Record 14 million visit Makkah in 16 days

Updated 08 July 2015

Record 14 million visit Makkah in 16 days

JEDDAH: More than 14 million worshippers and pilgrims visited Makkah in the first 16 days of Ramadan, a 40 percent increase compared to the same period last year.
These figures were unveiled at a meeting of the Central Haj Committee, chaired by Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, a local publication has reported.
During the meeting, Prince Khaled reviewed the achievements of the committee duirng the Umrah season and plans for the last 10 days of Ramadan.
Salah Saqr, the secretary of the committee, reported the latest figures, and said more than 650,000 vehicles were involved in transporting pilgrims so far. “The plan for this Ramadan involves transporting 25 million people in 30 days,” he said.
Issa Mohammed Rawas, undersecretary at the Ministry of Haj, said 5 million foreign pilgrims have arrived to perform Umrah so far, with over 3.7 million traveling through King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah.
A total of 1.3 million came through Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah, 114,646 via Yanbu Airport, 23,539 via Jeddah Islamic Port and 18,658 through Yanbu Commercial Port, said Rawas.
The meeting participants also discussed the new smart phone application that helps pilgrims perform their rituals in more than 34 languages.


Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

Updated 19 August 2019

Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

  • One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020
  • A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is to set up arts academies, including two in the next two years, offering a step toward academic qualification and enlarging the Kingdom’s footprint in heritage, arts and crafts, and music.

The initiative is part of the Ministry of Culture’s Quality of Life program. 

The minister, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan, said investment in “capacity building” was one of the most important elements in encouraging the cultural sector, which enjoyed unlimited support from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Kingdom was rich in diverse arts, talents and artistic production, Prince Badr said, and the academies would be a first step toward academic qualification in the arts within the Kingdom.

One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020, targeting 1,000 students and trainees in long- and short-term programs. 

A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021.

The music academy in particular will be “the core of music production and talent development in Saudi Arabia,” Saudi musician, composer and producer Mamdouh Saif told Arab News.

The music industry was a large and diverse field, Saif said, and education was crucial. 

“The academy is the right place to launch the music industry in Saudi Arabia, and it will have a significant impact on Saudi youth, and young people in surrounding countries,” he said.

He expects “a very high turnout” for the academy among young Saudis. 

“Due to my expertise in this area, I receive many questions from people who want to learn music, but through private lessons,” he said.

“But the availability of an academy for this purpose, that teaches music in a methodological way, will be the right start for those interested in music.”