Heavy rains greet Hajj pilgrims ahead of day of devotion at holy site of Arafat

Pilgrims who journeyed from Mina watched the night sky light up with flashes of lightning in Arafat. (Photo: @CICSaudi)
Updated 22 August 2018
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Heavy rains greet Hajj pilgrims ahead of day of devotion at holy site of Arafat

ARAFAT: Gusts of winds and heavy rain greeted some of the early pilgrims arriving in Arafat on Sunday evening.
Pilgrims who journeyed from Mina watched the night sky light up with flashes of lightning, as they prepared for a day of prayer and devotion on the Arafat plain on Monday.
The downpour started just after dusk and lasted for less than an hour with everything returning to normal shortly afterwards.
Earlier, Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal arrived in Mina to oversee the operation of transporting and settling the pilgrims in the white-tented city.
He thanked the Saudi leadership for their support and praise Interior minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud, who is chairman of the High Hajj Committee, for the successful operation.


Arab News asked Dr. Abdulfattah Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, about the situation.

He said: "As the storm has passed, the situation at the moment is much better. The effects are not serious, they are simple and we will fix them between 2 to 3 hours maximum.If you notice even the roads are dry. So, thankfully the situation is good in the Arafat site and the effects are very light."

When asked by Arab News if there would be any financial cost after the storm, Mashat said that there was no serious damage and there were no casualties.

Dr. Mashat confirmed that the weather would not affect pilgrims at all, telling Arab News: "In fact, as you can see, movement is smooth and the pilgrims are currently present in Mina and tomorrow they will ascend upon Mount Arafat as expected.

"They (Civil Defense) are always ready and they are present and at the moment on the holy sites of Arafat and Mina."


Array of national day activities delight Saudis and visitors

Updated 56 sec ago
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Array of national day activities delight Saudis and visitors

JEDDAH: There’s excitement all over the Kingdom as Saudi Arabia gears up to celebrate the 88th Saudi National Day, with citizens and visitors thronging through Jeddah to enjoy the various celebrations where art and patriotism meet. The national day’s events will feature 3D light shows on the façade of the Ritz-Carlton at the new waterfront in Jeddah, displaying images of the nation’s founders and fountains dancing to Saudi music.
Special events will also take place throughout Jeddah where residents and visitors can visit the various parks, public squares, waterfront and beaches to get into the celebratory spirit. Saudi flags and green billboards, often bearing the face of King Salman and his son Crown Prince Mohammed, have gone up across Riyadh this week, and at night skyscrapers are flooded in green light — the national color.
Various governmental and private organizations are also celebrating the occasion throughout the governorate, its streets, main roads and public facilities by hanging flags and signs carrying national meanings and values that strengthen love, loyalty and the sense of belonging to this dear homeland.
The National Day will also be celebrated on Jeddah waterfront with myriad activities ranging from folklore shows, art crafts, and a national art exhibition to family activities, laser shows and fireworks. Other events include using the latest light technology on water screens, showcasing the Kingdom’s images from the time of the founder until the present. 3D lights will also illuminate the surrounding buildings and unique waterfront.
A four-day event is to be held in Old Jeddah to mark Saudi National Day, with activities aiming to highlight the most important historical monuments through displaying activities related to the Kingdom’s unification. Historical Jeddah is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.