KSA’s Haramain train makes pilot trip with 200 citizens

The high-speed train will transport millions of Muslims between the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. (AFP)
Updated 02 June 2018
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KSA’s Haramain train makes pilot trip with 200 citizens

  • Passengers were also taken to a tour of the departure and arrival lounge, VIP lounge, mosque, civil defense center, a helipad, platforms and parking lots with a capacity of 1,000 vehicles.

JEDDAH: The Haramain high-speed train service offered first free trip to citizens on Friday. More than 200 citizens traveled from Madinah to Makkah on the Haramain Express’ test journey.

Nabil Al-Amoudi, transport minister and the chairman of the General Transport Authority, accompanied the citizens on the historic train journey.

Before departing for their destination, passengers took a tour of the station, which included the departure and arrival lounge, VIP lounge, mosque, civil defense center, a helipad, platforms and parking lots with a capacity of 1,000 vehicles.

Citizens were excited to embark on the journey and expressed their joy over this great achievement. Tarek Al-Qahtani, one of the passengers, told Saudi Press Agency that he was impressed by the new service and the courteous staff comprising young Saudi men and women. Many citizens expressed hope that the new service would change the travel culture in the Kingdom for the better.

Fatima Mohammed felt proud of this national achievement, which she said would help serve the visitors to the Prophet’s Mosque and Madinah residents in a better way.

Badreyah Sultan noted that the Kingdom has been witnessing great development in all spheres of life and this train project is part of those uplift programs.


First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

Updated 17 July 2019
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First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

  • 4,000 to partake in this year’s pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased quota

COLOMBO: Nearly 180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.

Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government. 

“We were able to process all 4,000 Hajj visas efficiently. All of them were issued well in time,” Haleem said.

He added that officials from his ministry will be available at the airport to assist the pilgrims with their departures.

The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.

Sajjath Mohammed, a journalist from Madawala News, praised the e-Hajj service, saying: “The biometric services for the visas were available to pilgrims in Kandy and Batticaloa in addition to Colombo, the capital of the island.”

Rizmi Reyal, president of the International Airline Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka, said that this year the Hajj services from Colombo have been enhanced to give a better experience to the pilgrims. He thanked the Saudi government, the Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the Saudi Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh for playing their part in these improvements.

The Sri Lankan government will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.