211,000 Umrah visas issued for new season



JEDDAH: NADIM AL-HAMID & IRFAN MOHAMMED

Published — Wednesday 18 December 2013

Last update 14 January 2014 3:23 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

The government has issued 211,000 Umrah visas for the new season so far, while about 12,000 pilgrims have already arrived in the Kingdom, Haj Minister Bandar Hajjar announced on Tuesday.
Hajjar said the ministry has also introduced a new electronic system to track pilgrims and ensure better services. “The system will help officials see how many pilgrims arrive each day so they can provide proper services,” he said.
The government expects 6 million foreign pilgrims this season from 70 countries, with an equal number of local pilgrims, said Abdullah Marghalani, the Haj Ministry’s Jeddah director general on Monday.
Marghalani said the new electronic system would provide services for pilgrims from their arrival to their departure. The system would have access to advanced travel information from the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) and the Jeddah Port Authority, which would allow officials to facilitate transport and accommodation arrangements.
He said the transportation of pilgrims has been addressed through the system, which provides alerts to bus drivers on their mobile phones that pilgrims have arrived. There are also alerts sent to the phones of pilgrims when they arrive in the Kingdom. He said the ministry has instructed transport operators to keep all buses clean and equipped with air-conditioning.
Marghalani said the ministry was also monitoring Umrah companies to ensure they provide the packages that pilgrims have been promised. In addition, Umrah firms have to send their representatives to the accommodation of pilgrims six hours before they arrive.
He said that all field inspectors from the Haj ministry are equipped with tablet computers to ensure they can upload data of pilgrims at every stage. He said 5,000 employees from the ministry, 20 government agencies and private bodies are working to help pilgrims.
He said the Haj Ministry’s personnel have been asked to deal courteously with pilgrims on their arrival. The officials are also handing out booklets on important information and a bracelet for each pilgrim.
He said that pilgrims are only allowed to take Zamzam water produced by the government-approved facility in the Kingdom on their flights home. Other brands would not be allowed.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Grand Mufti and Chairman of the Council of Senior Scholarships Sheikh Abdulaziz Abdullah Al-Asheikh called on astronomers questioning the accuracy of prayer timings in the Umm Al-Qura calendar to refrain from confusing people, and confirmed t...
JEDDAH: Turkey’s security agencies have arrested 15,000 members of the Daesh terrorist organization at its airports and border crossings, a diplomat said here recently.The Daesh members had attempted to enter Turkey territory, said Fikrat Ozar, consu...
JEDDAH: The Saudi government has welcomed the Gulf Cooperation Council’s proposals to fight terrorist groups that are attempting to undermine the region’s security and social fabric.This comes in the wake of an extraordinary meeting held by the GCC’s...
JEDDAH: The National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha) is racing against the clock to unravel the circumstances surrounding the enrollment of 107,000 beneficiaries on the lists of social insurance without legal entitlements. These beneficiaries are...
MADINAH: Prince Faisal bin Salman, governor of Madinah and chairperson of the board of directors of the Takaful Welfare Society for Orphan Care in Madinah, has inaugurated a project to reconstruct houses of orphans.According to the Takaful program, 1...
RIYADH: The Kingdom on Tuesday announced that vaccination against meningitis is mandatory for all local and international Haj pilgrims, while flu shots are recommended for their own safety.Health Ministry Spokesman Khalid Al-Mirghalani told Arab News...
MAKKAH: A mentally-ill Turkish man killed a Sudanese patient in the Makkah Mental Health Hospital of King Abdul Aziz Hospital in Al-Zahir, a news website has reported, quoting Makkah police.The Turkish patient, in his 50s, confronted the Sudanese whe...
RIYADH: Mohammed Ali Al-Husseini, secretary-general of the Arab Muslim Council, based in Lebanon, said here recently that Saudi Arabia enjoys the trust of the international community as the first reference for the Muslim world.The Lebanese Shiite lea...
RIYADH: The King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE) is working closely with the Ministry of Transportation, the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), the Saudi Wildlife Authority (SWA) and the Director-General of Military Surveying t...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Education has received requests from 14 governmental agencies that their employees be sent abroad for studies in different specialities. The request is to include the employees as part of the third phase of Custodian of the Tw...
RIYADH: Argentina enjoys excellent ties with Saudi Arabia as it marks its 199th Independence Day anniversary on July 9, according to Ambassador Jaime Sergio Cerda.“Excellent bilateral ties bind the two countries as Argentina holds its 199th Independe...
KUWAIT: Kuwait has detained 26 people suspected of involvement in a suicide bombing on a Shiite mosque last month that killed 27 people, a local daily reported on Monday, quoting the public prosecutor.The June 26 attack by Daesh jolted Kuwait, raisin...
JEDDAH: A small fire broke out on the roof of the Grand Mosque on Monday morning, causing minor injuries to five people, including members of the Civil Defense, one security officer and three workers. The fire broke out at about 2 a.m. and covered an...
RIYADH: Mosques across the Kingdom will conduct midnight prayers (Qiyam Al-Layl) at 1.a.m beginning Tuesday to mark the beginning of the last 10 days of Ramadan.“The special prayers are conducted during the last 10 days of the holy month from 1 a.m.,...
JEDDAH: The director general of the Saudi Industrial Property Authority, Saleh Rasheed, has said that Sadeer Industrial City, which is regarded as one of the largest industrial cities in the Kingdom, possesses great capabilities that sets it apart as...

Stay Connected

Facebook