Hajj agents face penalties from Saudi disciplinary council for breaching contracts with pilgrims

An aerial view shows pilgrims circumambulating the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Makkah. (AFP)
Updated 08 September 2017
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Hajj agents face penalties from Saudi disciplinary council for breaching contracts with pilgrims

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has referred a group of Tawafa service providers, including some Hajj offices serving Algerian pilgrims, to the ministry’s disciplinary council pending trial and application of penalties against them.
The ministry stressed it will apply strict penalties on Tawafa establishments proved to have breached service contracts signed between them and pilgrims. Penalties will range between fines and revoking permission to practice the profession.
The disciplinary council, which comprises representatives of the Ministry of Interior and the Public Prosecution, is assigned to look into Tawafa establishments in breach of regulations stipulated in the Tawafa system, and other decisions and regulations ordered by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.
This will be the first case where Tawafa service providers have been referred to the appropriate authorities in the Kingdom. Three years ago, the then-Bureau of Investigation and General Prosecution (BIGP), currently the Public Prosecution, referred one employee of the National Establishment of Tawafa for South Asian Pilgrims in Makkah Region to court for insulting and questioning the integrity of the ministry’s staff.
Meanwhile, Minister of Hajj and Umrah Mohammed Salih Bentin on Wednesday honored a number of the ministry staff for their efforts and accomplishments, as well as their effective contributions to the success of the current Hajj season. The ceremony came on the sidelines of the annual party for the heads and members of Hajj affairs offices, and guests of the Hajj mega-symposium of the current Hajj season.
Those honored included the adviser and general supervisor to the Hajj mega-symposium, Hatim Qadi; the head of the organizing committee of the symposium Hisham Al-Abbas; head of the scientific committee, Yusuf Al-Faqi; the head of logistics committee, Bandar Al-Sulaimani; head of the media committee Ali Al-Ghamdi; the head of the reception committee, Husam Najm; and the head of the administrative and financial committee, Said Al-Harbi.
In another development, the director general of Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) Salih Al-Jasir on Wednesday inspected the Hajj and Umrah terminal at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah and was briefed on the operational process and Hajj departure flights in their second day. He also met with members of work teams assigned to serve pilgrims and, in this context, expressed his appreciation for their efforts in this regard.
The Saudia chief also lauded the cooperation between Saudia and Hajj grouping agencies and urged them to enhance on the success witnessed by the operational plans of Saudia in the arrival stage of pilgrims which grew by 40 percent compared to pilgrims transported last year.
He said serving pilgrims comes atop priorities of the national carrier (Saudia) and, thus, plays that role as do other government agencies concerned with serving pilgrims. He said they were proud to undertake that responsibility to the fullest.
Measures and arrangements were taken to facilitate the departure of pilgrims and achieve the highest rates of smooth movement, he pointed out.


Jeddah Season provides seasonal employment for young Saudis

Updated 49 min 57 sec ago
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Jeddah Season provides seasonal employment for young Saudis

JEDDAH: The Jeddah Season festival has provided a wide range of seasonal employment opportunities for young Saudi men and women, helping them gain experience and prepare them to enter the job market.

More than 5,000 young Saudis are working around the clock, each in his or her field, to manage the festival’s activities.

The festival aims to highlight development opportunities in Saudi Arabia, introduce the Kingdom as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, support the government’s efforts to empower Saudi youths, support local small and medium enterprises, develop Jeddah’s tourism sector and provide volunteer opportunities.

Jeddah Season, which began on June 8 and runs until July 18, has attracted thousands of visitors of all ages through its 150 local and international events and activities.

It is being held at five sites: King Abdullah Sports City, Al-Hamra Corniche, the Jeddah Waterfront, Obhur and Historic Jeddah (Al-Balad), which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Jeddah Season offers a wide range of tourism, entertainment and cultural events and activities, and sheds light on the city’s status as the Kingdom’s tourism capital. Most of its events are being held for the first time in Saudi Arabia.

Jeddah Season is in line with the Vision 2030 reform plan, which aims to advance the welfare of Saudi society, diversify local development opportunities, improve the Kingdom’s contribution to arts and culture, and create job opportunities for Saudi youths.