ThePlace: Mina, the valley of the Pilgrims

The valley of Mina plays an important role during Hajj season. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 16 October 2018
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ThePlace: Mina, the valley of the Pilgrims

Mina is located 6 kilometers to the east of Makkah, covering a 16.8 kilometer area starting from Makkah’s city center to Muzdalifa. It is known as the Tent City, as it can accommodate more than 3 million people in more than 100,000 air-conditioned tents. It remains uninhabited for the duration of the year, except during Hajj season.
It is one of the largest projects implemented by King Salman to accommodate pilgrims in accordance with safety and security measures that allow it to absorb more than 2.6 million pilgrims annually, making it the largest tent city in the world. The tents are made of glass fabrics covered with Teflon, which is known for its high resistance to flammability and non-toxic gases; the tents are also air-conditioned and climate resistant.
Each tent is equipped with water sprayers that operate automatically as soon as their heat sensors pick up a rise in temperature, and once the sprinkles release water, alarms will sound and alert pilgrims to danger.
The valley of Mina plays an important role during the annual spiritual Hajj journey and contains the location where pilgrims perform the stoning of the devil in its valley, where the Jamarat Bridge is.
The new Jamarat Bridge project, facilitated by the government, is 950 meters long and consists of five floors with a height of 12 meters per floor. It has 12 entranceways, 12 exit roads from the four directions, emergency outlets on the basis of 300,000 pilgrims per hour, and an air-conditioning system with water sprinklers to cool the atmosphere and reduce the area’s temperature to 29 degrees Celsius.
On the fifth level, umbrellas cover the large site of the three Jamarat, to enhance the comfort of pilgrims and protect them from sun strokes.
Pilgrims perform the stoning in the hours between sunrise and sunset on the final day of Hajj, throwing seven small pebbles at three walls known as the Jamarat, beginning with the smallest (Jamarat Al-Ula) and going on to the middle (Jamarat Al-Wusta), then the largest (Jamarat Al-Aqaba).


Finance officials meet to map out Saudi Arabia’s budget plans

Updated 19 April 2019
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Finance officials meet to map out Saudi Arabia’s budget plans

  • Finance representatives of 150 government bodies meet for the Budget Forum 2020

RIYADH: Saudi finance chiefs have kicked off a major conference in the capital aimed at mapping out the Kingdom’s budget requirements.
Around 300 specialists representing 150 government bodies met at the InterContinental hotel in Riyadh for the Budget Forum 2020.
Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan welcomed delegates to the second edition of the gathering organized by the Saudi Finance Ministry under the slogan “Partnership and Empowerment.”
Al-Jadaan said the ministry was focused on “partnership and commitment,” and sought to share the challenge of developing an effective budget to achieve the Kingdom’s ambitious goals.
“We are also committed to empowering financial leaderships to learn about the ministry’s programs and projects and provide training and qualification opportunities to the best international standards,” he added.
The finance chief said the budget planning process required the collaboration of multiple authorities and a clear strategy based on transparency. 
Items up for discussion at the forum included financial planning in governmental bodies, automation, and the promotion of revenues and efficient spending.
Finance Ministry steering committee chairman, Abdul Aziz bin Saleh Al-Freih, stressed the importance of the forum in getting the ball rolling at an early stage on formulating a general state budget.
Workshops were held on the sidelines of the conference focused on empowering government organizations, and a training program on financial planning and income estimations was also staged.