Makkah ready for Umrah pilgrims

Updated 05 February 2014
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Makkah ready for Umrah pilgrims

The Makkah Municipality has deployed all its resources to welcome Umrah visitors to the Grand Mosque and offer them the best services like healthy environment and amenities for a comfortable stay in the holy city, said Mayor Osama Al-Bar.
A labor force of about 7,000 consisting of supervisors, drivers, sweepers and others has started sanitizing the city against any epidemic. A fleet of 550 garbage trucks is busy round the clock.
The roads are being cleaned and a work force of 3,000 is engaged 24/7 to maintain sanitation. The municipality has fielded 300 electrically operated compressor garbage storage tanks in the holy city to keep unpleasant odor away. These storage tanks are towed away and taken to sites outside Makkah, where the garbage is immediately incinerated.
One hundred teams will spray insecticides in Makkah, especially around the Grand Mosque, to maintain hygiene, Al-Bar said, adding that a team of hundred workers with a fleet of 10 garbage trucks is on stand by to meet any emergency situation.
A team of supervisors survey all shops selling foodstuff. If the team finds any stuff past expiry date it is removed and the shop is fined.
Similarly, all the five butcheries are provided with veterinarians to check the animals before slaughtering and check meat after the animal is slaughtered. The meat shops are kept under continuous surveillance by the inspectors to ensure pure and good supply of meat.
The restaurants and hotels too are checked off and on, and samples of foodstuff are sent to laboratories for checking. These steps are taken to protect the Umrah visitors from food poisoning.
Continuous power supply to the 56 tunnels stretching 30 miles is ensured and roads and bridges are kept under watch to guarantee smooth flow of traffic.
The six parking lots around Makkah are provided with toilets, adequate supply of water for drinking, and mosques for offering prayers, all kept in readiness for the comfort of the Umrah visitors from the Kingdom and from the Gulf countries, said Al-Bar.


‘I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi Arabia for years’: Akon tells Asharqiah crowd

Updated 55 min 43 sec ago
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‘I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi Arabia for years’: Akon tells Asharqiah crowd

  • “First thing tomorrow morning, I’m headed to Makkah to perform Umrah” Akon said 
  • He entertained the crowd with some of his most popular hits at the Asharqiah Music Festival

DAMMAM: American rapper Akon captivated a packed crowd at the Asharqiah Music Festival on Friday, opening up the second night of musical festivities at Sharqiah Season with a special shout-out to Saudi Arabia.

“You have no idea, I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi for years, man,” Akon said, before launching into his song, “Gunshot.” Later, he told the crowd: “I’m seeing a tremendous change in Saudi Arabia here tonight."

At 8 p.m., under a bright moon on a beautifully cool night, Akon began his set, delighting fans who had spent over 10 minutes chanting his name in anticipation of his arrival.

He entertained the crowd with some of his most popular hits, including “Smack That,” “Mr. Lonely” and “Sorry: Blame It On Me.” And he wrapped things up with “I love you, Saudi... thank you for making me feel at home."

Backstage before the concert, Akon told Arab News how excited he was to be in Saudi Arabia for the first time. He was especially excited to visit one Saudi city in particular.

“First thing tomorrow morning, I’m headed to Makkah to perform Umrah.”