World-class Madinah pilgrim city to house 200,000 faithful

Updated 13 June 2013
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World-class Madinah pilgrim city to house 200,000 faithful

A state-of-the-art pilgrim city will be established in Madinah on an area of 1.6 million square meters along Hijrah Road with modern facilities and public transport systems to house 200,000 faithful who come for Haj and Umrah.
“Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has instructed the Finance Ministry to implement the project,” said Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman, adding that it would boost pilgrim services in the city.
State-owned Public Investment Fund will finance the project, which is located close to the Prophet’s Mosque, he said. It includes a railway and bus station, offices of government agencies and a 400-bed hospital.
A number of hotels and furnished apartments will be constructed as part of the world-class city to accommodate 200,000 pilgrims, said Prince Faisal while thanking King Abdullah for approving the vital project.
Saudis and expatriates have applauded the project, saying it opens a new era in pilgrim services. “This is a brilliant project,” said Mohammed Badahdah, assistant secretary-general of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth. He urged authorities to make special arrangements at the new city for Islamic education of pilgrims.
Speaking to Arab News, he said: “Such a city was required as the buildings surrounding the Prophet’s Mosque will not be able to house the growing number of pilgrims.” He said he hoped there would be a transport system to commute pilgrims between the city and the holy mosque.
Badahdah said rooms in the city should be made available at affordable prices. He said five-star hotels in Makkah and Madinah should not charge pilgrims high prices as they do not provide them with same services of their counterparts in other places.
Abdulelah Saaty, dean of the College of Business in Rabigh, said the project reflected the government’s desire to improve services being rendered to the guests of God. “It goes well with the ongoing expansion projects for the two holy mosques,” he told Arab News. “Madinah needs such a project due to increasing number of pilgrims,” he said while stressing the need to carry out the project based on international standards.


High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

Updated 18 June 2019
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High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

  • Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners

TOKYO: More than 300 government, investment and industry leaders on Monday took part in a high-level gathering aimed at further boosting business opportunities between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) welcomed key figures from the public and private sectors to the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum, held in Tokyo.

Hosted in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the conference focused on the creation of investment opportunities in strategic sectors of the Kingdom. Delegates also discussed key reforms currently underway to enable easier market access for foreign companies.

Speaking at the event, Saudi Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, said: “Today’s forum is a testimony to the success of the strategic direction set by the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 two years ago, which seeks to drive private-sector involvement, both by partnering with public-sector entities.”

SAGIA Gov. Ibrahim Al-Omar said: “At SAGIA, we have been working on creating a more attractive and favorable business environment in Saudi Arabia, which is making it easier for foreign companies to access opportunities in the Kingdom.”

Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners. It is the Kingdom’s second-largest source of foreign capital and third-biggest trading partner, with total trade exceeding $39 billion.

JETRO president, Yasushi Akahoshi, said: “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 has made great progress since it was first announced. Under this strategic initiative, the number of cooperative projects between our two countries has nearly doubled, from 31 to 61, and represents a diverse range of sectors and stakeholders.”

Since 2016, the Saudi government has delivered 45 percent of more than 500 planned reforms, including the introduction of 100 percent foreign ownership rights, enhancing legal infrastructure and offering greater protection for shareholders.

As a result, the Kingdom has climbed international competitiveness and ease-of-doing-business rankings, with foreign direct investment inflows increasing by 127 percent in 2018 and the number of new companies entering Saudi Arabia rising by 70 percent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2019.