Benten.

Tawuniya was tapped by the Hajj and Umrah Ministry in consultation with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) and the Health Insurance Council, he added.

The insurance will be linked to the visa as soon as the pilgrim arrives in Saudi Arabia, he said. There will be a hotline, and pilgrims will be served by teams who speak multiple languages.

Ayman Al-Arfaj, general supervisor of the ministry’s media center, said the insurance will cost SR189 per person, which will be paid to the insurance company and will cover 30 days, the total stay of the pilgrim in Saudi Arabia.

He said that insurance will be unified for all pilgrims and will cover emergency cases, accidents and repatriation of the remains of pilgrims who die in Saudi Arabia. A pilgrim automatically gets insurance once the visa is issued.

Pilgrims in need of health assistance can avail themselves of the insurance benefit by presenting their passports at any hospital or clinic under the Saudi Ministry of Health or any private hospital and clinic accredited by the Health Insurance Council, Al-Arfaj said.

Abdulaziz bin Hadsan Al-Bouq, CEO of Tawuniya, which has been awarded the contract for four years, said the Kingdom is developing innovative methods to provide health services and reduce accidents at holy sites.

This project, he added, is supported by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah and each insurance covers an amount of SR100,000 ($26,665) per person.

Al-Arfaj noted that since the start of the Umrah season in October, a total of 1,518,649 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom.

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

ru

Saudi Hajj minister signs agreements for 2020 Hajj season

03/12/19

Saudi minister for Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Mohammed Saleh bin Taher Benten signs agreement with Moroccan Islamic Affairs Minister Ahmed Tawfik. (Supplied)
  • These agreements pertained to the arrival of pilgrims coming from the aforementioned countries

MAKKAH: The minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Mohammed Saleh bin Taher Benten, recently signed several agreements in meetings with the head of the Iraqi Hajj mission, Sheikh Khalid Al-Attiyah, the Moroccan minister of Islamic affairs, Ahmed Tawfik, and the Indian minister of minority affairs, Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

The agreements came within the framework of early preparations for the Hajj season this year, with the meetings conducted in the presence of Dr. Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat, the Saudi deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah.

These agreements pertained to the arrival of pilgrims coming from the aforementioned countries, to provide all requirements for people to perform their rituals.

In a statement, the minister of Hajj and Umrah stated King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman were keen to ensure the safety of pilgrims in the Kingdom until their departure.

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

Hajj Minister: 1.1 million pilgrims have arrived in Kingdom since start of Umrah season

25/11/19

Muslim pilgrims walk around the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, during the minor pilgrimage, known as Umrah, in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Friday, May 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
  • Pakistan and Indonesia combined accounted for more than half of the pilgrims
  • Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has launched “inaya” (care) centers to provide comprehensive services pilgrims

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced that 1,339,376 Umrah visas have been issued so far for Hijri year 1441, which started on August 31, 2019 in the Gregorian calendar.

The number of pilgrims coming to Saudi Arabia has reached 1,133,365 with 297,491 pilgrims currently in the Kingdom and 835,874 pilgrims having left.

In its statistical report, the ministry noted that 1,088,608 pilgrims had arrived in the Kingdom by air, 44,750 by land and 7 by sea.

By country, 319,494 pilgrims arrived from Pakistan, 306,461 from Indonesia, 195,345 from India, 50,841 from Malaysia, 50,775 from Turkey, 36,021 from Bangladesh, 28,785 from Algeria, 18,146 from Morocco, 16,851 from Iraq and 16,223 from Jordan.

With the beginning of Umrah season, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah launched “inaya” (care) centers to provide comprehensive services for beneficiaries. The ministry also developed the central booking system MAQAM, that allows Umrah companies, hotel and transportation companies and pilgrims and visitors of the Prophet’s Mosque to contact each other directly, thus achieving the highest standards of control, efficiency and transparency.

MAQAM, in tandem with the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Information Center, also issues e-visas without the need for paperwork, as part of efforts exerted to achieve one of the most important goals of Vision 2030, improving the quality of services provided for pilgrims.

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

‘Smart Hajj’: More services planned to improve pilgrims’ experience

Time: October 09, 2019  

Dr. Abdulfattah Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, left, and Dr. AbdulRahman Aljadhai, CEO of Elm company, sign two memorandums of understanding to develop and operate an electronic platform for subsistence, health, environment, and to establish and operate the Qualifying and Licensing Center for Employees of Hajj and Umrah Sectors. (Photos/Supplied)

  • The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah is one of the participants in GITEX 2019, an annual technological event in Dubai

JEDDAH: The first phase of “Smart Hajj” helped the movement, transportation and safety of pilgrims this year, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced.
Dr. Abdulfattah Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, and Dr. AbdulRahman Aljadhai, CEO of Elm Co., signed two memorandums of understanding to develop and operate the electronic platform for subsistence, health, environment, and to establish and operate the Qualifying and Licensing Center for Employees of Hajj and Umrah Sectors.
“The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah is undergoing digital transformation in cooperation with leading technology companies to promote the concepts of using smart solutions to provide high-quality services for the Guests of Allah, which will contribute to improving and enriching pilgrims’ experience in the Kingdom as well as achieve one of the main goals of Saudi Vision 2030,” Dr. Mashat said during a press statement at GITEX 2019.
“The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, in accordance with the instructions and guidance of the Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Mohammad Salih Bentin, has made many strategic partnerships with the private sector to improve the quality of services and the development of ‘Smart Hajj’ solutions, including the signing of memorandums of understanding last year with SAP in the field of technology, digital infrastructure, cloud computing, geospatial cloud computing platforms, Internet of Things, and smart cards to improve services,” he said.
Dr. Amr Al-Maddah, chief planning and strategy officer at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, said: “Our Smart Hajj ensures that millions of pilgrims from around the world are transported quickly, easily and safely to religious sites on set schedules.
“The successful digital transformation allows real-time insights to optimize travel and crowd experiences and during our second phase of Smart Hajj we will roll-out predictive modeling and simulation for millions of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims.”
The “Smart Hajj” captures in real time pilgrims using the Internet of Things, geospatial and camera analytics, along with data from the pilgrim experience mobile feedback platform.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah is one of the participants in GITEX 2019, an annual technological event in Dubai. The ministry is showcasing its latest technologies in serving Hajj and Umrah pilgrims and enriching their experience in Saudi Arabia.

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

ru

Health Ministry treats 649,690 Hajj pilgrims

Time: August 24, 2019  

1 / 4
The number of participants in serving pilgrims this year reached 30,000 employees of the Ministry of Health. (SPA)
  • For the first time this year, the ministry used robotic technology for medical consultations, which gave hospitals in Mina remote access to consultants in micro specialties

RIYADH: The Ministry of Health has revealed specialized services provided by its hospitals and health centers in Makkah, Madinah and holy sites for pilgrims during Hajj.
The ministry said that the number of pilgrims who received treatment in hospitals and health centers reached 649,690.
The number of participants in serving pilgrims this year reached 30,000 employees of the Ministry of Health, while 25 hospitals were prepared in Makkah and Madinah, with a total capacity of 5,000 beds.
For the first time this year, the ministry used robotic technology for medical consultations, which gave hospitals in Mina remote access to consultants in micro specialties.

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

ru

Sudanese pilgrims thank king for Hajj hosting

Time: August 19, 2019  

1 / 4
The program, which was implemented by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance, invited 1,000 pilgrims from Sudan to perform Hajj. (SPA)
  • The worshippers said that the hosting reflects King Salman’s appreciation for their sacrifices in defending their Yemeni brothers against Iranian-backed Houthi militias

MAKKAH: Sudanese pilgrims who came as part of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah thanked King Salman for hosting them.
The program, which was implemented by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance, invited 1,000 pilgrims from Sudan to perform Hajj.
Of them, 500 came from the Sudanese Army and those belonging to the families of fallen Sudanese troops who fought with the Arab coalition forces to support the legitimate government in Yemen.
The worshippers said that the hosting reflects King Salman’s appreciation for their sacrifices in defending their Yemeni brothers against Iranian-backed Houthi militias, that violated all international laws. They said that the kind gesture represents the historical relations and unrivaled support shown to Sudan by Saudi Arabia.

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

ru

KSA transports 43,000 pilgrims free of charge from Mina to Grand Mosque

Time: August 18, 2019  

The service of transporting pilgrims was implemented under the governor of Makkah, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, to provide best facilities. (SPA)
  • The first route is dedicated to pilgrims from Turkey, Europe, America, Australia and the Southeast Asia Foundation

MAKKAH: For the first time during this year’s Hajj season, 43,000 pilgrims from Turkey, Europe, America and Australia were transported free of charge from Mina to the Grand Mosque to perform Tawaf Al-Ifadah.
Adel Qari, the supervisor of the transport sector at the Establishment of Motawifs of Pilgrims of Turkey Muslims of Europe, America and Australia, said that this was part of preparations for future expansion and development of this experiment. Coordination can then be done in advance for the establishment of stops, the use of distinctive buses, and the employment of the largest number of them.
Qari told Arab News that the service of transporting pilgrims from Mina to the Grand Mosque during the Days of Tashreeq was implemented under the governor of Makkah, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, who directed the Supreme Commission for Transport Control to implement the service on four dedicated routes.

FASTFACT

43,000 pilgrims from Turkey, Europe, America and Australia were transported within 30 hours — between 1 p.m. on Dul Hijjah 10 (Aug. 11) and 7 p.m. on Dul Hijjah 11 (Aug. 12) — on 150 buses, which carried out successive trips from their camps in Mina to Jroul Station north of the Grand Mosque.

“The first route is dedicated to pilgrims from Turkey, Europe, America, Australia and the Southeast Asia Foundation. The second route starts from the Jamarat facility, passes through the Grand Mosque and ends at Talaat Sidqi Street. The third route starts from the end of the Jamarat facility, passes through the Grand Mosque and ends at Al-Shisha district. The fourth route runs from the King Khalid Bridge to the Grand Mosque,” he said.

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

ru

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince congratulate interior minister on Eid Al-Adha

Time: August 17, 2019  

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent cables to the Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif congratulating him on Eid Al-Adha. (SPA)
  • Around 2.5 million pilgrims performed the Hajj this year
  • Eid Al-Adha, which is celebrated by Muslims across the world who are not performing Hajj, began on Sunday Aug. 11, 2019

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent cables to the Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif congratulating him on Eid Al-Adha and the success of Hajj 2019.
They also thanked Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif for his cables congratulating them on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha.
Previously, the interior minister had thanked the king for taking care of Hajj pilgrims and for providing them with all the facilities and services that they needed.
Around 2.5 million pilgrims performed the Hajj this year and all the measures put in place by authorities and agencies were successful, he added.
Eid Al-Adha, which is celebrated by Muslims across the world who are not performing Hajj, began on Sunday Aug. 11, 2019.

This article was first published in Arab News

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Arab News Home

ru