Saudi Haj minister inspects institutions in preparation for Haj 2017

Minister of Haj and Umrah Mohammed Salih bin Taher Bentin starts inspection and field visits in preparation for the coming Haj season. (SPA)
Updated 16 July 2017
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Saudi Haj minister inspects institutions in preparation for Haj 2017

MADINAH: Minister of Haj and Umrah Mohammed Saleh bin Taher Bentin has started inspection and field visits, as well as preparatory meetings with the board of directors for Tawafa owners in preparation for the coming Haj season.
Bentin started by visiting the National Tawafa Establishment for Pilgrims of Arab Countries and the General Syndicate of Cars in Um Al-Joud in Makkah to ensure their readiness and follow up on early preparations for the Haj season this year.
He explored strategies to develop services offered to pilgrims, including reception, grouping, transportation, accommodation, food and awareness.
The number of Arab pilgrims is expected to reach 280,000 from 19 Arab countries, who will be received by 121 field offices with more than 1,500 employees.
The minister then visited the headquarters of the General Syndicate of Cars and met with Abdulrahman bin Mayouf Al-Harbi, the syndicate’s general president.
Bentin viewed its operational plans and preparations for the Haj season. The syndicate and its affiliated companies have a fleet of more than 16,000 vehicles that are provided by 27 companies.
The minister also discussed mechanisms to develop the process of transporting pilgrims.
He was accompanied by Hussein bin Naser Al-Sharef, undersecretary for Haj affairs, Mohammed bin Hamid Al-Klaibi, acting undersecretary for Umrah affairs, Mohammed Ahmad Oqada, acting director general for the ministry’s branch in Makkah, and leading personalities from the ministry.


Saudi Arabia, Russia ‘aim to build bridges through culture’

Russia is looking to bolster cultural ties with Saudi Arabia. (Shutterstock)
Updated 40 min 46 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia, Russia ‘aim to build bridges through culture’

  • Culture not only supports economic growth, but also builds bridges between nations: Dmitriev

RIYADH: Russia seeks to extend its close economic ties with Saudi Arabia into the world of arts and culture, a leading Russian businessman writes today in Arab News.

The arts are “a source for new jobs and sustained economic growth, and private companies realize this trend is an opportunity,” says Kirill Dmitriev.

“Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that identified this trend early. Cultural development is an important part of the Vision 2030 program led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” he writes.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of which Dmitriev is chief executive, “believes that culture not only supports economic growth, but also builds bridges between nations, creating an atmosphere of mutual trust.” 

As an example, five paintings by the Russian avant-garde artists Wassily Kandinsky and Pavel Filonov are being exhibited at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh. Such cultural ties “will contribute to the long-term relationship.” Dmitriev writes.