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.


Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

Updated 26 May 2019
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Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

  • Umrah trip held as part of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah's “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative 

JEDDAH: Several Muslims with special needs have benefited from a special Umrah pilgrimage organized by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.

According to statement from the ministry, the Umrah trip, was held on the 17th of Ramadan  (May 22) under the “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative in partnership with Sawt Alasm association in Jeddah.

A busload of 20 people with special needs were accompanied by 12 volunteers of Sadiq Almutamir, including sign language interpreters for the deaf pilgrims. 

The first stop was at Kuday area in Makkah, where pilgrims received the special gifts of Sadiq Almutamir, supported by the Establishment of Motawifs of South East Asian Pilgrims. Next was their arrival at the Grand Mosque, wherein the pilgrims performed Umrah, enjoyed Iftar meals, and received souvenirs from Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association. 

Volunteers assisted the pilgrims by communicating with them, providing instructions and directions in addition to sharing their feelings with the support of the sign language interpreters. 

Sadiq Almutamir also accompanied pilgrims during the performance of Umrah, providing wheelchairs for the elderly, sharing breakfast, and learning about their impressions of performing Umrah for their first time. 

Sadiq Almutamir is one of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s initiatives in Makkah’s Cultural Forum. It focuses on promoting the culture of giving and cooperation between the Saudi youth as well as elevating the volunteering services provided to Umrah pilgrims in order to enrich their experiences. It also provides optional tours to visit attractions, monuments, and places contribute to enriching experiences of Mutamirs and immortalizing beautiful memories in the Kingdom.

Launched late last year, the initiative aims to develop the spirit of volunteerism among Muslims and to invest in the youth by engaging young men and women in service and social responsibility.

“It focuses as well on improving the efficiency level of services provided to pilgrims, promoting the culture of volunteering, helping elderly and special needs’ people to perform Umrah rituals, and finally contributing to the realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 of reaching 1 million volunteers annually,” ministry statement said.

The trip was held in cooperation with the Western Fleet Transport, in coordination with the undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for pilgrims’ transportation affairs and Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association.