Mataf bridge ready to ease Umrah for disabled, elderly



JEDDAH: P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR

Published — Monday 22 July 2013

Last update 23 July 2013 6:52 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

The new mataf bridge around the Holy Kaaba opens for pilgrims this week. Only disabled and elderly pilgrims will be allowed to use the circular bridge that can hold 7,000 wheelchair-borne pilgrims per hour.
“Since the bridge would be set apart for weak, infirm and disabled pilgrims, the movement of able-bodied pilgrims below on the ground floor will become easier as that area will be free from wheelchairs that used to clutter in an already crowded area,” said the Haj Ministry’s spokesman Hatim Qadi.
Authorities have stepped up preparations to receive millions of pilgrims in the second half of Ramadan as they come from across the world to perform Umrah and attend special prayers at the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
The Central Haj Committee, chaired by Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, reviewed the arrangements made to ensure the security and comfort of pilgrims. The governor urged public and private agencies to extend the best possible services to the guests of God.
About 5 million pilgrims from within and outside the Kingdom are expected to perform Umrah during Ramadan. According to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), an Umrah in Ramadan is equal to Haj in reward.
Nearly 5 million foreign pilgrims have so far arrived in the Kingdom this year to perform Umrah, the committee said, adding that 400,000 of them still remain in Makkah and Madinah.
“We have made arrangements for the transport of 15 million pilgrims in big buses from parking lots outside Makkah to the Grand Mosque and back,” a senior official said. Contracts have been signed with five transport companies to deploy 1,600 buses for service.
Nearly 35,000 security officers, including special forces, have been deployed in and around the Grand Mosque to maintain law and order and ensure pilgrims’ safety. About 4,000 television cameras have been installed in different parts of Makkah to monitor movement of pilgrims. “These cameras send us live pictures of what is happening in and around Makkah,” said Capt. Haithem Al-Matrafi, head of the civil defense’s operations room, which informs field officers about traffic accidents and congestions to take immediate action.
Meanwhile, the Presidency for the Two Holy Mosques has called on Saudis and expatriates to postpone their Umrah because of ongoing expansion works at the Grand Mosque.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

SYDNEY: Amnesty International has demanded that Mustafa Al-Hosawi, a Saudi prisoner at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, be treated for the torture he underwent at the hands of the CIA.The US branch of the organization sent a message to health officials at the...
JEDDAH: The city’s airport staff saved a 20-year-old woman who tried to throw herself from the upper floor to the mezzanine floor in the southern hall. Sources said the suicide attempt was due to family disputes. Administrators said a supervisor in t...
RIYADH: Education Minister Ahmad Al-Issa has ordered to gradually close down private night schools beginning from the current year. The closure of these schools will be complete by 1439H.Al-Issa’s decision is based on reports of a body, which highlig...
RIYADH: Riyadh and Phnom Penh have signed a labor deal to recruit domestics and general workers from Cambodia.Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani and his Cambodian counterpart Ait Samana signed the agreement.Al-Haqabani said the Kingdom is keen on open...
Jeddah: The Criminal Court in Jeddah has sentenced a man to nine months in jail for beating his wife and insulting her by calling her “stubborn and ignorant.” The man has also been required to make a written pledge not to go near his wife, while the...
MUNICH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister defended his country’s treatment of women on Friday, saying it had made progress on female education but would take time to let them drive cars.“When it comes to issues like women’s driving, this is not a relig...
RIYADH: A cross-section of Saudi society on Friday denounced the Jazan massacre that shook the nation on Thursday, when a gunman went on the rampage killing seven education officials and injuring several others in Al-Dair governorate.The culprit, ide...
JEDDAH: Maj. Gen. Awad Al-Balawi, head of the Saudi Border Guard, recently confirmed the expansion of the employment program for women within the border security sector. He said that the sector is entering a new phase as women will be employed in a n...
RIYADH: A medical team of the King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital (KASCH) at the King Abdulaziz Medical City (National Guard) here have successfully conducted the first liver transplant on a baby boy. Fahad Mari Said Al-Sairdh, father of the...
JEDDAH: The Makkah Investigation and Prosecution Board reintroduced the crane crash incident to the Riyadh Investigation and Prosecution Board recently, adding 10 more employees and supervisors from different government agencies before the courts. Th...
JEDDAH: The teacher who gunned down seven education officials in Al-Dair governorate on Thursday had been showing behavioral problems in recent days, Al-Janob Misfer Al-Subhan, director of King Faisal Secondary School in Dharan, was quoted as saying...
JEDDAH: The Human Rights Commission (HRC) is investigating the Nakheel Mall case, in which a girl was beaten up by a group of Haia members, an official of the commission has said. “The HRC is supposed to guarantee the rights of those harmed, whoever...
AL-AHSA: King Faisal University (KFU) in Al-Ahsa is currently studying the possibility of admitting female students to specialize in veterinary medicine, the director of the university, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saati, confirmed. He said the matter has been p...
JEDDAH: A fingerprinting campaign, titled “Imprint Homeland,” against extremism and terrorism, was launched at the Jeddah corniche on Thursday night. The drive will cover all the 17 regions of Makkah province.The campaign, initiated by the Makkah gov...
RIYADH: The number of unemployed Saudi nationals reached 647,000 by the end of last year, of whom 56 percent, or 363,800, hold bachelor’s degrees or licenses. Female bachelor’s degree and license holders accounted for three-fourths of unemployed Saud...

Stay Connected

Facebook