Saudi Ministry shifts into high gear for Umrah season

The initiative was part of Saudi’s Vision 2030 which aims to attract 30 million Umrah pilgrims in the next few years. (File/AFP)
Updated 16 September 2018
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Saudi Ministry shifts into high gear for Umrah season

  • Launches weekly indicator to improve services provided to pilgrims
  • Nearly 20,000 have already been issued visa

JEDDAH: To facilitate the nearly 8.5 million people visiting Saudi Arabia for Umrah this year, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on Saturday launched a weekly indicator whereby authorities can track the number of pilgrims coming into the Kingdom, and in turn enrich their experiences by providing high-quality services.
Abdulaziz Wazzan, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for Umrah Affairs, said that the initiative was part of Saudi’s Vision 2030 which aims to attract 30 million Umrah pilgrims in the next few years. He added that the ministry was working in coordination with all sectors and preparations were in place to welcome the expected footfall of 8.5 million pilgrims this year.
He said that with the weekly data, they hope to have access to information such as the number of visas issued, footfall of pilgrims visiting the Kingdom via air, land or sea and how many would be in Makkah and Madinah.
As per statistics provided by the ministry, nearly 20,000 pilgrims have already been issued a visa this year, with the number increasing with each passing day. The number of pilgrims – both male and female – stands at 626 thus far, with 596 flying into the Kingdom and 30 using the land entry point. No pilgrims have entered via sea. Pilgrims from Pakistan and India led the list of visitors to the Kingdom, followed by those from Sri Lanka, Jordan and Kuwait. Of these, there are currently 535 pilgrims in Makkah and 81 in Madinah.


‘Our History is Misk’ revive 20 traditional professional figures in Jeddah

Cafes were an important part of Jeddah’s social life. (AN photo)
Updated 24 September 2018
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‘Our History is Misk’ revive 20 traditional professional figures in Jeddah

  • Cafes were an important part of Jeddah’s social life

JEDDAH: “Our History is Misk,” supported by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation, is being organized at the historical site of Jeddah.
The event is bringing nostalgia through a number of scenes that embody the life the city witnessed decades ago.
It comes as one of the activities of the foundation’s initiatives center and is part of its role in encouraging creativity and promoting national values in society.
The activities include an open theater to portray the professions of Jeddah citizens in the past. A number of local actors brought 20 extinct professions back to life through their performances.
One of the actors sits in the center, playing the role of the mayor, who used to help the people and solved their differences. Also showcased were the “decorator,” who is similar to barbers nowadays, the distribution of fabrics used in houses at the time, the selling of water in alleys for nominal amounts of money, and the restoration and cleaning of shoes.
Cafes were an important part of Jeddah’s social life. In them, people with all kinds of professions met to drink tea and listen to a storyteller.