Haj 2013: Fewer pilgrims likely

Updated 11 June 2013
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Haj 2013: Fewer pilgrims likely

The Haj Ministry is currently planning to considerably reduce the number of foreign and domestic Haj pilgrims this season, a reliable source has said.
“Directives have been issued to cut down the number of foreign and domestic pilgrims by 20 and 50 percent respectively,” a local daily reported quoting an informed source.
A technical committee is currently working on the modalities of implementing the directive, which seeks to reduce crowding to cope with the space limitation caused by the ongoing developmental projects at the Grand Mosque and the holy sites, the source said.
Meanwhile, Haj Minister Bandar Hajjar dismissed reports of reducing the number of visas being issued for Umrah as unfounded.
“The number of visas issued to Umrah service companies has not been reduced as rumored lately. However, the visas are being issued on a monthly basis. This system makes it obligatory for the companies to utilize the visas in the specified month the visas were issued,” Hajjar said.
If a visa is not used in the month it was issued it becomes invalid.
Umrah firms hold back the visas issued for Rajab and Shaaban to be used in Ramadan. The result is a huge number of pilgrims arriving in a single month and thereby disrupting the ministry’s plans, he said.


FaceOf: Ahmad Al-Khatib, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries

Ahmad Al-Khatib
Updated 27 May 2018
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FaceOf: Ahmad Al-Khatib, chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries

  • Saudi Arabian Military Industries aims to aims to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign purchases of military products

JEDDAH: Ahmad Al-Khatib was appointed the chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) in October 2017. 

He also holds the posts of chairman of the board of directors of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) since 2016; chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Fund for Development; adviser to the general secretariat of the Cabinet; adviser to the minister of defense; and adviser to the court of the crown prince.

Al-Khatib inaugurated on Friday the new facilities of the Aircraft Accessories and Components Company (AACC) at its new headquarters at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah during a ceremony under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

SAMI aims to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign purchases of military products and become one of the top 25 global companies in the field of military industries.

“Our goal is to localize more than 50 percent of the Kingdom’s military spending by 2030,” said the crown prince in his earlier statement.

Al-Khatib is a former adviser to the royal court, was the minister of health between 2014 and 2016, and served as the chairman for the Saudi stock company established in 2006, Jadwa Investment.

Al-Khatib has 23 years of experience in banking. In 1992 he joined the Bank of Riyad, working in various departments for 11 years and helping to establish the customer investment department. 

In 2003, Al-Khatib joined SABB Bank and participated in the establishment of Islamic Banking (Amanah). He then became the bank’s general manager.