More than 192,000 employees to serve pilgrims during Hajj 2018

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Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Statistics said a total of 192,254 employees, from both genders, will be working to deliver those services to pilgrims. (SPA)
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Construction work at the Al-Wakrah Stadium, a $575 million (465 million euros) World Cup venue seating 40,000 designed by celebrated Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, some 15 kilometers on the outskirts of the Qatari capital Doha. (File photo / AFP / Karim Jaafar)
Updated 15 August 2018

More than 192,000 employees to serve pilgrims during Hajj 2018

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Statistics announced on Tuesday its statistical calendar for this year’s Hajj season, which includes more than 136 major services to be carried as part of the general services offered to pilgrims.
The authority said on its official website that a total of 192,254 employees, from both genders, will be working to deliver those services to pilgrims. It said 189,113 men and 3,141 women are working around the clock throughout the days of Hajj.
It also said that the number of equipment and machinery used in these services had reached 59,741, including 7,995 cars, 1,583 motorbikes, 13,349 wireless devices, and 3,760 computers.
It also highlighted the security services offered to pilgrims during Hajj as the main public service offered by the General Directorate of Public Security. The services include executing security and traffic plans to maintain public order in Makkah, Madinah and other holy sites.
It said 52 police stations 280 traffic centers and 75 security border gates have been set up at the entrances of Makkah and the holy sites.
Civil defense forces have deployed 15,000 members to execute its preventive awareness program.
Meanwhile, the Directorate of Passport Control has deployed more than 5,000 staff officers, individuals and technicians to prepare outlets for the reception of pilgrims.
The National Information Center has assigned more than 1,355 technician and administrative officials to secure and prepare equipment that will can and read electronic Hajj permits.

Interior Ministry is a pioneer in smart services: Saudi minister

More than 350 experts attended the cybersecutiry meeting in Jeddah on Tuesday. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 22 November 2018

Interior Ministry is a pioneer in smart services: Saudi minister

  • The ministry “is part of the country’s work system of cybersecurity”

Millions of local internet users are making the most of the Ministry of Interior’s smart service portal every day. Its digital transformation program experience will be a global example to follow.

This was stressed by Assistant Minister of Interior for Technology Affairs Prince Dr. Bandar bin Abdullah Al-Mishari Al-Saud, the chief guest at a cybersecurity meeting organized by the Jeddah branch of the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS International) at the Ritz-Carlton on Tuesday, in collaboration with the General Secretariat of the Higher Commission for Industrial Security.

The ministry “is part of the country’s work system of cybersecurity, which has recently become an independent government entity. It is responsible for planning and supervising cybersecurity. Therefore, we fully cooperate with it. Thus, the ministry is keen to support all national platforms, particularly the national cybersecurity authority,” the minister said in the meeting, in which specialists from the National Cyber Security Center and the Communications and Information Technology Commission participated.

In a 30-minute speech, the prince addressed an audience of more than 350, stressing that the Ministry of Interior has been digitized from the start.

“The National Information Center (NIC) was established 40 years ago as the first information center in the Middle East. Digitization in the Ministry of Interior started at that time. The founding of the NIC synchronized with the establishment of King Saud University’s College of Computer and Information Sciences, as the first college of its kind in the region, as far as I know,” he said. The college was one of the few institutions in the world at that time, he said. The ministry and King Saud University collaborated to establish the College of Computer and Information Sciences.

Prince Bandar pointed out that data have become “a commodity, an industry, wealth. All forms of data, in fact, have become an integrated industry and a national treasure on all levels.” Data and information, if used properly, can make a big leap in our life. If neglected, he said, they will be a burden on societies.

He noted that the portal of the Saudi Ministry of Interior is a pioneer in the region in smart services and solutions, pointing out that the ministry’s platforms and initiatives are used by millions of users every day. “It has made outstanding achievements at all levels, including passports, traffic and other services,” he said. The prince stressed in his lecture that the Interior Ministry is a leader in adopting technology in nearly all the services it provides.

“The ministry started issuing entry/exit visas electronically in 2009. It also introduced the fingerprint system and the smart national ID cards in the same year. A year later, it introduced the Absher platform,” he said.

“Absher will soon launch a new service called ‘Absher Government’ which will provide governmental entities with the services they need. We will also add more services and technologies to the Absher platform to meet people’s needs and ease their lives,” the assistant minister said. They were thinking of making Absher a giant platform like Google, he said.

The use of electronic services and smart solutions is the backbone for future government, he said. “Any economic, developmental and social success will be through depending mainly on these elements. We, in Saudi Arabia, have made great advances in this regard, in a way that complies with the country’s Vision 2030. Our achievements in this field harmonize with the rapid increase in deploying technology and knowledge.” 

The leadership has a clear vision and ambitious goals that will put Saudi Arabia among the developed countries in the world.

Replying to an Arab News question about how we can successfully manage the unstoppable flow of applications that may damage our cultural identity or do harm to our social fabric, the assistant minister said clear legislation can help control information and preserve the right of information owners, and this what will soon happen after the national privacy system is issued.

The minister said the total population of Saudi Arabia exceeded 33.2 million. “More than 30.2 million use the internet and 25 million are active internet users, and 18 million of Saudis are active mobile users.”