Food trucks serve in holy places for first time

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A Saudi woman serves pilgrims and workers from one of the food trucks roaming the streets in Arafat and Mina for the duration of the Hajj season. (AN photo by Bashir Saleh)
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Pilgrims by ice cream from one of the food trucks roaming the streets in Arafat and Mina for the duration of the Hajj season. (AN photo by Bashir Saleh)
Updated 21 August 2018
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Food trucks serve in holy places for first time

  • About 45 food trucks were given permit to roam the holy places to offer food, drinks and desserts to pilgrims
  • Only Saudi citizens are allowed to work in these food trucks

 

MINA: Food trucks run by Saudi men and women have begun for the first time to serve food and drinks in the holy places.

This was after Deputy Makkah Gov. Prince Abdullah bin Bandar directed the Secretariat of the Holy Capital to allow local entrepreneurs to provide their services inside the holy places during the current Hajj season.

Unlike the old fixed food stalls, about 45 food trucks have begun roaming the holy places to offer food, drinks and desserts to pilgrims. They also serve ice cream to help people cope with the heat, as well as different kinds of sandwiches.

The Secretariat of the Holy Capital confirmed that all food trucks in Arafat comply with health requirements, with every food truck manager carrying health certificates that allow them to carry out their activities.

The Secretariat highlighted that only Saudi citizens are allowed to work in these food trucks.

Afaf Abdul Aziz, one of the women serving hot drinks, said that she was pleased that the governor of Makkah had allowed women to work in the holy places.

She added: “The job is hard but truly fun. I wanted to prove that Saudi women can work in all occupations and contribute to serving pilgrims.”

She said that most of her customers were Saudis or from Arabian Gulf countries, most of whom worked in providing Hajj services.

“I have seen many Saudi women working in hospitals, health care centers, and Tawafa establishments, which makes me content,” she said.

Arif Obaid said that he worked in a food truck and served hot drinks, especially coffee, highlighting that many security men visited his truck for all kinds of coffee, especially Arabic coffee, which is in high demand. “Most of our goods go to charity work targeting pilgrims,” he said.

The Secretariat of the Holy Capital has announced accepting applications from Saudi men and women who wish to practice this activity in the holy places during the current Hajj season according to a set of standards and controls. 

The most important of these is ensuring the safety of nourishments served to pilgrims and that the applicant has a health certificate proving that she/he is free of contagious or infectious diseases.
 


FaceOf: Abdulrahman Al-Harbi, governor of KSA’s General Authority for Foreign Trade

Abdulrahman bin Ahmed bin Hamdan Al-Harbi
Updated 34 min 26 sec ago
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FaceOf: Abdulrahman Al-Harbi, governor of KSA’s General Authority for Foreign Trade

Abdulrahman bin Ahmed bin Hamdan Al-Harbi was appointed the governor of the General Authority for Foreign Trade following a royal decree issued on March 23. 

Previously, he had been the deputy minister of foreign trade since 2016. 

He has held many leadership positions in the financial and private banking sector, the most recent of which was serving as the chief executive officer of Emirates NBD KSA. 

Al-Harbi is a member of several boards of directors as well as local and international committees, including the board of directors of the Saudi Export Development Authority and the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises. He is also the chairman of the Investment Committee, and represents the Kingdom on the board of directors of the Islamic Center for Trade Development.

He holds a bachelor of science in management information systems from the business school at the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran. 

The General Authority for Foreign Trade aims to enhance the Kingdom’s international commercial and investment activities. It was established to consolidate Saudi Arabia’s position as a region and global trade hub.

One of the key goals of the authority is to ensure smooth access for Saudi non-oil exports in target markets by removing obstacles.