Hajj pilgrims get clean bill of health

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Muslim worshippers watch as others circumambulate around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Makkah on August 17, 2018 prior to the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city. (AFP)
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Muslim worshippers circumambulate around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Makkah on August 17, 2018 prior to the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city. (AFP)
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Muslim pilgrims pray at the Mount Al-Noor, where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Holy Koran through Gabriel in the Hera cave, ahead of annual hajj pilgrimage in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia August 18, 2018. (REUTERS)
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Muslim worshippers circumambulate around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Makkah on August 17, 2018 prior to the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city. (AFP)
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Muslim pilgrims pray while they the Mount Al-Noor, where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Holy Koran through Gabriel in the Hera cave, ahead of annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia on Saturday, August 18, 2018. (REUTERS)
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Muslim pilgrims pray at the Grand Mosque, ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the Muslim holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. (AP)
Updated 19 August 2018
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Hajj pilgrims get clean bill of health

  • 50% of pilgrims are headed directly to Madinah and 50% are headed to Makkah and will visit Madinah after Hajj season

JEDDAH: Pilgrims at this year’s Hajj have been given a clean bill of health by Saudi authorities who confirmed on Saturday that no cases of epidemic or quarantine disease have been reported.
The Ministry of Health said that 1,647,351 pilgrims were provided with preventive services through health outlets from the first of the month of Dul Qadah until Saturday.
The general rate of commitment among the pilgrims to take preventive vaccines stood at about 80 percent for meningitis, 96.3 percent for yellow fever and 87.5 percent for polio, the ministry said.
Meanwhile, the ministry also provided emergency services in Makkah and Madinah hospitals to 280,773 pilgrims, bringing to 17,820 the number of visits to clinics, while medical centers treated 246,156 outpatients.
The number of cases hospitalized was 1,651, with nine births recorded.


Major projects, investments worth over $685bn unveiled on Saudi National Day

A photo taken on July 5, 2018, shows Bader al-Ajmi, 38,(L) owner of "One Way Burger" serving customers from his truck at a main street in the capital Riyadh. (AFP)
Updated 22 September 2018
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Major projects, investments worth over $685bn unveiled on Saudi National Day

  • The private sector’s contribution to the GDP at constant prices doubled to around SR1236.6 million in 2017

JEDDAH: A major economic boost in the form of 10 major projects and investments exceeding SR685 billion ($183 billion) were unveiled as celebrations of the 88th Saudi National Day got under way.
The Council of Saudi Chambers released a report focusing on great economic achievements in 2017.
These projects reflect the Kingdom’s vision under the wise leadership of King Salman and that of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to provide a brighter future through diversifying sources of national income, tackling environmental challenges and increasing investment and prosperity.
The report summarized the most important events and economic developments in the Kingdom over the past year. These include the lifting of the ban on women driving in June, and the establishment of the General Authority for Cyber Security, in addition to the numerous royal decrees providing financial support to Saudis.
It also noted the important decisions related to the Saudi business sector. These include the launch of a private sector incentive program with a value of SR72 billion, the privatization of 10 government sectors and the establishment of the General Authority for Real Estate. The private sector is still showing a strong performance as an efficient partner in the inclusive development process and in the achievement of the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision, the report noted, as it contributes 39 percent to the Saudi gross domestic product (GDP).
The private sector’s contribution to the GDP at constant prices doubled to around SR1236.6 million in 2017. There has been increased contribution to GDP from non-oil private sector streams.
The private sector also witnessed an increase in the number of workers, in its capital, in the number of shares on the Saudi market, in the cumulative number of establishments operating in the Kingdom, and in non-oil exports.
Continued growth of the private sector was attributed by the report to the Saudi government’s support. This support comes through initiatives such as the removal of obstacles to financial development, improvements to the working environment and policies adopted to boost investment.
It also reviewed the private sector’s efforts to support diversification of the economy and lower unemployment rates.
The importance of the measures taken to prioritize the employment of qualified Saudi workers over the employment of expatriates in the private sector were stressed, as well as the sector’s role in providing education and health services.