Two holy mosques ready for Ramadan

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Updated 08 July 2013
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Two holy mosques ready for Ramadan

Sermons, the distribution of Holy Qur'ans, more cleaning staff and strict security are some of the services available at the two holy mosques this year during Ramadan.
Muhammad bin Nasir Al-Khuzayyam, vice president of the General Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, told Arab News plans for these services started on June 24.
The presidency has arranged for over 100 scholars to deliver sermons on the rituals of Umrah, basic teachings on beliefs and other important aspects of Islam. These sermons will take place after Fajr and Maghrib prayers.
The holy mosques have 150 telephones at various places for pilgrims and visitors to inquire about Islam. Advice is available on how to make up for any mistakes made during rituals, Al-Khuzayyam said.
Zamzam water is available in over 25,000 thermoses, which workers constantly clean and refill.
These thermoses have thousands of plastic cups for one-time use.
For tawaf (circumambulating the Kaaba) and Sai (running between Safa and Marwah), 10,000 wheelchairs are supplied for disabled and elderly people. These are available at various places outside the Grand Mosque and on the first floor above Safa Gate. Automatic wheelchairs cost SR 50 for the Sai only.
Security officers have been deployed to prevent pickpocketing on all four floors. These officers control the entire mosque with a computerized system. They also guard the 139 gates of the holy mosque and control crowds to prevent stampedes.
Al-Khuzayyam said one million copies of the Holy Qur’an translated into Urdu, French, Bahasa Indonesia, Spanish, Bosnian and Turkish would be distributed to visitors.
Only dates and Saudi coffee are allowed inside the holy mosques. But there is no restriction on food in the open plazas.
Worshippers have 10 minutes to break their fast after the call for prayer, before the Maghrib prayer starts.


KSA will be one of the very best countries for tourism, says Prince Sultan

Updated 44 min 44 sec ago
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KSA will be one of the very best countries for tourism, says Prince Sultan

  • The number of job opportunities is expected to increase to 1.2 million by the year 2020.
  • The Saudi government has allocated SR5 billion to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ program.

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will be one of the most attractive countries for tourism because of its location, its unique tourist and historic elements and its hospitable and welcoming people, said Prince Sultan bin Salman.
Prince Sultan, who is president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), told the annual conference of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires that the efforts of the SCTH and its partners in localizing tourist jobs resulted in an increase in the number of direct jobs in the tourism sector from 936,000 in 2016 to 993,000 by the end of 2017. The number of job opportunities is expected to increase to 1.2 million by the year 2020.
He said the contributions of tourism to the national GDP amounted to 3.6 percent, up to 4.9 percent of the national non-oil output, and the revenues of the tourism sector reached SR97.5 billion ($26 billion). Direct jobs in the tourism sector exceeded 994,000, and the proportion of Saudi citizens currently employed in the sector is about 28 percent.
The Saudi government has allocated SR5 billion to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ program, which takes care of the cultural heritage of the Kingdom.
The program includes the establishment of 18 museums in the Kingdom’s regions, the creation of 80 heritage sites and opening them to visitors throughout the Kingdom, the restoration and preparation of 18 villages and traditional towns to receive visitors, and hosting economic and local hospitality activities operated by local people, as well as opening 17 centers for artisans that serve as incubators for the development of their businesses, factories for their production, and outlets for sale.
Prince Sultan also noted that after the SCTH completed the registration of the first four sites on the World Heritage List (Madain Saleh, Al-Tarif district in Jeddah, historic Jeddah, rock inscriptions in Jubba and Shuweis in Hail), it has been working with its partners to complete the registration files of six additional sites. Also, 20 additional important Islamic sites are being rehabilitated and prepared in Makkah and Madinah.
The conference was attended by more than 1,200 prominent investors and key corporate officials in tourism.
The WTTC is the largest gathering of investors and private sector professionals working in tourism around the world.