More than 192,000 employees to serve pilgrims during Hajj 2018

August 14, 2018

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Statistics said a total of 192,254 employees, from both genders, will be working to deliver those services to pilgrims. (SPA)

Construction work at the Al-Wakrah Stadium, a $575 million (465 million euros) World Cup venue seating 40,000 designed by celebrated Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, some 15 kilometers on the outskirts of the Qatari capital Doha. (File photo / AFP / Karim Jaafar)

JEDDAH- Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Statistics announced on Tuesday its statistical calendar for this year’s Hajj season, which includes more than 136 major services to be carried as part of the general services offered to pilgrims.
The authority said on its official website that a total of 192,254 employees, from both genders, will be working to deliver those services to pilgrims. It said 189,113 men and 3,141 women are working around the clock throughout the days of Hajj.
It also said that the number of equipment and machinery used in these services had reached 59,741, including 7,995 cars, 1,583 motorbikes, 13,349 wireless devices, and 3,760 computers.
It also highlighted the security services offered to pilgrims during Hajj as the main public service offered by the General Directorate of Public Security. The services include executing security and traffic plans to maintain public order in Makkah, Madinah and other holy sites.
It said 52 police stations 280 traffic centers and 75 security border gates have been set up at the entrances of Makkah and the holy sites.
Civil defense forces have deployed 15,000 members to execute its preventive awareness program.
Meanwhile, the Directorate of Passport Control has deployed more than 5,000 staff officers, individuals and technicians to prepare outlets for the reception of pilgrims.
The National Information Center has assigned more than 1,355 technician and administrative officials to secure and prepare equipment that will can and read electronic Hajj permits.

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

am

More than 100 Islamic preachers to answer pilgrim queries on new Hajj hotline

August 13, 2018

Through this service, the ministry aims to offer awareness and guidance to pilgrims. (File photo: AFP)

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance has registered a 24-hour helpline 800-245-1000 during Hajj season to answer the enquires of pilgrims.

A statement from the Saudi Press Agency said 128 Islamic preachers will be available to answer queries on the hotline.

Through this service, the ministry aims to offer awareness and guidance to pilgrims. It said the preachers will be available to provide information on any Hajj procedures by answering questions on the free hotline.

Fifty-nine telephone lines will be dedicated to the service, 24 in Makkah, 6 in Madinah and 29 in the sites of Menna, Muzdalifah and Arafat. The lines will operate based on the telecommunications relay service, that receives the call directly and transfers to the next line if there’s no answer, according to a schedule placed by the provider.

This article was first published in  Alarabiya

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Alarabiya’s Home

am

Over 1.3m pilgrims to arrive in KSA for Hajj

August 12, 2018

Muslim pilgrims climb Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat during the peak of the annual hajj pilgrimage near the holy city of Makkah, in this October 25, 2012. (Reuters)

Muslim pilgrims head to take part in the symbolic stoning of the devil at the Jamarat Bridge in Mina, near Makkah, which marks the final major rite of the hajj, in this file photo taken on September 1, 2017. (AFP)

  • Electronic platforms had also helped to make the process easier
  • Capsules are fitted with a sliding door at the end that can be opened by a magnetic card for each user, to ensure privacy

JEDDAH- More than 1.3 million pilgrims are expected to arrive in Saudi Arabia for this year’s Hajj season, and more than 200,000 “domestic pilgrims” have also registered for services including the “low-cost Hajj,” “affordable Hajj,” and “general program,” the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced on Sunday.
The number of pilgrims registered for the general program is 160,221, with 37,891 signing up for low-cost Hajj and 10,016 for the affordable Hajj.
Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah Abdulfattah Mashat said that the ministry had worked hard to ensure that all programs and facilities to receive guests in accordance with the highest standards were in place well in advance of the season. He said that its electronic platforms had also helped to make the process easier.
Mashat expressed his hope that all pilgrims would enjoy Hajj in comfort and safety and that God would accept their prayers and that they would return safely to their home countries after performing their pilgrimage.
This Hajj season pilgrims will also be able to try out the latest mobile hotel capsules — sleeping units that offer hotel room services and facilities in the smallest possible space, Hadiyah, the Hajji and Mu’tamer’s Gift Charitable Association has announced.
These capsules can be placed side-by-side or on top of each other, with a height of two units. When the capsules are stacked a three-step staircase gives access to the top capsule.
Capsules are fitted with a sliding door at the end that can be opened by a magnetic card for each user, to ensure privacy.

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

am

Minister praises telecom sector’s Hajj efforts

August 10, 2018

Abdullah bin Amer Al-Sawaha. (SPA)

JEDDAH-

The minister of communications and information technology, Abdullah bin Amer Al-Sawaha, on Friday praised the telecommunication sector’s efforts to serve Hajj pilgrims.
He inspected the readiness of the Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) to welcome this year’s Hajj season at Mount Arafat. He was accompanied by his deputy, Haitham bin Abdulrahman Al-Ohali, the governor of the Communications and Information Technology Commission, Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Salem Al-Ruwais, and the STC’s acting CEO Dr. Tarig Enaya.
Al-Sawaha said: “I was pleased to see the dedication and team spirit. We are very proud of our partners and their efforts to use new technologies in order to improve and facilitate the performance of rituals.”

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

am

Kingdom served 54 million Haj pilgrims over 25 years: GaStat

Time : August 08, 2018

RIYADH — According to official statistics released by the General Authority for Statistics (GaStat), the total number of Haj pilgrims who were served by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the last 25 years reached 53,928,358.

The lowest number of pilgrims was registered in the Haj season of 1995 (1415H) when the number of pilgrims was 1,781,370. On the other hand, the highest number of pilgrims was registered was in 1433H when 3,161,573 performed the annual pilgrimage.

During the last 10 years, the number of pilgrims was 23,834,151.

GaStat spokesman Taiseer Al-Mofarrej said counting the numbers of pilgrims each year has been one of the important tasks performed by the authority. The counting of pilgrims started in 1390H in order to obtain accurate information to help all governmental entities to plan and develop the services provided to the pilgrims. However, the task has been performed for many years, with a lot of developments in the methods of counting and enumeration so that they can be applied in an accurate, comprehensive, and professional way.

Al-Mofarrej said the Haj statistics program helps plan the necessary services for pilgrims, whether social, health, security, food or transportation. It is done by using a time series of accurate data on the numbers of pilgrims, the estimates of manpower needed to serve the pilgrims and to maintain their safety and comfort during the Haj season of each year. The data and numbers of pilgrims are used by the entities concerned in studies to prepare facilities in Makkah and the holy site. In addition, it provides accurate information and data on Haj for researchers, students, beneficiaries and those interested in this field.

The data is also used for the evaluation of activities and events conducted by the entities concerned with serving the pilgrims, as well as to identify ways of arrival of domestic pilgrims and the pilgrims coming from outside the Kingdom.

The GaStat spokesman revealed the statistics on services provided by various government agencies to pilgrims would be announced periodically from the first of Dhul Hijjah. The authority will release the final and official number of pilgrims this year on Dhul Hijjah 9, through a Haj statistics bulletin in detail including the number of internal pilgrims, the number of pilgrims from abroad, pilgrims by sex, nationality and destination, number of vehicles used for transporting pilgrims as well as their types, and other detailed data.

During the past 25 years, the number of pilgrims exceeded 3 million pilgrims only once, while their number exceeded 2 million pilgrims 12 times. On the other hand, during two seasons, their number fell below 2 million, with the lowest number of pilgrims recorded in 1415H (1995 AD).

This article was first published in  Saudi Gazette

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Saudi Gazette’s Home

am

Saudi Arabia renews welcome to Qataris at Hajj, despite Doha registration block

August 07, 2018

Benten reaffirmed that the kingdom will ensure that Qatari pilgrims can still register their details and finish any paperwork at the airport in Jeddah. (Shutterstock)

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday renewed its welcome to Qatari citizens who wish to perform Hajj this year, despite Qatari authorities blocking websites created by the Hajj ministry for registration.

Saudi Arabia’s Hajj and Umrah Minister Muhammad Saleh Benten reaffirmed on Tuesday that the kingdom welcomes any Qatari pilgrims who want to perform Hajj this year.

Benten added that the kingdom will ensure Qatari pilgrims are able to perform Hajj easily, despite the Qatari government blocking the websites created specifically to facilitate the process for Qatari pilgrims.

Benten reaffirmed that the kingdom will ensure that Qatari pilgrims can still register their details and finish any paperwork at the airport in Jeddah, and any Qataris living outside of Qatar can access the portal to register their details through the ministry website.

This article was first published in  Alarabiya

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Alarabiya’s Home

am

New Force on Saudi Tech Scene Emerges as Women Pack the Hall at First Record-Breaking Hajj Hackathon

Time : August 05, 2018

Presence of female developers, programmers and computer aficionados from the Kingdom, the GCC and the rest of the world is lauded

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, August 3 (CIC) – Female computer developers, programmers and proud tech heads from Saudi Arabia, the GCC and across the world, staked out a presence that was both noticeable and notable among thousands of tech acolytes at the first Hajj Hackathon, held this week in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah. The three-day event, the largest tech competition ever staged in the Middle East, concludes on Friday.

 

The brainy female tech heads were competing shoulder-to-shoulder with male coders, software developers, programmers, designers, and innovators at the first event of its kind in Saudi Arabia. The competition took place at Jeddah’s International Exhibition and Convention Centre. Male or female, participants all had one goal — to come up with the most innovative solutions, using state-of-the-art technology, to make the Hajj a more efficient and enjoyable experience for the throngs that annually descend on Makkah for the religious pilgrimage.

 

Techno legends Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Inc., and Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, had joined the participants at the opening of the first Hajj Hackathon. Guinness World Records has announced that this week’s Saudi Arabia-based event drew a total of 2,950 developers, besting India’s previous 2012 record of 2,577 at a software development jam.

 

The female attendees at the Hajj Hackathon included Lebanon’s Rayan Al-Zahab, the first Arab woman hired as a developer by Google, which lent its support to the event by offering mentorship services and training for participants.

 

In his address on opening day, Internet entrepreneur Jimmy Wales lauded the strong female presence at the hackathon.

 

In tech, of course, we have a really serious problem with the lack of female talent throughout the entire industry, so it’s fantastic to see that, here, women are being supported in pursuing programming and technology as a career. I think it’s really an amazing and wonderful thing,” Wales said.

 

The hackathon has attracted leading programmers from around the globe eager to tackle the challenge to produce creative and innovative solutions to the problems inherent in the arrival of approximately 2 million pilgrims annually. Hajj will take place from August 19-24 this year. In the Hajj Hackathon competition, entrepreneurs and technology experts focus on areas such as crowd management, food, health, finance, traffic control, travel, housing, communications, and waste management, among others.

 

Nouf Al-Rakan, the chief executive of the Saudi Federation for Cyber Security, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP), the hackathon’s organiser, said in her address at the event opening on Tuesday night: “Starting from an ambitious Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia is moving to a new era with a huge ambition. We will open doors and combine minds to spread a message that serves Islam and technology.

The organisers said in a statement that the “participation of women in the Hajj Hackathon is a visible demonstration of the Saudi 2030 Vision of empowering women”, adding: This initiative is part of the Kingdom’s commitment to stimulating innovation and assuming regional and global leadership in technology. It serves to focus the young and vibrant creative energies emerging in the Kingdom, providing diverse opportunities for them and helping to achieve the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.”

SAFCSP is an initiative that seeks to meet the goals and objectives of the Kingdom’s ‘Vision 2030’ national economic development and diversification strategy. SAFCSP is offering cash prizes to the top three finishers, amounting to a total of SAR2,000,000 to transform their ideas into application-based solutions.

This article was first published in  CIC

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  CIC’s Home

am

4 Japanese catch the eye in Hajj Hackathon

Time: August 03, 2018 

Among 30 Japanese designers and programmers, Ryuta Nakagwe, Hikaru Hongu, Tsubasa Kohato and Yuta Suzuki look forward to developing a project with other participants and create new solutions that will benefit millions of Muslims as they perform Haj.

While setting together and discussing their innovative project and dressing the traditional clothing of Saudi Arabia, they all were very determined to win the first prize.

This article was first published in Saudi Gazette

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link Saudi Gazette Home

ru

With 2,950 participants from 100 countries, Hajj Hackathon makes Guinness Record

Time : August 02, 2018

Head of Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones Saud Bin Abdulla al-Kahtani receives the award

Saudi Arabia Hajj Hackathon organized by the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones in Jeddah, has broken the Guinness World Record in terms of the number of participants topping 2,950 from over 100 countries.

Saudi counselor in the Royal Court, head of the Kingdom’s Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones Saud Bin Abdulla al-Kahtani expressed gratitude to King Salman Bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman for their continuous support which led to this prestigious achievement.

Al-Kahtani said: “The Kingdom entering Guinness Records through Hajj Hackathon, confirms the ambition of the Saudi youths that their country is a gate for technology in the region,” referring that this achievement comes in parallel with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

Young Saudis have been a vital part of this major event. (AFP)

The Saudi Guinness World Record official announcement came on Wednesday, where judge Ahmed Jabr representing the prestigious body handed the award to the head of Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones Saud Bin Abdulla al-Kahtani.

Saudi Hajj Hackathon broke the previous Guinness World Record for simultaneous Hackathon participants done by India with 2,577 participants back in 2012.

This year Hajj Hackathon, which attracted Tech companies from around the world with support from Google, run many workshops for the participants, encouraged youth to come forward with innovative ideas.

Thousands of software developers and computer and information-technology enthusiasts from more than 100 countries took part in Hajj hackathon in Jeddah which started on July, 31 and ends on August 3.

The Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones allocated $533,000 in prizes divided into three categories, where the first prize is worth $266,000, second prize $133,000, the Third prize is $93,000 while a prize of $39,000 goes to distinction.

The competition in the event included sectors surrounding the Hajj season, its services and challenges, including food and beverages, public health, financial solutions, transportation, crowd management, traffic control, travel and accommodation arrangements, waste and waste management, housing and communication solutions.

This article was first published in  Alarabiya

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Alarabiya’s Home

am

Jeddah prepares to host Hajj Hackathon, largest event of its kind in the Mideast

Time : August 01, 2018

The cyber federation said it aims to attract leading minds in the field of programming to innovate technology solutions that contribute to enriching and improving pilgrims’ experience. (Supplied)

Jeddah is set to host the largest Hackathon in the Middle East with the participation of thousands of developers from both sexes and more than 100 countries during a three-day event from Wednesday onward.

This important event, organized by the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones, held an opening ceremony on Tuesday to continue the efforts of Saudi Arabia to serve the guests of Mecca and take advantage of the young talents, while highlighting women’s participation in the exploration and development of Hajj technology.

The cyber federation said it aims to attract leading minds in the field of programming to innovate technology solutions that contribute to enriching and improving pilgrims’ experience.

This initiative is part of the Kingdom’s commitment to stimulating innovation and regional and global leadership in technology. Supporting the young talents and providing opportunities for them, and achieving the objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030.

The first edition of the #Hajj_Hackathon will see developers of both sexes from participate different countries including the Kingdom, the Gulf countries and the world, and so far the number of registered numbered at least 20,000 people.

This article was first published in  Alarabiya

If you want more interesting news or videos of this website click on this link  Alarabiya’s Home

am