Pilgrims lose way in Grand Mosque

Updated 16 March 2014
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Pilgrims lose way in Grand Mosque

The vast expansion of the Grand Mosque at Makkah has made it difficult for pilgrims to find their way around the area or even reach the Kaaba.
Arab News toured the city and found that first-time pilgrims get lost easily owing a lack of information points and signposts.
Many can be seen praying and performing Umrah rituals in the wrong direction because they are unable to see the Kaaba from afar.
Arab News spoke with Turkish pilgrims, who complained that this was their first time and that they encounter difficulty getting to the Kaaba.
Fatima from Istanbul said: “Large crowds and extensive construction work have made entire groups lose their way and pray in the wrong direction. We need more signposts in various languages both inside and outside the Grand Mosque area to solve this problem. Multilingual staff should be appointed to help guide the masses,” she said.
According to official estimates, 750,000 pilgrims performed the Umrah in a single month, a record compared to last year. The figure is expected to reach 6 million by the end of the season.
Pilgrims also find themselves being ripped off by taxi drivers, who charge extra during peak times and traffic congestion.
“The government should put up boards with taxi fares at taxi stands near the Grand Mosque. Otherwise, drivers will continue to demand SR20 for short distances and take advantage of pilgrims who are unable to use buses,” said Abdul Rahman, a visitor to Makkah.


More than 1.25 million foreigners arrested in KSA for flouting residential, labor laws

In this file photo, expatriate workers are seen outside a Labor Ministry office in Riyadh to fix their status in the Kingdom. In the past seven months, Saudi authorities have arrested more than 1.25 foreigners for violating residential and labor laws. (AFP)
Updated 19 June 2018
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More than 1.25 million foreigners arrested in KSA for flouting residential, labor laws

  • Of the total arrested, 931,069 were violators of residential regulations,  218,897 for flouting labor laws and 102,000 tried to gain entry into the Kingdom illegally.
  • The crackdown started on November 16 last year and ended on June 14.

JEDDAH: More than 1.25 million people were arrested in Saudi Arabia for violating residential, labor and border security regulations during the Kingdom’s months-long campaign.

The crackdown, which started on November 16 last year and ended on June 14, saw the arrests of 1,251,966 people in the joint security field campaign across the Kingdom. Those arrested included 931,069 violators of residential regulations, 218,897 for flouting labor laws and 102,000 violators of border security regulations.

The total number of people arrested attempting to cross the Kingdom’s borders stood at 19,233 people. Of those arrested, 54 percent were Yemenis, 43 percent Ethiopian, and 3 percent from other nations. 

The Kingdom also arrested 790 people who tried to leave the Kingdom illegally.

There were 2,167 people who were arrested for harboring and transporting violators of labor and security border regulations, and 415 citizens were arrested for transporting and sheltering expatriates violating regulations. Regulatory measures were taken against 388 citizens who were subsequently released. 

The number of expatriates currently detained stands at 10,245, including 8,817 men and 1,428 women. Immediate penalties were imposed on 221,404 violators while 177,329 violators were referred to their respective diplomatic missions for travel documents and 327,034 were deported.