More than a million pilgrims have left Saudi Arabia after Hajj

1,001,783 pilgrims had returned home as of Thursday. (AFP)
Updated 07 September 2018
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More than a million pilgrims have left Saudi Arabia after Hajj

  • General Directorate of Passports said 1,001,783 had left Saudi Arabia
  • More than 2.3 million pilgrims preformed Hajj this year

JEDDAH: More than a million pilgrims have left the Kingdom after completing their Hajj, according to Saudi authorities.

The General Directorate of Passports said that out of 1,758,722 foreign pilgrims, 1,001,783 had departed as of 4pm on Sept. 6, 19 days after the climax of the Hajj. The “day of Arafat,” which fell on Aug. 19 this year, is considered the pinnacle of the pilgrimage. More than 2.3 million pilgrims spent the day in worship on the plain of the Makkah suburb, under the scorching sun.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman praised the efficient organization of the Hajj, which allowed the pilgrims “to perform their duties with ease, security and reassurance in a serene environment.” The king and his crown prince also thanked Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif, whose job as the head of the Supreme Hajj Committee is to ensure the successful implementation of the plans for the pilgrimage.

The king said he prayed for God’s acceptance of pilgrims’ prayers and their safe return to their homelands, and wished success for Islam and Muslims.


Financial Sector Conference kicks off Wednesday in Riyadh

Updated 22 min 57 sec ago
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Financial Sector Conference kicks off Wednesday in Riyadh

  • Thousands have signed up for the two-day event including ministers and top policy makers

Thousands of delegates are expected to attend a two-day finance event in Riyadh, which starts on Wednesday under the patronage of King Salman.

The Financial Sector Conference is being held by the Ministry of Finance and Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA).

Organizers of the event at the Ritz-Carlton conference hall in Riyadh said informally that some 3,400 attendees had signed up for the two-day showcase of the Kingdom’s financial industry, and that more were registering at an impressive rate.

Delegates include ministers from the finance, economy and strategic ministries, as well as top policymakers from capital markets, investment and insurance industries.

It follows last year’s Future Investment Initiative (FII) and the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program events, held at the same venue.

The event will involve the presence of the Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC), which is seen as a key to providing more affordable housing in the Kingdom and boosting home  ownership by citizens.

SRC, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign Public Investment Fund, aims to issue up to SR4 billion ($1.07 billion) of long-term sukuk — or Islamic bonds — this year, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

“Our strategy is clearly to tap the market twice this year,” Fabrice Susini said. “We are really looking at probably issuing something between ... 2 and 4 billion riyals that we may be issuing in two tranches.”