Saudi Arabia to start granting female gym licenses this month

Princess Reema bint Bandar
Updated 12 February 2017
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Saudi Arabia to start granting female gym licenses this month

RIYADH: Licenses will be granted for women’s gyms by the end of February, Princess Reema bint Bandar, vice president for women’s affairs at the General Authority of Sports, told local daily Okaz.
A target is in place to open gyms in every district and neighborhood, it was reported.
Three ministries are set to take part in this process, including the labor, rural affairs and commerce ministries.
Licenses will not be issued for gyms that offer competitive activities, such as football, volleyball, basketball and tennis. The focus will instead be on techniques that contribute to weight loss and fitness, such as swimming, running and bodybuilding.
Workshops and seminars will be held within two months, in order to motivate women to invest in gyms.
As for the high cost of women’s gyms, the authority is working on finding solutions through involving entrepreneurs in what is known as “micro-business.”
Social rejection of women’s sports can be avoided through explaining the enormous benefits of sports for overall health, according to the princess.
“It is not my role to convince the society, but my role is limited to opening the doors for our girls to live a healthy lifestyle away from diseases that result from obesity and lack of movement.”


King Salman to host 1,000 Sudanese pilgrims 

Updated 22 July 2019
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King Salman to host 1,000 Sudanese pilgrims 

  • 500 pilgrims are to be selected from the Sudanese army
  • Another 500 to be selected from families of Sudanese soldiers who died while fighting Houthi terrorists in Yemen

RIYADH: King Salman has issued an order to host 1,000 pilgrims from Sudan to perform Hajj, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

According to the directive, the 1,000 pilgrims will perform Hajj within the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah, implemented and supervised by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance.

Islamic Affairs Minister Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh said that of this total, 500 pilgrims would be selected from the Sudanese army and those belonging to the families of Sudanese martyred while participating in the “Determination Storm and Restoring of Hope” operations within the Arab coalition forces supporting the legitimate government in Yemen.

This year, King Salman has ordered the hosting of 1,300 pilgrims from around the world as part of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah.

Earlier, King Salman issued a directive for the hosting of 200 Hajj pilgrims from the families of victims of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The king also ordered 1,000 Palestinian pilgrims who are family members of martyrs to be hosted while they performed Hajj.  

Al-Asheikh said that the hosting of the families during the Hajj season was part of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to “confront and defeat terrorism” in all its forms.

So far, the number of pilgrims who have arrived in the Kingdom since the start of the Hajj season has reached 562,056, according to statistics issued by the Saudi General Directorate of Passports.

Most pilgrims — 547,505 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 8,548 entered by land and 6,003 arrived by sea, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Last year more that 1.75 million pilgrims from abroad performed Hajj, according to figures from the Saudi General Directorate of Passports.