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
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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.


Saudi sources deny ‘unsubstantiated’ reports of permitting alcohol

Updated 16 June 2019
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Saudi sources deny ‘unsubstantiated’ reports of permitting alcohol

  • “The leadership has made it clear from day one; it is simply not happening,”SCTH source tells Arab News
  • The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has no plans to allow the sale or public consumption of alcohol, a senior government source has told Arab News.

The official with access to relevant decision-makers categorically denied “unsubstantiated” media reports in some international and regional news outlets.

“If you read the fake news, you will notice it is all based on hearsay and tweets by accounts known to have a questionable agenda when talking about the Kingdom,” he said.

“As the country moves forward with its reform plans, we expect much speculation and attempts by critics to hold us back. And while people are allowed to speculate and criticize, their speculation should not be treated as the truth.”

A second source at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) also denied such reports. “The leadership has made it clear from day one; it is simply not happening,” he told Arab News. “I have not heard of any plans to allow alcohol in major cities, free zones or new projects.”

The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants. Any plans for the sale or consumption of alcohol would have to go through the commission for implementation. 

Saudi Arabia has witnessed substantial social reforms over the past three years, such as the curbing of the previously unchecked power of the religious police, reopening cinemas and allowing women to drive.

There has also been a major shift on previously prohibited public entertainment and gender mixing. International artists including Mariah Carey, Yanni, Andrea Bocelli, Enrique Iglesias and Black Eyed Peas have all performed.

Tourism projects have included pop-up versions of international restaurants such as Signor Sassi, Nusr-Et and Nobu. None has served alcohol.

“Officials have repeatedly said all changes were and will always be in line with Islamic teachings and traditions,” the senior source told Arab News.