Chinese envoy inspects holy sites metro

Updated 16 October 2012
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Chinese envoy inspects holy sites metro

MAKKAH: As the movement of the holy sites metro in Makkah was modified this year to meet the requirement of the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, Chinese Ambassador Li Chengwen inspected the project Sunday to review the changes.
Li said he met with the China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) to ensure a safe, accurate operation for Haj.
“This project is clearly facilitating Haj and is considered a monument to the Saudi-Chinese cooperation that we must sustain and keep it running perfectly. We also must continue providing better services to pilgrims,” Li said.
The ambassador said the holy sites railway has broken some international records. The time between each train station is 17 seconds and each train is 300 meters long. Added to that is the fact that the railway is 18 km long, is not straight but rather consists of curves, upslopes and downslopes. It is very difficult to drive the train, but with joint efforts by both sides, the crews managed to overcome these difficulties, according to officials.
The ambassador said other projects under construction in Saudi Arabia by Chinese companies include King Khalid University in Abha, a cement factory and an oil refinery with annual capacity of 20 million tons.
“This increased cooperation between the two countries is a normal result of the developed relations,” Li said. “China is the second largest economy in the world and is keen to increase its cooperation with all countries especially the friends, not only in economic relations but also in technology. Saudi Arabia is also keen to increase the cooperation with China.”
Li said his country is encouraging Chinese companies to help the Kingdom in achieving its ambition of diversifying industry.
According to CRCC, holy sites Metro is the first engineering, procurement, construction, operation and maintenance project as well as the first mega project executed by a Chinese enterprise in the world as the general contractor to have obtained the safety certificate issued by European Railway Verification Authority.
Makkah Metro is designed to be the most intensely used in capacity and the most complex operation mode, also regarded to be the fastest to build and operate in the highest outdoor temperature in the world.
It was on Feb. 10, 2009, when the contract was signed by China Railway Construction Corporation Limited and Saudi Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs in the presences of both Chinese President Hu Jintao and King Abdullah.


King Salman to host 1,000 Sudanese pilgrims 

Updated 22 July 2019
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King Salman to host 1,000 Sudanese pilgrims 

  • 500 pilgrims are to be selected from the Sudanese army
  • Another 500 to be selected from families of Sudanese soldiers who died while fighting Houthi terrorists in Yemen

RIYADH: King Salman has issued an order to host 1,000 pilgrims from Sudan to perform Hajj, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

According to the directive, the 1,000 pilgrims will perform Hajj within the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah, implemented and supervised by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance.

Islamic Affairs Minister Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh said that of this total, 500 pilgrims would be selected from the Sudanese army and those belonging to the families of Sudanese martyred while participating in the “Determination Storm and Restoring of Hope” operations within the Arab coalition forces supporting the legitimate government in Yemen.

This year, King Salman has ordered the hosting of 1,300 pilgrims from around the world as part of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah.

Earlier, King Salman issued a directive for the hosting of 200 Hajj pilgrims from the families of victims of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The king also ordered 1,000 Palestinian pilgrims who are family members of martyrs to be hosted while they performed Hajj.  

Al-Asheikh said that the hosting of the families during the Hajj season was part of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to “confront and defeat terrorism” in all its forms.

So far, the number of pilgrims who have arrived in the Kingdom since the start of the Hajj season has reached 562,056, according to statistics issued by the Saudi General Directorate of Passports.

Most pilgrims — 547,505 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 8,548 entered by land and 6,003 arrived by sea, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Last year more that 1.75 million pilgrims from abroad performed Hajj, according to figures from the Saudi General Directorate of Passports.