Saudi Ports Authority launches plan for Hajj pilgrims arriving by sea

Time: July 16, 2019  

In this file photo, Sudanese pilgrims disembark from a ship arriving at the Saudi Red Sea port of Jeddah to attend the annual Hajj pilgrimage. (AFP file)
  • Jeddah Islamic Port will start receiving pilgrims on July 17 until Aug. 6.
  • Yanbu Commercial Port also has a terminal to receive pilgrims

JEDDAH: The Saudi Ports Authority has prepared a comprehensive operational plan to receive pilgrims arriving by sea through the Jeddah Islamic Port during this year’s Hajj season.

The authority, in cooperation with different government sectors and agencies, seeks to ensure pilgrims’ comfort, and facilitate performance of the Hajj from the moment they arrive in the Kingdom until they return home.

The port will start receiving pilgrims on July 17 until Aug. 6. Some 22,000 are expected to use it, an increase on last year’s 16,000.

The port’s terminal has been equipped to accommodate over 800 people per hour. It comprises five lounges, three for arrivals and two for departures. All of the lounges are equipped with the necessary facilities and equipment to serve pilgrims and help them complete their entry and exit procedures.

The operational equipment includes 14 sophisticated devices for searching and transporting baggage, 700 luggage trolleys, and 28 new buses.

Over 266 personnel will serve pilgrims at the port during this year’s Hajj season. These include maritime pilots, ship captains, technical and operational supervisors, security teams, and staff responsible for operations at the station as well as the management of technical affairs.

Yanbu Commercial Port also has a terminal for receiving pilgrims, having been recently expanded from 3,600 square meters to 7,200 square meters, with its capacity growing from 1,000 passengers to 2,800. It has also been equipped with four new X-ray baggage scanners and an integrated health system that includes a pharmacy and medical clinics.

The Port of Daba has started receiving seasonal workers to serve this year’s pilgrims, and it is expected to receive 40,000 pilgrims throughout this year’s Hajj season.

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

Nearly 37,000 Hajj pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia via Makkah Route initiative

Time: July 15, 2019  

Nearly 37,000 Hajj pilgrims from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia arrived in Saudi Arabia aboard 90 flights between July 4 and July 11 as part of the Makkah Route initiative, Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports announced this week.
“33 flights carrying 13,317 pilgrims arrived through Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport, while 57 flights carrying 23,427 pilgrims arrived through Madinah’s Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz International Airport,” the directorate said, as 36,744 Hajj pilgrims were recorded arriving in the Kingdom during the period.

(Photo courtesy: SPA)

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

Nearly 37,000 Hajj pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia via Makkah Route initiative

Time: July 14, 2019  

1 / 3
Nearly 37,000 Hajj pilgrims from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia arrived in Saudi Arabia aboard 90 flights between July 4 and July 11 as part of the Makkah Route initiative. (SPA)
  • The Makkah Route initiative is expected to serve more than 225,000 pilgrims coming from airports in Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Tunisia
  • The service includes issuing visas, ensuring compliance with health requirements and codifying and sorting luggage at airports in the pilgrims’ own countries

RIYADH: Nearly 37,000 Hajj pilgrims from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia arrived in Saudi Arabia aboard 90 flights between July 4 and July 11 as part of the Makkah Route initiative, Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports announced this week.
“33 flights carrying 13,317 pilgrims arrived through Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport, while 57 flights carrying 23,427 pilgrims arrived through Madinah’s Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz International Airport,” the directorate said, as 36,744 Hajj pilgrims were recorded arriving in the Kingdom during the period.
Pilgrims received a warm welcome from all bodies taking part in the initiative from the moment they left their countries to the moment they arrived at their residences in either Makkah or Madinah, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The Makkah Route initiative is expected to serve more than 225,000 pilgrims coming from airports in Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Tunisia.
The service includes issuing visas, ensuring compliance with health requirements and codifying and sorting luggage at airports in the pilgrims’ own countries.
This enables them to bypass procedures on arrival in the Kingdom and to head directly to buses waiting to transport them to their accommodation in Makkah and Madinah.
Service authorities deliver pilgrims’ luggage to their accommodation in the holy cities.
The initiative aims to provide the best service possible for pilgrims by completing their entry into the Kingdom from airports in their countries.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs grants beneficiaries of the initiative e-Hajj visas after inserting pilgrims’ data in the electronic tracking of Hajj visas.

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 ministry confirms measures for Qatari pilgrims, says Doha government blocking access to Kingdom

Time: July 14, 2019  

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said on Saturday it had taken several measures to ensure Qatari Hajj pilgrims could enter the Kingdom for the upcoming season, but that Doha was blocking access for its citizens. (AFP/File Photo)
  • Statement said the delegation from Doha left meeting without signing any agreement
  • Statement also rejected Qatari claims the Kingdom was trying to “politicize” Hajj season

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said on Saturday it had taken several measures to ensure Qatari Hajj pilgrims could enter the Kingdom for the upcoming season, adding that the Qatari government was blocking attempts by its citizens to perform the pilgrimage.

Following a meeting of the ministry and a Qatari delegation to discuss the logistics of pilgrims from the country coming into the Kingdom, a statement said the delegation from Doha left without signing any agreement to enable access for it citizens.

In response to Doha’s actions, the statement said the Kingdom welcomed Qatari worshippers completing their applications once they arrived in Saudi Arabia.

The ministry said during the meeting it had called on the relevant authorities in Qatar to allow pilgrims to enter the Kingdom to perform Hajj and that Saudi Arabia was “keen to enable Qatari residents to perform religious rituals.”

A statement from the ministry rejected claims by Qatari officials that Saudi Arabia was putting obstacles in the way of worshippers from Qatar, adding that it had facilitated “several electronic portals” for Qatari citizens to book their places.

The statement also rejected Qatari claims that the Kingdom was trying to “politicize” the Hajj season.

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

King Salman to host 1,300 Hajj pilgrims from 72 countries

Time: July 14, 2019  

King Salman, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, is hosting 1,300 pilgrims from 72 countries around the world. (File/ SPA)
  • The Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh said the order was evidence of the Kingdom’s efforts to take care of the interests of Muslims
  • He said that the total beneficiaries of the program since its inauguration had reached 52,747 pilgrims from around the world

RIYADH: King Salman has ordered 1,300 pilgrims from around the world to be hosted during this year’s Hajj season as part of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah.

The Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh, the general supervisor of the program, said the order was evidence of the Kingdom’s efforts to take care of the interests of Muslims.

He said that the total beneficiaries of the program since its inauguration had reached 52,747 pilgrims from around the world.

Earlier, King Salman ordered 1,000 Palestinian pilgrims who are family members of martyrs to be hosted while they performed Hajj.

Al-Asheikh said the ministry would follow up on the pilgrims’ traveling process through its embassies in Egypt and Jordan.

The ministry would also finalize all procedures needed for their travel to the Kingdom on private flights, and offer services to help them perform Hajj.

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

Dr. Amr Al-Maddah, chief planning and strategy officer at Ministry of Hajj and Umrah

Time: July 11, 2019  

Dr. Amr Al-Maddah

Dr. Amr Al-Maddah has been the chief planning and strategy officer at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, and an adviser to its minister, since February 2019.

Up to 25,000 Hajj pilgrims in Mina this year will be issued with wearable high-tech smart cards in a pilot program being launched by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah. The cards will store the pilgrims’ personal information, health status, residence and Hajj tour details. They will also be fitted with a location tracker to follow individual pilgrims’ movements, managed by a control room in Mina.

Al-Maddah said that it is the experimental stage of a smart Hajj initiative they are working on, and they will study to what extent it might be advantageous to the pilgrims.

Al-Maddah received his bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering from King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) in 2007.

He obtained his master’s in robotics and intelligent systems from Osaka University in Japan in 2010, and a Ph.D. in 2013 from the same university.

After getting his bachelor’s, he worked for Saudi Hollandi Bank as a premises engineer until 2008.

When he concluded his education in Japan, he joined the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) as a research associate from 2013 to 2014.

Al-Maddah then joined KAU as an assistant professor. He continues to teach in the electrical engineering department, while also acting as a consultant to the university vice president for business and cognitive creativity. In 2015, Al-Maddah became director of KAU’s business incubators until March 2016.

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

High-tech ‘smart’ cards to keep Hajj pilgrims safe and secure

Time: July 11, 2019  

Up to 25,000 Hajj pilgrims will be issued with wearable high-tech smart cards this year in a pilot program being launched by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah. (AN file photo)
  • The smart cards will be fitted with a location tracker to follow individual pilgrims’ movements, managed by a control room in Mina
  • These cards are scannable, allowing Hajj service providers to quickly identify pilgrims, access their medical history and establish what assistance they may need

JEDDAH: Up to 25,000 Hajj pilgrims in Mina this year will be issued wearable high-tech smart cards in a pilot program being launched by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

The cards will store the pilgrims’ personal information, health status, residence and Hajj tour details.

They will also be fitted with a location tracker to follow individual pilgrims’ movements, managed by a control room in Mina.

“It is the experimental stage of a smart Hajj initiative we are working on, and we will study to what extent it might be advantageous to the pilgrims.”

Dr. Amr Al-Maddah Chief planning and strategy officer at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah

“It is the experimental stage of a smart Hajj initiative we are working on, and we will study to what extent it might be advantageous to the pilgrims,” Dr. Amr Al-Maddah, the chief planning and strategy officer at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah told Arab News.

“The numbers will increase in the coming years to include more pilgrims in the other areas.” The ministry is also issuing up to 200,000 pilgrims ID cards, which will have the same information storage technology but without the location tracking feature.

These cards are scannable, allowing Hajj service providers to quickly identify pilgrims, access their medical history and establish what assistance they may need.

The cards will be complemented this year by a Smart Hajj ID app, Al-Maddah said. “It will offer the same features as the smart ID card, including tracking location, identifying crowded spots on the map, and the transport schedule.”

The smart card and mobile app also enable the ministry to simulate and predict crowd behavior during Hajj. “This new technology will help us collect data through the cards, cameras, and sensors distributed around the pilgrimage sites,” said Al-Maddah.

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

Second group of Indonesian Hajj pilgrims arrives in Madinah

Time: July 10, 2019  

1 / 5
Indonesia pilgrims get a warm welcome as they arrive at the airport in Madinah on Tuesday. (SPA)
  • 36,800 Algerians performing Hajj this year

MADINAH/ALGIERS: The plane carrying the second group of Indonesian pilgrims as part of the “Makkah Route” initiative arrived at Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah with 393 pilgrims on board.

The pilgrims will perform Hajj this year and visit the Prophet’s Mosque.

In statements to SPA, the pilgrims thanked Saudi Arabia for its hospitality and for the initiative that helped to facilitate their travel and entry into the Kingdom.

Meanwhile, up to 36,800 Algerians have registered their names, intending to perform the coming Hajj, Saudi Ambassador to Algeria Abdul Aziz bin Ibrahim Al-Omairini said, adding that the Kingdom was sparing no effort to best serve pilgrims.

At a press conference in Algiers, the ambassador said that the embassy had already issued 2,885 entry visas for various purposes, with 7,000 e-visas earmarked for Hajj.

He said that Hajj-related flights from Algiers to the holy sites are set to start on July 15 and continue until Aug. 6.

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 Cabinet warns Hajj pilgrims not to mix politics with religion

09/07/19

Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers, chaired by King Salman, urged pilgrims to be considerate of the privacy and spirituality of the holy places and not to engage in political acts. (SPA)

  • King Salman welcomes pilgrims who began their journey to the Kingdom to perform the 5th pillar of Islam
  • Cabinet called on pilgrims to respect the principles of Hajj and avoid all political and secular slogans

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday warned pilgrims not to mix politics with religion while performing Hajj.
During a meeting of the Saudi Cabinet, chaired by King Salman, pilgrims were urged to be considerate of the privacy and spirituality of the holy places and not to engage in political acts.
According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Minister of Information Turki Al-Shabanah called on worshippers to refrain from taking part in any political activities that might disturb the pilgrimage, such as the raising of slogans.
He stressed that the Kingdom would not accept such behavior and would take all necessary action to prevent any misconduct.
Addressing the ministerial meeting, held at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah, King Salman welcomed pilgrims on their journey to perform the fifth pillar of Islam and directed all bodies involved in organizing Hajj to continue in providing security, stability, and tranquility for pilgrims and improve the services provided to them at land, sea and air entry points to the country.
The Cabinet applauded the continued development of pilgrim services, noting the achievement of the Makkah Road initiative to speed up pre-travel administration and baggage issues.
In other business, ministers commended a decision reached during the recent OPEC and OPEC + meetings to extend the agreement to reduce production until the end of the first quarter of 2020, which would contribute to the stability of oil markets. The move would establish a framework of sustainable cooperation which would work to the benefit of producers, consumers, and the global economy, the Cabinet agreed.
Ministers also welcomed a power-sharing agreement reached between military rulers and opposition leaders in Sudan, which they hoped would pave the way to a new era of security, stability and prosperity for the Sudanese people.
The meeting went on to approve an air services agreement between Saudi Arabia and the Seychelles and gave the go-ahead for talks on a memorandum of understanding between the Saudi General Auditing Bureau and the National Auditing Bureau of Sudan for cooperation in the field of professional accounting and auditing.
The Cabinet also decided to form a board of directors for the sustainable agricultural rural development program under the chairmanship of the Saudi environment, water and agriculture minister, with representation from several government sectors and the Cooperative Societies Council.
An e-commerce system was approved by the Cabinet too.

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

Makkah Route initiative success opens way for Hajj pilgrims

Time: July 08, 2019  

1 / 4
Bangladeshi pilgrims arriving at King Abdulaziz International Airport under Makkah Route Initiative. (SPA)
  • The Makkah Route initiative is expected to serve more than 225,000 pilgrims passing through airports in Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Tunisia
  • The service includes issuing visas, ensuring compliance with health requirements and codifying and sorting luggage at airports in the pilgrims’ own countries

JEDDAH: The director general of the information department at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ibrahim bin Abdulwahab Al-Gharib, said that the ministry grants beneficiaries of the Makkah Route initiative e-Hajj visas after inserting pilgrims’ data in the electronic track of Hajj visas.

He explained in a press statement on Sunday that the ministry is participating with other concerned government agencies in the implementation of the Makkah Route initiative, following the directives of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to provide the best service for pilgrims.

Al-Gharib said that the Makkah Route initiative was implemented for the Hajj season on Thursday at the airports of Islamabad in Pakistan and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and began with the first flight on Sunday in Indonesia, to be followed by Bangladesh.

He said the initiative aims to provide the best services for pilgrims through the completion of their entry into the Kingdom from the airports of their countries.

Indonesian pilgrims

The initiative was inaugurated on Sunday at Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Indonesia, in the presence of Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Indonesian Minister of Religious Affairs Dr. Lukman Hakim Saifuddin and Saudi Ambassador to Indonesia Essam Abed Al-Thaqafi.

Following the inauguration, the 410 Indonesian pilgrims on the first flight completed their entry into the Kingdom via dedicated lanes at the airport in record time.

The Saudi ambassador to Indonesia said that the implementation of the Makkah Route initiative in Indonesia for the second year confirms the success of cooperation between the two countries’ authorities in serving Indonesian pilgrims to 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