Hajj halls at airport will ease pilgrims’ path, says transport minister

Indian pilgrims arrive at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah on August 14, 2018, prior to the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecakkah. (AFP / Amer Hilabi)
Updated 16 August 2018
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Hajj halls at airport will ease pilgrims’ path, says transport minister

  • Saudi transport minister unveils plan to simplify pilgrims’ travel procedures and provide them with optimum services
  • Streamlining of procedures is expected to reduce pilgrims’ waiting time from three hours last year to about 45 minutes this year

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s transport minister, Nabil bin Mohammed Al-Amoudi, visited the Hajj halls at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah on Wednesday to ensure that work progress, performance efficiency and the pilgrims’ reception process are in line with the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) operational plan.

The plan aims to simplify pilgrims’ travel procedures and provide them with optimum services.

During his visit, the minister also checked preparations for receiving Hajj delegations while ensuring the provision of high-standard services. The application of technology systems and electronic programs will also help simplify procedures.

Al-Amoudi praised the Makkah Road initiative, which has been implemented in phases by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, in collaboration with other government bodies, to make Hajj procedures easier for pilgrims arriving from Malaysia and Indonesia.

The initiative includes issuing visas, carrying out passport and customs procedures in the two countries, verifying health requirements, sorting luggage and providing bus transport to hotels in Makkah or Madinah.

The initiative also ensures the readiness of GACA by scheduling upcoming flights arriving at the airport, which simplifies entry procedures.

Streamlining of procedures is expected to reduce pilgrims’ waiting time from three hours last year to about 45 minutes this year. Al-Amoudi said that the improvements are the result of the directives and support provided by the Saudi government to all air, sea and land ports.

“The Saudi government is keen to make every effort to simplify procedures for pilgrims and enable them to perform the Hajj and Umrah rites easily and safely through the cooperation and integration of all government and private sectors,” he said.

Pilgrims receive the utmost care from the time they arrive in Saudi Arabia until they return to their home countries, he added.

The minister thanked staff working in Hajj halls for their work and praised the integration of efforts between government bodies, especially employees of the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Health.

He also commended the readiness of GACA’s team, highlighting their excellence in providing transport services based on the guidance of the Saudi leadership for serving pilgrims.


‘Our History is Misk’ revive 20 traditional professional figures in Jeddah

Cafes were an important part of Jeddah’s social life. (AN photo)
Updated 30 min 43 sec ago
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‘Our History is Misk’ revive 20 traditional professional figures in Jeddah

  • Cafes were an important part of Jeddah’s social life

JEDDAH: “Our History is Misk,” supported by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation, is being organized at the historical site of Jeddah.
The event is bringing nostalgia through a number of scenes that embody the life the city witnessed decades ago.
It comes as one of the activities of the foundation’s initiatives center and is part of its role in encouraging creativity and promoting national values in society.
The activities include an open theater to portray the professions of Jeddah citizens in the past. A number of local actors brought 20 extinct professions back to life through their performances.
One of the actors sits in the center, playing the role of the mayor, who used to help the people and solved their differences. Also showcased were the “decorator,” who is similar to barbers nowadays, the distribution of fabrics used in houses at the time, the selling of water in alleys for nominal amounts of money, and the restoration and cleaning of shoes.
Cafes were an important part of Jeddah’s social life. In them, people with all kinds of professions met to drink tea and listen to a storyteller.