Reduced pilgrim quota to stay until next year

Updated 16 July 2014
0

Reduced pilgrim quota to stay until next year

Hatem Al-Qadi, spokesman for the Ministry of Haj said his ministry has decided to keep in place the reduction in the numbers of domestic and international pilgrims by 50 percent and 20 percent respectively.
He explained that the decision will continue to take effect owing to the huge expansion projects still under way in the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
“The decision was issued during the last meeting of the Ministry of Haj and aims to maintain the health and safety of pilgrims,” said Al-Qadi, adding that the ministry uses the data available to serve visitors and worshippers and make their journey enjoyable and memorable.
Al-Qadi confirmed that the number of pilgrims this year will be the same as in the last Haj season. “Last year, there were a total of 1,980, 249 pilgrims of which 1,379, 531 were from outside the Kingdom and 600,718 were domestic pilgrims,” he said.
He stressed that Saudi citizens and residents should adhere to the ministry’s decision of performing Haj once in five years.
He noted that the new expansions of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque are the largest in the history of the city. Such expansions will result in accommodating 2.2 million worshippers in the Grand Mosque, and will double the current capacity of the Mataf from 48 thousand worshippers an hour to more than 105 thousand.
“The expansions will also increase the capacity of the courtyards surrounding the Grand Mosque, and lessen the urban congestions around the area to the north, the west and northeast,” said Al-Qadi. Senior officials at the Ministry of Haj highlighted the royal decision to reduce the numbers of pilgrims in view of the capacity of the Mataf area during the expansion works.


Majlis culture brings a little Saudi warmth to freezing Davos

At a five-star hotel in Davos, the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority has sponsored a prominent display proclaiming ‘The future-forward economy — Invest Saudi.’ (AN photo)
Updated 23 January 2019
0

Majlis culture brings a little Saudi warmth to freezing Davos

  • The Misk Pavilion is one of the many signs of the Kingdom’s enthusiastic involvement in the world’s biggest gathering of political, business and thought leaders

DAVOS: From the sub-zero temperatures of the icy Davos Promenade you are ushered through a glass door into the warmth of a desert majlis, with works by young Saudi artists on the walls and traditional Arabian delicacies being served. It is quite a culture shock.

The Davos majlis is the work of the Misk Global Forum (MGF), the international arm of the organization founded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to promote youth empowerment. 

The Misk Pavilion is one of the many signs of the Kingdom’s enthusiastic involvement in the world’s biggest gathering of political, business and thought leaders.

“The Kingdom’s participation in WEF 2019 highlights its role in developing the regional and global economy, and reflects the nation’s continuing ambition for sustainable development,” said Bader Al-Asaker, head of the crown prince’s private office and chairman of the Misk Initiatives Center. 

The Saudi delegation’s HQ overlooks the main congress hall, inside the Davos security cordon. 

At a nearby five-star hotel, the Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority has sponsored a prominent display proclaiming: “The future-forward economy — Invest Saudi.” 

This is the second year Misk has been prominent at Davos. As well as the majlis, its pavilion offers visitors the chance to immerse themselves in modern Saudi art via a virtual reality tour of the work of four young artists.

Misk is organizing daily events there, building up to a power breakfast with leading executives on Friday on the theme of youth empowerment.

“In an age of profound economic disruption, we regard young people as the problem-solvers, not a problem to be solved,” said MGF executive manager Shaima Hamidaddin.

“We’re holding interactive discussions on how to empower young people to be the architects of the future economy, not the tenants of it.”